Paper 1 Reflection

What did you do well?

I think I chose the appropriate literary devices to analyze the text. I also think my analysis was convincing and insightful of textual features.

What do you still need to work on?

I still need to work on organization and language. My language should be more clear and effective, with good uses of accuracy in grammar, vocabulary, and sentence construction.

What specific steps can you take to improve for next time?

The specific steps I can take to improve for next time are reading English books and reviewing literary devices. These activities might help me to improve my writing.

TOK and Politics Blog Post #1

My result from the Political Compass quiz below:

The Political Bias Test:

Pol Quiz:

Before taking political tests, I considered myself “political.” Every day morning, as soon as I wake up,  I always read articles on the Internet and think about current social issues in society. Thus, I often express my opinion to my family and friends about some sensitive political issues happening in the world today. However, I was unsure about my political standard (Libertarian or Conservative) as I did not have any chances to test my standings in politics.

After taking a quiz and looking at the results, I realized that  I am leaning “right” and “Conservative” while having a moderate standing. Based on this result, I think my political standard, which is right and Conservative, affects me as a learner. I realized that maybe I was not looking at the world in a moderate view but looking the society as a conservative view. Therefore, I want to learn more about my opposition in the political spectrum, which is Libertarian. Then, knowing two opposite sides of political standings will encourage me to have an un-bias decision and determine effective choices in my life.

Gorden Park Harlem Family Photo Analysis

Gorden Park, the eminent African American photographer lived throughout the 20th century. The photograph depicted is part of a series of photographs entitled “Harlem Gang Family.” In the photo, the black woman with the white shirt is cleaning the bathtub in the dirty bathroom. In this photograph, Gorden Park utilizes symbolism, layout, and framing to illustrate the harshness of the working environment for black people. 

Park’s use of symbols in the photo represents the severity of the black people suffering in the poor working environment. By looking at the photo, numerous clothes and trashes are located on the floor and the black woman is busy cleaning the bathtub.

Park employs the layout while he is taking a photo to signify the rigidity of the living environment. Park first positions the clothes in front of the photo and then orders the lady to clean.

The use of framing encourages the audience to have empathy with not only the black woman but also the black society. This picture displays the overall black society in the 1960s in America.

Through the sage of symbolism, layout, and framing, Gorden Park illustrate the harshness of the working environment for black people in the photo. 




Gorden Park Thinklink Post

Six Rhetorical Triangle for the extract


Low to upper-class American citizens who are aged between 20 ~ 50 years old and English literates


Illustrate the unfair society in the United States


Gordon Park


Racial Discrimination


Street Photography


The magazine “Life” was published on September 24th, 1956.


Thesis Statement:

In street photography, Gordon Park utilizes graphic elements, layout, and symbolism to illustrate unchanged racial inequality in American citizen’s life.

The photographer uses different colors in this extract to reveal the harsh reality in the United States. First, the black woman and a girl are wearing a pink shirt and a sandal. However, for the white society, white mannequins are wearing black and blue sweaters which represent loyalty and royalty. Therefore, it shows the difference of class in America.

The usage of graphic elements in this extract creates a comparison between black and white people to illustrate the severity of racial discrimination in American society. At first, by looking at the black woman’s and a girl’s outlook, they are wearing general clothes (not expensive clothes) and even a girl is currently half-naked. In contrast, over the glass wall, some expensive, fancy clothes are exhibited and worn by a white mannequin, which represents white people. The comparison of the outlook of black and white clearly shows the wealth disparity between the two races so that the audience can emphasize the harshness and severeness that the black people had in their daily life.

In this extract, Park lastly employs some symbols in his photos to display the existence of racial discrimination in the “Land of Free.” By looking at the photo, the audience can easily notice that there is a glass wall between black and white people. And then, the black girl is trying to push the glass wall which obstacles her and her mom to reach the place where the majority of white are being positioned. Glass wall and glass ceiling often represent an invisible barrier that prevents a given demographic (typically applied to minorities) from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. Therefore, intentionally taking a photo of a girl pushing a glass wall, Park desires to convey the message to the audience that countless black people are working to overcome problems regarding racial discrimination. However, now observing the women’s behavior, she looks unmotivated and even persuading the child to stop her behavior. Considering the meaning of her daughter’s gesture and glass wall, the woman conveys that even though the black society has worked eagerly for equality, there aren’t any differences. This leads the audience’s mind to acknowledge the unchanged public in the United States.

Through the use of graphic elements, color, and symbolism, the photographer Gorden Park illustrate unchanged racial inequality in American citizen’s life in his street photography.

English Reflection

This semester, we have studied propaganda posters from the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Zhang Yimou’s “To Live,” American Born Chinese, and the speeches of Malcolm X. Looking back, what texts have made the biggest impact on you? Why do you think that is?

Through this semester, the text which made the biggest impact on me is the speeches of Malcolm X. To be honest, before learning about Malcolm X, I did not know who Malcolm X is and his wonderful efforts on racial discrimination in American society. Therefore, learning his claims based on his speech, I was really fascinated by Malcolm X. I thought he was a really brave person, considering the atmosphere in the United States in the 1960s. Not only Malcolm X’s braveness, but also his speech skills  regarding his perspective on racial discrimination impressed me.

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? how have your writing skills developed over the course of this year so far? how have your speaking skills developed over the course of the year so far? Be sure to indicate both areas of growth and areas for further improvement.

In this semester, I learned a variety of new techniques and literary devices which helped me to analyze different kinds of texts. Especially, the list of literary devices and the six-dimension rhetorical triangle were helpful to improve my analyzing skills. However, as I was writing essays, I have found that there are numerous grammar mistakes. Therefore, I will work on trying to reduce grammar-related problems.

Of the five Approaches to Learning skills that the IB emphasizes (see next slide), 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?

Through the five approaches to learning skills, I think I have demonstrated my thinking skills the most growth in so far in this course. As I mentioned before, through learning literary devices and knowing how to use 6 rhetorical triangle, these activities helped me to have thinkings of analyzing different types of texts. However, I still need to work on communication skills. As the language English is not my first language, I sometimes face difficulties while expressing my thoughts during class.

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

Through the IB Learner Profile, I think I have demonstrated Thinker and Balanced the most growth in so far in this course. As I mentioned earlier, through learning literary devices and knowing how to use 6 rhetorical triangle, these activities helped me to have thinkings of analyzing different types of texts. However, I still have to work on improving communication. As the language English is not my first language, I sometimes face difficulties while expressing my thoughts during class.

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

I want to write my essay with deep analysis and fewer grammar mistakes.

Interview Parents – TOK

Last weekend, I interviewed my parents about their school life to understand the development of technology and their implications for developing personal and shared knowledge.

First, I asked my mom about how she went to school and produce knowledge. She started to explain that as her home was far away from her high school, my mom had to take a bus and a subway every day. Therefore, she was required to get up early and prepare for the school by herself. For her study, she often used her dictionary to find the words that she did not know. Because there weren’t any electron-dictionary at that time, she brought thick paper dictionary to school. Not only paper dictionary, but also cassette and notes were the materials which she often uses in school.

Then, I questioned to my mom about her past memories and experiences of school. In 1980s, South Korea, typical high school had strict rules for students to follow. For instance, as my mom went to the high school for girls, there was a rule that all the girl students must cut their hair above students’ ear. I was shocked and asked my mom the reason; she explained that Korean society in the 1980s worried that when girls had a long hair, they would not study and play with others. Furthermore, when students took a test and got a lower grade comparing to the past exam, they got punished by the wooden stick; teachers hit student’s hip. Lastly, when a student forgot to bring her P.E. T-shirt, the person had to run the track ten times.

After hearing my mom’s real experiences, I felt I am a lucky student who can study without any physical punishment or pressure. I have never known that my parents studied at the harsh environment comparing to my school. I believed that my mom learned and studied as I am currently doing. Most importantly, I felt thankful to my parents who gave me a wonderful education and surrounding.

Baby Oral Reflection

This week Monday, I did my baby oral.

The global issue which I focused on is the representations of racial discrimination in the extract, from page 32 to page 33 in the graphic novel “American Born Chinese.” I specifically concentrated on symbolism, characterization, and compare-contrast structure. While I was presenting my baby oral, there are some parts which I did well and other parts which I have to improve. The part where I did well is that I explained my analysis specifically. I tried to explain some important panels deeply so that my claim would make sense. However, the part where I have to improve is that I think I have some problems with my communication skills. As there were numerous panels on my page to analyze, I had to speak faster than my usual talking speed. Therefore, maybe some words might be mispronounced by myself when discussing the oral.

DAMN-First Impression

This was my first time listening to a well-known American rapper Kendric Lamar’s album. Overall, I believe through his album “Damn,” Kendric Lamar desired to express his experiences or thoughts related to several social issues including racism. Referring to his personal experiences or even others’ stories, he makes his points of view toward different social problems. I was surprised when I observed that song titles were almost composed of one word. Considering the songs I knew since I was born, there wasn’t a song that has a one-word title. The usage of publishing a song with a one-word title emphasizes the message that Kendric Lamar wants to convey to the audience. Furthermore, I realized that Lamar sometimes portrays himself as “God.” The majority of the songs has a similar rhythm: repetitive and clear sound.