Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rhetorical Devices

Time to continue my sharing from the Jakarta Post's Writing Workshop. The second session is about Rhetorical Devices, very useful for people who want to make their writing stronger. There are many rhetorical devices, such as simile, alliteration, tricolon, etc. If you remember your Bahasa Indonesia classes from high school, you'll remember the lessons about "majas", right? This is kinda similar with that.

For the assignment, the coach asked us to submit an article that has at least 3 different rhetorical devices. Here's mine below. Can you spot the rhetorical devices?

Why I Fight the iPad

Kids who are raised in the digital age do not understand how it feels to be a gaptek (gagap teknologi – or technology illiterate). They seem to be equipped by a sixth sense for technology related stuff: they know exactly the differences between touch screen phones and the ones with keypads, they can adjust easily with new gadgets, and they usually can find the best shortcuts or tricks in our phone- long before we even knew that they existed.

My 4,5 years old son amazed me every time he played with his iPad. Beating my score in Temple Run, sailing easily through the dead end levels in Candy Crush, or showing me the ways how to play Angry Birds correctly. I watched with mixed feelings when his fingers moved across the screen, like a cheetah chasing his prey.

I realized that nowadays iPad has played a huge role in children’s education and brain development. A study conducted at Longfield Academy in Kent, England, showed positive impacts of the iPad when being used as educational tool for students and teachers. The study mentioned that iPads have revolutionized teaching and encouraged collaborative learning.

Meanwhile, some companies like Vivity Labs had launched scientifically designed brain-training games to help develop children’s brain. One of the games, Sparky’s Adventures, has Parent’s Corner that gives parents insight into how their kids’ brains are developing while playing the games.

But besides all the glitters, can iPad really replace the green scenery and the fresh air? Or the pleasure of playing outside with your friends, socializing with real people? I don’t think so.

If you grew up before the 90s, I’m pretty sure you still remember the beauty of playing outdoor with your friends. I remember vividly my excitement every time I walked outside my house and anticipated a long, fun afternoon. Playing tag with the neighbor kids and fishing in the nearest pond and riding bicycle and exploring the neighborhood. The joy that my son, along with so many kids out there, missed a lot these days.

I noticed that my son spent so much time indoor, glued into his iPad screen, and only spent little time outdoor socializing with his friends. Every time I had prepared other activities for him, iPad always allured him to find some excuses to check on it. Even more unbelievable is whenever we have a playdate with other kids, they keep on busy playing (or exchanging) iPads! And this is when I finally declared my war against the iPad.

The first time I tried to separate my son with his iPad, it was so hard. He’s furious: kicking, screaming, wailing. I’ve developed a schedule that limits his time playing with iPad. Homework first, then he can play for 30 minutes. On weekends, I prepared outdoor activities for him, from swimming lessons to museum trips and biking in Car Free Day. Anything that can separate him with his iPad, even only for a while.

Of course it’s not easy. Another day, another battle, another drama. My son still asks for his iPad every time he doesn’t have interesting thing to do, or if he sees other kids playing with their iPads. Moreover, I know that sometimes, when I was busy with works or had to catch up with something else, I was the one who’ve been tempted to pull out the iPad from its hiding place and give it to my son so he wouldn’t disturb me.

But gradually, the effort works. Last week I accompanied him to his swimming lesson and he didn’t want to come out from the pool even though his lesson was already over. And the last time we met with my brother’s kids, the children were playing football instead of being busy with their gadgets. It’s relieving to see kids having fun outside and laughing out loud for a change.

I agree that it’s impossible to eliminate the role of gadgets in this digital era. And like other gadgets, iPad has its own perks and positive traits. But I’m glad to say that although the iPad still becomes a part of our lives, its grip is not as strong as before and my son is less dependent on it.

It is indeed good news but with the school holiday just around the corner, I know the challenge is not over yet. And my fight will continue- maybe for many years to come.