Well, that was a short year! Yes, everyone, I am done with English/Socials 12. Well, I’ve done a whole year’s worth, but I still have another side of it to do in quarter 4. Anyway, this blog post will be about our last project this quarter, and it’s about the best topic ever…. Women! We studied the timeline of women’s rights from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” written in the 1500s to the current day, 2020. We used this driving question to help guide us.
“How can we use our study of “The Taming of the Shrew” to understand how much yet how little has changed for women?”
Through this project, we have done multiple projects and activities, including… Reading many exemplar essays, analyzing older essays, presenting work, reading Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Watching “10 Things I Hate About You, making women’s rights posters, 3 weekly blog posts linked here, here, and here… and so much more. I mean, this was like half a year of work done and learned in 5 weeks. As well as learning with the goal of answering the driving question, I became better at essay writing!
Okay, I mentioned essay writing, so I will share this project’s final end with you first. It’s an essay, fun, right? It comprehensively answers the driving question, with evidence that I will dive deeper into in this post. This essay has my literal blood and tears in it. Literally, I got multiple nose bleeds while writing this essay. I’m not sure why.
My thesis is hopefully clear enough, but if it’s not, it’s “In order to break the cycle of men abusing women either physical, verbal, mental, or sexual, women have to call out the abuse they are experiencing, or the cycle will continue.” I chose this thesis as I’m very passionate about raising awareness about sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. After reading TOTS, my thesis came to me. It is basically how I felt about Kate and how she let Petruchio treat her. TOTS sparked this thesis, and everything we studied after it provided the evidence. So let’s get into it….
“How has the role of women in society both stayed alike and changed over time?” Was the question to answer for this milestone. This was my favourite milestone and also taught me a base of information that I really needed. I’m a visual learner, so timelines and things along that line are my friends. Ms. Willemse divided our class into groups of 3-4. Each group got to choose out of a decade(s) in the 1900s to 2000s. The options were the 40s/50, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s/2000s. Each group had to create a 10ish minute presentation about their decade, specifically about women. How they were treated, their rights, what they wore, how many women worked, any movements that had happened, etc. This milestone gave me a beneficial base of information before I started the essay. Knowing each decade in-depth helped me identify the continuity and change that I needed to highlight in my essay. It made me able to contrast and compare the changes from “The Taming of the Shrew” to now.
Although knowing the whole timeline is very helpful, I think my decade(s) was the best to study, which was—the 90s to now. My group’s presentation really influenced why I chose the thesis I did as movements in the 2000s like #MeToo shine light on how terribly women are treated by men with power. Seeing this timeline made me realize the women’s rights fight that’s been happening since the early 1900’s is just taking two steps forward then one step backwards. Sometimes even taking 1 forward and two back. Women were never set up for success by the systems we live in, but they survive and thrive through determination and power. The 90s to 2000s are proof of that. That’s why at least half of my essay is about this time in history. I mention the #MeToo Movement, AOC calling out Representative Yoho, the work rate for women going up, and more. This milestone really inspired the thesis for my essay.
COMMON LITS + ESSAY ANALYSIS
Okay, a significant portion of my time in this unit went to these two things, so I feel like If I didn’t mention them that this would be incorrect. While milestone 3 really helped me gain a general understanding, which led me to my thesis, common lit and essay analysis’s helped me understand how to write an essay. I feel like I’ve strengthened mentally in the designing texts competency more in the past 5 weeks than I have in the past 2 years. I think it must be because I was so determined to do well, and I was doing anything and everything to get there. The common lits helped teach me how to use evidence just and adequately. They also showed me examples of reliable and well-written essays throughout time.
I was getting awful marks on the analysis portion at first, but I asked for extra ones to redeem myself. The extra ones and the last class ones I did were mostly around the 90% range, whereas my first few were like 15% to 50%, which is a literal failing mark. I improved as time went on, and I could actually see the progress as my marks on common lit were going up. I improved by taking more time for each common lit and highlighting and annotating the text. Also, I made sure to read what the goal of the questions was; it focused on the evidence or voice or perspective, etc.
The exemplar essays were not only helpful because they were about women, but they were also just good examples of essays. Some of the essays provided, like milestone 3, events or facts that helped proved my thesis. The questions that followed the essays really me look at the text in a new way. This led me to think a lot about the designing text competency and how am I supposed to “reflect, assess, and refine texts to improve clarity, effectiveness, and impact for purpose, audience, and message.” These essays helped me understand new ways of writing essays that aren’t just intro, evidence x3 and outro.
Okay, I’m trying to keep this blog post under 1000 words, so now that I have discussed what inspired my essay thesis and what helped me write a pretty solid essay…. I’m going to talk a bit about the things I’m proud of and things I want to focus on and work on between now and quarter 4 English/history. I’m very proud of myself for the persistence I had for this essay. I spent probably 5 periods of time around 2-5 Hours long just revising and revising—That’s after the initial 8-hour essay writing session to get the base of it down. Poor Willemse had to read my writing so often (very sorry about that) until we were both happy with it. I was not going to stop editing that essay until I got a rainbow. Next time, something I want to do differently is to step out of my comfort zone in the way I layout my essays. This essay I stuck to a pretty normal and comfy essay layout (which I had to end up changing), making me want to try something totally different next time. I want my voice to be more evident in my writing.
This project was very intense but also very rewarding. I feel prepared for university. I feel like this project finally made me feel like I am not terrible at writing. Also, I am surprised I am still alive after 5 weeks of solid PLP for 2.5 hours every day. Thanks for reading this and I hope you continue to think about my thesis, as its something all of us need to do. Protect women.