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ST PATRICK'S COLLEGE

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by

Mr Abood

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of ST PATRICK'S COLLEGE

PETER SKRZYNECKI
ST PATRICK'S COLLEGE
OPENING STATEMENT/STANZA 1
"St Patrick's College' opens with a clear statement of the persona's mother's reasons for enrolling him in the college.
Technique - Syntax/Emotive language.
Effect
- Starting the sentence with an adjective foregrounds her emotion and her desire for her son to attain the status of her employer's sons.
Technique - Direct Speech
Effect

-

This suggests her strong desire for her son's belonging despite the obstacles of "fees and expenses". The migrant mother wants her son to be educated in a way that is "best" that will help him to belong in a new country.
Impressed
by the
uniforms
Of her employer's sons,
Mother enrolled me at St Pat's
With never a thought
To fees and expenses - wanting only
"
What was best
"
Technique - Quotation marks
Effect
- Suggest that this was someone else's idea of belonging and of society's standards. Not his idea of belonging.
Technique - Symbolism
Effect
- Uniforms indicate unity. The school will give peter opportunity and status
THIRD STANZA - ON THE BUS
For eight years
I walked Strathfield's paths and streets,
The station's ten ramps
-
Caught the 414 bus
Like a foreign tourist
,
Uncertain
of my destination
Every time i got off
SECOND STANZA - THE FIRST DAY
From the roof
Of the secondary school block
Our Lady watched
With outstretched arms
,
Her face overshadowed by clouds
.
Mother crossed herself
As she left me at the office
-
Said a prayer
For my future intentions
Under the principal's window
I stuck the pine needles
Into the motto
On my breast:
Luceat Lux Vestra
I thought was a brand of soap
FOURTH STANZA - ACADEMIA
For eight years
I carried the
blue, black and gold
I'd been privileged to wear:
Learnt my conjunctions
And Christian decorums for homework
Was never too bright at science
But good at spelling
;
Could say The Lord's Prayer
In Latin, all in one breath
FIFTH STANZA - THE LAST DAY
My last day three
Mass was offered up
For our departing intentions,
Our lady was still watching
Above, unchanged by eight years' weather.
With closed eyes
I fervently counted
The seventy eight pages
Of my Venite Adoremus
Saw
equations i never understood
Rubbed
off the blackboard.
Voices
at bus stops, litanies and hymns
Taking
the right hand turn
Out of Edgar Street for good;
Prayed
that Mother would someday be pleased
With what she'd got for her money -
That the
darkness
around me
Wasn't "
for the best
"
Before i let my
light
shine
INTRODUCTION
Skrzynecki again reflectively attempts to distil past experience to make sense of the present. Using subtle language but ironic imagery, Skrzynecki paints a rather bleak portrait of his school life. This reflection explores one's choice not to belong and different perceptions of how to belong.
The second stanza describes the son's first day at this new, unfamiliar school, and his ambivalent feelings towards it.
Technique - Symbolism (Statue of Mary)/Personification
Effect
- Acceptance from this persona suggested by the positive connotations of her outstretched arms. Yet this is immediately undercut by the imagery that follows.
Technique - Imagery
Effect
- She seems to welcome the students with her arms but he is unable to see the expression on her face. The uncertainty of the future.
Technique - Emphasis dash
Effect
- The dash suggests the persona's quiet moment of panic as he is abandoned in a place where he does not belong.
Technique - Metaphor/Figurative language
Effect
- He is externalising his inner anxiety.
Technique - Exclusive language
Effect
- Further adds to the sense of the boys alienation from this place.
Technique - Imagery
Effect
- This implies a familiar pattern, that should create a sense of belonging.
Technique - Simile
Effect
- A sense of alienation is again created, despite the regularity of the bus trips. Expresses feelings of isolation
Technique - Syntax/Adjective
Effect
- Positioning the word uncertain at the beginning of the next line cements his sense of confusion.
Technique - Repetition
Effect
- Emphasises the length of time that the persona participated in these routines, suggesting that he should feel a sense of belonging.
Technique - Symbolism
Effect
- Carry connotes the idea to hold, or a struggle. This feeling connects to the 'honour' of attending a private school.
Technique - Informal tone
Effect
- He discusses his education by listing his strengths and weaknesses, with no real impact.
Technique - Truncated Speech
Effect
- His recitation of the prayer carries a sense of rush and no real thought.

Technique - Motif (Prayer, Statue)
Effect
- At both the beginning and the end of the poem, prayers are offered by others. This suggests a lack of participation in the construction of his future, which leads to detachment. Creates a sense that the persona is as 'unchanged ' as the statue by his eight years at this school.
Technique - Imagery
Effect
- Closed eyes symbolic of a lack of knowledge or a barrier towards experience. His counting is an example of his lack of participation in in his schooling life and him choosing not to belong.
Technique - Pace and rhythm
Effect
- The final series of images are listed with whirlwind speed suggesting a moment in time.
Technique - Syntax (placement of verbs)
Effect
- The beginning of each image helps to accentuate this fast paced rhythm.
Technique - Ambiguity (voices)
Effect
- Connection to other people/peers are rarely mentioned and here others are represented only by sound. Did he have any friends?
Technique - Contrast
Effect
- The contrast of light and dark indicates the persona's current state of mind . School does not give him a sense of belonging, but after he graduates, he determines his own path to belonging.
Technique - Repetition
Effect
- By repeating his mothers words there is a suggestion that nobody knows what is best for somebody else.
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