Monday, July 28, 2014

read me

Hi. If you're reading this, you're either horribly lost in the vast void of the internet, or you're copying my blog posts into your own. Don't worry, been there, done that. Try to do it yourself though- a lot more effective, trust me.

I'm not expecting anyone to see this post, but this blog of mine has gotten more views than even my Tumblr, I'm sure.

All I want to gain from this is to know if I am a decent writer, or at least good enough to carry on what I like doing. So here's my WordPress blog... Don't kill me if I suck ass at this. But reading it would probably be helpful to me. See, I don't know what the hell I'm going to do in my life. So this is kind of my method of figuring it out, or at least cancelling out some options.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Evolution of a High School Classroom (thank you!)

Annette Sousa

Dr. Preston

AP English Literature & Composition

29 May 2014

The Evolution of a High School Classroom

One could question the reasoning behind nontraditional education of the modern day high school system, or one could embrace it. None of us deserves to be treated like adults, because we aren't adults. We are chewed up by the educational system since the day we set foot in the kindergarten classroom, reprimanded day in and day out with robotic phrases such as, "don't talk back" and "respect your elders". How can we ever be expected to become adults straight out of high school if we are constantly being reminded that we aren't yet? Being told to listen and obey to those elders is just another drop in the ocean of growing up. We are then spit out into the world and expected to make rigorous life decisions and be the elders ourselves when, just a few moments ago, we were being reprimanded for not going to the bathroom during passing period. As the intelligent, young adults that we are, treatment as colleagues rather than an underdeveloped minds went a long way. It was well-deserved, and much needed. To be treated as an adult in a sea of teenagers is just another simple reminder that today is the first day of the rest of your life, and I learned a lot to showcase for that.

Creating yourself is a lot more difficult than it appears to be. Some people say that they find themselves in high school, but for me, high school just made it harder. As far as my passion goes, I know that it is the first step in the journey to finding myself. Multiple passions, however, didn't seem to help me either. Constantly being caught up in the multiple crowds of high school drama. Photography, with the artsy people who could make rainbows appear in the colorless of places. Writing and literature, with the "nerds" that I knew I was not as intellectual as. Sports, with the jocks that partied over and over again until they withered up into a dehydrated lump of regret. I won't lie and say that I have disconnected with myself, nor my multitude of passions. Every day I want to learn more from the people who have immense control over their passions, and that is what will continue to drive me. 

Along the way of the most overly dramatic high school year of my life, some characters in my English class had me sigh for how understood I was, even when I wasn't. Reading about Anna Karenina, an extremely long novel recommended to me by my genius of a teacher, I was feeling the most understood I'd felt in a while. It's always nice to read about a character in a book that you relate to so directly. Literature being "a lie that tells the truth", each character reflects a different part of us indirectly. In A Brave New World I remember that I connected with the character Bernard because he didn't fit in, he was smaller than his peers, as am I. And in Hamlet I couldn't help but relate to Hamlet in regards to his love affair with Ophelia and how they strived to be together but couldn't. Characters have a way of making me feel like I am going through what I am required to in this life.

To add to the excessive amount of lessons I've learned throughout my final high school English class, I've come away from the course understanding the importance of collaboration, above anything. Since day one, we've been collaborating with different people for different reasons, but really, are they that different? Ask yourself, what do you gain from working with other people? Sometimes, you might not even gain anything but the satisfaction of helping someone out. Every single person had the same thing in common with their presentations in my class. No one else might have noticed it, but I did. Every person that spoke in front of my class, that enveloped themselves in their presentations held themselves proudly. And I respected that. Even the people who I could tell didn't put their 100% into their project still were proud of what they accomplished. When Taylor and Hannah and Meghan were at the front of the class explaining which colleges they were going to and what majors they were under, all I heard was the pride in their voices. When Ian so reluctantly explain how his "music was the background music, but don't listen to it, it's not that good", I still heard how proud he was of it. When Marisol was playing her video for the whole class to experience, I saw streams of pride protruding from her eyes. When Lesther described his moment of understanding of human compassion, I could tell he was proud of what he'd accomplished over the past year of high school. And I know for a fact that whenever I spoke in my presentation, I explained everything I said with as much pride as I could. I can't help that I loved what I was talking about, that's what a passion is, isn't it?

I think now that I have entered my last week of high school, everything that I have experienced is coming in a long flashback. I entered high school with a mind set of "I have no friends, high school is going to suck" and am exiting with repeated encounters of leaving my comfort zone, glad that I amounted up to something. I've lost friends, I've broken morals, I've lived through what I experienced as Hell and I'm still here at the finish line to say that I'm standing on both feet, proud to have conquered it all. I am the tragic hero of my own story. The many people who let me down were my unconventional mentors, I learned something different and important from each of them, but those lessons are for a completely different essay that I don't want to write at 11:29 pm.

Staying true to myself, and my "talented" writing skills, I have once gotten off track of my essay. Keep the traditions alive, I suppose. Which brings me back to my thesis about nontraditional educational techniques: They are more effective. Treating my classmates and I like we were college students before we even were accepted into college was the most beneficial thing I could've experienced. I am so grateful to have experienced this as my final high school English course, I learned more from it than any other class I've taken over the past four years. Every class should be ran like the students are rising adults. I have never been more ready to take on the world.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

final masterpiece

Over the last four months, I've come to the small yet meaningful realization that books and writing are extremely important to me. And with that in mind, here is Bailey's and my masterpiece in blog form for our fellow readers/writers. In betweeners rule the world, you know who you are.

Follow the blog!

Hey, follow my personal blog while you're at it. I post my writing on it sometimes, but you'll have to dig for it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Masterpiece project update!

This is the tumblr page that we are using to post things about the books we are basing the project on. Follow us at

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Macbeth: act 5 notes

•when Macbeth kills king Duncan, he heard someone say that he "murdered sleep" as well. 
•lady Macbeth starts sleepwalking and reliving the moments of Duncan's murder. 
•lady Macbeth is who's sleep is murdered because she is sleepwalking and sleeptalking.
•the doctor and gentlewoman hear her saying the conversations that she and Macbeth had after the killing
•lady Macbeth can't hide what they have done anymore, and the guilt is eating away at her.
•"the telltale heart"
•Macbeth is about to crack and go mad

Sunday, March 30, 2014

lit analysis #i forgot because we do so many

1. A not too social boy living in a not too exciting town moves to a boarding school that his father attended as a high schooler as well. Thinking it would be an amazing place with beautiful scenery and exciting people, you could imagine the disappointment when it ends up being a bone dry wasteland of cliques and classes. But he judged too quickly. Culver Creek Boarding School was most likely the best thing that had ever happened to Miles. He met the best people he would ever meet, one of them being Alaska, a witty girl who never seemed to lack an answer. As the days go on, he slowly falls in love with his best friend, and then, it all suddenly changes. Alaska dies, no one knows by suicide or not, or why she did what she did previous to the destructive car accident. But Miles won't stop until he figures out the mystery behind her death. The author pulls you in with every incident and every word written. Each problem in the novel has a distinct purpose to make you feel certain overpowering emotions. 
2. There are so many themes encumbered in this book but I'm going to choose the struggle with finding individuality. Miles comes from a town where he has no friends, just his mom and dad. The people he meets influences everything he does, even though they are fighting to find themselves too. Especially Alaska. He needed to find his great perhaps, as he put it.
3. The author's tone is very witty, humorous, and deep all at once. 
"He's just happy most everyone's gone. He's probably masturbating for the first time in months."
"'Sometimes I don't get you,' I said. 
She just smiled toward the television and said, 'You never get me. That's the whole point.'" 
"You all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die."
4. Parallel structure: "I hated discussion classes. I hated talking, and I hated listening to everyone else stumble on their words and try to phrase things in the vaguest possible way..." pg. 32
Metaphor: "So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane." pg. 88
Lyric: "Night falls fast. Today is in the past." pg. 89
Allusion: "Night falls fast. Today is in the past." (also an allusion of a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay) pg. 89
Irony: "COFFEE TABLE", the coffee table that is not a coffee table is labeled coffee table.
Narrator: the narrator is Miles, aka Pudge. "After five minutes, we split up to go to our destinations. I stuck with Takumi. We were the distraction." pg. 103
Onomatopoeia: "bangbangbanged" pg. 105
Alliteration: "drinking and joking" -it sounds like alliteration anyways, the way you say it. pg.121
Simile: "Like an alcoholic preacher on a Sunday morning." pg. 124
Personification: "...her volcanic candle just peeking out from beneath the bed." pg. 154

1. Direct: "...the not-yet-setting sun shone against her lazy dark curls..."-"I saw a short, muscular guy with a shock of brown hair."
Indirect: "My thin arms didn't seem to get much bigger..."-"
The author uses both approaches in order to put the reader into the story with the direct characterization, because different characters needed different appearances to go with different personalities. He left some parts of the characters up the reader's imagination though, which is why he used indirect characterization too.
2. The author's diction and syntax rarely changes through the novel. If the diction ever changes, it's when one of the characters is talking. They are high schoolers, so they don't have as elevated a vocabulary as the author.
3. The protagonist is extremely round, and is dynamic. He changes so much throughout the book, being a boring, friendless teenager to a slightly more grown boy dealing with the death of his best friend and a girl he believed changed his entire life.
4. After reading this book, I was an emotional wreck. I didn't understand how the author could just kill off such an important character. But then I realized, his whole reasoning for killing off such an important character was exactly to make me feel like the emotional wreck that I was. 
"He was screaming, 'I'm so sorry.'" This one sentence was stated after the death of Alaska. And it is so simple, that it made me understand the exact emotion that I've gone through, and describes the intensity I was feeling.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Huxley's Brave New World

I don't understand how we will ever be this society. Brave New World was interesting and all, but it's just not humanly possible for any of this to happen. We can't just drop all emotional reasoning and mature at a younger age than we do now. We can't just not feel jealousy, or euphoria, or sadness, or love.

Huxley's interview made me realize how much thought he actually put into his novel. How carefully he placed each symbol delicately through each chapter. I think he found people to be a lot more emotionless than we really would be in that world's structure. It's impossible to feel nothing, and if it was, nothing would be an emotion. Free thinking is something we can't help but do, and he can tamper with the idea that we can't all he wants, but really, there will always be one Henry in a sea of Directors that halts the process.