Peer review 5

“Blog 6 – Does the education system weaken one’s creativity?”

Hi Suzanne,
This is a very good idea that you raised. This situation is very evident in the education system in my home country. From 10th grade, all artistic subjects are cut out of the curriculum and rarely do the schools give students with artistic talent a chance to strive. As a student that was interested in art, high school was very difficult for me. The only way I could get in touch with my artistic side was through doodling sketches and singing to myself because there was rarely any contest or after school club for me to join. Therefore this topic is also very important to me and I am glad you explained it so well. My only concern is that this entry does not seem to link with any of our lessons this week. It definitely has a scholar element which I guess can probably be connected to Arnold’s “Scholar Gypsy”, but even that is a far strech. Other than that, I enjoyed your blog.


Blog 6 – Nothing but freedom


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


My fellow scholars,

I am sure my departure has left some of you puzzled. You may be asking yourself, “Why would he leave everything behind to become no one?”. Well, it’s true, I am not anyone anymore, but at the same time, I am everyone. I can no longer handle being trapped inside the box of academic achievement as it has restrained me from doing anything else. Ask yourself, “Why are you doing the things you are doing? What can these things do for you in the future? What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for?”. Do you have an answer? Because I do. Day and night you read those books, but they never take you anywhere. Moreover, they chain you to the ground, keeping you safe but you can never take flight. I have flown, and I have fell, but I fly again right afterwards. I did not mind the pain and I knew the risk. I didn’t really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.

You may take offence to being called a gypsy, but I do not. In fact, I accept that compliment. I found my people, my fellow gypsies, out in the open. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desire anymore, except to make our lives a work of art. Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your wildest dreams? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. You will probably call me crazy. I am crazy. But I am free.


Peer review 4

“Week 7 Blog Post: Art Gallery, creative”

Hey Victoria, I love this entry! You did a really great job describing the painting as well as allowing me, the reader, to step inside and experience the scenery. You also expressed the message behind it beautifully, which is to emphasize the beauty of nature as well as allowing humans to be mesmerized by it and find serenity. This inspired me a lot with my entry because I almost chose this painting as well, and I can really relate with what you have written. Keep up the great work!

Blog 5 – Lightning flow

Select any one painting explored today and describe it creatively in either prose or verse, bringing all its details into focus.
Eugene von Guérard, Waterfall, Strath Creek (1862)

During our visit at the Art Gallery of NSW, I was immediately captivated by Eugene von Guérard’s paintings of nature, not just by the unbelievable details but by the message behind them. My personal favorite was Waterfall, Strath Creek (pictured above). What captured my eyes from afar was the fact that the subject of the painting, the waterfall, interestingly resembles a ray of lightning. After a longer look, I also noticed how clean the water looked, unpolluted and free-flowing. It was a scenery made by the spontaneity of mother nature, without human interference; such a rare sight is hard to find today. Guérard included himself as well as his travelling companions at the top and the bottom of the waterfall as the tiniest figures which would be easily ignored without closer inspection. By doing so, he emphasized the grandness of the scenery as well as the insignificance of human, which was a common theme during the Romantic era. From beneath the waterfall looking up, it seemed as if the stream flows down from the sky, oozing out endlessly and vigorously from the white glowing clouds flowing through. We are but a tiny speck of dust next to a grand wonder, quite intimidatingly so but also humbling, as there is no other option but to admire such a stunning jewel. It is a great painting that focuses on the freedom of nature, unrestricted and unique, all complete opposites of the industrialism at the time, when all had to be monotonous and precise with little room for creativity. Creativity and individuality were hardly of use, and humans were disappearing into machines. In my opinion, besides the aesthetics aspect, this is a Romantic expression with a subtle message of protest against society in the past.

Peer review 3

“Blog 3 Week 6”

Hi Joseph,
This is quite an intense letter, and I would probably have the same tone if I were to write to someone as despicable as Mr. Gradgrind. However, your ending sentence does not seem as intense, which does seem like a suitable ending. Aside from that, I do notice that you tend to repeat phrases way too often, such as “your little girl”, and it made the paragraph a bit dull. Other than that, you had a nice idea and I like that you were passionate in response to his behavior towards his kids. This would have been so much better if you had taken a bit more time editing your ideas.

Blog 4 – Family of freaks

CREATIVE You are Sissy Jupe. In a short paragraph tell Louisa what it has been like living in a circus for most of your life. Tell her what you have enjoyed and what your relationships have been like with other people in the circus.

*Disclaimer: this is a creative dialogue, and all the characters mentioned are from my imagination*

During Louisa’s recovery, Sissy opened up to her about her past in the circus.

“I’m happy and grateful for having a home, and to share it with you, Louisa, I truly do. Do I miss the circus? Of course I do. I would do anything to go back. It may seem strange to you, the world I grew up in, chaotic and disorganized, but that is the world that made me who I am today. You and I are brought up in two opposite worlds, and for that, the philosophy that shaped you will never be valid to me entirely, as would mine to you. I come from the land of imagination and spontaneity, but that does not mean I fail to look at life as it is. It is quite the opposite, for my circus friends are those that taught me about life. Mr. Bender, the most flexible man I had ever known, was a dear friend and a man with great wisdom. The Mirror Twins, Mandy and Sandy, oh such mesmerizing ladies! If only you were able to see them perform, how they perfectly synchronize with each other as if they were one. The crowd used to go crazy for them. They were from Coketown you know, two orphans taken under Mr. Sleary’s wings and blossoming into one of his best acts. Pat the Cat Whisperer, how could I forget him! All the children attending the shows love him so, how he controls his feline friends and perform unimaginable tricks. His most mind-boggling performance, The Ring of Fire, where he commands them to jump through moving fire hoops, still confuses me to this day. He would never tell me the secret to that act, but I did not mind, for I was close to his cats very much. They were all so friendly and talented. And lastly, Mr. Sleary, I will forever be grateful for his kindness, caring for me when my father was no longer with me. I know you may see us as a laughing stock, but we were performers, entertainers, and a family who cared for each other very much. I wish them the best, and I dream of meeting everyone again every day.”

Peer review 2

“Blog Three. Charles Dickens.”

Hi Annabelle, this is quite a nice read! I do see a bit of Dickens in your story but not much, which is fine because what fun is in imitating someone else entirely. What I got from your story is a vibrant suburban where everyone is different as well as lively, which is why I personally do not think the image was the right visual for your blog. I see more of the Sydney city highway more than the suburb you described. It is just a little note you should take into consideration. Aside from that, your story is really great. Keep it up!