Lang & Lit, Learners Portfolio

Semester 1 Reflection

With the spread of Covid-19, I have transitioned into remote learning, and to be honest, I recognize that remote studies are not ideals for anyone. I first expected to feel the loss of the social interaction that I usually enjoy during classes with my peers and teachers. Anticipating the lack of physical experience of a classroom–the sounds, the smells, the energy. Moreover, I am also surprised by how much the switch to digital learning has impacted my studies outside of class time itself. While I am fortunate to live in a home with all the essentials, electricity, food, water, Wi-Fi, Etc… It has been quite challenging for me to study at home. I realize that teachers really tried their best to be as accommodating as possible despite very difficult circumstances. I am very grateful for their efforts and their flexibility regarding due dates and course assignments. I learned that it is very important to always keep the video cameras on as this will bring livelihood to the teacher and to ourselves. On top of that, online readings are also another part of the struggle. Pretty much all readings and assignments are now supposed to be done online… without enough sleep, it can be very physically draining. Hours and hours of digital readings make the eyes and head hurt, and sometimes halfway through a class, I am just struggling to feel active and alive without the temptation to fell asleep. I have found that reading on the computer not only diminishes my comprehension of the text but also prevents me from the very sensory and intimate process of marking up a book with pens and annotating, writing notes in the margins which I typically practice reading. Hopefully, I am soon able to return back on campus and enjoy the class just like the other students and feel the classroom vibes once again.





Lang & Lit

10.30 Paper 2 Outline

How do two of the works you have studied portray the struggle to be understood?


Introduction & Thesis Statement:


The Odyssey is an epic poem composed by Homer, the story is told of the Greek hero Odysseus and the different dilemmas he encountered while traveling back home to Ithaca after the Trojan war. American Born Chinese is a novel by Gene Luen Yang, it illustrates about the story of a first-generation immigrant teenager: Jin Wan, a boy who come from an Asian background but moved to a suburb white neighborhood. The story depicts on his social challenges such as fitting in at his new school, embracing the American culture and denial of his own cultural heritage. Both texts portray the main character’s struggle in trying to overcome challenges in different settings. The authors utilizes different literary devices to help the readers visualize those events the character’s encounters.


Text 1: American Born Chinese


Device 1: Symbolism (Monkey King’s Shoe)

The Monkey King wears human clothes at the beginning of the story, but it was the lack of footwear that did not qualify him of the entrance to the banquet. The Monkey King is still just a monkey if he’s not wearing shoes, the shoe is symbolized as the ultimate cover up to hide one’s true identity. (P.55) Once the King returns back home, he orders all the monkeys to wear shoes. A symbol of Monkey King’s desire to leave the monkey-hood behind and trying to become a whole new identity.

Device 2:  Tone and Dictions (A Victim of Words)

(P.37) We observe Jin-Wang being approached by a classmate but instead Jin-Wang rudely pushes him away powerful verbal emphasizing his social feelings of being inferior and intruded by someone who shares the same cultural identity as him. In the following panel, Jin Wang castigates about Wei-Chen coming close as well as speaking the language Chinese in a white suburb environment “You’re in America. Speak English.”  This assertive tone established in this phrase along with the diction “American” and “English” reveals Jin-Wang’s willingness to deny his own cultural heritage and be hostile towards Wei-Chen. And this hostile behavior only reassembles and indicated the growing struggle of Jin-Wang trying to fit in with the American society.

Device 3: Physical features, Emotion Figures & Expressions (One’s thoughts and feelings are often expressed by their emotions shown on the outside)

In denial of his true cultural identity, Jin’s/Dany’s worst fears come alive as his cousin Chin-Kee showed up at his school. (P.113) Chin-Kee is characterized with yellow skin, slanted eyes, long queue, buck teeth and terrible English. It represents all the ridiculous stereotypes that haunts all Chinese Americans. Dany shown an excessive amount of facial expression such as clenching their teeth, frowning and red skin to the behaviors of Chin-Kee as Chin-kee is bringing shame upon him and possibly exposing his cover and revealing his true identity to the school. We see that Jin-Wang continues to reject his Chinese identity.

Text 2: The Odyssey

Device 1: Epic similes

“The attackers struck like eagles, crook-clawed, hook-beaked, swooping down from a mountain ridge to harry smaller birds that skim across the flatland cringing under the clouds but the eagles plunge in fury, rip their lives out-hopeless, never a chance of flight or rescue-and people love the sport-so the attackers routed suitors headlong down the hall, wheeling into the slaughter, slashing left and right and grisly creams broke from skulls cracked open-the whole floor awash with blood. “

  • The battle between Odysseus and the suitors.
  • Odysseus and the Telemachus are the eagles, a symbol of nobility and strength.
  • The description captures Odysseus’s anger, the panic of the suitors, the gore of killing.

Struggle, Odysseus grasped the rock with both of his hands and clung there, groaning, till the great wave passed. That one he thus escaped, but the back-flowing water struck him again, still struggling, and swept him out to sea. And just as, when a polyp is torn from out of its bed, about its suckers clustering pebbles cling, so on the rocks pieces o skin were stripped from his strong hands.

  • Odysseus’s obstacles/challenges faced while returning home,
  • From escaping the cave to swept out to the sea and clenching on for dear life.

Device 2: Lens of Perspective

 I took my spear and sharp sword, and I ran up from the ship to higher ground, to look for signs of humans, listening for voices. I climbed up to a crag, and I saw smoke rising from Circe’s Palace, form the earth up through the woods and thickets. I considered if I should go down and investigate, since I had seen smoke.” (p146-153)

  • First person perspective gives the readers a better view to the plot and events that is happening to the characters.
  • “Look for signs of humans, listening for voices” Odysseus’s once battling the challenges and trying to look for solutions “Climbed up to a crag” to return back home.


“The Odyssey” and “American Born Chinese” presents the struggle to be understood by revealing the challenges that lays in front of our characters and how they manage to overcome them. ABC focuses on the internal conflicts of Jin-Wang’s struggle to find the right identity for himself while The Odyssey walks us through a series of events that Odysseus has to fight through during his return back to Ithaca.










Lang & Lit, The School of Life

A Body of Works from “The Book of Life”

    1. Why We need to create a home. 

    To think of it, one of the most meaningful activities we ever engaged in is the creation of a home. Our home serves as a memorializing function, what they are, help us to remember what it is, ourselves. Home is our protection, and a tool that helps us in many ways in life. But more importantly, it represents our identity and preference of life with its specific art design.


    1. The Role of Sleep in Mental Health 

    Underpinning our care should be modesty. While thinking through our problems is crucial to our health, to attempt to think without enough sleep is worse than not thinking at all. The thinking we do when tired is vindictive and sloppy. Hence to why, the role of sleep is absolutely crucial, with a proper amount of sleep, we can think more critically, and excel in better performance.


    1. What Love Really Is – and Why It Matters

    Love is a powerful factor. It is something that can influence one’s perspective and thoughts on life without any adequate recognition. This article suggests example that will help people understand the meaning of love, and how to love properly. With this, we can go through an enriching mutuality and become a less frightening and less harried place for all, as we treat each other with love.


    1. How to Catch Your Own Feelings

    This article reflects on the possible ways to increase our mental stability and suggests different ways to think through problems. Hence why I chose this article because everyone has their weak side in thoughts and this article helped me learn how to think beyond normal.


    1. How to Be a Good Listener

    In the present society, civilization is built between people, therefore communication is an essential factor. In “How to Be a Good Listener,” the author speaks about different levels of communication and from proper listening, one can make a change to the world. I agree, when one’s speaking, it is important to listen in order to better understand in order to form our own conclusions.


    1. On Anxiety 

    I chose to include this article because I felt like everyone has their own anxious topics. It is reasonable to be anxious, and those particular worry affects everyone and will continue to grow everyday creating statics in our minds. We are up against anxiety as a permanent feature of life, something irrevocable, but the difference are set on how we chose to face our problems.



    1. On Friendliness to Strangers

    Getting to know strangers takes an abundant amount of courage. Strangers are not enemies; they are friends that you just haven’t met yet. With some confidence, we can guess their heart of contents. People often express warmth and curiosity and share a few tentative thoughts with a stranger and trust that one day they can become a friend.



    1. Food as Therapy 

    When it comes to food, it is highly prestigious. I believe Food can serves as an act of communication that can bring people together, share their life stories, secrets, hopes and dreams. It helps us to express who we are, through food, we could appreciate and express gratitude to someone, and show them more complex parts of ourselves.















Lang & Lit

Austin’s Satirical Writing: The International Baccalaureate is more than just a Program.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a worldwide, nonprofit education program founded by John Goormaghtigh in 1968 that allows all students to receive an education fit for the globalizing world. There are four IB education programs, all of which are intended to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal, and social skills.


Starting this year, things became different. You are now bestowed upon a new bible program that will grasp your life for the next decade. The first day of school came, you tremble into the grey shadows aligning with the other cellmates, the jittery smirk on your face grew wider as you glance at the cubicle that will imprison you for the next hour. As the lights grew dimmer, the clock continues to tick, a minute felt like an eternity that kept you enclosed, shattered, crumbled. You began to realize what is at stake here, the freedom you once had has been taken away, as a new fella bust through the door, explaining  they are your mentor of the year and hands over a sheet of paper that demands what you have to deliver the next time when you guys meet face to face. The interrogation continues, as you began to confess who you are as a person to the other mates, your mentor would occasionally interrupt and give out bald encouragements to the group after seeing many pale faces. You now understand the excessive pressure on your shoulder, and you passed out. Sooner the later, you were woke by a thud, as footsteps begins out the door, you came to conscious that you are now mobile and permitted to leave.


**Your next session continues…


When the long day is coming to a end, peace restores. You get back to your home, seeing many familiar faces in a serene environment that lets you to recollect and move on. But then you suddenly remember the demands set by your mentor earlier in the day, you dash upstairs to your desk and flap through your notebook, an eight-hundred-word research draft about King George the II is due the next day.

Lang & Lit

Stanley Tucci. I’m a Fan (Analysis)

Stanley Tucci.

Language:   “I’m a fan” A Slogan that draws attention to the website and character.

  • A list of Career Achievements & Rewards: 3 Emmy and 2 Golden Globe awards for his silver performances on the silver screen.
  • Subjects and description to show the characterization of the characters presented or the purpose.

Image: Picture of the actress.

Gives the audience visual imagery, it makes something abstract like an emotion or theory, seems more concrete and tangible to the reader. By using imagery, writers can evoke the feelings that they want to talk about in their readers, and by making their readers feel and connect to the messages in their work.

  • Angle and zoom. Capture the focus, makes the reader more compatible with the celebrity.
  • The Rule of Third
  • No photoshops, natural and realistic

No sound track.




Odysessus's Journey

Day 4: The Sun God

Day 4: True to my words, I returned to Aeaea for Elpenor’s funeral rites, Circe is helpful once more, providing supplies and warnings about the journey to begin the next dawn. The sirens are beautiful creatures, they have some of the best vocals, I would definitely pay to see them sing in operas and music concerts. To prevent the irresistible songs that will lure me and my other sailors to crash, I have my boys covered their ears with wax, and lash myself to the mast of the ship, I could not resist, the temptation was to high as I remembered the ropes strain harder and tougher every moment to keep me away from the sirens’ call. Getting past Scylla was not as easy, I have to hold back as I lose the six to a writhing death, the most heart-wrenching experience in all of my wanderings. Arrived at the island of Thrinacia, the last challenge, the transition stage of my life, at home of sun god Helios. We survived for a month on our storage, the last moment, our crew is stranded due to a lack of favorable wind, With exhaustion and starvation kicking in, I head inland to pray for help from the gods, as I leave in search for support, Eurylochus, my trustworthy man, call to revolt. Slaughtered the finest cattle Helios has, ironically going through with a sacrificial ceremony, making liberations with water instead of wine is gone. Now aside from the broken promises, personally I think you should never eat cattle with water, that’s just plain and boring. Back in Greece, our gourmet and tradition always bring in the finest wine as supplement for any meals. Back to the story, the gods were furious, Zeus, the king of gods is outraged and sends a monstrous storm that destroys the entire vessel and kills of my guys. I was the only guy that got spared, as I clenched onto a raft from the remaining pieces of the vessel, struggling with absolute exhaustion, I floated ashore ten days at 0gygia, island of Calypso. And the next chapter of my life begins. #WorstDayofmyLife


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Odysessus's Journey

Day 3: Land of the Dead

Day 3: King Alcinous and Queen Arete are very inquisitive to hear about my journey to the land of the dead. Over there, my mortality is put in context as I watch the shades of warrior comrades, legendary figures and my own mother. I even got to meet with Elpenor, which I promise to return back and request a proper rite to bury his body. May his soul rest with the other brave solider of Greek. As I consult with the deads, Old man Tiresias told me I could still make it back home with proper judgement and control, and to not eat the cattle of the sun god, Helios. Those words I could not forget, as it shatters my soul to this very day… #Stillliving #SpirtutalHornor

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Odysessus's Journey

Day 2: The Wind God + Circe

Day 2:   Having escaped the cyclops, me and my boys arrive at the home of Aeulus, master of the winds, he is a very gentle and wise man. Treated warmly and hosted us for a month. My strong desire kicks in as I eager to return back to home Ithaca,  I receive a ox-skin pouch from Aerolus, we began sailing back to Ithaca. However, during my sleep, one my of boys is stupid enough to open the pouch that then blew us back to Aeulus, with no favoring from the wind god himself, we were on our own, as we drifted on to the island of Aeaea, home of this beautiful but dangerous goddess Circe. She was a demi-god, turned my boys into pigs, at first I was seeking bloodshed and revenge, later on I could not resist my strong temptation for her and fell in love. Dinning on a variety of refreshments on the island. But sadly, one night my boy Elpenor was in a drunken stupor on Circe’s roof, breaking his neck as he fell off where he arose at dawn. May our prays be with him and long live his soul. #RIPElpenor

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Odysessus's Journey

Day 1: Troy Raids + New Friends

Day 1: We sacked Troy, and put the men to sword. We took the wives and much loot out of the town to divide among us, and I did my best to see that every man received his proper share. Even though we got counter attacked during our celebration, we manage to pull off and meet new friends later in the day: the lotus eaters and polyphemus. The lotus eaters welcomed us as it expunged my men’s memories and desires in life, and big old pal polyphemus trapped us and feast upon more of my boys. We did manage to escape this ugly beast with a powerful stab in its eye. Rough day. #troyraids #giantsareweak #KingOdysessus


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Lang & Lit

Reflection on Duffy’s World’s Wife Collection

For the past month, I’ve been introduced to the poems of Carol Ann Duffy, a British poet who displays great technique in her writing. Her poems are quite intriguing and unique through her use of the combination of light and dark word choice and sensory imagery. After reading her writing, I’ve explored more than just literature but rather history and romance as well. The poems she writes are often based on people’s lives. I feel like I am able to now have a better understanding of how other people think about their own lives through their stories in Duffy’s poems. Duffy doesn’t use any complicated words to get her message across but still manages to create seriously beautiful stories that serve to explore different morals and human behavior. The different characters, literary techniques, and visual settings created in each poem have been beneficial for my greater understanding of English literature and poetry. I felt that her stories, no matter narrative or informative, to be both interesting and intellectually stimulating. I was never really into poetry before this but now after reading more of Duffy’s work, I can honestly say that I am more interested in reading more poetry in the future.