AP Language & Composition

Wow, I can’t believe junior year is over in less than a week. This has been a crazy, stressful, yet exciting year. I have learned so much and grown so much as a student and a person as well. This year going into AP Lang I didn’t know what to expect , I knew that AP would be more challenging than honors I I didn’t know in what aspect. More writing? Reading?  English had always come easy to me and I never really stuggled with it or have had to put that much effort in it. This class was unlike any other English class I had been in before. It wasn’t hard because we had to read a lot or write 10 essays a week, it was hard because it pushed and challenged me to open my mind and to have multiple perspectives and arguments on certain topics.

The class was mainly discussion based which was hard for me, sometimes I would hesitate to something for fear of not sounding intelligent or not making sense. Usually in my classes participation is easy for me and I exceed the minimum amount for participation. This was not the case in AP Lang I was forced to tweet, write, blog, and explore in order to receive full credit. This year was a year of firsts, first time ever making a twitter for school, first time blogging, first time making a zine, first time reading books For school I actually enjoyed. I remember the should school start earlier essay we wrote this year. I thought mine was so good so yu could imagine my disappointment when I got a B on it. I realized maybe I am not the best writer and need to e able to take constructive criticism. However, our last essay for Grapes of Wrath I did much better on and have seen enormous improvement since the very first essay we wrote.

My table group had a huge impact on my year. I had already known Mistina and Ahmed but Ken and I were complete strangers. These people have helped me so much. One of my favorite things about AP Lang is that we score and give our table members feedback on our essays. I know and can trust that these people will be honest and give positive and helpful suggestions. At table 9, all of us want the best for each other and want us to succeed. This table group would always be able to make a bad day a good one and could instantly turn my room around.

All in all throughout the year I found my strengths and weaknesses. As a writer my strengths are personal narratives and argument essays. My weaknesses, STYLE ANALYSIS. However, this year I felt that my weaknesses got stronger and I grew as a writer. After the AP test I thought that the style analysis essay was the easiest one!!

My absolute most favorite part about this class was how technological. In a lot of classes the use of phones, tablets, or computers is looked down upon or “distracting.” However, that was not the case with this class. I even created a separate Twitter account just for all the tweets and discussions we have had via Twitter. Technology was encouraged in this class and we took part in many online discussions, activities, and blog posts. Today, my school twitter @zapkhoenig has almost 70 tweets varying from tweets to authors of articles I’ve read, answers to book discussions, book snaps, the list goes on. I have used the hashtag #zapfv over 100 times all over different internet outlets.

When I was in 8th grade I made a decision that I was going to go to UCLA or Brown and become a lawyer, if I didn’t I wasn’t going to go to college and I would work at Target the rest of my life. As I have gotten older I have realized this is not practical and that there are so many more colleges than just the Ivy Leagues. I am very glad we did the college project right before the end of the year, it is crazy to think that in less than 3 months I will start applying to colleges. This portfolio has been so helpful, I’ve learned so much about different colleges, different application processes, and all the different career pathways. It has made me not so stressed about what college I end up at, but rather excited for all the different options I have!

On our most recent question exploration we were assigned the topic of words and communication with others. My question is ” How do words limit or harm our means of communication?’ Recently we finished Catcher in the Rye ( now my favorite book of all time.) The main character Holden Caufield is constantly getting himself in trouble because of his smart mouth, he is very sarcastic and doesn’t have a filter calling almost everyone he encounters a fake or a phony. In one of the near end chapters of the book Holden goes on a date with a girl named Sally, the date is going fine and smoothly until he randomly blurts out that Sally is a pain in the ass making her furious and humiliated. “You give me a royal pain in the ass, if you want to know the truth.” (133) So my answer to my question is yes, words can absolutely hurt our communication with others. In my college essay I wrote about bullying an ethical dilemma everywhere. Bullying a lot of times is verbal the expression “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can’t hurt me is true” however words can harm your communication with others. Some people like Holden and I, don’t have a filter we say what pops in our head, now being honest is sometimes a good thing but we shout out or blurt out things that we don’t mean or don’t want to intentionally hurt someone. So yes, words and language give us the power to communicate and express ourselves to others, however they can do the opposite and distance us from others. Words should be taken into consideration before spoken and always used for the better.

To conclude, as you can see this year has been anything but ordinary. It has changed my ways as a student and as an individual. I’ve seen tremendous growth and have become prepared to begin applying to universities in the fall. I cannot wait to see what the future holds and where it will take me but after this year, I am confident I am ready for whatever life throws at me! (:

englsih final

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Education

It has been two months since I wrote my blog questioning Trump’s plan for education and Betsy DeVos intentions for the public education system. Since then, I have done some research and been heavily investigating the topic of Trump’s administration specifically his secretary of education. My main criticism of DeVos was that she has no background in education, especially PUBLIC education she sent all of her children to private school and considers herself an advocate for private schools. Recently Trump reached his hundredth day in office. The New Yorker recently wrote an article about DeVos and why she feels keeping track of the first hundred days is unimportant her reasoning, “it’s so darn hard to count to one hundred” The woman in charge of our country’s education believes that counting to one hundred is hard… Let that sink in. Another one of my concerns in my previous post were that everyone knew that Betsy DeVos was secretary of education. Secretary of education is a position I don’t know that much about and I couldn’t even name three of them. The fact that Betsy DeVos is already so well known proves to you that she is not good at what she does. People have more infatuation with memes about her than her policies herself. The SQUID device I chose in my original blog was Q or question. This is because now a days I really am questioning politics and the government. At the time I was questioning specifically DeVos and how qualified she is to be secretary of education a position in the cabinet of uttermost importance.  The answer I have found, SHE’S NOT! Why should a woman who sent all four of her children to private schools be in charge of the nation’s PUBLIC education. Beats me… I was reading an article on Daily Beast about a mother whose son is severely disabled but due to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act her son is able to learn in a non-restrictive, educational environment.  Her as well as many other Disabled person rights activists tremble at the thought DeVos being in charge of education. This is because she is pro charter and private school. Non-disabled kids will flood to these schools and they will receive more money than public schools. This will cause the public schools that allow disabled kids to attend to become poorly funding and lack the ability to provide the children with what they need to be successful.  (I’m sure they aren’t too fond of the fact that Donald Trump mocked a disable reporter as well.) DeVos has a strict Republican/ conservative view and refuses to even consider liberals and their point of views. She believes that schools all need to have guns especially schools in the forest to protect themselves from grizzly bears. She doesn’t acknowledge the fact that there have been dozens of school shootings in our country the last couple of years. DeVos and her billionaire husband have given billions of dollars to politicians who promote anti- public school sentiments. As a student, I feel my education is imperative to becoming a productive member of society. Being a junior, I worry about college and how I will pay for it, along with what will happen when I have loans to pay off.  DeVos has no experience with education AND economics and many say she will benefit from the Student Loan Crisis. This whole year I have really enjoyed blogging, it has made me find my interests and be able to expand on topics I like. This year was  a really good year to start a blog because of all the political turmoil due to the election. I have tried to expand my views and learn along the way and I feel like I have. So thank you Mr. Ziebarth for introducing me into the world of blogging!

Music

A couple weeks ago in APUSH I had to do some research on counterculture and Woodstock. Ever since then I have become OBSESSED with 60s and 70s music. Specifically Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The music is so wonderful and pure and it makes me happy every time I hear it. I would way rather listen to that then crap rap that the teens listen to today. Also the 60s and 70s seem like an awesome time period to live in (minus all the racism and oppression.)  I feel like I was born in the wrong time period. I will continue to listen to different generations of music and see which one I like the best. It’s gonna be hard to beat Janis Joplin though. 

Food Expiration

One in twelve people in the world are malnourished, one in four children are malnourished. These kids in third world countries AND even in the US would do anything to have proper meals and not go to bed hungry for once. The video we watched in class this week made me sick to see how much food we waste. The lack of factual evidence that companies had for spoiled milk and expiration dates were astonishing to me. Why are we wasting so much food?? Why does the FDA put such absurd regulations on when stores have to throw food away. And on top of that they can’t give them to homeless shelters. This might sound bad but if I was starving to death I would appreciate some stale crackers or even some spoiled milk. Just saying. I hope in the future when we start to run out of food we put less restrictive laws on food and expiration dates. Now excuse me I have to go drink some milk I bought at the store two days ago thats sell by date is today

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Stressed

I am so stressed!! I couldn’t tell you why but all I know is that I have this feeling that I am never to relax anymore. Something always has to be done. Spring break could not come faster. Seeing everyone getting into college is stressing me out even more. Ap tests are coming. Finals are coming. Projects are due tests are assigned. Boy am I tired. I am writing this at 12:27 am on well technically Monday morning. I can’t tell you the last time I was up this late on a Sunday. Stressed yet extremely blessed

Farming

The article from the LA Times about farming and the wage changes in agriculture was very interesting to me. Wages for farmers are shooting up extremely fast, however no one wants these jobs. I don’t blame them. Farmers make on average $30,000 dollars a year. That is less than half of what the average American makes. Why anyone would work in the hot sun all day on their hands and knees for hours on end is beyond me. But the reason they do is because they have no other choice. At first these jobs were taken by immigrants from Mexico who were happy just to have a job in the United States. Now with Trump as president it seems that they are too scared to cross the border. The article tells us about how since border security under Trump is getting tighter no one wants to cross into the US and no native born Americans want to be farmers. Not to be racist but I feel that Americans do think that those types of jobs are usually only for Mexicans and other immigrants. If I had to choose from working at Mcdonald’s or being a farmer I would hands down pick Mcdonald’s. They pay better and the work is way easier according to the article. So what really struck me about the article wasn’t the article itself but rather, the comments below it. Most of them were not sympathetic towards the farmers and claimed that over half of them probably voted for Trump and ” looks like Trump isn’t making America great again.” The very last comment at the bottom of the page was about why not making legal migrants work on farms. Someone replied, ” you mean OKIES don’t worry we will get back to that soon.” In Grapes of Wrath the Joads are referred to as Okies and they feel it is a highly offensive term. The Okies left Oklahoma and all went to California for jobs. The comment said we will have that again. Does that mean we will once again suffer a depression where farmers will move all over to find low paying jobs to feed their families? Most of the comments were anti- Trump and I wonder if this comment is saying that Trump will lead us into despair and crisis during his presidency. Most of the people who voted for Trump were uneducated and lived in southern states where farmers often live. Do the farmers regret voting for Trump now? Are the US farm owners struggling to find workers like how the Joads struggled to find work? The Joads would have killed to be paid $25 an hour, they struggled to find jobs paying 25 cents an hour.

Zines

Ever since hearing about what a zine was I am fascinated by them. They are actually very popular and after hearing our guest speaker Ziba come in and talk about them I realized they are slowly becoming a part of modern culture. They have festivals all over California and when I tweeted something about zines on Twitter multiple zine accounts favorited my tweet. This article about zines we were assigned could not have been more perfect for this week. When I think of teen rebellion I think of teens in the 80s and 90s who weren’t “cookie cutter” they wore all black, listened to punk music, and smoked cigarettes. This article explains that now a days teen rebellion is being “vintage.” When I think of vintage today in 2017. I think of tangible items not electronics. Zines are funny and informative and a great way to spread culture. Before the internet was around zines were how teens communicated and shared news. I don’t see why we can’t do that anymore. I think zines are awesome! In an era where fake news, cyber bulling, and catfishing occurs all electronically why shouldn’t we give zines and print a chance? What is the worst thing that can happen zines become the new Facebook? I can’t wait to start collecting and putting together my zine! I think that to be a good writer you have to do all types of writing. Making a zine will hopefully help my portfolio grow.

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