Participation Portfolio 4


I never thought I would make it to the end of this semester, but I am proud that I have. This semester has been a greater struggle for me than anything in the past, especially with the shift to online learning. I feel that I have missed out on so much to be gained in the face-to-face classroom environment, and I hope to be back to it in the fall. The timeframe of the posts in this final portfolio were written in the midst of large assignments, so I did not devote as much time to them as I would have liked. However, I do believe that I have maintained what I have learned throughout the semester.


This category is the one that I have worked the hardest to improve throughout the semester. As I look through this final collection of posts, there are a few in which I achieve the depth that I need.

In my post about act one of Da,  I immediately explain which character I think is the stage Irishman of the play, and I also chose a passage that describes the relationship between Oliver and Charlie. I went deeper by explaining why exactly I think that Oliver is the stage Irishman.

In my post about part one of El Nogalar, I explained how the opening passage depicts average family life better than any of the other works which we have studied this semester. I employed depth by commenting on the format of the play which means that the two women are yelling at the same time, and that I think that the audience needs to physically see the play acted out to receive the full experience intended by Tanya Saracho. I explained that this dynamic within families is more common than many works let on, and it was a nice choice to demonstrate it.


I have also worked to improve on this category throughout the semester. I have a problem with sticking to a formula, which is something that I will continue to work on in future classes. However, there are a few posts in which I break the mold.

In my post about act two of Da, I explored the fact that the play began and ended in an argument. This post is more risky than others because this may be a more common phenomenon than I have noticed, but I chose to talk about it anyway without actually finding out if it is common, simply because it caught my eye.

In my post about part three of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen, I explained how Madam Kofo’s monologue at the end of the play reflects Tess Onwueme’s storytelling style that was presented in the context video. This is not extremely risky, but it breaks the mold of my usual post which do not mention the author’s personality.


As I progressed through the semester, this aspect became easier for me as I noticed the many similarities among different texts that we have studied. I employ it in a few of my posts.

In my post about the context lecture for Irish drama, I explored the stage Irishman’s presence in works other than Da that were presented in the video. I could have improved my intertextuality in this post by choosing a line or two from The Rivals in which Lucius O’Trigger embodies the stage Irishman.

In my post about part one of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen I connected Dupe’s mention of Hakuna Matata to The Lion King. Although The Lion King is a movie and not another work of literature, I chose the passage specifically because it makes reference to another text. I was also surprised by the fact that The Lion King was released a few years before this play, so the play is actually alluding to the movie and not vice-versa.


This has been the most difficult aspect of the portfolio to maintain since the switch to virtual classes, because even virtual discussions do not carry the same weight as face-to-face ones.

In our class discussion of Da, I left comments on the posts of Ashlynn, Mila, and Amy. I feel that the comments that I left on these posts could have lead to deeper discussion had they been stated face-to-face. I have tried to improve my comments to include more than simply my appreciation of the original post. Although it is difficult to do this virtually, I feel that I did an okay job at it.


This is an aspect that has also been a struggle for me to maintain virtually, but I feel that I have greatly improved at it.

During this timeframe, all of my assignments were submitted to Canvas on time, which is an accomplishment for me in a virtual environment where assignments can pile up in the blink of an eye. I submitted my CCProject about three hours early, which is definitely an unusually early submission for me.


Throughout this timeframe, I have posted for every assignment. My posts about part two of El Nogalar and part two of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen are probably my shortest and most shallow posts of the collection, but they are proof that I have posted for every assignment.


This portfolio proves that I have achieved the course goal of deeply and critically reading culturally dramatic literary texts, as well as organizing and developing my initial reactions to them. I have also proven my ability to support my claims textually, as every post is backed up with a quote. However, I believe that there is always room for improvement, and I certainly have a lot more learning to do. I am grateful that I was able to learn what I did through the challenges of this semester.

Source: Participation Portfolio 4


Onwueme, Shakara (3/3)

In Onwueme, Shakara (3/3) I noticed Madam Kofo’s monologue from pages 151-3. Through all of the plays that I have read and watched, I do not think that I have ever experienced a monologue of this length. I also have never experienced one of this style, and it clearly depicts Onwueme’s style and personality that I watched in the videos from the context page. I am glad that I watched them because they truly added to my experience of reading this monologue.

Source: Onwueme, Shakara (3/3)


Onwueme, Shakara (2/3)

In Onwueme, Shakara (2/3) I noticed this passage: “KECHI. Of course I do! How can I ever forget? (Sighing.) Ah, mother! The day that wicked woman plays soccer with our hands and buttocks? Our eyes saw stars!” (Onwueme 52).

I chose this passage because it, along with the following passage, show Kechi reminiscing on good memories she had with Shakara. It shows the value of their friendship and demonstrates how their lives used to be. It is interesting to see how much things have changed.

Source: Onwueme, Shakara (2/3)


Onwueme, Shakara (1/3)

In Onwueme, Shakara (1/3) I noticed this passage: “DUPE. Yeah, Hakuna Matata. No problem. A friend’s job is to keep the other from drifting; running too far and getting lost” (Onwueme 3).

I chose this passage because it immediately caught my eye with the mention of Hakuna Matata. At first, I was unsure of whether or not the play was mentioning The Lion King or vice versa, but The Lion King was released six years before this play was published. I think it is interesting that Onwueme chose to reference the film, as it does not have much else to do with the play so far. I also found this line from Dupe to be interesting. She clearly lays out her expectations of friendship here, and I think that many can resonate with it.

Source: Onwueme, Shakara (1/3)


Context for African Drama

From the short clips that I viewed from this post, I can presume that I will enjoy Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen. Tess Onwueme’s writing style is very different from what we have read throughout the semester, and the characters are developed much differently as well. I have enjoyed what we have read so far, but it will be nice to see yet another different style.

Source: Context for African Drama


Saracho, El Nogalar (2/2)

In Saracho, El Nogalar (2/2) I noticed this passage: “DUNIA. I’m just never going to understand it. Is it because you want to impress Valeria? Listen, you don’t have to work too hard with her. Well, I don’t want to make your head swell. But what do you see in her anyway?” (Saracho 49).

I found these lines to be interesting because Dunia is finally able to ask Lopez this question. It seems like this is something that she has been pondering for a while, and she is happy to finally be able to ask it.

Source: Saracho, El Nogalar (2/2)


Saracho, El Nogalar (1/2)

In Saracho, El Nogalar (1/2) I noticed this passage: “LOPEZ. QUE HACES, DUNIA? / Que tanto buscas, eh?

DUNIA. Ay, CHIHUAHUAS. Me espantaste!

LOPEZ. A verda’, mente cochambroza. / Que tanto esculcas?

DUNIA. Mente que? La tuya fijate!” (Saracho 7).

From the opening lines of this play, I can already tell that it is one that I will enjoy. From the context page, I learned that this format means that the two women are talking over each other, likely yelling because of the capital letters. I think that this play will be more demonstrative of the average family life than ones we have read in the past, where only one character is talking at a time. The two women yelling over each other is something that is more common than many let on, and I think it is interesting that this is depicted immediately at the opening. Also, I would love to see this play acted out because I think that I would gain the full experience from it. The amount of things that are noted in the stage directions is more than I have ever seen before, and I think that this scene loses some of its originality as it is impossible to read these two women’s lines at the same time.

Source: Saracho, El Nogalar (1/2)


Context for Latin American Drama

I found Tanya Saracho’s interview to be a great introduction to El Nogalar. I took Spanish for five years, and I always enjoyed the works of literature that we would read in those classes. I am interested to see if I will know what any of the Spanish phrases mean, and I think that the perspective of the three women will be interesting. The relations between the United States and Mexico, particularly the border, is quite the topic to explore. I am interested to see how this pans out in the play.

Source: Context for Latin American Drama


Leonard, Da (Act 2)

In Leonard, Da (Act 2) I noticed this passage: “CARLIE. My money.

DA. Jasus, didn’t you get it back? And looka…if I wouldn’t go to England with you before, sure I’ll make it up to you. I will now.

CHARLIE. You what? Like hell you will.

DA. Sure you can’t get rid of a bad thing” (Leonard 92).

I chose part of the concluding lines of the play because I found it interesting that the play ended with an argument. Although I have seen this happen in other works of drama before, it was interesting because Da started with an argument as well. Charlie and Oliver argued in the beginning, and the play concludes with an argument between Charlie and Da. Overall, I enjoyed the play, and I feel that it definitely fits the bill for a work of Irish drama. Nearly every aspect that was mentioned in the video was depicted in this play.

Source: Leonard, Da (Act 2)


Leonard, Da (Act 1)

In Leonard, Da (Act 1) I noticed this passage:

“OLIVER. Ho-ho-ho.

CHARLIE. So I…what?

OLIVER. Joll-y good.

CHARLIE. My God, Oliver, you still think saying ‘tit’ is the height of depravity. You must find married life unbearably exciting.

OLIVER. Haven’t changed, haven’t changed!” (Leonard 7).

This passage is an interesting opening to the play, because it already sets the reader up with a good depiction of the relationship between Charlie and Oliver. Also, after watching the lecture about Irish drama, I can immediately see aspects of the lecture in this play. I think that Oliver may be a stage Irishman, but it may be too early to tell for sure. My thinking stems from his use of childish jokes in the midst of a conversation. So far, the play seems like it will definitely be an interesting read.

Source: Leonard, Da (Act 1)