Changing Lives: Attitudes and Experiences

How has your study of Attitudes and Experiences as well as 2 related texts helped you to better understand the Area of Study, ‘Changing Lives? ‘ The Area of Study ‘Changing Lives’ has developed and enhanced my understanding as it shows that Change can bring about important lessons related to overcoming challenges and obstacles, the importance of maintaining will and determination through drastic changes and that a negative change can being about a positive outcome. This was shown through the use of plot, language and film techniques, characters, and context.This is evident in the set text Attitudes and Experiences edited by Deb McPherson the short stories ‘Topic of Cancer’ and ‘Fatal Storm’ as well as supplementary texts ‘Guy Sebastian’s life changing journey’ and the ABC TV series ‘Sea Change’ are the best to demonstrate the devices and my understanding.

In Attitudes and Experiences, Samantha Miles in ‘Topic of Cancer’ is a personal recount revealing the drastic change that have occurred to a young girl due to Leukaemia. The young girl Samantha went from being in her second year in university to being diagnosed with Leukaemia and getting told that “I was given three weeks to live. However after this severe incident things just unexpectedly changed Samantha went from becoming the sickest person around to miraculously recovering from Leukaemia, and from then on become a ‘modern miracle’.

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Samantha had no financial worries, published a book at her age, became a minor celebrity and got a ‘real grown up job’ in publishing however despite of all the positive feedback her mind was set on the negative. As seen as a positive by many, felt like a negative for Samantha, being sick had become her comfort zone and she panicked when she noticed that she was becoming better.The disease created a strain on her life as she was faced to deal with its repercussions; being forced to leave her social life, university and her independence this meant having to start her life all over again. “‘Getting better’ forced me to re-evaluate everything I’d ever believed in and plunged me into despair I could hardly contain… ” This intense process and dramatic change brought upon obstacles and challenges for Samantha which she needed to face however she overcome them nd this was shown through the use of first person as it creates more of an intimacy between the character Samantha and the reader, emotive words were used throughout the short story to help connect the reader with what the character is experiencing emotionally and was also a reflection recounting the experiences and the change Samantha went through.

Another story in Attitudes and Experiences, ‘Fatal Storm’ written by Rob Mundle has the same sort feel to ‘Topic of Cancer’ by Samantha Miles as it shows that change can be a life changing change and how it tells us a recount of a life changing experience.Fatal Storm is an account of the event that happened in 1998 where a Sydney to Hobart yacht race was taken place; it focuses on Tom Campbell and his experience. As the one of the crews is sailing the yacht a life changing tragic event occurs to one of them John Campbell, it all started with the sprinkling of rain got them worried of what could be leading to the next, and what they were afraid of occurring just occurred, an enormous wave thundered in, swamping the yacht and rolling it over.However after five seconds the boat rapidly flipped back to its natural self, although this damaged the yacht and this inflicted the crew’s chance of survival and their chance of winning the race. Peter Meikle one of the crew members noticed that two of the members were on the verge of failing of the yacht and needed help, Peter noticed that Tom needed the most help. Peter had the courage and will to go out there and save him and emotive words were used to emphasise that “Meikle knew he had to get Campbell”.

Tom was facing a near death experience as he went unconscious, and ‘To out horror- and I will never forgot the feeling-the jacket started to turn inside out and he just slipped out the bottom of it,’ recalled by Meikle. From this point the crew members knew they needed to take action, so they rushed out and called out for help, as rapidly it become harder for them to save Campbell. However the unexpected occurred as two miracles were beginning to unfold, a helicopter with rescue equipment was flying past and rescued him.Campbell’s last memory was seeing himself dragged out and seeing the boat in the distance and from this was where it hit him that it wasn’t a dream it was reality ‘Then realisation washed over me this was not a dream” the use of dialogue shows that change can be hard to face and except but for Campbell he had the will and determination to do so. “My heart sank, for the first time I was starting to think I was nearing the end of my endurance” this incident changed his life facing this near death experience, however he adapted well to this, because he survived it.This helped him learn about himself and shows the concept of change that will determination is needed to get thought it all. Like Rob Mundle’s story, ‘Guy Sebastian’s ‘life changing’ journey in Africa’ shows us how Guy leaves his life behind to help and support World Vision. This pamphlet did help me better my understanding of the Area Of Study, ‘Changing Lives’ throughout the concept of change that was demonstrated, which is change can bring about obstacles and challenges that can be overcome, just like Guy has.

Guy felt as though with all his success his attained that sponsoring one child wasn’t enough and so he crossed his boundaries by, “I have sponsored a child for quite a number of years… But because of my success I am able to sponsor a whole bunch more now, which is great”. Guy did this to give back to society and the people that are in need and he was capable of doing this, and wanted to share his success with a worthwhile charity.

As a result of Guy’s journey, travelling to Africa become the challenge for him and leaving his life behind to help the people in Africa became the obstacle although more importantly it was a positive outcome for him “This is absolutely one of the most fulfilling journeys I have ever taken in my life”. This is evident from the title of the pamphlet that they have placed in speech marks where life changing is to emphasise the experience and to show what result this experience can bring which is being life-changing.The images that have accompanied the pamphlet give readers and viewers a better visual on that change and the experience Guy has been through. The pamphlet has an objective view as it shows all factual information expect when Guy reveals his personal thoughts and views where quotation marks are placed and this is where the change is shown as he expresses his journey. The episode from the television series ‘Sea Change’ still shows a life changing change like Guy Sebastian’s life changing journey change although a negative change was needed to bring about the positive outcome.It still has given me a better understanding of the Area Of Study, ‘Changing Lives’ demonstrated by the working mum named Laura Gibson who workers as a lawyer in a law firm, she undergoes a life changing intense experience which requires will and determination to get through it all. Laura was on the verge of achieving her ambition of being granted the opportunity of being a partner in her law firm, however in this episode things changed rapidly for Laura.

This was emphasised when we see that she has an obsession with her career which blinded and distracted her from the really important things she needed to focus on in her life; her kids and her husband. This is pronounced because of her busy career, in the episode the events have shown us that her son Rupert has been trying to tell her that he got kicked out of school and she kept ignoring and postponing what her son had to say.Also when her husband gets sentenced to jail she didn’t realise the situation until her firm mentions it to her and actually show her the newspaper and a close up was used to show a better view of her emotions has she felt like her life was falling apart. Her husband have a divorce when she discovers his have an affair with her sister and finds out that his in jail on charges of fraud. Laura’s firm also doesn’t chose her to be the partner in their firm and a low angle shot was used to show the loss of authority and control she felt taken away from her.This sudden change become the turning point for Laura when she resigns from her job, sells her house and moves away to the last place she recalls enjoying herself Pearl Bay. This episode basically charts the incidents that lead to the changes of Laura Gibson, and through that it emphasises the concept of change being an intense process and that sometimes a negative change is needed to bring about a positive outcome.

This was shown through techniques like at the start of the episode we see a flashback representing a memory at Pearl Bay that Laura and her family once shared, Laura thought going back there would make her life better and happier again, and it did as she is spending time with her children again and by taking a risk moving out and changing her career to being a magistrate.In conclusion I have shown the best of my ability of how the four texts discussed above has better and enhanced my understanding of the Area Of Study, ‘Changing Lives’ through the use of the many concepts, techniques, context, characters and plot. It also showed me the many ways that change can be expressed, felt, and appreciated regardless of age, sex, situation or event, and that also different people have a different perspective and view and what change can bring about and how they feel about. Emily Sobbi.

Author: Jana Bass


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