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.

photo 3

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.


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.

download (7)

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.


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




The Hand Never Stops

I went downstairs to find my older sister looking at the website, Kayak, to schedule a flight from Los Angeles to Sweden.  Being 28, my sister has traveled to Japan, Germany, Chicago, the Czech Republic, and many more countries.  Through all of the postcards and pictures, I was able to only taste the adventurous experience she must have had from these different cultures.  Jokingly I asked, “Can I come with you?”  She responded with “Where do you want to go when you’re older?”  I had to think for a while.  As I realized I had no response, my blank mind triggered the fact that there is so much more to see in this world than just my hometown.

The world is for you to explore and you should take the chances when you have them because life is short and you only have one shot before time runs out.  Life doesn’t stop for you and you can’t go back in time and you can’t catch up to it.   By the time you know it, you’re going to be settled down with kids with a job and you’ll be living who knows where.  So for now, the only thing you can really do is live in the now and embrace the future but also accept your past.  Life will go by so quick you won’t even notice.  So why not make the best of it?

–  Nick

video about time flying

Two Different Worlds

It’s been a normal night.  Studying non-stop after being at school from 8 AM to approximately 5 PM.  I’m probably going to stay up until 12 or 1 AM trying to cram and get all my homework done.  I’m probably going to make myself a cup of coffee although I know it stunts my growth and that it’ll just mess me up.  All in the name of good grades.  For those of you who understand, it’s tough isn’t it?  Although we’re always absorbed into school work, just remember to appreciate the other things in life and to not forget about it.


Just recently my AP U.S. History teacher asked to see a raise of hands of who has not been to a football game yet.  Roughly 1/3 of the class lifted their hands slowly.  He then proceeded to reiterate the fact that the good times you remember in high school aren’t the times you study or stay inside your room all day.  It’s the times where you actually make memories with the good friends you have by going out to the high school football games, or experiencing new adventure with those you really care about.  Have your first kiss (if you’re not that far have your first hug), eat 5 hot dogs in one sitting, make a bet with your friends, seize opportunities when they reveal themselves.  Don’t be afraid to live a little day by day even though school is important.  Go outside, see the world that YOU want to see.

125-carpet ride

– Nick




p.s.  Yes, my blog posts may be one-dimensional in the sense that I always talk about school and to kick-back a little but this is important to me; being a student who has these kinds of questions all the time.

Don’t Count on Your Luck

In life, you always hear people talking about their bad luck,and how they are just waiting for good luck to come along. However, things never happen the way they are planned to, and sometimes, good luck arrives as a result of bad luck itself. For example, in The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes gets unjustly convicted of conspiring with Bonapartists against Louis XVIII. He ends up at the prison of Chateau d’If, and there he remains for fourteen years. However, if it wasn’t because of his years of imprisonment, he never would have met Abbe Faria and eventually learned of the fortune hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. The story of Aladdin and his discovery of the magic lamp also parallels Dantes’ luck and the events of his life, as Aladdin also finds and wealth after being captured.


Before being imprisoned, Dantes was an intelligent and righteous man who had a beloved fiancee and a bright future ahead of him. He was respected and liked by all, for his kind nature and friendly demeanor. Aladdin’s personality was similar to Dantes’ kindness, generosity, and warmth. Even though Aladdin was poor, he never intentionally hurt anybody and lived a moral life. However,he got caught in Jafar’s plot and ended up trappd in the Cave of Wonders. Even though it seemed like a terrible misfortune at first, he never would have found the magic lamp if he wasn’t stuck in the cave. Similarly, even though Dantes was framed by Danglars, Fernand, and Villefort, he did emerge from his hardships with more money than he could ever imagine possessing.


After Aladdin discovered Genie and Dantes, the Spada wealth, both their lives changed drastically. They went from “rags to riches”, as each acquired a new image and persona that was entirely different from the person they used to be. Dantes took on many identities, and eventually the Count of Monte Cristo. Aladdin became Prince Ali, in hopes of winning Jasmine’s heart. Both never expected to become wealthy and powerful. If anything, they both anticipated dying in imprisonment. However, the fact that both their futures took significantly different courses than they were supposed to emphasizes how unpredictable life is, and how luck changes impossibly quickly.

Aside from the spontaneity of life, Dantes and Aladdin also exemplify how wealth has the power to change a person, their mindset, their personality, their outlook on life, their very essence. Before Aladdin met Genie, and before Dantes was accused of conspiracy, they were both innocent, open-minded, and kind men who were content with their lives and considered many people their friends, even if those people did not necessarily view them in the same light.


However, after their life-changing ordeals, both men changed into powerful and ambitious people who seem to have let go of their past. Dantes becomes rich and knowledgeable and carries no trace of the young sailor he once was when he was nineteen years old. He rewards Morrel and Calderousse who he felt deserved his friendship, but vowed to have revenge on Villefort, Fernand and Danglars. Aladdin gets absorbed into his role of Prince Ali and disregards his former promise to release Genie.

Although both Dantes’ and Aladdin’s stories are fictional creations, they share many important lessons about life. You can never anticipate what path life will lead you onto, and neither can you imagine the impact that life’s events will have on your character, and the person that you are. You should always be aware of your surroundings, as well as what is inside of you, because one day you may wake up, and have no idea what has happened to you or who you are anymore.


The Time We Don’t Have…


“I didn’t have the time.” I think everyone has said this at some point, whether it was because you procrastinated on your homework, or you couldn’t watch your favorite TV show. Everybody realizes that time moves quickly, but no one seriously thinks about this until time has taken away something or someone they deeply care for. You will always remember that special childhood friend who knew you better than you knew yourself, but became distant as you both became older with the passing of each day, each month, each year. There will always be that one regret that gnaws at your soul, that one time something amazing could have happened, but you let that magical opportunity slip away with time. Everyone has at least one memory that they wish they can relive. But WHY is it that everybody has let time bring about such regrets and longing? I don’t believe the reason is that humans are unappreciative to things when they have it, unlike many people. I think that (most) people are intelligent enough to understand that they should be thankful for many things in their life. In my opinion, the reason we allow time to leave behind sadness in our lives is because we are always expecting second chances. We don’t seize the opportunity, the moment when its right in front of us not because we don’t realize it is there, but because we believe it will be there the next time we look for it. What everyone needs to understand and remember (me included) is that NO, it will not be there. So do what you can, when you can, because you probably won’t get that chance again. You may think you have time, but I’m telling  you right now that you don’t. So don’t waste a single second; don’t give that ticking clock the ability and power to leave behind scars and blemishes that you won’t be able to erase from your past. We’ve all been there; we all know that regrets are the one thing that don’t fade with time.