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BELONGING RUBRIC

This Area of Study requires you to explore the ways in which the concept
of belonging is represented in and through texts.
Perceptions and ideas of belonging, or of not belonging, vary. These perceptions
are shaped within personal, cultural, historical and social contexts. A sense of
belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places, groups,
communities and the larger world. Within this Area of Study, you may consider
aspects of belonging in terms of experiences and notions of identity, relationships,
acceptance and understanding.
Texts explore many aspects of belonging, including the potential of the individual
to enrich or challenge a community or group. They may reflect the way attitudes
to belonging are modified over time. Texts may also represent choices not to
belong, or barriers which prevent belonging. Perceptions and ideas of belonging in
texts can be constructed through a variety of language modes, forms, features
and structures. In engaging with the text, a responder may experience and
understand the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to, or exclusion
from the text and the world it represents. This engagement may be influenced by
the different ways perspectives are given voice in or are absent from a text.
In your responses and compositions examine, question, and reflect and speculate
on:
how the concept of belonging is conveyed through the representations of
people, relationships, ideas, places, events, and societies that they encounter in
the prescribed text and texts of their own choosing related to the Area of Study
assumptions underlying various representations of the concept of belonging
how the composers choice of language modes, forms, features and structures
shapes and is shaped by a sense of belonging
their own experiences of belonging, in a variety of contexts
the ways in which they perceive the world through texts
the ways in which exploring the concept and significance of belonging may
broaden and deepen their understanding of themselves and their world.

Feliks Skrzynecki
My gentle father
Kept pace only with the Joneses
Of his own minds making
Loved his garden like an only child,
Spent years walking its perimeter
From sunrise to sleep.
Alert, brisk and silent,
He swept its paths
Ten times around the world.
Hands darkened
From cement, fingers with cracks
Like the sods he broke,
I often wondered how he existed
On five or six hours sleep each night
Why his arms didnt fall off
From the soil he turned
And tobacco he rolled.
His Polish friends
Always shook hands too violently,
I thought Feliks Skrzynecki,
That formal address
I never got used to.
Talking, they reminisced
About farms where paddocks flowered
With corn and wheat,
Horses they bred, pigs
They were skilled in slaughtering.
Five years of forced labour in Germany
Did not dull the softness of his blue eyes
I never once heard
Him complain of work, the weather
Or pain. When twice
They dug cancer out of his foot,
His comment was: but Im alive.
Growing older, I
Remember words he taught me,
Remnants of a language
I inherited unknowingly
The curse that damned
A crew-cut, grey-haired
Department clerk
Who asked me in dancing-bear grunts:
Did your father ever attempt to learn English?
On the back steps of his house,
Bordered by golden cypress,
Lawns geraniums younger
Than both parents,
My father sits out the evening
With his dog, smoking,
Watching stars and street lights come on,
Happy as I have never been.
At thirteen,
Stumbling over tenses in Caesars Gallic War,
I forgot my first Polish word.
He repeated it so I never forgot.
After that, like a dumb prophet,
Watched me pegging my tents
Further and further south of Hadrians Wall.

Postcard
A post card sent by a friend
Haunts me
Since its arrival
Warsaw: Panorama of the Old Town
He requests I show it
To my parents.
Red buses on a bridge
Emerging from a corner
High-rise flats and something
Like a park borders
The river with its concrete pylons.
The skys the brightest shade.
Warsaw, Old Town,
I never knew you
Except in the third person
Great city
That bombs destroyed,
Its people massacred
Or exiled You survived
In the minds
Of a dying generation
Half a world away.
They shelter you
And defend the patterns
Of your remaking,
Condemn ypur politics,
Cherish your old religion
And drink to freedom
Under the White Eagles flag.
For the moment,
I repeat, I never knew you,
Let me be.
Ive seen red buses
Elsewhere
And all rivers have
An obstinate galre.
My father
Will be proud
Of your domes and towers,
My mother
Will speak of her
Beloved Ukraine.
Whats my choice
To be?
I can give you
The recognition
Of eyesight and praise.
What more
Do you want
Besides
The gift of despair?
I stare
At the photograph
And refuse to answer
The voices
Of red gables
And a cloudless sky.
On the rivers bank
A lone tree
Whispers:
We will meet
Before you die.