Photo by Ben Grantham (CC BY-NC 2.0)
To begin with, I never thought I would be accepted into AP English. I came from regular English classes for my freshman and sophomore year, but I constantly took notes and analyzed the literature I read. So, maybe I was ready.
And now here I am, with only five days of school left and my time in AP English was surprisingly fun and memorable. From morphemes, to zines, to blog posts, and finally to essays, these activities help shaped my mind and expanded my thoughts which would later be applied in my writing. Expanding my pool of vocabulary was a big goal of mine this year and I think that it was accomplished by doing weekly morphemes. Even though we did not do this the whole year, I was still exposed to some new vocabulary that made me want to learn more. While I was writing my essays, I tried to incorporate the vocabulary I remembered and learned. Over the course of this year, hopefully I successfully included high vocabulary at my writing level.
Not only did I continue to express myself in words as a writer, but I also expressed myself in a different form of art. Along the way, I made new friends and further developed my communication skills because the zine was a group project. The people I met were amazing and had a great sense of humor. My creativity was born once again into a classroom that is not technically meant for “art”, whatever “art” means. This creativity eventually led into a hybrid project, which would be the descriptive essay. Here, I was able to incorporate my creativity to descriptive words that later described my lovely mother.
Another form of creativity that I was able to work with was expressing myself in words in my blog posts. Sometimes it’s hard to tell others about how you feel because it’s complicated or you just don’t want to bother them. By having these blog posts, I was able to tell anyone how I felt in my secret world. It might not have solved my problems, but it definitely made me feel better and not caged up. Seriously. Think of a time where you are able to include YOUR feelings into school work. Science, math, history, and foreign languages are all based on facts. English is too. However, it is definitely more flexible and I am really grateful for that. As teenagers with constantly increasing hormone levels, our emotions must go somewhere and these blog posts are a great way to execute them as a growing adult and a writer.
We read many interesting books this year. The one that was the most interesting in my opinion was The Grapes of Wrath. I have experienced many different writing styles and Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was interesting. I don’t recall reading any book with intercalary chapters in it. So, it was quite a journey completing this book. It had a weird effect on me. For example, it made me tired reading a chapter that consisted of three pages then moving on into another chapter that consisted of thirty pages but still engaged. As the year ended, it made me realize how many different styles of writing there is. Reading books in our class did not only make me realize this. Peer-reviewing my peers’ papers and reading articles also showed me. If I really thought about it, I probably have my own writing style. Merging into a descriptive, narrative, or even persuasive was a tough road to get into. It was a hard transition for me, but I completed it. Of course, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. As I enter my future English classes, I want to carry what I have learned and apply it.
Utilizing social media was a huge aspect of this class and I believe that it was a fun way to connect our readings to our class. Using the internet worked well for me as a learner and writer. I felt like an editor because we had to shorten our caption but still have understandable content. Replying to our peers was also fun to do. I was able to read their thoughts in 140 characters or less. Simply liking each others’ post easily made me smile.
At the end of the day, I usually I have a thought that goes something like this: You should be more outgoing in class. But I realized I am the way I am and I could change, but it might be uncomfortable and I was perfectly fine the way I acted before. Also, it would have been nice if I asked for more advice on my writing. I am still struggling in English as a whole sometimes and I want to build a strong foundation so that I can excel at it.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to my table, group #6. Being with you guys the whole year made me feel so comfortable. I was able to ask you guys anything and we were always there for each other. You have strictly pressed my writing all year long and I am thankful for that. I could not have asked for a better group. And thank you, Mr. Ziebarth, for being the most cheerful and inspiring teacher out there.