Universal Truths of English

Seven days. That’s the number of school days left until summer break. As much as I can’t wait to smell and taste that summer vacation, I will admit that I will miss my AP English class with Mr. Ziebarth. For the past 173 days in English class, I have learned an abundance of information regarding rhetoric, analysis, and the English language in general. From all my newly learned knowledge, I have made a list of main ideas that I learned this year.

1) Everything is an argument, so fight for what you believe in. 

Mr. Z probably said “Everything is an argument.” about 200 times this year, and when I first heard it, I laughed. C’mon Mr. Z, not everything is an argument. If I took out a bag of chips and ate them, that wasn’t an argument of any sort, that was simply me easing my hunger. But that’s just it. I was arguing against my hunger. I was countering it by eating. When writing papers, everything you say is an argument. If you state that the media negatively affects the body types of women, you are arguing against the media. So if everything is an argument anyway, fight for what you believe in. Write about what you thinks needs changing. The more you care about a topic and the more passionate you are about fighting for it, the better your writing is. I found that in each assignment I had to do, if I related it back to something I had strong views about or cared about, my work was better.

2) Write with no limits. 

Often in class, Mr. Z had us to zero drafts, in which we had seven minutes to write about whatever we wanted without editing. Each time we wrote one, Mr. Z had a prompt that we could follow, but we weren’t necessarily bound to it. Zero draft was a time to let your mind free. You could write whatever came to mind in that moment. You make think, what is the point of spending seven minutes free-writing? Well believe it or not, zero drafting was very liberating. Often when instructed to write, you are given a prompt that you must stick with, but with zero draft, you were free to let your thoughts out. By “killing the editor” and not fixing any mistakes, you are able to put your thoughts on paper, which is hard to do when you think about how you want to articulate it too hard. By jotting down whatever comes to mind, the writing process is much easier and gives you a chance to write how you really feel about a topic.

3) Life is a learning process. 

This last tip is more of a life lesson than anything. English class was filled with projects, discussions, and teamwork. No matter what we did, we learned from it one way or another. If we made mistakes in our essays or presentations, we learned what to do to improve. If we rocked a discussion, we learned how to do things correctly. Even Mr. Z learned with us through the year. Take everything as a lesson and learn for it. There’s always room for improvement. Learn that you will not always be right and accept it. Let other people help you when you need it, and don’t be afraid to ask. No one is perfect and knows all the answers, so don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Lastly, you can make any experience a good one if you have a positive attitude. Writing essays isn’t the greatest, but if you learn to make the best of it, I guarantee that writing won’t be so bad.

I thoroughly enjoyed AP English 3 with Mr. Ziebarth. Not only did I learn many useful tools for my future, but I also was able to enjoy the material rather than simply worry about my grade all year. In this class, I learned to learn and I think that’s the best type of learning. These days, many students learn to get the grade. The learn so that they can get into a good college. They don’t care about what they are actually learning, as long as they get the answers on the test right, they are happy. That’s not learning. That’s the art of getting by. I’m not looking to get by high school, I’m here to absorb knowledge and learn the material because I am interested in it.

So thank you Mr. Ziebarth, for an incredible year and thank you for teaching me that life will always go on and you will prevail, even if you don’t have thumbs.

-Kim

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B+

Everyone has those friends that you grew up with and will never forget. I knew this one girl since we were 4 until now. We went to the same school for about 11 years: Pre-Kindergarten till now. She was my best friend along with two other girls who still come to school with me. In the middle of 8th grade, she was diagnosed with leukemia. No one expected anyone as perfect as her to get cancer. My teacher told me that the best of people get the hardest of challenges because they’re too great to handle normal ones. From what I have experienced; it’s true.
Recently, on April 17th she passed away. After a year of cancer, she was done. She relapsed in the beginning of this year, and now she’s passed away. To me, she’s won the battle. She’s in a better place now and no longer has to deal with this life we live in filled with hate and conflict.
I’m not just saying this because she was my best friend, but she lit up the room when she walked in. She was always smiling, never talked badly about anyone, never put down anyone, and was always laughing. She was always smiling and cracking jokes. Even with cancer and everything, she was still smiling and laughing.
She was always a positive and smiley person. She always told her friends and her family to be positive, and that’s what we did. We stayed positive for her because we believed she would make it. She always told everyone to be positive. It was her motto.

Coincidentally, her blood type was B+.

I realize that she’s gone from this world, but I know she’s in a better place and that’s me being positive. She’s now my role model, and for her, I’ll always remember to be positive for everything I go through in life.

Just remember, B+, because it’s always better to look at the bright side of everything even when things are going wrong. Wouldn’t you rather be happy then sad? Life is precious, so make the best out of it. 🙂

-Zara

Does Your Fingerprint Leave a Mark?

Last week, in my English class we did something that most people wouldn’t usually do in their sophomore English class. We were asked to print out QR codes for our blogs and we went around school posting them for advertisement. Props to my English teacher for the great idea, but that’s not exactly what I wanted to talk about. People come up with great ideas all the time and can really make a difference when they are shown to the world.

There are thousands, actually millions of possibilities out there in the world. You don’t have to be a genius to think of something unique and creative to do in your life. One of my middle school teachers always told my class and me that you’re here for one reason, and that’s to leave your fingerprint on the world. Whether that fingerprint is your pinky or your thumb, do something that stands out. It’s not necessary that the actions have a big impact on the world, but to someone somewhere, it will. I remember last year, I saw a locker with a paper with those tab things that you rip out. It said “For a nice day, take one!” It was really great and put a smile on my face, I’m sure it did for others too. That’s not a unique idea, but it’s a unique action because not many people take time to do it.
One of my first posts was about how I would absolutely love to go around and post sticky notes with positive and nice messages with them around school. Of course, I’m thinking of doing it, it might not be the most original idea, but it’s still a great idea. I think doing something different is what makes a difference. In Mulan, one of my favorite Disney movies, right about when the epic song I’ll Make a Man Out of You starts playing, she reaches to the top of the wooden post with the weights. None of the men could accomplish it, but she could. Why? Because she thought of wrapping the weights around the post to pull her up.  She also took the risk of doing something out of the ordinary, by taking her father’s place in war, and in the end, she was honored by China.

By thinking out of the box, you provide the world with more unique and great ideas as well as accomplish the goals you want to by doing something different. That’s one of the reasons why I love my English class this year. My teacher provides so many different ideas and activities to do in class which are so captivating and make our class so much better than any other English class.
If you think you are a person who has no creativity at all or can’t even come up with something interesting, no worries, you’re just like me. 🙂 I can never come up with anything exciting unless I find it online and put my own twist to it. The point is that whenever you think of doing something, whether it is going out with your friends or an essay, think outside of the box and it will always get you somewhere.

Put your own personal spin on life and leave a fingerprint on this world!
-Zara