Once again, I can't really remember what we did this week. My group discussed two things: paintings and poetry. That pretty much sums up the week, I suppose.
Earlier in the week- frankly, I don't remember which day- we watched a TED talk on creating stories based on works of art. This was a really interesting TED talk. At first I didn't really see how this related to literature; I saw this mostly as a way to connect with artwork. The more I think about it, though, I can see how it relates to literature. Literature is, in fact, a type of art, and, as such, can be interpreted in much the same way as, say, a painting. When we read, we are intrigued by what is not factually expressed, we fill in these gaps with our own thoughts or interpret works according to what they mean to us. My group worked with "Girl with a Pearl Earring," and it was really interesting how differently we all saw it and what stories we came up with. This is what really allows us to connect with art, and that is kind of the point of the TED talk. If we look at literature in this light, we can better understand how we should be reading, how we should be thinking, and that our interpretations and filling-in matters.
So that was paintings. This week I learned how paintings relate to literature, so that's something. The other part of this week was poetry- more specifically, really sad poetry.
Our poem of the week this week was "Elegy in X Parts." Just from the title, you could tell this poem was a sad one. It was also an extremely good one. I really enjoyed working with this poem, as sad as it was, because it was really beautiful and powerful. There was so much emotion and power. The more we worked with it, the more I saw how the little tiny elements of of it added to this power. I liked that. We also read sad poems, often about death, at the beginning of class everyday so that was fun.
I'm confused this week because I thought we were going to be working with elements of fiction, but we didn't even talk about them. That's ok, though, I liked paintings and poetry better.
This week in AP Lit....
We spent much of this week working with our summer reading materials. I enjoyed the visual metaphor project that we did with our summer reading books and topics. At first, I thought this project was going to be impossible, as I'm not the most artistically minded. I've kind of always struggled with turning words and ideas into pictures. However, once I got started and began sharing ideas with my group, I realized that it was a lot simpler than I thought. Our metaphor turned out great and surprisingly deep and connective. This visualization actually really helped me to think in a different way and learn more about what I had read.
Our metaphor was an piece of artwork entitled "Fishing for Symbols in the Sea of Knowledge". We utilized the chapter "If That a Symbol?" from How to Read LIterature Like a Professor. In our metaphor the water was the "sea of knowledge" which was filled with fish of all different shapes and sizes representing the diversity of how symbols appear and are interpreted. The reader was, in fact, the fisherman sitting on a boat in the sea, using his fishing line- which represented the books- to catch the symbols as they came along. I felt that this was a really good visualization of what reading literature is like, or what it should be like.
This project helped me to learn in a variety of ways. It forced me to think about the books that I had read in different ways than I had before and see them from different perspectives. It also helped me see how to extend and make use of the knowledge that I already had in different ways. It showed me how art can connect with literature and how words can connect with pictures. In short, I had a good time with this project and I thought it was really helpful.
The main theme of the week for me was thinking differently. I felt that, although there was not a lot of formal instruction, I actually learned a lot and I hope that we can do more projects like the visual metaphor in the future.
Honestly, I'm struggling to remember what we did this week. It may only be week two, but everything is already starting to blend together.
We did spend a long time working with a poem called "The Eagle". It was a very short, seemly simple poem, but there was a lot of deeper meaning in it and analysis that could be done. When I read the poem on my own, I took it at face-value. I filled out the analysis sheet with this perspective. I really enjoyed reading the poem from this view, and I thought that, even though it was simple, it was very powerful and almost awe-inspiring. The imagery of the eagle and the nature was majestic. However, I was informed that this interpretation of the poem was not quite right. It kind of made me mad that I was told my interpretation wasn't enough because I don't think that there's a right or wrong way to read poetry or any literature. As a class, we discussed all of our different perspectives on the poem. It was really interesting to hear how other people had interpreted the same thing that I read in so many different ways. After this discussion and the answering of a couple critical thinking questions, I saw the other viewpoints and could understand the value of thinking deeper about the poem. However, I still think that my initial interpretation of the poem was right and meaningful for me. There may have been other things for me to look at a little deeper, but my interpretation was not wrong.
We also started working on creative writing this week, which is my favorite thing. I absolutely adore creative writing. I love to just write stories and whatever is in my head. I believe that it really helps me too. I wish we had more time for this and, of course, for SSR.
We also began to work with our summer reading books. The activities that we did/are doing with them are still a little confusing to me. The analysis and interpretation of the books was not difficult, in fact, I thought this was a good opportunity to think deeper about my books in different ways than I had before. Today, though, we're supposed to be starting on some sort of poster which I am really confused about. We'll just have to see where that goes.
So, basically, I survived the first five day week of school and managed to remember the important stuff from class. This week was a lot about critical thinking, different viewpoints and unique perspectives.
This had been an interesting first week of school. We did a bunch of different stuff in AP Lit over the past four days. It's hard to think of things that I actually learned because this week has been mostly introductory. We mostly did activities and a lot of thinking.
On the first day of school, we did an interesting activity in which we thought about our lives and our journeys. This was a cool introduction to the class because it gave us the opportunity to get thinking and get to know each other.
The next two days, we mainly worked on setting up these weebly pages and writing about ourselves as readers and writers. I had never really done this kind of activity before. I found it both interesting and difficult to think and write about myself in this way. I was surprised, though, by how much I could come up with and the level of passion that I had connected with both of these pieces.
After these writings, we got to begin looking at books for our author study. I'm kind of nervous because I've never done an author study or anything like it before; I've read a lot of books by the same author, but never really with a purpose of analyzation. I think it shouldn't be bad, though. Looking at all the different books, I had a really difficult time choosing because so many of them looked so good. I finally settled for Margaret Atwood because she seemed so interesting to me, and I am now starting The Handmaid's Tale. So far, it is really good. I wish we had had more time to read in class. All of Margaret Atwood's books that I picked up look really good, so I am excited to read them.
Today we learned about reading rates. I can see how these can be helpful for people who do not read as much as I do, but for me they seem more limiting than helpful. I understand that a routine is helpful, but I read a lot more than my reading rate says I should be. The reading rate may be helpful, though, when I get super busy to make sure that I am reading enough. Hopefully, I won't have to worry about it.
I am looking forward to learning, thinking, reading, and writing more throughout this course. We'll just have to see how everything goes.