English 9: Book Analyzing

Date: April 8th, 2021

Title: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Author: Susan Collins

Page: finished

Comment: Coriolanus’ personality seemed to change once he met his tribute Lucy and fell in love with her. He helped Lucy out in various ways, especially when he dropped Lucy’s handkerchief into the box full of poisonous, mutt snakes to protect her from them. However, once he becomes a peacekeeper in district 12 and tries to run away with her, away from the Capitol’s reach, he finds the gun with his fingerprints on it and decides to kill Lucy to return home; this scene reveals his actual desire to get his original power and authority back. The plot twist, in the end, emphasizes the brutality and the slyness that Lucy had been hiding the whole time. Even it was not directly shown in the story, Coriolanus and Lucy might have been in love with each other but rather, viewing them as a stepping stone to achieving what they want. When Coriolanus looks for Lucy to kill her, she is gone, out of sight; Lucy, to Coriolanus, is a way to free himself from Dr. Gaul and the Capitol: freedom. But Coriolanus ultimately chooses to lock himself in the Capitol’s hands and get the power he dreamed of since he was young.

English 9: Book Analyzing

Date: March 23th, 2021

Title: Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes

Author: Susan Collins

Page: 471

Comment: Susan Collins showed the era before the Hunger Games series when Coriolanus Snow was a teenager full of ambitions and had a very influential background. The Capitol in which Snow lived is representing a corrupt, oppressive government in a country named Panem, and the twelve Districts are the citizens. Like all tyrannical governments, the Capitol is rich and prosperous, but at the same time decisive and cruel to anyone else. The people of the Districts are sacrificed for the over well-being of the citizens of the Capitol; further emphasizing this through the view of the children, both the “mentors” and the “tributes”, Collins depicts how inhumane and dangerous a communist government or a country can be. The citizens of the Capitol are unaware of the situation of the Districts, which kept secret by the headquarters of the Capitol – those who are in control and power – like Dr. Gaul. The “tributes” are thrown into the arena and are forced to fight one another to death while being broadcasted to Panem: illustrates a scene of cruelty and oppression. Even further, the “mentors”, who are teenage kids like Snow helping the “tributes”, get endangered intentionally to raise fear, and thus easier to control.

Art Inspo

I chose this painting because I was fascinated by how the author depicted herself as a person surrounded completely by darkness, which showed her emotions of dread, depression, and being overwhelmed with the workload. It was clear that the artist viewed herself gradually sinking into the background – the darkness – which can be inferred from the bottom of her dress that is already indistinguishable from the background. I liked the girl’s posture in the painting, holding her hands out to the front, since it looked as if she wanted to get hold of something, but unable to do so because of the black liquid. It was relatable with me as well because whenever I felt overwhelmed by work, relationships, or school, I also considered myself as drowning in them, letting go of everything and giving up.

Timed In-Class-Essay Reflection

  • What did you find hard about understanding and analyzing the speech?

Because I knew that I had a limited amount of time to analyze the speech, I constantly tried to read it quickly but ended up misunderstanding the sentences and had to re-read the speech over and over again. Also, while I was analyzing the speech, I couldn’t find the techniques as quickly as I thought I would, which was really stressful and made me want to quit writing the entire analysis.

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

I think I did comparatively well at managing my time and dividing the time equally to write my four paragraphs. I struggled with connecting my claims with the evidence I found from the speech. It was difficult to make links with each of the paragraphs as well and creating smooth transitions. Making connections with the literary techniques and the effects was also confusing because all my sentences looked like they started in a similar way.

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

I wish I wrote more solid transitions between paragraphs or links with each of the sentences. I could have used more advanced vocabulary throughout the essay to improve the overall quality too. The concluding paragraph wasn’t the best conclusion, and it could have been more concise or complete.

  • 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…)

It would be really helpful if we learned more about making transitions and creating an outline for our essays. I think I would also like more practice with annotating and recognizing various literary techniques quickly.

Robin Hood – Off Balance

  1. List 5 things that stood out to you from the videos: It could be something cool that they did, a unique way to deal with one of the challenges, or something interesting and creative.
  • Using a limited area to act out Robin Hood, which is a story taken place in various, large settings like the forest or the ocean.
  • Making sounds and background music only with the actors’ voices and bodies.
  • Dividing the limited space into two scenes, providing the audience with clear views for both perspectives of the situation.
  • Creating the background with the actors shaping themselves up like trees and waves.
  • Adding props using their physicality; creating a torch with a hand and forming a thrown with the actor’s bodies.

    2. Tell me WHY that stood out to you.
    They all stood out to me because it was an entirely different way to approach a theatre piece, while intentionally using limitations to make the performance more interesting and engaging. It was entertaining and fun to just sit and watch the video, and I didn’t get distracted even once.

    3. Take one of the moments that worked and explain to me in detail how they created it or acted it out and why it worked!
    One of the moments that worked was when the woman was running up the mountains to tell Robin about an upcoming invasion. Since the actors couldn’t act out the scene due to the lack of space, the woman, using two fingers, made a figure that looked like legs and pretended to run up another actor’s arm, which was shaped like the mountain roads. While the woman’s fingers were running up, she made panting sounds with her mouth and made tiring and desperate faces that conveyed what she was doing: running up the mountains as quickly as she could to meet Robin.

    4. Finally: Respond to the idea of the three challenges

  • Limited Space
  • Limited Technical aspects (lighting, sound, costumes, and props)
  • Limited time

    How did you feel about how they overcame these challenges? How might You use this technique to create something? What types of stories would work or not work?
     I felt like they intentionally used a small, limited space to perform since they transformed the limitations into interesting and engaging factors of the theatre piece. Robin Hood may have been difficult to act out on a rectangular piece of wood/panel, with barely enough space for all the actors to stand on, but they overcame these challenges by fully utilizing their physicality including their voices, bodies, and facial expressions. I think I could use the technique of creating the background or props using my body when I’m acting something out with my peers in class. Any type of story could work, but if the story is taken place in space or on a different planet, it would be much harder to act out the scene.

Beginning Mask Work

  1. What I did during today’s studio, lesson, class, workshop? (activity)
    I had some chance to connect with my peers, see everyone online, and engage in mask activities. I wore an expressionless white mask that covered and hides my facial expressions completely and started off by walking around in my room. This activity aimed to get used to the new surroundings since I have never worn my mask outside of school. After walking around and examining some features of my room and my carpet’s patterns, I chose a random object. My object was a giant stuffed pencil, which transformed into my boyfriend, companion, weapon, and treasure.
  2. How do I feel about the work I did today? (reflection)
    Even though I spend most of my time in my room these days, I felt more comfortable and like I knew my room better. Working in a mask allowed me to put all my concentration and effort into my movements and gestures. I felt a little awkward initially because I didn’t know how to react when I was told to do certain movements or treat the stuffed pencil as various things. Still, it gradually got better when I concentrated more on that situation rather than the feeling of awkwardness.
  3. What did I learn, discover or explore that was “new” to me today? (Perception)
    I learned that rather than attempting to make both the facial and physical expressions stand out, sometimes simply canceling one can have a bigger effect on the audience. Discovering many details and new aspects that can be found even in places I have seen or been in for a long time was also fun and enjoyable.
  4. What did I “see” or “experience” that I already knew about “theatre” today, and how was it “confirmed” to me? (Confirmation) OR What did I see or experience that ‘challenged’ my understanding or assumptions about theatre and how was it challenged? (Flexibility)
    I’ve never imagined that there would be a mask for hiding the actors’ faces and amplifying the physicality’s effects. Even after I saw the mask a few times before this class, it still felt weird. I thought the white, expressionless mask would catch more attention from the audience because that is what had happened to me, but as time passed, looking at a blank face was not that fun. Additionally, I had always understood “theatre” as an opportunity to act and perform with the actor’s face and sounds (voice), and mask work challenged my assumptions by proving me wrong.
  5. What was my major area(s) of strength and weaknesses in the work today that I need to focus on to become a better…. “theatre” person? (self-evaluation)
    One of my work strengths today had funny and interesting ideas to incorporate into movements and the overall acting scenes. My weakness, not only while doing mask work, is that I tend to get distracted by how others will think of me. It doesn’t affect me too much, but enough to make me self-conscious and a little stiff. Since I cannot focus on my acting or performing completely – although I try to – I usually regret not showing 100% of my efforts and feel less successful than I can actually be.
  6. Finally, think about how you might use today’s work in your future theatre endeavors. How might you use it, how might it connect, what might it influence in your work? (Application)
    Whenever I’m performing in a performance that includes acting, I can apply what I learned in today’s lesson to enhance my actions or movements that come along with facial expressions and sound. If I’m in a play or a musical, showing and displaying my character’s emotions through my physicality is definitely what I would find entertaining as an audience and an actor.




English 9: Book Analyzing

Date: January 5th, 2021

Title: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Author: Susan Collins

Comment: This book includes multiple literary techniques, and the one that especially stood out was symbolism. This book is about the time before Snow became the president of Panem, who was a mere Capitol kid that had just gone through the war, which resulted from the uprising of the districts – angry from the cruel, inhumane ruling –  against the Capitol, which ended as a painful victory of the Capitol. Susan Collins represented various emotions, situations, or background explanations through food symbols. For example, at the beginning of the story, Snow’s family loses its economic source from the war, slowly sinking in poverty. They start eating Lima beans, which is symbolized as poverty and the sink of power.

Skills Inventory & Tableau

1. What I did during today’s studio, lesson, class, workshop. (activity)
I first did our normal warm-ups and practiced rolling backward (?) After that, each theatre member expressed and showed a situation of the “diving accident” in three different tableaus using only our bodies. Although in the beginning, we were allowed to use the whole classroom without any limitations, for our final showcase, we had to stand on small boxes, like actual statues displayed in a museum. Towards the end of the class, we checked off our “skills” that will somehow be useful for our future Physical Theatre activities. We could use various techniques and skills, including humming, doing a cartwheel, and reading a map.

2. How do I feel about the work I did today? (reflection)
Unlike how I felt after my previous Physical Theatre class, I felt less comfortable and worried. Generally, I’m not a very athletic or flexible person, and never even thought of doing all sorts of tricks with my body. But in Physical Theatre class, those skills are the main traits that the actor should have to perform and make a high-quality scene for the audience to watch. However, if I work on improving those skills harder and try to come out of my comfort zone, I’ll gradually get better. I had so much fun with all the activities we did and felt glad to have signed up for this class.

3. What did I learn, discover, or explore that was “new” to me today? This can include the skills inventory. (Perception)
 I discovered many more skills required in Physical Theatre than simply knowing how to do a summersault and juggle. The Skills Inventory included numerous small and meticulous parts of the whole performance, such as knowing how to build a fire or running fast, which were interesting. It also allowed me to think of things like my “skill,” something that I can regard as proud of or considered a useful talent, and boost my confidence a little.

4. What did I “see” or “experience” that I already knew about “theatre” today, and how was it “confirmed” to me? (Confirmation) OR What did I see or experience that ‘challenged’ my understanding or assumptions about theatre, and how was it challenged? (Flexibility)
I experienced expressing my ideas through motions and gestures, in this case, drowning in the sea while diving, which was similar to what I did in Acting and Ensemble class last semester.

5. What was my major area(s) of strength and weaknesses in the work today that I need to focus on to become a better…. “physical theatre” person? (self-evaluation)
My major area of weakness is not being able to do most of the movements, such as doing a cartwheel or backrolling. In Physical Theatre, it is important and perhaps be a crucial factor in determining the audiences’ satisfaction level when watching the performance and raising the overall quality of the acting scene. I think that I’m pretty good at expressing myself and actually “act,” but since this class requires acting and needs more skills related to physicality, I will have to focus on gaining those skills and not being afraid to make mistakes.

6. Finally, think about how you might use today’s work in your future theatre endeavors. How might you use it, how might it connect, what might it influence in your work? (Application)
I think all this work can help me to reduce my stress and become more creative. Unlike when I’m formally studying in a quiet environment, I don’t get stressed out or tired after doing the Physical Theatre activities, and it will also help me stay healthy and fit well.

Skills Inventory P1

Skills Inventory P2

Final Acting Scene

  1. How do you feel now that you have finished the final acting scene?
    I feel relieved and happy since I prepared the scene for a few weeks, which was a really long period of time for me, and finished performing rather successfully. Even though I enjoyed the process of preparing with peers and performing in front of them, I did feel a little nervous and wondered if I could do it or not. Now that I finished, all the pressures are gone and I’m just glad that I made it. I also feel proud of myself for coming out of my comfort zone, working so hard, and succeeding in memorizing all my lines along with the gestures or motions. Plus, I’m really grateful to Jully for making it this far and being a part of the acting scene.
  2. I used to think/Now I think – in regards to preparing for your final acting scene.
    I used to think preparing for a play is much more simple than it actually is, thinking that memorizing lines and planning out the movements were all there was to it. But as the class progressed, I could understand that the steps to prepare an acting scene were greatly complex and sophisticated. Throughout the class periods, Jully and I practiced the lines, discussed our costumes, finalized the blocking, and documented our progress. By going through all those steps and reaching the end, I learned that every slightest detail mattered in a play and that all of those had to be planned out beforehand. If not, it would look awkward and weird to the audience, downgrading the overall quality of the acting scene. I think memorizing the lines and dressing up is very important since it is directly related to the flow of the scene and the concentration of the audiences, but the other minor looking steps and parts can’t be ignored. Considering all those things is what makes an acting scene better and fun.
  3. What did you do well? Your ensemble?
    My partner and I were able to find the best way to express the conflict between the two eyeballs with completely different personalities while standing still in our places. We had a particularly hard time nearly till the end because we couldn’t figure out how we would act out various scenes while staying still. At first, we decided to stay sitting down during the whole scene, but it gave us too many restrictions and limits to act and project the feelings to the audience. I
  4. What do you feel you could do better on in the future?
    I think I can memorize my lines quicker than this time since it took me so long to do so. I could have used that time to figure out my movements or rehearse them one more time.
  5. Connect the process of creating a character, developing performance and performance to YOU in the future.
    All of what I did in this class was really helpful to become more confident and not be afraid of presenting and exposing myself to the audience. Learning and actually being able to cooperate with other people while adjusting various ideas were also another trait I gained after finishing the final acting scene. It would be a huge advantage to me in the future as well because it all relates to being successful in life and socializing with others, not only peers but within different groups of people.

Socratic Seminar Reflection

* What you did well in terms of interpretation, analysis of literary techniques, participation, and your use of language?
I interperated pictures and the included text styles such as the font and the bolding. I also talked about Penelope and her dad’s situation and the character traits as well. When one of my peers asked a question, I answered them and added on to the student’s idea. I spoke up and participated in the socratic seminar four times in total, which was better than I thought I would do.

* What are some specific things that other students did well in their Socratic Seminars?
One student who I thought was really good spoke with clear and audiable voice, maintaining confidence throughout his turn. He spoke in full sentences, and didn’t buffer when he did.

*2-3 specific things that you think you could have improved on–with a plan for what you will do differently in your next Socratic Seminar.
When I was answering a question that was brought up during the socratic seminar, I was not fully prepared. So I fumbled for words which made me panic and come up with ideas that didn’t make any sense.

  • Be prepared to answer the questions that other students might come up with during the socratic seminar.
  • Try to speak more and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Speak in a coherent manner, without buffering or forgetting what to say in the middle of proposing an idea.
  • Never say something unrelated with the idea of the book or the context.