Recent Posts

Tutoring Training – Week II

26 Feb 18
Lilian H
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The second week of my tutoring experience was slightly chaotic. The class had not finished the assignment from the last class so content-wise they were pretty stagnant. It took a little bit of review for me to remember eighth-grade chemistry, but the kids didn’t have a lot of questions. I feel like they needed some help staying on task. I’m a little troubled because I’m not sure how to help the teacher to control the classroom. Another thing I was worried about is not being of much use in the classroom. Our practicum has two tutors, Jamie and I. Sometimes I feel like the kids don’t ask enough questions for both of us to be active, and one of us will spend some time spectating awkwardly. I’m afraid that I am not much of help in Mrs. Fidler’s classroom. I am taking time to reflect on what I can do better. She has her class set up quite different from any former science teachers I had. I think I would like to communicate to her more about what she expects of me in her classroom. Also, I would like to communicate to the children about their attitude towards their work as they have shown little interest. I would also like to know how I would assist Jamie, as we should be working collaboratively. I found some parts of the online course extremely helpful; parts that I would never have thought can be applied so easily. Some content I have also found irrelevant. Hopefully, they will come to use someday. It has been a pleasurable experience tutoring eighth-grade science, and I expect to have more efficient practicum sessions in the future.

Tutor Training – Week I

07 Feb 18
Lilian H
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I have continued my online course of Tutor Training. I find it particularly fascinating that the internet has such power in our lives. I do not have a direct mentor but only curated information in the forms of articles and worksheets. Yet, I can work at the desired pace and go through information as I wish. On Crossroads, I have learned many aspects of tutoring, that will optimistically come of use in the tutoring sessions I will attend in the near future. I am gratefully pleased that this is an option, and I am also excited to utilize the internet for a variety of different purposes in the future that may benefit me. I love learning new things.

 

One thing that fascinated me about tutoring is that the amount of benefits it has for both the tutee and the tutor, and how effective tutoring can be. Tutoring can really help students understand content the teacher had taught in a class, and go deeper into the topic as students desired. I knew from my previous experience with a tutor that this is an incredibly special proceed, and I cannot believe that I myself will be able to (hopefully) recreate this experience for others. I will be joining an eighth grade science class next week. I am quite nervous, as I am not sure how the session will go. My biggest fear is that I will not be needed. It does not feel good to be irrelevant and not of use. I will have to refresh my memory on eighth grade science, as it has almost been a year now!

Tutor Training

29 Jan 18
Lilian H
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Currently, I am starting tutor training. I will give updates on how it is going. Excited to work with teachers in the classroom!

Creative Writing on Setting: The Red One and the Yellow One

10 Sep 17
Lilian H
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It was made of plastic and was petty and annoying, always squeaking in protest when one sat on it, even a small child. The texture of the seat was rough. But, we all loved it, nonetheless. There were two of them, actually. The swings. One was red and one was yellow. The morning dew rested on the grass beneath as the swings swung slowly to the rhythm of the soft breeze. And, the warm sun rose quietly in the distance, shedding an orange shade to the whole area – the swings, the slides, the grass, the pebble paths. The playground. The dew soon evaporated in the warmth of the rays, leaving everything feeling damp but not quite wet, the remnants of a night’s rain. Only the birds sung and the trees swayed at a time so early, everything else was still captured in a sweet dream. As the sun rose, more sounds can be heard on the playground. Laughter of children, running, chasing and playing. It was the children that made the playground alive. The willow tree bark felt rough against my sweating palm, its soft scent calming my beating heart. I couldn’t tell if the moist was from the bark or my hands, but, it didn’t matter. The grass gently brushed against my ankles, a quiet whisper compared to the laughter of the other kids. Even the sun shone brighter for them, the grass became softer and the swings didn’t complain as much.

But, now, it is not the same. The chains that held the swings together are tarnished and broken, the chains detached. The yellow swing cracked, the inside hollow and empty. The children are out of sight. The playground is dead.

8th Grade Tips

08 Jun 17
Lilian H
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8th Grade tips ::

  • Manage your time well (seriously)
  • Sleep early
  • Join lots of extracurricular activities!
  • Actually study for your tests (I know you don’t)
  • Leave time for homework, don’t overload yourself with activities
  • Communicate with your teachers :: ask questions if you’re stuck, etc.
  • Have fun.

Travel China Magazine

08 Jun 17
Lilian H
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The process of creating the magazine was frustrating at first. We simply had too many pieces to work on and did not have enough time to create quality work. The amazing part of it was putting everything together and seeing how much content we have created over a short amount of time. At first, my team and I had complained about the workload but when we saw the results, we all knew that we were rewarded with a great piece. Overall, I am very proud of my team and I am glad that we could creating something like this:

A Monster Calls Blog Post

27 Apr 17
Lilian H
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A Monster Calls is a novel by Patrick Ness, with many intriguing themes that remain in the readers’ minds even long after reading the novel. With a fable of an innocent boy’s experience of loss and anger, it projects the theme of anger and emotion and the complexity of human emotions, shown in many aspects such as the protagonist, Conor ‘O Malley, raging and destroying things. The story frequently refers to “the truth”, a nightmare Conor constantly had, which was revealed towards the end of the book. Conor’s loss was his dear, beloved mother, who died of cancer. Before her mother’s death, Conor had nightmares about losing her mother, and feeling the guilt of letting her go.
The theme of human nature of anger and emotion was shown in A Monster Calls many times. As the text says, Conor raged in frustration and hopelessness: ‘”TEAR THE WHOLE THING DOWN!'” Conor roared, and the monster roared in return…(Ness 121)’ His anger was not random, although, it was not perfectly justified either. Conor understood that his mother would pass away but he did not want to face the fact. Moreover, the fact that he could not do anything made him angry. However, Conor was never punished for his actions, as he was the only one to think that he has done something wrong, and the others viewed him as a child in grief and looked at him in a “special” way. Although, it is very likely that Conor was not punished because of his special conditions, the deeper idea behind this that the author was most likely trying to convey was that individuals should be permitted to be angry and feel human emotions, and that thoughts do not count for actions.
Another main theme was the complexity of human emotions. Conor knew that his mother would not live, but could not face the fact that he gave up on hope for his mother. Everyone experiences loss at some point in life, and this theme was shown throughout the novel, the complexity of human emotions that really make characters come to life. The thoughts that are contradicting or “evil”. As Conor said: ‘”I can’t stand knowing that she’ll go! I just want it to be over! I want it to be finished!”(Ness 198)’ This shows Conor’s emotions are contradicting as he wanted his own pain to be over but did not want his mother to leave him. Along with Conor’s guilt, pain, suffering, anger, frustration and finally relieve and grief, the author attempts to develop the nature of loss and its relation to the complicated human emotions that we all have.
I actually, despite supporting the general themes and ideas of the story, did not enjoy the resolution. The story ended abruptly without explanation and the climax was near the end of the story, which did not encourage the reader to continue reading. But, this novel does include many themes and ideas that a so human and relatable for almost every reader, which is what truly makes the story, as a whole, extremely impactful. I believe that the themes the story of A Monster Calls embodies is interesting and thought-provoking. The way it depicts the themes of emotions of anger and the complexity of these emotions is unique and makes the novel unforgettable.

 

Persepolis Characterization Letter

31 Mar 17
Lilian H
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Dear Mr. Schroeder,

 

Reading an insightful novel set in the Iranian revolution, Persepolis, I have made note of the ways the author has shown the way the revolution has shaped the characters, especially the main protagonist, in the revolution. I would like to show you my observations through this letter.    The story starts with the main character of the story, Marji, who was forced to go to a new school where girls were separated from boys. This separation made her experience loss and confusion and as protests and demonstrations began. These demonstrations and protests directly affected her family as her mother participated in them and was taken a photo of, by a German journalist, leading her mother to dye her hair to disguise her identity.

As one of her first exposures to the revolting Iran, Marji was shown to be proud of her mother and at first did not understand these actions. Marji’s opinions about these events soon changed as her parents participate in more protests, which piqued her interest in the revolution and asked to go along with them. However, she was declined and sent to bed, in which she talked with her imaginary friend “God”.

It is shown that Marji is quite introvert, as in many scenes she does not speak her true thoughts. ‘Marji’s Father: Why didn’t you tell us anything?’ (Satripi 37) And, one of the strongest pieces of evidence is the fact that she talks with “God” about many things she would not tell her family. ‘Marji (To God): No, no, I will be a prophet but they mustn’t know.’ (Satripi 9)

She learns about her grandfather’s past through conversation with her parents. Marji took a long bath to understand what it felt to be shut in a cell filled with water, showing her empathy towards her grandfather. Throughout the story, she was shown to be very empathetic towards different tragedies and people. She is fairly mature and understanding, shown in her strong awareness of adults, their lies to protect her and the world around her.

An event that shows this is her awareness of the social classes in her society: Marji wrote love letters on behalf of the maid in her house, who fell in love with her next door neighbor. She later on learned that the maid, Mehri, was not allowed to marry the boy next doors because of their social class differences. ‘Marji: The reason for my shame and for the revolution is the same: The differences between social classes.’ (Satripi 33) This made Marji angry as she thought about the way her society worked.

As Marji’s family members leave one by one (either death or migration), she listens to cruel and violent stories of others and admires them for experiencing it. Though Marji does not realize the cruelty of these events, it changes her point of view of the world, making her more and more pessimistic.

Marji is particularly sensitive about people leaving on trips without much notice, or leaving on a long trip where they won’t come back. She assumes the person who left is dead when she is told that “they’re gone on a trip”. ‘Marji: Don’t you know that when they keep saying someone is on a trip it really means he is dead? (Satripi 48)’ As she becomes more and more pessimistic about things, she becomes more introvert and her personality darker. These are the things I noticed about the characterization of Marji in Persepolis.

Sincerely,
Lilian

Revolutionary Voices Narrative

28 Mar 17
Lilian H
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The Iranian Revolution is a violent, recent and global impacting revolution that spanned from the years of 1925 to about 1988, which my narrative is set in. In this revolution, there were many changes and continuities that are worth mentioning.

The rapid change in their people was a key factor in the reason why the government was so often opposed to. As the things the people wanted change, there was more and more conflict that built up and was expressed in violence. This can be shown in 1949, Mohammad Mossadegh led protests that shaped his reputation in the Iranian people’s eyes. Soon, after two years, Mossadegh was elected Prime Minister under the pressure of the people. His government did not work out, however, and with US intervention and protest, he was kicked out. Reza shah, the original leader of Iran was replaced. Protests continued, as the shah westernized the country. Throughout the Iranian revolution, the things that did not change was protest and dissatisfaction. Along with US intervention, which continued in the Iran-Iraq war. The instable rioting eventually led to the violent event of Black Friday. Many of the violence and unfortunate events were caused by similar reasons.

Although, there are many things that continued throughout the revolution, many things changed, too. At the beginning of the Iranian Revolution, Mossadegh used many methods that were similar to that of the shah’s westernization. However, Mossadegh received popularity while the shah became infamous. This changed when Mossadegh’s economic policies of artificial price control failed and he became unpopular, too. Another change was the level of violence the government showed to the people. The shah obviously grew less and less patient with the rioting of the Iranians, as the event of Black Friday was a brutal action. The arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini almost guaranteed the overthrowing of the shah.

1939 Narrative: The Great Lead

07 Feb 17
Lilian H
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The train swarmed with people, not soldiers like us, but peasants and industrial workers. There were just a few of us. We gathered for our rations, the peasants and workers watched us with ravenous, envious eyes. The sorrow died over time. Through the endless marches in the snow, through the hard-pressed farming of the peasants, through the peace Communism has maintained. It was the moment to forget the old and embrace the new. Lenin’s death would not change anything he believed. No, they were our beliefs. Karl Marx’s beliefs. As my thoughts wandered, a sudden deafening cry brought me back to reality: “Listen up, soldiers! This is a Politburo meeting, extremely important and it will be extra safe. We all know what people are scheming after the Great Lenin’s death.” After that one command, it was Moscow to St. Petersburg in three days.