Reflective & Goal-setting

Favorite texts and reflection from last year

1. My favorite was American Born Chinese, it was an interesting medium that combines text and visual. It also tackled the theme of cultural clash, which strongly resonates with me.

2. I enjoy texts that are completely literary, this includes ABC, “To Live”, “The problem with Apu”, “Propaganda Posters”…

3. I still need to work on analytical essays, I struggled with HL essay, Paper 1 – assignments where I need to prove a thesis. I think I was better at creative tasks such as the pastiche we did, I’m also ok at poetry.

3-2-1 regarding the year ahead

Three things
1. The onion is known for writing joke articles. They also have a youtube channel where they post parodies with satirical nature.

2. The odyssey is a long poem about a greek myth.

3. Frankenstein is the name of the doctor who created “frankenstein’s monster”

Two things
1.  Who is ” Basil Gogos”

2. What is the “Baron of Botax”

One Thing

What is a common theme within these texts and why are we studying them?

SMART Goal for the coming year

Thoroughly read 3 books that interest me before Christmas.

 

Reddit Hates China

I found many comments on Reddit with hate or racism towards China

Regardless, keep in mind that this is the minority of Reddit. Most people on Reddit are not racists. I’ve seen many pro-china comments and people rebutting this minority.

I think the main reason for the sudden outburst in hate towards China is from the Coronavirus outbreak. As number of cases exponentially increase in Western countries, it’s easy for people to find somebody to hate, and it is so easy to blame China because on banned social platforms such as Reddit, there are no Chinese people who are willing to rebut.

Undoubtedly, there is a significant cultural difference between China and Western cultures, but this cultural gap cannot be properly bridged if there is a lack in communication. Most Chinese people cannot access many social media sites such as twitter, instagram, facebook… So it is highly difficult to establish a proper representation of Chinese people in the Western World.

They fear what they don’t understand” – Batman Begins

I believe all racism can be absolved through proper communication and exposure. Hopefully the Coronavirus pandemic will end soon and the world will be filled with peace and love. <3

My Jinji

I recently came across the song “My Jinji” by Sunset Rollercoaster.

This is a song released in 2016 by Sunset Rollercoaster, an indie alt rock band from Taiwan.

In my opinion, this is one of the best songs ever written.

It is the perfect retro song.

It’s production style mirrors that of Asian 80s alt rock bands such as Beyond, Grasshopper… The way the main vocals are dimmed really accentuates the colourful instruments. The harmony is very dissonant, giving the music a kind of pensiveness, a sense of lost, which strengthens the existing nostalgia.

The lyrics are highly romantic.

“My jinji don’t you cry

This world is out of time

of time out of mind”

The ambiguous lyrics leave the listeners to form their personal interpretations.

In the modern world we are often out of time, constantly rushing from place to place with no time for love. This beautiful chorus from “My Jinji” perfectly encapsulates this inevitable sadness that accompanies love in the modern world.

 

Elearning Reflection

Coronavirus is certainly a novel experience for me. While being locked up at home certainly does feel restrictive, it is liberating in some way.

There is a lot of free time every day, this helps a lot with sleep, hobbies, and management of work. Before the lockup, everything felt like it was on a strict timer. Everything was planned for blocks of times with classes, extracurriculars… that everything felt tense and relentless. At the moment time just flows freely like a soothing stream.

Large chunks of time are wasted every day. It’s obvious when there’s no “learning environment” breathing down the students’ backs that every distraction ever will be attacking from every direction. It also doesn’t help that we cannot really stay active. Because I study in my bedroom, it is so easy to lie down and release the hold of my brain. It’s difficult to get into that focused momentum and be as productive as I would have been at school.

With that said I have started to improve myself. By setting my own time slots, timers and work out sessions I’m starting to make sure that most of my time is put to good use. I really hope the virus ends soon and I can leave my home-prison.

Carol Ann Duffy “Valentine” Pastiche

Not a dandelion or the brightest diamond.

I give you ________
It is a deadline for an eternal existence.
It is hope
That love will mend all wounds.

Bleed.
It rip you up from the insides
like a lover.
It will give pain,
an unshaking regret for the past.

I will stay with you.

Until eternity.

I give you a heart.
Its bond with yours transcends
all disease, all suffering.
For as we long as we live,
we’ll find a way.

Take it.
It is medicine for your soul,
For your spirit.
Despair.
I will chase it away
like a demon, like a ghoul.

The Little Prince

I read the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and I didn’t understand anything.

I recognized that the book was critiquing modern humans for their closed-mindedness and has many clear themes of coming to age but many questions remained unanswered. Why did the prince kill himself? What do the planets represent and how does he return to them? Regardless, I enjoyed the magical tone in which this story was told. The Little Prince describes his explorations in a way that brings the world to a new, interesting perspective.

Winter Break Reading

Over the Winter Break I read the Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson. The three books were long but definitely worthwhile. If anyone is looking for an exciting fantasy novel, this is very good.

The plot was very well developed. However, towards the end of the book, every conflict gets completely resolved. This made reading through the books feel less tense and the conflicts less meaningful. Compared to another similar series I have read – the Kingkiller Chronicle by Pattrick Rothfuss. Rothfuss makes the characters and stories more tangible and lifelike. His commentary on life is more brutal and impactful. While Brandon Sanderson is more focused on creating the world of fantasy, Patrick Rothfuss focuses on the protagonist’s life while fantasy elements act to support the arc of the story.

If you have a lot of time, read both books and tell me what you think in the comments below 🙂

The Problem with Apu – Purpose and Techniques

“The Problem with Apu” is a documentary by Indian comedian/filmmaker Hari Kondabolu published in 2017. This documentary focuses on social issues such as racism towards Indians in American popular culture and media. Kondabolu’s major purpose of this documentary is to expose the prominence of this issue and convince the audience that “Apu” is “bad”, and he does this through a variety of film techniques such as animation, editing, humour and more.

Kondabolu’s frequent use of animation is used to thoroughly emphasize a point. A good example is 48:21, where Kondabolu declares that although you love your racist grandpa, it is time for him to die and shows Simpson’s grandpa turned into a coffin. The obvious death symbolism of the coffin strengthens the creator’s statement as it shows he’s declaration both verbally and visually. He’s frequent animation enhances statements, but also lightens the tone and engages the audience. Bright colours, vibrant shapes and symbols are good ways to keep the viewer’s attention.

The creator “The problem with Apu” uses several editing techniques such as background music/sound effects, transitions, setting changes, camera angles to add emphasis to his arguments or transition between points. At 48:33, when Kondabolu fights the people responsible for Apu, the background is changed, intense music is played and he is shown heroically fighting those white men. This use of editing mostly engages the audience. At the same time, expresses the “frustration” Kondabolu has with those white men who propagated racism by inventing Apu.

Kondabolu constantly uses “humour” to spice up his documentary. At 48:28, Kondabolu says that the Simpson’s were only funny during season 1-10. He’s many “funny jokes” throughout the commentary engages the audience, lightening the mood so that people don’t think the documentary is too “preachy” or serious. He’s “humour” allows his points to be more memorable and enjoyable.