For this round, we read Animal Farm, an allegorical novel written by George Orwell. Our facilitator gives us a list of vocabularies from a certain chapter and together in class, we give them definition. I just wanted to highlight this particular story I wrote by using vocabularies from Chapter 9 & 10 in the book. As you read further you will notice that some of the words are bold, which indicates that that’s the word form the list. Enjoy reading. 

 

Murmurs, sobs and whispers were heard. On this certain day, the dark and morose skies only worsen everyone’s moods. People and citizens accumulated in front of the ancient lake.  The foul stench of a dead body wafted across the area, making people scrunch their noses in disgust. Last night, a kid had taken his own life by jumping off a cliff and drowning himself. The police worked diligently all morning, trying to find the identity of the dead body.  

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Dear Diary,

For the past few years, I have felt like the world’s against me. The constant gossips and whispers in my mind are imperishable and relentless. They keep telling me that I’m not worth what I am given, I am not strong enough to endure this life. I was making my way to class today, when I noticed kids in the hallway contemptuously staring at me. Fortunately, I reached my destination. I went to my usual seat, located at the end of the room. I looked around and heard hushed giggles from my classmates. They were staring at me weirdly. I shrugged and continued down the aisle of chairs and desks. I took a seat and that’s when it happened. The chair let out a painful groan before leaning to its side toppling over, bringing me with it. I landed face first on the floor. The pain was almost unbearable, my left cheek was throbbing. I squeezed my eyes shut as the pain subsisted. The class broke out in spontaneous laughter. I slowly got up, my face flushed and red. I stumbled before running to the school’s bathroom. I ran cold water down my face. The look on the students face had already intimated of what was going to happen, yet being the idiot I am, I ignored it. I came home that day, depressed and mad. The quarrel between my parents didn’t help to relax me. My dog, Clifford, came into my room. He knew that I was sad so he nuzzled his nose against my hand. My body shakes as I finally allow the tears that have long awaited to pour out. 

The boy perspective:

Reality washed over me, I was standing on the edge of a cliff. I have decided that I was just a burden to the world. I was shy and taciturn. I never fit well in social groups. My mom told me that I had a very depressing demeanor and I agree. The bags under my eyes make me look like I haven’t had sufficient sleep in ages. After I die, I wish there would be people to lament my death and that I was given a proper interment and with that being my final thought, I plunged in. The cold water hit me. It captured my body and slowly swayed me back and forth. My lungs constricted. My vision started becoming hazy and cloudy. Dark spots followed my line of vision as I finally gave in and let the darkness consume me.  

 

   

     This particular round, we learned about the Russian Revolution. We got to understand about the many events that happen during that time. Peasants were unsatisfied with how they were treated, and the limited rights they were given. The accumulating unsatisfactions led to many protests and arguments, ultimately overthrowing the Tsar Nicholas II.  Karl Max already predicted that with the many unsatisfied citizens and people, the revolution was inevitable. For the Russian Revolution Unit Assessment, I decided to write and deliver a speech in first person about my actual experiences during the Russian Revolution period. 

Russian Revolution Unit Assessment

     I’m Agnia, born on the land of a very rich nobleman. My life over the past few years has been nothing but a nightmare. My rights along with many others having the same status as me were taken away. Just because I was a peasant, I was disvalued and was considered a nothing by society and I think I’m speaking for all the peasants during that time when I say that our lives were hell. Today, I am finally going to share what my experience was like during the Russian Revolution. 

     I remember waking up very early in the morning everyday, just to check my appearance and see if I was looking a lot healthier than yesterday. But no, the dark patch under my eyes still hasn’t left. I mean I don’t blame it, these days my sleep was consumed by my thoughts. Oh, and if you were wondering what kind of thoughts I was having, it’s the thought of whether tomorrow I would still be able to see the sun or will finally join my family in the sky. My rib cage was still showing and my wrists were no bigger than a thin rope. Every morning for the last few years, I woke up and was always greeted by the sound of my stomach rumbling. 

     As a peasant, I had to work very hard under the scorching sun. I had to make sure I was able to complete my task without slacking off or else I would be beaten by the landlord. He carried a big whip whenever he came to see us. The whip that is stained by many innocent blood.  I remember that time distinctly when a boy fell asleep during work. The landlord came over with the whip and smacked him right across his cheek. The innocent boy was startled, not having enough time to register, another whipped came. This time striking across his other cheek. The boy stood body trembling almost like a wet dog. Blood was streaming down the boy’s face. He was then ordered to follow the landlord and never came back again. My hatred for the landlord grew and grew as each day passed. 

     You might be wondering about the whereabouts of my parents. Let’s just say they were too ill and are no longer of use for the landlord. I mean why waste food on peasants who can no longer produce results, right? Hunger murdered my mother. She died of a slow and painful death. She died with her eyes opened. She died regretting. My father on the other hand was tortured. He was beaten daily because he stole food from the farm for my mom and I. His body fell apart. Red turning purple bruises and scars appear on every inch of his body. The landlord whip murdered my father. Both of their bodies were thrown into the river. There are days when I wonder about the number of corpses that lie on the river bed. 

     Throughout my life, there were little moments where I cherish and one of the moments was when I joined in the October Revolution. I was one, amongst many who are not satisfied with how peasants were treated and how many died during the Bloody Sunday. As the name already suggested, it was bloody. The once white snow was dyed red. 100 of my kind died.

     The October revolution for us, peasants, screamed one word, Freedom. I worked tirelessly everyday to prepare weapons for Lenin. At that time, Russia was in chaos. Shops and Stores were shut down. The streets that were once roamed by many Russian were deserted. I did everything I could to support the Bolsheviks party. I was driven by hatred and the need for change in my life. The October revolution was successful and the Bolsheviks took full control of the government. 

     Life has been a lot easier since then. I am still working on the farm regularly but this time I had food to eat, not a lot, but sufficient for my needs. The bags under my eyes were slowly disappearing. The revolution had totally been a pivoting point in my life. I had finally regained my dignity as well as my sanity.

Reference

https://www.britannica.com/event/Bloody-Sunday-Russia-1905

 

Inside Out and Back Again Narrative Poem

Here’s a glimpse of the poem that I wrote in Literacy class while we were learning about refugee:

 

I started high school just one week ago, 

When my education had to come to a halt.

 

Any 13 year old girl,

should be in school,

Aiming high for their dreams.

Unfortunately, I am not any 13 year old girl.

 

I am an muslim Afgan teen,

Home is the place where I belong,

In fact, home is the place where most teenage girls like me belong. 

 

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If you are very intrigued with this piece of writing, feel free to click on the link below to read more. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S0rLJLDDGutQ9oyRRLtKc_ypp_VxDmceOTfjo2Ss7yg/edit?usp=sharing

How to be happy when you are discouraged

How to be happy when you are discouraged?

     In life, there will be times when you feel like you’re not good enough or you’re not appreciated and that’s normal. Feeling down when you are going through a hard time and no one is there for you? Or when you created something and showed it to other people and they say that it’s not good enough or it doesn’t matter. According to dictionary.com discouraged is having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened. “Oh, do you like to paint? I hate to break the news but it doesn’t look like you know what you’re doing.” How would you feel if people say that to you? Now you will not be confident in drawing or doing what you love anymore because you are afraid that people will judge you again. Feeling discouraged can lead a person to stop doing what he or she relishes. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at something as long as it’s something that makes you feel happy and special, then do it. Someone who is discouraged will always have doubt on themselves, what if it’s not good enough, what if no one like it, what if it’s not something they want. But what if they like it, what if it was good enough, what if they want it, you’ll never know will you, unless you show them. Think of being discouraged as a time in your life where you are knocked back on the path of pursuing your dream. You have to try different ways to get past and of course, like all journey there will be obstacles and hurdles on the way; There will be bruises and scars.

Love Yourself

Have you ever heard of the phrase “Love yourself”. I’m sure you are all aware of that. Self love is really important, understand that you are the one that is in control of your own life, choice or destiny. Being able to first encourage yourself, telling yourself you can do it is a very powerful thing that most people can’t do. Don’t have doubt in yourself, believe in your potential and the things that you can do. Know that nothing is more empowering than leaning for your own comfort and enjoying it. When you give yourself more love, you will be a person that is not easily discouraged. It’s not called “selfish” to once in a while make yourself a priority. 

Learn from your mistakes 

Imagine that you worked all night writing an essay for your professor and when you finally turned it in she said that your work was not enough and you need to be better than this. So what do you do next? You improve, learn what your mistake was and encourage yourself to do better. You can do better. Get stronger and never give in. 

Don’t Give Up

Often times when people feel discouraged they would want to give up on what they are doing. But remember this quote: “Before you give up think about the reason why you held on for so long.” If you give up, don’t you think that all the time that you use to work on that thing will be wasted. Don’t give up halfway, at least finish it and see how it turns out before deciding to quit. Know that giving up is not an option. 

It’s alright to not be fine

Remember that it’s ok to break, it’s ok to feel vulnerable, it’s ok to not be ok. Give yourself time, let yourself break but remember to get back up and heal. Spending more time with the people you love and supports you will enhance your mood. They will help you go through tough time by being alongside you. Consider going out with your family or start sharing your problems with friends you know you can trust. It will make you feel better to just let it out, you won’t have to worry about them judging you.

Back to Courage

Pam Stucky, author of several books including mystery stated “Just learn to be courageous,  If “discouraged” means having moved away from courage, then is the antidote as “simple” as “re-couraging” ourselves? Moving back toward courage? If courage is bravery, then maybe when we are discouraged, what we’re really feeling is fear. The further away we are from courage, the closer we are to our fear.” Don’t run away from your fear learn to face it and deal with it head on. Fear are only there to make you stronger. You can’t fear the same things for the rest of your life. To not be discourage also means for you to be encouraging yourself, learn to motivate other people if they are down, comfort them and make them feel better.

Discouragement is a common problem yet it can be dangerous. Remember that there are people in the world who like to point out the negative of people. Don’t be those kind of person, if you see something beautiful in someone, speak it. If you have learned how to do all the things above then before you even know it, you are back on the path to pursuing your dream. So next time when people tell you that you are not good enough, Kim Quindlen, a writer for thought co, wrote “Acknowledge it. Allow it to sting you. Address the wound, but do not allow it to seep into your soul. Instead, remember that no person can define you. Nothing can define you. Even you can’t define you in the moments where you’re feeling worthless or helpless or judgmental of yourself. You are figuring yourself out everyday, so try new things and stay committed to what you love to do. This doesn’t mean to not take other people comment into your work but to know which comments to keep and which to ignore. So keep your head held high and never give in to all those words that hurt you instead use it as a motivation to push you harder, for one day you will prove them wrong. 

 

Make the Most of your Learning

     For this round in Literacy, our theme was making the most of our learning. Unlike last round, we had a very specific theme but making the most of your learning is a very vague topic. We got to learn about managing our time and actually making our own schedule of what to do in class. The challenge for me this round is keeping tab with my work and getting things done. The first time when I was planning my own schedule, it was a little overwhelming, I didn’t know what I should put into my schedule and how I will complete it. Later on, when I had gotten used to managing my self, I found this strategy really effective because everyone have their own learning still and by not requiring task to be done in a certain order or in a certain way, students can explore lesson and find ways to understand the topic effectively. For me personally, I feel proud and the sense of relief whenever I saw a check mark in the box next to my task.

     This round we were also required to pick out a novel, and try to finish it by the end of the round. The book that I chose to read was “The Book Thief” written by Markus Zusak. I found this book to be really interesting, specifically in the way how the writer wrote. He wrote it in a very poetic way that might be a hustle for readers to try to understand what he wanted to convey. The book is also written in the perspective of death, which is a little strange because till now we don’t understand what death is, but when he wrote about how death comes and take people life, you are imagining death as a person or a character. One of thing that was in the book that help explained death was:

A Reassuring Announcement

Please, be calm, despite that previous threat.

I am all bluster- I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result.

 Page 7, The Book Thief.

     Overall, this round had been very successful for me, I got to discover my own learning styles and gotten to manage my own studies.

You are who you are

In Literacy each round we will have different themes to study about and this year theme is identity. Who are you? Where are you from? What makes you “you”? That’s a hard question, understanding yourself is not easy. We also wrote a poem about where we’re from by Levi Romero:

I am from clustered brooms and mop dangling off the floor,

from the sapphire clock and the rounded plate.

I am from the tall building.

(white, translucent that smells like soap )

I am from the spiky aloe vera

The slender logan tree

whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

 

I’m from gatherings and crowding around the TV,

from Donghe and Tommy

I’m from cooking and daily dusting

and from playing cards on chinese new year.

I’m from sleep early and do your homework

and little monkeys jumping off the bed.

I’m from sleeping under the billion shining stars

I’m from the warm and cozy womb of my loving mother and house by the river

slippery fishes and white porridge

 

From my mom being carried around by her brother,

when there were bomb and guns all around,

two loving parent getting married

On the wall was quotes, old pictures and art

a peek of faces in my heart that is no longer here,

I am from those wild and irregular strike of art.

By Soucheng Date 17/01/19

Identity is very important to each and everyone of us. We are shaped and influenced by many people that have entered or already left our life. Each one of them have gave us something: memories, lessons or blessing.

“You can’t fit in, if you were born to stand out”

This is a quote from the book wonder. Which is what me and my team read for this round. It is about a boy that is deformed and how he fight for himself. The book is very empowering and inspiring because it want to tell you to always be yourself and know your identity. Stand up for yourself.

 

Should school stop the practice of giving out grade?

     In literacy this round, we learned about how to debate and argue for or against a topic. We also did an activity which is called Philosophical Chair. Philosophical chair is an event that we debate for or against a topic. The topic is “School should stop the practice of giving letter grades to students. Instead they should only written feedback”. I think that school should not abandoned the letter grades though I think that it is not the best way to grade student but for now this is the only way that we can ensure how well the students is doing. According to quartz, it turns out that the things grades may measure are things employers value—being on time, getting things done, managing time well. In this sense, grades are doing what they are meant to do, measuring many aspects of student success. Grade is something specific where student can achieve their goals and tell them how they are doing. It’ll motivate them to try their best and improve. Letter grade gives students motivation and goal. Students can use grades to gauge where they are on the continuum between Excellence and Failure. According to the quad College administrators, politicians, and job-makers all hold grades as sacred. 

Well, what do you think? Should we replaced grade?

Old English

My calligraphy

For this year literacy, we did a themed learning and our theme was ancient English. We learned about different root words from ancient English. My favorite unit was unit 5 which is express yourself! The root words are dict, scrib/sciprt, and graph/gram. The origin from this words is Greek and Latin. In every unit, we did some analogies and sentence completion. At the beginning of the week, we also have a weekly assessment. My favorite words from this unit are the word calligraphy because in my free time I love to calligraphy quote to express myself. Doing calligraphy is very enjoyable and fun for me.

     We also learned and read about the story called “Poison” by Roald Dahl. In the story there are three main characters, Timber, Harry and Docter Ganderbai. Here’s how the story goes: Timber drove home and went into the house. He saw Harry lying on his bed awake and frozen. He didn’t even move, not even a bit. As Timber went in to get a closer look, Harry told Timber not to be loud and to come near him. Harry said that there was a krait laying on his stomach and sleeping. Timber wanted to move the bedsheet quickly leaving no time for the krait to even bite Harry but Harry thought that it was too much of a risk. Harry suggested Timber to call the doctor. Soon enough doctor Ganderbai came and injected some serum into Harry so that if the Krait bites the poison will not kill him. Lastly they wanted to remove the bed sheet. Doctor Genderbai said that the Krait might be anywhere it can even be on his pajama leg. Just then for first time ever Harry jumped out of bed shaking his feet but there was nothing there. There was no slithery creature coming out. Then they realize that there was no Krait in the first place. The doctor told Harry that maybe he just confuse it with something else. Harry called the doctor “India Sewer Rat”. At the end Timber apologize for what Harry said. 

     I think that this story is very detailed and uses all senses to describe which is easy to visualize. Some say that the story is kind of racist because of how Harry called the doctor and how Timber describe the doctor. Timber describe the doctor as “Small Indian doctor”.