Work and migration

As mentioned last week, we are going to move on from studying abroad and volunteering to working abroad.

Today we will look at migrant workers, mostly through listening to accounts found on E2 – which is Gyldendal’s resource for international English.

You will work with some questions based on these accounts, before moving on to reading an excerpt from Zadie Smith’s short story “The Embassy of Cambodia.” You will get the excerpt as a handout, but if you are interesting in reading the entire story, you can find it here.
embassy of cambodia

After having read the excerpt, I want you to write a blog post discussing Fatou’s story and comparing it to the statistical information you will also be given in class.

Publish your blog post at the end of class today.

– Hanna

Goal nr. 14 – Life Under Water

Since Norad is hosting an event with a special focus on the UN Sustainability Goal nr. 14 right here in our town, we think it proper to spend some extra time on this too.

We are surrounded by fjords, but do we really know what’s going on in them?

If things continue the way they have, by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish. That is why the UN has made “Life Under Water” one of their 17 goals for sustainable development, and they hope to improve conditions somewhat by 2030.

So…what’s really the problem?
Let’s start by reading up about ocean pollution here.

That’s the problem. Trash, fertilizers, cleaning products dangerous for life under water, chemicals, and plastic.

The big bad wolf in this scenario is plastic, especially the plastic produced for one time use – such as cups, bottles, bags, straws, cutlery etc.

plastic turtle

(Picture from: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/watch-kind-hearted-biologist-save-6990496)

We are going to watch the 46 minute long documentary “The Plastic Whale” about an incident which took place right outside Bergen last year.

After watching this documentary, write a blog post where you:
– discuss the problems life under water are currently facing
– reflect on the impact this documentary had on you
– do you think it will help the oceans that we put more focus on this problem? Why/why not?
– Finally, what are you most likely to do in order to preserve our oceans, and what do you think others should do?

Find a fitting title to your blog post.

– Hanna

Photojournalism

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-powerful-moments-photojournalism-2017

What is the purpose of photojournalism? How is it different from other forms of photography? Pick one of the images in the link above or find another example of a photojournalistic image that has made a great impression on you. Write a blog post where you add the image and describe what it shows, what you think is so great about it, and what message(s) it carries.

Read more about photojournalism here: http://www.photography-schools.com/photojournalismhistory.htm

The personal statement

Many learning institutions outside of Norway demand a personal statement from their applicants. This statement is meant to set you apart, to show why you belong at this school, or this particular program. You have read an example of a personal statement, and now it is your turn to try:

Write a personal statement to a university/learning institution that tells about yourself- your hopes, ambitions, life experiences and inspirations. You could focus on your background and how this has shaped your dreams and aspirations, or tell about a personal talent or quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. How does this relate to what person you are? Remember to write persuasively.

UCAS has some tips on how to write your text:
– “Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the universities and colleges value most.
– Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
– Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
– Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Movie

Questions for discussion:

1. What, in your opinion, is the most striking difference between the novel and the movie?
2. What do the novel and the movie have in common?
3. Compare the setting of the cafeteria in the novel versus how it is portrayed in the movie.
4. The American- how is he described in the movie?
4. How is Erica characterized in the movie?
5. Describe Changez.
6. What is your opinion of Jim?
7. Write a blogpost where you state your opinion of the movie, whether you liked it or not and why.

Freedom of speech for everyone?

The French philosopher Voltaire once said:

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Watch Farred Zakaria on CNN talk about how conservative voices are being silenced, being concerned about how on both sides of the political spectre, people seem less interested to hear the arguments and opinions of the other side.

How far does freedom of speech go?

Can you lose your freedom of speech? How/why?

How should we react when someone uses their freedom of speech to offend us?

Visit this site from The Wall Street Journal and choose a topic.

See how conservative and liberal Facebook present the topic you have chosen.

Write a post where you discuss:

  • which topic did you choose to look at?
  • What is the conservative posts about, and what is the liberal posts about?
  • Are there any posts which you felt were offensive or promoting hate/negativity? Why?
  • Think about freedom of speech, should we be allowed to post whatever we want on social media, or are there limits?
  • Look at the side you disagree the most with, and try to find their best argument. Is there anything you can see having merit, making sense, something you can understand that people would think? What?

freedom-of-speech-e1448890859820-jpe

(Picture from https://thequeerness.com/2016/03/07/freedom-of-speech-is-no-longer-about-rights-its-about-power/)

Chapters 8-9

Tuesday class March 13

We have now read chapters 8 and 9. In groups of three or four, discuss what happens in these two chapters. Then move on to discuss:

-The symbolism of names: Erica, Chris, Changez/Genghis Khan.

-Erica’s change/deterioration: “he never came to know what triggered Erica’s decline.    (Was it) the trauma of the attack on her city? The act of sending out her book in search of publication? The echoes raised in her by our lovemaking? I think I knew even then that she was disappearing into a powerful nostalgia”. Discuss each of the statements and explain what Changez means by each of them.

What does Changez mean when he says “America, too, was giving itself over to a dangerous nostalgia at that time”.

Find quotes that describe Erica’s deterioration or altered mental/physical state.

Find quotes that support the idea that Changez changes his attitude towards America.

Write down 10-15 new words that you have come across in these two chapters.

On your blog, write a summary of the two chapters. Include your thoughts about what is happening with Changez and Erica, both their attitudes and their relationship.

the reluctanct fundamentalist image (Photo retrieved from nytimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/books/review/Olsson.t.html)