My 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule

During this year, various events have occurred that might make a Historian, Economist, Political Scientist, and Geographer think about what happened in 2020?

(Credit: Getty Images)

This first article is something that Historians and Geographers might look at as it is quite ironic. It speaks about how future archaeologists will study us in the 21st century and therefore also explains what there is to study, for example, architecture, history, digital culture, and so on.

A person walks in front of the Department of the Treasury

This article by the New Yorker might interest historians, economists, and political scientists in the future as it clearly explains how the COVID – 19 outbreak has impacted the world’s economy and politics. It gives the peoples view of American politicians and how they have also impacted the daily lives of citizens.

This article speaks about how the BLM movement has changed modern US politics. It would be a very interesting source for Political Scientists because it is proof that most times politics is not meant for citizens but rather for power. It shows how if the world comes together, they can influence oppressive politics.

Aftermath of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina

This article might interest Geographers and Historians as it speaks about how climate change is impacted by the COVID-19 virus and how the earth is changing because of it.

This final article speaks about how the coronavirus has impacted international politics and the world. It would interest future Historians and Political Scientists as it holds the peoples view in the 21st century and gives an insight into the situation.

The End of English 9

Throughout the English 9 course, humor has been a recurring motif:  first, in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; next in various political cartoons and speeches that we studied.  In this final unit of the course, students engaged in a culminating study of how language can be used to create a humorous effect on the reader/audience.  We studied selected texts from two key bodies of work: Confusions, a collection of five interconnected one-act plays by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn (first performed in 1974), and an anthology of humorous poetry written by authors from various times and places.

As we as students prepare for the transition to English 10, teachers had deliberately designed this part of the course to help us develop greater independence and responsibility as a learner.  We had to choose which texts we would focus on and we would be in control of the pace at which you learn.  In addition to being assessed on our knowledge and understanding of the texts and on our analytical writing skills, we also would have to reflect on and self-assess ourselves against the “Responsibility” and “Attitude” criteria on the Student as a Learner rubric.

My SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goal for this unit was to try and write more concisely, if I am only allowed 200 words, make them worth it. During the few weeks that were given to us, I tried to split up my time evenly between all projects so that I did not have to start something like the poetry CER on the day it was due. This strategy helped me keep my writing concise, as I could reread what I had written for the day and make sure it was the best it could be, which is why I feel that I achieved my SMART goal for this unit.


Towards the end of this year, we learned how writers used language to create a humorous effect. The first assignment was the dialectical journal on a play as mentioned above. In addition to stage directions and expressions, there were rhetorical techniques that were used. In my case, I chose Drinking Companion by Alan Ayckbourn. For instance, throughout the dialectical journal, I touched on literary techniques such as informal tone, repetition, and symbolism. These techniques helped the author create a humorous effect on the reader. An example of symbolism identified in Confusions was this quote-

“Now, looking at Bernice—I immediately think of blue. Am I right?

Bernice: “I never wear blue. I hate it.”

(p 40). The color blue is a symbol of Bernice’s cold personality in contrast to Harry’s bright, outgoing personality. As said before, Bernice does not even give any attention to Harry when first meeting him, and as soon as Harry mentions blue, she shuts him down with negative adverbs like “hate” and “never”, which further exaggerates her cold personality. This immediate negative response is also rather humorous as it is so abrupt and unexpected, it makes Harry look stupid as he was proudly stating he was good at his job and could easily pick out a color for a woman.

Later on, during the poetry stage, I learned the literary techniques that authors used in poetry. I elaborated on the tone, metaphors, lexical repetition, and anaphora that Vachel Lindsay used in her poem “The Horrid Voice of Science”. For instance, In this poem, Lindsay also starts almost every sentence with the word ‘There’s’. The use of anaphora in the word ‘There’s’ is especially useful with the poem’s structure, as it is a list. By using the same word at the start of each point, it gives the poem a sense of rhythm and structure, which strengthens the overall theme of the poem. Stating each point as a statement makes the poem humor scientists. Because there is no machinery in a butterfly, and there is no such thing as hydraulics in a daisy, Lindsay is just making fun of the rational way scientists deconstruct the world.


My annotations for “The Horrid Voice of Science”


Some specific things I would like to learn more about would be the different types of irony. Irony is one of the most used techniques in humor- both in poetry and stage plays. By knowing the differences between verbal, situational, and dramatic irony, it would greatly help me in English 10 and further analyzing literary texts. Something that was particularly challenging in this unit was the time difference, as I could never participate and ask questions in English 9 Zoom calls. I found this challenging because the Zoom calls taught other students more about humor and its techniques.

When asked where I would stand in terms of Responsibility and Attitude on the Student as a Learner Rubric, I would say that I would be an exemplary student. I feel that the exemplary categories for Responsibility and Attitude definitely apply to me. For example, I always complete my assignments, meet deadlines, and plan ahead, for example, I set deadlines for this final unit and submitted all assignments on time. Similarly, I also accept and relish challenges given to me, give my best effort, and take risks in order to further my learning. These are just some examples of why I feel I am an exemplary student in terms of Responsibility and Attitude. I might still need to grow in these categories though, for example working on asking for more teacher and peer feedback to perfect my work.

All in all, English 9 was an interesting and enriching experience. I have learned a lot ranging from propaganda to literary techniques, and I feel prepared for English 10. I hope to take what I learned from English 9 and extend it to English 10, yet I think I want to improve making in-depth explanations and my interpretations of the effect of literary techniques on the audience even more concise, as I know that sometimes I can “blabber on” about a topic without revising properly.

Reflection on Analyzing Visual Texts

Throughout these past weeks, we had been given the task of doing presentations on first propaganda posters and then-recent editorial/political cartoons. The first presentation I made was on a propaganda poster made in Germany during World War II. I feel that I did not present too well on this, I stuttered and looked down as if I were reading a script, which did not look good and did not engage the audience. Therefore, I tried to improve on my presenting skills for the next presentation of editorial cartoons; I did this by practising many times before recording and watching a variety of presentations made by students at Yale University in order to pick up speech techniques. For my final presentation, I felt very confident in my skills and knowledge on the topic. I found my presentation on one of Steve Sack’s cartoons to be very good in terms of how I spoke, hand gestures, and general A.R.E.D.F.O.R.E.S.T. speaking. I also feel that my PPT was very organized and visually appealing, I worked very hard on using as little words as possible and making the PPT very visual, so I am proud of it. Finally, I feel that I learned a lot about analyzing visual texts through the use of layout, composition, symbols, facial expressions, body language, caricaturing, exaggeration, captions, speech bubbles, and irony. These are all things that are usually included in editorial cartoons and therefore, can be analyzed by me in my presentation!

Example of a cartoon by Steve Sack that I analyzed

IDU Reflection Post

“Inclusion”, noun, the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. During ISB’s ninth-grade Interdisciplinary unit, the term inclusion was used continuously. The whole grade was split into teams of 3-5 and was given data from an ISB inclusion survey in order to find an issue to solve. The inclusion issue my group decided to do was the discrimination of people with a different country of origin or race. This can be simplified to people not feeling comfortable with where they live, as they cannot call it home. Some kids are born somewhere but must move around the world so they can never call anywhere their “home” until they could feel comfortable enough. My group consisted of 3 others, Aris Wang, Michael Ceng and Suhan Jin.  

After multiple meeting sessions with my team, we were given a rubric based on collaboration so that we could evaluate ourselves and our teammates. In my perspective, I believed that I did about 80% of the groups work, so in turn, I ranked myself with two’s and three’s. In terms of ranking the norms of the collaboration from most important to least, I would say paying attention to self and others is first, then presuming positive intentions, posing questions, putting ideas on the table, providing data, paraphrasing, and finally pausing. 

Like with any other group, I believe that the most important dynamic is that every member in the group contributes ideas and opinions. This can help the group gain a broader and more diverse perspective on their topic of discussion as well as determining roles in the group. After this, our group can then choose the idea that best suits our target audience and inclusion issue. It is also essential to make sure everyone’s thoughts are heard and considered. That is the most basic way of showing respect and can even spark a debate or additional support of the concept, which in turn can expand knowledge or change opinions. I think that the most difficult one to implement is staying on task because in an environment with no teacher supervision, students find it hard to concentrate and often distract themselves. This lack of supervision was one of the main problems that my group encountered, as they felt that there was no need to concentrate, but rather play piano games on their phone. 

I feel that my greatest strength in this project was the ability to get my team in order and provide tasks for each member to do. During one of our many community times, Ms Beatty advised me to guide my group instead of letting them figure out their roles themselves, and I found it very helpful. On the other hand, something I still need to work on is my organization when it comes to teamwork, I feel that I learn a great deal in terms of organizing my team, but I would like to improve on that. 

In conclusion, I feel that I learned plenty during this IDU project. This project has not only taught me about the incredibly important inclusion issues we face at ISB, but also taught me how to be a leader and present strongly. I feel that my group’s final product was very impressive and can be implemented at our school, and I am proud of the outcome.