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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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

Unexpected Surprises

 

I saw this commercial recently and -I’m not going to lie- it brought tears to my eyes. I know what you’re thinking, how did this cheesy commercial bring tears to your eyes? Well, I this commercial really reminded me of all the unexpected joys that life can bring.  Ten years ago, my mom signed me up to dance for a church skit, and I had no idea until the first practice came around and she drove me to church. I remember having a fit the whole way to the church because I simply did not want to do it. I thought I knew for a fact that I would have dancing in the skit, but once I got there things changed. I met my best friend that day. We have been friends for 10 years and we have not drifted apart one bit. If you would have told me that I was going to meet my best friend on the way to the church that day on the way to practice, I probably would have thought that you were lying and only trying to get me to go willingly. I guess where I am going with this is that, the best things in life are unexpected. Maybe it’s the fact that you never even saw it coming, or that you treasure the things that you find when you aren’t looking, but I think it’s beautiful how some of the best things in life come to you when you never see it coming.

-Kim

 

Book Review

At my last trip to the library, I stumbled upon this book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens by Richard Carlson.  I was thoroughly intrigued because recently, I have been feeling really run down. From school, to SAT, to homework, I haven’t had much time to breath, much less relax. My stress levels have been higher than usual, and I always seem push that intense pressure aside instead of confronting it. I let it build up, instead of diminishing it entirely. So with these recent feelings, I decided to give this book a chance in hopes it would help me out.

And help me out it did. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. I know it is an ultimate cliché in regards to a book, but it’s true. This book helped me view my problems in a different perspective and ultimately, relive my stress. The book consists of 100 short chapters, with each chapter being a lesson on life. It’s a small book, packed with life-saving tips. I am so glad I picked this book up because it has helped me so much in regards to my recent problems and all the lessons apply to  my life,  I think I have faced each and everyone one of the points that were written about. When talking about the book to a friend, I joked and said that this book was like a teen Bible, and it is. I believe that if you follow this book and the lessons that are discussed in it, your life will be so much easier and you will be happier.

One particular chapter (out of the many) that I found very interesting was chapter 19 “Root for the Underdog”. It discusses how we should take time and befriend people that may not be the coolest or most popular person at school and how there is a chance that if you reach out and get to know that person, they may become one of your closest friends. I really like this idea because I feel that many teenagers often think about popularity and how to fit in, but by taking this chance and going out of your norms, a beautiful friendship may blossom. Of course, it won’t always turn out that way, the “underdog” may not be interested in being your friend, but that’s okay because you gave an effort, and you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t try.

I think this same concept of rooting for the underdog can apply to a lot more than friends. Take your dreams and aspirations for example, I’m sure you all have that one thing you would want to achieve that sounds fairly impossible and ridiculous. But is it impossible because you don’t think you can do it, or impossible because it’s absolutely insane and literally impossible? That one aspiration is the underdog, you see, and it’s that one dream that you think you can’t achieve; but I believe if you really go for it and strive for success, you can do it.

Another underdog that you can root for is yourself. We all have weaknesses, we all aren’t perfect and skilled at everything we do. For example, I am a horrible multiple choice test taker, really I am. I always second guess myself and often times choose the wrong answer, even when I can narrow the choices to two answers. With this struggle, you can imagine my difficulties in AP Biology, since most of our grade relies on our test, but just because I am a bad test-taker, it doesn’t mean I stop trying. Sure, I may not get as good of a grade as the girl next to me, but I still tried my very best. In this situation, I could be considered the underdog, but as long as you root for yourself and don’t loose hope, you will be successful. And when I say successful, I mean you are proud of yourself, the girl who got a higher grade than me, may not be impressed with what I got, but I sure am. Don’t let the fear of being the underdog scare you from trying your best.

All in all, this book has been so helpful to my life. If you aren’t a teen, Richard Carlson has many similar books to this one. Some of his other works include:Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff-and It’s All Small Stuff, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family, and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love.I highly recommend you all to go out and pick up a copy of any of his works that you feel is most relevant because it will help you work our your struggles and help you become a happier and less-stressed person. Happy reading!  

-Kim

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

Our Ask/Submit Page

So we just checked our responses and on February 5th two amazing people decided to submit something and this is what they wrote:

“Hey, this is a guy and I’ve got to say, you guys move me. Thank you for this blog! :)”

“This is seriously the cutest, kindest, smartest, amazingest idea ever! Thank you so much to the founders of this blog, its a great help to a ton of people, and can even potentially maybe save lives! Kudos to you guys! xx”

Seriously, this means a lot to us! We’re really happy that this blog is useful to others and that we’re making you guys happy!We’re so glad that we are able to make differences in some of your lives!
We seriously don’t know what to say because we’re really happy and thankful right now! Thank you for all the love y’all have sent our way! You all are beautiful and fabulous!

-ALL OF US