Physical journeys and Peter Skrzynecki’s poems has been checked and updated today. There are some new resources there, but sadly one that seems to have gone, and one that may have.
There are also some new HSC videos in the VodPod.
Last night I watched Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS.
Go there not just for that one, but for the others in this currently ongoing series.
Naturally, too, I commend Inspiring Teachers which begins on Wednesday 6 February, 2008 at 8pm. 🙂
A small swag of human interest stories in today’s Sun-Herald in the wake of Australia Day say more about the comparative success of Australian multiculturalism — diversity AND cohesion — than a whole peck of moanings and mutterings on talk-back radio or similar venues. Aussie pride? Stories like this give it to me in heaps. May there be more and more of them. Let’s celebrate what we have with open hearts.
The first story is such a great contrast to the brief agony that was Cronulla 05.
WHEN he’s in the line-up off Sydney’s popular beaches, Haisam Farache is just another surfer waiting for a wave.
But once he’s out of the water he swaps his wetsuit and surfboard for a robe and turban and assumes the role of an imam at Australia’s largest mosque.
“For me it relates to how I am as an Australian and a Muslim,” he said. “When I go to the beach I feel rejuvenated. I feel like a new person and whatever stresses I have in my life are being washed away with the waves.”
The 34-year-old, who began surfing at 11, said his pastime intrigued his students at the Lakemba Mosque. Most laughed, he said, when they discovered he was a surfer, and found it difficult to believe a religious leader had an interest outside teaching Islam.
The Auburn-based lawyer said surfing was also an ice-breaker when he visited schools across the country as part of his work with the Together for Humanity Foundation.
He recalls visiting a school on the northern beaches where many students began calling him a terrorist. Once the children discovered he was a surfer, their opinion changed and they saw him as one of “them”, he said.
The second story told about nine of the 3300+ from 56 countries who pledged their allegiance to the flag in ceremonies across NSW yesterday.
Figures from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship show 95 per cent of the population are Australian citizens. However, there are more than 900,000 permanent residents who are eligible to become Australian citizens.
Of the 27,494 immigrants who arrived in NSW between January 1 and December 1 last year, one out of six was from China, making it one of the largest source of immigrants to the state.
Meanwhile, India has overtaken Britain as our second-biggest source of new citizens, followed by the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Lebanon and Indonesia.
Pakistanis and Iraqis are also among our fastest-growing migrant groups…
— Abdulai Jallah knew he had to find a new home after fleeing war-torn Liberia several years ago…
— Liliana Auwyang adored Australia when she visited as a tourist more than 10 years ago. It was the beautiful scenery and culture that had this 41-year-old from Panania, in south-western Sydney, hooked. So, not long after her return to Jakarta, she began researching how to come back permanently…
— Richard Brunskill lived his whole life in central London before settling down-under…
— Rania Islam. One of the newest little Australians was born at the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, yesterday. Rania Islam arrived at 2.40am, much to the delight of her parents, Sharmin Khan and Rezaul Islam, and her big brother Rayyan Islam, 18 months. “It’s very exciting,” Mr Islam said. “We are very proud.” Ms Khan and Mr Islam moved to Australia six years ago and became citizens last year.
— Douglas Snider. IT WAS true love that brought Douglas Snider to Sydney six years ago. His wife Tiate was born and bred in the inner-west suburb of Newtown. Now that he’s here, he wouldn’t swap it for the world. “I love absolutely everything here in Australia,” he says…
— THE first Australian park Ewi Sook Oh visited was dotted with coin-operated barbecues… “I love the Australian environment and way of life. I think it is God’s gift,” Ewi says. “In my home in South Korea there are tall buildings and crowds everywhere. There are not so many people in Sydney but they come from other countries everywhere and I feel it is a good opportunity for me to learn about their traditions and customs.”
— Rene Strauss Arias. THE reopening of Sydney’s Hilton Hotel in mid-2005 could hardly have been better timed for 49-year-old Filipino Rene Strauss Arias…
— WHEN Anwar Hamam landed in Australia, he was merely chasing an opportunity to further his education… But like many of his fellow new Australians, Anwar settled permanently after meeting his partner here… “What I like about Australia is that it is very safe,” Anwar says. “It also offers me so much in freedoms and opportunities. I can become whoever I want to be here. There seems to be a lot more to do here than just about anywhere else.”
— A NATIVE of St Petersburg, Andrei Bobylev first heard about Australia from some friends who had already been, and he became curious.
Then he read the travel diary, Down Under, by best-selling American author Bill Bryson, and decided to follow suit. That was three years ago…
Source: The Sun-Herald
That post on Physical journeys and Peter Skrzynecki’s poems has now had 2,743 individual visits. I thought I would share how I approach teaching this unit, keeping in mind it is not the only approach that would work.
First, I would have a study of the set poems for their own sake, almost (but not quite) ignoring the “Journey” aspect. Having looked at what they say, how they work, and how well they say it — a rather conventional critical reading of poetry — I would in that process have drawn into discussion much of the context of the poems in Australian migration history, European history, and Peter Skrzynecki’s own background. Then I would raise the question: “Looked at as journeys or documents of journeys what have these poems been offering?”
Then I would look at the Board of Studies brochure Then I would seek to refine just what “Journey” can mean. After that, I would revisit the poems to tease out the idea of physical journey, practising linking that idea both to the poems and to the Board of Studies material.
Then I would offer some examples of other texts showing how they might be deployed to support or contrast with the way journey is represented in the poems. I would almost certainly forbid use of these practice examples, encouraging students to find their own. I would ask them — and check this — to start compiling their own portfolio of journey texts, making sure they have a range of text types. I would exhort them to collect often and indeed to collect too much. I would hope they may have as many as twenty possibilities by the time the Trial HSC is approaching. That is not unrealistic — just one every week or two. And it is not hard.
This is what I say to students:
So many movies, stories, poems, songs, artworks, and so on, are really about journeys of one kind or another! There is no problem finding material, unless you leave it to the last minute. Each item collected should have basic notes saying what it is, where it came from, what it offers on the idea of “journey” and what poem/s it seems especially to link to. Later the twenty or so items can be sorted and reduced to the six best ones. That gives you plenty of choice when it comes to any exam question, as you will never actually use more than two. However, if you only know one or two you may find yourself working with material that does not quite fit the question.
There are no silver bullets, no short cuts. If, however, you are now in Term 4 starting this there is no need to panic. It really is not very hard. The less lazy you are about it, too, the easier it becomes!
What is hard is answering the question relevantly in forty minutes, deploying around five textual discussions to best advantage. Now that really takes serious practice. Use every opportunity for that your teachers give you!
Do not, I mean do not, try to learn a “perfect” answer off by heart! See How can I improve my essay grades, especially in exams, without learning “model essays” off by heart?
Yes, this is an excellent supplementary text for NSW HSC “Journeys” [or “Belonging”] but it is more than that: Pauline Webber in The Weekend Australian (September 29, 2007).
THE point at which cultures and ethnicities intersect is fertile ground for the creative arts. Such hybridity has been a riff running through the history of international cinema from the moment Hollywood opened its arms to European Jews fleeing the Nazi onslaught. Globalisation and the convoluted patterns of migration shaping the post-war world have provided film industries everywhere with periodic injections of freshness and originality. Films are made by North Africans in France, Asians in the US, Armenians and Iranians in Canada, Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.
A surprisingly large number of Australian filmmakers are from migrant backgrounds. Just taking a selection from those who have a significant body of work makes a long list: Rolf de Heer, Ana Kokkinos, Tony Ayres, Paul Cox, Alex Proyas, Ray Lawrence, Khoa Do, Clara Law, Nadia Tass, Kriv Stenders, Tom Zubrycki, George Miller and many more…
Excellent overview leading to this conclusion: “Each speaks as one of us but with an accent that puts the emphasis in surprising places. Our cinema can only be the richer for the inclusion of such voices.”