U5 Portfolio Growth and Achievement Reflection

End of Year Reflection:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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!
  5. 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.


Final Reflection S1

Final Semester Reflection

Short answers (200 words maximum each):

  1. When looking at my Unit 1 and Unit 2 portfolio, I see my greatest achievement has been. . . 

The Great Poets Teaching Project. I loved the concept of the project, and how different it was from any other summative I’ve done in HKIS before. I think it was also a great way to learn because as students, we had to start thinking and planning like a teacher, understanding the work thoroughly ourselves beforehand, and experience how it feels to teach others. The dual perspective was very interesting to me.

  1. When looking at my feedback on my work (as found in Schoology), I see I still struggle with and/or I am improving upon. . .

I see myself improving on timed writings, as the first time I wrote it, I got a 5, and the second time, I got a 7. Besides simply the timing aspect, I feel like I’m improving on focusing more on the concept especially when comparing poems, instead of the details.

Also, from my formatives, I have seen myself improving in understanding literature quotes or poems and being able to annotate them.

  1. When looking at my process piece, __________, (drafts 1 – ?) this was my approach to improving that work. . 

In this course, all the assignments which required a process piece, like the SS interpretation, were new styles of writing to me. Therefore, the approach I took was similar to a trial and error, where I would attempt and test-out the waters to see what I’m supposed to do or not do in the first few drafts. If we take the SS interpretation as an example, because I have only written one of those pieces of writings, I feel the first time is like an experiment where it’s a learning experience in grasping the concept of an analysis paper.

  1. When looking at my Mastery data in Schoology for this course, I notice that. . . 

All my targets are A level (above or equal to 75%) except C4 — which has only one data point from the Dragon notes video. Also, mostly all my targets are ME.

  1. Having reviewed the semester’s reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking, as well as my collaboration, creativity, and resilience, a goal I have for Semester 2 is. . . 

My goal for Semester 2 is to read more literature and have free time to write whatever I would like. All throughout high school, the only books I’ve had time to read were assigned humanities/English ones, and I have not been able to choose the novels/authors I love to read. Also, I love to sing and music is a big part of my life — I would really want to try songwriting or even just translating thoughts in my mind into words on paper. Without having to study for the ACT/SAT or write any more college apps, I hope I can put that extra time to use.

My first impression of AP Lit. . . Now I know. . . 

I chose to take AP Lit because I loved my teacher in AP Lang and how that course went. My expectations for AP Lit before coming into class was for the courses to be quite similar. However, after experiencing this course, I feel it’s definitely very different in comparison, as analyzing literature is less straight-forward and fact-giving. Also, in my daily life, I tend to be more in contact with non-fiction writing that fiction and classics like Shakespeare were never really on my radar or taught to me in school. Therefore, this course was definitely challenging, as the skills I learned last year don’t really seem to translate over well, in terms of grades in this class.

U2 Dragon Notes Video

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4BLuSMdCSg&feature=youtu.be


In our project, we all discussed right after our initial read out at the island about our initial thoughts and what we believed was happening in the story. Therefore, we all worked together to form a framework of what themes the short story had, all the motifs/symbols, as well as choose who would speak about which themes. After writing our script, we all peer edited each other’s scripts to check for grammar, as well as recommend another perspective that one person saw which the other missed. This was the major way we made sure each person had a well developed and appropriate vocabulary which would be spoken in the video. I think overall our group was very collaborative as everything we did was very together, except initially writing our individual scripts and analyzing the short story ourselves. For example, we utilized class time really well in coming together to record and make sure our voice recordings all came together smoothly, under the time limit. Also, when we initially started brainstorming ways we could structure our whole video, I suggested the timeline of getting all the scripts done by the end of our class last Thursday, recording by Friday night, and sending it to Mili before the weekend so she would have plenty of time to piece everything together. However, because we did the analyzing of the short stories and wrote the initial script ourselves, there were a lot of things that we all noticed but couldn’t all say in the video — they’re included in each of our own supplemental docs. For example, to avoid repetition and to keep within time, I deleted my section regarding the symbols of Mr. Das’ camera, the children’s’ visors, Mrs. Das’ window and sunglasses, and Mr. Kapasi’s car rearview mirror, so Mili talked about some of those aspects in her section. Furthermore, because we split the timing so each person kept to ~2-2:30 mins of speaking, there were other reasonings and thoughts that I found related to my idea of desire and family difficulties which were not able to be included, but are found in my annotations of Interpreter of Maladies. In these criteria, C4+9+13, I would give myself EE’s.

Another thing which we all decided on was to create a google slides and put our images and citations up there so Mili could just screenshot the images or slide image and paste it into iMovie. With the images, we all did our individual citations and found our own images which would correlate best to our speaking. I decided to add some quotes next to the images on the slides as well to further demonstrate coherence, transition, and emphasis in the video, so any audience could follow along easily. Particularly in my own script, I made sure to create a balance of generalization and specific detail by first introducing and contrasting the basic problem of marriage and familial difficulties in both Mr. Kapasi and Mrs. Das’ lives. Then, I would dive deeper into exploring how those problems unfolded throughout the story through how each character’s desire emerged as a result of the problems in their lies and distorted their perception of one another’s style of communication. I included symbols and examples like Mrs. Das’ bare legs, the puffed rice snack, what Mr. Kapasi’s job as an interpreter truly meant, etc. In both these aspects of coherence and balance, I would give myself EE’s (C11, 12).