Wear Sunscreen.

Hello Class!

This week we will be focusing a lot about writing advice. In these writing tasks, it is important to consider both your tone and audience. I’ve found another piece of writing from a column for you, an essay entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. It was written Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune and is most commonly known by the title Wear Sunscreen. It was set to music by Australian Director Baz Luhrmann (The guy who directed that adaption of The Great Gatsby with a film score by Jay-Z). We’re going to listen to this Baz Luhrmann version, but here is the original essay for you to look at. Tell me in the comments below about the tone and audience:

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

by Mary Schmich

“Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who’d rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there’s no reason we can’t entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt.Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”


It’s funny, guys.

Guest post by Michelle.
Featured Image is from the comedy show, Robot Chicken.

This week, we talked a lot about humour in writing and how to tell when the writer is being humorous. It is very hard to write humour and I thought a good way to practice familiarising ourselves with humour and writing and commenting on it was to find a few extracts from books so we could discuss why we think they’re funny and how we can tell that they’re funny.

Extract 1

Fraud (David Rakoff: 2001)

“Sheila taught me a survival technique for getting through seemingly intolerable situations-boring lunches, stern lectures on attitude or time management, those necessary breakup conversations, and the like: maintaining eye contact, keep your face inscrutable and masklike, with your faintest hint at a Gioconda smile. Keep this up as long as you possibly can, and just as you feel you are about to crack and take a letter opener and plunge it into someone’s neck, fold your hands in your lap, one nestled inside the other, like those of a supplicant in a priory. Now, with the index finger of your inner hand, write on the palm of the other, very discreetly and undetectably, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you…” over and over again as you pretend to listen. You will find that this brings a spontaneous look of interest and pleased engagement to your countenance. Continue and repeat as necessary.”

Extract 2

Insane City (Dave Barry: 2013)

“You came to a club with a woman who is not your fiancée, and a gorilla on your wedding day.”

Extract 3

Freaks I’ve Met (Donald Jans: 2015)

“I was convinced that the proverb about money not buying happiness was written by a rich guy who didn’t want you to feel bad because you didn’t have any.”

Which one do you find the funniest and why?

Me, you and them.

Guest Post by Tanatswa
Featured Image by Jaisamp

Last week we were talking about Point Of View, which I enjoyed a lot. . They  are three types of POV which are : First person,Second person and Third person POV. In the extracts below would you ladies please comment on each of them stating the type of POV and why you are saying so. Thank you!!

Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
“I could picture it. I have a habit of imagining the conversations between my friends. We went out to the Cafe Napolitain to have an aperitif and watch the evening crowd on the Boulevard.”
Dr.Seuss Oh, the places you’ll go!
“You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.You can steer yourself any direction you choose.You’re own your own.And you know what you know.
E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web 
“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite too her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself.It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.
Charlotte was both.”

How now?

Hi All

Welcome to Week 3! The term is hurtling towards Mid Year Exams, so I hope you’e all rolling up your sleeves, getting out the dustpans and grass brooms of focus and determination and crouching down to sweep up the pearls of wisdom that drop from the air around our classroom discussions and onto the pages of your notebooks.

Or something.

Did you find that funny? Probably not. Did you have to go read it again to see if there was anything that warranted a snort of weak amusement? No?

I think perhaps, as we’ll discuss this week, it’s quite difficult to say why something is funny or not. It’s possibly even more difficult to be funny in our own writing. Sense of humour, as we all know, is somewhat subjective.

Tying up with our discussion of serialised newspaper columns, I would like you to go follow these links and read some of the articles by Guy Browning on The Guardian. He is a writer and humourist, and author of a series of short “How to…” articles about things that probably don’t need to be explained.

How to be Clumsy:  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2006/feb/18/weekend.guybrowning

How to Have a Takeaway: 

How to do Chores: 

and, my personal favourite: How to Lick:  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/dec/08/weekend.guybrowning

We’re going to talk a bit more in class about humour in writing, and maybe think about how writers (Like Bill Bryson, and the very panicky lady from our latest Past Paper, for example) cultivate a jocular or comedic tone.

In the comments below, can you think of titles for any other potentially funny “How to” articles? For example: “How to pass your Drivers Test in Bulawayo”
“How to be in Lower Sixth”
“How to become a prefect at GC”
“How to Slide into the DMs”

See you tomorrow!


Sticks and Stones

Hello Class!

I hope your week has got off to a magnificent start. Let’s hope that this week will be less tiring that all its predecessors. 😉

Today in class we started talking about Point of View and how writers use it to develop a sense of both an interior world of a character as well as how they are perceived by other characters. On Wednesday, we’ll look at a past paper and discuss its use of point of view and how to tackle a writing task that asks you to develop an alternative point of view yourself.

Point of View often “inhabits” the mind of a character and reports their observations and feelings about what they experience. As a warm up task to this week’s lesson content, I want you to make a list of words that replace “said” and words that replace “saw”.  There are quite a few when you get started!

In the comments below, I want you to design a piece of gossip using the words from these lists. DO NOT use “said” or “saw”.
For example:
“Rudo attested that she observed Dani twerking at the CBC Valentine’s Day Dance.”
“Michelle claimed that Jess is also friends with sticks.”
“I witnessed Nobandile eat a piece of pizza she found on the floor.”

Go ahead, gossip.




Welcome Back!

Hi all!

Welcome to Term Two, a term as long and daunting as a Westerosi winter.
I hope that we’re going to have a enriching term as we continue to grapple with the strange monster of AS Language. I’m also hopeful that the blog will continue to be a useful tool to broaden our literary horizons, as well as a forum for your own writing and ideas.

Here is the blog schedule for this term! I look forward to reading through your thoughts and observations.


Ms Roberts



Dube, Nosizwe 17th May  
2 Gambakwe,, Tanatswa 19th May  
3 Gumbo, Michelle 24th May  
4 Mawovera,Tadiwanashe 26th May  
5 McAllister, Jessica 31st May  
6 Mgumi, Nobandile 2nd June  
7 Munanzwi, Rebecca 7th June  
8 Musarurwa, Rudo 9th June  
9 Nel, Cameron, 14th June  
10 Ngwenga, Tsepile 16th June  
11 Shaw, Danielle 19th July  
12 Victor, Charmaine 26th July