Friday, June 21, 2013

Learning Outcomes

I think the real question of this post should be, where did this spring semester go? But you know what they say…time flies when you’re having FUN!

So first things first…literary terms…I have learnt so many of them this semester, especially with this being my first English class at BYU (apart from ENGL 150). I have spent numerous hours looking over the terms list provided by Dr. Burton and this has really helped me in class and also in the midterms and final. Also all literary terms I have bolded or highlighted them in a different colour throughout all my blog posts.

I know the difference between the literary genres of fiction, poetry, drama and creative non-fiction. You can see this through the research that I have conducted for my final paper. I have also done a lot of outside reading during the semester, reading pieces of drama like ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ and also I developed a new found love for non fiction, reading and analysing Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell for my final paper, also The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis and currently the Steve Jobs biography.

In terms of literary analysis, you can mainly find this in my final paper and also in my different thesis statement claims. I have also been analysing aspects of specific words using The Oxford English dictionary, analysing different peoples opinions on The Beatles such as Outliers and I have also analysed The Beatles lyrics from various perspectives put forward in the film Across The Universe.

I have engaged literature creatively and socially by getting my paper peer reviewed and posting it onto the blog and getting thesis feedback from my classmates. I have also spoken to family and friends about their opinions on certain aspects of literature I was thinking of using for my paper. I took my paper to the writing lab and also had all my room-mates peer review my paper. I have also creatively applied literature by picking apart the lyrics of The Beatles song ‘Let It Be’ and put it into a wordle. I have also creatively used social media to get feedback about my thesis.

Using emerging communications tools can mostly be found in my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts about my final paper feedback in which I got lots of useful feedback. I have also been keeping up and making new friends on my goodreads account and have continued to try and master the program Prezi after using it for our group presenation. I have also learnt how to blog, create a google doc and use google +. I have made all my posts look aesthetically pleasing using different fonts, colours and sizes and I have also always included either a picture or a YouTube video in all of my posts.

As for my personal learning outcomes, I have expanded my knowledge of literary terms, I have memorized a poem and read more pieces of my own literature outside of class than I ever thought I would have. I have come to class prepared having read the assigned readings and have loved participating with my group and inside of the class. This class has easily been one of the best classes I have taken at BYU with its combination of fun, hard work and a lot of newly learnt material that I will remember forever. It has reminded me of how much I LOVE literature and it might have even persuaded me enough to become an english major. Thanks for a great semester everyone...its been real, its been fun…its been real fun guys! Well what more can I say apart from over and out.

Till next time kids, stay in touch

Cheerio xoxo

Non- Fiction and Flying

Fully prepared for my flight home with some non-fiction that I have been wanting to read for sooooo long! I already started The Great Divorce and am having trouble putting it down to write this post! Here is the synopsis for any of you that are interested in reading something short over the summer by the pool :) 

"The Great Divorce is C.S. Lewis's Divine Comedy: the narrator bears strong resemblance to Lewis (by way of Dante); his Virgil is the fantasy writer George MacDonald; and upon boarding a bus in a nondescript neighborhood, the narrator is taken to Heaven and Hell. The book's primary message is presented with almost oblique tidiness--"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'" However, the narrator's descriptions of sin and temptation will hit quite close to home for many readers. Lewis has a genius for describing the intricacies of vanity and self-deception, and this book is tremendously persistent in forcing its reader to consider the ultimate consequences of everyday pettiness."

The Race

One of my goals for this semester was to be able to recite a poem. I decided to pick a poem called The Race by Dee Groberg because it is my favourite poem and my parents would read it to me all the time as a child. It is simple but still has a really good message today and is something that I want to be able to recite to my children and grandchildren. I pretty much have the whole thing down, give or take a word a two here and there. Hope you enjoy the poem. 

    Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
        my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
    A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
        excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
    They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
        or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
    Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
        and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

    The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
        to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
    One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
        was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
    But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
        the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
    Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
        and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
    As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
        Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

    But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
        which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
    He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
        and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
    So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
        his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
    He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
        “I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

    But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
        with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
    So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
        “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
    Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
        but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
    Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
        “There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
    I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
        But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

    “Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
        for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
    Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
        You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
    So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
        and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
    So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
        still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
    Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
        Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

    They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
        head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
    But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
        the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
    And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
        you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
    And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
        “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

    And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
        the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
    For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
        And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
    And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
        another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

The Story Of My Paper

I started this paper by having absolutely no idea what to write about because the assignment was so open and the possibilties were endless. But then I realiszed that I don’t normally get the opportunity to write about anything I want so why not write about something that I love? Sooo I decided to write about The Beatles because they are my favourite band and being in the poetry group I thought it would be interesting to analyse their lyrics like I would analyse poetry. Once I had the idea I was set and the ball couldn’t stop rolling….

Firstly I wrote out 5 thesis statements under the different categories of claim, definition, comparison, cause and effect and evaluation. I got some great thesis feedback and decided to take parts from both my evaluation and cause and effect claim to create my final thesis.

My second phase was then research, research, research, I got different interpretations of The Beatles lyrics by watching and analysing a film called Across The Universe, I also watched a documentary on BBC called ‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin.” All the above gave me a really in depth insight into how The Beatles affected Russia and the historical context at the time. This then got me onto writing my first draft.

I got feedback from my first draft from the writing lab, my room mates and family members and lets just say this lead to me re-write my essay plan as I had far too much historical facts in my paper and not another analysis at all. I decided to delve deeper into the lyrics by analysing one of their songs revolution and picking apart another one of their songs "Let It Be” word by word and presenting it in a wordle, this helped a lot and gave me a really good starting point for the analysis part of my paper.

I also used resources such as The Oxford English Dictionary when digging deeper into the lyrics and what specific words meant and what messages they were trying to convey from their word choice, this proved very interesting and will be an effective part of my paper. I also read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell as he has some strong opinions on The Beatles and why he thinks they were so successful, it was interesting to see a different insight and I ended up reading the rest of the book and loved it.

Lastly, I posted a question…what are the first 5 things that come to your mind when someone says 'The Beatles'? on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This really helped me get an insight into what people, especially our generation thought The Beatles were actually famous for and what they were typically known for.

After all the above and many hours sitting staring at my computer screen the final product is finally here, hope you enjoy! 

How I Met My Learning Outcomes: Summing Up a Whole Semester into a Few Words

Since the Midterm, I have continued to progress in the "reading new books" department. I was able to read a lot of Modernist literature in preparation for my final analysis paper and spend some time trying to understand their respective points of view. I read "The Great Gatsby" and "Tender is the Night" by F. Scott Fitzgerald in order to read more of the works by my favorite writer. I also had good experiences with poetry by T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. I got a little tired of Ezra Pound's Imagism and trying to decipher the various poems without the trusty aid of a Urrim or Thummim. I enjoyed reading Hemingway's short stories and experiencing the alienation and yearning of the "Lost Generation." As it stands, I still want to read more novels from different genres and periods.
There is no reason for this...I just like Monet.

Social Media

I'm not the biggest facebook or social media person as I like to remain mysterious haha! However, for this assignment I made an exception and posted my thesis on Facebook and got some great feedback, I also did the same with my Twitter.

I also Instagrammed this picture with the same question underneath. What are the first 5 things that come to you mind when someone says 'The Beatles'? I got some great feedback and it made me realise that our generation especially only knew them for a few of their famous songs and the image of them walking across Abbey Road. This inspired me even more to write my paper about how influential their lyrics actually were. 

I really like this picture that I posted to instagram because I think that it really puts across the idea that I am getting at in my paper as most people didnt even realise that this picture was of The Beatles. It makes you question, What do you know about them? And what are they really famous for? 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Essay Plan

Being the planner that I am I decided to re-do my essay plan after going to the writing lab, here is what I came up with...