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)

Spotlight

spotlight

(Picture from http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8FoV_CqN1-EetgwddDzbfaFYsOlAufiupBdzDTGLm6l8ty-F1)

Choose two of the questions on the film study work sheet (if you have lost it you can find it on Fronter) and write a blog post where you discuss your answer to these questions.

At the end of the post, sum up briefly what you learnt from this film, and how you liked it.

Hanna

How different countries use newsproviding media

Wow, you gave me a challenge here – how do we approach this topic?

In groups, make a Prezi presentation of media usage in the country you have been given. Some things might be easy to find out, others a bit harder, and others yet again might be impossible… but let’s try! 🙂

Find out:

  • do they have a free press or any kind of censorship? Why/why not?
  • do they have state media or not? What could be the importance of this?
  • What are the biggest newsproviding media in this country?
  • Who owns these media?
  • How many use these?
  • Are they politically minded – liberal, conservative etc? If so, how is this seen?
  • Find the three biggest newsproviding media in this country and look at their frontpages: compare headlines, choice of causes, focus, read a story from each and comment on the journalism. Also, find them on social media; check out their Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account. How are they on social media? Many followers? What kind of profile do they have here? What kind of cases are their fronting on their social media?

 

Answers:

Media in South Africa

Media in China

Media in Brazil

Media in India

 

 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

 

By Mohsin Hamid (2007) is the novel we are reading this school year. We are now into he first four chapters of the book and here comes the assignment:

Write a blog post where you comment on:

  • your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
  • what impression you get of the company Underwood Sam.
  • describe how Changez feels about America and comment on this quote: “I was immediately a New Yorker”.
  • how  Erica is described. Find a quote to underline your opinion.

After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 5 for the Tuesday class.