Everything and Nothing

From the perspective of the moon, in a paragraph, describe the current situation on earth as you see it.

When I look down at the ever turning blue and green sphere of earth, I see nothing and everything all at once. A tiny one bedroom house; nothing compared to the ocean, pointless in the scheme of the universe. And yet, there are two happy specks, a young couple. They are overjoyed with their acheivment of buying their first home together; overwhelmed with excitment about spending a life together inside.

They say dust turns to dust which is true, I see it all the time; a life is created and a life fades; a lifetime is not as long as it sounds. As the light fades from a person’s eyes, the rivers do not stop flowing, the earth does not stop turning, time does not pause. A life has no influence on the ways of the universe. And yet, there are hundreds of mourners gathered to celebrate the life of a child who’s time on earth was “cut short” by a terminal illness; he has had an influence on all the people he had met.

The happenings on earth are both miniscule and significant. The oceans roll and on dry land there is a man eating himself to sickness and a man dying from hunger. Winds rush through the sky but on the ground there are politicians cutting back education funding and a child giving up on reading because her parents cannot afford books. The cosmos is unending and on earth a baby is born and an elderly man passes away.

The vastness of the universe is all consuming and the earth is a speck of dust, it’s inhabitants even smaller. But joy, love, despair, sadness, life and death; they are powerful and extend beyond that tiny house, beyond the church filled with mourners, beyond the ocean, beyond the sky, beyond myself. They stretch to the edges of the universe- and I could not say myself that I know if that exists.

Peer Review 3

Posted to: https://jesseshakespeare.wordpress.com/

Hi Jesse!

I really enjoyed your analysis of Ralegh’s thoughts about death and the knowing of oneself. I loved the way that you paralleled this to receiving a credit card bill for all the extravagent materials you’ve been buying and then reflecting upon whether they were necessary at all- a situation many people know all too well.

It would be interesting to consider whether Ralegh’s statement is true for everyone- would an unrepentant criminal still experience the same realisation? Strangely enough, I think that more often than not, those who have led positive lives are more critical about themselves than the people who the realisation should effect most in their final moments.

I liked the questions you posed at the end of the post too, it would be interesting to hear what you think the answers might be!

Keep up the good work!

Elisabeth Klingler Röist

Chose any one of the paintings that you fell in love with yesterday and write the back story behind the painting. In other words imagine the artist, the sitter, the event that produced this painting and describe the painting itself with as much rich detail as you possibly can. 

Francesco Xanto Avelli’S beautiful plate depicting an allegory for the sack of Rome inspired me to investigate the event in further detail and write a creative piece from the perspective of someone there at the event. I conducted further research into the sack to learn about the individuals involved. While reading, I came across Kaspar  Röist who was the commander of the Swiss Guard at the time who defended the entry of Saint Peter’s Basillica while the Pope escaped. All 147 of his men were killed and he was badly wounded and took refuge in his home where he was followed by the Spaniards and killed in front of his wife. This event inspired me to write in the perspective of his wife, Elisabeth Klingler Röist.

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 My brave husband, my Kaspar. Defending our Pope from those evil wretches on the steps of the Basillica; defending our faith from those red-clad devils; defending our livelihood from those who theive all that is good. I know he will return. God is watching over this Holy fight and if by all misfortune he falls, Saint Peter will call him to those glorious gates where he will be rewarded for the protection of all that is good. But dear God if it be in your will, bring him back to me, Amen. Kaspar is all I have, I have no sons to protect me; no daughters to weep with me and my parents, well I do not know if they live. I must stay positive. He will be back in my arms soon after succeeding on those blessed steps of the Basillica. 


Those cursed steps of the Basillica! Woe to any man who dared to defend them- all of them dead! My Kaspar wounded and in surrender returned to me only to have been followed by all that is evil in the world into my house. Kaspar, my brave husband; Kaspar who provided for me; Kaspar who loved me- killed, neigh, slaughtered in front of mine own eyes. I cannot leave my hiding place in my chambers for fear of death or worse- to be confronted by the bloodied and beaten body lying on the kitchen floor. It is unbearable. There is supposed to be comfort in the fact that he died protecting the Pope but… all I find is despair and darkness and questioning- why Lord have you done this? Why was he cut down in front of his poor wife his poor… widow? That tragic thump plays over in my mind.

Will I ever find peace? Will I ever find sleep? Will I ever find hope? Will I ever find God?

Reflection 3

The family of a student has a large impact on the way in which they learn and their approach to schooling. In my household, from the beginning of my schooling my parents were very encouraging; they sat and helped me with my homework and encouraged me to read to them and on my own. They put an emphasis on school but also encouraged me to make friends and to take part in activities after school such as dancing, cricket and little athletics as long as they did not interfere with my school work. While this was my individual experience growing up, it is important to remember that each student comes from a very different background. 
I was informed by a teacher on my community engagement this week that one of the students would be away for two weeks as their parents owned a company that provided amusement rides to various fairs and he would be travelling with them to help out. This was shocking to me as for my parents school was the first priority and we never holidayed during the school term while for this student, regular breaks from school to go and work occurred. Another way family influence could be seen on my placement can be seen through another student who sees women as inferior due to his family background. In his household, his father is authority and sometimes is violent towards his mother and sister. This has been reported by the school and is going through processes of investigation. As a result of this, the student is rude to his female classmates as well as disrespectful to female teachers. As the majority of learning support teachers are female, this not only has a negative impact on them, but also the learning of the student. 

Peer Review 2

Posted to: https://daniel4946.wordpress.com

Hi again Daniel!
I really enjoyed the way you spoke about the expressive language Spenser uses to entice the audience and the examination of the allegory to England at the time. Something that you could further investigate is the sense of mystery Spenser uses to get the reader to continue onto Canto 1 after the prologue. I think that by outlining the heroic nature of the coming story but withholding details makes the reader want to continue and find out more about the knights,  monsters and faeries. This sense of mystery surrounding the heroic deeds tell us as readers that it truly is a worthwhile read.
Keep up the great work! Excited to see your future posts 🙂

Honesty and Hypocrisy

What is the central complaint that underlines Ralegh’s poem “The Lie”?

Ralegh’s poem The Lie, at its’ very core is about the hypocrisy of all aspects of society and the false pretences these groups live under and portray outwardly. Under the pretence of good, each feature or organisation introduced is really enacting the opposite of what it teaches hence highlighting the corrupt nature of everything in Ralegh’s society. The poem encourages the reader to “tell” the people of their hipocrisy rather than to accept what they are teaching and then to “give the lie” when they argue back meaning to tell them that they are lying. Clearly, this demonstrates that Ralegh is sick of pretending that the society is honest in any way and wants to uncover the corrupt, decaying nature or individuals and groups.

One example of Ralegh highlighting the hypocritical nature of society is shone in his line about the church, “Say to the church, it shows/ what’s good and doth no good.” In this line he is stating that even the Church, which is outwardly the pinnacle of morality, has become corrupt and does not practice what it preaches , so to speak. Even small aspects of life that everyone thinks they know are “given the lie” by Ralegh as he dismisses honesty in zeal, love, wisdom, fortune and friendship. The fact that some of the most basic aspects of life and seemingly the most pure are contradictory to their actions truly highlights the corruption and how untrusting Ralegh is of others.

The stanza that is the most powerful in pointing out hypocrisy and contradiction tome is stanza six which states “Tell zeal it wants devotion;/ Tell love it is but lust;/ Tell time it is but motion; Tell flesh it is but dust.” This stanza truly dismisses any idea that honesty and purity still exist and it tells us that enthusiasm is false, time is not important, we as humans are just dust and that love does not exist- a thought that to me, is almost painful to read. The fact that Ralegh goes to this extent, to say that love, the emotion that makes one human, is not even true anymore truly expresses his core complaint about the hipocrisy and falsehood portrayed by all. At the end of this stanza he states, “And wish them not reply/ For thou must give the lie.” To me, this is also the most powerful dismissal of truth because Ralegh is really hoping that they do not try to argue as he does not want to have to dismiss them as lies. This really underpins the main complaint of the poem; that even the truest of truths have become hypocritical and that every truth has a falsehood behind it.

Reflection 2

Investigation into motivation will be incredibly helpful for me as a teacher as many students lack motivation to learn and it is part of my job to encourage them. Reflecting upon what motivates me was a good place to start when thinking about this as I may be able to apply my own knowledge and experiences to the classroom in some circumstances. In my learning, I am motivated by intrinsic motivation in the way of reaching a target in regards to my final result. This, along with interesting content, drive me to stay focused. I find it easy to focus on topic that I enjoy such as ancient history but struggle to stay motivated with others if they are not particularly interesting to me. Through this, it is clear that students need a range of motivational strategies to be able to remain engaged and complete tasks. 
While intrinsic motivation works well for me, it may not work for all students. Interesting content is, however, relevant in all situations as if a student does not like the content they are likely to be much less motivated. In the learning support room on my prac, intrinsic motivation works well for some students while others need extrinsic motivation such as rewards or praise. This is clear in the life skills maths class in which one student works ahead at home for the purpose of self improvement while another is keen to do all their work in front of the teacher and show them in order to gain praise and a high five. This demonstrates at each student is motivated differently and that teachers should support them in the way most appropriate for the individual. 

Peer Review 1

Hi Ronny!
I enjoyed your blog post about the character of Richard III and your interpretation of why he wants to gain the throne. It is interesting that you say the primary reason for this is resentment of others for not being deformed. It would be interesting to examine other reasons for this such as him believing that he really was the next rightful heir after his brother died. I would also like to know whether you are sympathetic to Richard’s actions. Do you believe they are justifiable or at the very least, understandable, due to the way he had been treated because of his deformities? Or would you take the contrary side to this; that Richard was evil to the core?
Keep up the good work!

Posted to: https://ronnykamaledine.wordpress.com

The Faerie Queene

Write a paragraph describing the dramatic power of the opening stanzas of Spenser’s The Fairie Queene. Try to point out why this poem is really worth reading.

Before Canto I of The Faerie Queen even begins, Spenser writes 4 stanzas as a sort of preface to the poem detailing the excitment that the reader is yet to come by as they continue reading. This preface tells of the adventures to come and expresses to the reader why they should continue to read and find out more about this quest.

These first four stanzas tell the audience about the dramatic events that will be depicted in the rest of the epic poem and leave the reader wanting more; wanting to find out how and why these events unfold. By opening the poem with the lines, “Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske,/ As time her taught, in lowly Shepherds weeds,/ Am now enforst a far unfitter task,” Spenser expresses that the following events are so noble and soimportant that he is not even worthy to tell them. This creates a sense of drama and urges readers to continue. He then pleads that his telling of the events be good enough for the grand events asking “O helpe though my weak wit, and sharpen my dull tongue,” using metaphor to express the importance of this. Throughout the stanzas, Spenser gives the audience a taste of the action to come using phrases such as “fierce warres and faithfull loves”, “murderous spolies and bloudy rage allayd”, and “that glorious fire,kindled in his hart.” The use of such dramatic imagery tells the reader just how much more action, drama and adventure is to come. By not telling the audience the details of the events outlined, a sense of mystery is created which makes the audience excited to read on and find out about these knights and monsters and to learn of these deeds that are so great that the poet himself id not worthy to tell of them.

Reflection 1

On my first day of community engagement I was introduced to the main students that I will be working with in the following weeks in the learning support team at the senior high school I would be working in. There are five students who have severe learning or cognitive disorders which mean they have high levels of need for support. I quickly realised that even though all these students have learning difficulties, they cannot be grouped together as the same as they have very diverse needs as their cognitive abilities and attributes are all unique. 
While the students are senior students aged between 16 and 19, they were operating at a stage 2 level rather than the same level as their peers. This was incredibly eye-opening for me as when I was in highschool I was placed in advanced classes and it amazed me to see the vast differences between stages in learning. The learning support room was incredibly busy but also had a sense of order; something that I will definitely have to work on as a teacher. Because they are so busy, it is sometimes difficult to provide the necessary one on one support for students so the support team were grateful to have a few extra hands on board. Just in the first week, I already feel as though I have made a difference in the education of the students even in small ways. I am looking forward to returning next week!