#5 Art Gallery Visit

Write a short summary of your gallery visit today. Mention 2 or 3 of the paintings that most appealed to you and why.

Exploring the art gallery of NSW has been the time of the semester I always wait for. It is one of the few places where I am truly taken back and amazed by the artwork and their backstories. The choice in colour, the meanings as well as the time frame all come together to host a fantastic collective piece of artwork, sculpture and or film.

As we ventured through the 19th century exhibit to find many artworks, which I was astounded by. One such as John Glover’s “Launceston and the River Tamar” which was created in 1832. This piece stood out to me, as it’s romantic themes bounced of the art by using colours of nature, the greens, and the browns, which are all earthy tones. When I glance at this piece I feel as though the trees are imposed, that nature, the scrubland has to enforce European quality, the essence of perfection. The major aspect, which is being admired in this artwork, is the abundance of land. I believe Glover has positioned the frame this way to recognise that there is so much beauty in nature that it could go on for miles. On the right side of the frame, Glover has placed a minuscule sized husband and wife, by doing this he has envisage what it would be like to reflect in nature and it amplifies how small the human race is compared to the environment around us.

Another incredible piece, which I cannot forget, is Eugene Von Guerard’s “Milford Sound”, (1877-1879). The reason why this piece is so unforgettable to me is that the image, which is created, has a balanced realistic and non-realistic feel. What I mean by this is that, the image created through the colouring of lilac and grey tones force the viewer to imagine him or herself in a world of such beauty that it almost seems fake. The artwork is made to show the relationship those human beings to nature, that it is almost insignificant when looking at the height of the mountains in the background. In all honesty when I look at this particular artwork I feel calm, it becomes like a ‘home’ environment, in the sense where it makes me feel comfortable and content like I am allowed to believe in the realistic and the imaginary.


Sir Luke Fildes 1875-1876 piece “The Widower”, was an artwork which I was truly glad to see on Wednesday ‘s trip. The image as a whole consist of a father caring for his children, the setting, which seems run down and a mother in the background cooking with what they have. The darkness, which the painting alludes to, refers to the troublesome times. Fildes focuses on the fact that they’re not rich by the costuming, he dresses each person with broken or dirty clothes to make it easier for the viewer to comprehend. It also references to the idea that this particular family are suffering and going through hardship but besides all that the importance of family is the strength that keeps them together.

Finally, an artwork, which I became extremely interested as soon as I laid eyes on it, was Frederic Lord Leighton’s piece “Cymon & Iphigenia” (1884). When being told that ‘Cymon’ refers to the beast, it quickly appeared to me that the character was a reckless persona. However, simultaneously was smitten with the main woman in the frame. Although Cymon is seen to be a womaniser, which is shown by the other female in the frame, the artwork can be seen as a seduction not just on Cymon’s part but also on Iphigenia’s. Her body language is seen as promiscuous through the way her garments only show parts of her body and the positioning of her body on the bed. In the background there is the sun, which is rising, it can be seen as a symbol of his conscience awakening.


#3 Peer Review

Hi Julena, I really like your approach to this creative question. When I read it, it almost reminded me of a television program in the 90’s called “Boy Meets World”, when you wrote, “How experiencing new things will lead us to emotions we’ve never felt before”. The way you have used short and sharp syntax pops out at someone who reads it. It isn’t boring nor too long that someone would get distracted, it is just the right amount. However, for next time maybe expressing or even elaborating on what you mean by “teach us the way of the world.”. If you do that it may open another underlying theme of the book such as lack of experience of the world surrounding young people. As well maybe a photo or a quote even, portraying someone’s disinterest to what Mr Gradgrind is teaching in the class. Overall you’ve done a great job! 🙂


#4 Themes in Hard Times

Take a passage from Hard Times (a paragraph long) and explain why and how this paragraph is important to the key themes of the novel.

I’ve taken a passage from Book the First: Chapter two, which I was engaged with when it was read in the lecture. This passage is broken up through the stage of three pages. It is one of the initial places that the audience introduced to one of the key themes which is the conflict with being able to attain imaginative freedom versus fact, fact, fact.

Dickens’ emerges this concept of Imaginative freedom when introducing a circus girl names Sissy Jupe. Her importance to this theme is that she is the symbol of everything that is allowed to be out of line and free. By introducing her in this paragraph Dickens’ also shows how harsh people can be when they think they are of a higher standard, as shown by Mr Gradgrind when he complains about the way she says her name.

“Girl number twenty”, said Gradgrind, squarely pointing with his square forefinger, “I don’t know that girl who is that girl?” “Sissy Jupe, sir,” explained number twenty, blushing, standing up, and curtseying.
“Sissy is not a name,” said Mr Gradgrind. “Don’t call yourself Sissy. Call yourself Cecilia.” … Page 8

“Girl number twenty is unable to define a horse!” said Mr Gradgrind, for the behoof of all the little pitchers. “Girl number twenty possessed of no facts, in reference to one of the commonest of animals! Some boy’s definition of a horse. Bitzer, yours.” …. Page 9

Another notion, which I find really interesting, is the underlying argument between imaginative freedom and fact. It is almost as if Mr Gradgrind is tagging in someone who he believes holds sufficient about of detail to embarrass someone who lacks the basics, someone who breathes their sentence and goes with the flow. Bitzer’s role isn’t just to answer the question it is to foreshadow the desperate lengths the idea of ‘fact’ goes to the life of the citizens in Coketown.

“Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Shed coats in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in the mouth.” … Pages 9-10

This scene in the novel, at the school, reveals the constant concept which runs throughout the story. That Coketown is not just a town who judges those who are poor, though live with happiness in their lives rather than to those who live in an upper class or higher status and are despaired by how unhappy facts make them. However, it introduces ‘Imaginative Freedom’ and by having it allows the character and the reader become more open to the benefits of being ‘free’ within your mind and in this society.

Image: CokeTown https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8vq8RsksyLo/VUMTidv6luI/AAAAAAAAzdE/F_AYvzfffo0/s640/blogger-image-1743185939.jpg

Quotes: Dickens, Charles, and Fred Kaplan. Hard Times. 1st ed. Print.

#3 What a suburb!

Write a paragraph describing your own city or suburb using some of the literary language techniques that we have seen working in Charles Dickens.

I wanted to reflect on the suburb I live in. The area where for the past 10 years has made up the person I am today, the people, the houses, the community centres.

Horsley, oh Horsley once was a beautiful piece of green land which could be paced back all the way to the Father himself. You couldn’t see much just land upon the land upon the land. The formation of houses, the local pub, the nearby grocery store which was only 5 minutes away were all pivotal industrial movements to make my area boom and current. This form of a ‘boom’ turned into a destruction of landscapes. A quiet place emerged as a suburb known for its late night hooligan led drives. Although due to the many changes, in a sense the community has grown closer. The many of the locals know each other by name and greet them with a sense of family. This is my suburb, this is my home.



#2 Peer Review

Hey Brittney,
What a great interpretation of the way Emma reacts to this situation. I love the way you used syntax, in short, sharp sentences to show the immediate reaction of Emma’s subconscious realisation that the man she cares is being loved over by another. When you used the sentence, “How could I be so stupid as to miss that?”, to me, it felt more like a current version of what Emma would have said if she was placed in this time period, so I was really appreciative of the time jump.
Something that I think you could work on is maybe to add more onto the line, “Why am I getting so jealous about this situation? No, no. I love Mr Knightley.”. An additional line or even just one elongated sentence would have made this certain line in your entire paragraph pop out as this is the most important line, it is the moment she realises her deep love for someone she blindsided in this time. Overall, I really enjoyed your take! Well Done! 🙂



Week 3 – Reflection

This week at my practicum I saw many instances where constructivism was of use. One form of Constructivism can be seen through Individual Constructivism by Piaget. Another form of Constructivism is Social Constructivism by Vygotsky.

Individual constructivism includes learning individual but can also receive external input from the outside world to process and interpret internal thoughts, their own needs.  I saw this when one of the students that were in the prac class, who was a special learning in the sense where she was constantly ahead of the class used an example from another one of her classmates to then make an assumption and an idea and formulated it for herself. This can be seen through “Schema, Assimilation, Accommodation, Equilibrium and Disequilibrium.” (Hoy, & Margetts, 2016, p.322), which has been thought out by Piaget.

She heard her friend say that “Koalas are marsupials.”.  In a year one classroom it might be something that they have never heard before but for this particular girl, it wasn’t. She then went back to her desk and a few minutes later handed me back her book which read, ” The koala who has grey skin, lives in trees, eat eucalyptus leaves is a marsupial”. By using her friend’s knowledge she was able to build on her own. In this sense, the young girl used a sense of “Assimilation”, in the way she added to her existing knowledge as well as “Accommodation” which would relate to the knowledge she had now gained.

Another form is Social constructivism, this is told through the workings of Vygotsky. Social constructivism is a form of understanding ways in which students learn and the interactions they have with each other. My prac teacher separates the students into 4 groups. she puts the highest scoring students in the highest group and correlates it with the colour red,  which allows them to bounce off each other and make assumptions about their thoughts and beliefs when it comes to the basics. The way they learn is through having the freedom to go on their own to do the work set out for them. On the other hand, she collates the lowest scoring, she correlates this group with the colour yellow. The yellow group get intensive help from the teacher herself or any teaching aids to then enhance their focus. In this case, the students would have strict barriers in what they do and how much they take on. These restrictions allow them to engage without being sidetracked.


#2 My friend’s true needs

There is something about Emma’s character that I believe I can relate to. Not her loud ego of course, but the way she wants everything to be controlled. I am not that overjoyed when change occurs. Here is a paragraph on my representation using the content of “Emma”- of a plan for my friend that has backfired, and myself looking over the decisions I’ve made and how I now realise my friend’s true needs.


Image : Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Harriet Smith (Toni Collette)

How can this be? Something as simple as cheap affection towards one has collided with feelings for another. How could this be?

I thought I was doing the right thing, I was pushing her in a direction I thought she deserved, something which was better.

Now, after all the hard work, I have been in the wrong. I tried to push her towards a life that was better, towards people that I deemed as being better.

Her feelings for the one she has true affections for have been suppressed because of my wrongdoing. I was the one that proclaimed that he wasn’t good enough for her. When he could have given her all the emotional treasures in the world.

This pain is one I’ve never felt before; a true friend being broken by rejection is an aching that one may never come back from. I’ve reflected over my doings, I believe that ‘I’ have been looking for myself, what I deserve and not taking into account the needs of my friend.

The friendship we share is more important than the control I have a need of. Did I listen, when she spoke? Did I care, when she spoke? Why did I do this was it for popularity, pride or even praise?

She wanted a love that was true and pure, not a facade or something of just looks. The societal hierarchy doesn’t matter to her. She wanted a partner in life that would walk through it with her on the good days and the bad.

The one she wants awaits her and I will not stand in her way no longer. Let the course of true love be known and let my meddling be deceased at once.

#1 Peer Review

Hi Natalie,
I love the fact that you’ve chosen to write your own take on Matthew’s reply. You’ve brilliantly used the senses in each of the paragraphs to lift a vivid collection of moments that can take place throughout the course of nature. Through your use of the senses, I truly felt that you were drawing nature right in front of my very eyes, also each stanza you present you seems to be teaching the reader about the beauty that comes with unlocking each sense and freely giving oneself to nature. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed the fact that you didn’t rhyme at all but let the words flow word by word.
Although you highlighted the senses in different colours which really made them stand out even more, you could even add an image to paint the picture of nature that you incredibly showed. All in all fantastic work and I’ll see you in the tutorials! 🙂



Week 2 – Reflection

This past Monday, I resumed my Prac for EDFX173 with a little more confidence than I did in the last week. My practicum teacher embraced me with open arms and made sure I was comfortable in the environment provided to me. I observed and added when needed in class spelling, reading groups and in marking the year one’s homework from the weekend.

As the 3 and a half hours went by I observed certain routines that my prac teacher did through the principles of the social learning theory as outlines by Albert Bandura in the experiment of the Bobo Doll : OBSERVATION.

Attention: The year one students are very quick in losing their focus as mentioned by my mentor, she believes that by changing the tone in her voice or by separating children in the room it isn’t enough. Her counter attack to battle this is instead of letting the year one students learn the content solely in an oral fashion, she gives visual demonstrations to alert both sense and to acquire to the rest of them.

Retention: Her main asset is her use of repetition; she uses things such as sound cards each morning to mould her student’s oral practice. With the ESL children, (children who have difficulties learning) they gave them the same work at the standard were the child feels comfortable in completing it. But then let them work through it at their own pace.

Reproduction: Something that really resided with me is seeing a struggling student being aided in a way in which they were happy such as using vivid examples to allow the students to connect with the content “ when writing the letter Z, dot the corners like marshmallows”. Following this, she allowed students to use the computer board known as the “Promethan”, to retrace and spell the words by themselves.

Motivational Reinforcement : This age group reflects well with instant reward. Individual rewards are the online class dojo= if they get 25+ they get to choose a prize from the prizebox if they get 50+ points or more they receive a major prize. Group rewards = are received by the highest point receiving table on Fridays. The reward system = in this school students need instant gratification; if they’re not rewarded straight away they lose interest.

#1 Women in the 19th Century

6/ CRITICAL Write a short paragraph on your impression of some of the Romantic women we have met in the last three weeks: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth (in text and film), Coleridge’s wife Sarah Fricker, Jane Austen. As a group, do these women seem to be a hemmed in by the dominating masculine ethos of the age.

For the past three weeks, we’ve been discovering about the many 19th Century Romantic authors who have brought to life the revolutionary power of the time up and beyond the pages. It really interested me so see that although there are a large collection of male writers there are also many female enthusiasts such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge’s wife Sarah Fricker, Jane Austen. For me, women in the 19th Century were just starting to come forward and be able to share their ideas with the world.

A feisty but creative female was Dorothy Wordsworth who was the sister of William Wordsworth. Whilst Coleridge & Wordsworth affiliated themselves with lyrical ballads, Dorothy had no future ambitions of coming out as an author but had outspoken views as Samuel Coleridge did. Dorothy’s ‘Grasmere-A Fragment’ overlooks the way she visualises her surroundings, “Fields hath it of its own, green fields, But they are rocky steep and bare”. She ironically addresses the life they live in, that there always will be setbacks that are difficult to control.

Left – Dorothy Wordsworth    Right – Mary Wollstonecraft


Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer who advocated for womens’ rights. Mainly in the support of women when talking about men, especially darker skinned males. In one of her writings ‘A Vindication of the rights of woman’, she points out that “Riches and hereditary honours have made cyphers of women to give consequence to the numerical figure”. (Lynch, Deidre Shauna and Jack Stillinger).Wollstonecraft is like a protecting voice of the hard-done-by women in relation to the damaging effects of men.

In one sense these women stand by points that are taking into account by the males. It is almost as if, they have a tales to tell but they don’t let the ‘dominating masculine ethos’ get the last say. Overall they have their own views which express their opinions.


A short clip from “Pandemonium” displaying the character Dorothy Wordsworth – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMu615i8tE8
Pandemonium Full-Length Fim  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9kS-NeNOcs