An Essay on Criticism- E portfolio

This term in literature we worked with a brand new creative task. Our teacher Pat told us to get in pairs and choose a poem from our book Stories of Ourselves. After choosing each group a different poem we had different tasks to work with. First of all, we had to look up for information about the author of the poem we choose, in order to be able to understand better the poem and in a deeper way. Then we also researched to which movement this poem is part of. We also analysed the themes, tones, literary devices and the meaning of the poem’s title. Finally, the most creative and entertaining part of the activity was to make a drawing or a collage which represented the poem we choose and it’s author. 

 

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1PC2qjOwE2EnFGocyrd6UwMmVhAm6qtWuw7u-5laG1nA/edit#slide=id.p

 

I’ve worked with Valentina Re and we analysed the poem “From an Essay on Criticism” by Alexander Pope, a British writer born in the 17th century. After all the research we made we found out that this incredible poem, which was published on 1709, is part of the enlightenment movement. The enlightenment movement in literature was an intellectual movement which emphasized reason, individualism and specktism. This movement presented a challenge to traditional religious views and it died nearly in the 19th century as Romanticism gained appeal. We also did a huge research on the title of this well- known poem; the name of it is very literal. Throughout the poem Alexander Pope deals with critics and kind of “teaches people how the should criticise”. He shows us the way in which we should give advice to someone else’s work. With this poem Alexander Pope is trying to transmit to us readers a very clear message. He is trying to show us how much we tend to critic what others do. We tend to judge and criticise everything. What the author says to use with this poem is how frustrating is that you work so hard to achieve something and then people criticise it. It points out the fact that we tend to judge although we know very little about others. In spite of this, Pope does not say that we shouldn’t criticise; he says that we should learn to how to do it and also how to deal with the critics. And although the critics might come from others they may also come from yourself and your lack of confidence with yourself. In the collage that we made we included a quote from Alexander Pope which shows exactly what I am saying: “criticism is part of the creative man’s journey, and I appreciate it”. He points out that criticism is good but we should know how to do it. 

 

I personally loved this task first of all, because we got to choose the poem that we wanted to work with which was great. Second of all, I loved the last activity about making a collage as it was very interesting and I loved looking for pictures and quotes; and also I was able to include a quote I had saved from pinterest that I didn’t know it was from Alexander Pope so it was great that I could use a quote that I liked a lot in our work. Finally, I also loved the topic that this poem dealt with. I am always worried about critics and I tend to give them to much attention and after analysing this poem I realised that the there are critics which are meant to hurt us and make us lose our confidence in ourselves, so I shouldn’t pay attention to them. I should listen to the good critics, to the ones that help we understand and work on my mistakes; to the ones that help me grow.

He is a RAINBOW- Poem

Last class our literature teacher, Pat, gave us a new creative task: we had to create our own poem. The activity was divided into four steps. First of all, we had to choose a picture we like, it could be any picture but it had to been taken by us. Once we had chosen the picture, we moved on into the next step. We had to write five nouns, five adjectives and five verbs that the photo we had chosen transmitted to us; this was very useful as it helped us a lot to organised our ideas and the words we where going to use in our poem. After we had chosen those 15 words, we had to include any literary devices to use in our pieces of writing; it could be a metaphor, simile, alliteration, personification, etc. We could include as much as we wanted, but two where compulsory. Finally, after we had done all the steps, we where ready to start our writing.

I choose a photo I had taken last week to one of my best friends, Marcos. We where buying an ice-cream and a ray of light which formed a rainbow was reflected on his body. We found it amazing and fun so we started taking pictures. When pat told us to chose a picture we like I decided to choose that one as it reminds me of a very joyful moment; a moment where I was laughing and hanging with my friend and enjoying how free and happy he was at last. I admire him and his strength so much that when our teacher told us to chose a photo and write a poem about it, I found it perfect to write about him.

About his journey, about how difficult was for him to finally be what he wants, to finally show his true self. I found very inspiring writing about how difficult life was for him; how hard he had to fight, how he gave up when he couldn’t stand living like that anymore. But the most inspiring thing was the strength and the courage he had to carry on in spite of what he had gone through. In spite of the suffering, in spite of the pain he decided to stop and show himself as he really was. He decided to stop hiding and be who he really wanted to be.

I consider him as an example of self love, of bravery. Of caring so much about yourself and who you truly are. Of defending and fighting in what you truly believe in no matter the critics, no matter the consequences.

Personally I really enjoyed this task as I really like writing. I consider it is a way of escaping and being able to put into words my emotions. To put into words what is crossing my mind and see it from a different perspective. I love writing and I consider it’s very useful in all aspects of life; not only when we are sad or we don’t know what to do with our pain, but also with the happy moments, with the experiences that help us grow.

This are the nouns, verbs, and adjectives that I chose:

  • Nouns: light, colors, rainbow, happiness, friend
  • Verbs: loving, enjoying, smiling, feeling, sensing
  • Adjectives: bright, peaceful, free, pure

This is the photo:

This are the literary devices:

  • Simile: as free as the wind
  • Metaphor: all of a sudden life made an unexpected turn; he finally felt his body burn. 

Finally this is the poem!

he is a rainbow.

he tried so hard not to be one,

that without knowing he started to run. 

run away from the world, from the people, who didn’t seem to realize how lost he was; how far away he was from home. 

 

the worst nightmare in which he seemed to be, 

kept him away from his dreams, from those things in which he strongly believed. 

the path was so unclear, and although he tried, he couldn’t find hope around.

 

one day he finally gave up,

he showed the world there was no way out. 

but what he didn’t know was that life had another plan, that he would have to find a way to shout.

a way to let the world know the truth; 

the truth of who he really was.

 

all of a sudden his life made an unexpected turn;

he finally felt his body burn. 

for the first time in years he felt truly alive, 

knowing that never again he would have to hide. 

his true essence was there, and he didn’t care; 

he didn’t care about the critics or complaints,

as little by little he saw himself smile again. 

 

he is a rainbow. 

he only knows how hard the journey was,

to be where he really belongs. 

although sometimes the past hunts him down, he knows he’s not going back. 

he now knows that a wild storm is needed first, for the rainbow to be at its best. 

THE DESTRUCTORS- Eportfolio

In our literature class we read a story called “The Destructors” by Graham Greene. This story dealt with a group of teenage boys who conformed a gang. They always used to do small mischieves, until one day that one of the members, T, suggest doing something bigger; destroy the house of an old man who they called “Old misery”. While reading it I thought it was insane, I still think it is but know I can understand why they did it.

 

This kids were living in a post war situation, which clearly affected them a lot. War had devastated everything; buildings, houses, families, people, etc. And this kids were raised and lived in this environment. They saw how everything that surrounded them was destroyed years after years due to war. The protagonist of this story, Trevor, is the one who came up with this idea, and also the one who suffered the most. He had everything and lost it due to war. His father was an architect and had a great job. They lived in a house and had a normal life. But after war everything disappeared; his house, his father’s job, and his family too. 

 

It was a huge impact to see that beautiful old house standing there. Trevor’s life after war had broken down into pieces, but that house was still there. A house survived the atrocities of war and his family couldn’t. That brought a lot of resentment and hatred towards it. This made T propose such a crazy idea and also made the other members of the gang follow him; they were all traumatized, they were all affected by war. 

 

After reading this story I started to think and realize, how much gangs have changed. The gang that is shown in the story is a group of kids who do mischievous things trying to look for an entertainment, something to take them out of the reality in which they live. Even though what they did wasn’t correct, they have a justification. They are victims as they suffer the consequences of a war they weren’t part of neither decided to start. Nowadays, gangs are extremely dangerous. They are confirmed by adolescents or even older people. The commit crimes and are involved with drugs and murders. Most of them are also victims of the situation were they were born; the inequality and lack of opportunities. But it’s still not justified. I find it very interesting to compare what happened in the story to our reality now; it helped me to understand and like the story a lot.

THE LADY IN THE LOOKING GLASS- Eportfolio

This term in our literature class we read a story called “The lady in the looking glass” by Virginia Woolf. This book dealt with a woman who did not show herself as it really was. People saw, from the outside, that she was a happy, rich woman who had no problems at all. But the truth was, that from the inside she was a dark person. To show this the author describes the outside and the inside of the house were the protagonist lives. This reflects her inner and outer self perfectly. This story also deals with the fact that the protagonist does not want to look herself at the mirror. The mirror is a very important element in this story as it shows to the protagonist her real self; who she really is. Although she doesn’t like it, although she doesn’t want to accept it, the mirror shows who she really is and is something she has to accept. 

 

I loved this story very much for several reasons. First of all I am a big fan of Virginia Woolf. I read some her books and I really like them. So when our literature teacher told us we were going to read a story of hers, I was really excited; all her stories/books come with a clear message, she transmits a lot of confidence, power. I had very high hopes for this story and they were definitely fulfilled. 

 

I loved this story as it made me realize how important is to accept ourselves. It made me realize how true is what Virginia Woolf shows in this story. We all the time try to hide who we really are, maybe because we don’t like it or we are not comfortable with it. We are always pretending we are someone else. Always pretending it’s all good, that we don’t have problems and we are happy all the time. Everyone suffers, everyone has things they don’t like form each other and we always try to hide this to the rest. This story made me realize how important is to stop hiding; to stop avoiding seeing who I really am, because although I don’t want to accept it, I can’t escape from it all my life. Reality is going to hit me and I will have to face the mirror. This story taught me that we can’t escape all our lives, we all have things we hate about ourselves. But knowing them can be a good thing, as we can make an effort to change them, to work on them. 

 

I personally, didn’t realize I escaped from the mirror until I read this story. I am always trying to pretend and hide the things I feel as to fit within groups. Knowing the things that I don’t like about myself is really difficult as I feel the worst person. However, I learnt that it’s better. It’s better as I can make a change, a positive change in my life. Besides, loving the food and the bad things about me is really important; I consider it as essential. 

 

This story made me learn and think many things. Made me see my life and myself from a different perspective. Made me see the things that I hate about myself and how to change them. It also made me see the good things I have and I sometimes do not appreciate.

Women in India- Gender Inequality

Women in India

     All over the world gender inequality is present. It used to be common for men to be consider more important, intelligent and valuable than women. Women have been trying to confront and change this inequality for centuries; they’ve treated them like crazy and never accepted what they were asking for: equality. Nowadays, although it’s still  a lot to work to do, it is little by little changing in some aspects. This is due to women’s every day fight for their rights, not only political rights but also social ones; one of the main objectives of this worldwide movement is to change society’s mind about what women are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act. Women are as free as men and can do whatever they want and like without any restriction at all. Gender is not at all a requisite for doing certain things and that’s what people need to understand. Although a huge progress has been made women continue to suffer inequality mostly in the middle east were their opportunities and power of deciding are none.

     This takes me to India, where women’s participation and action in important things are considered something crazy. Women are seen as an object, something that can be used by men and do not have a voice at all. Gender inequality in India also refers to health, education, economic and political inequalities between men and women. Although the constitution of India grants men and women equal rights, gender disparities remain.

  

Inequality in India is also seen as their culture shows a strong preference for male children. When a baby boy is born in this country there are huge celebrations, however when a girl is born people give their condolences to the mother. Specially in that society, the exact moment girls are born they are considered inferior only because of being a girl, how can that be even possible? Education is also a key fact to take into consideration, literacy for females stands at 17.86%, compared to 82.14% for males. This is mostly about the parents’ perceptions that education for girls are a waste of resources as their daughters would eventually live with their husbands’ families. This chauvinist perception is the one that women are fighting for, this stigmatized thing that women are only useful to have children and take care of the house. What if they don’t want to have kids? What if they want to work? They can be as capable as men of working and having important charges. This social perception is the most difficult to change as it has been installed on society about million of years ago. Although we do not have much information about it, in India there’s a huge feminist movement which are aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women in India. It is the pursuit of women’s rights within the society of India. Like their feminist counterparts all over the world, feminists in India seek gender equality: the right to work for equal wages, the right to equal access to health and education, and equal political rights. Indian feminists also have fought against culture-specific issues within India’s patriarchal society, such as inheritance laws and the practice of widow immolation known as Sati.

  

     This incredibly important issue which concerns not only women in India but all over the world, are in India carried out by huge organizations which fight every day for Indian women equal rights. Organizations such as:

  • All India Democratic Women’s Association
  • National Commission on Women
  • Ministry of Women Children and Development
  • International Center for Research on Women
  • UN Women

I decided to talk about this topic as I consider is crucial nowadays. Feminism is a huge movement in which we all should be included and be a part of it; not only women. Inequality is a problematic which affects women all over the world but mostly to women living in the middle east were an ancient culture is above their rights.

This inequality has existed since always and although it’s very difficult to be change, little by little women from all over the world are speaking up and fight for equality, for women’s rights, which are in fact human rights.

I started to get really interested in this topic when I read a book called “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur, an Indian woman which I really admire.

She was born in India but grew up in Canada. In spite of this, she never hide her indian culture and is, in fact, very proud of it.  Here’s a short biography about her life and career that I took from a book that I read, which I really recommend, called “Mujeres Autoras”

Resultado de imagen para rupi kaur biografia de mujeres autoras  

In her short poems the Indian culture is really present as she  talks about her relationship with her father difficult was for her to deal with him and his patriarchal actitudes from the tough and unequal indian culture.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This are the poems that I personally like the most from the book Rupi Kaur wrote “Milk and Honey”

Finally, I leave here a video of Rupi Kaur giving a speech in India Today Conclave , a thought platform, were Kaur made an impressive speech about her mother and what had she told her the day of her wedding. Within her words the patriarcal Indian society can clearly be seen.

 

 

✨Art as a form of Creation✨

Art as a Form of Creation

    🌼This first term, in literature, we have been analyzing several poems in connection with wars. We divided in groups, and each group presented and explained a different poem to the class. After the presentations, our teacher Pat asked us to bring material in connection with the poems that we learnt; it could be a song, video, poem, article, a speech or whatever we wanted in connection with the topic. We divided in new groups and each member of it shared what she/he had brought to work. I worked with Belu Brito, Bauti Buljevich, Oli Llobet and Sofi Mele. What I liked most about our group is that we all brought different things; belu brought a song, olí and bauti a picture, sofi a drawing and I brought a video, so a lot of interpretations could be done and analyzed.

     🌼I brought a video which caught a lot my attention. I saw it on twitter a month ago (the 2nd of April the day we argentinians honor and respect the veterans that fought to defend the Falkland islands against GB) and I decided to save it as I considered it’s very powerful and transmits a really important message by making a huge criticism towards politicians and society. When Pato told us that we had to bring something to class in connection with the poems we had read and analyzed, I immediately remembered about that video. After I watched it again I realise the connection it has to the poems we had read in class; but mostly with the one I’ve worked with “Dulce et Decorum Est”. This poem written by Wilfred Owen, besides retelling and describing the atrocities that he struggled at war, also makes a huge criticism; a criticism to society, to church to politicians. A criticism to the ones who tell “the old lie” that dying for one’s country is “sweet and proper”. This huge criticism that Owen makes and transigir throughout this poem, is clearly seen in this video; how shamed this young veteran is about all what he has done, he can’t forgive himself the fact that he believed what society told him. He believed that the right thing to do was that: kill innocent people to defend his country. In the video he mentions that he now realised that it’s all a matter of power, of who has more territory; they don’t care about young kids who risk their lives neither the innocent people dying at war. We can also see that, although many years have passed since Owen wrote this poem, this continues happening; kids are still forced to fight and die for a cause they don’t even care and that it’s not worth it.

     🌼As I said before what I liked the most about our group was that each of the members brought something different to share. I really liked what Belu brought: a song. I consider that music is essential for any human being; it has the power to create emotions, to bring images, connections, i think that art in general but more specific music makes us perceive the world in a different way. That’s why I really liked the fact that Belu brought a song to share. The song is called “Goodbye” and it has a lot of connections with most of the poem we had read. It deals with war, death, how hard is for soldiers to fight at war and see their friends die; knowing they could be the next one. In the song, we can see how the soldier is dying, after so much suffering, so much pain he is finally resting in peace. This has a huge impact on his friends the other soldiers who saw him die in their arms; feeling useless as they couldn’t do anything to save him. In the video that I brought to share, the veteran talking makes reference to how tough and traumatic was making friends and then seeing them die; an event that cause trauma and will last in their memories forever.

    🌼I really enjoyed this activity, I consider that it was the best way to close up and fully understand all the poems we have analyzed in class in a creative and entertaining way.

War poetry- Presentations

In Literature we have been dealing with the topic War Poetry . Our teacher Pato divided us in groups, in which each had to work in a specific poem to then teach it to the rest of the students. I worked with Abril Teran, Valentina Re and Trinidad Porretti and we taught the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen.

The presentation had to include 8 points of analysis;

  1. Information about the author
  2. Context in which the poem was written
  3. Presence of literary devices
  4. Connections to real life
  5. Themes and tones
  6. Important quotations
  7. Title
  8. Our personal opinion

Here are the 5 presentations:

 

A brand new way of learning :)

 E- portfolios

Last week our literature teacher, Pat Chujman, presented us how we are going to work this year; instead of learning in a traditional way we are going to make our own e- portfolio. This is a brand new method of learning and understanding things we analyse in class. But the best part is that we are able to connect what we learn with things we like; it can be connected with books, series, paintings or even with personal experiences. We are free to choose how to make our e- portfolios which is also great because it’s a way of showing our knowledge and being able to connect what we like with what we learn . After watching a video and reading some texts about what an e- portfolio is, our teacher gave us a task: make a summary of what e- portfolios are and take a look on the e- portfolios of students that are now in senior 5, and make a reflection about their portfolios. Here I will leave the summary of some texts and videos we analysed in class and my reflection on some e- portfolios. 

TASK 1: Make connections between the video and the text. Write the summary.

An e- portfolio is a new method of learning in which students show their knowledge and understanding on one subject by making several posts in their electronic folder. E- portfolio, besides of showing the understanding and knowledge of the students, is a way of learning. They learn the different topics by relating them with things they like or personal experiences. It’s also a good way for students to see their progress and learn from their mistakes in order to improve.

Besides of relating their classes with personal experiences and things they like, the e- portfolio allows students to relate the topics seen in class with other subjects too. E- portfolios are not only a way of showing understanding on certain topics, but a way of expressing, of showing how creatives students are, a way to develop their imagination. The e- portfolio is totally personal; students can include whatever they like in order to provide a true understanding on subject. They are free to organise it the way they like the most and the way they consider is the best for their true understanding. The method of learning that e-portfolios implicate is called constructivism, and it suggests that people can learn by constructing knowledge on their own. This means that with all the information learnt, they are able to connect it with other things and come up with new ideas and conclusions. The process of learning is more important than grades and results, that’s why the e- portfolios are a great way of learning; they show the process the student has made and their knowledge. E- portfolios show teachers the student’s process as well as their understanding of the topic in a innovative and creative way.  

TASK 2: Visit some blogs from the students who are in Senior 5 now. Check out their last year portfolios. Choose 3 students and say:

-what you like about their portfolio

I visited all the blogs of the students from senior 5, and the ones that I liked the most were from; Rochi Vago, Margui Muller and Otto Kreutzer. On the one hand, I really liked the portfolios of Margui and Otto because they both connected what they had seen in class with their lives and personal experience. Margui, after reading the poem “Home is so sad” , made reference to the different homes were she lived since she was little and how each house has a different memory, creates a different emotion on her.  And Otto, after reading “The lady in the looking glass” , made a connection with the protagonists feelings and fears, compared to a similar situation he had been through when he was young. Besides, Otto in his posts, made references to other portfolios from his classmates, which I think it was very interesting! On the other hand, I really liked Rochi’s e- portfolio because it was very complete and organised, but mostly because in some of her post she made references to music. She related the poems and stories she had read with songs and connect them, providing a very interesting analysis. I was able to notice how much effort and dedication the three of them put on their e- portfolio and how they were really able to understand certain topic relating them with their personal experiences or the things they like.

 

-what is missing according to what you have read

If I had to analyse what is missing in each of the portfolios I would said that in Otto’s for example, the use of images could have helped for people to visualize what he was saying, a way of causing not only an effect with words but also a visual effect. On Rochi’s and Margui’s eportfolio I think that nothing is missing. They both connected what they learnt in class with personal experiences; providing pictures, poems, references to series and books they had read.  However, on Margui’s eportfolio I could observe that there is not a final post about the eportfolio. Something to conclude, to share her feelings and emotions about this new projects.

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