Monday, 13 May 2013

How can literature or films can make us more aware of social inequality

In class last week we watched the movie "the blind side". I am going to use the story in "the blind side" and the story in a book i have read called "the hunger games" to illustrate my views on how literature or films can make us more aware of social inequality. 

Many places in the world there are social inequality. Most places in the world there are differences between poor or rich, but they are not always visible if you don´t take a closer look. Social inequality can also appear in different ways, such as the government having all the wealth while people are struggling, or by having some areas where all the rich or more wealthy people live, and areas where all the poor or less wealthy people live. 

I think films can be great sources to get knowledge about differences and social inequality. If they are made in a good way, they can manage to show these differences without it being the main theme. By watching films who shows the social inequality we can more easily see the main differences between peoples way of living. We can also be reminded that things are not always as we believe, like when you see people in films who lives in a wealthy area and has no idea that there is another less wealthy side of that area or city. I think the films can make people more aware of the social inequalities by showing people that there is another side of your area which you have never been to. Many of the wealthy people have never been to that other side of their area, and some people may not even dare to approach that other side. 

In another way, films can also help us see injustice being committed by government when it´s hard for us to discover in our daily life's  The government actually don´t need to be doing anything wrong if the commit injustice, but they may commit injustice by not reacting or not focusing at social inequalities and problems. By not caring about cities or places being divided and having such strong division lines between wealthy and not wealthy, the government can be practicing almost as much injustice as taken all the wealth to themselves. 
The film called "the blind side" is mainly about a family who takes care of a boy called Michael Oher. Michael has always been living in a very poor part of their area, and has lived in many foster homes because his mother has not managed to take care of him because of her drug addiction. Therefore, Michael has never been able to focus on school work, or any other important things for a child or teenager. The family, which consists of Leigh Ann and Sean Tuhoy and their two kids, a boy and a girl. Michael gets to live with them, and after a while Leigh Ann and Sean becomes his legal guardian. He gets to go to school and they also discover that he is really good at american football. Among other things he also gets a private tutor which helps him with getting better at school so he can go to college and play football. 
The blind side is a very touching story about a poor boy which gets his whole life changed in a positive way by just someone caring about him. The film also shows in a very good way how big the differences between to places in the same area can be. For instance when Michael takes Leigh Ann to a shop near where he used to live, it´s a huge difference from where Leigh Ann and her family lives in their wealth. 

"The Hunger Games" is a quite different story than the blind side, though it has some of the same message. The hunger games shows our society in another time far in the future, where all that remains after a brutal war is a country called "Panem". Panem is divided into 12 (later 13) districts with the capital "Capitol". All the twelve districts lives in very poor conditions and are struggling just to get enough food to survive, while the people in Capitol lives in great wealth. As a punishment for the rebellion years a go, each district has to send one boy and one girl to the hunger games each year. The rules are simple; the contestants has to survive, and the one that remains in the end is crowned as the winner and can go back home. In "the Hunger games" we meet Katniss who is 16, and lives with her sister Primrose, and her mother. Her father died in a mine accident. Her sister Primrose are chosen to compete in the hunger games, but Katniss volunteers to take her place. The story is mainly about how Katniss manage to survive the Hunger games, but at the same time the message below is how unfair the system and government are. 

"The hunger games" shows a different way of social inequality than "the blind side". In this story, social inequality is illustrated by the government system being unfair and committing great injustice. I think the film is good at showing how social inequality can be practiced at its worst. 

To make a conclusion, I think both films are showing how social inequality can be practiced in different ways. Films like this are necessary to make people aware of the injustice being committed I think. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

My reading of "Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children"

I asked him what happened, what animal had hurt him, but he wasn´t listening. “Go to the Island,” he repeated. “You´ll be safe there. Promise me.” “I will. I promise” What else could I say? “I thought I could protect you,” he said. “I should´ve told you a long time ago…”I could see the life going out of him. “Told me what?” I said, choking back tears. “There´s no time, “he whispered.
We picked this paragraph because we think it shows the theme quite well. Since we guess the theme is trust and to follow your instincts, we thought this paragraph was suitable because it shows how Jacob has to decide to trust his grandfather. Jacob has to choose whether he should believe his grandfather and go to the Island, or if it´s just fairy tales.
“A loop,” I repeated, remembering my grandfather´s command: find the bird, in the loop. “Is that what this place is?” “Yes. Though you may better know it as the third of September, 1940.” I leaned toward her over the little desk. “What do you mean? It´s only the one day? It repeats?” “Over and over, though our experience of it is continuous. Otherwise we would have no memory of the last, oh, seventy years that we´ve resided here.” “That´s amazing,” I said.
This paragraph shows some of the setting. The setting is a bit back and forth. In the beginning they are located in Florida, USA, in modern times. Then Jacob travels with his father to Wales, to the Island, and finds a tunnel which takes him back in time, to third of September, 1940. This paragraph is taken from the time when Jacob has recently travelled back in time, and is about to discover it.
I´d always known I was strange. I never dreamed I was peculiar. But if I could see things almost no one else could, it explained why Ricky hadn´t seen anything in the woods the night my grandfather was killed. It explained why everyone thought I was crazy. I wasn’t crazy or seeing things or having a stress reaction; the panicky twist in my gut whenever they were close-that and the awful sight of them- that was my gift.
It was a bit hard to find a paragraph that shows the whole plot in a good way, but we thought this paragraph shows it quite well. Some of the “mystery” in the book is revealed in this paragraph. We find out why Jacob can see the monsters, and why his friend can´t. The whole plot is not revealed, but some of it is.
Character Development
A tree branch landed in the water. I grabbed it and Emma pulled, and when we finally came out of the bog I was shaking too hard to stand. Emma sank down beside me and I fell into her arms. I killed it, I thought. I really killed it. All the time I´d spent being afraid, I never dreamed I could actually kill one!
This paragraph show how Jacobs character has developed through the story. Before he was always afraid, but now he has dared to face his fear. This shows his character development quite well.
This is an analyse of a book I have read in class. In on of my latest blogs I wrote some about it before I started reading it, and here is what I thought of it after reading it!
I did this together with Ingeborg in my class.

I thought the book was very interesting and fun to read. The book contained images of different people and things doing weird things. It was a bit creepy, but it made the story much more fun to read when you could see the pictures and got the feeling it was real. Our class made a tweet to Ransom Riggs, the writer of the book, and asked if the images were real. He answered that they were real, and I was quite surprised actually! But the book itself was a new type of book for me, and it was fun reading it. But sometimes I think it was a bit boring and “still-standing”. But the book was interesting and well written, and I can recommend reading it!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Book project in class

In class this week we started working on our in-depth projects in groups of two. Ingeborg and I started writing about different ways to collaborate with an easy explanation for those who are not familiar with it. We are not finished yet, but we have started writing about how to use Skype to collaborate and to keep contact with other classes, students, and persons. We also started writing on how blogs also can be helpful to collaborate with others when writing texts. Here are some extracts from what we wrote:

The program is made for people who would like to keep in touch with other friends, classmates, or people all over the world. You can also use Skype in school settings to cooperate with other classes in other countries. On Skype you do not just have the opportunity to call somebody, but you can also have a video conversation where you can see the other people or persons. Another good thing is that it´s totally free to use and with unlimited edition. 

Another way to collaborate with other individuals is to write on a blog or read blogs. By writing blogs you can write texts and get comments on perhaps how you could improve your writing. It´s also easy to share thoughts with others, and see if they have something to add or if the agree with you

We are also going to write more about other different ways to collaborate in the next classes. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Miss Peregrine´s home for Peculiar Children

This first week after the Christmas Holiday we are working with an in-depth-study according to ou competency goals. We are supposed to choose one book we are either going to read just a little from, our read the whole book! We about seven different options, and I chose to read the book called “Miss Peregrine´s home for Peculiar Children”. One of the options were “The Hunger Games” who was really tempting to read, but I have already read it, so it wouldn´t be much exciting to read it again! Even though I adore it!
I read a short book description, and it seemed very interesting and thrilling to read! Shortly it is about a big house on an Island where there lived lots of children who could do extraordinary things. I also read some reviews on the book, and it seemed very good. Some people said that it was hard to put it down, and some said it got interesting when they had read some pages. Also it seemed like some people didn´t like the ending, but I figured that I want to read it even though!

I hope the book is exciting and thrilling, and that I enjoy reading it! 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Learning American English game and Edward Scissorhands

Today in class we did not do much school-like things. First we saw a movie called Edward Scissorhands which shortly was a movie about a boy with scissorhands who was created by an old scientist who died. Edward, who he was called, lived in the big old house alone until a woman found him and brought him home and took care of him. The film was very cute, and I thought it was very good! After we saw the movie we played an education game made by the U.S state department to learn better American English, and learn more about American culture. I chose to write about this game, and what it is, and what I thought about it. 
The game is called Trace Effects. I haven´t played the whole game through, but I played it for a while, and I don´t know if I think it´s a good source of learning better American English and learning about American culture. The game is also supposed to teach how to behave and how to act in different situations. There are different chapters, and when you are finished with one chapter the game tells you what you have learnt in this chapter and how many points you have gotten. 

The language is very simple, but they use American English all the time, so when people or students play it I think they unconsciously start to talk and write American English because they are used to read American English. So maybe it is a good way of learning American English, but at the same time I don´t know if so many people will find it interesting to play. It´s not much action so I don´t think students will play this game by free will, but maybe if the teacher adds it to the time schedule in class and make the students play it they will learn from it. I also think the game is made for kids in late primary school because it’s a quite simple game with a simple language, so even if the language is not too easy for high school students, I think they will find the game a bit boring over a longer time perspective. The game is also made to learn more about American culture, but so far I have played the game, I don´t think you learn especially much about American culture, but maybe you learn something about the American school system or something. But I think the game teaches in a good way how to make good decisions and how to behave, because you need to click on which answer you would like to say to the person you are talking to. 

Then in the end of each chapter you get points from how good decisions and things you have made and done. So the game is quite good in the meaning of learning how to make good decisions and to behave right.


I would also give the game points from 1 to 6. I will give the game a four on the dice because it is a good game in some ways, but I think it´s too boring to make someone play it for a longer time. So I don´t think I would recommend the game strongly to anyone, but I would rather say it´s a fun game for younger children. 
I would think that the game is most suitable for learning better American English than learning about American culture. At least in the beginning of the game I think you learn more about American English than American culture!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Second World War- Real shortstory

Norway lost around 11 000 people during the second WW which is about 0.32 percent of the population, and mostly of the people who died, died on merchant marines. Britain lost about 450,900 people totally during the second WW, where the largest amount of people died in the Military. The United Stated lost around 418.500 people, mostly in the military, which is approximately 0.32 percent of the population. So Norway and The United States both lost 0.32 percent of their population, but there are a lot more people in the United States which means that a lot more people died in the United States than in Norway. We can see that Britain lost most people, and that a huge amount died in the military, so then I would think that without Britain´s help, Norway would perhaps have lost a much larger amount of people in the war. Britain lost a lot of people by fighting and helping other countries, so they sacrificed a lot to help for example Norway. The United States also lost a great amount of people in the Second WW.

Still writing in the theme of the second WW, we have read a real story told from a person who had participated in second WW on the British side, and who had been in Norway during the war. The story I read was about a man who joined The Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) which is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy (RN) in the United Kingdom, when he was twenty years old, and then served in His Majesty's Ship when the war started. The story was a bit hard to understand with some difficult descriptions, but it seems like the British man in the start of the war was going to escort several groups of ships to Bergen (since Norway was neutral), and then to Britain. This was his first visit in Norway. Then he tells that at the outbreak of the invasion of Norway by Germany in 1940 he and some others from His Majesty´s Ship was ordered to Norway as anti-aircraft cover for relieving British land forces for the capture of Narvik. Then it´s hard to understand exactly what they did, but it seems like they started transporting several groups of ships from Tromsø to Harstad. He then tells that he was member of a gun-crew on a boat, and that there was a bomb exploding really close to the ship, so him and some others was hit by shrapnel. 
He was hit in his around his hip, and was transported to a hospital in Harstad. In the rest of the story he tells about all the hospitals he was transferred to, but in the end that he remembers the all the things on the first hospital in Harstad.
I thought this story was interesting because it´s a real story, but some of the things in the text was hard to understand sometimes, but I think I managed to understand the most important things!
The story was very well written, but for me it was hard to understand sometimes because of all the things they had special names for in the war. I have learned about second WW in school of course, but I think some of the names and words get a bit to advance for me. Also I didn´t quite understand whether the man got bad injured or just slightly injured. But the text was very interesting from what I understood!

Here is a link to the story:

In the end I thought I would tell something about the tour I went on with the White Buses in 10th grade! On the trip we went to a couple concentration- camps such as Auschwitz and Ravensbruck. It was very interesting to see and hear about all the happenings, and how they lived in the camps, at the same time as it was horrible. They lived under extremely bad conditions, and I can´t imagine how the winters must have been from the prisoners there without almost any clothes when we were freezing in the fall when we had a lot more clothes than them! For each place we visited we had a guide who told us about the horrible stories and for each place we went we had a sort of ceremony where someone sang and then laid a bouquet of flowers on a memory spot.  The trip was interesting, and we visited a lot of places, but it´s been a while since I went there so it is hard to write more detailed descriptions. But I would recommend a trip like that to get more understanding for what happened during the Second World War. 

Christmas tree from Norway to England!

Every year Norway sends a Christmas tree to England around Christmas times, and it is placed at Trafalgar square where it´s being decorated. It´s very known that Norway are sending this tree, but I think many people, including me, actually don´t know why Norway send this tree to England every year, or at least they don´t always know the whole story!  So this is what I am going to write about this week, including some other stuff connected to the theme World War II.

The Norwegian Christmas tree has been sent from Norway to England each year around Christmas times for 65 years now in 2012! It has been sent since 1947 as a symbol of Norway and Britain´s good relationship since 1947. When the tree was brought to England for the first time in 1947 it was sent as a token of Norwegian appreciation of British friendship during the second WW. When Norway was invaded by German forces in 1940, King Haakon VII escaped to Britain, and a Norwegian exile government was set up in London. To most Norwegians, London represented the spirit of freedom during those difficult years. The latest war news was broadcasted in Norway from England, along with a message and information network which became vital to the resistance movement. The tree has therefore become an important symbol of Britain and Norway´s close relationship. The tree is from the surrounding forests of Oslo, and is usually about 20 to 25 meters tall.

There is also a lighting ceremony which always takes place on the first Thursday of December, and there is also a band playing and a choir that sings Christmas carols as the Lord Mayor of Westminster arrives with his party.