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Thread: Picking your Major Work? + E2 questions

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    Picking your Major Work? + E2 questions

    Heyy,

    I come from a school that during my prelim years in advanced and E1 english did the most boring topics, the only thing I really liked was the skills used - like analyzing documentaries and holocaust novellas for the ways they represented history and memory. Needless to say, my teachers had no effing clue for this year and neither did we.

    1) So now I've picked E2 because I like the idea of doing my own thing and I'm a pretty good critical writer - but the HSC guideline says that our works have to be rooted in something studied in advanced or E1 with clear links for the reflection statement?

    2) Current and previous students, how did you pick your major work?

    3) Were your teachers okay with your choice, or did you go rouge?

    4) What topics are strictly off limits? I go to a catholic school and we aren't allowed to talk about s-x or alcohol in our society and culture major works, so does that apply for our E2 works?

    5) I know some other past students have said that E2 was the biggest bludge subject of their HSC..is that true? Apparently some students completely made up their journals, did their project in a span of 3-4 days and still managed 45/50.

    Okayy, that's all of my questions for now. I start my first E2 lesson tomorrow.

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    Re: Picking your Major Work? + E2 questions

    1) This is actually very easy to do; if you cannot find a way to relate it back to the texts your school studied in prelim or HSC, then feel free to use any other related texts from the numerous other options in the English syllabus - markers will not know what you studied. I used Huck Finn in my reflection statement, as it was studied for the Journey AOS in prelim and my Major Work molded nicely with Huck Finn.

    2) Did a bunch of character exercises from Kate Grenville's book about writing stories. Found that I would write comically, with satrircal and serious undertones. Ended up being inspired by my part-time job - about how I first judged the people I worked with to be losers, who turned out to be some of the coolest people I've ever met. Emphasized this heaps in my reflection statement.

    3) Teacher was chill, called me an idiot because I wanted to include talking birds (like off nemo lol). Being rogue is not a bad thing either; my teacher had one student that went absolutely rogue and got 49/50 - others have followed her to a T and got E4s too. Whatever works for you, however, communicate with teachers in the English faculty and get other people's opinions too.

    4) The person who got 49/50 at my school had a story about teen pregnancy. In saying that though, you must approach topics like that with skill and thoughtfulness - something few actually posses. I attended a study day, and senior markers emphasized staying away from:
    -Homosexual relations
    -Abuse
    -Rape
    -Holocaust/Stolen Generation etc

    Talking about sex and alcohol is completely okay as long as it's relevant and not just thrown in to be edgy. Topics that affect people our age are very good - markers like this.

    5) Yes and no. I kept a meticulous journal which spanned over a year of journal entries - however, probably did the bare minimum on my major work lol. Then my classmate made up her journal, but worked on her major work all year. Honestly, I would say it is a bludge, in that, it scales through the roof, quite a large percentile of people get the highest band and it is possible to do a major work and reflection statement in a week. It's all subjective though, I learned a lot during EE2, and it helped me write better, I got the highest mark for the creative piece in my trial for ADV because of the lessons in EE2.

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    Re: Picking your Major Work? + E2 questions

    1) don't worry about this until you are actually up to doing your final reflection statement. I simply made the project and worked on it and then when I started writing the statement I thought about what possible themes might have correlated and I just wrote some very simple sentence saying something like 'studying Gwen Harwoods poetry in year 11 made me consider the importance of memory and thus inspired me to talk about the complexity of memory in my film'. It didnt actually, but themes were the same so that worked. Also i wrote stuff connecting my form with stuff we learnt in the same form in year 12. eg. 'i used heavy piano soundtrack influenced by the power it had in The Hours (which we studied in yr 12). do this later essentially.

    2) In year 10 my teacher said something that has stuck with me ever since 'if we had different memories, would we be a different person'. When it came to thiking about ideas i just knew i had to include that and built a story around that. the story changed a lot though until it became the final thing. Also I knew i was going on Exchange to germany in the summer holidays and thats when i would have all the time to film for it, so I decided to think of a story that could fit in the cities and climate that i was travelling to (snow ) I did a film because I want to direct movies in the future. an easy choice for me

    3) I was going sorta rouge because no one does films in our school, and my teachers sent a note home to my parents informing them that my school didnt have the tools and people to be able to help me and that I should have to do everything in terms of technical stuff myself. But otherwise my teacher was always open to my ideas and would guide me through what was doable on screen and not.

    4) my friend did a short story about a girl who was sexually abused as a child and was contemplating how she didnt want to use that anger badly and become an abusive mother. she got something very very high (48 or so). someone else did poetry about someone speaking with god about the meaning and atroceties of life (that could be quite controversial for some people). These however are outliers. If you want to persue a 'controversial' topic, you need to do it with sensitivity but also accuracy. The amount of research would be immense and there isnt as much room for 'artisitc liscence'. The markers understand that we are teenagers that have not experienced that much in the world, so sometimes can be questioning as to how well something is written about particular topics. Use it if it really interests and moves you to write/ film something good. Otherwise if its to be 'edgy' as chiefpasco said, then it can be seen as tokenistic and out of place and detract marks heavily.
    There is also an element of bias. My teacher told me that sometimes they don't like 'moody' writing, where if the markers read it in a magazine like the New Yorker, they would be impressed with its solemn moodiness, but if the same thing was submitted for ext 2, they would consider it simply 'angsty teenager' style.

    5) depends. Some people are talented and can write something amazing in a week, but some need time to develop their story to be well rounded. I actually used my journal, as I am a visual thinker and I write all my plans for films down anyways. I think I filled out about 80 pages by the end of it! I really enjoyed writing in it and it helped me realise what i needed to do to improve and get my ideas straight. Some people would just use it every few weeks to fulfill the requirements, the teachers would look through them every now and then. It also depends on the nature of the project. making a film involves so many steps that you cant just sit down at a computer and just 'make a film' you gotta film and edit and music and everything. It can be a bludge if you want it to be, but why would you, considering you're coming super early to school and missing quality sleep (or staying after school and getting home in the dark)!

    good luck! hope this helps, i really liked the course because it let me do things other subjects failed to do. I got so much out of it )
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    Re: Picking your Major Work? + E2 questions

    Hi there

    I was just wondering if writing a rape scene is too obscure for Extension 2 English? Because I'm planing on writing one, but it's not a full fledged rape scene, but more of a molestation... I'll probably dedicate about 100-200 words to it before it is stopped, and then from that point on that character's every move will be shaped by the cathartic experience. Cause I've received mixed views on whether I should or shouldn't.

    Thoughts? :/ And does anyone have any E2 stories they've read which have rape/ molestation which I can check out?
    Much appreciated, Thank you!

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