As we reach the finish line for Grade 9, we are preparing for the start of Grade 10. This year’s final stretch for the finish has been quite chaotic and unusual with the pandemic going on and e-learning, but nonetheless, we did get through our final English 9 unit on Humor.
Throughout this unit, I learned how writers imply specific language techniques to create a humorous effect and reach a purpose for the reader. For instance, in the drama stage looking at Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusious, he uses dialogue, stage directions, and even the plot within the play to create a humorous effect. Pearce’s line in the one-act play Between Mouthfuls; “Yes. Indeed. That’s really rather why I reserved a table for two” is a form of sarcasm, revealing his arrogant attitude to the waiter more importantly, to the audience. Furthermore, plays have the ability to create humor with dramatic irony with a live audience. At the end of the play, the line by Martin; “Oh, I don’t know about that…” clearly portrays this concept as the live audience knows a secret the character Pearce on stage did not.
In addition, poetry also has many ways of creating humor. Although without the help of a stage and a live audience like a play/drama, poetry creates humor by using various language techniques. Most commonly is irony and creating a specific tone with hyperboles or rhyme, expressing the poet’s message in the process. Three poems I thought to be the funniest in our poetry anthology was Sick by Shel Silverstein which creates a naive child persona using endless hyperboles and rhyme, Teaching the Ape to Write Poems by James Tate which creates an ironic scenario of having an ape who belongs in the wild strapped to a chair with a pencil, and Father by Edgar Guest which creates a vivid image of the father who is invincible outside but can’t deal with small household issues, forming a contrast of character with paradox irony. This unit was relatively fast and I believe just scratched the surface of the literature involved in humor. If I have the chance, I would like to learn more about the effects of the specific visual structures of some poems, like Bliss Point or What Can Best Be Achieved by Cheese by Benjamin Garcia (on the right).
The SMART goal I set for myself at the start of the unit was to finish my tasks one day before the deadline I set. Looking back now, I believe I have not completely achieved this goal as I spent a few more days reading the Confusions drama and the poetries. However, I have managed to complete my writing assignments a day before the set deadline, despite the fact that I went back and made a few improvements after classes. I think this is a great start to my future assignments in English 10 next year, and my continuous goal of becoming more independent and self-discipline.
As for our Student as a Learner (SAL) criteria including “responsibility” and “attitude”, I believe I have reached the satisfactory stage for both areas. This is because I met all my deadlines and independently completed all assignments. However, I would still like to grow in my time management skills as due to being at home with many distractions, I mostly finished the assignments on the last day. Although I think I do well in engagement and independent learning like participating the zoom sessions, I would also like to work on improving perseverance, challenging myself more, and digging deeper into analyzing literature and look beyond the surface to find the hidden meanings.
Overall, this has been a fun and interesting year. Although this year has been slightly strange, it will definitely be a period of time hard to forget. I hope to carry on learning literature in depth next year and improve my analyzing and writing skills to express my ideas to others clearly.