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English – Foundational Stories

For this assignment, we had to choose a foundational story and explain how it has been retold and revisioned today. My partner was Kamila, and she chose the foundational story ‘Daedalus and Icarus.’ 

In her presentation, she gave examples of how the Ancient Greek story had been translated into poems and art, such as ‘Fall of Icarus (1819). It has also been mentioned in multiple books, especially children’s books, such as the Percy Jackson series. The lesson that the Ancient Greek story teaches has also been recognised as a psychological disorder called Icarus Complex where one is found to be fond of fire, heights, and narcissistic.

Kamila also explains what this Greek myth means, and how people use it today. For example, the myth-inspired a well-known idiom, “don’t fly too close to the sun”. Even if you don’t use it in your everyday life, this phrase will still sound familiar. It is also explained how there are themes of pride and punishment. Pride was something that was shunned upon in Ancient Greece because it was seen as a human thinking they can act like a god. The gods didn’t appreciate people like this and often punished them by death. This is also present today because too much pride can be seen as arrogance, and those who are arrogant are quite often shunned by society, simply because arrogance and narcissism are considered unpleasant qualities (unpleasant to be around).

Grade 10 – The Words We Can’t Use

We watched a video called “Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don’t belong to everyone”. In the video, a woman in the audience explained how her friends used the ‘n’ word regularly, but they are white.

Coates then went on to talk about how words don’t mean anything without context. He gave examples of how his wife calls him ‘honey’ because that is their relationship with each other. He said that if they were walking along the street together and a random stranger called him ‘honey’, it would be very strange. Because that is what his wife and him call each other. For a stranger to call him that would be strange.

He gave more examples of other words that people say to each other, but would not include him. His wife and her friends call each other ‘girlfriend’ because that is their relationship with each other. He said it would be strange for him to start referring to them as ‘girlfriend’ because their name for each other does not include him. He said he has no desire to call them ‘girlfriend’.

He then says how he doesn’t know why white people feel the need to say the ‘n’ word, but he believes it could be because in their country, since the day they are born they are taught that everything belongs to them. They see inequalities everywhere, whether it is in the form of something big or small, and that influences them into believing everything belongs to them. Then when a word is made that only black people are allowed to use, they don’t understand the concept and don’t know how to not use the word. He said that once they accept that they have to refrain from using it and it is not their word to use, then they will be able to see into the life of a black person, and what it’s like to have so many restrictions and so many things they aren’t allowed to do or say because of their skin colour.

I completely agree with this because the word was not made for white people to use. I don’t understand how people can’t accept that and just not use the word. It is only one word out of all of the words in the English language. And people are having trouble NOT using it. It makes no sense. I completely agree with all of his points, and why. The reason why I referred to white people as ‘them’ was because he specifically said ‘white people in this country’, which is America, so to say ‘us’ when I’m not American would imply that he was talking about every white person.

I think we need to learn more about our boundaries and that, if we separated ourselves by our skin colour in the first place, then why is it so hard not to use one word that’s not ours. I would never use the ‘n’ word because I know it’s not my place to use it, and I know it could be extremely offensive to people. I believe that we are all equal, and if we treat other people a certain way, why are we surprised and thinking that it’s not okay when other people suddenly start treating us the same way we have been treating them all along.

Personal Statement

Although I am from England, I was born and raised in Asia. Living in Asia has taught me about the importance of culture and respecting the people around me. From a young age, I have been going to UWC which has taught me how to be a well-rounded person who knows how to be a leader with strong opinions, but how to be a great listener as well. In UWC we are required to be able to bounce ideas off each other in a respective and effective way. This has helped me to grow into a person who can look at every perspective possible. This school has also allowed me to explore my interests and ambitions.

On almost a daily basis, singing is one of my main focuses. I am a singer and songwriter, and have also taken a few courses on the many ways that you can compose a song. Music is something that I hope to pursue in the future, as it is one of my biggest passions and an art that I hope to share with other people so that they might learn something valuable from what I write. Another passion of mine is writing. Although I have had practice in writing essays, my strong point is narrative writing. I tend to have a natural character in my words, enabling the possibility for me to thrive as a journalist.

I would say that I am very much an arts person as I am interested in every art form. It is easy to say that art is my passion simply because it has no rules. Although every school will try to put rules on music and rules on fine art, to me the real meaning of art is expression. And since when did our expressions have rules to them?

I first started to discover my interest and love for people in Grade 9, Global Perspectives (GPERS). At the beginning of the year, we would look at issues and then discuss our perspectives. While looking at those issues, we just sat in class and had discussions about what we believed was right and wrong. This allowed me to discover how many things I have to say, but usually am too shy to speak up about. It was easy for me to get comfortable in the class because everyone respected each other’s opinion. In GPERS we are also required to look at certain people’s stories. That is when I realised that I like people. When looking at numbers and statistics, it doesn’t mean much to me, but when we focus on how something affected just one person, it inspires a great passion for wanting to know more about the issue and knowing about the many different people that exist in our world.

 

My end goal is to study in Australia where I can study psychology, the arts, and possibly other sciences. I hope that this will get me to a future where I work in the field of arts.

English – Macbeth 3

What kind of people are willing to undertake such dreadful business as murdering innocent women and children?

I think maybe people who are not so confident in themselves and think that they are doomed to a terrible future and maybe when they had their education they didn’t do so well so they just decided that they weren’t good enough to be anything but the lowest job – which would be killing other people for a living. I also think that very extreme people who want to be in the good books with powerful people, who are sometimes bad people, would want to do it. People who have a lot of power usually are more power hungry and so I think they would want to tell people to do their dirty work and people who want a lot of money and want to be in the good books with the power hungry people would want to do the dirty work.

What kind of society produces such callous killers?

Ones where maybe there isn’t as good education and maybe places where parents put a lot of pressure on their children to make a lot of money, so the children grow up thinking that they have to find the quickest and easiest way to make a lot of money.