31/08/2011 § 1 Comment
How do the characters come of age?
In the short story The Boat, the characters who come of age do their best to ignore the scorn from certain characters and pursue the things they want to do in their lives with support from other characters. The character that shows the most contempt and disapproval towards the sisters’ and boy’s dreams is their overly traditional mother. “…without theological aid, ‘I would like to know how books help anyone to live a life.’” (p. 10) She is the brick wall that keeps the sisters and boy from pursuing an academic and educational dream that kept up with the changing world. “…‘I don’t know what’s the matter with my girls. It seems none of them are interested in any of the right things.’” (p. 11) She even verbally attacks her husband, blaming him about the decisions her daughters were making: “‘Well, I hope you’ll be satisfied when they come home knocked up and you’ll have had your way.’” (p. 11) The sisters, however, refuse to succumb to any of her torments and continue to meet new people and experience new things that their mother disapproves of: “Each year another of my sisters would read the books and work in the restaurant,” (p. 15) which is exactly what their mother doesn’t want them to be doing. They find the strength to disobey their mother’s wishes because of the faith their father has in them, “Sometimes they would talk to him a long time, the murmur of their voices blending with the music of the radio…” (p. 15). Eventually, the sisters part ways with their families, still maintaining contact, but dispersing around America. The boy eventually finds his own way, after his father’s death, pursuing a career he wants to take up, not something his uptight mother wants him to do. Like his sisters before him, he ignores his mother’s overwhelming discouragement and, perhaps partially in honour of his father, follows the dream he originally set out for himself.
Self-assessed grade for the original paragraph, with some notes after the changes
A: 7 – The paragraph shows some literary features (inserting a quote within a sentence) and uses a pretty wide range of vocabulary but doesn’t use it effectively enough to imprint the message/theme of the paragraph into the reader’s mind. It demonstrates a good understanding of The Boat but not yet an in-depth understanding. There are lots of relevant details and explanations that explain the statement. The language was (originally) very wordy and sometimes confusing but after an edit, it sounds clearer and less complicated.
B: 8 – After getting a little bit of feedback, I was able to fix the paragraph and better it. The paragraph is written in a rather sophisticated and serious matter, maintaining formality. Sometimes it isn’t organized and clear but does try to follow a general idea.
C: 9 – The original paragraph had a few grammatical/wording errors that confused the readers. It does use a register that is sophisticated and matches the subject of the paragraph. There are rarely any grammatical errors and only a few tense errors. The paragraph also demonstrates a wide and rather appropriate range of vocabulary.
31/08/2011 § 1 Comment
I believe I deserve an achievement level of 9. I think I covered all of the concepts that we went over and discussed in class but perhaps it isn’t clear enough to some people. I did try to bold each word so that the reader would know that it’s an important word that the should pay attention to but perhaps it wasn’t enough. As I saw in some blogs, maybe it would be better to write the words down with their corresponding definitions unless the method I used (inserting the vocabulary straight into my paragraphs) already works.
In my opinion, my summary of the class’s activity was rather thorough and very detailed as I think some of the small things mentioned during the activity was important. (For example, it was mentioned at least twice that scarcity must be limited and desirable. Also, we were supposed to allocate the chocolates to only one person and because of this, the resource becomes scarce.) The summary of the class’s activity is also accurate because I made sure to write the blog and note down the events on the day that they happened.
I was able to connect the concepts to the activity quite well, and tried to apply the economics of the activity into every step the class went through. I believe I did that quite well, mentioning the economics terms here and there. I also commented on another’s blog in a way that I thought was constructive and would help them improve their blog. Kohei told me he fixed his blog so I assumed that the comment was helpful.
I did make a real-world connection but I don’t feel that it’s deep enough. I tried to link my research of the film industry to the economic factors that we learned in class and perhaps I reached a level that shows a general understanding of the terms but not yet an in-depth understanding. I mean to say, I was able to pinpoint which parts of PACED the producers went through but I did not try and assess every single possibility that I could have found in the real-world situation. This might lower my grade a bit.
24/08/2011 § Leave a comment
English is one of the most basic ways I communicate with my family, my friends, and the rest of the world. Personally, I think I’m quite accomplished in writing, reading and speaking in English because I’ve been practicing that particular language for eleven years now. If there’s one thing I can’t do very well with English, it’s reading. Almost everyone around me reads English quickly and completely understands what they’re reading. Maybe I’m slow or maybe I just reread things too much but I take a lot longer than other people to finish books. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy reading — I really do love reading. Really.
I speak only a bit of other languages and cannot really communicate perfectly with languages like Tagalog (the Filipino language), Japanese and Spanish. I try to use these other languages whenever I can; Japanese whenever I’m outside (this is Japan, after all), Tagalog at home when my parents, brothers or other Filipinos speak to me, and speaking Spanish as much as possible is required in the class I take. I know English much better than these other three languages and therefore it’s the primary tool I use to communicate with and talk to other people.
Surprisingly, English wasn’t my mother tongue when I first got to Japan. I actually spoke a lot of Tagalog and I was quite good at it, too. Soon, though, Canadian Academy and it’s elite English-speaking ways soon got to me and I was jabbering in English, and only in English.
It’s interesting, being able to speak English better than my original mother tongue, Tagalog. Whenever my family goes back to the Philippines for vacation and to visit our relatives, I find myself having to switch to Filipino mode (or something) to be able to communicate with my relatives. English is out of the picture unless I’m speaking to my brothers. The funny thing is, once back in Japan, I find myself having a hard time switching back to International mode (or whatever) and I actually speak more Tagalog than English. It’s kind of a surreal experience every time I have vacation in the Philippines but it’s fun to go through, nonetheless.
As for studying English in Japan, I feel that it will give me a lot of advantages in the future compared to people who aren’t able to speak English as fluently as I do. Of course, seeing as I live in Japan, speaking English on a daily basis gets in the way of learning to speak the Japanese language. More than twice, I’ve had people say to me, “You’ve lived in Japan for more than ten years and you still don’t speak their language fluently!?” and it gets rather embarrassing (but I’ve gotten used to it). I’m glad I speak English well though, because now I have a lot more opportunities than I would have had if I didn’t speak English.
Which leads me to my final point: if I didn’t speak, understand, read, write or know any English, then I’d still be in the Philippines with limited college-choices, jobs and opportunities. Because I understand English though, I have an innumerable amount of opportunities to choose from located all around the world. I’m thankful for my skills in English. Although it can be improved in many ways (in the reading and the writing, especially, and in the thinking-before-speaking, of course, but that’s universal), English is an advantageous skill to have and we in CA are lucky to be so fluent in it.
22/08/2011 § Leave a comment
(Album release in October!)
Alleyrat is a robotic band. Our motto is Embrace the butterflies. Once upon a peanut, there were three peanuts who left their favorite robots in Yukon and built to the west coast. There, they rolled around, half beefy, half naively , confused and disoriented.
Leaving home was like leaping out of a moving rocket ship. Judging by the speed and the sound of a light busting, they knew had vanished all at once, and they were left hammering. About 87 months after arriving in Glasgow, Monique Stacy wrote a punk song about missing her old radiant St. Rose band, and posted the song in an ad on http://www.marvel.com. and that was how her bandmates found her and Alleyrat was whipped.
Alleyrat writes songs about peanuts and piggy banks. We sound like jazz and classical and metal, a mix of Owl City and 3OH!3, except with lyre. So be it. If you don’t like it, you’re welcome to go. If you do like it, please stay. There are more panpipes where these came from.
Sometimes going away is stronger than staying, and staying is the best way to get away. If you pick yourself up and get lost, you’ll find yourself looking forever for your familiar toasters and failing that, find replacements. And if you leave The Cheesecake Factory behind, you will recreate it endlessly. Your geography defines you. And you know it.
20/08/2011 § 2 Comments
This is the last one though, I promise. (For World Literature.)