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Breaking Nerd

“There's nothing more dangerous in life than not living." ~ Walter White (Breaking Bad)

The End

Sadly, this may be the last blog post I write. The school year is coming to an end and thus, my AP language and composition class is also coming to an end. At the beginning of the school year, when I wrote my first blog post, I had no idea that I would grow to enjoy writing posts. So, when it hit me that this may be the last blog post I would write, I was slightly disappointed.
The year has been tough and really hard at times, but I do feel like I have achieved improvement in my writing abilities. One form of writing I have grown to love is poetry. I think I have grown in my ability to analyze poetry and appreciate it for it brevity and complexity. But the biggest take-away value for me has been the improvement of my essay writing abilities. AP Lang has taught me to step away for the traditional five-paragraph essay and three-pronged thesis, and move on to more complex form of structuring essays and discussing and thesis statement. I no longer view essays and derogatory and basic but as a form of exploring a question for an answer or taking a stance on a point.

So, in this way, I feel like AP lang with its rigorous essays and lengthy readings and analyses has taught me how to become an explorer with my writing. Overall,  AP Lang has taught me how to have my own thoughts and opinions and not just take everyone else’s word for it. And now, I hope to take the knowledge I gained from AP Lang into all my future writing. I hope to step away from the easy route of writing basic essays that reflect none of my thought into the harder route of writing essays that discuss complex themes while still taking a position on the topic and displaying my thoughts. Maybe I will come back to writing blog posts on my own time, but until then, goodbye!

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Entertainment

Entertainment comes in all shapes and forms such as television, books, and the internet. It is a fact that entertainment influences us positively and negatively. After school it’s nice to relax by reading a book or watching an episode of your favorite show. At the same time, it can be extremely distracting to open up Vine on your phone. You may end up watching vines for 30 minutes instead of doing homework. But the challenge here is to understand whether entertainment has the “capacity to ruin”¹ or whether it is simply a source of amusement.

Right now, I would argue that the internet has the largest influence on people in general. It gives us faster access to information than television or books. All over the internet, entertainment takes numerous forms. It has taken new forms to fit our shortening attention spans. Vine has 6-second videos, tweets only have 140 characters, and tumblr posts are increasingly made of memes. Entertainment does have the capacity to ruin in the sense that it turns us into people who want amusement as a fast as possible. It gets harder and harder to read a book when you can just listen to an audio book that takes less concentration. In addition, entertainment has influenced how we talk about social issues and how we relate to others. For example, conversations have been increasingly invaded with talk of youtubers and Vine trends as opposed to real life experiences. 

It’s not that entertainment is bad but that increasing consumption of content has influenced social relations and attention spans in a negative way. Entertainment can be quite positive. Going to watch a movie with your friends on a Saturday evening can be an amazing experience filled with fun. So, entertainment is just like any other human invention out there. If used the right way, entertainment shouldn’t pose a threat to society. But if it is overused in the wrong way it does have the potential to ruin how we interact with each other. See you soon!


¹2003 AP English Language and Composition Free Response Questions

The Internet

The Internet is part of our everyday lives. It’s part of how we communicate and how we exchange ideas. I’m making this blog post on the Internet in order to share some of my ideas, and many of you use social media to connect with other people. Some of you may use the dark net; a part of the Internet filled with those who would like to remain anonymous in their online activities. This raises the question, how much is too much when using the internet?

The point is that we all access the Internet in one way or another for various reasons. The issue is that there is no limit to the Internet. Any one can do anything if they find the right place to do it. The dark net is filled with human traffickers, drug dealers, and terrorists. Yet it’s also filled with whistle-blowers; people looking for a safe place to report crimes and wrongdoings. In addition, the public Internet can also be filled with pornography and cyber bullying. However, there are also tons of educational information that is helpful and social media the we can use to communicate with family and friends far away.

The Internet, both public and dark, can have advantages and disadvantages. So, how do we go about solving the issue of how to limit all the negative aspects surrounding the internet? Is it even possible to limit it? Trying to control how people use the internet would be difficult because it may be seen as impinging on the rights of an individual to have free speech. Yet, leaving the internet completely free of regulations results in chaos. So, there is no definite answer to how much is too much. The question of the Internet is much more complicated than simply one answer. The internet is a representation of our world and the solution would have to be a mixture of different elements. See you soon!

Othello or Iago

Othello was an incredibly frustrating Shakespeare play to read. It left me feeling powerless as everything started to go wrong. Just to give you some information, Othello is a tragedy written by Shakespeare. It follows Othello, an army general, after he promotes a young Cassio to be his new lieutenant instead of his long-time army friend, Iago. So, while in Cyprus, things start to go wrong between Othello and his wife, Desdemona, as a result of Iago’s actions. Therefore, while reading Othello I felt helpless as tensions begun to grow between characters and everything begun to go downhill.

Nonetheless, one persistent question about Othello is who is ultimately responsible for the tragedy? It seems evident that it should be Iago who was ultimately responsible. He was the only one who really had an agenda that eventually led to the fall of Othello. In addition, he was able to successfully manipulate every character without their knowledge. Even his wife was unsure if he was really a villain because she contributed to his plans without being aware of the consequences. Desdemona was also unaware that all the issues in her marriage to Othello had come as a result of Iago’s actions.

At the same time, it might also be easy to blame the other characters such as Othello, for causing their own downfall. He was naive and he chose to believe Iago without question. He was also quick to question his wife’s loyalty and he finally chose to kill her without a true explanation. However, Iago was there to plant a seed of doubt and to push the other characters to do what he knew would benefit him. Therefore, Iago was the one who ultimately caused the tragedy in Othello. See you soon!

Logical Fallacies

The ability to correctly argue your position on a topic is a valuable skill and in improving that skill, it is important to know about logical fallacies. Logical fallacies are inconsistencies in reasoning. They can be seen in political debates or articles and they are often disguised as being valid claims.

I recently read an article about immigration in the U.S. and how society often has negative assumptions about immigrants. The issue of immigration has also grown increasingly popular with the controversial statements made by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. The discussions concerning immigration are usually influenced by myths and filled with fallacies. The article talks about the Trumps’s comments regarding Mexicans and it is easy to see that his comments are just hasty generalizations of an entire people. By basing his facts off a small percentage of Mexican immigrants, he paints all Mexicans as criminals and illegals when in reality, the number of legal Mexican immigrants outnumber the illegal.

The article also talks about how Trump would make the people of Mexico build a wall in order to keep immigrants out of the U.S. This is a logical fallacy because Trump jumps to an irrational conclusion that would never solve the problem. By jumping to this conclusion, he skips reasoning that could provide other means to solving the problem. The arguments that Trump makes were all unsubstantiated and based off of flawed reasoning thus, making them invalid.

Logical fallacies are tricky and can lead questionable claims and arguments. The article I read demonstrated some of the flaws in reasoning that occur in politics quite regularly. Logical fallacies occur in a lot of places and learning how to avoid them can be really beneficial. See you soon!

Pursuing Excellence

Excellence is not perfectionism. The world’s expectations for excellence can sometimes be confused with perfectionism. Therefore instead of trying to be excellent, people try to be perfect and that is simply impossible. Nobody is perfect.

Perfectionism is seeking approval from others and from the world. In contrast, excellence is doing your best and learning from your failures. Knowing the true difference between excellence and perfection is the key to pursuing excellence.

When we seek perfection, we fear failure and taking risks. But when we pursue excellence, we are able to learn from failure and try new things because we are not afraid to fail. Perfectionism can cause us to identify ourselves by what we have accomplished which only leads to a low self-esteem if we fail. However, pursuing excellence means that we identify ourselves by who we are and not what we have accomplished. Thus, our self-esteem remains intact when we fail or come in second because deep down, we know that we gave our best.

To pursue excellence means to give your all to something without the need for that something to be perfect. Pursuing excellence is knowing that you did your best and that who you are is more important that what you have achieved. Go out and be your best. See you soon!

 

 

Résumés (Who Are You?)

When I typed in “Résumé” into the google search bar, I  came across a Today.com article talking about a homeless man who got a job after handing out his résumé. So, what is a résumé? Is it simply a document that helps you land a job and ultimately earn money, or is it potentially a document telling your employer what sort of person you are?

Résumés are a mixture of both. On one hand, they tell your potential employer who you are but at the same time, they are just a piece of paper that cannot fully represent you. Therefore, résumés are incredibly important in our world today. They are a summary of all your achievements and help your employer decide on hiring you.

Thus, how do you make a résumé effective? Since I’m not an expert on the subject of résumés, bear with me as I illustrate some of the hackneyed ideas concerning résumés. In order to have an effective résumé, you need to make it easy to follow. That means formatting it correctly while also keeping it as detailed as possible. To get yourself noticed, you need to focus on your abilities and what makes you qualified for the specific job you would like. Hence, avoid making your résumé vague. Keep it focused and direct so that the potential employer has a clear idea of who you are and what you can do. Lastly, it is helpful to have an engaging summary that leaves you potential employer with a lasting portrait of who you are.

Résumés should give potential employers a clear idea of who you are if written properly. Yet, they can never fully represent you as an individual. Consequently, résumés can never be a genuine ticket to getting employed. Nonetheless, they are still significant and important in our world today. See you soon!

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was a 19th century poet who lived her life in seclusion. However, she was able to delve deep into ideas about life and question society through her poetry. Her poetry continues to impact and provoke thought. Below are some metaphors representing some significant ideas about Dickinson.

  1. If Emily Dickinson were an animal, she would be a lone wolf because she lived her life in voluntary seclusion from the outside world and her poetry displayed her distaste for publicity and society. Her poetry also dealt with the struggle of being a unique individual separate from a uniform world.
  2. If Dickinson were a plant, she would be a Moon flower because they only bloom at night. Dickinson objected to publishing her poetry during her lifetime and only published about 10 even though she wrote about 1800. Most of her poetry was published after her death when her sister, Lavinia, discovered them in her room. She finally bloomed after her death and is now considered one of the greatest American poets to ever live.
  3. If Dickinson were an article of clothing, she would be a white dress because she viewed the color white as an important symbol. To her, it signified her individuality and her separations from the influences of the world.
  4. If Dickinson were a day of the week, she would be Monday because most of her poetry struggled with the pessimistic nature of society and Mondays always seem to be the most dreaded day of the week.
  5. If Dickinson were a type of food, she would be a loaf of bread because of how difficult it is to make. Bread takes a lot of skill and expertise to make, and just like bread, Dickinson’s poetry displayed some of the complex thoughts she wrestled with in her life. Dickinson also loved to bake bread and considered the kitchen a place of comfort.
  6. If Dickinson were a color, she would be the color green. Nature is green and Dickinson really looked to nature for inspiration in her life and her poetry.
  7. If Dickinson were geometric shape, she would be a circle because she was protected from the outside world. For most of her life, she was a recluse and rarely left her bedroom on the upstairs floor of her house. She only stayed within her circle of comfort to write poetry.
  8. If Dickinson were a fragrance, she would be one with floral elements. This is because of her love for nature and her view of it as an inspiration.
  9. If Dickinson were a type of building, she would be a skyscraper because her thoughts had so many layer to them. Her poetry has a vast number of interpretations and layers of meaning showing just how profound her thought process was.
  10. If Dickinson were a word, she would be the word unique because her poetry was extremely different for her time. She broke all the rules and made the effort to be unconventional.
  11. If Dickinson were a musical instrument, she would be a violin because of its distinct sound and complex melodies. Playing the violin is a hard skill to master, but once it has been accomplished, it sounds absolutely beautiful. Dickinson’s poetry is complex and difficult to understand but once you understand it, you can see its beauty.
  12. If Dickinson were a season of the year, she would be winter because of the darker themes within some of her poetry. In some poems she discussed ideas relating to pain and death.
  13. If Dickinson were an appliance, she would be an air conditioner because she filled the atmosphere around her with her thoughts. By writing down her ideas as poetry, she left a mark on the world. Now, whenever we read her poetry, the air around us is filled with the thoughts conveyed in her poetry.
  14. If Dickinson were a natural phenomenon, she would be the northern lights because of their spectacular beauty and their dissimilarity from other natural phenomena. One of the reasons why Dickinson’s poetry is so important is because it is very different from other poetry that existed during her time. The northern lights are spectacular because they are unusual and captivating.
  15. Lastly, if Dickinson were a literary character, she would be John the Savage from A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. John represented uniqueness in the book and instead of simply thinking about being different, he carried out his ideals and lived differently. In the same way, Dickinson ultimately lived out her ideals by doing her best to be original.

Social Trends

Social trends refer to the flow of ideas and values of a society during a certain period of time. Our generation has so many trends making it practically impossible to keep up with the flow. From the “Nae Nae” to the “Cinnamon Challenge,” social trends are always changing and evolving. They influence how we think, act, and speak. When you think of dancing, the “Shmoney” and “Whip” automatically come to mind. When you’re talking about pictures posted on social platforms, you automatically think about hashtags and memes and go on to use them in conversations. Social trends can also influence the clothing that we wear, especially for young adults.

These social trends really affect how young people view themselves. Marketing advertisements and commercials are particularly keen on using social trends to influence young adults. We constantly judge ourselves or even judge others for being different or not knowing the craze. During conversations, you can feel left out if you haven’t watched the latest vine or seen the latest meme.

However, this shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t feel left out if we are not doing what society deems worthy. If we choose to read books instead of watching TV shows, we can be confident in our decision to do so. I personally enjoy watching TV shows and vines, yet I also enjoy reading books and playing sports., and sometimes, I do feel left out. But knowing who I am and taking the time to do what I enjoy keeps me grounded in my individuality. I don’t have to dress a certain way or watch certain shows to be me. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” We shouldn’t be afraid to be who we are. See you soon!

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