Chinese New Year—The Year of Pig
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring festival, is the most important festival for the Chinese people. It is a time for the Chinese to have a family reunion. On Chinese New Year’s Eve(Chu Xi), the whole family must sit at the table to eat the New Year’s supper together.
The stuffed Dumpling(Jiao Zi) is a very common Northern Chinese Dish. Chinese dumplings look like silver ingots. Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during New Year celebration, the more money you can make in the New Year. When making these dumplings, coins and pennies are usually put into a selected few. Those lucky family members that happen to eat those special dumplings are believed to
have special good fortune in the upcoming year.
As part of our Chinese cultural education, our secondary students had a chance to make dumplings(Jiao Zi) together. They really enjoyed this activity and liked the flavor of dumplings(Jiao Zi). Great practice.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
“Hope springs eternal.”
Who wrote these lines? Shakespeare is always a good guess, but this time it’s wrong. Alexander Pope, the second-most quoted writer in English after good ol’ Shakespeare, wrote these and other wise sayings as he translated the classics and wrote his own epic poems. Pope was the first Englishman to make a lot of money on his writing alone — before movie rights and sequel deals made authors rich. He was friends with the most prominent writers of his time, like Jonathan Swift and Joseph Addison, and had a villa with an underground grotto.
But, Pope did suffer. When he was young he had a disease like tuberculosis which stunted his growth and gave him pain for the rest of his life. He was Catholic when England had laws against Catholics getting schooling, voting, or going to church. He was also disliked by those who were jealous of his talents. These problems may have lead him to call life “this long disease.”
In British Literature, students have been analyzing Pope’s heroic couplets, imitating them and then debating them. Heroic couplets are two lines of rhyming poetry that have a soft-hard rhythm and only ten syllables per line. What’s heroic about them? The rhythm and the rhyme combine to create a galloping pace which was used throughout the classics. Students were tasked with creating their own heroic couplet offering advice to the reader. Do you agree with their advice as seen in the pictures? What about the heroic couplet they debated in class:
‘’tis not enough your counsel still be true;
blunt truth more mischief than nice falsehoods do.
- from Essays on Criticism, part 3
Throughout this unit students have had a time to reflect on what is the best course of action in hopes of preparing them for their life outside of SIS. By reading others’ thoughts on life, literature gives readers a chance to think and pre-plan. As our seniors enter their last semester at SIS, we hope that they follow Pope’s words and remember:
‘Tis education forms the common mind,
Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.
An Essay on Criticism, lines 149-50