Before I Graduate

Sometimes, we forget that high school is not all about grades.  Although they are extremely important, you still need to think about yourself and the memories you want to create in your teen years.  Consequently, for my DIY project in AP English 3, I’ve decided to do the Top Things that I want to do before I graduate.  If you have ever seen the old MTV show called “The Buried Life,”  it’s somewhat like this.  If you haven’t, The Buried Life is about a group of guys in their 20’s that are traveling across the nation to do the things off their bucket list, aka the things that they want to do before they die.  In the process, they help a person turn their life around or help them cross something off of their bucket list.

I’ve created a list of around ten things that I want to do before I graduate.  Unlike The Buried Life crew, I’m not an adult yet and I am still considered a minor.  I thus can’t do the crazy or the largest goals possible like what they did.  As a result, my list contains of practical, simple, but also meaningful things that I want to do before the last bell rings at high school.  Success or not, as long as I have fun and make memories doing it will be my ultimate goal.

1.  Street perform and make $100

2.  Surprise my old friend in Washington

3.  Make 50 free throws in a row

4.  Win a radio contest

5.  Sleep/visit a haunted house

6.  Make food for my whole family

7.  Train to run Mile Square Park

8.  Give a homeless man a makeover

9.  Throw a surprise party for my Dad

10.  Create a flash mob



DIY: The Start

I recently joined four of my classmates in our DIY project (which you can read more about here). In a nutshell, we are planning to create a documentary focusing on the problems that people face in society. We are going to be going to public places and conducting interview with people that we meet. In addition, we will be making another video to show the process of making our documentary, our obstacles, our thoughts on it, etc. With this project, we are really hoping to encourage people to be kinder to each to each other, because everyone has their own challenges and obstacles to overcome.

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As of right now, we are still planning out the things we need to get done. We plan on doing some filming during Thanksgiving break. However, before we can film anything, we have many preparations we need to complete such as writing a consent form for those we are interviewing, finding equipment to use, setting up a calendar of deadlines, etc. My job is to take care of equipment so I plan on teaching all of my group members how to use the equipment from BBN, the video production class at school that I am in. My group and I have realized how much work and effort is needed for this project, which is relatively big and time-consuming. Therefore, we all agree to make time for the project, and make an effort to be part of the team. In addition, I personally discovered that I am very much of a control freak and I am actually stressing out a bit too much over this project. However, I am learning to be part of the team and share the responsibilities as well as the worries with my team members.


– Karen

How often do you get to do what you love?

I saw this video recently, and I absolutely loved it. This little girl, Heaven, is obviously having the time of her life out there. At such a young age, she was able to discover her passion for dancing, which evidently helps her dance incredibly well. (Seriously, she’s three years-old and she can dance better than I can.) What’s even greater is the fact that she is given this opportunity to dance on Ellen’s show, a chance to do what she loves.

I think I really liked this video of this adorable dancing little girl because I can relate to her, in a way. Even though I am not on TV or becoming an internet sensation, I feel as though I am in a position quite similar to Heaven’s. In English class, the DIY project is meant to allow everyone a chance to explore individual passions and interests. For my project (which I will describe in greater detail in my progress updates), I am able to incorporate some journalism and video production skills, two of my favorite things in the world. My friend, who loves to travel is using her DIY project to help her fund-raise for a trip next summer. I know someone else who is incorporating her passion for art and drawing into her project. This is truly a wonderful assignment, because everyone gets a chance to pursue their areas of interest and do what they truly enjoy doing, which I know is not an opportunity that many are lucky enough to come across.

– Karen


We All Face Battles

Throughout life, each and everyone of us faces battles. Whether they are caused from school, work, friends, family; we all have them.  Going off this theme, I have joined four other classmates in my English class’ DIY project.This project is a way to expression our passions and so we have decided to team up to accomplish one main goal-to spread kindness. In order to fulfill this goal, we are making a PSA that talks about the struggles that everyone faces. We plan to set out and interview completely random people to ask them some of the challenges they face. We are doing this in hopes to show the world that everyone has challenges, they are not alone. Instead of bagging and putting people down, society will start to help one another because we are more similar than we think.

I came up with the seed of this idea as I was talking to a friend about for difficult junior year has been for me, and how I think that everyone, no matter what classes they are taking, or sport they are involved in are a bit stressed because junior year is the most crucial year of high school. I came to realize that we all have similar struggles and that instead of competing with one another, we should be helping each other be the best we could be. Before I reached this idea, I knew I wanted my project to have something to do with either service or kindness, so I took my the idea of kindness and remixed it with the idea that we all have struggles, and that’s how this project came about. As soon as I came up with this idea, I pitched it to my other group mates and it is safe to say that we are all very excited to share out work with you all.

If we all help one another with our problems, the world will be a much better place. I challenge you all to go out and spread some kindness by helping others!

Also, if you would like to give feedback or be apart of this project, feel free to comment below!


“Seatbelts, everybody!”

I remember as a child, I loved a TV show called The Magic School Bus. In every episode, the teacher, Mrs. Frizzle, leads her students on a crazy but educational adventure as they learn about everything from the solar system to the human digestive system.  When I was little, I had been so jealous of Mrs. Frizzle’s students, who were able to escape the boring everyday classroom and do something fun and exciting. However, this year, I think I’ve discovered my own “magic school bus” class.


Every Friday, my English class isn’t really “English class”. We spend the period working on and talking about our DIY, or Do-It-Yourself Project.

To be honest, I have no idea where this is going, but I am so excited to find out. This project is meant to be bigger and more meaningful than any other average project, because we are supposed to do what we are passionate about, what we love. We’ve gone “seed-shopping” for ideas, and I’ve heard some incredible ideas from my classmates. For example, some of them want to start their own clothing line. Others intend to write their own children’s book. I think it’s incredible that as high school students, we are given the opportunity to do things outside the realm of basic math, science, history and English, the typical subjects taught in every classroom at every school.

At the moment, I am not entirely sure what I want to do for my project, but no matter what it will be, I am thrilled to be able to embark on my own little “Magic School Bus” adventure.


– Karen

Finding Nemo: Discovering Yourself in a Sea of Confusion

Surprising that no one has talked about Finding Nemo in this nautical-themed blog right?  I’ve decided to take on this topic because Finding Nemo is so similar to the topics we are learning about not only in AP English 3, but in school.  As progressing teenagers, we long for freedom and independence as we strive to identify who we are as individuals.  Our DIY (Do It Yourself) project grants us the permission to do so as we’re basically allowed to create something of our own choice.  We students are given the opportunity to show who we really are and what we are strong or weak in.

In turn, Finding Nemo is about an over-protective parent, Marlin, in search of his handicapped son, Nemo.  Along the process, Marlin discovers a lot about himself as well his colleague, Dory, as they progress in the adventures of the search for the already maturing Nemo.  Is it safe to say that we are the Nemos of high school?  And that some of us are still lost in a “sea” of confusion?  Come on down this adventure with me as we really find ourselves.

One LARGE recurring theme in Finding Nemo and in high school is that everything is NOT as it seems.  High school is what you make of it and totally depends on whether you want to make it a good experience or not.  As intimidating as it may seem, high school is as free-flowing as the East Australian Current and actually goes by extremely fast.  In Finding Nemo, Marlin encounters three large sharks who he stereo-typically categorizes into fish-eating behemoths.  As a result, Marlin’s experience with these three fish-loving sharks was deterred due to his pre-determined ideas.  In school, you must always, and I mean always, keep an open mind.  Staying open-minded stimulates your potential to be the greatest you can be academically as well as socially with the classmates surrounding you.  “Classmates are FRIENDS, not FOOD.”Finding Nemo

Sometimes we, as humans, want an exact answer.  Our hunger for information drives us to try and find a definite answer.  See that might be correct when learning Biology or Algebra.  But in English?  Fish PLEASE.  There is no direct answer in English and it is completely opened up to interpretation.  There is no direct answer to our DIY project but every student’s project is right in its own creative way.  Consequently, what we may think is the right answer, may not always be what it seems. ES-CAH-PAY.


Lastly, if you are ever lost or feel that you are going in the wrong direction, just know that there is always someone who is willing to be there for you. You’ll have a Dory.

P. Sherman

  Light will come even in the worst of times and the darkest of times.  There will always be hurdles to jump and ends to meet.  It’s all on you to be responsible.  The DIY project gives lots of freedom, but make sure to spend your time wisely.  Be patient, be kind, and be loving.  It’ll all come back to you.  Just Keep Swimming.


Just keep swimming

Going Seed Shopping

In English class, we get to do this cool project called The DIY Project; in which we, the students, are able to take our interests and passions and channel it into something creative. Our project can be anything we want it to be and the whole point of the project is for us to learn by connecting with what we like to do. Since our goal is to go from seed to feed, we have to go seed shopping first and foremost because of course we can’t make something without planning it out first. I think planning is the most important part of a project because it is the base in which we build off of and the foundation to which we need in order to keep the project stable. The whole idea of “seed shopping” (which is really just thinking about ideas) interests me because every day people come up with great things and it is amazing how these ideas come to be. Where do people get their ideas? Where is their motivation stemmed from? Personally, my ideas are reflected off anything and everything I see. I get inspired by people in the news who conquer their fears, things I see on social media sites, or even topics that my friends and family and I discuss.

Since ideas can sprout from just about anywhere, I was very curious to see where artists get their song ideas from, more specifically Ella Yelich-O’Connor, more commonly known as Lorde. Ella is a sixteen year old singer and song-writer from New Zealand whose music is captivating and unique. Upon hearing her new album, Pure Heroine (which has nothing to do with the drug heroine), I was intrigued to find out what exactly inspires her songs. While researching her and her motivations, I found an interview with Lorde discussing how she was encouraged to write her songs about her everyday life and how she was wanted to write about normal life. Unlike many artists, Lorde does not sing about the high life and the perks of fame, instead she sings about an average life and topics that many people can relate to. She expresses her thoughts about why it was important to relay the idea that not everything in life has to be so exciting and fast-pace all the time, in fact she states that we spend most of our time waiting for something to happen to us and that is okay. All in all, Lorde’s ideas for songs stem from what she thinks is important to voice and I believe that it is the same with anything anyone does.

From all my research, I came to one conclusion about where people get their ideas from: Our ideas come from what we think we should do; things we think the world needs more of.  Our ideas are based off of what we think will make the world a better place, because after all, we are all just trying to make the world a brighter place, after all.

Here is the interview if anyone would like to read it!