I beg to differ

I have written you down, now you will live forever

Blogging in this class has long been about how everything is a remix and nothing is original. One of my favorite bands, Bastille, uses this method to create music that is fresh, fun, but can also be serious. You might have heard of their song ‘Pompeii’, which soared to the top of the charts last year and is extremely overplayed on the radio nowadays. In honor of the approaching end of April, which is National Poetry Month, I’d like to share with you one of their songs, called ‘Poet’. It’s not my favorite song of theirs, but I thought it was relevant 😉

It was based on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 81 and the verse that goes, “And all the world will read you/ And you will live forever/ In eyes not yet created/ On tongues that are not born” really illustrates the power and beauty of the written word.

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I’m not a poet.

April is National Poetry Month! Or NaPoWriMo, here on WordPress.

On the first of the month, Mr. Z read the class “Words” by Dana Gioia. It was nice and had out-of-the box thinking. It introduced me to a new perspective on words, and I think that’s what poetry is supposed to do.

I’ve always (hesitantly) admired poetry from afar. Anything with more than a few verses was not worth my time. My favorite poems are ones that rhyme (You rock, Dr. Seuss!). But for this week’s blog post, I decided to try and write a poem myself.

I felt really dramatic and cynical while writing it. And I think I really went to town with the punctuation and [lack of] capitalization, so that’s cool.

I was hesitant to publish it for a few reasons: 1) it’s very sardonic, 2) people will start thinking I’m a totally insincere person – which I am not, pinky promise!, and 3) this is my first time writing a poem outside of 3rd grade haikus, so it’s probably not very good. But in the end, I liked how it turned out for a first try. So here it is. If you have the time, I’d love feedback.

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The Finished Product!

Hello Readers,

I haven’t blogged about my DIY project in a while…and there’s been a good reason for that. Over the past month(ish), we’ve been working with BBN to film, edit, and present our final product for the video. After we finished the script, we got in touch with Karen and Ashley from BBN, who were assigned to help us with the filming aspect. They made the necessary changes on the script, and immediately started filming. Maggie and I visited the set a day each, because that was all that could fit into our schedules. Honestly, I wish I could have helped more during the latter part of this process. But alas, I do not have any filming or editing skills whatsoever.

Drum roll please…. *trumpets*


This short PSA debuts one of my close friends, Catt, and her friend Kleon. After the long and tiring process of submitting college apps, Catt doesn’t even consider all the money she’ll need to pay for college. Kleon helps her by guiding her through the FAFSA Application Process.

Although I know that BBN makes great quality videos, I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this for the first time. It looks amazing, and so professional!!! I was so happy  that I got to help make this project become a reality. Thank you so much, Karen, Ashley, Catt, and Kleon for sacrificing your time to make this video as great as it is.

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I used to write confusedly, then I took an arrow to the knee.

you go girlll

sorry i tried to be funny in the title

A few weeks ago, my Girl Scout troop went to a local park for an archery lesson. I hadn’t shot an arrow in about 6 years. I was excited to be reintroduced to the sport, even if it would be difficult.

Although Katniss, Hawkeye, and Merida make it seem so effortless, archery is a strength sport that takes focus, technique, and concentration. When I was out on the field, my instructor told me to perfect my technique before my aim. This way, it would be easier to find out which way to shoot. First, I worked on getting my stance directly perpendicular to the target. Then, I practiced holding the bow correctly and pulling the string all the way to my cheek. After shooting a few arrows, I found that my aim was too high. When my technique was satisfactory, all I had to do was to lower the bow to shoot lower. In no time, I made the bullseye 🙂

Writing a rhetorical precis is a lot like archery because it has a specific form. On the first precis we turned in, Mr. Z gave us all feedback. I did well, but the only thing I was missing was explaining how the writer developed an audience with the reader.

 precis format

Now, every time I write a precis, I go back to an old one and tweak it to fit the current article. It’s just like keeping my technique while I shift my aim, in archery!


Déjame leer, por favor

Can I please have this plastered on my bedroom wall?

Everyone has a few friends that say, “I don’t like to read.” I don’t think that’s entirely true. I believe what they are trying to say is “I don’t like to read that.” That is what we often read in schools, is the classics so many love, is what everyone else is reading. Not liking to read what others read does not mean you do not like reading at all. All you need is to find an author, medium, or genre that interests you. There are so many non-mainstream types of things to read, for example: science journals, poem books, newspapers/websites, fan-fiction, biographies, self-help books, memoirs, short stories, and older books.

Reading is important. When we read, we learn, whether consciously or not. Our vocabulary expands and we learn new facts. Reading different genres allows us to make connections that can help us in school and daily life. We might find new ways to compare things in metaphors or finally understand a science concept better. It also helps us stay more in touch with the world.

Lately I’ve been falling behind in reading – our English book (The Grapes of Wrath), my chemistry textbook, my fun-reading books, my US history textbook, and my religious study books. In effect, I feel like I am behind on everything. I’ve missed assignments and failed quizzes. But now, I’ve finally found the root cause – all I need to do is sit down, and read.


Guidevisement In Ten: Filming!

Our ideaFM project is finally taking off! Check out this post from my partner Maggie’s blog, with exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.

Cinematic Commentary

Everything’s coming together! My DIY partner and I turned in our completed script to BBN for FAFSA last week and they have already started filming it!


When I went to check up on filming (as a producer omg I’m living my dream) on Wednesday after 6th period, Karen, who is helping with filming presented me the script changes and add-ons.  It was strange at first to see all the new scenes and characters, but I ended up liking it more than the original script.

20140226_150539 20140226_150529

    When I first entered the BBN room (coincidentally also my English classroom), I felt starstruck as the BBN crew roamed around the area. It didn’t feel like the same room 306. They were even filming a segment for the upcoming week’s episode at the other side of the room. I liked how everyone cooperated and immediately went silent after the segment director…

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The World’s a Stage – don’t forget who’s watching

Lately I’ve been thinking about audience. It’s the third letter in SOAPStone and the final sentence in a rhetorical precis. It’s absolutely essential to consider when writing an analytical paper: who is the audience? what is the audience like? how does the author build a relationship with the audience? what is the author’s tone towards the audience? etc.

But audience can be found in everyday situations. The music you listen to is written for an audience that relates to it (you). The advertising in the market is made appealing to its audience (consumers). And when you do all your chores without anyone needing to tell you because you want to go somewhere Friday night, you’re catering to an audience (your parents).

Recently I’ve had a few experiences in Girl Scouts that have made me more aware of how audience intuitively affects people’s diction and tone. It all has to do with the annual cookie sale.

  • When I asked my friends to buy, I texted them something along the lines of, “Hi! Wanna buy Girl Scout cookies from me? :)”

  • When I advertised on social media, I used memes and other funnies about cookies. oh girl scout cookies

  • When I asked long-time customers to buy, I said, “Hey! It’s Girl Scout Cookie time again! I know Thin Mints are your favorite since you’ve bought so many, would you like to order a box from me this year as well?”

  • When I asked older neighbors: “Hello. Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies from me? I’m saving up to go to camp this summer. Here are pictures of our 8 delicious flavors!”

  • When I was at a booth sale asking random strangers: “Hi, would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies? Only $4 a box!”

  • And finally, when I email the board of a company to support their local Girl Scouts: “Dear Board Members: Happy Cookie Season! Here are two ways you can support the world’s largest girl-led business: 1. Buy Cookies, or 2. Participate in the Cookie Share program.”

Did you notice the change in word choice? These quotes were all by me! As an experienced seller (this was my eleventh year…wow I feel old) I instinctively knew how to appeal to my different audience. When I asked my friends, I was more informal. When I approached long-time customers, I showed them that I remembered and cared about their purchases from at least a year earlier. With new and older customers, I was polite. And when I asked business people, I reminded them of the value of the Cookie Business.

Remembering your audience is not just a tip for writers and students. In order to be a successful in your career and life, you need to improve your interpersonal skills. For me, the Girl Scout program has been a doorway to learning new things such as this.

Which cookie are you? Take the quiz:

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How to Run a Somewhat-Successful Student Blog

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”

– Benjamin Franklin

For the past few weeks we’ve done blog reviews, where we made a short presentation in class about our blogs. We were required to talk about our favorite posts, our statistics, and our struggles. Following is a not-so-short summary of what I’ve learned.

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The problems:

1. People write posts just so that they exist.

2. They write them all at once. Vivienne suggested to set them on an automatic update so that even if you write them at once, posts appear freshly written every week.

3. They write to no audience. Therefore, they don’t really care about how they are writing.

4. They don’t really care about the content. Many of my peers publish short, ranty posts that make no sense. It shows that they didn’t learn anything, and that they are just trying to get something up on their blogs to turn in.

5. They look boring. Everyone has a theme, but not everyone includes pictures.


The suggestions:

1. Use tags.

2. Follow your friends. Chances are, they’ll follow you back!

3. Write about your personal interests. Then reflect those interests in your tags, so people like you can find your posts!

4. Make it funny. People like to be entertained!

5. Use graphics. If I’ve learned anything from the countless recipe blogs I look through in the spare time I don’t have, pictures make a post friendly and inviting. They encourage the reader to keep scrolling. You can even use original photos!

6. Get to the point. This is something I need to work on. A blog post is not a book, so it needs no lengthy exposition. *sings* Say what you wanna say, just let the words fall out! Then make it look pretty and hit publish.

7. Advertise your blog. Social media is your friend! Tell your friends/followers to check your work out. Or, trick them into it.

8. And to my classmates who don’t know what to write about: if you come across something interesting in class, write it down in your zero drafting journal. Then look back at your list, pick a few topics, and write about them. A post per week is not that hard. Here are some things you can blog about:

Posts should be 200-500 words long and you should post once a week. Most importantly, don’t stress and write about what YOU want.


SPOILER ALERT: Nick lies, Daisy cries, Gatsby dies

Mr. Z does this really fun and innovative activity called Lit in 6, where we read a book and summarize it in 6 words. It was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” and by We did this for the first book we read in class, The Scarlet Letter. Immediately, I was hooked. I thought of phrases like “Three sinners, two lovers, one letter.” My favorite Lit in 6 for that book was, “Scarlet sin reflected in later kin.”

The idea is that simpler is better, less is more. We try to condense a book of hundreds of pages down into six words. Language is flexible like that.

On Thursday, we had our final discussion about The Great Gatsby. We discussed this article  and whether or not Nick Carraway is an honest narrator. At the end of class, Mr. Z announced that we could participate in the #litin6 hashtag on twitter for Gatsby: #gatsby6 (go check it out to see all my classmates’ amazing six-word stories!)

Here are some of my favorites for this book:

I posted a few myself. Some I rhymed (Nick lies, Daisy cries, Gatsby dies), some I quoted (“I hope she’ll be a fool”) and some I remixed (The green light foreshadowed Avada Kedavra). All in all, this is one of my favorite little assignments. It allows you to be so creative, and the six-word limit is perfect length to not go overboard with it. Each word must be used wisely, and that’s an important skill to learn.

A few teachers on twitter saw the Lit in 6s that my classmates and I posted, and were interested in doing a twitter challenge! I think that sounds really cool, and I’d love to see it happen!