"The V2 worked perfectly, except for landing on the wrong planet." -Wernher von Braun

Reading Progress Blog 6 — April 4, 2021

I finished Stalingrad by Antony Beevor. Stalingrad is a non-fiction book about the 1942-1943 world war 2 battle in and around Stalingrad. The main purpose of the book is to inform people, however, the author also supported his own views, such as the Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point of the war, that Romanian units supporting the 6th army were neglected throughout the campaign, and that part of the failure was due to micro-management from Hitler and deferral to Hitler by his subordinates. The author appealed primarily to logos, as he presented evidence to support his claims. Ethos and pathos were not used to support his claims.



Reading Progress Blog 5 – March 2nd 2021

Kissinger’s Shadow by Greg Grandin is about Henry Kissinger, and how he influenced American foreign policy to match his theories of power projection, and self fulfilling purpose.


The author is somewhat critical of Henry Kissinger’s approaches to diplomacy, citing American and foreign lives and property lost whilst protecting American imperialism and the image of American power.

In-Class Diagnostic Reflection

What did you find hard about understanding and analysing the speech? 

The speech was fairly blunt, and I did not have much of an issue understanding most of it. However, the way Greta Thunberg consistently failed to cite any  evidence made it challenging to analyse a support

What did you do well and what did you struggle with, in terms of writing the essay?

I think I did well explaining how Greta Thunberg tries to influence her audience and associate that with the purpose of her speech. I struggled with organising my essay, as there was not time to fully plan the order of topics, and I typically organise my essays by cutting and pasting parts of a rough draft, which was not possible when hand-written. I Also struggled with handwriting ;/  .

What do you wish you had done differently OR what would you do differently for the next timed, in-class essay?

I would devote more time to planning the essay, and reference the text in my planning. While writing this essay, I originally only made a rough outline of the points I wanted to address, wanting to start writing as soon as possible. However, my essay quickly became disorganised, to the point where even I was confused when I reread it. This tack ended up taking more time, as I had to update the plan and re-write much of the essay.

What topics or skills would you like more instruction on and practice with, for this type of task? (For example: how to identify and remember the names of techniques, how to annotate, how to outline, how to manage your time, how to proofread…)

I think I need to study more literary techniques outside of class. I noticed some quirks in the transcript that seemed like literary techniques, but I was not certain why she used those techniques and support it with evidence.

The Circular Economy Introduction

Q: What idea in the Circular Economy concept resonated with you? Why?

The idea that products are designed to be reused or remanufactured in a circular economy resonated with me, because it is an interesting solution to cost issues in recycling — instead of trying to develop incentives and subsidise recycling (which also  means shipping waste to developing countries where plastic wastes can be sold at a profit), it makes more sense to design all products to be more recyclable from the onset, to the degree that costs of remanufacture is lower than producing a new product.

Q: How has today’s lesson on the Circular Economy changed your mind or understanding about something?

There are ways of creating a sustainable economy, such as the Circular Economy, without destroying economic growth.


Q: Why is the concept of Circular Economies being taught in CASE? What impact will it have on your learning?

I think the concept of Circular Economies is being taught in CASE because it demonstrates the power of design, and how designs influence the world. The current linear economy affects the world as it was designed, producing waste to facilitate more consumption. An economy designed with another purpose, such as the protection of the environment, can achieve that at the cost of damaging some other goal.

Through learning about the concept of the Circular Economy, I realised the importance of good design, and how influential tweaks in design are compared to after-the-fact remedies.

Reading Progress Blog 4 – January 6th 2021

Hard Times by Charles Dickens is about the irrationality of a life governed solely by logic.

I found the book slightly bland, as it tends to overwhelm the reader with details. This seems to be done to develop the mood of the book — every mention of Coketown emphasises the soot, smog, stench or heavy rain with metaphors.


Abandoned book Jan. 24


If you were to write essay today, which book, what about.


If I were to write my literary analysis essay today, it would be about Catch-22, as it seems to have the obvious literary devices (irony, anaphora, and other forms of irony) to form its satirical review of the United States Army Air Corps / society itself. I also enjoyed Catch-22, which will hopefully make writing an essay less agonising.

MCC Product Project — Portfolio


Formative Socratic Seminar Reflection

Socratic Seminar of Thursday, December 3, 2020

I did well in listening to the speaker while they were speaking. It was hard for me to use my annotations from the previous night as the conversations drifted further from the original question. I only noticed the connection between Junior’s canvas tennis shoes and the tennis shoes in the poem “Victory” while listening to Yolanda’s observation, which compares the labels of Junior and random Reardan student.

Kaitlyn and Yolanda were excellent in guiding the conversation and moving on to another subject when the discussion died down. Both Yolanda and Kaitlyn tend to ask a question, followed by their opinion, which was a convenient way for others to enter the conversation.


I can improve on the way I prepare for socratic seminars. Whilst preparing, I tended to skim the pages for answers to the opening questions or literary techniques I noticed, from the first time I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. This was not effective, as it was harder to adapt to the conversation if it digressed from the opening questions (as it was supposed to). Next time, I think I can be more efficient by reading the entire section over, so that I can quickly make a contribution with the corresponding page reference as the conversation evolves.

Another issue I had was stammering and filler words while contributing.

Reading Progress Blog 3 – December 1st 2020

The Cuban Connection by William Weyand Turner primarily describes Fidel Castro’s successful revolution in Cuba, and the effects of the revolution on American politics. Turner details numerous attempts on Castro’s life, and how those attempts failed due to politics, tensions in the Cuban exile community, and incompetence.


Started Hard Times by Charles Dickens last weekend.

CASE: Prototype Testing

I have tested my prototype by comparing my design to previous designs. I compared the layout of each apartment to that of public housing in Australia. I reduced cost by using only 1 faucet, designing only 1 small window per apartment, and structuring much of apartment into a single room. These fit my design criteria, as they are essential to every home and are bare essentials. The same faucet would be used for cooking and bathroom utility, lowering the price of plumbing. Windows are necessary to prevent claustrophobia and to make the interior space seem larger, however, they are designed to be only 60cm tall in full size. This is done to slow the emission of heat through the walls, and to use less thermopane glass. Windows also provide natural lighting during the day, and a sense of the day / night cycle, reducing the overall cost of the house. Designing all of the apartment into a single room saves more space inside the apartment, which allows more apartments per building. This will reduce the overall cost per apartment, and the financial strain of funding such a project.

The use of windows with staggered height also helps in my purpose of providing low income homes, as lower windows will have less sunlight shining through them, making it easier for night-shift workers to sleep during the day.

Reading Progress Blog 2 – November 10th 2020

I have finished reading For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, and I am currently reading The Cuban Connection by William Weyand Turner.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is an interesting book to me, as the author used a very short chronological time period (~3 days) to describe the immorality of the Spanish Civil War, through the use of memories and the characterisations. For example, the protagonist, Robert Jordan, is depicted as a heavy drinker, while the supporting characters (primarily Pilar) recount memories of the early days of the revolution. Ernest Hemingway also used many subtle changes in language as the perspective of the reader changed – sentences were not as fluent while the character spoke in Spanish, as opposed to when he was thinking in English.

However, details on setting were mostly omitted or vague. Most descriptions of setting seemed to focus on symbolic aspects or otherwise supporting the figurative narrative; during one of Pilar’s recollections, the reader is only informed that the literal setting is in a plaza, on a cliff, above a river. The sun and heat were the focus of this scene,  which may have been symbolising the anxiety and impatience before the mass executions. Additionally, it is emphasised multiple times in the passage that the plaza was set up for a bull fight, perhaps to draw a connection between the helplessness of the bulls (the prisoners) and the taunting of the matador (the mob). It was therefore challenging for me to visualise this scene, because I do not know what a regular European 20th century rural village looks like (although this would probably be less of a problem in 1940) without many of the literal descriptors.


The Cuban Connection is about the political turmoil between the end of Fidel Castro’s revolution and to current times. I have not commented on this book beyond noting I have started it as I do not yet have an understanding of this book. The above description was paraphrased from the blurb.


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