Gran Torino: Questions & Answers

We watched the movie Gran Torino today in International English class. In the movie we meet Walt Kowalski and his Hmong neighbours. Walt had issues with his neighbours because of his beliefs. The movie starts of with Walt’s wife dying, and in her funeral we meet the priest. Walt’s wife had asked him to look after Walt, something Walt doesn’t show any interest in. Through out the movie there are several important moments with both the priest and his neighbours. Without spoiling the movie I have to say that the end surprised me.

How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family? Do you know of anyone that has a similar family relationship?

Walt had a very tense relationship with his family witch made it hard for his sons to reach out to him. His family nearly gave up on having a relationship with him after his wife died. Walt was a very closed person and it was hard to reach out to him, he just wanted to be for him self. Therefor when his sons tried to talk to him he just shut them out. After Walt did this for a long time his sons started to care less, and when Walt needed his sons they weren’t there for him.

I don’t know anyone that has this kind of relationship with their family, at least not at this level. There are of course families that aren’t as close with their parents or siblings. Is those cases they dosen’t kick each other out on their birthdays, but they may not chat as easily around the dinner table.

What does respect mean to Walt? What does respect mean to you?

Walt shows many signs that he thinks that everyone should have respect for each other. He don’t want gifts from his neighbours, and wants everybody to call him Mr. Kowalski. This makes us belive that Walt thinks of respect as something you owe one another. In addition to this because of his racists views, he thinks that his Hmong neighbours should have more respect for him, because he lived in the neighbourhood first.

Respect to me means that you should respect others opinions and respecting that people are different without judging someone.

How would you describe the relationship between Walt and the priest? How does this relationship change during the movie?

In the beginning of the movie he dosent find the priest any helpful and just wants to be left alone. During the movie they get to know each other and they slowly build a relationship. Spoiler: He even goes to a confession towards the end.

After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions?

When Walt gets a haircut, shaves, gets a new suit and goes to confession, we understand that something is about to happened. Because of the recent event with the attack we understand that it has something to do with some sort of revenge.

Can you think of real life examples of people who have sacrificed themselves for others? What drives these people to make this sort of sacrifice?

There are people constantly sacrificing themselves for other in wars. They fight for their beliefs and thats their motivation.



Donald Trump visits Sandvika

Fake news is a topic that Trump, Facebook, Google and others are fighting. Trump has accused CNN of being fake news after it came out that Russia helped him win the election. It is easy to be fooled by pop up news on Facebook, unreliable news, and believe whats being said in the articles. Making fake news is too simple, but there’s not that hard to check if your source is reliable.


If you see a video on Facebook of mind blowing news, but none of your regular sites are writing about it, the chances are big that the news are fake. You can also open the article and look at the design of the webpage or url-dress. Often you can tell by a bad design or the use of block letters if the source is fake. Another thing you can do is to look at the url, if the site ends with it’s probably fake. The best thing you can do to check your source is to read about the happening other places.

This week there’s been a lot of news around the soon new president of the United States, Donald Trump. A few weeks ago CIA and FBI claimed Russia helped Trump win the election, and this week Russia said they had sensitive materiel on Trump. CNN wrote an article about this, and Trump got furious. At his first press conference since the election a CNN reporter asked him: “Mr. President-elect, since you have been attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance?”. Trump refused to answer the question and moved on.

Norway is a country far away from most worldwide news, therefor it’s really important for us to get the right information. Without news we don’t have clue whats going on in the world, if we then gets wrong information we get a messed up picture of whats going on. Google are now launching a fact checker for news, it means a label will show up next to news in search results. This way people in Norway and all over the world will be able to check  their news.


We had students from Bergen, the United States and Australia writing on our padlet about fake news. Reading these you can tell that the students from the US are more concerned about the political picture with fake news, and riots caused by these news. Both students from Bergen and Australia thought more about how the fake news affected out learning. I don’t find it weird that it’s this way, after all the US now have president that’s all over the media.

We actually skyped with students from Johannesburg, South Africa. They recently had an experience with fake news. A news article said that teachers from schools in South Africa are turning students to illuminati members by making them drink a raspberry drink with human blood. The students we skyped with goes to a school listed in the article, and found it funny what people can make up.


“Reading in class” – Preparations

Aravind Adiga is an author and journalist born and raised in India. He studied at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen college in Oxford. He worked as a finance journalist in the beginning and has been published by Financial Times, Money and The Wall Street Journal. In February 2003 he did an interview for Money magazine with the newly elected president of the United States Donald Trump. He later began working as a freelance journalist and wrote the book White Tiger. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for that book. Despite his success in America, he now lives in Mumbai in his home country India.

After reading about Aravind Adiga I found him really interesting because he knows so much about economy and finance. I was first sure that I wanted to read the joy luck club, but after doing research on Aravind I’m convinced that I want to read the White Tiger. The book takes place in a poor village in India, where we meet Balram Halwai, a young Indian man. He gets a job as a private driver for a rich family with connections directly to the Indian government.

  • Sara Emilie

Amy Tan is an american successful author who often writes books about mother-daughter-relations based on her own personal experiences.

Amy’s parents were both from China, but immigrated to the United States before she was born. Her father had fled from revolution in China, and her mother ran away from wife abuse from her earlier husband and had to leave her three children behind.

When Amy was 15, her father and older brother died of cancer the same year. Amy’s mother believed the whole family was cursed and took the children and left the country. The Tan family ended up in Switzerland. Amy got a boyfriend who was psychiatrically suicidal, and she got arrested for drugs when she was 16. Luckily she got away with only a warning. She started to studying in Switzerland and began writing novels when she was 33 years old. She met her husband on a blind date in 1970, and they have been together ever since. Her first book was a collection of short stories called The Joy Luck Club, and includes a lot of personal experiences.

I decided to read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, because I was really amazed by the author’s background story. Considering that, I would really like to read a book that is based on her experiences and the people around her. The book is about four chinese women, who call themselves The Joy Luck Club. They have immigrated to San Francisco and are introduced to a new life full of both possibilities and difficulties.  The book focuses on cultural differences, and the process of adjusting to a brand new culture.

  • Sara Ulla