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English has been Ridiculed (1 Viewer)

Pedro123

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Fellow BoS users,

The story I am about to tell you will sound unbelievable - many will call me liars, I will be called an idiot, my own brother didn't believe me (But like you know, brothers), but I can confirm it is true. I have omitted names for obvious reasons, but I hope my point comes across well.
In year 8, after being denied Dux of my year due to my bad English mark, I vowed revenge (Also after reading 2BR02B and "A poetry reading at west point" - two of the worst pieces of writing I have read in my life). Having to do this compulsory subject, but then to tell me I was not good enough - I wasn't taking it. I then hatched a plan to prove - English is completely arbitrary. Students realistically cannot be expected to do well in it. (I encourage you to go to the "Should English be Compulsory" Forum here). It started big as a whole scientific experiment, then reduced in size after realising that I did not have as many resources available to me, and technically has not finished, but I got a response today I had to share with you.

Me and some other students (STEM and non-STEM alike) together wrote a 1000-word short story (Note, I have not published it, and will not. :( Sorry) utilising as many techniques as we could. We had been working on this since year 10 and perfected it down to the very last word. Note by perfected it, we didn't want it to be good, no. We just needed it to sound old. It just needed to be, realistically, written a bit of time ago. Some may know where I am going with this...
Since I am in year 11, our first topic is "Reading to Write", where we need to link a bunch of books we have read into a document and explain why we linked them in. We took this file, uploaded it to a weebly website we made, and linked that into it. Then, we wrote a 874 word analysis on it for a section that was supposed to be 200 words max. Our teacher, looking at this, pulled me out of class (We did it on my file) and asked why I wrote so much. I explained how much I loved this story, and how good it was. After reading it, he could not help but agree. We then proceeded to do a 2-day in-class analysis, with him outlining how brilliant it was. Note - we were extremely lucky here. If he even looked up the author, he would know it was B.S., but by some praise of God, he only looked only at the link provided. Now, all that was left to do was submit it for our writing assessment. (Our school didn't cancel hand-ins for Corona, and an english teacher isn't allowed to mark their own student's work).
Marks came back today - I got 17/20. I emailed my teacher, explaining it. After a stern email back, he is arguing some marks for me, but I think it is fair to say that we did it.

English is stupid - We did the dream

TLDR - We told a teacher something we wrote was professional, they loved it, we gave it in for an assessment, we only got 17/20
 

Accurate

clix
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That's still a good mark.. well it depends how you were ranked, if it was the top range of the cohort then it should be fine.
 

Pedro123

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That's still a good mark.. well it depends how you were ranked, if it was the top range of the cohort then it should be fine.
My issue isn't with the mark being bad, it is that two english teachers can have such a variance in their ideas, i.e. one teacher literally praises it as God's work and the other gives it a 17/20. With such variation, no-one can reasonably expect students to do consistently well, and especially when the people who traditionally do well in english are those who are passionate about it - that's why I suggested we change the curriculum so students instead pick one essay based subject (i.e. legal, history, SOR, business, english) to complete as compulsory as opposed to just doing English.
My other issue is the concept of the presented value. English teachers give something value because it was published, and so what originally could just be trash writing is put to "intentional additions to build the piece". Maybe someone wrote simplistically because they just didn't know how to write. Extending on that, they then put someone in school who may have written badly as them being bad as opposed to an actual choice. Even in the instances where you have reflections to explain choices, limited time means you cannot always explain everything. This isn't to say some stories are good - of course not, there are obviously stories that I love reading. What I am saying is that:

1. Being published gives works value and meaning when they may not necessarily deserve it. This means value is given not necessarily by the quality of the work. One great example of this is Dracula - when it was originally released, it was a good book but no-one really thought it was significant, i.e. the original reception was bad. However, after a lawsuit caused (The makers of the film Nosferatu used Dracula as a plot basis when the copyright hadn't expired) a large reception, only then did people re-read it and thought it was pretty good. It was then, DECADES after Stoker's death, that the people of "Literary analysis" said it was brilliant and amazing. These people obviously existed at the time, and it was nominated for some awards, so they knew it existed. However - only when society liked it did these people give the book value, because it is so objective, realistically one can argue literally anything with meaning when it isn't true and give it arbitrary value (Note, if anyone wants to join in, I am reading kids books to try and see if I can argue one is a motif for Nazism - another attempt to ridicule)

2. The standard at which society enjoys literature (i.e. Harry Potter) is based on whether the thing sounds nice. In the concept of English however, books valued so greatly by society, i.e. Harry Potter aren't good because they are "one dimensional" and meaningless. This means what society values as good literature is different to what english teachers value, i.e. TKAM was a nice book by society standards, but the reason it was widely accepted as great was because it had deeper meaning underneath what was a nice exterior. Works such as these deserve their fame, no argument here.

3. Then you have pieces that don't read well, flop by society, and are overall horrible, BUT teachers take them and analyse them for being brilliant, because they fill them with techniques. In an assessment, you wouldn't get good marks for it because it doesn't flow (What we experimented), but in real life, you would be praised. They are rubbish, but because they were published (1), people are incentivised to look deeper.

It is similar to why I believe that art is one of the most interesting economic ideas - so many people use it for laundering BECAUSE no-one in a court of law could realistically rebut or disprove someone explaining why it is significant and why it is worth so much money. Similarly, the price is so variable, that
a) it increases exponentially after someone died, just because they are dead (Supply/demand on an exponential scale)
b) Many galleries can dock up the prices through special techniques
See this - explains well -

As for school, I won't reveal the name, but we did get in the top 30 schools this year for HSC, so not complete flops.
 

blyatman

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lol we had a take home visual representation task once, and the english department was lazy so they reused the same assignment from last year. So, my friend from the year above me gave me their assignment, where they got 29/30. I literally just changed the name and then submitted it, and I got 17/30.
 

Accurate

clix
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I remember one instance where my friend last year actually copied one displayed in his tutoring centre, it got like 28/30 or 29/30 and he just copied it word for word and submitted it to school and he got 18/30 instead..
 

1-99

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I guess that's the beauty of having a different point of view lol. Hardly surprising...

But also curious which school this is
 

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