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.

Global Issues Post

    This article titled “By 2030 over 50% of colleges will collapse”, written by Thomas Fry provides eight reasons  why over 50% of colleges will collapse in 2030. Fry begins this article with an anecdote about Mozart, and how after his death his wife was forced to earn a living, so she began selling her late husband’s manuscripts and turned the former messy paper scraps lying around the house into a tidy income stream. Fry states that “lucky for her, she lived after Gutenberg’s printing revolution had begun in Europe allowing her to leverage the power of rapid reproducibility” Fry utilizes this anecdote to allude to how during those same 200+ years where the printing revolution occurred, colleges have barely changed. This anecdote helps provide general insight for the readers, on how Fry will comment on the implications of technology and its impact on the future of education.
    The overall theme in this article is the implications of technology and its effect on education as well as figuring out what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century. In this article, Fry celebrates technology and embraces the digital era, “Each industry has forged its own unique path into the digital age”. Fry also tries to convince and persuade people who run colleges to change alongside the rise of the digital era to prevent public institutions from becoming obsolete. Furthermore, Fry pressurizes his young audience to change and to keep pace with technological progress,
     Fry appeals to logos in this article by providing his readers of prospective and current college students with evidence to his reasons, and to ultimately persuade them to agree with him on his views. At the beginning of this article, Fry provides a “4 key metrics to consider” to provide some background information for his readers to note before he began explaining his beliefs about the future of colleges. Fry appeals to logos by providing statistics to support his views, for example,  “according to Andrew Ng, founder of Coursera, “When one professor can teach 50,000 people, it alters the economics of education”. However, phrases like “Sudden realization that “the emperor has no clothes!” creates a humorous and informal tone in this article. Furthermore, Fry writes a metaphor, “several driving forces are causing the world of higher ed to feel the ground shift beneath its feet”, this metaphor re-emphasizes his point of how he believes higher education will collapse very soon.
    I chose to find an article that focused on the global issue of beliefs, value education because I feel that education is a field that would most likely be impacted by the irreversible technological progress of the 21st century. I’m very interested in how technology will impact the future of society’s main values and beliefs. I thought that exploring how technology will impact our future education will help us understand society’s beliefs and values and help gain a better understanding of what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century.

Chin-Kee: a startling caricature of negative Chinese stereotypes

This panel is on page 50.


In American Born Chinese, the prominent themes of racial stereotypes, particularly American stereotypes of the Chinese and other East Asian ethnicities are conveyed in the panel above. In this novel, the primary example of these stereotypes is Chin-Kee,- a startling caricature of negative Chinese stereotypes. He is Danny’s larger-than-life Chinese cousin who, to Danny’s embarrassment, comes to visit every year. As shown in the panel above, Chin-Kee wears antiquated Chinese clothing, the tradition Qing Dynasty queue hairstyle and he literally has the stereotypical “yellow skin”, buck teeth, and eyes squinting so tightly that the pupils cannot be seen. Chin-Kee’s name also sounds like the ethnic insult “Chinky” when said aloud. All of these physical stereotypes of the Chinese are directly conveyed through the physical image of Chin-Kee. The icon in the panel above is Chin-Kee, because he represents all the stereotypes Gene Luen Yang believes Americans have of Chinese people.

Furthermore, in the panel above many stereotypes of Chinese people can be emphasized through Chin-Kee words, “SUCH A PLETTY AMELLICAN GIRL WITH BOUNTIFUL AMELLICAN BOSOM! MUST BIND FEET AND BEAR CHIN-KEE’S CHILDREN.” The author places an emphasis on the way Chin-Kee speaks by purposefully changing the r’s to l’s, to display the stereotypical notion that Chinese people can’t speak English properly and have an accent. The phrases “bind feet” and “bear Chin-Kee’s children” exaggerates the old culture of China and again, highlights the stereotype American people have on Chinese culture, believing that all Chinese women must bind their feet and have children. Gene Luen Yang utilizes the caption of the panel above to highlight the stereotype that Chinese people are overly-loud and obnoxious. The facial expressions of Danny and Amelia display fear and embarrassment of Chin-Kee.

Overall, the panel above conveys the novel’s central theme of racial stereotypes, and particularly how American people portray the Chinese. Gene Luen Young effectively portrays these stereotypes of the Chinese through the caricature of Chin-kee and captions.


Paper 1 Reflection

In my first paper 1, I feel like I presented my ideas in an organized manner. However, my analysis of the effects of literary techniques was very limited and I should’ve written more of my ideas in detail.  To improve, I should’ve read the text more carefully before I began writing. I also should’ve incorporated more literary techniques in my essay. Furthermore, to improve, I should’ve analyzed more on the effects of literary techniques. Lastly, I should’ve included more sophisticated vocabulary and my introduction and conclusion should’ve been longer.

My target goal for the next Paper 1 is to write a more persuasive, detailed analysis of how language is being used. Another goal is to utilize more literary techniques so that I can analyze more.


“To Live”

This scene occurs towards the end of this movie where Xu Fengxia (the daughter) suffered from Postpartum hemorrhage, where an uncontrollable amount of blood is leaked after birth. I  thought  this scene was very significant because it encapsulated the overall theme of the movie, which is overall about the regrets Chinese citizens had when they discovered the detrimental effects re-education had impacted their lives and others during the Cultural Revolution. The scene where Xu FengXia starts bleeding and the nurses, in a state of shock and panic saying “We’re just students, we don’t know what to do”, clearly displays how  Maoist ideologies, like, getting rid of the educated heavily negatively contributed to the overall wellness of Chinese people.
The mother and father’s facial expression shows tremendous sorrow and guilt which displays their regrets and their realization on the importance of keeping the educated and intellects, like Dr. Wang.  
Zhang Yimou’s utilization of a editing technique called “cutaway” creates a sense of action and heightens the climax of this film. The distinct contrast seen in the two stills above, in a sense, relates to the theme of regrets. Before FengXia suffered from postpartum hemorrhage, her parents were happy that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy. However, right after that, the nurses came running to them, drenched in blood, screaming that they “don’t know what to do,” alludes to the detrimental affects Maoism and  particularly re-education. When the Cultural Revolution began, people were hopeful and excited, however towards the end, many people like the characters in this movie (FengXia and her parents) eventually discovered how Maoism and specifically re-education had strongly negatively impacted their lives and future.

Propaganda Poster

The purpose of my propaganda poster is to persuade the people of Beijing of all ages to adopt a “better” lifestyle by recycling, driving battery-powered cars, replacing energy with solar panels, eating organic goods and biking, in order to help prevent climate change from happening in the future. I decided to make a propaganda poster about the subject of climate change and the future of Beijing, because climate change is currently a very important topic and I think the majority of the people in Beijing’s current lifestyle of smoking, over-use of cars, burning coal etc is contributing to climate change and pollution. I purposefully made the photo on the left black and white because I wanted it to highlight the picture on the right due to its relation to the purpose of my propaganda. I utilized juxtaposition by placing the two collections of photographs next to each other because I wanted it to contrast with each other and highlight the picture on the right in a positive light. Overall, I used a scare-tactic in my propaganda poster, by making the audience believe that if they currently smoke, contribute to traffic on the road, burn coal and use plastic, their future will be polluted, dark and negative just like the collection of black and white photos on the left. The slogan of my propaganda poster reads “The future is in your hands…so, pick the future you want!” I chose to make the font bolded to emphasize my point and I colored the word “future” and the phrase “so, pick the future you want” in green because it’s similar to the colored-picture and green symbolizes happiness and positivity. Lastly, the photo of me in the middle pointing at the picture on the right is to convince my audience (people from Beijing) to pick the “green lifestyle” to prevent climate change.