I have changed a lot throughout junior year, especially as a student. Going into junior year, I rarely talked to anyone around me and mostly kept to myself. However, as the school year started coming to an end, I broke out of my shell and became more outgoing in all my classes, including English which requires a lot of communication with my teacher and classmates.At first, I didn’t really want to take AP Language and Composition because I was afraid that it would be too much work, but I got really lucky with who my teacher was, Mr. Ziebarth. He understands what the student go through and is always willing to compromise with us and my junior year a lot less stressful. This class required me to work with many different people and participate during class discussion. In the beginning, I never participated because I was afraid people would judge the things I say or that I my answer was wrong, but I realized that there really is no wrong answer because it is your own interpretation and half the time, my classmates aren’t even listening or paying attention during the discussion.
This year, I have realized I am a lot better than I expected at writing. Growing up, I have alway struggled with writing essays because I am not the most creative person, but with all the tips and tricks that Ziebarth have provided us this school year, I became a better writer and I actually enjoy writing and not constantly in writer’s block. I came to this realization when I got my scores back for my descriptive and personal narrative essay. I got received an A on both essays, and personally, I was shocked. I didn’t think my essays were that good, I wasn’t expecting anything more than a B, but Mr. Ziebarth kept telling us to be more concrete with our writing and that is what I focused on. In my descriptive essay, I learned how to be very detailed and describe things more in depth without pointing out the obvious. With my personal narrative essay, I learned how to spill out all my emotions and feelings on a piece of paper and have people feel how i was feeling by using less common verbs. These writing assignments allowed me to be a better writer because I had to do a lot of revisions for it to be good and when you rewrite things over and over again, you can more practice and you get better at it. One thing in particular that really helped me were the writing workshops because it’s nice getting feedback by a lot of people and not just one because everyone has their own perspective and you get to choose which one you like best.
As a reader, I learned that writing doesn’t have to be a certain way. You can have run on sentences or grammar mistakes to get your point across. My entire life, up until now, I thought every sentence and essay needed perfect grammar and had to be structured in a particular way, but after reading House on Mango Street, I found out that that is not the case. It is okay to break certain rules to make the style of writing your own. While reading Catcher in the Rye, I noticed that the writer wrote in a more colloquial language which made it a lot easier to understand as a student because it is more of a common language that we use today compared to Grapes of Wrath that wrote in a southern language and it was very difficult to understand sometimes.
One thing I really liked that we did in english class were the blog posts because I was able to relate certain topics to myself or just write about things that I enjoy or dislike. Also, I think Mr. Ziebarth really helped with my writing and analysis skills without me even knowing it especially when he told the class about SOAPSTONE, that was when I really started to understand how to analyze texts and become a better writer. Quite honestly, I don’t remember a lot of things that we did this year because English just isn’t my favorite subject in general. However, my classmates were so helpful and fun to be around that they made it fun to go to class everyday even though the things we do isn’t my favorite.
cc UBC Learning Commons
There were a lot of words being communicated in the class and I think by using words to talk to my classmates we got a lot closer. Most days, we would complain about how awful school is and we created a bond together. In Catcher in the Rye, Holden would be talking, but would always jump from one idea to another which made it hard for him to talk to people because he doesn’t stick to one subject. Due to that, Holden has a hard time being friends with people because he never lets them talk or he is always in his own thoughts and never really listens to them. Also in The Great Gatsby, Gatsby doesn’t necessarily use words to communicate with Daisy, but instead, he throws parties for her and creates an environment that reminds her of the old time to show his love and affection for her.
I am going to miss this class and a lot and even though junior year was very painful and stressful, I’m a little sad that it is ending because I have made a lot of memories this year with such amazing people, but I am also ready to take on senior year!