Gran Torino

Gran Torino is a film released in 2008 that features Clint Eastwood as the main character as well as him being the director. Today’s subject day will be dedicated to watching and working with this film. It provides a range of topics to discuss, from multiculturalism and cultural differences, to various socioeconomic challenges, and shows a number of approaches to the value of human life.

We will primarily work in groups: before we watch the film by studying and discussing the film poster, and after the film we will delve into discussions around possible themes that come to mind while watching it. The end result will be an individual blog post that you publish on your own blog at the end of the day, based on questions handed out in class and the group discussions during the day.

Hilde

Studying abroad project

Many of us dream (or have done so) about studying somewhere that is else – experiencing a different country, culture and climate while getting a degree at the same time.

Having spent time abroad can also look good on your resume when applying for future jobs, it might say something about your ability to adapt to new settings, to working in a language not your own, and your sense of adventure.

person holding terrestrial globe scale model taken
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

For the next weeks, you will plan your year of studying abroad, and then present this plan orally. Here’s what you need to do:

First you need to find out what you want to study and where. You can take this test https://www.educations.com/career-test if you need inspiration.

Find a real university that offer this study program and find out what you need to do to apply there. Grades, college interview, personal statement, recommendations from teachers??? How much does it cost to study there?  Do you need some sort of student visa – how do you get that? http://www.ansa.no/ is a website that offers a lot of information about these sort of things.

What kind of student activities do this town offer? What do you want to do in your spare time? Plan this too. 

Where will you live? Find a place – look at actual listings for apartments or student dorms in your chosen city.  https://www.goabroad.com/articles/study-abroad/best-student-accommodation-websites

What about the culture in this country – are there rules of behavior you need to adapt to? Communications, festivals, food, religions…

Make a prezi, a power point or a video where you present your study plans. This will be graded orally.

There is no required LENGTH – I know how much you love to ask about that, but if you want a good grade you should make sure that you answer all the assignment asks of you.

You are also to write a personal statement, which will be graded as well. We will work with how to write a personal statement in class, so save that for then.

Useful websites:

https://no.studyacrossthepond.com/anbefalingsbrev/bachelor/referent

https://www.kilroy.no/utdanning?gclid=Cj0KCQiA1sriBRD-ARIsABYdwwGEG6rwwsYu2JfK9jQxoTZn17I-WDqhStgQxKx8udcQs5gnCyf2qu4aAmZ7EALw_wcB

https://capaworld.capa.org/5-sites-to-prepare-you-for-study-abroad

https://www.goabroad.com/articles/study-abroad/best-student-accommodation-websites

Kompetansemål:

  • finne fram til og drøfte internasjonale utdanningstilbud og arbeidsmuligheter
  • reflektere over hvordan kulturforskjeller og ulike verdisystem kan påvirke kommunikasjon
adult book business cactus
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Criteria for evaluation:

1-2 3-4 5-6
Presentation Has a simple presentation, does not look at the audience, bound by script, no creativity Has some contact with the audience, somewhat free from the script, uses some creativity in his/her presentation Has good contact with the audience, knows the script by heart, creative and independent presentation
Content Simple content, has worked very little with different sources, shows little independent thought and research. Answers only some of the assignment given. Good content with some independent research, has clearly worked with different sources. Answers the assignment. Independent and well-researched content, and a thorough answer of the assignment. Explains and gives examples.
Pronunciation Has a clear Norwegian accent, struggles with pronouncing a lot of words Has a good pronunciation overall, struggles with some words. Pronunciation and accent are close to, or, flawless
Vocabulary Has a simple vocabulary, uses a lot of repetition and little variation. Has a broad vocabulary, with some more advanced words. Shows that he/she understands the words they use. Has an advanced and varied vocabulary, varies in sentence structure and length. Understands and are able to use and explain difficult concepts and definitions.

My Son the Fanatic and Free for all

“My Son the Fanatic” is a short story written in 1997 by Hanif Kureishi about a father and a son living in London, and struggling to adapt. The father left Pakistan and loves England, he wants to become as English as possible, because “you can do almost anything here.” The son has never been outside England, but still struggles to find his place in the English society, and is looking for something else, going back to the culture and faith of his ancestors, and becoming more and more angry with the society he sees around himself – the society his father is so in love with.

“Free for All” is a short story written by Moin Ashraf in 1999. This story too depicts a father and a son, this time in the US, the father doing everything “right” to become an upright and successful man in his new country, and being frustrated at seeing his son leaving the ideals of his own country and tradition. It is a culture clash, between a son who has grown up American, and a father who still looks back to and values of his Pakistani homeland.

Write a blog post where you EITHER compare these two stories in terms of father-son relationships and the question of identity and belonging, OR discuss what these two stories say about being an immigrant, and raising a family in a different culture. What are these two stories saying about multiculturalism?

Character sketches Kite Runner/Reluctant Fundamentalist

Write a blog post of your impressions so far of the main character(s) in the novel you are reading. What do you know about this person and how do you know this – through dialogue, descriptions or in other ways? What about their relationship to other characters you have been introduced to? Write 2-3 paragraphs by Monday, January 28.

 

Ingunn

Two immigrant voices

Comedians Trevor Noah and Hasan Minhaj use their own experiences and background in their stand-up shows «Homecoming King» and «Son of Patricia».

Write a blog post in which you discuss how they use examples from their own lives to illustrate their experience as immigrants in the USA.

Choose one or two of the sub topics they include in their shows and comment on the questions below:

Do you think other immigrants can recognise the challenges the two talk about being an immigrant or part of an immigrant family? Why? Why not?

Can we learn something about being an immigrant watching these shows? Explain.

Elin and Hanna

 

The Disunited State of America

Ever since it became an independent country, the dream of a free America “for all” has been present. America had much “empty” land, and people could seek refuge and new opportunities there.

It has always been a country of many cultures, more and more as time went on.

Today we read about the “Disunited Peoples of America” – how people are divided in their views on multiculturalism and how inequality and racism continue to cause problems in the US.

Here you will find letters written between Eddie Glaude and his son Langston in 2016, after a brutal incident of police violence in Louisiana.

Read the letter and write a blog post where you comment on the following:

  • what are the events Eddie and Langston are referring to?
  • What is the message in each of these letters?
  • What kind of impression do you get from the unity, or disunity of the American society from reading these letters?

 

-Hanna

 

Freedom under attack

Democracy is under pressure in many parts of the world. Take a look at this video to find out more.

Another sign of threats to the freedoms associated with democracy, is the number of journalists killed while carrying out their job. According to CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, 53 journalists were killed in 2018. Read about some of them here and pick one story that you share and comment on in your blog.