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

 

 

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

Before I Graduate: The End

This DIY project has come a long way hasn’t it?  What first was created by an idea, eventually sprouted and became something bigger than it was originally planned to be, also known as my Before I Graduate.  Initially, I thought of a couple of things I wanted to do before I kicked the bucket of high school and graduated.  I dreamed of those ideas, never realizing that I would eventually form these ideas into actual events.  The items on my list that I were able to accomplish were to play Hide and Seek at IKEA,  crash a wedding with a friend, host an assembly or an event, and go to a restaurant in hopes of receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up.  Yes, all of those things happened and are true!  Pics or it didn’t happen?  I’m glad you asked!!!

Hide and Seek at IKEA was the most fun probably because I was able to spend time with some of my friends and to roam around IKEA as if it were our own playground.  Illegal? Yes.  Fun?  YES.  Funny story to this, we actually met another group of kids our age who were doing the exact same thing!  Their group had around 20 and we had 13, so we decided to combine forces and play one big round.  Except, a Swedish manager (I swear she was) came up to us and told us to stop or we wold get kicked out.  We left.

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I crashed a wedding with a friend of mine, which was surprisingly easy.  I simply called my local church, asked for the dates of the next few weddings and the times, and boom.  With easy access to information like that, you’re basically asking to get your wedding crashed.  Okay it wasn’t a Kim-ye caliber wedding, but it was still awesome sitting with people I did not know and and ended up being invited to the reception later that night.

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I’ve always wanted to host an event at a school function.  So when I was presented an opportunity to host our male pageant, Mr. Baron, with my best friend Matt, I took the offer in a heartbeat.  It was fun as I got some public speaking experience, script experience, as well as a bunch of laughs from the audience.

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Lastly, my attempts in receiving a free meal by pretending to get stood up was most likely the most popular and received the best feedback.  I went to our local Island’s and ordered for a table of two.  I waited for about half an hour and acted sad and very distressed.  After multiple melancholy conversations with the teenager waiter, Johnny,realized that I was rejected and was stood up.  He sat down and gave me pointers in life and tried to comfort me.  Although I did not receive a free meal, Johnny gave me a free basket of fries and a long-lasting friendship.

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This DIY project was truly wonderful.  I was able to jump out of my comfort zone and try many new things.  From this project I was able to become more adventurous, daring, and spontaneous.  I wish to continue my efforts of doing the top things that I want to do Before I Graduate since I did not finish many tasks this year (street perform, create care packages for the homeless, Before I Graduate chalkboard wall @school).  It was a great year, and I know that this is just the start for Before I Graduate!

 

– Nick

 

 

I’m sorry, what did you just say?

The book my class is currently reading is The Grapes of Wrath. Usually, by now I would have already written several blog posts about this book, attempts to find some deep meaning in it and connect it to my life. But honestly, I’ve tried to avoid writing about it. Because I can’t.

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It’s not the book; it’s me. Since the beginning of my high school career, I had been able to proudly say that I had read every single page of every book assigned to me, including Great Expectations  (that thing was huge). I even ended up liking them all, even A Tale of Two Cities (and that’s saying something because it was not the easiest read). I did it. I found a way to enjoy them all but I honestly cannot handle The Grapes of Wrath. 

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I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine book. It’s just that the way the characters speak in the book is not familiar to me. Half the time, when I’m reading the book, I have to go back and reread what they’re saying because the way they said it was awkward to me. This bothers me so much, I just want to skip over the dialogue.  However, I can’t because that’s like half the book.

Examples:

“… I got an itch that somepin’s wronger’n hell.”

“… What’s the matter’th you anyways? You gone johnrabbit on us?” 

Because I cannot connect to the way the characters speak, I find it hard to connect to the characters and the book itself. The Joads feel very distant to me, even more so than Jay Gatsby, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Odysseus, larger-than-life characters I’ve read about in previously assigned books.

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It actually irks me, how I cannot find a way to enjoy The Grapes of Wrath. I really wish I liked it, but I don’t. Hopefully, in the future I’ll find a chance to go back and reread this book, and possibly enjoy it more the second time around.

 

The Scared is Scared

I came across this video while I was aimlessly scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard and after I finished watching it, I was left with a sense of realization. “The scared is scared.” This simple, yet true statement can help me get through so much. Whenever I’m scared, all I need to do is to think of things I like in order to scare the scared away. One particular event that has got me a little worried is the AP Language and Composition test coming up for English class. Sure, it’s a big test, but if I just think about things I like to chase those bad thoughts away, I’m sure I will do better since a relaxed mind works better than a nervous one. So whenever you are feeling scared or uncertain about something, think about things that make you happy and smile instead. Life is too short to spend your time thinking about things that bring you down.

-Kim

DIY: We’ve come a long way

With the deadline for this DIY project creeping up on us, my group and I are trying to pull together what we have. Recently, we’ve mostly been just editing because there is no time to get any more footage. For the past couple Fridays, we’ve been spending time working on editing on Adobe Premiere Pro.

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My teacher is planning on having an event in which students get the opportunity to talk about their projects. My partners and I want to be able to participate and give a presentation about our project, and the process of working on it. However, we do not think that we will have enough time to finish the entire documentary that was supposed to be our project in time for this event. Therefore, we have decided to create a little trailer for our documentary, to use in our presentation.

The trailer so far is about two minutes, and it is basically shows what our documentary will be. A while ago, Brandon and I went to Jessie’s house in an attempt to record some of Brandon’s piano-playing for the background music of our trailer. However, that did not work out because there were other sounds in the recording besides the piano, so we decided not to use that music. Despite the fact that we cannot use our own music for the trailer, though, my group members are still quite happy with the way the trailer is coming along.

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In all honesty, both the trailer and the documentary itself is not turning out the way I had planned it. There are so many things in them that I was specifically taught to avoid in BBN, my video production class. There is annoying background music and noises in the interviews. Some of the camera work is out of focus and shaky. We do not have any B-roll. However, the rest of the people my project group are quite content with what we have and continuously tell me that our project will turn out fine. I am grateful for their optimistic attitudes, because I am learning to look past these flaws and see that we really have come a long way. Even if our project does not turn out perfectly perfect, it will be amazing, simply because we have worked so hard on it.

– Karen

 

 

What’s Your Beach?

To help prove a point in how to write an introduction paragraph, our English teacher decided to bring in a plate of pickled ginger.  Where’s the sushi right???  He went on to say that our introduction paragraph to an essay, like a piece of pickled ginger, needs to be a palette cleanser.  It needs to cleanse the reader’s mind of any other thoughts and to be simple and persuasive with an opinion to sway these readers.  Great comparison Ziebarth!

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But I began to think about life.  Okay, confession, I didn’t really think about life right after I was handed a piece of pink ginger.  But to make my blog post meaningful and heart-felt, let’s just say I reached an epiphany and discovered a life moment right then and there.  I realized that we all need a palette cleanser in life.  Whether it’s after a hard break-up, a stressful day at work/school, or you just want to escape, you’ll need a palette cleanser.  Have fun.  Live life without boundaries.  Have adventures and don’t regret a single action that you do.

Palette cleansing is sort of like those Corona commercials where a person is found to be comfortable at a certain event/place.  At the end of the commercial, “Find your Beach,” pops up.  In a sense, I imagine palette cleansing to be like finding your beach.  Find something that you love to do and keep going at it.  Relieve your stress through this and channel your spirits.  Find something that you could do day in and day out that you will never fall out of love with.  Find your beach.  Find your palette cleanser.