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To Do List, Not To Do List

June 3, 2010

So here I am. Done with the sophomore year. Afraid of Junior year. Looking forward to graduation.

With just about one and a half of school left, I carefully reflect back on my sophomore year. When I was halfway through the year 09-10, I wrote down what I determined to do in the journal called, Good Bye 2009, Greetings 2010! Also, I completed a reflection on the first semester, which was mainly on what I need to learn. This time, it’s about what I’ve learnt. Through English 10 course, I became more familiar with literary terms. While reading Dracula, I obtained a thorough knowledge on Gothic Literature. Gothic Literature has many factors involved in the novel, including architecture, characterization, supernatural, love, and pathetic fallacy. Especially, as I was writing a one-paragraph essay on the elements of gothic, I was given more chances to familiarize myself with them by finding each of them in Dracula.

Another ability I’ve gained is finding themes in novels. I am currently reading Brave New World by Aldoux Huxley and detecting diverse themes in the novel. For example, Aldous Huxley’s message towards necessary sacrifice of individuals stands out in chapter 15. Also, I can now connect these themes to bigger ideas, including relating it to our society. When I was given the theme, ‘individuality is harmful to community,’ I was thinking, ‘Is that true in our society today? Is individuality still harmful to community?’

Literary device is something I learned through class. Before, I didn’t understand juxtaposition, irony, or the difference between metaphor and simile. Now, I can locate where those terms are used in the novel and with what purpose those terms were used for. And because I am now able to incorporate diverse literary devices in my writing, my sentences have become much more interesting. I can deliver my messages more directly and clearly.

Lastly, through Discussion Leaders Activity, I’ve learned how to ‘lead’ a class discussion. It was very difficult to create thoughtful questions and make sure that students come up with appropriate responses. The time management was also quite challenging. It seemed as though the group was always running out of time. I’ve improved on analyzing the key passages in the novel and reporting what I’ve found to the class. As a participant of the discussion, I learned how to answer questions creatively.

So that’s what I learned in a year worth of english course. There were many projects that required some hard work, while there were essays that needed to be written with tremendous amount of research. However, I am satisfied with my work today and proud that I’ve improved this much.

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