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Reflection as a Writer 2

05/22/2012

I have grown as a reader, but not significantly. Our AP English Literature class went through various genres and we particularly studied poetry and drama/fiction in second semester. Through reading these two different types of literature, I’ve learned how to understand a character’s emotion and to better understand a poem by dividing it up to parts.

 

In second semester, our AP English Literature class had encountered many different types of literature ranging from poetry to drama. If we focused mostly on fiction and short stories in first semester, the later part of the course emphasized more on drama. Examples of works we’ve studied are Hamlet, Death of a Salesman, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Oedipus, etc. Unlike first semester, it was an interesting time for me to examine the other side of literature. At Korea International School, I’ve read quite a few dramas such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and A Raisin in the Sun. However, interpreting plays in the perspective of an AP English Literature student contrasts with the way I did in other English courses. AP English Literature class gave more focus on the individual characters while English 9, 10, and AP English Language were more about comprehending the themes and moral behind the play. For example, when we read Hamlet, we performed a little skit at the end pretending to be one of the characters inside the book to have a better understanding of the characters. Although, not sure if it was effective as intended, it surely was a creative exercise for students to not only understand what the characters are doing, but also grasp the emotional feelings of the characters. In addition, I personally think that reading the plays out loud during class and sometimes acting out some scenes boosted my understanding of the characters. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead puzzled me at the beginning because I couldn’t visualize what was happening. Yet, reading it out loud helped me to better understand both the situation and tone of the two protagonists. In some instances, I easily miss ironic comments or lines intended for humor. However, vocalizing while reading helped me tremendously.

 

In the beginning of second semester, we continued on a little bit of poetry unit left. As I familiarized myself with many more poems and actually dissecting them into TPCASTT or TicTacToe, I felt becoming a better reader. When I had to read over more than ten times to understand parts of a poem, the times I had to read shrunk to five times. Taking apart a poem into different categories and analyzing them individually soothes the pain of trying to comprehend a poem right from it. It does take some time and effort to do this, but once you get used to this mechanism of TPCASTT, you do not actually have to write it out, but can easily do it in your head. Although poetry was hard, various activities helped me to learn various skills in interpreting poems. Our poetry unit helped me in the actual AP exam. Although I did not fully understand what the poet was trying to express about desire, I did have a sense of what he wanted to shape the readers’ view on desire. If I did not train myself before, I assume that I wouldn’t have been able to write a logical essay about it.

 

As I have mentioned in my first semester reflection, AP English Literature was a risk for me since I believe I am not a good writer nor a good reader. Nonetheless, taking this course was an indispensable experience because I’ve learned so many things I otherwise couldn’t have acquired.

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