This year in my IB English Lang + Lit we have learned about a variety of texts and now that we are being introduced to our Individual Oral and HL essay everything our knowledge becomes incredibly more important. The texts I found the most interesting were that of the Stabilo Ads, Carol Ann Duffy poems, and the Murakami Short Stories. I like the Stabilo Ads because social justice issues relating to gender have a really tender place in my heart. I also like the Carol Ann Duffy poems for this reason, but specifically today in class my English teacher said something I completely agree with regarding my favorite poem she has written, Valentine. “[The poem] takes our conventional notions of love and intimacy and redefines them or forces us to look at them in a more honest and authentic way.” I loved this reflection and believe that it expresses perfectly why I also enjoyed it so much. Redefining normality can be such a curious thing to write about, especially defining what something like love is. And when it comes to Murakami, though many people in Japan from what I have read think his stories “stinking of butter,” I have a fascination with what he achieves through his metaphors, symbols, and overall characters. The perception of the struggling individuals with personal identity and society is also interesting. In the end, I think I will end up using Duffy for my HL Essay just because I feel as though I could produce my best work writing about it. I will most likely save the ad Stabilo for my IO and look into Murakami for my IO as well, I am not sure how I would relate this to or even if I will use one or the other, but these are my current thoughts.