- How many pieces have you written this year?
This year I’ve written 8 articles for the school paper, “What’s the Scene?!”; What to Expect This Year, Student Council Promises, Bye Bye Birdie, Cliques at LAS, SAISA Girl’s Soccer – It’s More Than Just a Game, Field Day, and a book review on How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid .I also made a video documentary on cheating at LAS, as well as an article based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey for the school magazine, “The reMIX.”
- Which story are you most proud of and why?
The story that I’m most proud of is probably “Bye, Bye, Birdie” because it highlights a key problem in the school(bird droppings in the gym) and I was able to write about it humorously and sarcastic, almost satirical writing is something I really enjoyed and I think other people in school did too.
- What was the most challenging aspect of this course?
The most challenging part of this course was keeping up with the deadlines, journalism is all about getting your facts straight and going right to the people for your information. This become incredibly hard considering people have their own schedules and they might not have answers for you when you need them which would lead to either lack of information or missing your deadlines.
- What do you need to continue working on?
I still need to work on the language I use in my articles because sometimes I have a hard time expressing the article’s situation and end up using the wrong words or end up making grammatical errors.
- What are the most significant things that you have learned in Journalism this year?
The most significant thing I’ve learnt in journalism is that you need to get as many different perspectives on your story as possible otherwise you may end up creating an article with a bias.
- What knowledge and skills do you think you will be able to apply to future learning experiences?
I think one of the key skills I’ve learnt through this Journalism class is proper time management, I had to get all of my outlines, questions, interviews, and stories in order before certain deadlines and I had to manage my time properly otherwise I’d have never finished any of my work. I’m glad I learnt it because I can now apply it to many other areas of my life especially college and what is to come ahead. The skills I learnt in this course are quintessentially the most important skills I’ve learnt in high school all thanks to this course and the patient guidance of my Journalism teacher.
“What’s the Scene?!” Story 7 – Book Review on “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid
The three most significant characters in The Awakening are those of Edna Pontellier, Adèle Ratignolle, and Mademoiselle Reisz. Edna, who married into Creole society, is conflicted about her place in the world and who she is due to her true nature and inhibitions being suppressed by Creole society. Mademoiselle Reisz and Adèle Ratignolle represent the choices that she has, the two people she could potentially be, the free outcast or the accepted conformist. While Adèle Ratignolle, and Mademoiselle Reisz remain mostly static characters throughout the novel, they highlight how much Edna’s character changes as the novel goes on.
Adèle is the ideal Victorian woman, “the embodiment of every womanly grace and charm” (Chopin 21), a doting wife, and a “mother woman” (Chopin 8); she is everything that Edna is expected to be but isn’t. Mademoiselle Reisz on the other hand, is Adèle’s foil, and everything that Edna wants to be. Reisz, unlike Adèle, may be ostracized and isolated from society due to her choice of lifestyle, but Mademoiselle Reisz is her own person, she can choose what she wants, and that’s everything that Edna desires. Edna doesn’t neglect her children, she does love them, but she feels that she needs to be her own person, “I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself.”(Chopin 46).
Edna was forced to conform to life in a Creole society where she “not thoroughly at home in the society of Creoles,” (Chopin 11) when she married Leonce. She gave up her childish, romantic fantasies before she got to live them, she lost a big part of her life, and as such she thinks it’s her right to live now, for herself.
Even before watching Carol Black’s Schooling the World, I was always a firm believer in the power of education and how important it is for people to receive it. Growing up I was always reminding by the people in my life that I was so lucky that I was getting an education, about how I was so lucky that I was always in very good schools. And while I always believed that education is a blessing, it was the luck part that sort of got to me. I didn’t want to be part of the lucky few getting such a good education, I didn’t want to be considered lucky because I was educated while many children my age were not, I wanted all the little boys and girls who I saw on the streets going to school too. Schooling the World sort of put everything in perspective for me, there are people willing to educate the less fortunate; there is hope in humanity yet.
It’s hard to understand the burdens of someone else when you’re not one of them, it was the problem that rose up with colonization and it is one that still exists today. While it’s understandable that exporting western-style education into developing worlds is noble, the westerners have no idea what affect they’ll have on the locals, not really anyway. Besides that cultural-clashing problems that could potentially arise, there is also a possibility of people not wanting co-ed schools, because most developing countries aren’t that willing to educate girls, particularly not with boys. There’s also the fact that people might not want them in their countries anyway, the Africans didn’t want the colonists but they showed up anyway but if westerners show up in developing countries without asking for permission, even though it’s to help, they may be perceived as a threat which could lead to hate and violence. There are several more psychological and sociological aspects that go along with exporting western-style education to developing countries, unfortunately, not all of them are “good.”
I think the Western-style of education does play a part in loss of culture because there’s no possible way that education and the things that surround you in your learning environment don’t play a part in your development. I think loss of culture means different things for different people. For example, people who are more conservative than myself might think that Pakistani girls wearing jeans and t-shirts instead of traditional shalwar-kameez portrays that Pakistan, under the influence of the west, is losing a part of its culture. However, personally I don’t believe that culture can be merely defined by what you wear, true culture is a mind-set, it’s the way you act and how you’ve been brought up. Western high schools do pose some problems in the way that, even though it’s a stereotype, American teenagers are more likely to drink than Pakistani ones. Using that logic students in LAS are more likely to drink than say a student from LGS or Scarsdale.
In the film, the following words of Gandhi were quoted: ”The foreign power will be withdrawn before long, but for me real freedom will come only when we free ourselves of the domination of Western education, Western culture and Western way of living which have been ingrained in us, because this culture has made our living expensive and artificial, both for men and for women.” To a certain extent I agree, because one must remember that culture is indentified as something primal or savage and in this context the laws and rules that come with culture are things that we are taught about from a very early age. They are what we grow up with, not something forced upon our primary knowledge, as most Western influences are perceived to be. However, this in no way means that I believe that western influences are all bad. We are living in the age of globalization, people are more connected now than they have been for hundreds of years, and while there are detriments to this such as war, there are also ideas being spread and people being connected. I think that for opposing cultures to coexist in the same area or even a person, there needs to be – for fear of sounding too cliché – a balance. You can’t just blame the west for wars and the destruction of lives and cultures, there are plenty of wars in the east too; every culture has its good and bad, so why not just take the good from each and apply that to our lives instead of focusing on the bad?
I think that the next steps should be taking this sort of program to places like Pakistan and Bangladesh, these two countries used to be a part of India and so they have similar demographics and maybe they will receive just as positive of a reaction if they head out there with this educational system.
What is your favorite scene in this play, and why? Favorite character? Favorite quote?
My favorite scene from Waiting for Godot was from Act II, page 48, the scene where Vladimir and Estragon in their attempt to alleviate their boredom have a pretend fight and makeup. I really enjoyed this part of the play because I’m a fan of rapid retorts between characters, they help me picture the characters as real as possible, and verbal fights are always fun, especially if you’re an objective bystander. For some reason this play really reminds me of one my favorite books in the world, Alice In Wonderland, and in this scene Estragon and Vladimir were like Tweedledum an Tweedledee, which is why I loved it so much
My favorite character is Estragon, mostly because he’s always getting injured and is the primary source of comic relief in the play. It’s hilarious to see how he can so easily infuriate Vladimir by doing nothing other than simply being himself. Estragon is a bit of a baby when he keeps whining and complaining about their food, and while that usually deters me from people, it’s important that he is the way he is because without it we wouldn’t get to see the considerate side of Vladimir, who is usually the more apathetic one.
My favorite quote from the play is Estragon’s line from page 51, “We are all born mad. Some remain so.” These words were spoken by Estragon who for once was aphoristic, which not only made me wonder why he was so unlike himself but also made me think that since he was profound for that one moment, that this particular quote was important. This quote is really deep because depending on how you classify the word, “mad” this is true. For example, in the movie Psycho there’s the quote “We all go a little mad sometimes,” and in that context being mad is a bad thing because it’s associated with killing people, however, in Alice in Wonderland, Alice tells the Mad Hatter “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are;” which is makes us see madness in a positive light. There are different ways with which you can respond to this quote and for me that’s what makes it one of the most interesting ones in the play.
Stephen Randall Glass was a former American journalist who became famous in the journalistic world for being responsible for one of the biggest scandals in journalism. He was a rising star at The New Republic (TNR) but he ruined any future he’d have in the field when he was caught for fabricating 27 of his 41 stories for the magazine. He was consequently suspended from the magazine, and fired, soon after.
I think this scandal really shook things up for journalism and the world in general, people wold be less likely to trust what they read/see on/in the news. Journalism is supposed to represent the search for truth but this sort of scandal just makes you wonder, where’s the truth anyway?
I applaud Chuck Lane for what he did to Glass, because not only was he right in firing him, but he also had to stand up to the rest of the staff, who at the time supported Glass fully. I was appalled by what Glass did and I don’t think there’s any excuse for it despite the fact that many of the staff members wanted to go easy on him since he was a “kid.” That’s another thing I have an issue with, Glass was 25 years old when he made these “mistakes” he shouldn’t be excused for being a “kid.” Yes, he’s young compared to many other people in the field, but so what? People are taught right from wrong at a very early age, he doesn’t have an excuse, at least not in my eyes. Besides, from what we saw in the movie Shattered Glass, Glass knew right from wrong. After all, he waxes poetic to David (a journalist who looks up to him) telling him that a lot goes into their work. People check, and check, and check, but then Glass goes ahead and thinks he can get away not having his “facts” straight.
However, perhaps the biggest “woah” moment for me was the fact that he didn’t seem to regret what he did at all, he hadn’t apologized to the people he’d hurt, he didn’t seem remorseful, and it just seemed like he was only there to promote his book. He seemed very nonchalant when he told the interviewer for 60 Minutes that he knows that people can’t trust him anymore, and I don’t know what kind of person can live with not being trusted by anyone.
I really don’t think that Glass learned his lesson at all, because sure he got fired and people aren’t going to trust him, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem with that at all. He has a new job now, and he got a six-figure pay-off from his book, he’s living the life. While I know he deserved to be fired, I don’t think that was enough, he deserves to be sued for libel as well. I’m surprised that no one has done that so far, because he did write slander about many different people and organizations i.e. Center of Science in Public Interest(CSPI) and Drug Abuse Resistance Education(DARE).
I strongly believe that people can change for the good, but its people like Glass that make me rethink that belief. I think I agree with TNR’s Literary Editor when I say “He has no room in my heart.”
As 2012 comes to a close so does my first semester as a senior, it’s been a busy and hectic coupe of months but despite it all I’m content to say the least. That’s probably because the classes I’m taking are: AP English Lit., AP 2D Art, AP French, Business Management, Office Fundamentals, Journalism, and Environmental Science, the perfect mix of challenging and easy.
While most of my classes seem super easy, I have problems just like everyone, such as with AP French, there are times when I don’t understand a single thing going on, but I’m lucky that Mr. Francois is always willing to slow down for us. APs are always challenging but I’m happy I haven’t crashed and burned in AP Lit. I’m glad I’ve read most of the books on our syllabus prior to taking this class. Like Hamlet, Heart of Darkness, Great Expectations, The Awakening, and Like Water for Chocolate. And it’s from taking and AP English for yet another year that I’ve realized what I want to do in college, a question that plagued me every time I went to the guidance office.
This semester was one that really made me think, I came upon a lot of realizations about myself that were border-line epiphanies. I sort of have a better idea of who I am and I hope as the year goes on that things will only get better.