an introduction: a literary journey

This is a PechaKucha that was done in class to serve as an introduction to who I am. PechaKucha is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds. For our purposes, we had 10 slides that were shown for 20 seconds; this is meant to be a presentation style that gets an idea across in a short and concise manner. For me, this entailed focusing on how literature and novels have shaped me as a person; trying to explain myself more broadly would require an understanding of self that I have yet to acquire.


Image result for Old books with candle - Konstantinos Skopelitis

Books have had a significant role in shaping me into who I am today – for better or for worse. Whether it was novels that I was forced to read for class or ones that I read of my own volition, the words on those pages greatly influenced my beliefs, perspectives, and understanding of the world. This includes the beginning of my journey which was dominated by the

Image result for The Mirror of Erised - Mary GrandPré

fantasy and dystopian genres. My childhood, like many others, was divided between the real world and the magical lands that existed in the pages of these books. The ability to leave the mundane reality that I found myself in was a gift; while it provided me a means of escape, it simultaneously allowed me to develop my own imaginative and creative abilities. I was also able to look closer

Image result for Underworld Demons HUMAN, ANIMAL or MACHINE? Futuristic Portrait Human Animal blended CHIMERISM + AI Machine Technology dark SCIFI - Grace Divine

at the characters themselves. The beauty of novels targeted towards younger audiences is how black and white they were. This allowed me to clearly identify which characters were “good” and try to emulate them. I could establish in my mind which traits separated the heroes from the villains and how I could use that information to develop myself into the person I wanted to be. On the opposite side of the spectrum,

Image result for Old Europe - Nelya Shenklyarska

I fell in love with historical fiction and non-fiction novels. This part of my reading journey becomes really apparent with my interest in politics and history; all of this stems from a desire to learn about the nature of the world and how it functions. Novels of this genre allow me to fill in the gaps in my understanding of how society has evolved and continues to evolve. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” is a quote often attributed to Mark Twain and justifies, in my mind, my desire to look at the past: the world is both complex and simple and to act appropriately in the future, why not look at the past for advice – events of the present bear some semblance to events of the past. Historical fiction and non-fiction novels not only assist in my understanding of the world but also

Image result for A Painter's View of World War II - Tom Lea

my understanding of others. Stories can be the most effective way to get to know someone and that is what books do best, they tell stories. While they can be entirely fictional or based entirely in fact, I still learn how to be empathetic and grateful. Authors humanize people and events that seem so far from the life I know; this helps me understand the importance of doing the same with those around me – take the time to learn their stories and be less judgemental. All this takes me to the current part of my reading journey,

Image result for the persistence of memory - salvador dali

my AP journey: one that is filled with too many 19th century authors and mind-numbing analysis. However much I might complain and wallow in pain because of the texts, I couldn’t imagine not doing it. This part of my journey is one that is characterized by dramatic growth for an almost counterintuitive reason: it taught me to slow down. The complex and detailed nature of these novels means that to truly get the understanding I desire, I can’t read it like it is a race to the finish. It falls upon me, as a responsibility to my learning, to take the time to actually comprehend the nature of what I am reading:

Image result for The Fighting Téméraire - Joseph Mallord William Turner

to appreciate each comma and word choice as something purposeful and not something that is done for the sake of doing it. To see the complex worlds they create as more than just a setting for a plot but as a part of the story as a whole. To recognize how everything is carefully intertwined to function as something beyond just a book. To understand the importance of doing so in my own life,

the importance of slowing down and appreciating. I learned to take it one day at a time and not perceive life as moving merely from one point to the next; life doesn’t just go from grade 9 to grade 12 to university to a job. It is each moment that I get to come to a class with people who enjoy the same things as me. It is each moment I get to spend time with my family and friends. It is each moment that I get to live and experience something the world has to offer. As a result, I see

Image result for Portrait of Dorian Gray - Denise Dimech

how the world isn’t black and white. Life exists in the grays (Dorian Gray is a great example). Complexity dominates the world and nuances are what make each day something different and beautiful. That is the nature of the world around me and it’s impossible to understand it fully, and I learned to be fine with that. The same beauty that comes with knowing exists with not knowing and that, in itself, brings me comfort – I am not missing out because I am unaware of something, I am just experiencing something else. Each word on my journey is

Image result for Champs de Ble and Restaurant at Bougival - Maurice de Vlaminck

a brushstroke on my canvas: some are vivid and others are more subtle, some are even covered by another. They all come together to create me – the painting that exists here today. One that will continue to change and get covered as I continue my literary journey.



featured image

Old books with candle – Konstantinos Skopelitis
The Mirror of Erised – Mary GrandPré
Underworld Demons HUMAN, ANIMAL or MACHINE? Futuristic Portrait Human Animal blended CHIMERISM + AI Machine Technology dark SCIFI – Grace Divine
Old Europe – Nelya Shenklyarska
A Painter’s View of World War II – Tom Lea
The Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali
The Fighting Téméraire – Joseph Mallord William Turner
Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son – Claude Monet
Portrait of Dorian Gray – Denise Dimech
Champs de Ble and Restaurant at Bougival – Maurice de Vlaminck

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6 thoughts on “an introduction: a literary journey

  1. *Nimrat:

    I am not gong to lie: you made me so nervous going into this class. Your ideas are so sophisticated, and your writing is so incredible, and I was SO intimidated by you in 10AP, and I was sure that I was definitely going to be the idiot in the room. Now, after spending so much time with you in this class and in math, I am (slightly) less terrified, and more ecstatic that I get the chance to work with you and learn your ways. I love this presentation so much – particularly the unified theme. It made the whole thing feel conclusive, and introduced you to us as a reader. Plus, you were ON those transitions; the cleanliness of your presentation is part of the reason why I practiced mine to death.

    I know this comment got a little away from the piece, but it IS an all about me, so I feel like I’m fine. Thank you for bringing your wisdom to this class (and tolerating my “borderline creepy” obsession with Hegel).


    1. Dearest Maria,

      I love that our relationship has intimidation on both sides (how positive) because just your reputation alone had me nervous in grade 10 – I felt like I really didn’t belong in that class if you were there. I thought I had no place in the AP class in grade 11 to an even greater extent because you wouldn’t be in it – who did I think I was to go into that class if Maria wasn’t. However, I am so glad you came back because your presence in both my academic and personal life is so valuable and I am so excited to grow with you during our final year at FFCA.

      Thanks a bunch for reading my piece because everyone knows you have to suffer enough with me in math class so doing this out of your free will is a true compliment. I will always support your philosophical obsession and send you any further references I can across to Hegel.


  2. Dear Nimrat,

    I was one of the many students you had so amazingly impressed when you had presented this in the classroom. The theme of your PechaKucha was brilliant and it fitted very well with the overall atmosphere of the classroom. As for the presentation itself, it was incredibly clever how you managed to perfectly time the slides to match what you were saying mid-sentence. I especially loved how you concluded the blog. “Each word on my journey is a brushstroke on my canvas: some are vivid and others are more subtle, some are even covered by another.” Absolutely captivating. This probably became one of my favourite analogies since it reflected upon on how our experiences are constantly growing as well as being outweighed by newer ones. Brilliant of you to think of that one.

    The only constructive feedback I could think of was that perhaps you should include some of the novels that had an impact on who you are as a person. You mentioned all of these genres and character types that whom you resonated with and personally, I would have loved a recommendation to be able to read what books assisted you on this journey. For instance, knowing what texts developed your ethos, pathos and logos would give us an even deeper understanding to who you really are.

    I cannot describe how fortunate I am to have you in my family group. You became one of the people I look up to in our class. Even the thumbnail, or the featured “gif” of this blog was abstract which helped further your theme of the piece. As I had mentioned before, this blog was captivating for me and an enjoyable read. In conclusion, I am glad I got to learn a little bit more about you.


    1. Dearest Naomi,

      Thank you my AP child for reading my blog (like you had a choice). You give me far too much credit for my presentation but I am glad that you were able to take something away from it. I too think it would have been good to include to the novels that affected me the most too, however, I think getting bogged down in the specifics of books during the presentation would have taken too much time – thus I kept the references more subtle like the paintings of Harry Potter and Dorian Gray. I’ll consider adding them to the blog later – but know I am always happy to give a book recommendation (Heart of Darkness is an important one to me remember)! 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words!


  3. Dear Nimrat,
    There is just something about the words you choose and the ideas you weave together that makes your writing so graceful, yet so raw at the same time. I am humbled that someone with such a brilliant mind is in my family group for me to emulate from. I am truly honored to learn by your example.

    In your PechaKucha, it was very clever to keep to the overarching theme of literature and connect it back to you through either the memories or the characteristics of the genre. You had excellent sentence structure with strong flow and tightly interwoven ideas. It was as if I was floating through each paragraph, barely noticing the transition point. All ten images were like the easel holding your self-portrait, acting as the foundation of your identity that any reader is able to appreciate and understand you from. The canvas of you was brilliantly painted with your metaphors, bold words, and moving lines.

    I loved the parallelism of, “It is each moment that I get to come to a class with people who enjoy the same things as me. It is each moment I get to spend time with my family and friends. It is each moment that I get to live and experience something the world has to offer.” From this, I learned it is okay to start sentences with the same word if it is purposeful. These lines were like hidden gems of poetry within the prose structure of this assignment.

    If I must criticize, there were a few places where the word “that” came too close to each other. Although this is a minor issue, I feel if you could get rid of a few of them, you will enhance this piece a bit more.

    I know the quality of writing here is merely the tip of the iceberg, and I cannot wait to read more.
    Thank you,

    1. Dearest Nazeefa,

      Graceful and raw were never two words I would put together to describe anything but having my writing described like that feels like a compliment of the highest degree. I like how people perceive my cop-out idea of using literature to talk about myself rather than actually talking about myself as clever but I will take it! I am glad that you like the little poetic lines I have because somehow I can’t escape using them in my writing (I blame creative writing) – I hope this inspires you to do the same! And I also agree THAT I should use “that” less – I haven’t gone back to do my purge edit yet so I will do that soon.

      Thanks for your kind words and suggestions!


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