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Mean Girls in Mean Dreams, and interpretation from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 2:13 pm on Tuesday, May 17, 2016  Tagged , , , , ,

It seems hard to a lot of people to interpret a classic play and make it into their own story. People care whether if they did it “right” or “wrong”. However, in the unit 4, director’s notebook project, students figured that one common theme or context can have thousands of different ways of presentations, with different characters, settings and plot lines. There is no “right” or “wrong”.

The director’s notebook that Anita, Claire and I have done is a performing project based on a section of Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The part we have chosen is Act 3.2, line 135 to 300, where Lysander and Demetrius fell into love with Helena at the same time and people started to argue over each other. The slideshow below is the completed directors notebook, the film and a self reflection of mine.

Mean Girls in Mean Dreams–Film


In the production of Mean Girls in Mean Dreams, I did sets and props, and setting, explaining the relevance of between the two categories and the theme and characterization. Meanwhile, I was also in charge of finalizing the entire director’s notebook and writing the introduction for the production.

Through my role playing in the production, I characterized Lysander as a disrespectful, over-confident teenage boy who dislikes Hermia for becoming fat, judging her visage. The gestures I made, for example, my chin pointing up for most of the time talking to Demetrius demonstrates how Lysander is looking down at others and confident about his “power”. The actions such as pulling up my sleeves demonstrates the inclination of having a fight. As Helena and Hermia insulted each other on the phone, the action of Lysander grabbing the phone away from Helena, interrupting their conversation shows his impoliteness and less considerate character. As Lysander said, “No way am I talking to this fat chick again”(3). Through the usage of metaphor, displaying Hermia as a “chick”, Lysander reveals his disrespect towards the girl that he once liked, As he uses “fat”, it is straightforward that he judges people and determine whether he love her or not through her appearance.

Mean Girls in Mean Dreams explores the chaos of love followed by the foolish actions that people make. The characters argued almost all the way through the film, but nobody is actually focusing on any important things at all, instead fighting over trivial matters such as appearance. The sets and props we used reveals the character’s shallowness. For example, Hermia’s finely decorated bedroom in modern style shows that she cares about following the trend. Their characteristics of being fashion-followers shows their rebellious teenage personality, which makes their childish, chaotic, messed-up love seems reasonable. Throughout the film, we have closeup shots for texting, and a lot of shots that include iPhones, the most reoccurring prop. Firstly, iPhone is known as a symbol of status. This conveys the foolishness of people that they act materialistic and cares about the shallow things. Adding on, the phones brought up the conflict as Hermia sees an online post of Demetrius and Lysander both asking Helena to the prom, revealing the complex and messed up relationship.

9 Years Ago, 9 Years Later

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 4:32 am on Monday, May 9, 2016  Tagged , ,

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We are ordinary people; we live an ordinary life. But when you look specifically into it, you find something special that truly belongs to you. For the CREATE project, I decided to make a small packet of short passages describing moments of my life and match it with abstract art pieces that conveys the mood according to my description. The project is split into 2 main sections: 9 years ago (childhood), and 9 years later (dreamed future).

This project relates to the English curriculum by “Using precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters” (English common core). I used phrases such as “The bleak sky lied on the prosperous city, morose and lugubrious” (CREATE). The personification used for the sky depicts the powerless and repressed atmosphere when I first came to China. The words used, “morose and lugubrious” also conveys my personal emotion of sadness. Imagery is also shown as I described, “The champagne fizzed and the bubbles rolled up in the transparent liquid, popping, squeaking” (CREATE). Imagery are depicted in this passage using onomatopoeia. For example, “Pop”, “Fizz” and “Squeak”.  

 The knowledge of of the Hero’s journey we learned is also reflected in this project. The different moments from the two sections, childhood and dreamed future, describes how my life had changed through years, the conflict on myself leaving my homeland, which is my ordinary world, and came to Beijing, meeting my “allies”, which is my friends, etc. Moreover, the abstract illustrations demonstrates the ability to depict mood. For example, the city illustration uses dark, grayish colors to show my depressed feeling. Thus, the blocks represents the crowded city life.

She’s Not Just a Queen

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 1:23 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2016  Tagged , , , ,

Extreme personalities of a character is always something nice for a dramatic play. Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the characters that makes me feel both loving and funny. I thought it would be interesting to compare myself with a powerful, respectable queen.

Throughout William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, queen Titania is displayed as an important character, conveying various themes. Connecting the character of Titania to myself, I noticed various similarities and differences.

From the play, the Titania shows responsibility towards the nature: “The spring, the summer, /The childing autumn, angry winter change/…Now knows not which is which./ And this same progeny of evils comes/ from our debate, from our dissension. /We are their parents and original” (2.1.111-117). Titania is aware of the changes of nature, and she realizes that they, the queen and king, are the reasons responsible for the negative impacts as they accuse each other. Instead of blaming Oberon, the fairy king, she claims that they are the “Parents and original” that she is aware of her own behavior, which portrays her responsible character. Similar to Titania, I take my responsibilities righteously. If it is my fault, I will admit my false actions instead of blaming others. Sometimes, during volleyball practices, our team make poor attack. As a setter, I have to figure my own mistakes because if I can’t set balls that the powers feel comfortable spiking, then there is a huge part of failure because of me. Therefore, I would take the responsibility and make myself a better player through practicing skills and cooperate with my teammates. However, with her powerful status as a queen, Titania does act arrogant as she doesn’t worry about being penalized. Her speech is harsh and careless, claiming, “O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now” (4.1.76). Her judgmental view towards a person’s visage determines her straightforward personality. In real life, I am a genuine person who sometimes talks thoughtlessly that might hurt people’s feeling. I am more an emotional person than being logical, so most of the time my speech goes with my feeling straight away. There was once I looked back at the chat history of me and my friend and I realized that the way I say things could be really hurtful. From that on, I decided to learn to be more sensitive of my words.

As Titania is a fairy queen with great power, she demonstrates the portrait of a strong woman as she said, “And for her sake do I rear up her boy, /And for her sake I will not part with him” (2.1 136-137). By this stage in the play, Titania refuses to give her changeling to Oberon. Here, the queen is determined, strong minded, and actually takes the role of a mother, revealing her brave character as a woman. If it was me placed in the same situation of Titania, I wouldn’t be as firm. Although Titania had never been a mother, she is brave to take the role of it, especially when the boy isn’t her own child. Comparing to Titania, I am more like a timid person who’s easily affected or influenced by others’ suggestions that I am afraid of others’ threaten and opinion. Sometimes, when I try to make a decision, I am not determined, or firm enough to keep along with my own will. Instead, when other people comment on my idea, I change it. Moreover, Titania is a character with a higher class identity and is honorable, elegant: “Keep back/ The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders/ At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;/ Then to your offices, and let me rest” (2.2.5-8). The usage of “quaint” reveals that they fairies are precious and treasured. As a fairy queen, Titania obtains the rights to demand others, which shows her direct power and nobility. In contrast, as an ordinary student, I don’t have the power to control the majority to work for me. Instead of ordering everyone to serve me, I do everything on my own, being independent.


Persuasive Monologue: Please Live

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 3:27 am on Thursday, March 24, 2016  Tagged , , ,

Below is a persuasive monologue based on The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak in Liesel Meminger’s perspective to persuade Max to be firm with his faith to survive through the capture of the Nazis. The time frame is when Liesel found Max during the Jew parade.

Is it really you? Max? It must be. You must remember the Word Shaker’s Tree. Right?

I have always wanted to add something to it, something more about the two of us.

During the dark, painful days, the word shaker often looked up towards the sky even if the leaves covered everything she could see. She endured the agony of helplessness that tortured her into pieces, until the arrival of that young man who broke down the darkness and shone the lights into her world. She knew, that he is her faith, and her belief that supports her to go on.

Max, do you understand how desperate I was when you left? I swam across the grey that blinds me. I could never escape. I could never find my light. Today, here, I have again possessed the light of my life, but I feel my heart break into thousands like fragile pieces of old clothe seeing you falling down again and again. Can you feel my heart is tearing? I don’t want your glow to end, leaving me alone in the unbreakable darkness. I refuse. Don’t you care about me, Max? Don’t you care about me? It can’t happen. I want you to live, and live well than just living. Max. I need you to live.

We are not empty, hollow shells of body who live our life assigned by someone else. We still haven’t brought those words to life yet; we still haven’t reunite with your family and your friends; we didn’t even start the life that truly belongs to us. Don’t you know, my life was full of bright colors and sparks of light with you accompanying. I will wait for you forever, bringing the glows of warm light back to me. We will sit on the warm, soft grass after the fresh rain and practice writing and sketching; we will walk onto the hills and enjoy the moment of dawn, where the sunlight shines towards the floating clouds that I once described to you; we will open the window, breathing in the lemon flavored air and let the stars burn our eyes. We will, we will do everything we haven’t done yet. There will be one day that we will meet again, when you survived. Max. I need you to live.

You will live through it. Papa could fade his sorrow and guilt towards your father if he sees you standing up firm, like a true man. He would be so happy, so as me, and your father. I believe you will feel the happiness, too, won’t you? We all believe that your father will be so proud, so proud of his son that he persevered through the hardships like a true hero. Max. We all need you to live.

You mustn’t lose your faith. Your faith to live is the sword that breaks the dark into irreparable pieces. Think of the Word Shaker, Max. She endured all the agonies, because she believed that one day, there would be a young man who will come for her. You too, Max. Your faith is certainly the hope, for both of us to find each other again and persevere through the pains. “’There was once a strange, small man. But there was a word shaker, too’” (Zusak 512). You are not on yourself. I’m here, Max. I’m here. You have to live for your own life, your life that has not yet been fired up. I am sorry that you have to lower your head, and endure all the pain. But please be firm with your faith and persevere till the last moment when agony, pain and violence start to fade. Please Max, use your strength and power that you fought the leader in our basement and go fight for your life. You must live. I need you to live. All I want is you to live and live well than just living. Stand up, Max. Stand up. This world could be disastrous, but you can’t let the world to steal your soul. Live, is the start of your life.

And, Max. I will always wait for you.

When you stand up again, we will meet again.

Propaganda Poster Explanation

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 12:13 am on Monday, March 14, 2016  Tagged ,

Propaganda Poster

The creation of propaganda poster is to encourage more men to join the United Kingdom Army. The target audience is mainly focused on British young, strong man aged from 18-50. 

Throughout this poster, I have incorporated three propaganda techniques, including fear, repetition, and black and white fallacy, to inspire people’s will to join the army force. Fear is shown through the big area of shade overlapping the dominant element, the United Kingdom flag. This interprets that danger and darkness are devouring the country under Nazi’s attack, which makes people feel anxious to protect their country. The stripe of shade symbolizes the Nazi Germany, which is the archetypical character: shadow. The usage of repetition of the repeating United Kingdom flag creates senses of patriotism. The flag is the most direct symbol of a country. Repeating the flag will keep on reminding people that they belong to this country, which promotes the mind to be patriotic and people might have more will and is more likely to fight for their home. Moving on to black and white fallacy, I chose to write “Don’t be a Nazi” to present that it they don’t join the army, they are then against their country. In addition, this provides a straight forward vision of the appointing enemy as well.

In regard to the visual analysis, the dominant element is the large flag that takes 1/3 of the poster, which symbolizes the important position the country stands. Although diagonal black shade overlapped the flag, it acts as a leading line that point and draw attention towards the flag to again accentuate the importance of the country to the citizens. Lastly, the unity of colors that symbolizes United Kingdom, red, blue, white is constantly used, which makes the audience generates the feeling of being patriotic. As a result, they would have the will to step up for their country.

The Hideousness Of Food

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 6:21 am on Monday, December 14, 2015  Tagged , , , ,

Have you ever really thought about the food you are eating now? The meat might be 20 years old after expiration. The vegetable might contain 18 types of pesticides and the milk might be contaminated with reused melamine. Food safety issues in China have been consistently occurring, becoming a deeply confirmed concern in the society.  through the arising of scandals, investigation of causes and the gaining of understanding of the relationships in the food chain.

For my final exhibition for the investigation on China food safety, I created a informational video about the general food safety issue in China with the combination of my own video clips and pieces from short online documentaries. The video is divided into three main sections to help people understand the topic clearer, including the transgressions, causes and resolution. For the first two subtopics, there are two concepts for each. For example, under the category of transgressions, the two concepts are forged production and chemical use. I think that the video will turn out to be easily understandable if it is divided into smaller parts.

My chosen audience is teenagers age ranged from 12 to 16 years old. My video included statistics, examples of the food safety issue, and videos of experts’ quotes. I chose to do this because teenager is a stage in life that a person starts to change himself from being naïve to mature. Therefore, a lot of times they believe in real life event that truly happened instead of believing in theories or a single person’s dialogue. However, the pureness, and innocence still persist in teenagers around that range of age. This is also why I use bright, colorful objects in my video.



“Asia: In the Gutter; Food Safety in China.” The Economist. Oct 29 2011: 49,n.a. ProQuestWeb. 19 Nov. 2015.

Hunt, Katie. “Why Chinese Food Safety Is So Bad.” CNN. n.p. 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

LI, Zoe. “Chin’s Tainted Meat Scandal Explained.” CNN. n.p. 30 July. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Created To Be Colored

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 2:44 pm on Sunday, November 29, 2015  Tagged , , , ,

create project

Do you know why people always like to judge things by its cover? It is the visual sight we own. Visual arts reveal intangible elements that provides peoples a better understanding for particular contents. In my CREATE project, I used the method of illustration to determine the impact of specific word choice and phrases as they are used in a text, affecting the mood and tone.

In my work, the analysis of impacts of word choice is mostly demonstrated through the use of colors, designs and the organization of elements in the art page. As shown in the first artwork, the dominant color is dark indigo and greyish blue green, showing the melancholy, lonely mood revealed by the diction “Sorrow” and “Alone”. The phrase “All I loved, I loved alone” (Poe) shows the suffering of the loneliness and isolation, which is presented by the symbolization of the flower surrounded and repressed by darkness in the art piece. The overall design of an artwork suggests the deeper meaning and use of diction and phrases. For example, in the third piece created for the poem “Faces”, the dotted color splashes overlapping the city buildings illustrates “City’s broken roar” (Teasdale). The city buildings are drawn really transparent, displaying the prosperousness and loudness of the city devouring people’s life. The fourth artwork have similar style with the third. It fits with the phrases “Meet and pass”, and the word “Rushing” by having the background mixed with light colors, providing a sense of blurriness. Additionally, the human figures are really transparent and clear, gleamingly presented, which depicts the eliminated communication between people as people are “going through” each other, but not actually interacting. Throughout the project I have created, the analysis of diction uses for literature is demonstrated.

An Interview With Lennie

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 12:45 pm on Saturday, November 14, 2015  Tagged , , , , , ,

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

If I ask you, do you want more power? That will be a rhetorical question. If I ask you, do you want to give away all of your power? That will then be another rhetorical question, but with totally opposite answers. Everyone dreams about power, but what we have always been forgetting, is the powerless. Through the character Lennie in the book Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck, the author depicts the societal indifference towards the powerless and innocent individuals during the Great Depression. For my multimedia, I used voice recording from iPhone and garageband for editing effects for the final production.

Lennie is truly a static character presented through the book, known for his innocence and is mentally impaired. His naturally born extreme physical power is depicted as he said, “Nobody ain’t can put no four hundred pound bale like me” (Response 2)! However, with his great strength, Lennie is unconscious, and incautious about his actions and is unable to control: “I didn’t wanna! I didn’t wanna hurt her” (Response 8)! Although Lennie is physically powerful, his mind is absolutely innocent and defenseless as he expresses his love and dream on rabbits, saying, “ When I jus’ pounce on that little furry thing, I feel safe and cozy”(Response 6). His love towards the rabbits, softness reflects Lennie’s simple character of innocence. He makes total trust and reliance towards George, which in my interview, a lot of response pieces that demonstrates Lennie’s character are based on George’s dialogue that Lennie had remembered, such as the phrase “George said” (Response 1) is used repeatedly throughout the interview. His loyalty and reliance is shown through his belief in the companionship of himself and George, stating, “I will leave if George does, an’ stay if George stays. I jus’ follow him” (Response 4). Lennie’s dependence on George truly showed his powerless status in the society.

The historical context during the time period of Great Depression is shown through the interview with Lennie. The living conditions and the low societal level of migrant workers is reflected when Lennie states his previous job was “diggin’ a cesspool” (Response 4). Survival was taken in the first place during the Depression, so people will do anything in order to live in the society. A specific object during the 1940s is also introduced in the interview which is the “bus tickets and some cards, precious work cards” (Response 4). Work cards were for the workers who needed employment, given out from a particular place. People find job using the work cards during the Depression. The way Lennie said “We hella need this job” (Response 3) reveals people’s need and despair on employment.

Insight The Impoverished Journey

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 2:08 pm on Saturday, October 24, 2015  Tagged , , , , , ,


The Photograph, On The Road, taken by Dorothea Langes in 1936 presents the tough period of time in America during the Great Depression. As shown in the photo, a family was walking on the stretching highway, carrying luggage and finding a new settlement. The focused dominant element, which is the man at the front, wore a pair of old, shabby, worn-out shoes, revealing the impression of hard life through poverty. His face expression that is depressed, upset and worried shows the life status of migrant workers of unemployment because of economic reduction and crush, creating a somber mood. The subordinate element of the picture is a cart with several decrepit quilts, clothes and one or two luggage. Poverty and the low economic status during the Great Depression are displayed through the family with five children owning such small amount of privately owned supplies that are low in price. In the middle ground, there are family members. The mothers face expression repeated with her husband’s, which accentuates the great influence of work loss and pressure of unemployment and emphasizes the feeling of repressed at the same time. The family appeared to be walking the long distance travel without transportations to leave their home to another place, conveying that people during the Depression are compelled to move around from place to place to survive. On the two sides of the photograph lays withered, messy grass, providing the sense of dilapidated, and the background is a piece of plain, dusty sky and sparse trees, while the foreground is the wide stretching dust road, which demonstrates the mood of loneliness, helplessness, and impressions of impoverished. The migrant workers could never end their journey of uncertainty. Through the observation of Langes’s photograph, the somber of tough times of difficulty is reflected.


The True Him

Filed under: English 9 — Catherine at 7:04 am on Saturday, October 17, 2015  Tagged , , ,

The True Him English Found Poem


Found Poem Of Mice And Men

The found poem above is based on the characterization of one of the protagonist in the book Mice And Men, George. Through the poem, the physical features, personality and behaviors of George are shown. I used a lot of dialogues of the protagonist to reflect his change of emotions and social, cultural context.

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