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Allusions Replacing Vocab
One new item that has appeared in Moodle with the new semester is a replacement of the vocabulary quizzes that our class has consistently loved to hate. We have now been given allusions to study, and I feel like I am back in September attempting to adjust to this new format of the still fast-timed quizzes. I think that it's interesting how we are now moving into many of the popular references that are in so many different aspects of literature, art, and pop culture in general. I have a hard time believing that I have heard so many of these phrases for my entire life (Catch 22, etc.) and never been formally taught what they mean. I have even used some of them myself from time to time without knowing their literary significance. I'm glad we're learning about them this semester, and am curious to see what other snide references we learn throughout the rest of the school year. I definitely won't appreciate the adjustment in scores now that I have finally started to do well on the vocabulary quizzes, but am glad that we're diversifying our types of vocabulary as we power through the rest of the school year.
I think that these new quizzes are useful as well. In a way, learning the allusions is like adding to vocabulary. Learning about other usages of words or vocab is likely to help greatly in our understanding of the works we read from now until the end of the year. With our selection of the Murakami book today, I noticed that we seem to be moving into more modern literature. I think the allusions will help especially with our understanding of the Murakami book and possibly others if we continue into modern literature. What I wonder is if learning allusions will help us understand the AP exam more like the vocabulary exercises did. Will there be references to allusion in readings on the exam like words we learned with the vocab quizzes? Does this mean that the vocab is going to be used less now?
I greatly like the idea of learning some new literary illusions since they seem to appear so much in the poetry and books we read. They are also just interesting to learn, the little myths or stories. I had fun reading and studying them this chapter, but when I took the test I did pretty poorly. And I thought I did well! Even though I did better on the vocab, I hope I’ll be able to preform well on these tests AND like learning about it. I like having these more than the vocab, even though the vocab is very important to learn too.
I don't know how I feel about allusion quizzes or activities replacing vocabulary on Moodle. I really enjoy the vocabulary quizzes that we have because I feel like they help me 1) earn easy points and 2) make me more aware of where words come from and the meaning that they have when they're deconstructed from the definition. I do enjoy the allusion work that we did during Moodle and I think that this is also a good topic to study throughout the next couple months before the APExam because of how often we see these allusions in the novel and poetry we study, but I don't know if this allusion work is more important than the vocabulary. Maybe Chisnell adds both activities to the end of the chapters, maybe make one out of the two mandatory and the other as extra points.
While I found the vocab quizzes somewhat helpful in recognizing words on AP exams and expanding my vocabulary, I found the allusion quizzes to be far more interesting. The vocab quizzes improved my knowledge of many more complex words, and Latin roots, but the allusion lists had some information about literary references that I'd heard before without knowing what they meant, or without having an official description of what they were. It was almost like reading very short legends or stories; they came with some type of past cultural references that most people have heard of. These quizzes were a little bit more difficult for me, as there were so many more aspects to keep track of. It was definitely more complex than the vocab, which had one word to learn along with a one or two-word meaning to keep track of. The allusions had longer explanations with more nuance, which probably brought down my grade as I may have overthought some of the questions.
I feel like learning the allusions is going to prove far more helpful for the exam than the vocab. As far as common allusions go, there are far less than there are words, so the chances of us encountering an allusion that we learned seem much higher than us encountering an unknown word whose meaning we can deduce with the knowledge gained from the first semester vocab quizzes.
In a less academical sense, the allusions also seem more helpful to me. I plan on pursuing a career in writing, so I can use these allusions to enhance my writing more than throwing in fancy vocab words would.
As someone who normally did okay on the vocab, I don't quite know how I feel about the allusions just yet. I have to admit that I am not there yet on the moodle, but it sounds like it could potentially be extremely useful in writing, and English speaking. Allusions can draw in a crowd in the same space where a "fancy" word would bore a crowd. So, I am pretty excited to see where this will take us.
I'm really excited for this shift from vocab to allusions! So often we'll be reading a book or a poem and there will be allusions I won't understand that Chisnell needs to spend time explaining, or there will be footnotes explaining allusions. I'm excited to be able to hopefully be able to more easily identify allusions. I especially want to learn more biblical allusions. Thankfully I'm already a bit familiar with some biblical allusions because I go to church, but I'm still curious as to what else I can learn. I feel like this practice will be more helpful because I feel like we will encounter allusions we learn in this class in everyday life or perhaps in movies we watch that we may have overlooked before.
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