Blog 6 Week 8

CREATIVE- You are the scholar gypsy. Explain to your friends why you have decided to run away from conventional education

Eight reasons why I have decided to stray from conventional education.

  1. To avoid the strange disease of modern life: Conventional education fosters the strange disease of modern life. Humans gradually become lost in the hustle of work, education, facts, figures, and routines, slowly losing their sense of self in the process.
  2. To become one with nature: Conventional education and modern life as a whole is void of the kind of beauty and purity found in nature.
  3. To search for the meaning of life: I simply cannot find the meaning of life which I so longingly yearn for in books. Instead, books, knowledge and contemporary education have driven me away from the important aspects of my life and have left me feeling isolated and empty.
  4. You can’t learn everything from books: You can learn more through experiences and human interactions than any book can teach you. I have learned life’s biggest lessons outside of the classroom and no novel, teacher or class, no matter how great people claim they are could have taught me these same life lessons.
  5. To search for a simpler life: Conventional education emphasises the condition of the modern world. But I am drawn to a simpler life, one that I have found with the gypsies, one negated of the complexities, pressures, and complications of modern life.
  6. Convention education does not provide a holistic experience: Conventional education focuses on facts and figures, exams and memorization. It has developed my understanding of facts, but it has not developed me as a person or my emotional, mental and spiritual state. Instead, it just transforms students into robots that can recite facts and take tests.
  7. To avoid pressure and competition: Conventional education pits students against each other to determine their level of intelligence. Let’s suppose that a talented young artist and a brilliant mathematician are both given the same math’s exam, the young gentleman blessed with superb mathematics skills will pass with flying colour’s while the young artist who flourishes in art and drama is not mathematically inclined and struggles to complete the test. This simple, hypothetical example highlights the flaws in the education system as each student excels in different areas.
  8. It destroys creativity: The fact-based approach of conventional education diminishes creativity. Thus, humans lose their ability to use their imagination and think creatively.

Blog 5 Week 7

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

Today for ENGL200, instead of having formal classes, we took a trip to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I had heard great things about this art gallery from my friends, so I have excited to check it out for myself. During Michael’s guided tour, I found two paintings that stuck in my mind, Milford Sound by Eugene Von Guerard and The Widower by Sir Luke Fildes.


Eugene Von Guerard’s Milford Sound is a spectacular interpretation of the New Zealand landscape and my favourite artwork in the gallery. The artwork depicts a picturesque and marvellous view of the fiords of New Zealand’s South Island. The attention to detail, scale and colours coupled with the reflection of the fiords in the surface of the water emphasises the beauty and wonder found in nature. The tiny boat which is barely visible is the only form of human presence within the painting. It gives a sense of scale highlighting human smallness and insignificance compared to the grandeur of nature. Guerard’s oeuvre is a perfect romantic representation and celebration of nature in all of its glory. (Side note: this artwork has convinced me that I MUST add kayaking Milford Sound to my bucket list)


On the other hand, Sir Luke Fildes painting depicts a newly widowed father desperately trying to nurse the dying child in his arms. The older daughter standing anxiously in the background and the look of shear heartache on the father face creates a sense of grief and suffering. Most of the paintings in the Victorian Hall portrayed opulent social events and people in beautiful clothing reflecting the feeling of prosperity in England at this time, but Fildes piece juxtaposes those characteristics, the man looks to be of the lower class, his clothes are distressed and worn, and his house is small and run down. Therefore, the painting moves away from superficiality and focuses on the importance of family and the love between a father and his children.

Blog 4 Week 6

Creative- Write a letter to Mr Gradgrind telling him what you think about the way he treated his own daughter, particularly with reference to the marriage arrangements he has created.

hard times

Dear Mr Gradgrind,

I am not a parent myself, but I know that one day when I have children of my own, I will not be treating them the way that you have treated your children specifically your oldest daughter Louisa. A father-daughter relationship should be based on sensitivity, compassion, understanding and love but your utilitarian values have prevented this type of relationship with your daughter, and that is something to be mourned. Louisa has been brought up in a cold, rigid environment, an environment that forbids the development of imagination, an environment deprived of joy and childhood adventure, an environment where human emotion is suppressed. Put simply, she has been robbed of her childhood and as a consequence, she has become silent and detached. Because of your strict utilitarian upbringing, she is cold and lacks the common human ability to be able to express emotions.

I want to focus on the marriage arrangement you have formulated between Louisa and Mr Bounderby. You explained to Louisa that she should consider this agreement like she would consider any other fact and used statistics to justify the age difference. However, not once in your arrangement did you give thought to the fundamental basis of marriage ‘love.’ Mr Bounderby is an obnoxious, snobby, social climbing capitalist and in his eyes, Louisa is an object who will help build his status. As a father, you should want what is best for your daughter, but your monotonous way of living and obsession with facts has blinded you to the fact that this marriage arrangement is the worst thing for your daughter. Furthermore, I urge you to reconsider this marriage arrangement and your way of living.

Yours Sincerely, Alina Goro

Blog 3 Week 5

CREATIVE- 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 stare at the city as I take a sip of my now lukewarm coffee. This city that I have called home for the past 17 years seems so new and exhilarating like a stranger that I am meeting for the first time. The stresses of life have caused me to absentmindedly forget or maybe block out the beauty that surrounds me.

Images of the storm from the day prior fill my mind. In a matter of 24 hours, it rained, it hailed, and it shone… but maybe not in that exact order. The air crisp and clean still with a hint of moisture rustles through my hair. The scent of eucalyptus, bark, wet leaves and a trace of smoke fills the air, a scent unique and somewhat intoxicating. I always thought that there was something so internally satisfying about the smell of the air after a day of rain. I look down at my converses which are now brown, covered with evidence of yesterday’s storm. I marvel at the incredible architecture, some buildings, an homage to the Victorian Era through the aged brick and intricate designs and some buildings or shall I say skyscrapers stand tall with thousands of windows celebrating Sydney as a modern metropolis. The city, a perfect contrast of the old with the new. Behind the thick fog, I can faintly see the harbour bridge, an Australian icon and wonder how many people have come to this city and marvelled at this famous arch. As I sit on this stone bench, I can hear police sirens wailing in the distance, drilling and hammering at a nearby construction sight and the sound of people cursing as they sit in their car crawling along in the traffic, a somewhat rite of passage in this city, one that I know too well.

Away from the architecture, the weather and the traffic. I find myself thinking about the city dwellers that crowd the street. A corporate CEO with his eyes locked on his mobile screen walks alongside the family of tourists that are click, click, clicking away at their cameras. Today thousands of people will walk the streets, people from all walks of life, people of all ages and people from all around the world, each person viewing the city from a different perspective.

Blog 1 Week 3

 Creative- In either prose or verse write a passage that tells Matthew why there is more to life than books. You can look at ‘The Tables Turned’ for some of your ideas.

Own Image taken at Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada 2014

Growing up I was always told to read books. I was told that within the pages of short stories, novels and poetry I would find knowledge and the answer to all my questions. But as I get older, I learn that there is so much more to life than what is explored in books.

A few years ago, I was holidaying in the United States with my family, last minute we decided to drive to Canada for a few days to end our trip. The first place we visited when we got to Canada was Niagara Falls (I know, very touristy) but as I stood in wonder staring at these beautiful waterfalls, I felt a sense of peace and serenity. I could have gazed at this beautiful work of nature for days. Looking back at this experience, I realised that no poem, no novel, no short story would have given me that same feeling.

There is a kind of beauty in nature that no book can recreate and it can only be captured if we allow nature to become a part of us. Thus, if we bury ourselves in books we allow ourselves to become removed. In nature, we can find beauty and gain the answers and understanding that we are searching for. Books dissect every small detail of objects, situations and events to create meaning but in the process destroy their beauty. Sometimes life becomes tough and books can offer an escape from our chaotic lives. But it is always important to remember that we can often find knowledge and learn life’s biggest lessons through nature.

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