I.B. English seniors complete oral exams

From December 2 to December 15, every International Baccalaureate English Higher Level student performed their Interactive Oral Commentary and Discussion (IOC&D). After months of preparations, these seniors have completed 15 percent of their exam, with the writing portions to come in May.

Since the beginning of the year, the class has been split into two parts: reading Shakespeare and analyzing Emily Dickinson. The students’ summer assignment was to read Hamlet, and during the first semester they analyzed Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day as well.

For the Dickinson poems, each class period was a discussion of the literary elements and themes of the poems. These discussions helped students develop commentary and ideas for their IOC&D.

The structure of the IOC&D consists of a 10 minute discussion on a random Dickinson poem and a 10 minute discussion of either Hamlet or Remains of the Day. The seniors were given 20 minutes to prepare for the Dickinson poem, one of 27 picked at random for them.

Students has different approaches for their commentaries. Some reread the works, and others compiled charts of major themes and meanings. “To be honest, I just winged it,” senior Zephren Collinson. “I got lucky with a poem I knew, and I killed the presentation.”

Other students had a harder time, as being in a room with two teachers and a microphone could stress some. “I got really nervous,” senior Katherine Taylor said. “I kept stuttering and losing my train of thought. Hopefully my content was good.”

English teacher Mr. David Peters attempted to reassure the seniors afterwards telling them they all had done very well. “It’s past you now,” Mr. Peters said. “It’s all up to the IB gods now.”