End of Year Reflection:
- When looking at my Unit 3 – 6 portfolio, I see my greatest achievement has been the novel lecture theme presentation. I chose this specific assignment because not only was I able to feel myself go through a process to get to the point of creating a presentation, but the presentation also represented a multitude of new learning opportunities for me, in this class. For example, to get to the point of learning how to analyze the function of a certain character in our novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, I had to first understand the relationships occurring throughout the novel while reading. Because of my need to analyze and break down all the complex relationships in the book, I was able to learn the new skills of creating a character sociogram — something I’ve never done before. Therefore, when it came time to create the three different presentations for the novel assignment, I felt partially comfortable before even beginning the task because of the preparation I’ve done along the way. Also, the character sociogram stuck with me a lot throughout the entire unit because of how fresh the idea was, and it allowed me to incorporate my own creativity in interpreting the relationships by drawing symbols and designing the layout.
- When looking at my feedback on my work and Mastery Data (as found in Schoology), I noticed that my best pieces of work in this class were mostly presentations. This is rather shocking to me as I’ve always been very shy and cautious about expressing my views in class. It’s interesting to see how starting off at the beginning of the year with small table presentations, then slowly building to a full class presentation (although virtual) has helped establish my self-confidence, subconsciously. I would have never imagined finishing AP Lit with a better understanding of not only different types of literature throughout human history but also a better command of my own oral articulation skills.
- Considering most of the second semester was virtual learning, I’d like to say that I’m proud of myself for overcoming a multitude of obstacles, along with the reality of senioritis, to have continually searched for motivation in finishing all my courses off strongly. Between the passing of my relative and the whole coronavirus quarantine situation, it definitely felt as though a significant part of my life had just been ripped out of order. Things that I normally took for granted like hanging out with friends, going to the gym/pool, eating out, etc, were all no longer available to me. However challenging the whole situation was in the beginning, I’m glad it occurred because it led to a shift in attitude for me. I realized that I had to reflect and move around my priorities in order to have both an open mind during such dire times, as well as a better self-opinion of myself. I needed to stop worrying about trivial things like gaining some weight and comparing myself, and perhaps prioritize things I’ve never truly had the time to do; for example, I’ve always wanted to build on my French listening skills or start picking up sketching and painting after having to give it up in 8th grade. Once I made that shift in my headspace, I was able to work more productively and find the energy to keep being motivated while learning virtually without the help of 3 naps a day.
- When reviewing my goal for Semester 2, I can say that I have mostly achieved what I hoped for. In Sem 1, my main goals for this semester were, essentially, to have more time for independent reading or creative writing. With the coronavirus pandemic leaving us all doing virtual school, I’ve actually found a decrease in my workload and have used the extra time for my own learning benefits. For example, I’ve always wanted to go check out the bookstore in Hysan Place called Eslite, but with constant homework and tests throughout my whole HS experience, I’ve never had the time to slow down and relax without a hundred million reminders in the back of my head pushing me into doing something more “worthwhile”. However, since we’ve moved to virtual learning and things have seemed to be more laid back for me, I’ve been able to finally pick out books I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I’ve recently finished a novel by Mitch Albom, and have even picked up a modern poetry book after being inspired by our unit of poetry and the idea of “heart of the matter.” Being able to simply read and relax during this period of coronavirus has been keeping my mind busy away from negative thoughts on the world, whilst learning something new!
- Unit 5 EQ: What are the complexities and paradoxes of “family”? Throughout this whole course, out of all the books I’ve read for class, Hamlet has exemplified themes of family and how complex relationships can play out in different scenarios. For example, there was the common parallel theme of a vengeful son after the unjust death of his father in all three of the plot lines: Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras. This idea of revenge serves to show how Shakespeare believes in the power of family no matter how broken — it could be argued that this whole plot came about when Hamlet decided to take revenge on behalf of his father’s ghost. In order for Hamlet to take revenge, he must have had a certain degree of love or admiration for his father to be able to look past the absurdity of the ghost situation and believe when he says he’s Hamlet’s father, and that he was murdered. A strong parallel between Laertes and Hamlet’s families were also highlighted by Shakespeare as Polonius’ fatherly love through longwinded advice contrasted Hamlet’s absence of a father figure. It is the death of Polonius which served as the tipping point for more characters such as Laertes and Ophelia to suffer and eventually die, due to familial love for one another. Therefore, this play serves as a good overall message that family itself is simple; it is our love for one another that has the utmost potential to add chaos and complication to a situation. The love for family, no matter how broken the family is, is one of the greatest powers we hold within each of us.