Poll: English- a waste of time?

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Thread: Was English a waste of time?

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    Was English a waste of time?

    Hi everyone.
    I just want your thoughts as to whether English to you was a waste of time.

    I've heard of people who have slept in class and only memorised an essay and learnt what the text was about the week before. Honestly, I could've done the same and I would've saved a lot of time. Well, most of us didn't even finish all the books we had to read.

    I'd also like to know how Shakespeare, Journeys and comparitive studies benefits us. C'mon, there must be a good reason why English is compulsory!

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Waste of time? Of course not! English is a critical study, hence the being compulsory part. The people who didn't tune in until a week before are drop kicks. Did they do standard or advanced? And why are you still bitching about english when it's over!?

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    LOL. Nearly all of us do advanced.
    Think about the extra time we would've had?
    I would've enjoyed "King Lear" if I wasn't doing it for school. Seriously, I can say that for every book, I would enjoy it if we weren't going to be examined.

    My school must be a group of lazy English-haters. The only thing they like about it is that they can jig or catch up on sleep.
    We had a great teacher who spoon-feeds us everything. We're always debating this topic and I'd like to have your opinions.

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    Extraordinary Entertainer P_Dilemma's Avatar
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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmaoconnor
    Waste of time? Of course not! English is a critical study, hence the being compulsory part. The people who didn't tune in until a week before are drop kicks. Did they do standard or advanced? And why are you still bitching about english when it's over!?
    You were sarcastic, of course...

    It wasn't a TOTAL wast of time, perhaps. Say... 70% waste?

    -P_D
    A Cup of Tea

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

    Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

    The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

    "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    While not technically a waste of time because if you want a UAI you must study English to achieve one, i think the subject is a waste of time.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    English is something important to study. Teachers who spoon feed suck. It makes it harder for the student to achieve by themselves. I had a teacher like that but noone listened to her. It's not just your school who are lazy english haters, it's alot of schools, UNFORTUNATELY!

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmaoconnor
    Teachers who spoon feed suck. It makes it harder for the student to achieve by themselves. I had a teacher like that but noone listened to her. It's not just your school who are lazy english haters, it's alot of schools, UNFORTUNATELY!
    This was my teacher for the first half of Year 12, then we had no teacher (well thats not correct we had a substitute who would come in sit down and read while ignoring us).

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Was English a waste of time?
    For me, Yes: I have no idea how Hamlet or Frontline or Yeats or Journeys are going to apply to financing a company's accounts.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    ...speaking of burning textbooks and notes.....

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    Executive Member BlackDragon's Avatar
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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    english isn't about learn skills you can apply for your future employment. As with all of school it is about proving you have the ability to learn, think, analyse and work. all the skills you need to get a degree. english specifically is about learning to appreciate and analyse texts and literature and gaining a deeper understanding of texts in general.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    For me at least many subjects in the humanities are transforming themselves into a political science.
    Get this, a year 12 assignment, 10% for the HSC assessment. We were required to make a pamphlet 150 words long and make it as visually aesthetical as possible. I don't know about you but that does not sound like HSC English program however it is (if I’m annoyed it’s because I got 7/10 for the assignment and I put a months work into it).

    Our class at school is a joke. We are taught by a baboon. The department reckoned they'd put the worst English teacher in charge of the top class and best ones down the bottom, to pull up the years mark (as they reckoned the top class are populated by kids who do the work themselves)... end result, top class does nothing all year. I remember sessions where we sat listening to Yoga music, while members of the class decorated the room with tree branches (in the blinds and fan).

    The second class beat us in the first assessment we had, on average. Although when we do learn at times when it is meant to be English there is no discussion amongst the class at all, no questions, it all comes in handouts. People stroll in late maybe 10-20 minutes for first period.

    In most other subjects the school does great. Maths I think we were in the top 20 schools in the state and same for chemistry, Physics and PDHPE.
    Anyway what do you do with teachers who don't teach?
    Last edited by Lockhart; 25 Oct 2006 at 10:26 AM.
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    Executive Member BlackDragon's Avatar
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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    teach yourself.

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    Cool Re: Was English a waste of time?

    HSC English, as we know it is a waste of time. While it is interesting to look interpretations of works, such as Shakespeare, it is not fun to be examined on them. Great works of english should be examined for what they are not what others think they are. Likewise, we should not be examined on interpretations purely. I did standard english, but I'm no fool. My comprehension is in the top 99.9% percentile. I know my latin and greek roots. I can also organise my thoughts properly in any form. However, I could not be bothered to tear apart good works for the HSC. I have read Brave New World and 1984, seen Blade Runner and other texts that are in the advanced course and more. As a result, I have been able to enjoy them for what they are

    So lets examine the two main HSC english courses, Standard and Advanced. Do either offer you anything, from my experience of year 11 advanced and year 12 standard they don't offer anything. I find it disgusting that we are forced to use terms such as composer and responder, instead of poet, playwright, author and audience respectively. Secondly composers (OMG I’m still using their TERMS YUCK) if they do intentionally use techniques it is to assist us, they are not meant to show x about journeys or y about Z.

    Why couldn't we learn about split infinitive and proper grammar ?
    I have seen a lot of people who don't even know what a split infinitive is, let alone know how to use a comma. Here is a quick test for you; above I have voilated one of the major rules in grammar several times, see if you can find it.

    HSC english is silly, stupid, wasteful and evil.

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    Thumbs down Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmaoconnor
    Waste of time? Of course not! English is a critical study, hence the being compulsory part. The people who didn't tune in until a week before are drop kicks. Did they do standard or advanced? And why are you still bitching about english when it's over!?

    You cant be serious....... When is most of the stuff we do in english EVER going to help us in life? SERIOUSLY? English is just a heap of irrelevant shit and im sure that.........according to the pole....... >90% of people will agree with me.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    My "teacher", who was a cute old lady, would come into class all the time and start to monotone read some babble from the booklets we were given from each subject. Nobody could intepret her readings and therefore no discussion was formed.

    I learnt the advanced english course in the 2 days before each english exam, and I still believe I will score a decent mark.

    So yes, doing english throughout the year is a waste of time, and as dbmoodb outlined, we should not be marked for our intepretations.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Ok I wrote a much better post than this but i cbf to retype it all.

    1/ I hate english and find it basically irrelevant to my life. I think that telling the truth is good, as it is important to be sceptical of the media - i would expect though, that most y12 students would be by now...'

    2/ Why do they make us link and relate texts that have no relationship to each other eg BNW, BR. This is ridiculous. They were never meant to be compared and although I like the texts and am interested in the context that influences the composer I hate being forced to pull them apart.

    3/ When will we ever need to talk about a neoextentialist reading of King Lear ever again? Most of the English syllabus is pointless and will not be useful later in life. Those who like English literature can study it at uni.

    4/ This course is not named correctly. It should be called English Literature. I would like to do a course along the lines of 'English General'... modelled on the course back in the 'olden days' it would encompass an argumentative essay, grammar and other things important to know. Maybe the difference in pronunciation between pronunciation and pronounce. I admit that I don't know exactly what people studied in the 1970s but I think there is a need for an English course that could be useful and relevant. Does anyone know anything about the structure of this older course? Although, having suffered through Advanced, I don't think anyone else should be exempt!

    Conclusion: For me, English has been a waste of time. Although I liked reading and learning about the texts studied (except for KL) I think it's irrelevant and I am quite sure that it will not be useful in my future.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Why would english be compulsory if it were known to be a waste of time? It helps with alot of skills required in alot of jobs.

    And OH EMM GEE you people right really REALLY long responses.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackDragon
    english isn't about learn skills you can apply for your future employment. As with all of school it is about proving you have the ability to learn, think, analyse and work. all the skills you need to get a degree. english specifically is about learning to appreciate and analyse texts and literature and gaining a deeper understanding of texts in general.
    This is the best thing ever written.

    Omg, you just summarised what i try to tell people without yelling at them.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    I think I’m in agreement with most of you. English is not what it was, and they'd be better going back to the older courses before all this rubbish postmodernism came in.

    For a subject that has the potential to be the most insightful, interesting and eye opening over the last few years it has failed to live up to its ability. Throughout my year, there is the general consensus that if the subject wasn't compulsory most students would stop doing it.

    It’s too relative. You can walk out of an English exam feeling any way you like, because of the subjectivity of the subject, it is no clear indication of how well you end up going. At least with Maths or the Sciences you get a pretty good feeling of how you went. There are straight answers to straight questions. It not up to how an examiner as to how they are feeling on the day and whether they agree with you, as to what type of mark you are going to get.

    A person is meant to be able to say what they want in the subject and about the text, a personal response. Rubbish. To say frontline is a drama series that while designed to parody misreprestations in the media, is not designed to outline the media's failing but rather keep an audience watching.

    Just because it is a drama series does not mean that it gives an accurate representation of what is going on in the media. However to say that in an exam is suicide.



    Anyway I could go on forever...

    In short English doesn't have to be a waste of time but it is.
    Last edited by Lockhart; 25 Oct 2006 at 4:10 PM.
    Stealing from one source is plagerism, Stealing from many is reasearch

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    OMG i believe, like a lot of people, that english isn't a waste of study BUT what we did study was a waste of time.

    there are way too many people out there who can't correctly use the english language. I mean how many times have you seen something written with the wrong form of 'they're/there/their', or your/you're? And the fucking apostrophes! It puts me off using apostrophes at all.......

    Anyway. The only thing that's good about the current syllabus, I suppose, is that you have to read the texts or watch the movie all the way through.

    I watched Blade Runner, and even though I've watched it about 5 times I still have to concentrate real hard with subtitles to get everything that goes on.

    Brave New World was a good book apart from the mental image of all these horny people walking around and having sex everywhere. I actually read it all the way through (can't say the same for other books...) and managed to miss John's suicide and had to go back.

    Gwen Harwood- amazing that you can get all that stuff into those poems. Old ladies aren't all that innocent, ay?

    Antony and Cleopatra- drama queens. Takes a book that has half the page full of published notes, plus the rest of the white space full of pencil notes, but I actually read most of a Shakespear play! yay for me.



    But the way we have to study stuff kills it. Journeys should never happen- put it into the year 11 course instead of Change.
    The whole point of comparing the texts is to realise that if the authors had the same context the texts would be the same. Should we realy have to go through all that bullshit to reach that?

    Critical study. Just calling it that, you know you're gonna have to put your text on that cold dissection table and cut and poke and stab at it until it becomes this ugly awful hated thing. And why should you ever study someone's personal works from some stereotypical context anyway? Who said that a Christian or a Feminist would value the same things in a text that the 'Christian' or 'feminist' reading would anyway?! Why can't a peice of work just be a piece of work, and not some text full of hidden messages and meanings?!

    Okay, understanding Powerplay may come in handy sometime. But it teaches people that the way they communicate, and what they say can be taken to mean something. Doesn't that make people even more paranoid about what they say? Things could have just been simplified if they had told us the media, etc. portrays people in different ways, or something.

    Also, there are some really crap teachers out there. My teacher isn't even an English teacher- she's a History teacher. There's actual english teachers there, but somehow she gets to teach extension 2 english! pretty screwed up, no? But there' also a thing, where the students known as 'good at english' are given higher marks regardless of the ones they deserve. and those nominated as 'not in the top 5 of english' get crap marks.
    For example, we had to do a task that was out of 20. A friend and i went and asked the morning it was due for help, she didnt help us. We tried our best and my friend got 0. i got 1 out of 20, and we both got letters sent home. come on, at least we actually did the task! makes it not worth the effort.

    Anyway, finished my whinge. Was gonna make great study guides, etc. for yr12 students and get them published to fund uni, but i decided not to make it easy for them.

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    Wink Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmaoconnor
    Why would english be compulsory if it were known to be a waste of time? It helps with alot of skills required in alot of jobs.

    And OH EMM GEE you people right really REALLY long responses.

    Haha clearly english WAS a COMPLETE waste of time for you as you still havent learnt how to spell WRITE.
    Why don't we learn relevant stuff like spelling and grammar as in my experience there are many people who can't WRITE for shit.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Or put their apostrophes in the WRITE () spot!

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Ah ha damn. I'm not really an idiot, I swear!

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    dave Marks.
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    Thumbs down Re: Was English a waste of time?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandersen
    Or put their apostrophes in the WRITE () spot!
    LOL OR use the correct word- points at write things about it and concludes that it is not 'right'.

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    Re: Was English a waste of time?

    i love english....and i think its a skill necessary in life..but for fucks sake why MUST we study shakespeare. ok so his a seminal playwright from elizabethan england who discussed "universal themes", so fucking what. we should have a choice in what we wish to study. i had no time for hamlet..i havent read it but i wont be surprised if i do well in english. and this leads me to whats wrong with english advanced hsc. how can a perosn who hasn't read the text or shown any interest be able to beat most of the candidature?

    btw i loved cloudstreet..it really is a fantastic novel..its made me appreciate australian literature, which i used to view as shitty and lowbrow, written by people who wished they were british. Also, because of my enjoyment of the text i have gone out and borrowed novels by winton, carey and patrick white. NOW THAT IS WHAT ENGLISH IS ABOUT.

    not fuckn memorising essays the night before and reading boredofstudies essays, liberally taking madsounding quotes and using the thesaurus to insert overly florid adjectives.

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