A Talk With My English Teacher

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AllergicToFairydust
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Hi,

I know this is now the 3/4 thread I have written complaining about my English but I would like some advice..

I have spent to whole week looking at my poem and my notes trying to figure out what to write and I have managed two sentenses.

I was really pleased I passed GCSE English (C) and took it up for AS because my teacher (Head of English) said everyone even the grade C gets an A or B for AS.

I am finding the in-class discussions ok and story writing easy (I have won 3 prizes for my stories in the past) but I am having no luck with essay writing.

I cannot drop English because we all have been entered for the exams and the Head of Sixth Form won't let anyone drop anything! So should I speak to my teacher and explain the above?

A Musical Gal

PS Not only is my teacher my english but my reg teacher.
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CasperUK
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Poem writing is awful. Here is my poem comparison of shakespeare poems. Hope it helps, I'm sure there is a strucure, its just hard figuring it out. Write the first thing that comes into your head. Always refer to the question. I was deeply cheated when i got an E, but it was my own fault partly, i did like 30 mins revision so i sort of deserved a low-ish grade just not an E when my target was an A/B. Oh well, **** it.
hope it helps
Casper

PS: if your stuck, add me to msn messeger, I'll try and help you out. [email protected]

Discuss the presentation of aspects of love in ‘They Flee From Me’ and ‘Sonnet 73’

The word ‘love’ today has many meanings but centuries ago it had a clear definition, a word that meant ‘an intense feeling of deep affection and fondness’.
Two poems that express their own unique feelings on love are the Thomas Wyatt poem called ‘They Flee From Me’ and one of William Shakespeare’s most famous pieces of work ‘Sonnet 73’. Both poems are expressions of love, however while ‘Sonnet 73’ is famous for its ‘conventional’ love theme the same cannot be said about the bitterness that Thomas Wyatt is putting across in his ‘They Flee From Me’.
Although both poems are indeed ‘love’ poems they do not have the same structure nor can they both be called sonnets, that can only be said of ‘Sonnet 73’ which follows the sonnet structure consisting of 14 lines, ‘They Flee From Me’ does not follow this structure and is a lyric expressing the poets thoughts and feelings although it could be argued that both pieces of writing are doing this.
Thomas Wyatt’s ‘They Flee From Me’ poem takes a largely monosyllabic and declarative tone and is largely personal, perhaps describing an experience close to him. The whole poem is a reversal of usual sexual exploits between man and woman and takes on a more intimate tone, one that of regret and misery. The opening stanza however, seems a little promiscuous and wild, he talks of giving ‘bread’ to their mouths in his chamber and the women now taking on a more wild personality as opposed to the time when he has, “….seen them wild, tame and meek” but now they are ‘Busily seeking with a continual change.”
The second stanza is a reminiscence of a sexual exploit with a ‘wild’ one in his chamber who he is trying to tame. The poem talks of change, before the women used to come to him with “naked foot” with an air of vulnerability but now everything changes around him, on line four we see an adverbial of time, “That now….”, which puts the whole poem into the position of regret and reminiscence. We must also note the way the woman has become sexually dominant when she asks the question “Dear heart, how like you this?” this is where the reversal of position and dominatrix is shown. At the end of the second stanza, at this point she also becomes the pleasure giver which in itself turns into a male fantasy as he now talks of her as being a ‘godess’.
The third stanza is drenched in Sir Wyatt’s mental depression of the abandonment of his love. The time transition is made clear one line one when Wyatt talks of having many women and then one woman and then no women at all , “They flee from me that sometime did me seek”. The whole poem is a deep thought of the deep irony and how strange it seems. Perhaps dreaded age has caught up with him or he has possibly lost his desirability factor that made him appealing to women. The whole irony is clear throughout the poem and the reversal as aforementioned is clear to see also, as the woman who he had once tamed now gives him permission to leave, for this he feels abandoned and certainly very bitter and says with a hint of sarcasm, “But since that I so kindly am served”. He goes on to say that since they both got what they wanted from the relationship that there is no real harm done but he still cannot hide his bitterness which is evident throughout the lyric, his “gentleness” is contrasted by them being “wild” and all they ever sought from him was a good time and nothing more, thus giving insight to a thought that he merely thinks of them are nothing but whores now. The whole love theme in “They Flee From Me” is not at all love, but more of regret but also bitterness, bitterness at the fact that he no longer has a ‘love’ and bitter that he is now old and no longer has ‘it’. The love was not really love he suggests but more play with the ladies but he is no longer like that and is now a changed man.

William Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 73’ seems to emphasise death initially in the opening two lines but in actual fact is a celebration of love through cycles of time, light and colour.
Many sonnets written by Shakespeare deal with emotions such as love, as well as encompassing themes such as tragedy in the mix also, and ‘Sonnet 73’ is no exception. ‘Sonnet 73’ discusses love and death as well as the process of ageing through devices such as imagery and wordplay. The sonnet starts its beginning in the season of Autumn, here a person is being compared metaphorically to a tree and the yellow leaves that fall in Autumn are a symbol of age or even death, which happens to all of us. The structure of the sonnet is a Shakespearean trademark, made up of the classic Petrarchan 14 lines, but in the Shakespearean formula of 3 quatrains and a couplet at the end to sum up or overturn the poem.
The first quatrain employs a metaphor of the Autumn day, a metaphor is of a person, to emphasise the harness of old age. This is also a device to show the theme of death, which is shown through the poem as the reoccurrence of cycles through the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The changing colour of the “leaves,” where “none or few do hang,” implies the changing of the season from summer to Autumn. The tree on which the leaves hang then turn “bare” and “cold” this can be seen on line three as “…those boughs shake against the cold” this again indicates that the season of Winter is arriving. The four seasons all fall within the same cycle every year, and the cycles represent life, perhaps life that of the poet.
In the second quatrain, the metaphor shifts to that of “twilight”, and emphasizes not the chill of old age, but rather the gradual fading of the light of youth, as "black night" takes away the light "by and by", the human life is not a cycle unless you are a believer in reincarnation, youth will not reappear and we can only get older.
In the third quatrain this dawns upon Shakespeare and the image of the fire consumed by the ashes of its youth creates this image and is significant both for its disposition of the past where the ashes of which eventually snuff out the fire, "consumed by that which it was nourished by" and also for the fact that when the fire is extinguished, it can never be relit.
The final two lines, “This thou perceiv´st which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long", are Shakespeare’s last words to his lover as he is about to leave her, he explains that love must be very strong if it is to survive death – which is the overriding theme of the poem. The whole poem can be summed up within the last couplet and it is clear that death cannot be prevented and love cannot survive it.
The overall theme in ‘Sonnet 73’ is that of gradual ageing. Each of the 3 quatrains develop into images of extinction, these can be seen in the metaphors use to depict these themes in the form of a season (the Autumnal theme is important) of fire and also of a day, which passes – all these themes are applicable to life too.
‘Sonnet 73’ contains the theme of time, slowly progressing from vibrate life to the psychological anguish of nearing closer to death and it is Shakespeare’s job to address his young friend, not for the approaching literal death of his body, but for the metaphorical death of his youth and passion which has been burnt out.
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(Original post by a_musical_gal)
Hi,

I know this is now the 3/4 thread I have written complaining about my English but I would like some advice..

I have spent to whole week looking at my poem and my notes trying to figure out what to write and I have managed two sentenses.

I was really pleased I passed GCSE English (C) and took it up for AS because my teacher (Head of English) said everyone even the grade C gets an A or B for AS.

I am finding the in-class discussions ok and story writing easy (I have won 3 prizes for my stories in the past) but I am having no luck with essay writing.

I cannot drop English because we all have been entered for the exams and the Head of Sixth Form won't let anyone drop anything! So should I speak to my teacher and explain the above?

A Musical Gal

PS Not only is my teacher my english but my reg teacher.
Definitely express your concerns. You're probably better at writing essays than you think you are. However, it is something you'll be able to improve with some helpful pointers. I think writing English essays is all about developing a style. Good luck.
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not1
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(Original post by CasperUK)
The comparison here got me an A so it just goes to underline that there are racist exam markers who give potential A/B grade people awful grades like an E!!!
dont accuse the examiners of being racist (how could they be when all they see is your paper) because you wrote a crap essay.
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[email protected]
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(Original post by CasperUK)
I was deeply cheated when i got an E, probably by some racist marker no doubt.
Haha! That is the funniest excuse for getting a bad result that I have ever heard! Racist markers? Next people will be saying that they got a bad mark because they have blue eyes/ are short/ have bad breath!

Seriously! All the markers see is an exam paper in front of them- they don't get a full length, annotated photograph as well!
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jediknight007
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(Original post by a_musical_gal)

I was really pleased I passed GCSE English (C) and took it up for AS because my teacher (Head of English) said everyone even the grade C gets an A or B for AS.
That is such a lie. The students aren't the same every year.
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sorry - forgot to 'submit'!
'Writing an essay' by Brendan Hennessy is a fantastic investment for £8.99. It's from the series of 'How to books for students'. ISBN 1-85703-455-4
I found it extremely helpful for coursework and exams.
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LH
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(Original post by [email protected])
Haha! That is the funniest excuse for getting a bad result that I have ever heard! Racist markers? Next people will be saying that they got a bad mark because they have blue eyes/ are short/ have bad breath!

Seriously! All the markers see is an exam paper in front of them- they don't get a full length, annotated photograph as well!
Maybe every exam marker should get a piece of paper giving details about each candidate such as "bites his fingernails" or "can roll her tongue" and then the examiners can higher or lower the grade accordingly.
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(Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
Maybe every exam marker should get a piece of paper giving details about each candidate such as "bites his fingernails" or "can roll her tongue" and then the examiners can higher or lower the grade accordingly.
Brilliant idea. The examiner could then receive clippings of said fingernails in a little plastic bag as proof!

P.S. Couldn't be bothered to read through Casper's essay, so probably couldn't comment on whether it is crap or not (too busy trying to avoid having to read 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' again for my lecture tommorrow. Us English students have SO much work to do.) (haha)
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[email protected]
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Pantaloons. The above post was by me- wish I could be arsed to set up my own account!
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not1
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(Original post by [email protected])
Pantaloons. The above post was by me- wish I could be arsed to set up my own account!
its not that hard. only takes a minute, and is well worth it (eg people can actually tell who you are)
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fionah
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Yes probably a racist marker. ! But each of the papers will have gone to different ones surely? So in that case you were bloody unlucky to get three racists. Heh.

You should definitely talk things over with your english teacher. Once you get the hang of the essays english really is an enjoyable subject Not to mention the fact that the essay writing skills you *will* eventually acquire will prove invaluable for your other subjects.

Have you tried starting off with a plan? What I usually do when trying to do an essay on a poem is to start by covering the page in highlighter and pen! I begin by thinking what I think the poem is about, and then go on to think how the poet has conveyed his/her message.. Noting any rhymes, (eg. the whole ABAB thing), and looking at the structure of the poem (try to think why it's set out in the way it does). Then I go on to look at particular words that the poet has chosen (diction). An invaluable lesson that I learnt in AS english was that it doesn't pay to go on and on about what the poem is about or what it's message is, but to pay attention to HOW the poet uses poetic devices to get his message across.

I'm sure I have a handout somewhere so I'll have a look around and let you know if I think of anything else

PS I'm sorry I couldn't help the other day, had to get off the computer!
PPS Did I say DEFINITELY go to your teacher? He/she'll be able to give you some more advice, perhaps a few extra poems to analyse to help you get the hang of it.
PPPS (mad) Have you done any of your other texts yet or is it just poetry? Because I didn't like poetry much last year but then as soon as we got onto our novel I really loved english again. Maybe poetry just isnt your strong point and you'll do better in the other areas
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Racism? What? How can an examiner know your race?

Don't blame getting an E on your race. Maybe blame it on your bad exam?
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Racism? What? How can an examiner know your race?

Don't blame getting an E on your race. Maybe blame it on your bad exam?
How angry does that make you feel? I am white, and I am totally not a racist. But to see someone who is not white say, 'the only reason i got an E is because of a white examiner being racist to me' is really annoying!
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CasperUK
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Racism? What? How can an examiner know your race?

Don't blame getting an E on your race. Maybe blame it on your bad exam?
My surname perhaps? i got a B U U in my english exam. The marks totalled up to a High E but an E non the less.
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not1
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(Original post by CasperUK)
My surname perhaps? i got a B U U in my english exam. The marks totalled up to a High E but an E non the less.
watch the language. think how many tens of thousands of AS students have foreign surnames, why would they pick on you specifically? or does everyone with a foreign surname get Es? (i think that might be noticed that somehow)
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Elle
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I think you should stick with it.. It might be a lot of hard work but essay writing is something that you will be able to improve on. Plus you need that skill for a lot of other subjects too..
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AllergicToFairydust
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I didn't speak to my teacher today like I planned.

It turned out the essays were for Friday this week anyway so I'm going to sit down tonight and work! If I can't write anything then I WILL speak to him tomorrow - but it turned out quite a few people had trouble with the essay on Jabberwocky.
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