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Thread: St Patrick's College - question

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    St Patrick's College - question

    In the lines:

    With closed eyes
    I fervently counted
    The seventy-eight pages
    Of my Venite Adoremus,


    Are the "closed eyes" supposed to show his boredom as he waits for the 78 pages of prayer to pass during Mass?

    Or is it supposed to show his reverence?

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    I always interpreted it as a sign of his rote learning. It contrasts with when he though the school motto was a brand of soap because he knows how to read & understand Latin now, although he doesn't feel the sense of affinity the responder would think he'd feel now that he understands it.

    Rote learning --> No real sense of wanting to do it - he does it because he has to --> No real sense of belonging.

    Hm, somehow I feel as though the flowchart made more sense than the sentences, lol..

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Thanks - that kinda makes sense. As in he closes his eyes because he knows it off by heart (rote learning).

    I'm just a bit confused because of "fervently", which suggests passion - not boredom...

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Hey, Do you think it's possible if you could post the poem in this thread, i'm doing work on it now, and have lost it.
    It would be a great help.
    cheers.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Hey, Do you think it's possible if you could post the poem in this thread, i'm doing work on it now, and have lost it.
    It would be a great help.
    cheers.
    Impressed by the uniforms
    Of her employer's sons,
    Mother enrolled me at St Pat's
    With never a thought
    To fees and expenses - wanting only
    "What was best".

    From the roof
    Of the secondary school block
    Our Lady watched
    With outstretched arms,
    Her face overshadowed by clouds.
    Mother crossed herself
    As she left me at the office
    Said a prayer
    For my future intentions.
    Under the principal's window
    I stuck pine needles
    Into the motto
    On my breast:
    Luceat Lux Vestra
    I thought was a brand of soap.

    For eight years
    I walked Strathfield's paths and streets,
    Playing chasings up and down
    The station's ten ramps -
    Caught the 414 bus
    Like a foreign tourist,
    Uncertain of my destination
    Every time I got off.

    For eight years
    I carried the blue, black and gold
    I'd been privileged to wear:
    Learnt my conjugations
    And Christian decorums for homework,
    Was never too bright at science
    But good at spelling;
    Could say The Lord's Prayer
    In Latin, all in one breath.

    My last day there
    Mass was offered up
    For our departing intentions.
    Our Lady still watching
    Above, unchanged by eight years' weather.
    With closed eyes
    I fervently counted
    The seventy-eight pages
    Of my Venite Adoremus,
    Saw equations I never understood
    Rubbed off the blackboard,
    Voices at bus stops, litanies and hymns
    Taking the right-hand turn
    Out of Edgar Street for good;
    Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased
    With what she'd got for her money -
    That the darkness around me
    Wasn't "for the best"
    Before I let my light shine.

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    Junior Member ixswans's Avatar
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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Quote Originally Posted by _blank View Post
    Thanks - that kinda makes sense. As in he closes his eyes because he knows it off by heart (rote learning).

    I'm just a bit confused because of "fervently", which suggests passion - not boredom...
    I interpreted 'fervently' as anxiety - something he needs to do quickly and thoroughly to prove a point. You can really see he doesn't want to be there (doesn't belong there?) through quotes like "like a foreign tourist" and "Taking the right hand turn/Out of Edgar street for good" (use of enjambment), and interpreting anything as interest after that is basically negating the point he has been trying to make from thereon.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Thanks. I originally thought maybe on the "last day there", he was finally begin to appreciate it there because of "our departing intentions" (which shows a sense of belonging) and the "fervently".

    But I see what you mean, that would just be contrary to the last lines of the poem.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Yep, he would have some kind of sense of belonging to his classmates, as tenuous as it may be. You don't go through 8 years of school like him having memorable experiences (importance on a seemingly insignificant event like playing chasings up and down Strathfield station), but in the end, he just really wants to get out of there ( notice how the mood kind of picks up in the last stanza).
    .
    There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.
    Lord "Georgie" Byron

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    Senior Member Sadiah's Avatar
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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Quote Originally Posted by _blank View Post
    Impressed by the uniforms
    Of her employer's sons,
    Mother enrolled me at St Pat's
    With never a thought
    To fees and expenses - wanting only
    "What was best".

    From the roof
    Of the secondary school block
    Our Lady watched
    With outstretched arms,
    Her face overshadowed by clouds.
    Mother crossed herself
    As she left me at the office
    Said a prayer
    For my future intentions.
    Under the principal's window
    I stuck pine needles
    Into the motto
    On my breast:
    Luceat Lux Vestra
    I thought was a brand of soap.

    For eight years
    I walked Strathfield's paths and streets,
    Playing chasings up and down
    The station's ten ramps -
    Caught the 414 bus
    Like a foreign tourist,
    Uncertain of my destination
    Every time I got off.

    For eight years
    I carried the blue, black and gold
    I'd been privileged to wear:
    Learnt my conjugations
    And Christian decorums for homework,
    Was never too bright at science
    But good at spelling;
    Could say The Lord's Prayer
    In Latin, all in one breath.

    My last day there
    Mass was offered up
    For our departing intentions.
    Our Lady still watching
    Above, unchanged by eight years' weather.
    With closed eyes
    I fervently counted
    The seventy-eight pages
    Of my Venite Adoremus,
    Saw equations I never understood
    Rubbed off the blackboard,
    Voices at bus stops, litanies and hymns
    Taking the right-hand turn
    Out of Edgar Street for good;
    Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased
    With what she'd got for her money -
    That the darkness around me
    Wasn't "for the best"
    Before I let my light shine.
    The poem also replicates Belonging because the terminating line "Before I let my light shine" reinforces that he believes in himself <- belonging to oneself - accepting himself.

    At the commencement of the poem, Skrzynecki is confused. He doesn't even know much about himself, let alone hsi school adn society. But in the end he acknowledges his identity and has faith in himself - he'll make up for the money his mum put into his fees at school -
    "Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased
    With what she'd got for her money"

    My teacher analysed this poem with us as her students and she said that every poem of the Immigrant Chronicle depicts a sense of belonging.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    can someone please tell me what language technique this quote is . it's from "St Patrick's College" . . .

    'Caught the 414 bus like a foreign tourist'

    thanks .
    Last edited by adele092; 11 Oct 2009 at 8:08 PM.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Quote Originally Posted by adele092 View Post
    can someone please tell me what language technique this quote is . it's from "St Patrick's College" . . .

    'Caught the 414 bus like a foreign tourist'

    thanks .
    Hey Adele!
    I don't believe it's anything more than a simile to describe how Peter feels he doesn't belong.
    If you have anymore questions about it, feel free to ask
    English 4 Unit

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Quote Originally Posted by adele092 View Post
    can someone please tell me what language technique this quote is . it's from "St Patrick's College" . . .

    'Caught the 414 bus like a foreign tourist'

    thanks .
    This is a simile. Remember a simile can be identified with either 'like' or 'as'.

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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiah View Post
    The poem also replicates Belonging because the terminating line "Before I let my light shine" reinforces that he believes in himself <- belonging to oneself - accepting himself.

    At the commencement of the poem, Skrzynecki is confused. He doesn't even know much about himself, let alone hsi school adn society. But in the end he acknowledges his identity and has faith in himself - he'll make up for the money his mum put into his fees at school -
    "Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased
    With what she'd got for her money"

    My teacher analysed this poem with us as her students and she said that every poem of the Immigrant Chronicle depicts a sense of belonging.


    Also - 'Before I let my light shine' is english for the school's motto - Luceat Lux Vestra; therefore couldn't it be seen in someways as a mockery of everything the school stands for, that hes laughing at the school in a way, the equations he never understood erased? he got what he wanted out of the school, not what his mother wanted (status like her employers - keeping up with the joneses)

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    New Member Kolya's Avatar
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    Re: St Patrick's College - question

    I interpreted that his fervent counting was symbolic of the ending of Venite Adoremus being the end of his time at St Pat's...which was a time he looked forward to.

    A good deal of the poem is sarcasm and open mockery of the school...to all accountws Skrzynecki absolutely hated the time he spent there as evidenced by 'Luceat Lux Vestra/I thought was a brand of soap. He set no store by their values.

    The final staza, I believe, actually implies that 'what was best' wasn't 'for the best'. His mother's insistence that he attend St Pat's for the prestige and the assumption it would help him actually stifled his individuality and prevented him from realizing his full potential.
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