Half of this week was spent doing our first presentations for the class. Whitney and I were the first group to present and we were actually not nervous at all. We had worked very hard in order to plan out the most important information that we wanted to talk about. Also getting really in depth with the topics helped make us real comfortable when talking about it in front of the class. We decided we wanted the whole presentation to seem very laid back and styled sort of like a Ted Talk. Our goal was to follow the structure of the what is now versus what could be and try to teach our audience why the elements of fiction we chose were of very high importance.
I think Whitney and I did a great job presenting. We were able to work well with each other, making our presentation look like an intellectual conversation we were having. We were good at staying on topic and finishing and picking up new thoughts to make our entire talk flow.
I do think Whitney and I have some areas to improve as well. Watching other presentations from class and hearing our grade I realized we really lacked in pictures and an overall visual. We were so focused on what we were going to say that we neglected pictures to captivate the audience, which don't get me wrong, the substance of the presentation was a huge part of the assignment. Although when learning about a topic, I do agree that the audience is intrigued by sound and visual. Once you take away one of those the mind of the people watching starts to drift. I really liked Isra and Sela's presentation because not only did they have intelligent things to say about their topic but they also had very nice visuals that kept me intrigued.
For the first week of the new marking period we wrapped up reading our short stories and started to create our presentation. We decided to outline it first on paper so it will be easier to put it all in a Prezi. We focused on the most important information of our topics. For Point of View we talked about how using a specific type can help the reader understand the piece in a different way. I thought it was cool how a limited point of view can help you relate to the main character and put yourself in their shoes. I also like how the objective point of view lets you be creative and infer the feelings of every single character in the story. It also allows for an unbiased piece because the author cannot say how the people are feeling, only what is going on.
We have yet to outline our other element of literature, Structure, but looking at it now I think Whitney and I are off to a good start. We have been having good discussions about out presentation and are trying hard to figure out the "so what?" question. Being in groups for projects like this one helps the members bounce ideas off each other and figure out what the most important information is. We are determined to make an influential presentation that captivates our viewers and teaches them a thing or two about why these elements of Literature are extremely influential to the main idea of a story.
Whitney and I also discussed the theme of our presentation in regards to format and colors in order to set an overall mood. We spent some time just figuring out the color scheme because we know how influential that can be to help showcase the central idea. If you were presenting something that was very sad and gloomy, you would not want to make your presentation very colorful and bright since there isn't a correlation and you would risk confusing the emotions of the people viewing. The same goes for every presentation.
The end of the first marking period was this Friday meaning that we had our first free response essay on the novel we read instead of the poem of the week essay. I found it easy to write because there was a question that highlighted the whole basis that the book was on. Also my book was SO GOOD. The question I wrote about was how scenes of violence in works of Literature contribute to the overall theme. "A Clockwork Orange" is all about violence so writing about it was easy. I wanted to expand and talk about all the topics because of how much I liked it. There were so many themes intertwined it was hard to pick just a small portion to write about. I'm really glad I've been keeping up with my reading at that the pieces we have read are actually of interest to me. I love to read but sometimes I get lazy or distracted by other things. Being able to read a good amount of Literature in class helps me make time for it outside of class.
Also due this week was our 750 words of creative writing. This was even easier to do because it was just revision. I like this too because it can be fun to look back at your writing. Sometimes I'll journal when I'm extremely tired before bed and then I'll read it weeks later and surprise myself with how well I wrote a particular piece. I think the creative writing we do in class is the same way. I was very interested with what I wrote and was excited to clean it up and make it into something I was proud of.
Finally, we were still continuing with the short story essays. Whitney and I were able to finish up reading about Point of View and Plot Structure and start to read some of the stories. We read "The Story of an Hour" and both really liked it. It had a surprise ending and some sad irony to it that made it an enjoyable read.
With delays and days off it was hard to get a lot of learning done and have multiple discussions with the class. However, we were able to talk about this weeks' poem, "Bright Star", and discuss the different perspectives that one poem could have. "Bright Star" involves a speaker discussing the love of his or her life as if they were a bright star, forever unchangeable. We talked about putting ourselves in the poem in order to relate to it and find a deeper meaning when we compare it to our own lives. I personally thought this was a good way to help look at the poem. You could look at this through the eyes of the speaker, the speaker's love, or even the star. I have had different situations where I have experienced all three perspectives, although at this moment in time I was able to relate most directly to the speaker's love. Looking at it in this perspective helped me put the poem in a situation similar to my own.
We also looked at how the poet used an apostrophe in order to bring the different perspectives to life. This term meaning to personify an object, in this case it is the star. I think this is very important when trying to evaluate a poem so you can figure out the true feelings of the speaker and to help discover a deeper meaning to a poem.
This week we also started to dive into our essays. I am working with Whitney on this project and the two elements of literature we chose are Plot/Structure and Point of View. We thought we would be able to put a lot of thought into both of these elements and the stories we chose that coincide with them in order to create a well written essay and a good presentation. I think this project will come fairly easy for us because of our previous knowledge on the topics and the information we have most recently learned by taking AP Literature.