Why must all good things end?

After a year, Mr. Ziebarth’s AP 3 English class is finally over. To be honest, I’m really going to miss this class. I love coming to second period everyday, because I never know what is going to happen, what Mr. Ziebarth is going to introduce to the class.

I can honestly say that I have learned quite a bit this year. From DIY projects, to blogs, to the BRAWL, the activities and assignments I have completed in AP English have all been a learning experience that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my high school career, and into college as well.

To wrap up this year, let’s recap what I’ve learned in Ziebarth’s class, shall we?

1. Team work does not always mean easy work. 

You may think that more people on a project makes a project easier. If you think that, you are wrong. My DIY project was a group project consisting of five people, and that was not easy at all. It wasn’t that my group members didn’t do work or anything, but throughout the course of the year, I learned that the  fact that there were so many of us just made it hard to coordinate and communication sometimes became an issue. Sometimes, smaller groups can be much more efficient.

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2. Time management can be difficult, but it is extremely important. 

This was also something I learned from my DIY project. Because my project consisted of several different parts (filming interviews, editing, promotion, etc.), it all turned out much more time consuming that originally expected. Therefore, we had to budget our time very wisely when it came to going out to film interviews and such. It wasn’t easy, but in the end, I think I have learned a skill that is going to be very helpful in the future.

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3. Social media can be distracting at times, but it is also very useful. 

This year, Ziebarth has incorporated a variety of social media into his class, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He is the only teacher I know that uses all them, because other teachers believe that they can become distracting. I personally think it was a great idea to utilize these tools. I hate Twitter, and I had never used Instagrammed before this year. However, after using them in Z’s class, I’ve come to appreciate the usefulness of these forms of social media.

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4. English is open to interpretation. 

“It’s not about the author’s intention, it’s about the effect.”

That’s what Ziebarth always said when we read novels, or when we read anything at all, for that matter. After a year in his class, I’ve learned that it isn’t about what the author was trying to do, but about what the writing does for the reader. I think that’s why I love English class so much. There really isn’t a wrong answer, because every novel, every essay affects everyone a little bit differently, and that’s ok.

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There are so many other things I have learned in this English class, but I think those are the main four. Mr. Ziebarth, thank you for being a great English teacher and teaching me these lessons that I will continue to use in the future. It’s been a wonderful year.

– Karen

 

 

DIY: This is the end

That’s it. We’re here. After such a long time of working on this project, we’ve finally reached the end of the school year. It’s time to take a good look back at all we’ve done in creating our DIY documentary.

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We could not finish the actual documentary, which was ultimately the final product we were aiming for. There just was not enough time to edit all the footage that we got. I think part of the problem was the fact that we had five people in the group, and we insisted on doing everything together, so we couldn’t really find much time for that.

In addition, we did not do much publicizing for our project, even though we had initially attempted to do so. We started an Instagram account, and although I personally tried to post on it when I could, only six total photos were posted. We didn’t follow anyone on our account, and we did not have  followers. Our slack on the Instagram was probably due to the fact that none of us really used this type of social media, so we didn’t know what to do with it.

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However, despite the fact that parts of our project did not turn out as intended, I would say that the project was not a complete failure, because we did get stuff done. We spent many hours filming, and probably approached about 100 different people for interviews. Although we did not finish editing the documentary, we did manage to make a shorter trailer for it, just to have  a product to show. The trailer isn’t perfect, but my group members seem to be very content with it, because it does show that we’ve done work all year.

Furthermore, this entire project in itself was a huge learning experience. I’ve learned more about filming and editing, which will help me a lot in my video production class. I’ve also developed my interview techniques, and became more comfortable approaching strangers for interviews, skills that are valuable to me because I will be editor-in-chief of my school paper next year. I have also learned a lot about working with other people, as well as time management from this group project. I discovered that time is something that can be easily lost if you do not work efficiently, by dividing the jobs and sharing responsibilities.

At the end of it all, I am very glad I tried to do this, to make this documentary. In all honesty, since the beginning, I have had doubts about whether or not we’d be able to get it finished. Even though my doubts have more or less been confirmed, though, I do not regret taking on this project. I’ve worked with and met some great people throughout this process, and it was worth all the stress and the time spent.

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– Karen