Ballad of a Broken Heart

 

We had too much of Taylor Swift’s broken heart in English class just to fully embrace the elements that make a piece of writing a ballad. What is interesting to note is that ballads that are as old as time, tracing back to the Middle Ages, tell of the same heartaches commonly caused by unrequited love. Which I can’t help but wonder: How can somebody as pretty as Tay feel so unloved?

But that is not really the point here. The point is, the ballads in Taylor Swift’s songs are the same stories of tragedy out of love that is never meant to be, lines in question and answer format just to get a heartbreak across, loads of repetitions to stress pain, and a depth of emotions from conventional phrases-elements that make poems ballads.

Dissecting the traces of heartbreak began with a sing-along to the music of The Script, which my students made me appreciate more when they expressed that the title “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” is actually just a conventional phrase to mean not being able to move on. I used to think the song is about some lonesome traveler. This was followed by song interpretations of Taylor Swift’s songs, which was rather off key given the little time for them to prepare a story line for the supposed break up stories of Tay. Nevertheless, it led me to pause and think of my own Taylor Swift song. Segue from the classroom ideas talk, I found out that I have all the right in the world to own “Ours” as the Taylor Swift song of my love life and let the lyrics speak for itself:

Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves
They’ll judge it like they know about me and you
And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do
The jury’s out, but my choice is you.

So don’t you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the water’s rough, but this love is ours

 

At any rate, students might have had much of the elements of ballads until they were given the time to speak of their own heartbreaks by dropping an object to symbolize them and guided by a journal prompt entitled “My Life’s Greatest Heartbreak.” Responses were drawn from silly like a very low Geometry quiz to overwhelming like a picture of a coffin to stand for the death of one’s dear mother. In between, I was holding back my own tears as I saw how painful it would really be having hearts broken at such tender age.

I should have known to be prepared for the juvenile thoughts my students have about moving on and breaking apart. When they read about Lord Randal who is sick at heart and Bonny Barbara Allan suffering from the same unrequited love, it was amazing how they can give a part of their hearts through pieces of advice as to how Lord Randal and Bonny Barbara Allan move on after their hearts had been broken. All these thoughts I have discovered while reading through their responses to the quiz tailored as an advice column. While I am still checking most of the worksheets, this is so far my favorite:

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Ballads will always be ballads. It was a week of heartbreaks. Well, we all need to feel broken from time to time, so we understand how powerful love is to prompt us to gather the pieces of our broken heart which are the very things that actually make us feel whole again.

 

image from http://www.stylopics.com

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Acing English Class

Goal: to be an ace.

Being an ace takes more than luck. Being an ace, one has to earn the straight A’s too.

Miss Acey here. Let the pun and fun start. Each day can be easy to be ace-y if you lay down all your lucky cards and work hard to hit the A+.

So what are the tricks to be an A+ student?

Do:

Show concern for others by giving what is due to them: time, attention, silence, participation, ideas, support, understanding, honesty, good memories, lessons, insights, and others.

I FALL FOR STUDENTS WHO ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE AND MAKE ME FEEL THAT I AM IN FOR LITTLE SURPRISES EVERYDAY.

Don’t:

Don’t sit in class doing nothing, saying nothing, contributing nothing, waiting for nothing, hoping for nothing and achieving nothing; Don’t keep your ideas, talents, suggestions, knowledge, understanding and expertise to yourself.

THE LAST PERSON I NEED IN MY CLASS IS SOMEONE WHO IS GOOD FOR NOTHING.

Do:

Use time productively for time is diamond. Work on schedule, submit on time, make time for assignments and other tasks, find time to read, study and think, arrange time for any missed schools works or activities and savor every second by enjoying English class.

I FALL FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE PROMPT AND PREPARES FOR CLASS WHEN I LEAST EXPECT IT.

Don’t:

Don’t waste your time-worse, my time; Don’t miss any deadlines nor submissions.

THE LAST PERSON I NEED IN THIS CLASS IS SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A SENSE OF TIME.

Do:

Be prepared always. Be in command of your responsibilities to make sure all things needed to be done are done and are done right. Write your journal, do your pleasure reading, study your lessons in advance, prepare for quizzes and examinations, and other activities and tasks.

I FALL FOR STUDENTS WHO GO THE EXTRA MILE AND BEAT THEMSELVES BY BEING A BETTER VERSION OF THEMSELVES EVERYDAY.

Don’t:

Don’t expect anything if you have not given your best effort; Don’t settle for anything less; Don’t take a lazy stroke, a lazy tone and a lazy face on me.

THE LAST PERSON I NEED IN THIS CLASS IS SOMEONE WHOM I CAN DOOM TO FAIL BY THE LOOK OF A LAZY FACE.

Do:

Find luck in preparing your things, following instructions,  copying notes, reciting in class, submitting assignments and projects, studying for a quiz, bringing your book, completing your portfolio and other requirements. You’ll thank yourself later.

Don’t:

Don’t enter my class nor pretend to be part of my class without the intention of following instructions, copying notes, reciting in class, submitting school works, preparing for quizzes, bringing your book and compiling your requirements.

THE LAST PERSON IN NEED IN THIS CLASS IS SOMEONE I CAN THROW OUT BECAUSE OF LACK OF INTEREST IN BEING IN MY CLASS.

 

The tricks are simple. Good luck.

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~Make waves~