AP Lang 2016-17 Reflection

In retrospect, I don’t regret taking AP Lang. Throughout the year, I had moments where I would just sit and contemplate why I am writing this essay or why I am investing so much time reading someone else’s work and annotating it. At those exact moments I saw it pointless to spend my time reading “great” writing when honestly I just saw them all the same: words on a page. I still pushed through and read every assignment, turned in all essays, and wrote all my blogs (#noregrats). As the year comes to an end, I expected myself to feel joyful that such an awful and difficult class is over, but it seems the opposite. I feel saddened by the fact the AP Lang class is now going to disperse.

I will miss Ms Magnuson’s lessons.

I will miss the studious environment.

I will miss the engagement we had in discussion groups.

I will miss the profound essays read in class.

I will miss writing essays.

And I will miss all these things because these factors made me improve as a writer. AP Lang was the class I wish everyone experienced because the determination to learn and improve is seen in every single student. It’s seldom to have a class where all the students are striving for excellence.

As I reflect upon the accomplishments I’ve achieved for this class, I feel proud. I’ve read essays that were written months ago, and it is clear that there is improvement from the hours of toil. I hope to take my enriched skill to continue writing poems and essays for I know there is still room for improvement. I’m grateful to have been give the chance this year to be with a group of amazing people and an awesome teacher who is very passionate in writing and encourages us to become better writers for tomorrow.

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The Flaw of the United States

The political life in the United States has shown to be controversial in contemporary life as the value of public vote has shown to be insignificant to the actual presidential voting procedure. The past 2 out of 3 presidents did not win the popular vote, yet they have been admitted to the federal administration. The over rule of the electoral college vote has questioned the government system of democracy and freedom.

The United States government have adapted democracy and have promoted democracy, yet their recent election seems to speak the opposite. Democracy is a government system where the public votes for a leader with the majority wins. Hillary won by a margin of 2,864,974 votes (2.10%) which may seem small, but is in fact a significant difference politically. The election of 2016 contradicts the concept of democracy as the popular vote has no influence on who becomes the president. The electoral college, a group of politicians, ultimately decide who the next president is.

This arises a flaw in the government system as there is injustice in the concept of freedom. Freedom is the right to express oneself without any hindrance. The democratic system stops the public from expressing themselves as their opinions are not heard. The government officials are voted by other politicians. This undermines what the ideal American government is supposed to be; the majority of the population has no influence in who is elected to run the nation.

There are positives in the United States government that must be acknowledge such as impeachment when the leader is not doing his/her job. However, the flaw of government system should be pointed out as Americans promote the concept of majority rules and freedom of speech, yet it is not manifested in the actual government process.

 

Role of Education

There is a reason education costs money. Education is the only way for people to develop critical thinking skills. The purpose of education is not to prepare the next generation to work in cubicles. The purpose is not to simply inject knowledge into the learners either. The purpose of education is to encourage students to think differently and establish supported individual’s opinions.

It is difficult to argue that education is solely based on feeding facts to students. Facts can only take one so much as it has no value other than the valid statement itself. For example, ants are insects; this fact is indisputable. As much as the statement is true, it is very limited. One cannot extract any deeper meaning or derive more information from fact are limited and direct. Therefore, I would disagree with the schoolmaster’s idea in Charles Dickens’s book Hard Times that learning should emphasise in teaching students about facts. Although “sticking to facts” may intuitively sound credible and are true, statements solely based on facts are superficial. Teaching students to think superficially is not going to develop critical thinking skills.

Education should be providing paths for students to explore and choose what they believe fits their passion and intellectual capacity. Education should not generalise a class through average but focus on the individual’s capabilities. These tasks are not easily achievable, yet the education system productivity can only reach its apex by focusing on each student rather than as a class or a grade. Each student possesses unique talents that can be nurtured and mastered; and it is the role of education to successfully allow each individual to strive for his/her best and be well educated.

Being well educated means to have the ability to independently stand and argue for one’s position. As education trains one to pick the right path for a potential future career, one will become well educated when they master the field and is able to provide a counterargument or assertion with thorough evidence. The ultimate point is to foster individual voices that are valid so as to be valued in society.

 

The Creativity Crisis

To the School Board,

Our world lacks creativity today and action must be taken immediately. It begins with how we educate students from elementary throughout to high school. Professor Kyung Hee Kim in 2010 stated that the decline of the public’s creativity is significant in the past two decades. Lack of creativity means the incapability of thinking of original ideas to solve a problem. The school system concentrates on having students take all the same classes, thus everyone absorbs the same information. It hinders the human mind to come up with new ideas and under-develops the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’–creativity. Schools should give students the opportunity to formulate their own ideas and critically approach issues on their own.

If all students were taught the same class, one student would be no better than the other. Like mindless robots, every student is programmed the exact same way; therefore, if one can’t solve an issue no one can because everyone has exactly the same amount of knowledge to counter the problem. Although there are 7 billion people, there is only one mind. The value of humans diminishes as we become another model of artificial intelligence.  We need students with creativity. We need students who think of unorthodox methods to approach a problem. We need students who are different from each other. As school is the place where the youth are trained to become future leaders, I believe it is the school’s duty to build students who can think outside the box.

It is not an easy role for schools to be in charge of a significant phase for student; however, the right path to thinking creatively must be paved for a brighter future.

 

Society Crumbles

Entertainment has the capacity to ruin society because of its power to domineer over people’s lives. Video games, TV shows, movies, and social media are types of entertainment that harm the human mind to digress from the reality and seriousness of the world. As entertainment is fun, mindless, and sensational, people get addicted to feeling of being entertained and want to avoid being stressed and pressured. The dosage of entertainment gradually increases as people spend more time relaxing rather than working tenaciously to achieve higher goals; time is spent inefficiently and unproductively. Entertainment has the power to ruin society because it is addictive.

Entertainment is toxic to humanity as it take over people’s lives and eventually disseminates to the surroundings. TV shows are an example of entertainment that harm humans. One would, at first, watch one episode a night. As he begins to enjoy the program the quantity increases to two episode a night. And by next week it comes a habit to watch four episodes a night. Soon the dosage proliferates to one season per night. I have personally gone through this entertainment addiction with Game of Thrones. The brain eventually becomes dissatisfied till the daily medicine is consumed. Entertainment not only deteriorates one’s health–from lack of sleep–but also ruins one’s daily routine and standards. The depreciating productivity level soon affects one’s surrounding as a negative aura is formed because of the entertainment addiction.

Entertainment, furthermore, becomes a priority as it shifts from a way to take a break to a necessity. Video gaming is an example that ruins people’s lives due to the addiction. A student in Korea in 2011 was documented to have died because of starvation from non-stop gaming. Eating and sleeping had become secondary to entertainment. Although video gaming is fun, the daily dosage increases day-by-day and more time is consumed to satisfy the needs. As entertainment becomes essential in one’s life, the lifestyle and patterns begin to shift from enjoyment to a basic need.

Entertainment becomes a distraction more than an enjoyment, thus affecting human concentration spans. The addictive entertainment consumes most the day as people have trouble thinking and talking aside from the latest movie released or the weekly TV show. The work needed to be accomplished becomes more difficult as one’s focus diverges from the true intentions to thoughts of irrelevant scenes from the entertainment. From the addiction of entertainment, the general human thought leans towards the last time it had “fun” when it is time to work. As humans get distracted, the amount of time spent efficiently decreases thus entertainment becomes a hindrance because of the large amount of time spent due to addiction.

In conclusion, entertainment has the capacity to ruin society as people get addicted to entertaining themselves. The addiction is difficult to get rid of, thus people are unconsciously forced to not use their time productively.

Save the Earth

Stephen Hawking hypothesised that it is very unlikely that humankind will exist on Earth in the next thousand years. Due to global warming, scientists believe that it is going to be impossible for life to survive in Earth in the future. The Earth’s temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the past 100 years (Shaftel). Although the difference may be small, the damage done to Earth is incurable. The scar remains and the planet will continue to receive more permanent effects. Stephen Hawking asserts that humankind “must be in space” (Big Think Editors) as it will be near impossible for humankind to resist the global temperature in a thousand years. Stephen Hawking claims himself to be an optimist, but his hope of humanity living on Earth in the upcoming years is slim. It has been concluded by several scientists that it is time to look for planets outside the galaxy where humanity can thrive.

Although the hopes of living in Earth seem to be almost non-existent, according to the professionals, I think it is possible for us to protect Earth and continue living in it without having to start fresh in another planet. There are numerous of ways to preserve the Earth and cease the global temperature from rising. Today, we have knowledge of the major causes of global warming such as air pollution, unusable waste, nuclear release, and  deforestation. If we know the causes of global warming, slowing down the rise of temperature or even stopping global warming is very plausible: we just need to stop the causes from occurring. Burning fossil fuels have significantly impacted the ozone layer as the automobile became more common and prevalent throughout the world. Engineers have found solutions to burning fossil fuel on the daily basis by inventing the battery and solar panel cars. Nation’s have implemented recycling systems to prevent unusable waste to be recycled and efficiently used rather than thrown in the ocean. Governments have encouraged citizens to plant trees to repopulate the forests that have been eradicated. Our world has already begun to take action to protect the Earth and take care of it. I don’t see the reason why it is not possible for us to heal the Earth and prevent it from further harm. As faith in humanity is restored, I believe the scientists can be proven wrong if we all contribute to help resolve global warming.

 

Referencecs

Shaftel, Holly. “Global Temperature.” Global Climate Change, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

Big Think Editors. “Stephen Hawking’s Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction.”Big Think, The Big Think, 2015, bigthink.com/dangerous-ideas/5-stephen-hawkings-warning-abandon-earth-or-face-extinction. Accessed 9 Apr. 2017.

Robert Frost would be…

Here is a list of metaphors that Robert Frost would be:

Robert Frost would be a parrot. Frost’s poetry style mimics other poets’ such as William Wordsworth and James Dickney. Even though Robert Frost has his own unique style of poetry, there are many times when he alludes to other poets and copies their style of writing.

Robert Frost would be  a tree. Robert Frost continuously talks about nature in his poems, but the most frequent plant he talks about are trees. Frost seems to show great love for trees, thus the reason why he would best represent a tree.

Robert Frost would be a pair of pink boxers. He was an unknown poet during his early years and when he came back from England he suddenly became a respected American poet. He was a hidden poet that was revealed like pink boxers hidden underneath the clothes and then shown in public.

Robert Frost would be the sport, tennis. Although he wrote free verse poems, he was a poet who was strict about form. Tennis is a sport with strict and specific rules that must be followed in order to have a legit tennis match. He once said “free verse is like playing tennis without a net,” and Frost was always about playing tennis. He abided to the rules of specific structures.

Robert Frost would be ramen. His poems are strict and definite in structure like ramen. Furthermore, Frost’s poems are about things a common man knows: nature, landscapes, depression, and making life decisions.

Robert Frost would be the colour green. His poems commonly talk about forests and the beauty of nature. And plants are typically associated with the colour green.

Robert Frost would be the shape of a square. A square must have four equal sides and four 90 degree angles.; the character of a square is very specific. Similarly, Frost strictly follows formats of poems. For Shakespearean sonnet, Frost always has iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme, and fourteen lines.

Robert Frost would smell like the rain. The unique smell of nature that can only be produced after rain. Robert Frost’s style of poetry is unique as he describes the rural areas of the U.S. by using colloquialism such as in the his poem The Death of the Hired Man.

Robert Frost would be a tree house. With nature being Frost’s “go-to” in his poems, a house on top of a tree would represent him perfectly. A house in the woods surrounded with wild life and green ties in strongly with Robert Frost’s poetry.

Robert Frost would be the word emotional. His poems are refer to strong emotions of love, regret, or sadness. In his poem Acquainted with the Night an emotion of loneliness and depression is evoked. Powerful emotion is evoked in all of Frost’s poems because of his past. The numerous times when Frost has experienced depression is manifested through his poems, thus making Frost “emotional.”

Robert Frost would be the musical instrument, piccolo. The piccolo is a small instrument that produces a loud and high pitch sound compared to its size. Robert Frost was a humble man whose poems was lodged into people’s minds. He did not physically appear as a powerful or courageous figure, but his work thrived and impacted the lives of many readers.

Robert Frost would be the season, autumn. Although it could be argued that spring represents Robert Frost, autumn is more fitting because of Frost’s tone in his poems. Autumn is a season where the trees begin shedding their foliage and the cold winter is soon to come. The season can be related to feelings of sorrow as trees lose their beauty and are left naked; animals such as the bear hibernate, thus disappear for awhile. Frost’s poems evoke similar emotions of sadness and wistfulness; a happy man who is now depressed because of certain tragic events.

Robert Frost would be a Ford Model T car. The Ford Model T was the first car to be mass produced. The model was different from previous cars as it combined the look of a 19th century car but used modern techniques of interchangeable parts. Similarly, Robert Frost is a poet with a unique style of writing who adapted both 19th century American poetry and modernism.

Robert Frost would be the natural phenomenon, fog. Fog obscures images, thus stops one from directly identifying what the object amidst the fog might be. This is similar to Frost’s style of poetry; at times, he subtly refers to themes or ideas, making his message  unclear and difficult to comprehend. In his poem Mending Walls the narrator’s urge to not re-building the wall is shown from the indirect hints of unknown causes that break the wall down.