ERC Updates

What’s Happening in English

Book Club – A Novel Idea

“The ERC Book Club had its first meeting in the Narandha Learning Centre on Friday, Week 3. At the event, Miles Franklin’s ‘My Brilliant Career’, Joshua Foer’s ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’ and Trent Dalton’s ‘All Our Shimmering Skies’ were discussed with participants presenting the book and whether or not they recommended it.

Overall was a great exchange of literature and the next meet-up is currently being scheduled by the Community & Culture team.”

Toby Schuback

Community & Culture Vice-Prefect 

Film Club – Reel Talk

The ERC Reel Talk Film Club meets everyone Wednesday at lunch in C5. This term, we have engaged in robust discussion about classics such as The Princess Bride, Citizen Kane, cult classics Be Kind, Rewind and Baraka and less classic films such as Paddington 2. All are welcome to join.

Year 11 Guest Speaker

In Week 6, Year 11 Standard English students were extremely lucky to have guest speaker, Meni Caroutas, come and speak to them about his life experiences working as a police officer at Kings Cross during the mid 80s, as a freelance television producer, writing his own novel, Cop It Sweet, and composing his own podcast series The Missing. Year 11 actively listened to Mr Caroutas’ stories and how these stories influenced the crafting of his own novel and podcast, communicating ‘stories’ to a broader audience. He spoke passionately about how difficult it was dealing with families who had loved ones missing, witnessing the heartbreak of family and friends, and the realisation that this was a social issue that didn’t have enough limelight! Mr Caroustas spoke about the purpose of creating his novel and his podcast series, and the techniques that he used to engage his audience. Year 11 students were invited to ask him questions related to his work as well as helpful hints for their upcoming assessment task, where they will be composing their own podcasts. The presentation was not only engaging and informative for students, but a way in which they can reflect on their own responses through the evolution of storytelling.

“I thought that Meni gave an invaluable presentation exploring the composition of podcasts. We were told about different techniques such as the integration of sound and music to create suspense, pauses – also to create suspense, and proper mic technique to ensure sound quality is on point. I learnt that a combination of these factors can create a really good podcast that is able to light up the imagination of an audience. I also thought that Meni’s podcasts on stories such as Daniel Morcombe were so surreal in the fact that it was one of the biggest crime stories of Queensland history. Meni Caroutas provided Standard English students with an insightful presentation that will be most helpful as we approach our second preliminary assessment task of the year.”

Mason Fanning

The informative experience with Meni Caroutas on Thursday the 27th May to Year 11 students gave us a unique and advanced insight into the life of investigating missing people. Meni shared his informative and amazing stories of uncovering cold cases with the sources he had collected. This provided us with an intriguing and detailed insight into the work that goes into finding missing people. Meni also introduced us to his podcast and explained ways that he had used to improve the quality of his podcasts in an entertaining manner. This has been a big help to the Year 11 boys who need to create a podcast for their upcoming assignment. We thank Meni for attending our school and sharing his knowledge and skills.”

Jack Yates

I thought the talk was very engaging and very informative. Meni Caroutas talked about his life story and how he got into making podcasts. He also talked to us about tips on how to make a podcast for our upcoming assessment task.”                                                                          

Noah McNally

On behalf of the Year 11 English Standard students and the teachers of this course, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Meni for his presentation and to Mrs Carmen Russell for organising this fantastic experience for the students.

From the Writer’s Corner…

Thank you to Callum Crossingham in Year 11 who has kindly agreed to share the beautiful creative piece he composed for his first English Assessment Task:

Idyllic Days

Years ago, my older brother and I would spend every moment together after school on the sparkling white sand. We would create sand castles as big as the cities. We would dance knee deep in the icy blue surf, diving under the waves and kicking up the water so that the droplets looked like shiny stars in the night sky. We would lay down under the sunset and stare at the shapes and images the gloomy clouds made. Not another soul in sight, nothing else mattered. These days lasted forever, freezing images and memories in my mind. I was as happy as a sandboy. Coming back to the same beach now, I feel the same sand under my feet, radiating that blissful feeling I felt so long ago. But I can’t help but think about the deep pain left inside me.

He was always by my side. He would often talk to me about nihilism on this very shore, back then I didn’t even know what it meant, yet I still listened to his anecdotes like a gospel. I remember a day he recited

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”

His eyes were glassy and unfocused. He was with me, but not at the same time. I look back now with regret, but also understanding of why. I remember the first time I truly realised what had happened, the remnants of that child inside of me faded. I always suppressed this feeling, but coming back here starts the chain of good memories and bad thoughts. I was too afraid to think of him as human.

If I wasn’t with him I would sit alone with my knees up to my chest, waiting for him. That is, until the day he left me lost and alone in this harsh world. Taking those frozen memories with him and crushing them; when one day hidden under the shade of the shiny stars, he took one last dive under the waves. What led him to this decision? Well, I wish I knew. Although reminiscing on those conversations, the talks of why life is meaningless – the nihilism, it’s as clear as day that it was coming. It’s tough to grasp the reality of this now dead end life.

I sit here now, building big sand castles and gazing at the sad clouds going by for the last time on my own, wishing it was still the same. I pulled myself out of the past and wiped away the drops of water that were in the corner of my eye. It was pitiful to think he died a defeated man. I could imagine he’s looking down with that same big smile he always glanced around with. As I felt the cold and sharp seaside wind hit my face, I closed my eyes and slowly layed down on the sparkling white sand, thinking about those idyllic days of happiness.

Ms Gazzola

Head of English