This week has been a crazy week...or maybe it just feels like that. The first week of the new Trimester
The past week has been very interesting and full of lots of growth in all sorts of areas. By watching everyone's "This I Believe" videos, I feel like I learned so much about them and who they are. The "This I Believe" website says that the purpose is for people to share essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives and I feel like that's exactly what we did. I learned things about each person that I never knew before, and felt like I had a change to look into the essence of who they are. You understood why people the way they are, and why they do what they do. I've always been a pretty open person, but I feel like this project made me put it all out there. By sharing something that was so personal, I had the opportunity to show my classmates who I really am and what I value.
I'm going to be honest. When we first started working on that project.....I....HATED it. Absolutely hated it. And it was one of the hardest school projects I have ever done. Usually I can knock out a project in a couple hours, but this was not the case with this project. It was so hard, but once it was done, I just wanted to show it to everyone! And I pretty much did. I showed it to my family, my friends, people at my church, family friends, everyone. I felt like I finally had something to show people that represented exactly what I believe, and I am so proud of it. It's a documentation of an awesome experience, and a belief that is core to who I am.
Also, lots of cool things have come from my video. I have had lots of conversations about my belief, and have also had the opportunity to share it with many people. We showed it at a Thursday church service, everyone on staff watched it, and Mr. Schoenborn even asked to show it to a Christian group that he belongs too. This video has had more of an impact than I ever expected it would.
This week we worked on our "This I Believe" projects. I've struggled a lot with that writer's block I was talking about last week. I've made progress though, because my essay is almost completely done. I ended up changing my belief after writing the bulk of my story.
This week I actually learned a lot. I’m not afraid of sharing who I am and what I believe. There are many things I fear but that is not one of them. I’m not afraid of telling people who I am, but it’s hard to get that out in a clear and understandable way. Who am I? What do I believe? But most importantly how do I say that? These are questions that have been haunting me all week. My main dilemma is this:
How do I talk about Jesus in a way that moves people but doesn't sound like it came off the cover of a cheesy Christian book? How do I talk about fear in a way that is honest and vulnerable, but doesn't open me up to hurt and judgment?
This is something that I have been working through all week. I've heard of writer's block before, but I've never experienced it...I think I'm experiencing it this week. On any given day I can crank out a solid essay within an hour, but for some reason this essay has taken me daaayyyysss to even get more than 2 paragraphs. I've written and scrapped about 5 essays now. My plan is to just write. Just write and get it all out even if it sounds really bad. That way I something to work with, and then I can go through and make it actually sound good. When I've tried do this before, I would always go back and analyze what I just wrote because I thought it sounded dumb, but I'm at the point where I just need to write something - dumb or not.
At this point I am feeling frustrated because this project has been so challenging for me, and I am not used to that. I can't help but think the little thoughts every once and a while of "why are we doing this" and "this is dumb" and "there is no point to this", but then I think about the videos we watched and think "okay, yeah, that is pretty cool" and "i hope mine can be that cool". Outwardly I'm saying, "I'm done with this" but inwardly I'm thinkin "Not quite yet..."
This week we had two poems of the week: The Whipping by Robert Hayden, and My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke. The first time through, both poems seem to be about abuse/beatings. In "My Papa's Waltz" though, as you read you begin to see multiple meanings appear
This week was supposed to be the end of the marking period, but PRAISE THE LORD it's not!! We have accomplished a lot this week as far as our project goes. I'm really enjoying the group I'm in and I think we all work very well together. So far this week we have picked our songs and art, made an outline, and begun our presentation. Everyone in the group has a different job and we collaborate together depending on what we're working on.
My main focus this week has been catching up on work that I've missed, and working on our presentation. Christian has been working on the videos for our presentation, Maddie has been working on the Cornell Notes, and Sage and Brenna have been working on our proposal/paper. Then we all kind of look at all the work and put in our individual opinions. I like the method we are using a lot because it feels much more organized than other group presentations I have done in the past. Past group presentations and projects have always been such a headache for me because we all sit down and try to collaborate and decide on something and write it right there. This is easier and much more efficient because one person starts and then everyone edits later to add more detail and perspective. I'm very happy with how our group has gone.
Our goals for next week are to wrap up our presentation and go over what we are going to say. We want to make sure we smooth out all the bumps before we actually present to the class. We got an F on our proposal and a C on our Cornell Notes, so today we went back and looked at them to see how we could improve. I have a really good feeling about our work and know that we have put 100% into it.
This week we watched Macbeth's head get chopped off and carried around like a trophy. This week mainly consisted of watching the rest of the play Macbeth. When we first began watching this play I was completely lost. None of the words or conversations made sense, random witches were doing weird dances, people we killing other people, and some lady walks in with arms dripping with blood. I had no idea what was happening. As the week progressed though, I began to decipher the language and mostly understand what was going on. There are some parts that I was confused as to why the things that were happening were going on, but I think that's the nature of the play. It's supposed to be twisted and almost demented.
There are many complex psychological things happening in this play. Each character goes through many ups and downs and you find yourself feeling whiplash from all the crazy swings. Macbeth, specifically, is all over the place. At times he is a vicious, power hungry, crazy person but at other times he is afraid and scared like a baby. The thing that is going to be most difficult in our group is trying to incorporate all of these thoughts into one coherent and formal statement. When collaborating in our group we are often saying things like "Yeah the wife was super psychotic and crazy!" or "Macbeth was acting like a whiny baby!", so we're going to have to rethink and clarify these ideas to ensure that they make sense. If we say things like that, people who didn't watch Macbeth are going to have no idea what we're talking about because it's too general. After break we are going to have to really hunker down and think deep about what we need to say in order to properly inform the rest of our class. It should be good though! See you after break!
What a relief...Andy is back! Now our class can stop running rampantly in total confusion! This week we are refocusing and getting to work on our projects. We chose groups, movies, and topics and began watching the movie we selected. My group is Maddie, Brenna, Sage, and Christian and we chose to do Macbeth.
We are studying Macbeth from a psychological analytical view. From what I know about the play Macbeth, this should be a very interesting topic because the characters a psychologically complex. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are power hungry, and kind of crazy, murderers who want control. That's pretty much all I know about this play, but I'm very excited to learn more and study the deeper meanings. While I was also interested in King Lear, I know nothing about that play so I chose the one that I at least know bits and pieces of. I think I heard that King Lear is more violent? But I'm not sure...
My personal goals for the week are to get back on track and crack down on the tasks at hand. I need to really focus on my Independent Reading project, as well as the Macbeth project. I like that we are going to be watching Macbeth rather than reading it because visuals help me to better understand what's happening. Sometimes when reading, especially older plays and books, I get lost in the language complexity and lose sight of what is actually happening. Watching it will give me a visual representation of what is happening and help me connect the words to actual occurrences.
I'm excited to see what our group is going to come up with because we are all deep critical thinkers who all think from different perspectives. I think that if we are able to come together and get a single coherent presentation, it will be one that is very well rounded and planned out from all angles. The only hard part will be bringing all the different views together.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.
The poem of the week for this week was Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy. At first glance, this poem is almost morbid and gory in its description. The third stanza talks about the girl cutting off her own legs and nose as an offering, and the final stanza describes her in a casket with everyone talking about how pretty she looks.
It's sad because this is seen many times in society today. This is the source of eating disorders, body image issues, low self esteem, and sometimes even suicide. One mean comment can completely change someone's life, which in this case it did. That one classmate who told her she had "a great big nose and fat legs" changed her life forever. She went on trying to please everyone but in the end she ended up sacrificing herself.
"In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said."
Her "happy ending" was when everyone finally thought she was beautiful. She had lived a whole life of sadness, trying to look like what society told her she should look like, achieving that only when she was dead.
"Consummation at last.
To every woman an happy ending."
It's Halloween!! And I'm so excited, because I frickin LOVE Halloween. Everyone's all dressed up and there's candy and treats and just a lot of fun. I love passing out candy and seeing all the cute little kids dressed up like Spider Man or Cinderella or a Firefighter. I love seeing their faces light up when you drop pieces of candy into their pumpkin shaped buckets. It makes me miss how simple life was when I was 6. Those elementary years were so carefree and just fun. You had holiday parties, and brought in snacks for the whole class when it was your Birthday. You celebrated everything when you were little! I wish it stayed like that as we got older.
Two days ago the little girl I babysit for turned 7. As I was talking to her mom and she said that Mady was SO excited for her birthday and could not wait to go to school and celebrate with her class. I told her to tell Mady, "Enjoy it! Sadly, birthdays aren't as big of a deal the older you get." and this is so true! Why don't we celebrate things like birthdays and holidays that much anymore? Why, as adults, do we not place as much value on these things? I think we need to bring back the Halloween parties in the high school. I mean half the kids at school aren't even dressed up today! What is that all about? Let's get back to basics and enjoy the simpler things in life. Happy Halloween.