The End For a Freshman’s English Class

Grade 9 English has been such a great journey for me, it has not only helped me develop as an English student but also as an individual, and as a thinker. Especially, the last unit – “What’s So Funny” was a particularly interesting one for me, since it was my first time truly  considering how do speakers and poets and play-writers make their work funny. Through my investigation of the play “Mother Figure”, the poem “Frau Freud” and many other activities I did in this unit, I’ve learnt that the tone, diction and the context of the language are critical in determining whether the piece of work is funny or not. In particular, irony and satire is one common way for authors to make their work comedic, yet still, have a purpose or message. Some literary devices also assist in making a work humorous, like rhyming pattern in the poem Frau Freud, “the dick, prick, dipstick and wick…” or confusion in the play “Mother Figure”,

“Terry: Eh?

Rosemary: What?”

However, there is still a lot to humour that I do not know yet, like how do speakers time their joke so it will be more effective, or how do poets use rhyming patterns to make it sound more light-hearted and funny.

Unfortunately, I failed to complete my SMART goal I’ve set at the beginning of the unit. I did submit all of my work, but my goal explicitly said “in time” and “with the best quality”. Because there were a lot of other tests and projects going on, I had failed to submit my play analysis on time, and I will admit it wasn’t my best work this year. That is also the hardest thing about this unit – time management. Not going to lie, I was heavily overwhelmed at the start of this unit. I must’ve not organise my days properly, and that led to me lacking behind in many classes, including English. One thing I would’ve done differently is to have a look at what my tasks are before blindly setting plans for them since I was wildly underestimating the time it will take me to finish the 5 journals.

Everything has a silver lining though, and I did see a few success in this unit. In particular, I am quite happy with my analysis of the play. It was my first time dealing with a “modern play” (not Shakespeare or those older plays), and also my first time working with comedic devices. Even though I’ve got some comedic devices wrong when I was writing my journals, I am overall happy that I’ve identified a few.

Regarding my Student as Learner standard, I believe I deserve a Satisfactory for my “responsibility” and Exemplary for “attitude”, here is why. I gave myself a Satisfactory for “responsibility ” standard because I have been using teachers’ and peer’s feedback well, and was decently organised. However, I did not complete all my work on time, so that prevents me to deserve an Exemplary. For this strand of the SAL, I need to start proactively requesting feedback, perhaps before I submit the work even. I never really did that, and only went to the teacher when I was confused about something or need help. If I go to the teacher for feedback before I submit I can ensure that my work is all correct and will be approved by the teacher. For my “attitude” strand, I gave myself an Exemplary because I always have a good outlook on my study. I always made sure that I stayed on task, and take initiative for my work. One thing I can still work on, however, is to work on my goal setting, maybe have some short term goals instead of one large long term goal to guide myself through this unit.

Anyways, it will be only a few weeks until I finish my freshman year of High School. Overall, I am pleased with my year in English. Even though I started quite slow, I eventually caught up to the standard and had some great performances for different tasks that I am very proud of. I am definitely looking forward to English 10. My goal for next year is to increase my reading amount. It is quite ironic that that is already my plan I set last August at the start of this year. I did make some solid progress, like reading at least for the required class amount every other day and reading more in the weekends, but I still feel like I have a lot to improve on. Specifically, I need to venture out to more genres and types of books, or read from authors from different cultures, and not just from the “classic English canon”. Another goal I have is to increase my vocabulary. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t made that much progress in increasing my vocabulary amount since preparing for the SSAT, and that’s definitely one area I will look to expand upon next year since I believe it’ll help me greatly to write better, read deeper and communicate clearer. But enough said, overall I am just looking forward to continuing my study in English, meet new classmates and continue to work with some fantastic teachers. Thank you to everyone that made my English 9 such a productive and enjoyable time, have a good summer.

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