Year-End Reflection

Year End Reflection

When looking at my Unit 3-5 portfolio, I see that my greatest achievement has been public speaking. I had a great experience delivering the novel lecture and participating in the shared inquiry about Hamlet. The latter is even more significant given that I’ve always been intimidated by Shakespeare’s works. My portfolio shows that I have not only been able to understand and develop my comprehension of Shakespearean text, but also be confident in my interpretations while sharing them with students. Overall, this semester has offered me many opportunities to grow as a reader and speaker. “The Book Thief” and Hamlet really challenged me to convey complex themes and ideas in a coherent manner.

When looking at the feedback on my work throughout this semester, I noticed that I still have many ways to improve my writing. Through my revisions of AP questions, my mastery of basic thesis formulation, evidence, and reasoning means I can move on to more nuanced aspects of writing such as style, coherence, and organisation. This is a process that I will continue in college and is very evident in my gradebook.

I don’t have any real complaints about second semester being mostly composed of virtual learning. I felt that it offered a great opportunity to judge our work habits and discipline given the vast array of potential distractions. For me, it actually gave me more time to delve deeper into the books I was reading. Of course, I did miss face-to-face interactions with my friends, but everyone could benefit from some alone time for self-reflection. Above all, virtual learning helped us develop resilience in the face of adversity. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity.

I entered Semester 2 with a goal to develop a personal reading schedule to read more books outside of class. I have accomplished this goal to a certain degree – I have developed a habit of always setting aside at least 15 minutes a day to read for pleasure. Although AP season is making this harder, I’m sure I can get through it. I also entered Semester 2 with a goal to have fun, and through working with my classmates on numerous projects, I can confidently say that I’ve achieved that goal.

One EQ that jumped out for me was Unit 5’s question: What are the complexities and paradoxes of “family?” I feel like this question has become extremely relevant over the past few months, as all of us have spent considerably more time at home with our families. I’ve come to the conclusion that family is an idea that rests on love regardless of how much conflict it endures. Rosa Hubermann, Liesel’s foster mother in “The Book Thief,” might come off as foul-mouthed and unlikable at first, but we quickly come to realise she treasures Liesel like her own daughter. Rosa works hard to bring in enough money for the family, Hans (Liesel’s foster father) scrapes together money for books (roll credits), and they weather the storm that is World War II era Germany together. It’s clear that nothing can break the fundamental bonds of love that hold a family together. “Family” could be a paradox in the sense that the people you hate the most are the people you love the most. As teenage children, sometimes our parents might come off as unbearable. But at the end of the day, they are still the most important people in our lives.


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