Now that we have concluded our study of Kendrick Lamar, “When They See Us,” Malcolm X, and Gordon Parks and completed another practice Paper 1 and practice Individual Oral Presentation it is once again time to take stock and reflect. Your task is to create a reflective blog post which addresses the following questions:

  • What do you understand better now than you did before about the choices made by creators of texts and how these choices affect meaning? Give examples.
I think I’m now aware of the visual and literary technique creators employ to affect meaning. In terms of visual texts, after analyzing Gordon Park’s photography and the tv show “When They See Us”, I’m now aware of how visual techniques like camera angles juxtaposition, composition, symbolism, and color can affect meaning. An example would be the use of close-up angles in Gordon Park’s photography to enhance facial expressions and create a more somber mood.
  • What do you understand better now than you did before about the ways in which the context of the production of a text and the context of the reception of a text shape meaning? Give examples.
 After looking at Malcolm X’s speeches and Gordon Parks photography, I now understand that the reception of texts is very much attached to the context and time period in which the visual/literary texts are produced. For example, Malcolm X wouldn’t have written his speeches with the purpose of persuading his black audience to begin a revolution if he didn’t face oppression during the 1960s.
  • What do you understand better now than you did before about the ways in which texts are connected with one another across time and place? Give examples.

I’ve learned that many texts are interconnected in terms of how they all explore the common goal of informing an important global issue. Regardless of different time periods, visual texts like “When They See Us” and Gordon Parks, as well as literary texts like Kendrick Lamar, all explore the common global issues of discrimination, poverty, injustice, and racism in the black community.

  • Of all of the texts that we have studied together this year, which has made the biggest impact on you? Why do you think that is?

I think analyzing Kendrick Lamar has been quite interesting. After listening to the Dissect podcast, I began to pay closer attention to the ways in which texts employ specific literary techniques to express emotions and thoughts.

  • In terms of your skill development,
    • how has your ability to read and analyze various text types developed over the course of this year so far?

I believe my ability to analyze visual and literary texts has improved quite a lot and I’m now more comfortable with annotating unknown texts.

      • how have your writing skills developed over the course of this year so far?

In terms of my writing skills, I think I’ve improved, but I still have to improve my writing for paper 1 because I’m still getting 5’s.

      • how have your speaking skills developed over the course of the year so far?

I still need to improve on my individual oral and practice presenting without the need to memorize.

  • Of the five Approaches to Learning skills that the IB emphasizes (attached below), which do you think that you have demonstrated the most growth in so far in this course?  Which do you still need to work on?

I think I’ve demonstrated the most growth in self-management. The current pandemic has led me to become more motivated and organized with my learning, thus, I believe my time management skills have become a lot better. However, after doing the individual oral I need to improve on my communication skills. I still find it a struggle to present for 10 minutes straight and present my thoughts without memorizing.

  • Of the IB Learner Profile attributes that the IB promotes (attached below), which do you think that you have demonstrated the most growth in so far in this course? Which ones still require development?

I think I’ve now become more knowledgable and aware of global issues after doing research for my 2 practice individual orals. However, I think my critical thinking skills still needs to be stronger so that I can improve my analytical writing skills for paper 1.

  • Looking ahead, what goals would you like to set for yourself in this course moving forward?

My goal is to start getting 6’s and 7’s because I think grades are a really good indication for demonstrating real growth and mastery in a subject. I plan to achieve this by reflecting on feedback and practicing analytical writing by doing the reading and writing assignments.