•In what ways does the author offer insights and challenges into religious and cultural practices?
•To what extent does the impact of the text shape our implicit perception of a troubling world?
•How does understanding of context (social/political/historical/cultural) influence or shape our understanding of the text and its implications?
•How do elements of the contemporary novel shape our understanding of the concepts within the text?
LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
Initiative for Peace has, I find, been a great choice as an activity thus far in the year. Not only does it fit snugly into my week’s schedule, running from 4:30-6:00 on Tuesday (I do Boxing from 3:00-4:30), but it is also a great chance to learn a different set of skills and also meet, and interact with, many people I would not normally see. The best things about IFP are not only the wide community of people who attend the activity, allowing me to get to know many people I do not share classes with, but also the set of conflict-resolution skills that we learn as part of the activity. I have never given much thought to the specific skills required to facilitate the construction of a lasting sense of peace or the practical skills required to organise an event such as a conference, so it has been a very constructive learning experience for me to acquire these practical skills, despite the fact that it may have been, to begin with, somewhat strange to actually sit down and learn these skills. The ability to foster conversation and facilitate an understanding is one that I have never had to consciously learn, and, hence, has rendered this season of IFP a very eventful one. I look forwards to continuing the year in IFP, this despite the fact that, due to the coronavirus, our Timor Leste and Mae Sot conferences have been cancelled, which was a significant obstacle to my CAS experience, as I was very much looking forwards to attending.
LO7: Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions
Having now done four consecutive years of in-school boxing (from Grade 9 to Grade 12), I find myself more and more aware of the impacts that boxing has had on my life, both in school and out, and the consequences of taking it, both positive and negative, on my life. Boxing has, without a doubt, made me a more active, and fulfilled, person. I find that the constance of it (at 3:00-4:30 on Tuesday every day) helped me get into a routine that’s difficult to break (even if I am tired or don’t really feel like going to boxing at all). This is also not considering the friendships and acquaintances I have made within the activity, and the considerations towards others I have learned in the class. Though it may appear banal, things as small as using just the right amount of power, not too much or too little, when engaging in padwork with a partner, or making sure to put away boxing gloves so others are not inconvenienced, have been drilled into me; I am more considerate of others, in the ring and out, and more aware of the consequences my actions have on them.
The core of the feedback our class has discussed on improving our English practice essays is to find a sort of golden mean between various extremes; for instance, minding our word-count, we need to strike a balance between having enough points to provide a lengthy and varied essay, analysing a range of aspects of the question, and having few enough points to fully explore and deeply analyse, without including an excessive amount of bare-bones points. Additionally, whilst including external, well-researched sources supporting your argument or offering a different perspective on your essay question can be a great asset, it is also beneficial to improving the depth of your essay to question and deeper explore the sources; are there any parts of the work that they neglect to mention? Do you agree or disagree, and why? This running theme of finding a “golden mean” between the various extremes of essay-writing is one that I need to get to terms with, seeing as there are many aspects that need to be perfectly balanced to deliver an appropriately balanced essay (e.g giving adequate context for the work you are exploring whilst not drowning the reader in obsolete or excessive information that is irrelevant to the text).
Personally speaking, what I need to work most on is to focus on a greater degree of three-dimensionality within my essay; I did not include adequate foreground (background information) on Burgess, the author of the work, in my introduction, and, additionally, I did not continue to cite the author throughout the text, not “grounding” it by constantly looping it back to the author and the question. Additionally, I should have focused more on the “time and space” aspect of Nadsat as an argot; why did Burgess create it, but also how did he create it, and in what context did it exist. Doing so would show a greater degree of understanding and confidence in the text. Additionally, whilst I did cite a secondary source (an analysis), I should have explored it or questioned it further, instead of using it as a support for my preexisting argument.
Doc – Feb 14 2020 – 10-51 AM (1)
LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in your CAS experience.
Our second season of service has ended, and has brought with it large changes. Despite our best efforts in adapting our activities to better suit the clients of the elderly center, we have found our efforts less-than-fruitful in furthering our end-goal; that of interviewing both clients and those who care for them and cataloguing said interviews (hence, “Memoirs” of the pioneer generation). However, a significant setback in the path of our service has been how hesitant our clients have been to actually speak; we have been unable to create a close enough social bond to gather any information from them. Similarly, those who work at the center have been unwilling to provide us with any sort of interview. Hence, in view of this setback, our service has adopted a different strategy; that of splitting up and joining with other local services in school, and working with them to gain a different perspective on service as a whole, a perspective we will be able to bring back to the group and hopefully translate into a valuable insight into service. I, personally, have joined with YMCA Student Care Center, with which I hope that I will be able to gain a different perspective, and, hopefully, overcome this setback to our service.
LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively.
With our first season of Service concluded, I find that Memoirs of the Pioneer generation has been a strong fit for me, despite some challenges and apprehension. Firstly, despite much planning and initiative for activities, with our service group entering the senior center with clear ideas on how we wanted to conduct our sessions, we rapidly found that our plans did not develop as we wanted them to. With many senior clients of the center having relatively short attention spans, many of our planned activities (board games, ball games, etc.) that did not provide immediate gratification and somewhat fast-paced fun soon fell apart. Though our first activities, as a simple get-to-know-you, were ball games where we learnt the names of the clients of the center, we somewhat rudimentary, as we were forced to improvise and abandon our initial plan, we soon overcame the challenge of planning and adapting our expectations of the activity to fit the clients. As we tailored our plans to better fit them, by prioritising activities more accessible to them and less likely to lose their interest, we found a greater degree of engagement with our clients (though, despite our best efforts, some of them remained quite distant and reluctant to socialise). Nonetheless, despite our difficulties with planning and the challenges that organising sessions presented, I feel that the first season of service has been a productive and personally enjoyable one.