A Thank You Letter

Dear Miss Magnuson,

I would sincerely like to thank you for challenging me as much as you have. With the many different assignments that continued to press me further in my ways of thinking and allowing me to relate to many different events that seemed unrelated at first, you helped me greatly broaden my viewpoints. Throughout the year, with every experience, I have grown in a way that I would never have expected. If I could speak to my past self from 2 years ago who wasn’t confident in her writing, I would have recommended that she take that class!

Reflecting back on the year, I must admit, I was more than a little nervous. I was especially nervous about the blog posts and the realization that what I said would be on the Internet forever, even if I tried to delete it! However, my biggest feeling of nervousness turned into a feeling of joy whenever I wrote any of these posts. I found it more than just a post that I had to turn in for a grade every week. To me, these posts were a fun way to express myself in a medium that I had never thought of before.

Miss Magnuson, I would like to thank you so much for putting your faith in me and fighting for me to be in that class. I will be eternally grateful for that and it is something that I will never forget. It was so wonderful being in this class and throughout the year, it was a blast getting to discuss with you over different topics of varying difficulties. Your class period was one that I was always looking forward to because I knew that I would have a fun time while being able to learn relevant ideas and perspectives on issues at the same time. If I could take AP Lang over again, I would do so in a heartbeat! Thanks for making AP Lang a wonderful and fun experience for me!

Best regards and thanks for everything,



Tablets vs. Textbooks

Dear reader,

In school, at the beginning of the year, you were probably handed textbooks for many if not all of your classes. As you peered through them, have you groaned as you realize the weight that might be added to your backpack? Also taking a look at the text, have you wondered if there is a more engaging way to tackle the same material instead of relying on a textbook the whole time?

Using tablets in school is a possible solution to that problem. Not only are they light, they are also able to help the student engage more actively in the material by offering a more engaging method of learning. For example, if a student gets a brand-new textbook, they probably won’t want to mark it up for fear that they might have to pay for damages for writing or highlighting in the book. Using a tablet eliminates that risk, for the person can highlight as much as they want. It is their own device and they will be able to highlight as much text as they want on their own virtual textbook.


Sarah Wong on redwoodbark.org remarks that a study by the California Board of Education in 2004 states that the average high school student carries a bag with “about 16 to 20 pounds of textbooks.” Compare that to a tablet which weighs only a few pounds and can carry all of your textbooks and more. With an alternative which is more efficient and less back-breaking, tablets are a better alternative to carrying several textbooks home at the end of every school day.

Tablets are a more efficient way to carry all your material instead of textbooks because not only are they lighter, but they are also more engaging than regular textbooks. The material on the tablet can be marked up as much as is desired and can create a more personalized learning plan and experience with the text. Hopefully, in the future, we can have a personalized learning experience that is engaging and easier on our backs.


Entertainment as a Form of Ruin?

Dear reader,

Entertainment is all around us in this modern age. With YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and TV shows all around us, we have many things to keep us happy. However, that entertainment has a darker side to it, whether we realize it or not. Follow me down this rabbit hole and we’ll see what awaits us at the end.

With advertisements and other forms of entertainment blaring all around us, our eyes have a lot of attention-grabbing things to look at. The entertainment doesn’t only grab our attention to the point that we may end up spending hours upon hours watching. It may also affect our thinking process as well. Remember that the sole purpose of entertainment is to make people happy and make them believe what is being said. In other words, it wants us to believe what it is telling the viewer.

There is a dangerous aspect in that situation. If we just continue to accept what the TV or the computer screen or any other entertainment industry or medium is telling us, we won’t be able to think for ourselves and will instead become slaves of our own forms of entertainment. What we thought we had under control will instead control us.

So dear reader, I tell you this not to scare you off of your YouTube videos, social media accounts, or favorite TV series. My purpose in telling you this is to advise you to be careful of the amount of entertainment that is all around us. Take precautions not to become slaves of the entertainment, but to instead have it under control. One thing that I do is take away all forms of distraction when I’m doing work and make sure that I can’t hear them. Try some other techniques for yourself and see what works.


What is Jazz?

Dear reader,

Have you listened to jazz music recently? Did you like it? Is it your first time listening to it, or have you been listening to it for a long time?

My first experience with jazz was when I was about eleven or twelve when my piano teacher gave me an assignment to listen to a jazz artist. I was able to find a collection of Ella Fitzgerald’s best songs and once I listened to it, I loved it at once. I listened to it day in and day out, even when I was going to sleep. It was like a new world was opening right in front of me, and inviting me to explore more. As soon as that collection was listened to quite a few times, my dad offered to get some more CDs for me, to which I happily accepted.

When I was listening to CDs from about ten years ago, I always wondered if jazz ever survived to the modern era and what that sounded like. After a few years, through iTunes, I found out that there were more modern jazz artists as well. Curiosity led me to explore other artists like Sara Gazarek and Gretchen Parlato and I found them to be wonderful to listen and even dance to. It was then that I realized that jazz is more than just a genre of music. It is a timeless art that spans over 100 years and would continue to grow!

So dear reader, what do you think about jazz? I’ve told you my story, now start your own. If you listen, continue to listen and explore different artists. If you haven’t listened, why not start now? Try different artists both old and new and see which one(s) you like best. The choice is up to you

“Change is always happening. That’s one of the wonderful things about jazz music.” – Maynard Ferguson



Walt Whitman in Metaphors

If Walt was a color, he would be a rainbow because there are many different aspects that can be taken away from his poetry and his poetry often has a deeper sense of meaning.

If Walt was a food, he would be a salad. Whitman’s exploration about many different topics from exploring nature to city life to his personal experiences through poetry make him an interesting poet to read from.

If Walt was an animal, he would be a bird. He is able to retrieve aspects of an issue that may seem unrelated at first, but eventually turns out to be a beautiful and intricately complex nest of ideas.

If Walt was a season, he would be spring. His love of nature is present in many of his poems and he even talks about ordinary things in nature like the ocean and the forest as “miracles”. Spring is a season where the plants can begin to appear after the cold season of winter, and Whitman also took a new approach to poetry by seeing things from a new perspective.

If Walt was a day of the week, he would be Friday. The end of the week can be seen as freedom and a chance to relax. Whitman thinks that freedom is a very important aspect in poetry and the expression of that freedom is important as well.

If Walt was a word, he would be liberty. “The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.”

If Walt was a season of life, he would be infancy because he has a great curiosity about everything, no matter its size or importance to others. He has even been quoted as saying “be curious, not judgmental”.

If Walt was a musical instrument, he would be a harp. In his poetry, he speaks about topics in a way that resonates with many people and is said in a gentle but understanding manner.

If Walt was a outdoors activity, he would be climbing up a mountain. His way of writing challenges you to think deeper than you expect and it is challenging to get to the point when you fully understand his point. However, once you do, you will be amazed at how far you have come.

If Walt was a natural phenomenon, he would be wind. He is able to go through topics in a way that not a lot of people would have thought of. As a result, when you read his poems, you may not necessarily know what he is going to say next or what angle he is going to approach a situation from.

If Walt was a personality type, he would be a commander. He is able to lead the way in exploring a new type of poetry that others during his time had not thought of before.

If Walt was a demeanor, he would be welcoming. Whitman is open to people talking to him and he will also try to have a conversation with who he is talking to. “Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?”

If Walt was an American holiday, he would be Independence Day. Whitman has a strong sense of patriotism for America. “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”

If Walt was a music genre, he would be classical. He is a poet who starts out with a theme in a poem and is able to approach it from different angles without detracting from the true purpose of the poem.

If Walt was a phrase, he would be ‘appreciative of nature’. “After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains.”


A Resume To Remember

Dear reader,

This post will offer you some useful advice on how to make you a candidate for a potential job, and what mistakes that you should avoid. Writing an effective resume will help you get that dream job and make yourself a stronger candidate for consideration.

First things first: how should it look like? It should have a clear and logical structure with bullet points highlighting important information such as accomplishments. The initial look is important because if poorly formatted, it will not be considered as highly and your credibility will take a hit.

After you’ve figured out a suitable format for your resume, it’s time to fill in the information. A few key points here are to write down accomplishments that you were a part of, and not just focus on what job positions you had. Employers will be looking for someone who was able to be a problem-solver and what they themselves did. Also avoid putting any irrelevant information because the information may not necessarily be in context and the person reading your resume will get lost.

One final to make your resume stand out is to quantify your accomplishments. That way, you can state the amount of skills you have in a certain area and give the employer an idea of where you will best fit into the organization. If selected, then you will be able to play from your strengths and be able to adjust a little easier to what you are being asked to do in the company or organization.

Those are a few tips that I have to offer about how to make your resume strong. However, there are more resources out there than just my blog post. Go out and explore what other tips there are and format a resume that you are proud of. Good luck.


Where is the Truth?

Dear reader,

These past few months, I have most recently found myself asking this same question. Where is the truth? Is it not around anymore and are we all just wandering in a post-truth world?

The word “post-truth” has now become a large focus in world news today, especially with the U. S. elections. During the campaigning season and the competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with both sides bashing each other about what their plans hold, I asked myself, where the truth is in the situation? Also with the issue of fake news websites posting information that was incorrect or biased, but nevertheless being used by people to spread information on social media networks, I had to wonder where the truth was.

A few years ago, I had an experience in wrestling with truth. I was talking to a friend who was strongly opposed to something and she said that what she believed was the truth. When I heard that, I questioned if what she was saying really was the truth and what basis she had for believing it. When I looked it up a few hours later, turns out that my friend was right and what she opposed to was indeed a real issue and that the information that she told me was true.

Truth is now a more important aspect than ever before because of recent events. Even though you may hear something, it may not necessarily be true, because it might have come from a source with biased, or even incorrect information. If I am to pass along a piece of advice, it would be this: be careful of what you read or hear, because it might not be true. Keep asking questions and dig deeper into what you hear to find out the truth instead of falling in the “post-truth” ditch.