Tutor profile: Cait S.
What is a time that you struggled with a piece of writing? What did you do to overcome those struggles?
When I was in grade 9 my first English assignment was to write a poem in iambic pentameter. I had written poems before but only free verse. I found that following the rules of iambic pentameter impeded my creative process as my imagination had to work around the restrictions offered by the form. In order to overcome this challenge, I decided to write a poem based on the idea I had in free verse. When I had properly articulated my thoughts, I found a way to convert the poem to the iambic pentameter format. When that was complete, I felt much more confident in my poetry skills. Since then, I have written several more poems in iambic pentameter.
Describe one of the major themes in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. What are some ways in which this theme manifests itself in the novel?
One major theme in the Handmaid's Tale is storytelling and memory. The first-person narrative is told from the point of view of the main character, Offred. Throughout the novel, Offred has frequent flashbacks where she thinks about what her life was like before the creation of Gilead. These memories inform the reader of Offred's decision-making process as she navigates the fundamentalist theocracy that has been imposed on her. It is important to not be dismissive of the passages which focus on Offred's memory as they help to establish her reliability as a narrator. It is also important to keep in mind that traumatic events have been known to alter memories. This prompts the reader to not only question the reliability of Offred's account of what is happening in the present moment but also what has happened in her past.
What are some ways in which new information technology has shaped the landscape of how children acquire information?
There are many ways in which new Information technology has altered the ways that children acquire information. Nowadays, practically every aspect of a child's life involves technology that is far more advanced than what existed merely a decade ago. In many elementary schools, children complete their learning with the involvement of some kind of technology whether it be on iPads or a SMART Board. At home most children also have access to technology such as video games, computers, mobile phones, or tablets. Most children are exposed to these complex technologies at an age where it is natural to be learning even the most simple of human processes. Because of this, the way they acquire information is much different than previous generations. One benefit of this is that information is much more easily accessible to children. Rather than waiting to take a book out from the library about something that their parents don't know the answer to, they can simple do a google search. However, as not all information on the internet can be trusted, it is imperative that children are taught media literacy from a young age. Teaching these skills would help mitigate any unforeseen impacts that new information technology could have on children.