April 2015 archive

Reflection on “Here comes Winter”

In music class, we came into small groups and wrote our own songs. The member of my group was Kanna, Emma and I. First we had to choose the instruments to play. As a result, our group came up as Kanna as a vocal and the pianist, Emma as a pianist, and I as a guitarist.

As we started making the songs, first we tried to come up with the theme and the structure because the song will differ with the theme and the structure. Consequently, Emma came up with our theme which was “winter”. Our structure was first [verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus] but afterwards we added a pre-chorus before the chorus so it became [verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, bridge, chorus]. Theme is important to decide the tone of the song and the structure is important to create songs more effectively and to show the contrast between the different parts. After coming up with the theme, we decided to choose the chords we’re going to use. Our group took a lot of time to come up with the chord sequences for the whole song. We were quite quick with choosing the chords for the chorus, but we couldn’t come up with the verse. Few weeks before the due date, we finally came up with the chords for the verse. I didn’t really need chords for the bridge and the pre-chorus because I didn’t play the two sections. Then we came up with the lyrics. I came up with most of the lyrics and I tried to relate it to the first day it snowed. I tried to use some imagery and metaphors. Finally, we came up with the melody. I came up with most of the melody of the song because at this time, we changed the vocal from Kanna to me. I based the melody on the chords because it is easier to sing. For example, when the chord changes the first note of the melody becomes the chord (When the chord changes to A, then the note that hits the chord change becomes A).

My role in my group was a follower at the first because I didn’t really share my ideas and followed what my group came up with. However, as I get to the end, I gradually became more responsible and shared my ideas with my group. Things that went well in my group was getting together quickly because we were able to play the part we created in a few tries. Things that went bad in my group was being motivated and actually coming up with ideas. Our group took time to be motivated as long as we don’t become motivated, we didn’t actually try and practice. We couldn’t come up with any ideas because no one barely shared each other’s ideas until the second semester. This lead us not being able to finish our song quickly.

Comparing books and films: The Outsiders

In English class, we watched the movies “Outsiders” after reading the book. There were both similar and different parts when comparing the movie and the book. I personally think that the movie isn’t much faithful to the original story. When I compare the book and the movie, I like the book more, but in some scenes, the movie is better.

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The main two reasons I like the book more is:

  • Easier to tell the thoughts of characters
  • More information and scenes

The book is written in Ponyboy’s perspective, but the movie is made from a perspective of someone who didn’t see/experience the story. Also, in books, we can write the thoughts, but in movies, people have to tell what the character is thinking.

When I saw the movie, I couldn’t really tell the characters at first becuase there wasn’t an introduction. Also, some scenes were missing and the transitions between scenes were quick. However, in the book, the narrator, Ponyboy explains how the character looks like and their personalities. One of the main themes in the book, the relationships in families, weren’t emphasized much in the movie. Ponyboy and Darry didn’t really have a good relationship at the start of the story and this was easy to tell in the book because Ponyboy actually tells it. He also explains how Sodapop acts when Ponyboy and Darry are in an awkard situation. In the movie, there aren’t that many scenes that shows the serious relationship between Ponyboy and Darry, and mostly shows the relationship of them when they actually open up to each other. Sodapop wasn’t emphasized in the movie much. Some of the important scenes in the book wasn’t showed in the movie too. For example, when Randy was talking about Bob’s life and how he had trouble with his parents, and the scene when Johnny was beaten up from the Socs.

The reasons I like the movie in some ways are:

  • Background music/sound can help understand the mood
  • Easy to visualize
  • Visual techniques are used to show themes
  • Dialogue is more effective

The background music was used when something bad was about to happen. The music sounded quite tense. Also, when we read books, we have to imagine the scene but in movies, the actors actually act out the scene so we can see what’s happening. In movies, there are many techniques used with the camera, shot, lightning, and sound. These techniques help us understand characters or the scene more. For example, by using the high level shot, we can tell that the character is in a low status or scared. Finally, the dialogue is more effective in movies because the actor actually has feeling when speaking the dialogue.

Persuasive Speech Reflection

8B Drama: Persuasive Speeches from YIS Arts on Vimeo.

In my speech I tried to persuade people to think having uniforms are good and we should have uniforms at YIS. I think people were able to hear my voice and wasn’t too quiet nor too loud. However, my pace became faster towards the end and also I think I didn’t pronounce some words clearly. From this, maybe some people weren’t able to understand some parts of my speech. Also, since my pace was too fast, I couldn’t pause between sentences. However, I tried to emphasize the main points in the speech by projecting my voice stronger than the other sentences. Next time I want to be able to pronounce words more clearly and keep the pace steady.

My posture could be more improved by standing more straight and staying at the spot. I didn’t really use hand gestures much so maybe this is my challenge. Looking at the palm cards a lot was another problem for me and the main reason looking at the palm cards a lot was that I wasn’t confident about my speech much. To be able to look at the audience more, I think I have to practice my speech more. As I look at my speech I noticed that my facial expression was a bit scary cause I didn’t really smile. I want to be careful for my facial expression too.

Finally, the structure of my content wasn’t detailed enough to make the audience feel that having uniforms are good. This is because I mainly stated the main advantages of having uniforms and didn’t describe the advantages. I just paraphrased the advantages. To make my speech more interesting and persuading, I could include more facts that are interesting and also relevant to what teenagers feel every day. The main problem was that I didn’t focus on stating why having uniforms are important and I focused on the effects we will have by having uniforms.

Overall, my best skill was my voice projection because comparing different skills needed in a speech, I think my voice projection was the skill I am most proud of from my speech. I should improve on the construction of the speech and the pace. This is because I think that good speech have intereting content in the speech and the pace is steady.

A speech that was most appealing to me was Zen’s.

8B Drama: Persuasive Speeches from YIS Arts on Vimeo.

His speech contained questions for the audience, and this makes the audience think about his speech and feel involved. Also, he wrote his speech thinking about the audience which were teengagers. He also included interesting facts like the distance between a person and the closest McDonalds. The information he included was also educational and made me learn something new. By listening to his speech it gave me an idea of how to structure an interesting speech.