Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Teaching An Old Student New Tricks?

I have been in school for over 12 years now, and I have to say this year has been the most unexpected! Grade 12 English...What could be different or surprising about reading and writing? WELL! Let me explain.

Our second semester English class consists of six students. Thats right. Six. Since the class is so small, our teacher decided it was time to attempt a new way of running this class. Like I mentioned in last week's post, we begin each class by reading a poem and analyzing it, and then we talk about 451 Fahrenheit or continue reading.
However, after being inspired by a video of students teaching themselves school material, we have been looking into doing our own independent projects.

"What are the projects on?"-you might ask. The topic and the project is completely up to us to decide. If we are interested in how to make a good documentary or how to play an instrument, teaching ourselves and researching that topic can be our project.

This new way of learning is very peculiar to me, but also very intriguing. For so long I have been told what to know and taught how to know it, but never once did I really felt in control of my learning. It felt like the knowledge went into my brain, stayed their until after my exams, and then was thrown away like a smooth stone into a lake, out of my reach forever.
But when you are passionate about something and can learn it the way that YOUR brain understands it, it seems the knowledge takes root.

So I am very excited about this project and the unpredictable ending it holds. Questions like "Will it work?" and "Will we learn everything we need to for the exam?" have whirled around in my brain, but i'm deciding to stay optimistic! So far, these are some of the ideas I have on what I should do for my project:

a) Create a Music Video:
    - Write an original song and record the music on an application (ex. Garage Band), then create a music video outline, video tape it, and edit.

b) Teach myself ASL:
    - Take a more in depth look at American Sign Language and spend a certain amount of time a day studying it. As a final report, I would present my experience and some of what I learnt to the class using both speech and sign language.

c) Learn How to Cook:
    - Once a week I would find a recipe and attempt to make food. Through March-June, I would keep a record of my experiences (what mistakes I made, what worked well, suggestions, what I learnt, etc) , as well as taking pictures of each end result. At the end of the semester I would make presentation with my findings and talk about the experience. (as well as a video of me teaching viewers how to make a specific dish?)

Please share your thoughts on my ideas and tell me which one you prefer. Or, if you have a good suggestion, feel free to share!


Monday, 25 February 2013

I Just Kissed Dating Goodbye!

For my first bible class book of  the semester, I decided to read 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' by Joshua Harris. My reason for choosing this book was because I have been reevaluating my views on dating and on what should be saved for marriage (what IS purity?).
The first powerful short story in the book was the Wedding Dream on pages 13-14, where a girl named Anna describes how at her wedding the women from her fiancé's past came up to the front with the couple. At the time she is hurt and doesn't understand what is really happening. The fiancé apologizes and explains to her that these are girls from his past that he has given part of his heart to.
This dream Anna had depicts a tragically sad truth of our society's way of dating. We are told that dating is important and good 'practice', but now we are simply given away pieces of our hearts and innocence because of our corrupt definition of 'dating' and 'love'.

One of my favourite messages Joshua presents is The Little Principle (on Page 28).

"An intimate relationship is a beautiful experience that God wants us to enjoy. After all, He stated that is wasn't good for man to be alone and created a woman to perfectly compliment him and  help him (Gen 28). But God has made the fulfillment of intimacy a by-product of commitment based love. If we want to experience the goodness of His plan, we need to reconnect the pursuit of intimacy with the pursuit of commitment.
This is what I call the Little Relationship Principle:
The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment".

The main reason I enjoy this passage is because it challenges us to change our view of love being expressed by physical intimacy first and for most, to love being expressed FIRST through commitment.

In Chapter 5, we begin looking at what God's definition of love is. Joshua Harris uses the well known 1 Corinthians chapter 13 to define God's TRUE love.
(Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not self seeking, is not proud, does not boast, etc)
Before this however, Joshua lays out two VERY different 'love stories'. The first is about a man who after dating a girl on and off for a year had sex because they were in love. The second story is about a man and a woman who decided that they would reserve all physical intimacy for marriage, as a way to show their love, and protect each other before they were married.
I thought this chapter did a really great job of deciphering the difference between the world's idea of love and God's idea of love. The story of couple #2 was so beautiful and pure to me. It gave me hope in the idea of finding someone who will love me enough to put my heart and my relationship with God ahead of his own physical desires.

The only big question I walk away from this first PCR with is this:
How do you go from wanting attention and secular dating views, to treating the opposite sex like brothers in Christ? How do you rid your heart of the world's definition and replace it with God's?

My assumption is simply time and prayer, but I am curious to what other people's thoughts would be on this question... Will definitely be asking that during our next discussion!

Until the next 80 pages!
So long!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Learning Log #1

Well, first real week of the second semester! I have been enjoying my classes and the new material we've started to cover. Only problem for me? I am a chipmunk. Yes, since I just had my wisdom teeth removed, my face has been quite swollen. Anyways! Lets review what happened in class this past week!

Each class we usually begin with a poem from this website that Mr. Hazeu found. Everyday a new poem is featured, and together as a class we read and analyze the poems. I very much enjoy this part of class because it gives us a chance to exchange our personal interpretations of the poems, as well as helping each other better understand what the author was trying to create. My favourite poem so far was a sonnet (109, I believe) by Shakespeare. We didn't really understand all of what Shakespeare was trying to say, but the rhyming pattern flowed so smoothly and the words about love fit with the valentines day theme.

In preparation for the Bradbury novel 451 Fahrenheit, we have been learning a bit about what dystopian literature is. Dystopian literature is a genre that uses futuristic, worst case scenario societies to identify an issue that is rising from a current trend or political system. Some examples of dystopian literature would be books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

So far, we've only just started reading 451 Fahrenheit, and its already kind of confusing... I like how the author uses words in a way to create emotion in the reader. The only thing I don't enjoy about his style is that I am finding it difficult to decipher what is actually happening and what the author is trying to make us feel (Clarify, I have a hard time understanding what information is relevant to the story and what is not).

That is a rough sum up of this past week. Till next time!
Happy (Belated) Valentines Day!