Ursula LeGuin’s writing style isn’t like any literature I have read before. If I were to describe her in a few words, I would call her a painter of literature. Instead of telling, she makes sure to show me that what is happening. In action scenes, she uses descriptive adjectives instead of direct information. Instead of blunt sentences about the scene, she allows room for creativity of the reader so that although the same thing is happening, the picture painted in each reader’s mind is slightly different. Her writing style develops character much faster and much more effectively than other writing styles as her usage of metaphors replaces many adjectives and descriptive passages in just one line of the book. She is scientific notation of words, compressed yet a beautiful work of art that is pleasant to read. Overall, her writing style is heavily focused on imagery; she does a great job of doing it.
“People are their own worst enemies”
I disagree with this statement. Rather, they can be their own worst enemy if the circumstances they’re under causes it. I’ve always believed that no matter what happens to me, the way I feel about a situation is all depending on my perception. My perception is most greatly influenced by the state of self-esteem I have at the moment. With a high self-esteem, I tend to take constructive feedback and develop myself whilst when my esteem is down the drain, I only think of destructive thoughts and break my mentality. There are people in my life that build my self-esteem whilst there are some people that knock it down. True enemies, in my opinion, are the people that deliberately hurt your sense of self-worth to make you your own enemy.
Lead yourself exceptionally well
I think that this is the most important leadership principle. Any person with any job, occupation or duty cannot perform let alone lead anyone if they cannot manage themselves. Being a leader to anyone can only be done when one can take care of their health physically and emotionally. Being able to control one’s desires and wants for the good of an organization is leading yourself. It’s totally fine to go around offering help to peers about the upcoming physics test, but it’s not a great idea to do so if you’re not done your own homework.
Lighten your leader’s load
Leaders in high positions have a lot of work to do. From managing and leading themselves to every other person in the organization that is below their rank. I think that the greater good of the organization as a whole comes from quality work in shorter amounts of time. By finishing my own eminent research and work, I can provide assistance to peers. By helping out peers I can raise the quality of their work and refine their projects in a shorter amount of time. If everyone in the class did this (like we did for speeches), we would be lessening the load on our teachers who have to look out for us in this whole project. This is for the greater whole as it will create a more successful night of the notables, benefitting talons as a whole. Building off of “Lead yourself”, if you can and have lead yourself well already, helping out with others’ loads lightens the load of the organization as a whole.
Be willing to do what others won’t
This is important because if there is an undesirable task that must be done, someone is going to have to complete the task. By stepping out and taking the initiative to do what others wouldn’t set the tone for other developing leaders around you. It can be as small as raising your hand in class to ask a question; that sets the tone and motivates other people to ask questions. I think one person stepping out to do something others won’t create a ripple-domino effect between leaders.
Invest in relational chemistry
Although the idea of “leader” gives off an authoritarian connotation, I think that the true leader makes other people want to follow them. A great way to do this is investing in relationships with your peers, allowing them to connect with you and you to connect with them. Leading after knowing the audience is easier than going in to lead without knowing anyone in the crowd. I personally would not want to follow a teacher who refused to make a relationship with me and only dictates my decision. Luckily in talons, it’s all about healthy relationships between experienced (teachers) and emerging (us) leaders.
Be prepared every time you take your leader’s time
This is really important. If I were to go to Ms Mulder to ask for help in science, I would have to prepare questions and topics I am unclear about. If I showed up without any context and notice without a textbook, I would be wasting Ms Mulder’s time, preventing her from doing other important tasks that will benefit Talons as a whole.
Be better tomorrow than you are today
This is a good principle to wrap this all up. Humans are learning animals; we make mistakes and remember them to prevent them from the future. Leaders are no exception; no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, if I was a little better than I was yesterday, I would be proud, and I would be a step further in becoming a better leader. Baby steps!
- Time and patience can sometimes be needed for one to find their true path.
- Keeping options open and accepting new experiences can lead to enjoyable experiences.
- Being curious about the world can often teach you new things that’ll affect your values and beliefs.
In your opinion, what is the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative: film or text? Explain your answer using specific details that relate to each version, as well as thoughtful reasoning.
I think the most effective medium for telling Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron is by viewing the film. Unlike most stories where most audiences would say films can’t beat the book, Harrison Bergeron is a short story that has a limited space to express imagery. The story is set in the far future, a setting that none of humanity had experienced yet, therefore I think imagery and descriptive language is crucial for readers to fully engage in the story. Vonnegut has done an excellent job of making the text flow; engaging indeed. Yet something felt a little out of place when I finished reading the book because I did not have a clear image of what the thought – impairing noises, the marvellous dancing, how exactly physical handicaps would equalize people of different shapes and size, and mostly, what “ugly” was. When I viewed the film, I heard horrible squeaks and piercing noises that I heard with the characters experiencing. I wanted it to stop as much as anyone else in the classroom viewing the film. Last year, my In-depth mentor told me that people will only care and react to something if 1. They relate or 2. It was a surprise to them.
When someone tells me that there are heavyweights hanging off of everyone in the world to equalize weight, annoying sounds that completely block you from thinking, and masks that make you ugly in 50 years from now, I would be compelled and want to know more. I sure was enthralled by the way Vonnegut painted the story, but I never got to know more.
With the film, I could see the faces, the pain, the unpleasant sounds the machines gave. Not only I was relating to it, but I was also experiencing and watching it before my own eyes. How suffocating the weights were, how detrimental the machines had on memories, and many more.
I think it is similar to the “Easy said than done” idea. I read about something that I cannot picture clearly; all in a haze. Then I was given visual evidence to the text. To see clearly.
Thank you for the eyes, Mr. Kurt Vonnegut. But I’m going to need glasses.
Matt’s escape to Aztlan impressed me in this scene. This scene shows that Matt has developed many valuable skills in his life in Opium, like physical agility, quick spontaneous thinking, and deceivingly lying. Matt wants to get to Aztlan and find Maria and her mother, where he can finally be free and safe, but fears death, as he came all this way to a land he’s never seen before alone. In this section, Matt has to convince the “keepers” that he’s just another common refugee without raising any suspicion. This is an internal conflict, as he fights himself to speak with ease; conceal nervousness.
Matt’s development is believable and realistic. He had been given the best of education in opium, and there have been many cases proving that Matt was an intelligent threat to the Alacran family. Matt also shows hypersensitivity to the industrial noises in Aztlan, a hint to his musical genius previously mentioned before.
I agree with how Matt handled the situation. Changing his name, telling the officers his parents were taken by the farm patrol, and that he needed to get to San Luis to find a friend is a believable story. I believe that Matt has developed qualities that are worth emulating. Improvisational skills can come very useful in life; it saved Matt’s.
Matt is dealing with an overwhelming amount of unknown things all around him because he grew up in Opium, where El Patron insisted on keeping everything a 100 years in the past. Such large buildings, electronics, sounds and machines can be extremely overwhelming; it reminds me of the times where I was put into inevitable, new, and rather scary situations. Especially when I was on a plane to Canada and thrown into Canadian school literally the next day.
I would’ve done exactly what Matt did in this situation. Maybe not as well, but I would’ve tried my utter best to look innocent, change my name, give them a false story and hope they don’t kill me.
Ceila impresses me when she reveals she had been gradually poisoning Matt with arsenic all this time. As misleading as that sounds, she literally saved Matt’s life.
While the entire Alacran Estate thought Matt was ready to be cut open anytime for spare organs (insert quotation about Matt’s thoughts on death), Celia’s intelligent plan revealed that Celia is a prudent and shrewd woman. She has the ability to read others’ intentions and estimate when certain events will happen. She makes sure she poisons Matt enough until his heart is no longer healthy when El patron would most need it. Controlling the amount of arsenic for Matt must’ve been remarkably difficult. None of the poison was life-threatening. Celia is a top maid in the huge household; lots on her plate. A plan like this requires wisdom, proper knowledge of chemicals, time, hope, and perseverance. Celia was practically Matt’s mother for all of his life. She loved him with all her heart – It must’ve been painful to have to hurt a loved one to protect them; ironic. Without knowledge of chemicals, Celia could’ve easily killed Matt. I can infer that Celia is an educated, tenacious, timely, and loving individual.
Although this scene marks the clear victory of Celia and Matt, Celia still fears that Matt will be killed somehow. She wants El Patron dead (INSERT RELEVANT QUOTATION: Celia tells him he’s a crazy freak and that El Viejo was the only decent person in the family because he accepted death gracefully and with dignity. She also says Matt owes him nothing.).
Internally, Celia has to fight off the fear that she might still lose Matt despite the conditions. Externally, she’s risking literal death as she yells at El Patron’s face that he is a lunatic with his bodyguards present. The bodyguards can do anything to Celia if El Patron, who, by the way, is still alive (though weak), orders harm upon her. Noting here that El Patron is all-powerful and Celia is a mere maid of the household.
I believe that Celia’s character development is realistic. Throughout the book, there are multiple hints (mention some hints) showing that Celia is a very organized and intelligent adult human. She is a mother, a boss, a friend, and now I see that she is an intellect.
I completely agree with Celia’s actions in this scene. If not her, then who? If not then, when? She saved a life and stood up for her beliefs in the one moment that allowed her to. When she knew El Patron was becoming frail and weak, nearing death once again. If she did not poison Matt, he would’ve been in the perfect condition to be a heart donor. If she did not stand up and state what she did to Patron’s face, he would not have been shocked and soon dead. Without Celia’s actions, Matt would be dead, not El Patron.
I think it’s completely appropriate to emulate Celia’s qualities. Courage and wisdom are two traits that I believe can make this world a better place – surely Celia knows.
It must’ve hurt to watch her practical son be in distress for a long time; consistently in pain. In this scene, we all learn she did it for Matt. That it hurt her just as much as it hurt him. I can make a personal connection through this. There have been many times in my life where my parents had to make difficult decisions that, in the time, was uncomfortable for both me and them, but eventually I came to learn that the distress I went through is only because they wanted the best for me in the future. I think parental figures are very prudent people, just like Celia.
If I was Celia, I would’ve acted the same, if not in a more rude sense. I would’ve screamed at the top of my lungs, if I had the chance, and made my word be spoken. The wicked man was going to die any second, might as well as be angry enough for trying to kill my son.
Even if my fingernails are torn out, my nose and ears are ripped apart, and my legs and arms are crushed, this physical pain does not compare to the pain of losing my nation. My only remorse is not being able to do more than dedicating my life to my country.
My eminent figure for 2018 is Ryu Gwan Sun. When a call for peaceful protests in support of Korean independence came in spring 1919, a 16-year-old girl named became the face of a nation’s collective yearning for freedom.
Ryu is one of the most praised and remembered martyrs in the journey of Korean independence. Born December 16, 1902, she was one of the only female children in the country to be attending school. Her father always taught her that she must be a proud, confident person in both herself and her identity, that she must enrich herself as much as she could, regardless of gender. Ryu grew, known for being very intelligent, memorizing bible verses after hearing them once or twice. She attended the Ewha school, today known as Ewha women’s university through a scholarship program that required recipients to work as a teacher after graduation. At the time, few Korean women attended university. In 1919, while she was a student at the Ewha high school, she witnessed the beginnings of the movement, a fight against Japanese colonization. Gwan sun, along with a five-person group, took part in the movement.
After witnessing the movement, she planned a protest of her own. Ryu and her family tirelessly went around from door to door, handing out Korean flags and encouraging the public to take part in the fight to Korean independence. The demonstration took place on March 1, 1919, in Aunae Marketplace at 9:00 a.m., with approximately 3,000 demonstrators  chanting “Long Live Korean Independence!” , or “Daehan Doklip Mansae!”.
By 1:00 p.m, the Japanese military police arrived and fired on the unarmed Korean protesters, killing 19 people which included Yu’s parents.
Gwan sun was arrested.
The Japanese military police offered Gwan sun a lighter sentence in exchange for her admission of guilt and her cooperation in finding other protest collaborators. However, she refused to reveal the identity or whereabouts of any of her collaborators. She did not give them any information even after being severely tortured.
In her trial, when asked, “Do you vow to never take part in an independence movement and live as a rightful Japanese woman?”
She answered with “I am a Korean person. Is chanting independence for my country a sin? None of you has a right to sentence me and I do not deserve to be in trial with the Japanese.”
And threw her chair at the judge.
She was then imprisoned and tortured, yet records say that Ryu did not stop yelling “Long Live Korean independence” until the torture killed her. According to records discovered in November 2011, of the 45,000 who were arrested in relation to the protests during that period, 7,500 died at the hands of the Japanese authorities. Ryu was one of them.
During her imprisonment and torture, she said, “Even if my fingernails are torn out, my nose and ears are ripped apart, and my legs and arms are crushed, this physical pain does not compare to the pain of losing my nation. My only remorse is not being able to do more than dedicating my life to my country.”
She was a symbol of independence, the story of the young 16-year old that lead and inspired many people to fight for the country.
Growing up as a Korean girl myself, I’ve always been told how Ryu had fought to protect the country, and how we should never forget the horrendous torture and pain our ancestors had to go through for Korea we have today. I realized I knew who Ryu was, not how she lived, and how to she came to become the martyr for Korea. I knew what she did, but I didn’t know her.
I decided to study her for my eminent project this year. I cannot dare say I’m anywhere near brave as she was, but her actions taking initiative, inspiring people of all ages from children to adults moved my heart and are definitely qualities that I want to develop.
From learning how these traits of bravery and courage came to be, I may learn how I can apply them to my life, and how it was applied in her time. I have found many book titles on Ryu and the protests. For my next step in learning, I plan to gain access to some of them and read them, taking notes and if any, differences in information as some of it could’ve been altered if from authors of different origin.
How might we begin to “reject the single stor[ies]” in our lives?
It goes without saying that ignorance is one the most important issues facing us today. There are those who argue that when we do not enjoy or like something, it is only because we do have yet to delve in deeper into the topic. In our lives, it is practically impossible to avoid single stories. It is unfortunate yet the complete truth of one’s story could only be held in a person’s mind only when experienced. As Ms Adichie mentioned in her TED talk, single stories are so powerful as they create an image of a person or concept in one’s mind with only some limited truth, otherwise known as a stereotype. I think it’s quite intimidating to have to think that I must be rejecting and encouraging others to reject a single story in our lives; it’s inevitable. Take death, for instance. We all have to come to a death at one point, yet we try everything we can to stay healthy and delay that point as much as we can. I think of a single story – based mind as the same idea; to fix a mind on one aspect of a story and refusing to look from other perspectives is like refusing to be cured of an illness.
Every human holds different values and beliefs. What values and beliefs they are, is up to the individual. What I think should be essential is that making sure that every human has access to view a story told from multiple sources. Society controls this to a great extent – so I think educating young adults to look into a wider range of sources, view news from different political spectrums, promote empathy, and teaching to view the world in different lenses is a good way to start.
All things considered, what beliefs and values an individual develops the information into is completely up to them, but the important thing is to make sure a diverse source of resources are easily accessible and available is the best step to take at the moment to rejecting a single story.
Matt’s deceiving behaviour towards Maria on the birthday celebration did not impress me. Starting from his immature prank on switching Tom’s name card to forcing Maria to kiss him; in front of the whole the Alacran estate, is an action that is bold yet is perceived barbaric, considering that the majority of the family considers him to be an animal, not human. However, I do understand his reasons. It was his birthday, after all. To be treated as a beast by people with hatred against clones all flashing at one child can be harsh; his sudden power could be a tempting opportunity to use it to get back at his enemies. However, this scene does reveal that Matt is a feeling, growing human being. His regret and remorse about his actions towards Maria (his love interest) show me empathy is present in his consciousness as proven by the passage, “[…] her treasured gift-wrapping paper and used them to wrap Matt’s taffy. He felt terrible looking at them” (111) All Matt wished for was for the Alacrans to recognize and fear him as much as they did for El Patron himself. He also wanted Maria to notice his power by ordering her to kiss him. Later on, he fears that he had just lost his friends in the house, Tam Lin and Maria, as their disapproval against his actions was apparent – shown when Maria says, “I don’t want to give you anything! You don’t deserve it!” (108). Nobody dares to create external conflict with him in the beginning, but internal conflict within himself comes into place when he reflects on his actions before bed. It’s difficult to determine if Matteo’s actions are realistic as there are no known human clones today. As far as I’m concerned, Matt is just like any other developing young boy; any child raised under his circumstances would’ve acted similarly. Being told that one is a monster, then gaining the opportunity to take subtle revenge against those people is an understandable reasoning. I agree with the way Matt acted in this scene to a certain extent. His demanding actions created a nuance in the family mind, hinting the idea that he now does have some power in the house. I wish he did not force Maria to kiss him, though; no harassment, please. I do not think Matteo is someone we should aim to emulate. He is not a grown human, all he can do at the moment is developing his own values in a toxic environment, which we should avoid being associated with in the first place. As for personal connections, I can link the “family hierarchy” theme to my own household. In some situations, I am the oldest, in others the youngest. I can remember a time during a family gathering a few years ago when I would “abuse” the power of the eldest child, by ordering the younger children to do simple tasks for me and telling them they cannot disobey me because I was older. I felt terrible about it later, thinking that I lost their respect. It reminds me of the situation Matt was in, on a less extreme note. In his exact setting, I would not have acted the way as he did. I would’ve avoided making an impression on anyone out of fear, especially if I had death threats against me. On the retrospective, I’m not El Patron’s clone – I do not know how I would’ve acted if I was Matteo Alacran, not Yunmin. Nonetheless, I’m glad he did what he did – I am excited to see how this story will further progress.