Friday, September 5, 2008

My first week of A-Levels

Just in case I haven't mentioned it, I'm taking:
  • French
  • English Literature
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Critical Thinking
  • I didn't pick Critical Thinking; the school makes us take it, as it's desired by Universities. From what I've seen of it, it's really enjoyable - I love debating (I've been on the junior debate team for all three years, and we won twice! I'm always seconder) and this is pretty much that. It's only a double period once a week, but it's still good!
    There's no longer any single lessons, but now I've got free periods! Well, study periods. You have to work. But that's ok - there's plenty to do! I have to copy up and expand my notes for every subject, so I'm keeping on top of it.
    A levels are completely different. There's a much better rapport with teachers - in French, the majority of the lessons so far have just been chatting in French! Biology and Chemistry are really interesting; at the moment it's mostly expanding on what we already know, but it's engaging.
    English Literature is wonderful. We get to critically analyse texts, and I've learned so much. For example, there's a school of thought based on Roland Barthes' Death of the Author essay that says that it's the reader's interpretation that matters, no matter what the author intended. I think it's a bit much, but it basically means that since authors are shaped by what they see and read, anything you read into the story could have been put there by the author subconciously.
    I've been reading a lot of Banana Yoshimoto; have I said before that "Kitchen" is probably one of my favourite books ever? I'm also trying to learn spoken Japanese; I can say "Good morning", "Pleased to meet you", "My name is Arex Shirfiedu" (That's adjusted for Japanese tounges) as well as many words like "coat", "bed" and how to phrase a question. According to the three Japaenese speakers at my school, my pronounciation is good. Japanese is a tonal language; you can't stress syllables (so it's not America, but Ah-mare-eek-ah) so you have to change intonation. So Eigo and Eigo sound the same (except for the inflection at the end of the word) but one is a name and one means "English".

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