Global issues include all social, environmental, economic, health and security concerns that have far-reaching impact on people and life on earth, are persistent and long-lasting, are trans-national and often interconnected. Yet somehow we are often blind to how all-encompassing this can be. Then it is a good thing that we have dedicated journalists and open-minded editors that allow a variety of stories and perspectives to be published that we ourselves have a hard time realizing the enormity of.
The Guardian published an article today in which they focus on a consequence of climate change that we do not often think about. Read about it here.
Write a blog post where you comment on the value of having visitors join our class and talk about different subjects, such as you have experinced this spring either via Zoom (refugee Kawthar Sheheda from Syria/psychologist Solfrid Raknes in Washington D.C.) or live (Fulbright Roving Scholar Renee Brekke Ebbot, who talked to about such diverse topics as water and identity).
What can we learn from such visits that is different than regular learning in the classroom? Would you like the school to invite more guest speakers, and do you have any thoughts on how the learning experience in different school subjects can be broadened and perceived as relevant by the students?
We talk about the border as a place only, instead of an idea. I believe that the real borders are the ones that exist within us.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of Babel
Discussion questions to the film:
What does the Biblical story of Babel in chapter 11 of Genesis illustrate?
In which countries does this film take place?
What languages are spoken by the main persons?
Where do you find acute misunderstandings between persons?
Give a short summary of the plot and the main conflicts in the film.
How well do the actors portray the main characters, do you think??
Which scenes do you think are the most important ones?
Is the story chronological? Are there any flashbacks and/or flash forwards?
What techniques are used to tell the story? (sound-color-camera use)
It is claimed that this film is filled with emotions that need no translation. They are universal. Give examples of this.
Does the film have a clear message, or does it leave room for different solutions?
Your personal evaluation of the film. Give reasons for your view.
To whom would you recommend the film “Babel”?
After having watched the film, write a blog post on one of the following tasks:
The title and the actions in the film strongly indicate that communication and lack of communication, or rather breakdown of communication is a main theme. Discuss and explain how this is reflected in the film.
Another theme related to this might be intercultural communication and challenges represented by globalization. Why is it so difficult to reach out to each other across cultures? Discuss and explain by referring to the film. You may focus on:
Japanese vs. Western culture Mexican vs. American culture American vs. Arab culture
Yet another theme related to communication might be loneliness. How is this reflected in the film? Give examples and explain.
NB! Postponed because of home school – see itslearning for link and task to the film Desert Flower instead.
Watch this 15-minute video produced by the Guardian and read this article from the same news source detailing how some indigenous peoples experience changes to their culture due to effects of climate changes.
What challenges and benefits do the people on Greenland experience because of climate changes? And while Aboriginal Australians may have the same core problem, given their vastly different physiography the effects are even more devastating. Add governmental obstructions, for instance when it comes to infrastructure, into the equation, and it is hard to see any benefits from climate changes like the Greenlanders do. So what challenges do the people of Australia’s Northern Territory face because of climate changes?
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.
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:
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.
“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?
Using your impressions after watching the film Brick Lane, write a blog post on how the film portrays the challenges you face when living in a multicultural society. Use Nasneen and another character from the film to illustrate your points.
Having read the first seven chapters of The Kite Runner (2003), you have probably started to get to know some of the important characters. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist? Who is your favorite character and so forth…
A character sketch is a short description of a character based on what the book has told you so far. Remember that you get to know a character not just from descriptions the book makes of him/her, but also through actions, thoughts and conversations this character is shown to have.
Choose a character from The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan, Assef, or someone else, and write a character sketch. Find quotations from the book to emphasize your points.
Example of the beginning of a character sketch. Amir is the narrator of the story. He lives in San Fransisco, but grew up in Kabul in the 1970s with his father, Baba, and servants Ali and Hassan. He has a complicated relationship with his father, “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him” (p.4). Amir seems lonely, and it seems like his father wants very little to do with him, or takes little interest in him.” … and then it continues