WEEK 2 REFLECTION

Why did Tom throw the clock out of the window? Because he wanted to see time fly! Ok, not funny. But my point is, time do fly. Really quickly, in fact. It was not long when I wrote my first reflection, and now I am onto my second! This is fun!!

In class, Mr. Ryan talked about why people resist change and I was so excited to find out why. Perhaps that’s because I am someone who is quite lazy to change… Anyway, he mentioned that people resist change because of the fear of the unknown. Remember during the first lesson, some of us had to read our short story and other classmates will comment on it? I read mine, and some useful comments were given. However, back home, I wanted to edit my story yet was quite reluctant to do so. Why? As I thought about it, it could be because I did not know how my story would turn out after editing. What will it be like? Will the story improve much? How am I going to change it? The fear of the unknown. How true. However, one lesson I learnt is: dare to change, for it will make things better. Well, I believe my short story made more sense after changing it!

During lesson, we watched 2 short films, The Secret Heaven and The Call Home. What I particularly like about the film is that they both touch on issues Singaporeans can relate well with. Lets start with The Call Home first.

The Call Home is about an Indian national who works in Singapore as a worker. He decides to call home one day, yet lies to his wife that life here is good, so as to avoid unnecessary worry. I think this short film talks about conflict mainly between man and self. Comments were that the first half of the show was quite boring as there were no conflicts of any sorts. I have to agree. However, what I thought made the beginning of the film boring was that there were no dialogues too. While the director might be trying to show the change in the character’s behaviour and values, I thought that it would be more clearly and powerfully portrayed with dialogues. Picture paints a thousand words, true. But it is words that tell what the thousand words really are. Interestingly, while this film talks about an Indian national’s internal struggle, I thought that we could well relate with this film because we too face such struggles. Do we sincerely tell our friend that his/her art piece is terribly ugly so that he/she can improve? Or do we tell him/her that it’s ‘beautiful’ so he/she don’t have to worry so much and feel good. Sounds familiar?

The next film is The Secret Heaven. It talks about a little girl who thinks that death is the only way out to avoid piano lessons. I can relate so well with her! In the past, I was also ‘forced’ to take up piano lessons too. Thankfully, death wasn’t my option, failing in my piano exams was!! Haha… Anyway, I liked the way the director build the hatred for piano lessons in the little girl’s mind and when she realizes that ultimately, death is the ‘only way out.’ Using many tight close up shots amplified the girl’s inner feelings. However, as Mr. Ryan mentioned in class, the director did not fully explain how the conflict between mother and child was settled. Audiences only know that the poor little girl had to give in to her not-so-understanding mother eventually. Still, I liked this film as we can see how this little newcomer on earth, faces with the reality of pain and unfairness.

Till we meet again!

Signing off,
Pamela Soh
T1B2
29/04/07

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Class Notes (27/4/07)

STORY TELLING (27/4) NOTES

All story needs:
1. Plot
2. Smooth continuation
3. Climax
4. Organization
5. Characters
6. Moral
7. Conflicts

ROLE OF CONFLICTS
-Man against man
-Man against environment
-Man against self
→Variations of sex, age, religion and culture which provide variety to the conflict.

POSITIVE EFFECTS of CONFLICTS: change (how a character undergoes change)
– Change is common to all
– Its universal
– Bodies change
– Seasons change
– Lives change (Spiderman)
– Relationship change
– Feelings change
– Locations change
– Technology change

WHY we resist change:
1.as universal as change may be, we resist change for the fear of the unknown.
2.People must learn to cope with changes if they want to survive. 3.Action in drama depends on conflicts.

CONFLICTS:
– (Definition) opposition of persons or forces
– Interaction of opposing ideas, interests, or wills and it creates the plot.
– Plot cannot be constructed without conflict
– As your characters attempts to reach their goals, they come into conflict with each other.
– Conflicts must be able to match with each other, not for eg 1:1000 both character must want something
– The end of e story nears when the protagonist and the antagonist approach their goals and the conflict rises to generate maximum suspense and excitement.

Posted by
Pamela Soh
T1B2
29/4/07

Completed version of classwork

This is what what we did in class.. enjoy:)

They say that everything begins with a beginning. I just believe that with every end, it dawns something more powerful.

“And now, you may kiss the bride,” pastor Tan tells John and Michelle.

The end. Such a beautiful one. Or is it?

Michelle announces a new life inside of her, a very beautiful one. In preparation, John does all that he could. He paints the new room, he buys the cradle, and he takes up parenting lessons. Michelle plays her part too; reading up books on nursing a child, talking to other experienced parents and even quits her high pay job. Both parents are 99% ready for their child, and the remaining one percent is the birth itself.

However, three months before they enter their new phrase of life, the couples finally realize that their marriage was not an end of love, but the beginning of one.

Unexpectedly, unfortunately and undeservingly, (Almost unedited. Changed the story totally halfway during lesson, thinking that we have the whole 3 hours to write it.)

(EDITED VERSION)
They say that everything begins with a beginning. I just believe that with every end, it dawns something more powerful.

“And now, you may kiss the bride,” pastor Tan tells John and Michelle.

The end. Or is it?

Five months later, Michelle announces a new life inside of her, a very beautiful one. In preparation, John does all that he could. He paints the new room, he buys the cradle, and he takes up parenting lessons. Michelle plays her part too; reading up books on nursing a child, talking to other experienced parents and even quits her high pay job. Both parents are 99% ready for their child, and the remaining one percent is the birth itself.

However, few months before they enter their new phrase of life, the couples finally realize that their marriage was not an end of love itself, but the beginning of one.

Unexpectedly, unfortunately and undeservingly, the genealogist reveals that the unborn child is suffering from Down syndrome. The couples have two choices: one, to abort the child, two, to give birth to her, and ‘suffer’ with her. Michelle stumbles on the cold, hard chair upon receiving the news and John feels as if the whole room turns pitch dark and cold. As they return home, parents from both sides come to discuss the best possible solution.

“We want you to know that we do love our grandchild, but for your sake, and hers, let her, well, leave peacefully,” is their conclusion. The couple spends the next few days living in a nightmare. John and Michelle spend sleepless nights, praying and thinking, praying and thinking. It is just so tempting to abort the child and try for another healthy, normal baby. Another baby who they can run around with, teach her her ABCs and bring her for piano and swimming lessons.

A day before the next visit to the doctor, John and Michelle walk into the newly painted baby room. Placing his hands on her abdomen, John felt as if the baby smiled at him. Looking at the posters of baby pictures on the wall, Michelle felt as if she can hear her child’s innocent giggle. The couples look at each other in the eyes and they know that their decision is made. They then did something that they have not done for days- smile.

The next few months are months of more thorough preparation, both physical and mental. However, their reward comes when the first cry of their child is heard. It is the most beautiful cry ever heard and both John and Michelle feel as if all their pains are washed away.

Their marriage is not an end of the beautiful love John and Michelle experience, but the beginning of a powerful love they are about to give to their child, Grace.

Please do feel free to comment on this. I was stuck while writing this story a few million times…
Posted by
Pamela Soh
T1B2
29/4/07

20/4 class notes

Notes for the 1st story telling class!

Storytelling techniques
~ Writing formats:
Assignments in this class will use
(i) present tense
(ii) 3rd person narration
(iii) visual voice
This is to present immediate and urgent feel to the material
e.g. “Mark picks up the gun and holds it in his hand. It begins to tremble, as if alive.”

~ Script to a story: a blueprint of what needs to be on screen.

~ Written voice vs visual voice
Written
⇒ weak verbs
⇒ tell what is happening in character’s head
⇒ distances the character from the story
Visual
⇒ uses strong action verbs
⇒ shows the action
⇒ uses an intermediate sentence structure
⇒ conveys story in a lively manner
e.g.1
–written voice: the sky was blue with a lot of white clouds. (missing an ACTION, ACTIVITY)
–visual: the clouds parts and an appeasing beam of light lands on…

~Tips for writing
a) if you have a work in progress, never stop for the night if you’re stuck.
b) always solve the problem and keep going until you are in safer water. A good night’s sleep is important but sleeping on a problem is a MYTH.
c) if you cant et started on a project, start writing anyway. To do this, you have to have some words to type.
d) it doesn’t matter what you write. You’ll soon begin to think and move in your rhythm/pace.

END

Week 1 Reflection

What actually is story telling I asked myself. As I think about it, it seems that almost every thing we see around us has got to do with telling a story! A kindergarten child comes home excitedly to tell his/her mum all that happened in school is story telling. A young teenager complaining to his/her friends about how much homework students get in school this days can also be story telling. A mother warning her child the dangers of jumping on bed are story telling too. And an old grandparent telling his/her grandchildren about life in the past is also story telling! Wow, story telling is for every one of different age, background and mutuality. Perhaps that’s why people always seem more interested to listen to a juicy story rather than just listen to facts (though I cant deny its importance).

The reason I can say all I said above is because I love stories too!! While I was in secondary school, writing essays was my favorite homework. Narrative essays in particular. I just couldn’t wait to know what we’ll have to write about! So when I knew that we have to go for story telling classes, I was equally excited.

Class started quite differently. Instead of having just an introduction of the lecturer, there was an introduction of the students as well! Mr. Ryan went the extra mile to try to get to know us more personally and I was truly amazed by his sincerity. Tell you a secret, ok, an open secret. I myself am not too good at remembering people’s names, and the game we played to introduce ourselves kind of forced me to memorise my classmates’ names! Haha…

Anyway, the main thing we learnt today is about writing stories in a visual voice rather than a written one, and in a 3rd person and presence tense method. To make it simpler for me to understand, I think of it as watching a show and describing everything that is happening at the instance, including the sights and sound. Sounds right? For example, Pamela is typing her reflections for Story Telling class, on her new, white Mac book. She is thinking really hard, frowning, and can’t wait to continue with the next few paragraphs. Pamela is so involved in typing that when her mother comes into the room, it took her a few seconds to respond. All she hears are the “tap tap tap” on her keyboard. Now, Pamela thinks that she should return to first person ‘narration’ and continue with her journal.
I’m back!

One tip that I found particularly interesting was “ don’t stop for the night if you have no ideas for your story!” In secondary school, I would stop for a nap if I can’t find any ideas to continue my story with. Perhaps I hoped to dream of something that I can write about… (just kidding) Anyway, just last night, I was trying to re-write the story we did in class on Friday. At a point of time, I did not really have a good idea for the story and was so tempted to jump onto bed and sleep! However, Mr. Ryan’s tip flashed across my mind and thus I continued with my story. Guess what? I managed to finish it that night and am quite satisfied with the story! Application.

Hope there is something to learn from my reflection:)

Story Telling Assignment about Jacky

We did this in class and were given 20 mins. The 1st story is what I wrote during class and the 2nd is my edited version. Tried to improve on it from the comments given:)

(unedited version)

Because of the uncomfortable outfit, Jacky struggles even to enter the temple. While trying to get through the door, he trips over the plank of wood on the bottom of the door-frame and falls face down. A loud ‘thub’ sound is heard and everyone in the temple stops to look at him. Some children laughs at him while mothers immediately cover their toddlers’ eyes because of his disgraceful outfit. A monk immediately looks at his god and says a short prayer.

After Jacky manages to get up, he goes to give his prayers. In the prayer room, no one kneels beside him because they are all disgusted with his attire. An old lady who is about to enter the room gives an 180 degrees turn when she sees him. All these did not matter to Jacky at all, and he continues to pray.

Jacky takes a piece of paper which would tell his future and goes to meet the fortune teller. At the fortune-teller’s little desk, he gives Jacky an uncomfortable look and shakes his head. Jacky, still ignorant to his surrounding, smiles at the fortune-teller and passes him the paper. The old fortune-teller looks at the paper and tries to read Jacky’s future, while Jacky keeps his fingers crossed. He sighs, looks at Jacky and begins to revail his future…

comments: did not state why Jacky was in such an outfit..

(edited version)

Jacky puts on his hula girl outfit and enters the temple. He thinks that ths is a really cool outfit, and besides, all his peers has great comments on it, saying that he looks awesome in it. Jacky feels very confident in his attire. However, because the hula girl outfit is uncomfortable, Jacky faces much struggles even while trying to enter the temple. While entering through the door, he trips over the plank of wood on the bottom of the door-frame and falls face down. A loud ‘thub’ sound is heard and everyone in the temple stops to look at him. Some children laughs at him while mothers immediately cover their toddlers’ eyes because of his disgraceful outfit. A monk immediately looks at his god and says a short prayer. However, Jacky did not realise that they are disgusted by his outfit but assumes that they were laughing at the way he fell. He rubs his swollen knees embarrassingly and smiles with them, saying “Funny how clumsy people can be sometimes.”

After Jacky manages to get up, he goes to give his prayers. In the prayer room, no one kneels beside him because they are all dismayed by his attire. An old lady who is about to enter the room gives an 180 degrees turn and walks away when she sees him. All these did not bother Jacky at all, and he continues to pray.

Jacky then takes a piece of paper which would tell his future and goes to meet the fortune-teller. At the fortune-teller’s little desk, he gives Jacky an uncomfortable look and shakes his head. Jacky, still ignorant to his surroundings, smiles at the fortune-teller and passes him the paper. The old fortune-teller looks at the paper carefully and tries to read Jacky’s future, while Jacky keeps his fingers crossed. He gives a deep sigh, looks at Jacky and begins to revail his future…

Half an hour passes quickly and the fortune-teller said all that he has to say. Jacky walks out of the temple frowning, repeating all that the fortune-teller says in a disappointed tone. His walking pace slows down and suddenly comes to a pause. Jacky looks up, as if he has a terrific idea to change his bad ‘fate’!

“Next time, I shall wear my red hula girl outfit wherever I go!” He says, ” for they say, red is a lucky colour.”
END

Can we change our future just by changing the colour of our attire? Well, I hope that I’ve improved on the 2nd story and hope that you’ve enjoyed it:) Please feel free to give me any comments!

By Pamela Soh, class T1B2, 21 apr 2007