The Final Straw

“…He hid his eyes underneath a cap that casted a shadow on his face, but I could see the outlines of his lips slouch, then curled up into a scowl. He began to sweat more and more, and despite the veins perforating the linings of his arms and legs, he grew weaker and weaker by the moment. Eventually guilt, anger, frustration, something made him turn away. He trudged on; his fingers paled as he tightened his grip on the racket. He looked as though he had put his whole body into a perplexed expression in an attempt to extinguish the whisper deep inside of him that had almost convinced him to wander over to me. In the swift moment that the whisper simmered, I thought there were strings attached to his feet, for all of a sudden, the blankness of his mind caused him to detach from all things physical and uncertainty lingered in his unguided movements. But he then burned away the whispers and tore all ties. The narrowed eyes, tensed arms, and wry glare returned. He continued down the path he chose to take and never looked back. Somewhere, a faint mutter of “Love!” filled the air.”

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When I write…

     In my English class, we have written different types of essays, such as narrative, descriptive, definition, and example. I believe my best work from this semester was my example essay.

     This essay represents my best work because I was able to include enough details to express my feelings for the experiences and joy I gained from tennis. My strength as a writer is I make sure my sentences flow and my choice of words are cleverly put together. I also try to add a personal touch to draw closer the connection between the reader and the writer. My next goal is to try to use a style that matches its content. I would like to improve on being able to explain my purpose more effectively because I usually have a good idea of what I’d like my main focus to be, but I always take a long time trying to find the right words. Sometimes I rewrite my sentences three to four times and because of the time restraints on the writing exams, I would like to be able to think on the spot and effectively establish my ideas through a single draft.

The writing instructions in class that have helped me are the essays we usually read before writing our own narrative, descriptive, and example essays. I thought they gave us a good idea of what we should be using or including. When I proofread my essays, I am not always able to determine what exactly needs to be changed. With the peer reviews, I received constructive criticisms that helped me specifically pinpoint which parts I should focus on revising.

To me, I think the traditional structure of an essay is too rigid because it prevents the writer from thinking out of the box. However, that has never been the case in my English class. I have increasingly enjoyed writing because I was always encouraged to be creative. I remember my teacher, Mr. Ziebarth, telling the class, “essays do not always have to be formally written” because often times, students use big words that actually make no sense and it takes away the narrative/personal aspect. We were told to write in whichever style we prefer; each person has a different style that best fits them. If they can find it, writing would be much more pleasurable and comfortable.

What makes a good essay? 

1. Focus: establish one main topic (thesis)

2. Different arguments and pieces of evidence should all support the main idea

(Evidence can be personal experience, details, facts, statistics, and reasons)

3. A good essay is interesting 

-Has interesting things to say

-Has an interesting way of describing something uninteresting

4. The writer’s personality is imprinted onto it.

Personality and uniqueness is expressed. Forget formality.

6. Use a style that matches its content

7. Put things into perspective

8. Use literary devices, concrete details, appeals to pathos, logos, and ethos

9. Follow SOAPSTone

10. Just have an enjoyable time writing!

Turning That Spark Into (Sp)ART

I recently heard a podcast from Seth Godin with Krista Tippett and the words he spoke jingled in my head. It brought me to think about the layouts of what I’m doing in my AP English Lit 3 Class such as this blog and my publishing house blog found here.

Godin presented we are living in a world that is recreating itself. We are here to weave a story, a tribe, and a network. It is essential for us to encircle ourselves into artists, creators, and innovators. We must create something that would matter to others as well as ourselves. The question here is, “What are we going to put out to the world?” It would be best if we could look for something that challenges us because it would force us to dig deep into our minds, to look for the spark that leads us to creating something extraordinary. We’re moving beyond the whole “you work for me, you do what I say” because now it’s just a matter of being given a microphone to present our ideas. Innovation cannot occur if ideas are not constantly being produced and actions are not taken.

Blog-Topic-Ideas

“In order to measure the success of a piece of work, one needs to see how willing people are to share it. The more influential the work is, the more people would want to see it.”

I agree that if your work appeals to a variety of people, then you have created something that is universally deemed as “great” but often times, you have to just explore. You have to dig deep down to create something you would be proud of, not just satisfied. Success should be more on how you feel about the work you produced, rather than how others deem it.

“Everyone is unique and everyone of us has a different trait that stands out from one another. How can you use this trait to go out into the world and make a difference?” –The Bio Dome

I feel like my strength in my English class is to wonder, to imagine, and to eventually create. There is no greater joy than to let my imagination take over and articulate my thoughts and connections into words. My fingertips are the bristles of my paintbrush which often times gracefully letters out my piece of work and other times hammer out against the black bijou keys, splattering text and paint on my screen which I see as my canvas. I would then bend my texts into shapes and paint them boldly and brightly through tone, diction, syntax, and structure.

What I enjoy the most during the last two years in my English classes was doing something memorable, and not for the credit. It fascinates me to see my classmates, including myself, find something that we are passionate about and create a work of art out of it. Due to how far the internet has expanded, each of us having a blog serves well to our advantage because we are now able to take our work and release it from the boundaries of the classroom. It propels us and motivates us towards creating something extraordinary. We as a class believe it is important to put our work out there and not to be afraid of failure or judgments. In contrast, Godin believes social media a big waste of time. I disagree because I think social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Reddit are crucial to the development and sharing of ideas. It gives people around the world great opportunities to connect, learn, and be inspired by one another. Its wide usage also helps with allowing all work to be known. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to share our work. Everything is at the click of a button. Hundreds of dollars on advertising wouldn’t even be necessary.

When I am writing, the ideas come to me very easily, I know what I want to write about but I always have trouble figuring out how to start. If you look at my rough drafts, you would see that my writings are in bullet points or scattered all over the place. I prefer to put them all out there so I could connect the dots as I go along. It really helps me figure out what I want to write about; it takes time but it works for me. However, it isn’t a very ideal method when I have to write a timed essay. I would like to work on taking a stance and just cranking out ideas quickly in order to keep up with the time restraints. Ideas can’t be fully articulated through just one draft in 30 minutes; I understand essay graders do not expect a masterpiece, but I believe creating one requires dedication, and time is its best friend.

sponge

Godin interested me strongly with his heartfelt support of inspiring people of all ages to find a way to contribute to this world. Whether it be something big or small, ideas are ideas and they all have the potential to affect someone or something.

Godin’s speech exemplifies the characteristics my English class strives for. Here is my take on Mr. Ziebarth’s class’s ideals in a nutshell:

Be open minded to take in constructive criticisms and have a perseverance mindset to keep on improving and innovating. Find new, creative ways to revise and enhance your work. It’s a process of creating and modifying repeatedly until the finished product is something of its own genre. Document your process along the way. Reflect on it. If you are proud with what you have achieved, share it, and wait for the world’s response to it.

Everything written here comes from me.

I am my own writer, editor, and publisher.

I am the artist.

How did Mosaic of Introspections come about?

It started off as an long-term assignment that my English teacher, Mr. Theriault gave to the class at the beginning of the school year. I remember the mutual excitement my good friend Miriam and I had. We decided to work together because we had the same ideas on how we wanted our blog to be like. Several of our classmates based their blog on one subject or one theme. Miriam and I decided we wanted our blog to be broad. We wanted to be able to write about anything, and everything.

Although it was an assignment, it didn’t feel like one to me. I’ve always wanted to write. To just let my words freely flow, one after another…I saw that this blog was the perfect opportunity for me to do so. However, schoolwork after schoolwork piled upon me. My mind was clouded by stress and worries. I didn’t have an exact idea in mind as to what I wanted to write. I didn’t know where to start either. I couldn’t come up with the right words. I started on new posts but ended up trashing them or saving them as drafts. I went through my published posts and deleted several because I simply didn’t like them. I felt as though it just didn’t fully reveal what I had in mind. Finally and fortunately, the weary, tense days are over. I can sit down and spend as much time as I want pouring out what I have longed to share for quite some time.

Now, I want to talk about why do we write, and why do I write.

“Do we write because we have something to say? Do we write because we have to? Maybe we write because we have the talent to do so, or maybe we write because we can.”

To me, the power of writing makes it incredibly beautiful. We are able to share the depths of our thoughts and our inner most feelings through just words. Even something that is simple can really speak for others and people can come to really know us through reading our work.

Within writings, words say it all.

“A story, a moment, a feeling, a thought, is forever remembered if it is written down.”

Written words are there to stay, and to always have effect.  Reading words and hearing them are totally different for that when we read stories, we live their worlds, we become the words we read, our imagination runs free, not limited by other senses of vision, touch, hearing, or even smell.

I write because my words help me make sense of all that is around me and within me. My words speak for me when my actions can’t. With my words, I can connectand I feel connected to others.

Writing has forced me to come up with the right words to describe my own thoughts and emotions, which has always been challenging to do. However, it has helped me become more efficient in expressing myself. Acquiring profundity by digging through the depths of my mind, I have come to know myself better. I now fully understand my own thoughts and the motives behind them.

Judging by judging

“Claiming that someone else’s choices are against your preferences is like being angry at someone for eating a doughnut because you’re on a diet.”

Okay honestly, I fell into utter agreement with this quote the moment I read it. I think it does a great job emphasizing on how we are so judgmental.

I’d like to start off with pointing out the fact that we judge someone or something everyday without noticing! It seems as if it’s impossible to go through a day without a single critical thought occurring.

What makes us judgmental comes from the fact that we are familiar and we become comfortable with our own ideas and beliefs. Once we hear or see something foreign to us, we deem it to be insignificant simply because of a gap of indifference.

We like to put all of people’s different characteristics together into one box and then we set our own standards and expectations to how we think they should be. If they don’t meet up to our preferences, we automatically discard it as frivolous.

When we judge others, we tend to attribute their actions to their personalities rather than to the variables in the specific situation. For example, if someone cuts in line, we will tend to see that person as selfish or insensitive. Although when we cut in line, we will have the situational need very clear in our heads. “I am in a hurry and I need to do it just this once!” -Gregg Henriques

Judging, however, is not human nature like most say it is. It’s just common. Despite the hardships of overcoming this common attitude, I think it’s important we should try to keep in mind several points when evaluating someone’s actions or personality. First, we should figure out where one’s actions, thoughts, or personality came from. Whether it be from their own perspective, beliefs, values, or experiences, they are all what contributed to the current situation. Second, we must understand. We mustn’t be so quick to judge the outer look of it. How can it be right of us to jump to conclusions without diving through the depths of one’s inner most thoughts to experience their experiences? Third, if we can be more open minded towards the people and the things in our lives, we will feel at peace because we’re letting go of clinging to the way we want people to be.

judge

-Michelle

Self-Reflection

The dots that I have come to connect today are…

  1. There are things in life not worth making a big deal out of. Rethink the situation, figure out why it bothered you in the first place, and determine where its importance stands.
  2. Refrain from jumping to conclusions. Don’t assume; be sure to get clarifications if you are unsure. Doing this would enable you to avoid misunderstanding, and also to avoid the unspoken happiness that is unknown to the other person.
  3. Trust is fundamental to life. If you cannot trust, life becomes intolerable—a battle against constant doubt and looming disaster. A lack of trust can tear down even your strongest emotions, feelings or beliefs.
  4. There will be a point in life where even the people you are the most fond of, can irritate you deep into your skin and upset you in a way that is astonishing to you because you never thought it was possible of them to do so for that you deem them as your greatest source of happiness. The goal here though, is not to let that weaken the relationships and close bonds you have set with that person. You must keep in mind why you stood by that person in the first place, and what can you do to avoid a situation like that from happening again.
  5. If you are to change yourself, change yourself only for the better. Don’t change yourself so that you could consider yourself an adequate contestant for a person’s preferences and likings.
  6. “Just because I don’t laugh as much doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy your company.” 

Right. What made me even think that the scale of which a person likes you is based on how good you are at telling silly jokes? There is so much more to youas a person, that makes YOU what someone adores so greatly. When you are with someone, you DON’T always need endless conversations or constant laughters. The presence of one another speaks the loudest and the loveliest already.

Lots of love,

Michelle

According to a dictionary, fear is to avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid.

To me, I think that is the most accurate definition because it rightfully puts the role of fear in our lives into perspective.

How many opportunities have we allowed to pass by us because of fear? How many times have we said “no” to what could turn out to be the most extraordinary of our lives, because of fear? Is it because when we are fearful, we let circumstances dictate our actions?

Scientists would explain fear is caused by a series of reactions in the brain that are triggered by a stressful stimulus. I don’t believe fear can be fully explained through scientific means, I’m sure there is a more psychological sense to it. Now, why does fear exist? What is the purpose of fear? “Fear exist in our life for us to overcome. Fear exist to allow us to grow.” 

For me, fear is what I feel when I am under the notion of not believing I am fulfilling my potential or when I discern myself as being insignificant. However, it is that fear that serves as a driven force, it is that of which propels me towards growing out of the walls I am confined within. It assembles my weaknesses into strengths, my goals into plans.

It has come to my realization that I don’t want to be bound by fear. I want to make sure that the choices I make are based upon the depths of my desire to achieve greatness. I want my choices to be made out of pure confidence and built upon my own aspirations. I don’t want to be subordinate to my fear, allowing it to influence me in altering my choices in order to avoid doing something I think I am not able to do.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -Nelson Mandela

Lots of love,

Michelle