Archive of ‘Academic’ category

English – Macbeth Pt2

Analyse the ways in which Shakespeare evokes contradictory feelings (in you) towards his characters:

In Scene 3, Macbeth showed a lot more of the brave and loyal side of his character than in Scene 2, when he spoke of how he felt that he had heard voices in his head and that he has lost not only himself, but his religion. All throughout Scene 3, Macbeth shows only strength in front of other characters, for example, when he slays the guards and explains why to everyone else on stage. He says, “Who can be wise, amazed, temp’rate, and furious, Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man. Th’expedition of my violent love Outran the pauser, reason” (2.3.101-103). In these lines, Macbeth shows the other characters on stage that he is upset about Duncan’s death, and had to do something to avenge him, like kill the guards who hadn’t been able to protect him. This greatly contradicts Scene 2, where he showed little of anything but weakness. Macbeth spoke to his wife about how he could hear voices in his head telling him that he was a murderer and how he couldn’t go back into the room where Duncan lay dead because he was too guilt-ridden. His wife did not understand how he could feel such guilt and accused him of being cowardly, especially because Macbeth couldn’t fathom what he had done. He says, “I’ll go on no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; look on’t again, I dare not.” (2.2.54-56). The shift in what he shows of his character in the two scenes is big, but written so that it seemed like shifting between traits easily is just another one of the many things that Macbeth can do.

Comment on the significance of dialogue and ensemble scenes in affecting mood and positioning the audience.

In Scene 3 of Act 2, many characters come together to discuss the death of their former king, Duncan. Even though they are the hosts, Macbeth and his wife are not questioned as to how Duncan died and whether or not they had anything to do with it. It could be because no one wanted to question Macbeth, who was quite powerful and who the former king trusted. The audience knows that Macbeth is guilty, yet he manages to hide it and acts as though he was hurt and as though he wishes that he had never seen Duncan dead. He says, “Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had lived a blessed time,” (2.3.84-85). I think it’s clever how Shakespeare has allowed the audience to see a different side of Macbeth’s words than the characters in the play. While we see this line as Macbeth wishing that he had never killed Duncan, the characters in the play see this line as Macbeth wishing that he had never seen Duncan dead, and ultimately only adding to the respect that the other characters have for him.

English – Macbeth

Differentiate between the direct and indirect characterisation Shakespeare uses in order to construct his characters

In Act 1, Scene 2 of “Macbeth,” the Captain speaks with the king, Duncan, and talks about all of Macbeth’s victories during battle and how, “he deserves that name” (1.2.16). Macbeth means brave and because the Captain mentions this before we are even introduced to Macbeth, we already know that he is respected, powerful, and courageous. When Shakespeare introduces us to Macbeth in Scene 3, he is called a king by the Third Witch. At first, Macbeth doesn’t want to think of being king because he is very faithful and loyal to the current king. But shortly after, he has thoughts about whether he would suit king or not and that he would like to be king. This shows that Macbeth is insecure and easily influenced by others around him.

English – Art is Important:) Op-Ed Article

Here is my Op-Ed article which I wrote about the importance of art – inspired by Danny Raven Tan’s story.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mmAqbMmGB5I2LzPaTMmPKDZyiS1It_8aBBOLSmuwEXs/edit?usp=sharing

We have all doodled something on paper, sang along to a song that made us happy, and danced to something that made us smile. Art is a big part of everyone’s lives, whether it is noticed, nurtured and appreciated, or not. Art means many things to different people. The stroke of a brush, or the creativity of a person and how they use it. There are also many forms of artists. Singer, songwriter, painter, photographer, filmmaker, dancer, and many more. All of them can be considered artists. Why are they labelled that way? According to Quora.com(Nguyen, Celine. “What Does It Mean to Be an Artist?” Quora, 12 Mar. 2011, http://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-to-be-an-artist.), an artist is someone who takes any sort of experiences, any part of life as an inspiration and has the need to reinterpret and communicate it with an audience. Expressing it in some physical way. Whether it is painting on a canvas or choreographing lyrical contemporary dance, it is considered art. Someone who uses dreams, conversations, photographs, and anything that sparks inspiration to create is considered an artist. Quora.com states that being an artist isn’t permanent, but an ongoing process.

There are many reasons why people create art. It could be seen as an escape from reality. Creating things that they can’t see when they look at what is around them. It is an escape because you can create your own world with colours and words. I know that I draw when I am bored, frustrated and confused. I would call it a way of de-stressing when I cannot seem to make sense of things or when I need something to do. I song write when I am upset or when I think of a topic that I think needs to be heard. Most of all, I sing because it makes me happy. An amazing thing about art is that everyone sees it differently. While I may look at a piece of writing and think about how the author is losing a part of themselves, another person may look at it and think that the author is trying to convey that they are growing as a person.

Focusing in on music, a quote that I found on the internet one day showed exactly why I think music is magical. Dave Grohl (“Dave Grohl.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Grohl\.)  is an American musician who sang, wrote songs, produced music, was a guitarist for the band Nirvana, the founder of Foo Fighters, and even directed a few films and did many more incredible things. To say he is a big part of the music business is an understatement. He said, “That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.” This perfectly sums up everyone’s love for music. Whether you make music or you listen to it, music makes you feel emotions and makes you relive good moments and bad moments. Even when reminded of the bad moments, the lyrics comfort you because it lets you know that the things you feel and go through do not just happen to you. People like to know that they are not alone and music is the perfect medium to do that.

When reading through different articles about the influence of art, I came across an article that listed 10 reasons why art is important. Theodysseyonline.com’s article (Swami, Swara. “10 Reasons Why The Arts Are Important In Our Lives.” The Odyssey Online, 28 Aug. 2017, http://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-reasons-why-arts-are-important-in-our-lives.) was written by a lady named Swara Swami in 2016 and she wrote from personal experience. Here are a few of the things she mentioned:

  • “Art gives you joy.” She stated that whenever she sang her favourite song, she smiled. She said all forms of art would give you happiness.
  • “Art relieves stress.” Swami brings up the point that we seem to lose all focus and all sense of the world around us when we are in the process of creating art; like singing to your favourite song or trying to learn a dance that you saw online. Something I deeply agreed with was when she said that taking a break and doing art in between studies will help you clear your mind of stress, and focus more on your academic task, helping you do better in your academic studies.
  • “Art helps you to express your emotions.” When frustrated, one might draw jagged lines and use black or red pens which showcase their emotions. Art is a form of communication and it can “say things that even words cannot say,” according to Swami. Although everyone uses different languages, something that we can all understand is a simple drawing and the possible meaning behind it. A smiley face indicates joy and feeling pleasant emotions. A heart indicates loving something or someone.

Overall, I have only just skimmed the very top of the importance art has in our lives. The truth is that art is so visual and intimate and emotional that it would be impossible to perfectly capture the meaning of art by only using words. If I were to write down what art means to me it would just be a list of emotions, and that’s what it really is. Emotions compiled together to create messages within a visual or audible story, colouring within words, filling in the gaps that people have in them, and making life not so black and white.

English – Danny Raven Tan

My second Writer’s Fortnight session was extremely different from the first one. Danny Raven Tan is a Singaporean artist. I found myself identifying with him quite a lot in the beginning. He talked about how he believes in passion and expression, which I completely agreed with. When he moved on, he talked about his own story. He dealt with pancreatic cancer, his mother has dementia and his father passed away. His story was very moving and he said that he had once hated the reminders of his struggles in the past, like the scar on his body. But someone brought to his attention that scars are just your survival stories and that, “every scar tells a story.” This really influenced his art work, not in the sense that he painted about cancer and things he struggled with, he realised what it meant to live and what it meant to feel like you were dying and he portrayed that in his paintings. I thought this was quite an interesting way of expressing what you have been through. I love art, I love to draw and I doodle all the time and although I’m not so serious about painting and doing it for a living, it is a really big part of me and it is a way I express myself and my thoughts when I’m forced into silence. I thought that I could even use what he said and his way of expressing in my songs.

English – Marc Nair

At first I was a bit confused because I didn’t really know what to expect. To be honest I was wondering whether I would be a bit bored, despite the fact that I love writing. I ended up really enjoying listening to Marc Nair’s experiences and his poems and how he tries to be different from other writers. I thought it was cool how he started off saying what other writers did and how he was going to do it differently and I liked that because it was something different and his poems were just as unique. I thought that his writing style was unique in the sense that he was so incredibly descriptive and although he was so descriptive, sometimes it would seem as if he outlined what he was talking about instead of going right through the middle. But that didn’t take away from the message and the effect of his poems. I also found myself comparing his poems to my own, and the songs that I write. With my poems and songs, it’s often really hard for people to understand what I’m writing about and what the actual message is because my descriptions are so vague that you really have to think about every word and how they each have a different meaning. I liked how I thought that he seemed to outline a subject slightly, because I know that I do the same, except on a much higher level. I enjoyed listening to how he used the descriptive words to paint a picture, something that I don’t do very often when writing poems because I feel like when I hear poems that means that I have to have minimal writing. But listening to him recite his poems and proving my instinctive thoughts was refreshing and I was inspired to create something similar where I really do push the boundaries. When writing poems, I also find it very difficult to break out of rhyming everything. I think this is because of how I’ve grown so used to writing songs, which is why it was interesting to see how Marc Nair created a piece of writing that was so obviously a poem, but didn’t have the same structure that I was used to writing myself.

People often lean towards their habits and what they are comfortable with, and you can especially fall into that habit when creating art. But art is about expression, no matter what form and he was able to identify those habits and try and break away from them.

DP – About Me Page

(My ‘About Me’ page for my partner, Cara, is currently incomplete)

This is my current About Me Page for Cara. It is incomplete because I was having trouble thinking of a good way to display information that was pleasing to the eye and not too cluttered. It was challenging because there is a lot of information that has to fit in a small amount of space so I was trying to think of different ways I could make this work.

English – Article Analysis Reflection

Q1: In what way did this lesson help advance your understanding?

It definitely made me more aware of just how many sides you can look at a story. It also helped me to understand how to identify bias and fact and separate them.

Q2: In what way did this lesson make you question your previous learning?

I usually just read one or two articles and they are similar so I build my own opinion on the situation through that, but there are so many other stories and people and perspectives to consider until you can get close to the truth of a situation.

Q3: In what ways has this lesson inspired you?

It has inspired me to be more careful when I read articles on the internet to get information because when I write my own things based on the articles I have looked at, I don’t want my readers to be absorbing knowledge that isn’t close to 100% true.

Q4: What are you still unsure about?

I’m unsure of whether I am actually good enough at identifying features in articles that tell me more about the author and where they are coming from when they write.

Geography – Three Gorges Opinions

In terms of the Three Gorges, I think that it was almost equally positive and negative. Out of the three categories, social, economic, and environmental, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

Social disadvantages: the Three Gorges caused flooding in villages and is not aesthetically pleasing so the villagers don’t like it. The Three Gorges caused cracks in village buildings and houses, making villagers afraid for their safety and their family member’s safety. The cracks make it very hard to keep warm at night in the winter because it allows the cold to seep in. Many homes have been lost because the Three Gorges dam caused the water level to rise meaning that some houses went under water.

So although the Three Gorges provides water to a 12th of the world’s people, the people living nearby have to suffer the consequences. I think that the wellbeing of the people who live near the dam are a lot more important because their lives are the ones that are being negatively affected, and there are a lot more ways to provide energy.

Environmental disadvantages: There are many environmental impacts such as, rubbish floating into the river, water level rising, and natural disasters becoming more severe. This has caused annual fluctuations – an increase and decrease in water which affects the soil, making it unstable. Landslides can happen due to this, and collapse into the river, causing water to rise even higher, therefore putting more houses under the water. China’s carbon emissions were also high due to this, but they are currently trying to reduce it. Also another negative effect, which I think is really upsetting, is that the Yangtzee river dolphin is extinct. With the help of the Three Gorges dam.

There are so many negative environmental impacts which completely outweigh the one advantage which is that it’s renewable. The Earth gave them the Yangtzee river in the first place, why are they destroying it in return

Economic disadvantages: The government needs to pay for the repairs of the cracks in townspeople’s homes since they themselves can’t afford it. The costs for making the dam were very high, around 22.5 billion US dollars. In the winter there isn’t much electricity, and a few more disadvantages.

The economic advantages outweigh the disadvantages but I think that there are many other ways that electricity could be created that is more environmentally friendly and is not so taxing on the townspeople.

Overall, I think that all the time and money going into making the Three Gorges dam was a bit of a waste because they could have put all that effort into something that doesn’t effect the environment and the townspeople as negatively.

English – Video Storywriting

We had to write a story in English based on what we observed happening in a video. The video had no sound and it was quite fuzzy so it was hard to tell what was happening but here is my story:

I watched from above. Today, the variety of different people who walked in through the swinging doors of the store had only one thing in common: shorts and a t-shirt. Gone were the warm jumpers and snow covered coats, now small dresses and skin-baring clothed people walked around the store.

I noticed two people in front of my everlasting eyes. I watched them cruise around, before focusing their attention on a small, aluminium box. I had seen these men before. One was a giant, always wearing the same red cap on his head. The other had long brown hair that brushed over his ears. I often saw them look intently at these aluminium boxes. I thought nothing of it as they usually walked past it. Today was different. They both peered over at the cashier, where a short man stood, with a small white name tag saying: Flinn. Flinn often seemed kind to the customers, always giving a smile.

The two men swung the small door open, grabbed a few drinks and tried to hurry away to the door, where they could escape. But they had been just a second too late as Flinn caught them making their way past the cashier, two bottles in hand. He confronted them and asked them to pay. The red capped man grabbed the front of Flinn’s shirt and growled, pushing him into a candy laden stand before both he and his friend stalked out of the store door in victory.

I wrote in the perspective of the security camera and we had to write a story in 20 minutes, and were only allowed to write 250 words, and not a word over.

Word count:  247

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