This past week in class was a very good one. I felt like we did a lot and I learned a lot as well. We discussed story versus literature and how literature has more substance. This lead my table into talking about why we like reading more than watching movies because there is more substance there as well. Watching the movie is just like reading a little story and getting nothing out of it. When you read a great work of literature you become immersed in what is going on and every detail in the book is relevant to the plot and meaning.
This week we pieced a part the poem "I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain". We concentrated on the poetic element, imagery, and focused on the different perspectives of the speaker, reader, and author. At the beginning of the week I was very firm in opinions of the meaning of the poem, or what type of imagery was being used. I learned that opinions are important but sometimes they can cloud your mind. When looking at poetry or any other form of art it is best to keep an open mind about things and evaluate other perspectives. For example, I at first did not think that visual imagery was missing from the poem because it painted an image in my own mind. Later I learned that if I had read the poem from the speaker's perspective I would have realized that they do not describe visually what is going on. The absence of visuals really help the feeling you get when reading the poem which I have learned to enjoy and appreciate.
Besides all of that learning, there are some separate moments about this week that really stuck with me and will continue to stick with me the rest of my life. These have to do with all the different types of art we talked about and will continue to look at this next week. We are starting to take literature and compare it to paintings. I think this is very interesting when you look at it from the perspectives of the author or painter. Each has a motive to why they choose to create something and put meaning into their art. In class we watched a Ted Talk about art and how it is interpreted through other people looking at it. I learned that we are all selective and will not always find meaning or love every piece of art or even book we come across. In the Ted Talk the women showed a few pieces of art that stopped her and made her think about it for a while. I thought this was really cool how she did this and I wanted to do it for my own. I've been wanted to go to art galleries for a very long time but have not gotten around to it. Being in this class got me really excited and so me and a few of my good friends took a trip down to Grand Rapids for Art Prize to become immersed in the beauty of the city and the art covering every street. We went today (Sunday) and spent hours looking at really cool paintings and sculptures. Ironically we saw a sculpture of "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" like the one we talked about in class although they made it entirely out of wood and you can only see her face when the light is on at the top! SO COOL! ART IS SO AWESOME WHAT THE HECK!
Sorry this blog is extremely long and a little all over the place but I can't really think straight because of how in awe I have been all day. I will probably write more about how cool art is in a creative writing but to just recap, I am glad that this week gave me new perspectives when evaluating art and poetry in order to fully appreciate it!!
This past week we continued working on our summer reading essays and tried to finish up a rough draft. For me, I think that this essay has been pretty easy to write and working on it with someone else has showed me a different way of looking at the books I have read. It has been a little tough because sometimes having other people watch you write while working beside you, makes you feel almost “embarrassed” by your own thoughts and how you interpret things. By working on this essay, as well as starting to peer edit, I have been able to be more confident in my writing. I have been able to relate to my essay partner by learning things and even teaching things in order to collaborate well and write a good, information essay about the summer literature.
Again we have continued to do creative writing but this week in particular I have noticed myself gaining confidence through it as well. It is getting easier and easier to let loose and get all my thoughts out. Not only do we write about whatever comes to my mind but we also have college essay writing prompts. This helps a lot since I am starting to apply to college and will have to write about myself and my own triumphs. This is especially helpful because of the Common Application that has those standard essay prompts that you really need to try hard to express yourself in a way that separates you from others. The students that will stand out to colleges are the ones who do a good job at showcasing their own voice. Creative writing helps me a ton in getting me to show my voice instead of writing for a teacher to grade.
This week we continued working with other classmates but in different ways. We looked at our first poem that we would pick apart and discuss as a class. The poem was called "The Eagle" and it seemed that everyone had their own idea when trying to discover the meaning that the author was trying to convey. I thought it was very interesting how each person thought of a different aspect of the poem in order to interpret it in some way. It was very small, only being two stanzas, but we were all able to express the meaning in at least three paragraphs. I really enjoy working with poetry like this and being able to have my own thoughts about it. It is nice to know that there isn't one way to interpret something even if the author did not intend for the piece to do so.
Also this week, we started working on our essay that discusses the three books we read over the summer. This is a group essay so we are writing alongside one or two other people that read the same thing as us. Edgar and I are working on an essay that takes three chapters from "How to Read Literature like a Professor" and comparing them to the books "Caramelo" and "The Waves". We both have some good ideas for the essay and we enjoyed reading the books so it should not be too hard to write about it together.
Not only are we starting some new things in class but we have also maintained SSR and Creative Writing. I still really enjoy doing both. Creative Writing is very fun and I never want to stop. For SSR I picked the bood "A Clockwork Orange" and it is pretty horrorshow so far. I'm not going to lie, I have to look at a separate list of slovo's, (the nadsat glossary), in order to kopat it but I think that is part of the fun! By the end of the book I'm going to start to govoreet like the characters, but definitely not acting like them, my bog are they harsh. Ya viddy what I did there?
-essay-working with groups
-eagle piecing together the poem
The first week of AP Lit is over and I can honestly say that I have really been enjoying the class. I didn’t think I would, but I look forward to coming in every morning. This week we concentrated on ourselves as readers and writers, while simultaneously getting back into the motion of school. We started doing creative writing as well. I really like the way we do it in this class opposed to how it has been done before in other classes I’ve had. It is nice to write entirely freely, without anything holding me back from getting my thoughts written down. Everything I write is for my own purpose and I don’t have to let anyone see until I look back and revise. Another thing that I really like about this week is having actual, knowledgeable conversations with the people I sit next to. After writing the “Me as a Writer/Reader” and watching the video of college students talking about their own experiences, I was able to have good discussions with the people around me. We were able to talk about our own struggles and triumphs through reading and writing only to find out that we all have many similarities. It isn't just with the people next to us but also with the entire class. I love how the class is very peer based and that we all feel comfortable to talk with one another about any topic. Besides all of that, I also love having poetry read at the beginning of class, and even reading the assigned books (because they’re actually good!) I am excited for the rest of the year and look forward to learning more about literature while improving in how I read and write!
Lastly, to recap the summer reading as a little side note, I very much enjoyed each book that I read. "The Waves", "Caramelo", and even "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" were all very good. Something that really stood out to me in that last book was a little poem by Christina Rossetti called "An Echo from Willow-Wood". It doesn't have much relevance to the other part of my blog, but I though it was cool and wanted to share it!