Reflection on mock exam

Not going to lie, this week has been disappointing. I studied enough to at least expect a 4 on all my exams, but all I have gotten are 2-5. My predicted grades have dropped on all my subjects. The specially bad one was geography but I wont get into that.

For Paper 1 I feel like I could of practiced more when it comes to writing essays, but I am not sure where to start. I have now around 90 days to revise and study for every subject, but I’m not sure if I have the discipline to focus and study everyday. I hate not being able to focus on something and then feeling bad for not doing it, but the start is the worst. It is not hard to “study” for english, it’s technically practise, it is just boring to do so. A lot of writing will be involved, and I can also use the marking sheet  to mark myself, but I would still need to help of Mr. Macknight to check it. I do not want to disturb him in these difficult times of dealing with little kids practicing for paper 1/2.

I don’t work well under pressure and this paper made me realize that, my mind froze and it just skimmed over the passage. I never went knees deep into the passage, what was on-top that’s what I saw. There were some very crucial parts on the passage that I just skipped through that Mr. Macknight pointed out in the class. In class everything that he pointed out made sense, but he could have told me all that in the exam and I would of never understood.

I have to take initiative to start practicing because I made a lot of rookie mistakes on paper 1, and after a year of practicing you might think they would be done for, but they are not. I just need to get into that discipline of studying, which is easier said than done.

Analysis of paper 1 – Dos and don’ts

I will start off by saying that I did not expect to do well on the Paper 1 practice. I felt rushed and stressed when doing the practice, although I did prepare before hand. Most of my errors were spelling errors (sp), which is what you would expect from someone that is rushed, stressed, and their first language is not english.

Re-reading my practice paper I can see the sloppiness in the writing, and the analyzing. I had trouble analyzing because I could not understand either texts, and I just did my best with what I could understand. I had some good assertions overall but no supporting evidence to go along with it. I also wrote about personal experiences which was a big no-no for my grade since none of it was relevant— an observation made by Mr. MacKnight.

I spent most of my time analyzing and I was still unsure of what the text meant, next time I will have to meditate in the middle of the paper to calm my nerves. Going back to the text now, two of my paragraphs were not supposed to be there— another observation made by Mr. MacKnight— and I did not have quotations to support my assertions. Half way over with the paper I realized I wrote it in past tense, which Mr. MacKnight has pointed it out, enough times for me to remember, that essays are written in present tense— to be honest I do not remember what that was, since I learnt it in primary school, but I know it is not past. He has repeated it so many times that I should be able to remember it like my mom’s name, but I never do.

I am pretty disappointed with the grade that I got, but it was expected, I am not the brightest person in the class, and even less the best english speaker, but I did wanted a higher grade. I will keep the errors I did in mind, but I am not sure I will remember it when it comes to writing the paper. Also writing digitally is much easier than writing traditionally since I can go back and change things like nothing happened, just like how I changed most of the contractions, abbreviations, and all of the lower case I’s.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut PR

The way I would describe this book would be as a work of art. It’s simple yet confusing. It is not for everyone. It can make you sad, happy, relaxed, or even angry.

I find the book a narrative, not something with a plot. With the way the timeline is, it feels like small clips being put together and connected to each other. The way Vonnegut described emotions and, what some think was, PTSD. How he created Tralfalmadore as a way to escape reality because, who would really be abducted with a ex-pornstar, it is kind of a stretch, even for science fiction writers. On Tralfalmadore was the only way Billy could be satisfied with his life, and he was able to relax a little. I feel that Vonnegut created it by being genuine because, he sort of felt alienated after the war, and wanted to share how stupid it felt to be back home after the war.

Vonnegut created a fictional character by looking at his war experience in the third person. I think he alienated himself from those feelings by doing that. Vonnegut was a very intelligent man and, he wasn’t going to let war mess with his mind, instead, he would be messing with ours.

The hardest part that I found with this book was: separating the author from the story, like I’ve said before, I have a hard time believing that any part of this story is true. Meanwhile when reading The Color Purple I had to remind myself that it was just a story, every time I had an assignment on it.

I would of liked to know what Vonnegut was feeling when he wrote the book, when he messed with our minds, when he decided to scramble the timeline, and if somedays were worst than the others. If one day he could write to his heart’s content, and another where he couldn’t even see what he was writing. I also would of liked to know what Mrs. O’Hare had to say about the book. And if he ever became a pillar of salt again. He brought light to a massacre not many people thought about, let alone talk about it, like what he said, “Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like ‘Poo-tee-weet?’” He became the bird, the bird he heard all of those years ago.



My thoughts about Kurt Vonnegut’s book “Slaughterhouse-Five”

I am having trouble keeping up with the book. Billy’s way of looking at life isn’t the way I look at life. I tried to change the way I looked at, it just for this time.

Billy can look at his whole life, the bad parts and good parts, and he is still happy with the life he got. One of the problems I find with my point of view, is what Ben and Coen call “freewill”. If I could see my future I would try to change it as much as possible, just to experiment. And the fact that Billy is able to see his death over and over again means he is immortal, do not get me wrong, he does die, but he does come back to another time period of his life. However, Billy seems awfully happy with his time travelling.

The question this book gives me is that: if you could see your whole life ahead of you, without any way of changing it, are you happier? I think Vonnegut has also thought about this too, of how he could make a child-like character entangled in the war; happy. Although the book would have been a lot more depressing without the time travelling. Think about it, how different the book would have been if the unstuck in time would not exist. I feel that Vonnegut did not write the book in his point of view because, he did not want to experience war again, so he made a fantasy-type book, with things that would happen very rarely in life and just give them all to one person.

If I was Vonnegut I would of written the book to scape the reality of war. To move on from the nightmare that it was. Like I said a couple of classes before, I am unable to find this book as a real life story, even though some of the bits are actually true. But with “The Color Purple”, by Alice Walker, I found it extremely difficult to tell myself that it was not a real story. And that is why I think that Vonnegut did it that way, so that not even himself would believe this was half a true story. Also that he is jealous of Billy, I have no evidence to back up my data but also no doubts, because he can be in a bunk bed one day, and the other at home with his wife, in other words because he did not have to suffer as much in the war.

My thoughts of this book are all over the place, and I think that by now you have probably noticed that. I have so many thoughts and ideas that I cannot put into words, I find it difficult to do so, in my mind they make sense, but as soon as I write them down, they all become gibberish and I think a couple slipped here. The one last comment I have is that: I am also jealous of Billy’s happiness, the fact that he can be hopeful at the war because he knows tomorrow is going to be a different time and place where he most probably be happy because of that same reason. What I am trying to say is that, I like Billy’s hope and I wish I had that.

DP1- End of year reflection

Something that will stick with me would be to use points instead of comas. Also, that a well written piece of literature will raise questions and not answer them, that be in a movie, a play, or a book. I also learned how to quote, and that the points go inside the quotes in American english.

I look forward to finding a piece of literature that would raise questions and have no one to help me answer them, or someone to tell them to, in that moment I’ll remember my amazing english teacher, Mr. Macknight.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin Personal Response

At first I was a little sceptical about reading the book, I thought it would be boring and reading “At the ‘Cadian Ball” and “The Storm” did not help at all. I am not going to lie, I hated reading the book at first, I found it boring, one dimensional, had too many names, too much drama that was not drama because it never became a problem; but after a while I started to grow a liking to Edna. Kate Chopin did not make Edna like the other characters, in the plays and books that we read, for example, in “A Doll’s house” Nora if she were a normal and logical person at that time, she would of never left her husband and kids without planing or she would have to come back in the end from her poor decision, it is those fairy tale finishes that happen but not quite right. On the other hand Edna’s characters has complex emotions but not exaggerated. She was a good mother but not in a way you will expect, she did take care of her children but wasn’t there all of the time. She fell in love with other people while being in a relationship and she accepted those feeling as they came, never neglecting them. She felt lustful when her husband and lover left, causing her to sleep with a man she just found attractive.

Kate Chopin gave us the most person like characters from that time. She did not want her kids but she did love them, she loved someone else and wanted to leave with her husband, she slept with someone else that want the lover or husband and when the lover came home she just ignored him, she hated that she had to be with her friend in a hard time, because let’s be honest, being with a friend going through something that is traumatic to you is hard and sometimes you want to put yourself first. She had valid feeling for not wanting ti be there, she thought those thing but she never went through with them and stayed with her friend all the way through.

In the end after coming to the realization that she was never going to have her perfect life, and if she even wanted to have something remotely close to it she was going to have to fight for it, and fight for it hard, she just went to the place she knew she would find peace, the ocean. She got to the shore and freed herself from her worries, the ocean calling her name, she swam until she got tired, not with the intention of killing herself but to free herself, but what is the difference really, for her those thing are completely different, for her killing herself is not wanting to be alive and hating life, and being freeing herself is letting go of her worries; if you put them side by side they are the same thing really, we do not know what happened after that feeling of nostalgia but we can all imagine what did.

In a way I relate to Edna, she wants to leave, she want to stop fighting and have a tranquil life, a happy life, one without worries, but if you are human that is impossible. Looking for that way to feel free, to relax but still not letting go of life.

I hope she was able to get to shore, leaving her old life behind start a new one, alone, on the beach, I hope she was able to smell those flowers again, and cherish the memories she made —with Mlle Reisz, Mme Ratignolle, Alcée Arobin, Léonce, her children, and Robert Lebrun— but not missing them, get a new old dog she could hear barking. I just hope she was able to come back and enjoy the little things in life.

Pygmalion Personal Response

Pygmalion by George B. Shaw was one of the most stressful plays that I have read and watched, not only did the old english make it difficult to read, but the accents made it harder to watch.

The story went from being slow to fast in a heart beat. First, the introduction of the characters felt unnecessarily long, when they were fighting about who was going to pay and when her dad came over and started negotiating it was also unnecessarily long. The part that needed to be the longest was when they were teaching her how to speak and how to pronounce certain letters, but, they never showed it. The party, the long awaited party, was not even on the book, they had to added to the movie.

The end is anticlimactic, because she finally talked back to them after being through months of abuse, she finally “stood up”, if that’s what you even call it. Out of all of the book we’ve read, this one is the one that made me angrier because of the fact that this poor woman was taken advantage of, used and disposed like an old rag.

When Mr. Pickering and Mr. Higgins were talking after the party in Mr. Higgins’ studio and Eliza was on the corner not being ignored but also not acknowledged, used like a maid they could order around.

I liked that in the end she escaped to Mrs. Higgins’ house, the only place she was treated like an equal and not a stray dog they picked up from the street. Overall I will say this is my least favourite book that we have read all this year.

Felix’s Personal Response to “A Doll’s House.”

In book “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, made me realize that finding a partner you love, and are able to live with, is a hard thing to do. Reading Torvald and Nora’s relationship tear apart little by little every act, I’m not going to lie, it made me a bit sad, seeing this made-to-be perfect relationship faking their interest for each other. On one hand, Nora is a manipulative being and constantly being under surveillance by Torvald, as to not make him mad. 

Torvald seems to not really love Nora, but more like the thought of her being in love with him, and trying to fulfill his idea of what a man has to be. That a man has to provide shelter, food, money, and clothes, just like playing dress up with a little doll. 

Nora on the other hand, is intelligent enough to play Torvald games but also don’t get manipulated by him. 

Torvald and Nora both lost their values when they became a couple, ignoring their morals and themselves; leading to Nora leaving. I did not like how Nora left, she could’ve handled it way better—knowing her intelligence—choosing herself over everyone, including her own three kids, not caring enough to give them a simple explanation. 

It was a relationship that started in the desert, where they found an oasis thinking all of their problems would be solved, while in fact it was just another small break from reality, and when they realized that their little break was over and they needed to work with each other to scape the desert, Nora opted out. 

It was a relationship that by the second act, it was clear that they weren’t going to be together at the end of the play. 

Sugarcoating a relationship isn’t a way to work things out, and Torvald and Nora proved that, they also proved that the serious talks need to be addressed according so, and there aren’t many people willing to do that. Some, joke around to lessen the blow—like Dr Rank and Nora did (pp. 152-153).—Love is and was a hard thing to find, but I wasn’t impossible, the problem was finding someone that you are willing to love and spend time with them, while respecting yourself, their virtues, and opinions.