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! (: