This year in International English

This school year I have learned a lot of useful things. I have learned about the use of internet an how to find good sources. We have watched a lot of great movies and short films that I will remember for a long time and recommend to others. The learning methods have been fun and variable. Blog, movies, books, texts, music, projects and trips are some of the thing we have done over the past year.
I feel like I have learn a lot during this year, my English has improved and I have also learn a lot about the English speaking world.

I don’t thing we had been able to do and learn all the things we have this year without the teacher we have had. Ann is very engaged teacher, you can see that she wants to share knowledge, and that I think that is the most essential for being a good teacher and to manage to make the students want to learn new things.  

Why we should allow the use of internet when testing

When I first heard my class was chosen to try out using internet during exam, I was a little skeptical. I found it hard to show what I have learned the last year, because I could just find everything on the internet.
After using the internet at the exam in practice, I found the internet extremely helpful and couldn’t find any negative sides by having it accessible. I realized that this is the future. Before, you couldn’t use any kinds of sources during exam, and now that seems unthinkable.

When you work at home or tasks at school, you always have access to the internet so you can find information on the topic your writing about. This is a method every student is used to use daily when doing school work. 

When you have an assignment, you do not borrow 50 books at the library, you search for information at 50 different pages at the internet. You probably find the same information in the end, except when using the internet you save a lot of time and energy. The internet is just a more effective and easier way to find information. When not using communication, it is just the same as looking through books, only you found  a huger amount of information in a shorter period of time.

Internet during exam is the future! Why stop the future from happening? 


My views on using the internet during an exam

There are many advantages and disadvantages by using the internet during an exam, and I don’t know what I would have preferred for myself during an exam.

On one side, you will be able to put more effort into the assigment and I think the task would be more comprehensive, because of the access to a lot of facts. The task will be carried out better and easier to perform, which therefore means that teachers has to be more stringent during the correction and must take into account that the student has had access to a huge amount of information.

It would therefore be difficult to distinguish between what is written by the students themself and what is taken directly from the internet. One can easily find opinions and reflections around different topics on the internet and turn it into own sentences, that is hard to find traces of. The student must be clear to set up sources and clearly show what is own opinions and what is facts taken from the internet.

During an exam, I would have searched for information on sites with a certain security, that I know I can trust. I would have chosen sources that teachers have recommended and which I know is written by professionals.
If I were to find information on pages like Wikipedia, I would always double check if I'm not sure that the information is true or false.

I think in a way that the internet would have helped me during an exam, I would have found more information on the topic I write about and therefore gain a more interesting and fluent assignment. Yet the teacher must take into account all the information the students have access to and I therefore think that in the end it will not be beneficial for a student to have access to internet during an exam, in terms of results.  

To other students who will use the internet during the exam, I recommended to be clear to refer to the sources you have used, to avoid any confusion between what is own thoughts and opinions and what is facts directly from the internet.

When you are listing up your sources during an exam, I recommend to use a program on Microsoft Word, which is an organized bibliography that lists your sources directly after a sentence from the source you chose.


Sarah’s key

Lately, I have been reading the book Sarah’s key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I finished it quickly because I found it extremely fascinating and exciting. 

In the first half of the book, we get to experience the story from the perspective of the young French girl, Sarah. Sarah is a 10 years old Jewish girl who is brutally arrested by the French police in Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, along with her family. Before she is arrested she locks her younger brother in a cabinet in the apartment, thinking they would be back within’ a few hours or so.

Sarah’s side of the story ends when she returns to her apartment and finds her brother dead in the cabinet. A new family has then already taken over their apartment, and has been notifying an odd smell, that they couldn't find out what was, until now.

In the second half of the book we get to continue the story from a half American, half French journalist perspective, who finds her work more interesting than it primarily was supposed to. She finds a lot of information that leads her to Sarah and she arises an obsession with finding out what has happened to this girl. Questions like “Is she still alive?” and “How of a person did she become after Auschwitz?” she asked herself. As her personal life becomes weaker, she gets closer to her goal finding out what had happened with the mysteries girl named Sarah.

The book is mainly about one of the darkest incidents in French history, were millions of Jews were transported to the Auschwitz death camp in 1942.
It is a touching story, well written, with a good structure. I think the first half of the book, with the story from Sarah’s point of view, was the best part. You really manage to develop pictures of how brutal and tragic the actions was around the Jews in 1942, not only in Germany but other countries as well. The fact that many people was not completely knowledgeable of things that had happened in their country at that time, is well emphasized in the book.

I really enjoyed the ending of the book, even though it didn’t end well for Sarah. I strongly recommend this book, and the movie as well. Both is really great, though I liked the book a little better. 


Into the wild

Today we have watched the movie «Into the wild» in class. I thougt it was a realy great movie with a good moral and the fact that it is based on a true story makes it even better I think.
Now I am going to answer some questions around the movie “Into the wild”.

Why did McCandless reject his parents’ lifestyle?
Alex McCandless rejects his parents lifestyle because he believes that every day they are living a lie. They are too committed to the whole idea of having the right things and showing to everyone how wealthy they are, which is completely different to the person McCandless are. This may be the reason to why he has become the person he is, and the ideas and values he has created for himself.

What do you think of McCandless‘s decision to discard his identity and past life without a backward look?
I think he felt like it was something he had to do. He couldn’t live a lie any more, and therefore he chooses the nature, because it is nothing more real and honest than nature.
On the other hand, he left a lot, people that he care about, and basically his entire future. When you are young and you have these ideas, they can seem like the only right thing, but if he had chosen to think twice about it, learned more about the nature and taken some ground rules before he left on his journey, he may have gotten the same experience living alone in the wild, feeling free, but maybe more prepared, more mature and didn’t have to end his life the way he did. 

Why did Christopher McCandless trade a bright future–a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm–for death by starvation in an abandoned bus in the woods of Alaska?
I think there is a lot of different reasons, but I think just to live real and honest life. In his childhood he had seen his parents yelling at each other, screaming and beating each other up, and even so they continued to stay married, they continued to be a family, “a happy family". I think he was tired of living a lie, living a life that was chosen for him and not a one he had chosen himself. I also think he had lost a little faith in love and relationship between people because of his past, but despite of that,  he meets a lot of people that he starts to care about, he always lives, and finds peace in nature. He believes that you can’t only find "love" in other people but also in everything god has created. People are just to blind to see it. Superficial that thinks material stuff and status are the most important things in life. 

Would you do the same thing if you were in his place, or do you think it would be important to discuss your decision with your family first, even if you were certain that they would try to dissuade you.
I don’t know, it is hard to say. But if I had the same thoughts and the same values I think I had done the same think, only that I may have been a little more careful with what I had been eating and I would have taken some time to learn about the nature before I went on that kind of travel.
 Discuss the concepts romanticism and transcendentalism.

Romanticism are focused on the importance of emotions, relationships between people and individual freedom. Follow your feelings, not your knowledge.
Transcendentalism says that you should find inspiration from something beyond "yourself", reason and tradition, for example the relationship with nature, and god and his creations.
This is very central in the movie. Alex’s family is an example of romanticism and Alex is more opposite and are more likely finds his values  in nature and the relationship with gods creations.


Lamb to the slaughter by Roald Dahl

Last lesson when we read the short story “Lamb the slaughter” I was not present.  Fortunately I have read it before and I remember the most of it, at least the important parts.

I remember that I enjoyed reading "Lamb to the Slaughter", because it was written in a way that caught my attention and made me interested in reading more. The story contains a lot of character descriptions so I manage to create a picture of how the character looks like, and also how they are as persons. The story also have a lot of dialogs between the characters which makes the story more interesting and easy to follow.

What really completes the great story, is the ending. It is unexpected, original and humorous.  The police arrives at  Mrs. Maloney's home after she has killed her husband. She then pretends that everything is completely normal and when she “finds” her husband lying on the floor dead, she pretends to be in complete chock and starts to cry. She had then already put the lamb that she hit her husband with, in the oven and after a while she serves the policeman the lamb. In that way the policemen actually eats the murder-evidence. I think there is a great moral to the short story “lamb to the slaughter”, and I really liked the whole story, but especially the ending of it. 

All creds to Roald Dahl


Living in Norway

Norway, I will never complain about living here when I see all the terrible stuff that is happening in other parts of the world. We are so lucky to live here in a place with great living conditions, peace and a lot of valuable resources.

Yesterday I watched the news about the Korean dictator that died, and when I see how the politics are and how the people in North-Korea are treated, I feel even more grateful to live here in Norway.  
Norway is a monarchy, which means that we have a king and a queen, and also a Prime minister in head of the community. We are lucky to have a democracy, with freedom of speech and religion. You don’t have to be afraid of outing your own opinions, without being arrested or executed, like some countries actually are dealing with.
Slottet i Oslo

I think the biggest difference between living in China and Norway is probably the everyday life. Just the surroundings and how you relate to other people around you. China is a huge country compared to Norway, and the cultures are also widely different.

The language is also completely dissimilar, we don’t have any thing in common when it comes to that, we even have different letters and symbols. In Norway we can understand Danish, Swedish and English, and maybe even a little German, and that’s probably a lot different than in China.
I personally think every chine looks the same, and I can’t see the difference between Koreans, chines, and Japanese, but that is probably also the same for you in China.

Many people in countries far away, have maybe not even heard of Norway, or don’t know anything about it at least. As the prime-minister Jens Stoltenberg said during the time around 22th of July “We are a small county, but today we are the biggest in the world”.  We may be a small country, but we are big on love, care and compassion. People may think we are the capital of Sweden, but we do great things that other countries admire.