All posts by Jasper

June 1st IRJE

In Chapter 5 of The Giver,  Just as they share their feelings at night, each morning the families in the community share their dreams. Jonas tells his family about his dream, his dream was that he was in a bathing room trying to get Fiona to take off her clothes and bath with him, but she keeps refusing. Soon After when Jonas’s father and Lily leave, Jonas’s mother explains to Jonas that he is experiencing Stirrings, which is very normal for his age. Jonas’s mother then gives Jonas a pill and tells him that he must take one of these pills everyday in order to stop the Stirrings. Jonas then remembers that his father and mother take a pill every day, and he has even seen Asher taking one also. In addition, the Speaker occasionally issues reminders over the loudspeakers that Stirrings should be reported immediately.

Jonas is now really proud of himself as he thinks that he is such an adult the he now has to take the pills, however, he also remembers the pleasurable feelings in his dream. He misses these feelings once they disappear when he takes the pill.

“Then, in the same way that his own dwelling slipped away behind him as he rounded a corner on his bicycle, the dream slipped away from his thoughts. Very briefly, a little guiltily, he tried to grasp it back. But the feelings had disappeared. The Stirrings were gone.” P. 39

I find this particular passage intriguing. This passage is a first glance a description of the effect after taking the pill to eliminate the stirrings, however, after putting some thought into it, I realized that it also shows the momentary nature of the emotions and memories in their society. Instead of embracing natural human emotion, in this case being the stirrings, Jonas’s community managed to find several solutions to erasing these emotions as a whole.

 

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May 21 PW

Which season of the year do you like best? Why?

I like winter the best. This is because there are several wonderful things that would happen in this season. First of all, we got Christmas Holiday in winter. That means I could have time to relax myself as I would be free of homework for 2 weeks. Instead, I could go to eat all sorts of nice food like hot pot and buffet meals. I could attend Christmas parties too. During that time, I would go back to Hong Kong, so as my friends who study in United Kingdom, United States and Australia. So it is a perfect time for gatherings and reunions.

In addition,  winter in HK isn’t that cold. The coldness is acceptable. Some foreigners would consider it as cool. I don’t think it is cool but I would prefer winter more than summer. The summer in HK is hot and humid. I think the heat in summer is intolerable in HK. For winter, you can always add layers (to wear more) if you feel  cold. However, if you feel hot, there is no way to take off your “skin”. If you want to stay cool during summer, then you could only stay indoor with air-conditioners on. I don’t like to stay indoors all the time, so I don’t like summer. Also, I don’t like spring in HK is because it is a really humid season in HK and everything you touches feel sticky. I hate that feeling so I don’t like spring too. In fact, Autumn is not that bad in terms of its weather. However, winter is better because of the long holidays.

In conclusion, I like winter the most among all the seasons.

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May 15 IRJE

In chapter three of The Giver, when Jonas’ father brings Gabriel home, Lily  noted that he has the same pale eyes as Jonas. Most people in the community, except Jonas and one of the Fives, have dark eyes. Lily speculates that Gabe and Jonas share a Birthmother. Mirrors are uncommon there. Jonas has never spent much time looking into one, but he remembers seeing Gabe’s light eyes which have more depth and solemnity than regular eyes.

Lily is enchanted by Gabe and hopes that she will be assigned as a Birthmother as she likes new children and has heard that Birthmothers live better lives. Mother, however, notes that after three births, they become labourers until they enter the House of the Old.  Father suggests instead that Lily might wish to become a Nurturer, should try some volunteer hours at the Nurturing Center when she turns Eight.

The Speaker Lily reminded the people that food should be eaten and never brought back home. Jonas used an apple for the “catch”  game with Asher and saw that the apple’s appearance has changed slightly in mid-air and then return to its original appearance later.

“Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. Unchanged. The same size and shape: a perfect sphere. The same nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic.” (P. 24)

This specific passage seems really interesting to me as it might foreshadow Jonas’s ability to see colour as well as the unusual perfection of all matters perceived by the community. This connects the latter part of the story that Jonas found the community  is made to make the people perceive it as flawless.

 

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PW April 21

Write about the most recent book you read. What was good about it (and what wasn’t)? Who would you recommend it to?

Wonder by R.J.Palacio

Synopsis

Wonder is a book written by R.J. Palacio about a boy called August, in other words, Auggie who possesses a rare form of genetic disease and that causes his facial abnormalities. Since his birth, he was homeschooled by his mother until grade four. When he was 10, his parents decided to send him to a private school such that he can learn how to interact with people and get used to the society. “Wonder” is an inspiring story about Auggie’s life – changing experience at school. What makes this book so special is that it is told from 6 different perspectives, which are our protagonist (Auggie), his elder sister (Via), his sister’s friend (Miranda), his sister’s boyfriend (Justin) and his two schoolmates (Summer and Jack). Each person has provided an insight into Auggie’s beautiful personality and has proved to us how amazing life can be.

Things that I like 

What I like about this book is that it brings out an important message that we shouldn’t judge others based on their appearance but their personality. Maybe Auggie is unappealing to others, he is actually a smart, kindhearted and hilarious boy. For example, Auggie has been homeschooled for the past 9 years but his grades are still at the top of the pack. Moreover, I think that it is a smart choice of the author to not describe his appearance at the beginning of the book such that it can let the audience to imagine it themselves. Details were added later by different characters to emphasize the hardship Auggie has been through before from his 27 surgeries. In addition, I think the author clearly understands the emotions of each child. She understands what we are thinking and she knows when we can be horribly mean or incredibly brave and kind.

Things that I don’t like 

On the other hand, the only critic I will give to this book is that the story is too bright and uplifting. In my opinion, someone like Auggie should have a more complex and complicated character, but it came across that his character is very simple. I found the story a bit difficult to believe in because Auggie seems to fit into everything perfectly without struggling. For instance, it is only his first time going to a public school but it seems like he deals with all those trials and problems easily. I think the author should try to include Auggie’s feelings and emotions towards his struggles as well in order to make the story more realistic.

To whom would I recommend it to? 

I would recommend this book to everyone because this is an inspiring story that teaches us how to be empathetic and accepts others’ flaws. Moreover, the words used in the book are quite simple and the way how the characters speak is casual, so young readers would also be able to understand the story. In conclusion, I enjoyed this book very much and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

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Personal Writing May 7th

If you were invisible for a day, where would you go and what would you do?

 

In movies, we always see that some people have the ability to make themselves invisible and do whatever they like, have you thought of having such ability as well? I have always dreamt of having such ability. If I could become invisible for a day, I would do the following things:

First, I would go to find the person whom I dislike most and play tricks on him. I would sneak into his room and turn his room into a mess. I would drag all his clothes out of the wardrobe and throw them everywhere in the room.  Next, I would hide his mobile phone and laptop in a secret place in his room. Maybe putting them under the bed is a good option. When I leave that room, I would close the door and apply glue to the keyhole so that the door can’t be opened easily.

After that, I think I would be pretty hungry. So I would go to a hotel and have a buffet lunch. As you know, the bill for having a buffet meal is very expensive. So I could only go to have buffet meals with my parents. Now, I am invisible, of cause I would take this chance to go into the restaurant and eat all sorts of nice food. Another good thing is that there would not be a time limit, so I could eat as long as I like. 

At night, I would go home and stay inside my room. I would get my computer and mobile phone with me. When I was at home, my parents always stop me from watching youtube videos and playing online games. Now, I could take this chance to watch youtube videos and play online games for a long time. In that case, my mum won’t shout at me and I could finally do these things in peace.

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John Anderson, My Jo

The poem My Jo by John Anderson is different compared to the other poems we have read previously, both in terms of form and content. In terms of content, the speaker of the poem is the beloved who is reassuring her husband that he is still her sweetheart although his hair is turning grey and that they will go “hand in hand” together through life.  This particular poem is quite different from the other poems in terms of content, unlike the other poems that have a male speaker, the speaker for this poem is a woman. In addition, instead of having a male being heartbroken over a woman who has left him, it is about a woman caring about her ageing husband. In terms of form, there is also a difference from the previous poems. Instead of having four lines for each stanza, it has eight. It also has less stanzas compared to the other poems. This poem raises questions about the nature of romantic love, since love from the previous poems were perceived to only care about youth, and to love each other before it is too late. However, in this poem, this is not the case. Although the husband is ageing and having his hair turn grey, the love between the woman and the man still remains.

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May 1st IRJE

In the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, Chapter one starts off with the introduction of the protagonist, Jonas, an 11 year old boy who lives in a town where supplies are airlifted to a spot across the river from their community. A year ago, there was an unexpected plane that landed, and everyone was scared. The speaker of the community announced that the pilot has been punished by releasing him.  Jonas knows that the word is only used with caution, and that no one jokes about it.  Later in the chapter, Jonas family engages in their nightly “telling their feelings”, where Jonas sister Lily talks about a visitor in school who did not obey the rules, and thought that they behaved like animals. His father, who is a nurturer talks about a baby boy that is not developing as he should be, and that the baby may be released. Lily then jokes about keeping the baby, but then gets scolded by her mother telling her to remember the rules: only one male and one female child can be assigned to each family.

“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”

This passage is really interesting. As the first sentence of the book, it is ambiguous. Having the first initial setting of the plot being near the end of the year, might be symbolically hinting that the protagonist Jonas is facing the end of an era in his life. At the same time, winter acts as the foreshadow to the time frame of of the novel. In the second half of the sentence, it gives an ominous sense. Jonas instinctive description of fear darkens the tone of the story, preparing us for the eventual revelation of the dystopian communities true nature.

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Personal Response Romeo and Juliet

When it comes to my personal thoughts on Romeo and Juliet, I would firstly think of its plot, as I felt that one particular part of the play just did not seem realistic and gets me extremely confused and disturbed while reading or even watching the play Romeo and Juliet. During the Balcony scene, not long after Romeo and Juliet confessed their love to each other, they have both agreed to have a marriage the following day. This particular scene, just seemed really unrealistic to me. I understand that they are both immature, and that they are in love, but having a marriage right after they have just confessed love to each other? its just seems really impractical to me. The relationship between the two of them have just escalated too quickly and its just not applicable in our current society, as it would usually take months or even years to having both partners agree for marriage.

Another topic comes up to my mind while thinking about Romeo and Juliet, and it is its usage of language. Shakespeare uses an old fashioned english that makes the story really difficult to understand. Shakespeare uses words such as “thou”, “thy, “doth” and more. I find it really hard to read the play, as I do not understand the definition of most of these words.

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The Catcher In the Rye: Jan 15 IRJE

In the book the Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, Sally is 10 minutes late with her black coat and matching beret looking terrific. She is really excited to seeing Lunts and is really impressed by the performance. But Holden is less thrilled, firstly the performance on stage and also Sally’s performance. He also dislikes the way Sally talks to George, a student from Andover. Then after the show, they go ice skating at Radio City. Holden then tries to talk to Sally about things that are important to him. He then asks her to run off to Massachusetts and Vermont with him. Unfortunately, the date ends badly, and he walks out.

“Boy, do I hate it,” I said. “But it isn’t just that. It’s everything. I hate living in New York and all. Taxicabs, and Madison avenue buses, with the drivers and all always yelling at you to get out at the rear door, and being introduced to phony guys that call the Lunts angels, and going up and down in elevators when you just want to go outside, and guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks, and people always–”

“Don’t shout, please,” old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn’t even shouting.”

[…]

“Why not? Why the hell not?”

“Stop screaming at me, please,” she said. Which was crap, because I wasn’t even screaming at her.” (17.41-55)

I think that this part of the book is really weird, because of how subtle it is, Sally tells Holden to stop screaming twice, and he keeps insisting that he is not, but we won’t believe him. The shouting/mumbling thing sounds really crazy to me.

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War Reflection

WW1, also known as the first world war is a global war centered in Europe which began on 28th July 1914 and lasted until 11th November 1918. This war involved two opposing alliances, and this includes the allies and the central powers. The allies countries were Russia, France, British Empire, Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Portugal and Montenegro, and having the central powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

The consequences of world war one were immense, 9 million soldiers, and as many civilians died in the war, it was frightening and intimidating to even think about how the battle caused numerous people to die. But this was not the only consequence of this war. The most significant consequence of this war was the emotions of the soldiers who survived, as they have experienced everything in the war, all the bad experiences that they had been through would be engraved inside their heads. As a result, these soldiers would have Post-traumatic stress disorder. An example would be from an infamous poem by Wilfred Owen named Dulce et Decorum Est. In this poem, he talks about his experience fighting in the trenches in northern France during World War I. While having a conflict in the trenches.

“In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.”

In this part of the poem, he describes how one of his comrades suffered from chlorine gas and how this experience had affected him immensely.

As there were countless casualties and events during the first world war, how should it be remembered? Well, there are lots of ways we can recognize it. For example, they can be commemorated by memorials, as it can remind more people about the events of the war and the casualties. Another way we can remember World War 1 is by having a remembrance day so that it can recall the deaths of all the soldiers who bravely fought and sacrificed their lives for their country and family during the first world war.

To prevent future wars in the future, I believe that we should educate students nowadays about the history and the cause of the war so that future generations would see how tragic and obscene war is and will not try to start a war. Another way we can prevent war in the future is just by having stability in countries. For example, having a stable government, if the government is not steady, it might lead to war, as the government might be corrupt.

Remembrance Day:
If I were to organize a remembrance day ceremony, I would hold it in a war grave, so that people would remember all the people who died during the first world war. During the ceremony, if there were readings, I would want a war veteran to read a poem about the soldiers of the war so that we would remember them, such as the poem In Flanders fields by John Mcrae. Since, in this poem, he explains why exactly should we remember those soldiers who went to war. An example would be this quote:

“Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.”

in this part in the poem, he describes these soldiers were once living, breathing human beings, with their own lives and feelings. And that now they lie dead as a sacrifice to their country.

Also, if there were speeches, I would like the next generation to have a speech about the war, as I believe that the next generation should be responsible for passing on the legacy of their heroes to future generations. In their speech, they should talk about how they should not forget about the sacrifices of the people who contributed to the war, Such as the doctors and nurses who tended the wounded, or even teen boys, who were shipped off to fight before they got a chance at adulthood. Finally, they should end the speech by paying respects to these people.

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All Quiet On The Western Front

The book All Quiet On The Western Front is written by Erich Maria Remarque. It is narrated by a young German nineteen-year-old soldier named Paul Bäumer, who fights on the German army on the French Front in World War One. It all started when Paul and his friends joined the army voluntarily after hearing a patriotic speech by their teacher Kantorek. After 10 weeks of brutal training, they no longer believe that war is honorable and glorious and they all live in constant terror.

I look at the portraits once more; they are clearly not rich people. I might send them money anonymously if I earn anything later on. I seize upon that, it is at least something to hold onto. This dead man is bound up with my life, therefore I must do everything, promise everything in order to save myself. (9.151)

I think that this quote is really memorable,  as the quote was able to show what Paul thinks after killing one person in war. After killing an enemy soldier, Paul vows that he will spend the rest of his life making money for the dead man’s family, I think it is really interesting as he is sacrificing the rest of his life for a cause that brings him peace.

 

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Personal Writing

Where would you go, if you could go anywhere in the world? Who would you want to go there with?

If I had the choice to go anywhere in the world with someone, I would like to go to the United States with my parents, as that place gives me full of surprises. First of all, I would like to go to the United States because of how many museums there are. There are more than 35000 museums in the United States, which means I get to learn a lot about the history of the United States. Secondly, I would like to go to the United States is because of how much delightful food there is. There are foods such as Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, and Hamburgers. Lastly, the reason why I would like to go to the United States is because of its exquisite scenic views. You get to go to places such as the Kenai Fjords in Alaska or the Palouse in Washington. If I ever get the chance in the future to go to the United States, I would be more than pleased to go there as it is such a beautiful place, and I get to experience a whole new way of life.

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The Catcher in the Rye

In the book The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, Holden arrived at Mr.Antolini’s. Mr. Antolini and his wife have just wrapped up a dinner party in their apartment, having glasses and dishes everywhere. While Mr. Antolini’s wife started making coffee, Holden takes a seat and the two started talking, Mr. Antolini then asks Holden about his expulsion in Pencey Prep school. Holden soon reveals that he disliked the rules of that school, an example would be his debate class, the students were penalized for digressing their subject. Mr. Antolini then challenges Holden, saying that digressions are distracting and that it is more interesting to stay on one topic. Holden then feels uncomfortable and goes to bed.

“I’m not trying to tell you,” he said, “that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It’s not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they’re brilliant and creative to begin with – which, unfortunately, is rarely the case – tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And – most important – nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker. Do you follow me at all?”

I really like this quote, as this quote discusses a lot about Mr. Antolini, from this quote we are not sure if Mr. Antolini genuinely loves his students, but we can tell from what he has said to Holden that he has genuine respect to learning. In this quote, he also does not try to scold holden in any way, in fact, he talks to Holden as an equal.

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The Catcher in the Rye

In the book The Catcher in the Rye, written by J. D. Salinger, Holden Returns to his sister’s room after getting some cigarettes and explains to his sister why he fails his classes and hates school. His sister responds by saying that he hates everything and challenges to him name one thing he likes. The only thing he can think of is Allie which is dead. She then asks him what he wants to do with his life, and Holden said his dream is to be “the catcher in the rye”.

“You don’t like a million things. You don’t.

[…] Name one thing.”

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“I like Allie.”

“Allie’s dead – You always say that! If somebody’s dead and everything, and in Heaven, then it isn’t really–”

“I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him, though, can’t I? Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them, for God’s sake – especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all.” (22.22-38)

I really like this quote, because this quote shows a lot of things about Holden and his dead brother, we don’t know if Allie was a great person or not, but Holden, even with all the bad things going around him, he can still idealize his brother, as it gives him all the values he is missing from reality. But this only drives him more into isolation as he hates all the people around him.

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Child from year 2300

 

1. A child from the year 2300 travels back to our time. How and why? What do they find surprising (or even horrifying) about our daily lives?

A time machine emerged from the sky as a young child flew out of it in his flying suit, surprised at how the world looks like in the year 2019, where the sky was still blue, there were still buildings, there were even trees, there were still people…

Looking down above the sky, the child was petrified as he was the last child ever to exist in 2300 because of the war, World War 3, this war led to more than 95 percent of the whole world’s population to die. After the war, there was a shortage of food and people started to kill each other for food. Luckily, the child’s dad, a famous scientist, built a time machine just before he died of starvation and told his child to get in the time machine, sending him back to the past because everyone was craving for it.

As the child flew down from the sky, looking at how peaceful the world is, he was relieved, as in 2300, people would kill each other just because the other person possesses food. When he flew down to the land, he was confused, looking at the transportations cities have now, he was not sure if this was even earth, as in 2300, there were no buses, cars or any sort of transportation, there were only flying suits. He then flew to the ocean, soon realizing that there was still water, he was in shock, he wanted to drink the water from the ocean so bad, he desperately flew down to drink the water since there was no more water in the year 2300, every ocean was destroyed by nuclear bombs, there was just land. After drinking the water, he decided to fly back to the city and have a new life in 2019.

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the Catcher in the RYE

Quote: What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would’ve done it, too, if I’d been sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all glory” Page. 104

The book The Catcher in the RYE is set around 1950 and is narrated by a young teenager called Holden Caulfield. Holden is not sure of where his location is while telling the story to us, but it is certain that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital. The occasions he describes is in a couple of days between the end of fall term and Christmas when holden is sixteen years old.

I chose this quote as this quote is really interesting. In the story, just after he was assaulted by Maurice, he goes to bed, and he concedes that he would rather kill himself rather than going to sleep, his reason for not going to sleep gives the reader a glimpse of his contradictory nature. He claims that he wants to be isolated and yet he is still really concerned about how everyone else is thinking about him. For example, He wants to die because everybody is a “phony” yet wants to live because he doesn’t want the “phonies” to judge him.

 

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