Humor Unit Eng.9 Reflection

During this unit, I learned that language can create a humorous effect using two approaches: the incongruity method where language creates a phrased that exceeds the mental expectation of the audience, and the superiority method where language is used to make audiences feel superior. In the poem “Father” by Edgar Albert Guest, the first six lines of a stanza are written with an admiring tone, for instance: “my Father knows the proper way a nation should be run” (1). The reader then expects this to continue, the son listing out all the great abilities of his Father. However, the last two lines of the stanza read “but if the furnace needs repair, we have to hire a man” (7-8). These last lines violate the expectation that the admiration of Father will continue, therefore making it humorous for the reader as the father is suddenly exposed. This is the incongruity approach and is used again in “Confusion”. When Doreen begins her dialogue, she says this: “Between you and me, I have heard most of the policewomen are as well. Men dressed up you know, Special Duties.” These lines are incongruous because the two characters introduced before are in distressing situations (abusive relationship and on the verge of bankruptcy), so the reader is in a serious mood when Doreen suddenly says something so silly, thus being unexpected. Additionally, the reader initially expects Doreen to be kidding, but Doreen is not joking, even including the phrase “you know” to emphasize that it should be a common belief. Therefore, another violating of mental expectations. These examples show how language can take the incongruity approach to create a humorous effect. Next, the superiority approach, most prevalent throughout “Father.” The whole concept of “Father” is a man being ridiculous by claiming he can do great things when he cannot fix small problems. The poetry reads that father can “in matter of finance, can tell congress what to do” (22) though he cannot “meet his bills as they fall due” (26). The irony, combined with the feeling that oneself is better than this Father, makes these lines humorous.

Aside from everything I’ve learned, I would love to dive deeper into how poetry is written and how to appreciate good poetry. Analyzing poetry is fun, but like what “introduction to poetry” by Billy Collins advises, I would like to learn more about how writers use language to create images and emotions instead of the “meaning” behind a poem. Transitioning to my thoughts about this unit, the writing tasks were challenging, particularly the dialectal journal; I’ve never analyzed drama before. I remember repicking my quotes 3 times because I was simply unsure what I was looking for. Initially, I read the play looking for literary techniques like metaphors or even foreshadowing. Only when I repeatedly found none did I realize I was looking for something different. Additionally, I am not very familiar with the topic of humor and found it difficult to describe why a line of dialogue made me laugh. Some ideas I just couldn’t put into words, but a blend of research regarding the theories of humorous and repeating the lines made the ideas eventually solidify. Moving on, I was able to succeed in this unit in terms of time management and independent learning because it was done in a similar structure as research projects in FA. I’ve been in FA for two years, so I have some experience planning and taking initiative of my learning.

My smart goal for this unit was to find a balance between the content of the analysis and the language of it. As mentioned in the DX post before this unit, I find myself often disappointed by how “unbeautiful” my writing is, and for this unit, I wanted to find a way to balance content and language. This was, I admit, an incredibly ambitious goal. My official measure of success for this goal was the feedback and grading for my writing, since I haven’t received that I can only explain whether or not I think I achieved this goal. The short answer is no, I don’t believe I have found a balance in my writing; my CER could have been written better and my dialectal journal lacked extensive analysis. The long answer is that even though I haven’t found my “balance,” my writing has still improved with revisions of this goal in mind—just not the drastic improvement I envisioned in my goal. When I outlined all the content I wanted to include and then revised with the intention of making it flow, I became more aware of my writing. So, in short, I didn’t achieve my goal. However, I wouldn’t be giving myself enough credit if I said I completely failed it.

Next, the student as a learner aspect of this unit. For student as a learner responsibility strand, I am mostly exemplary. Typing that makes me feel dubious as giving oneself “exemplary” is generally perceived as unhumble and should be avoided. However, I will try to justify myself. Looking at the time management strand, it states “independently completes assignments and meets deadlines.” I was able to meet all my large deadlines and even meet small deadlines written by myself on a planner. For example, the whole poetry CER is due on May 23nd, and on May 20th I wrote in my planner “one dialectal quote done and CER done up to second technique.” I was able to check both of those off. Therefore, I was able to meet the exemplary standard for time management. Looking at the preparation strand, it states “independently brings appropriate sources, share additional material, is punctual, and fully prepared to learn.” Although I did not share “additional material,” I was able to independently read other poetry analysis online and attend every zoom meeting on time (hence punctual and use appropriate sources). I also take notes in the zoom meetings, potentially translating into being “fully prepared to learn.” Generally, I meet the exemplary standard. Lastly, for the willingness to accept feedback, I believe that even though I don’t “proactively seek” feedback, I do more than just “use teacher and peer feedback” since I did email about my thesis. Reflecting back, I should strive to proactively seek feedback in my future English classes. Overall, I am mostly exemplary in the responsibility strand. For student as a learner attitude, I am satisfactory. The details of this will be spared but generally, I am on task and have a good attitude for learning. The reason why I did not give myself exemplary is that even though I sometimes speak up in the Zoom classes, I do not do it incredibly frequently. This is due to the fact that having all of Ms. Wong’s English 9 classes hear my voice and ideas make me hesitant to share. Though normally I am much more talkative in physical English class since it has a smaller audience. I will strive to become my confident in my ideas in future English classes regarding the SALs.

Looking forward to English 10, I don’t have any particular goals in mind. Though I want to become a sociologist when I grow up, so I wish to drastically improve my essay writing abilities. This extends beyond English 10 but my goal for the future is being able to write concise, beautiful, and meaningful essays. I feel prepared for English 10 because as my readings accumulate, the writing improves as well. This year got off to a rough start, the word “literary analysis essay” still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. However, as grade 9 ends, I believe my writing abilities have grown. Comparing my first literary analysis essay to my last, I can’t help but feel a slight sense of pride. There are many more essays to come and I do not know whether they will fail or succeed. But I have long abolished the conviction that my writing will always receive praise. I expect English 10 to be challenging and I expect that not all my work will receive a good score. Nevertheless, I feel prepared, because just like English 9, I will improve.



Questions for Ms. Wong:

  1. Do you have any book recommendations? I’ve recently finished the Plague by Albert Camus and LOVED it.
  2. Would you recommend me to take IB English HL?
  3. Do you have any essay, poetry, or short story recommendations? I really liked Susan Sontag’s essay Against Interpretation. Also, The Fly by Katherine Mansfield was really interesting.




From the propaganda poster and editorial cartoon analysis, I learned many things. First is how to organize a presentation. During Tuesday’s lesson, Ms. Wong mentioned how a presentation should flow instead of being one talking point after another. I remember frantically regrouping all my points because I realized that the way I presented was a list instead of a speech. Listing all the techniques in the poster from whichever one I noticed first was such an ineffective and confusing way to support my interpretation. I will consider the “flow” of my speech in the future. Second, I learned and explored literary terms such as what a caricature is and how metaphors and symbolism can be drawn.  Thirdly, I learned that my public speaking skills need work and was able to practice during this assignment. When I am asked to present without a script, my thoughts suddenly become chaotic, and unable form coherent confident sentences that concisely transition into the next. This assignment helped me practice how to improvise speeches.

IDU reflection

When I first learned that the IDU unit was going to be two weeks of constant group work, I pictured in my head exactly how it was going to go. First, I make a schedule or to-do list and attempt to organize my group while trying actively to avoid being a dictator. Then, I assign everyone the appropriate workload. At last, I do everyone’s workload. As long as I can remember, the train of group work always stopped at these three significant stations: organize, assign, and do everything. The IDU unit started right on at the first station with me typing furiously on a shared document, writing a checklist of what we needed to accomplished day by day. After realizing my teammates were going to miss a few days for their extracurricular activates, I proceeded to the second station by making our presentation PPT and assign the appropriate slides to each member. This far down the tracks, I was prepared to spend the last two days at the third station–writing the script for everyone. However, to my pleasant surprise, this did not happen. The train sped past the third station and arrived triumphantly at the finish line. My teammates prepared and altered the slides based on their script and presented without a sprinkle of uncertainty in their voices. Looking back, I learned that deeply rooted in everyone’s altruism was the key to collaboration, trust. Only when you trust your teammates, and they trust you, can you complete a difficult task with quality and efficiency.

Costume Design Stagecraft

Practice drawing the human figure and clothes:


Final rendering (girl):


Final rendering (boy):

Writers Intent: Costume Rendering

Starting symmetrically from head to toe, Sarah has on a pair of thick black glasses. In the scene she gives off a stalkerish vibe, announcing all the things she knows about her date from an internet search. Since she looks at the internet so often, she must need some kind of glasses. Then, after the glasses, she is shown wearing a choker. The choker is meant to highlight three of the factors of design: age, social status and historical period. First, chokers are usually worn by young adults, so this indicates Sarah is around 20 or less. Second, the gem on the choker is a purple jew, this indicates its probably not a diamond and may even be fake. So, Sarah is probably not very wealthy, but enough to afford decent clothes. Third, the historical period is modern-day since chokers started becoming popular only recently. After the choker is a pink hoodie with the words “haha” on it. This hoodie indicates that she values comfortability over looking pretty, and a possible personality trait is she could care less about what people think. This is shown in the scene when the guy was clearly uncomfortable, but Sarah kept sharing information about him nevertheless. Sarah also is carrying a backpack because in the scene she pulls out a computer, illustrating that she always carries her electronics with her, so she must have some type of bag. The reason why I didn’t give her a nice expensive handbag is because again, it indicates her social status. From the hoodie down is a little gray mini skirt and long black high heel boots indicating the occasion still somewhat formal–since it is a date. The mini skirt is meant to contrast with her hoodie because one is casual and one is more formal, this is meant to show how Sarah is a little weird since she likes to mix styles together.  Overall, Sarah is a young adult, obsessed with technology, with a weird and straightforward personality.

For the guy, he also has glasses on his head because in the scene he is told to be in English major, so I assumed he has some kind of glasses and is somewhat nerdy. Down from the glasses is a white t-shirt and a sweater that looks formal but also comfortable. I did not include this in the drawing but I would prefer the sweater to be wool. This shows the personality trait of how he cares about what people think since he tried to look formal, but he did not wear a full-on uncomfortable suit for a date meaning he still cares about his own comfortability. His personality is demonstrated in the scene when he is very nice and respectful answering all of the girl’s questions and trying not to be mean, but towards the end, he is clearly a bit annoyed at the girl. This shows no matter how respectful he is, he still cares about himself and how he feels. The white shirt and sweater also show the three factors of design: Historical period, social status, and occasion. The occasion is a semiformal event (date); the historical period is modern time since suit only became popular recently; and social status is middle class because even though he has a nice suit he does not have an expensive watch to accompany it.  Down from the sweater skinny blue pants and shoes which further emphasize social status. Additionally, the somewhat tight pants emphasize his thin legs demonstrating the fact that his guy does not do sports a lot because in the scene it says he failed volleyball. Overall, the guy is a nerdy and polite, but pretty boring with no cool accessories or contrasting colors in his clothing.


I recently completed my costume design on two characters from Check Please: Take 4, Scene 7. The girl (Sarah) is telling the guy about all the things she knows about him from her internet search, and the guy is getting gradually more uncomfortable as she goes on. I worked really hard trying to design and make everything as detailed as possible. I tried to make the characters realistic and their costumes layered, but I do not have much experience in art and it turned out way worse than expected. I really liked by practice drawings but my actual costume renderings are not as good. However, I learned that costume design is incredibly interesting and I would love to do it again.


This process taught me how much theater and art are interlocked. At first, I thought that when doing costume designing you just needed to take a few art classes to know how to draw a human, but now I know putting your ideas on paper is way harder than it looks. First of all, bring personality into clothes is harder than expected especially when so many of the same clothes are worn by many different types of people. The fabric and texture of the clothing are also so hard to draw and knowing exactly what pattern you want on the clothing can be difficult if you are starting from scratch. All in all, I learned that theater is art, those who put the show together are artists. And when doing a costume rendering, you really have to think like an artist and make the clothes your canvas.

Intro to Costume Design

The factors of costume design:

Age: Age determines the type of clothing common for the age group.

Gender: Now the lines are blurred, but back then gender-biased clothing was common.

Social Status: Power, wealth can all be demonstrated in clothing.

Occupation: Sometimes it is hard to tell, but mostly the type of occupation can be told from like the teaching jobs or research jobs, etc.

Geographic Location: Japan and Russia have very different styles of clothing.

Occasion or Activity: For example, going to a wedding versus going to the mall.

Time of Day: For example, wearing pajamas at night.

Seasons-weather: Winter thick jackets clothing versus summer shorts and t-shirt clothing.

Historical Period: At what time period is the character living in.

Psychological factors/personality/emotion: Most likely the most considered when we are picking out clothing in the morning.