English is not my best subject. I don’t consider it so and I don’t think it’s an area that I will tend to stick with permanently. When I first took AP English, I knew that that was what I wanted to take. There were no second thoughts, no negative speculation on it because it’s AP, it’s because it was a requirement for me to take if I wanted to get into a college that’s not a community. I took this class because I wanted to just take the risks and move on, reassured and filled with a gratifying satisfaction. I took this class because I wanted to join the rest of the people who have their lives set on going to a college. I learned diction, tone, style analysis, argumentative essays, blog publications, connections with various communities, rhetorical strategies, developing well-written essays, and morphemes. I learned how to interact with the class. I learned how to connect with the class even if it took me step-by-step. I learned how to write an introduction, improved the flow of my sentences, and constructed strong conclusions. I learned how to write under time pressure and managed to get at least a four or a six despite the messy handwriting and sentences that I doubt even made the least bit of a sense. English is not my best subject. No matter how I think that I am. I suffer from grammatical and punctuation mistakes. I write with the flow and it gets to nirvana that I don’t even think too much about them. As long as I had made my point, I would be given a passing score. My vocabulary is not that strong either. I write and I write with how I feel, how I communicate with others normally without the informal word “like”. I type as how I would talk, for example, right now. English is not my best subject. Whenever I reminded myself that I’m taking an AP English class, my class for History goes down because of my essay grades. Not once had I ever received an A, and not once had I ever received a praise. I kept on looking at my writing and thinking “What had I done wrong?” “This is how I normally write”. It’s really difficult to get a point straight out from me without having fun on how I structure my sentences. I try and experiment with a flow, with what I know and learned from English and incorporate all of that intellectual knowledge into a two-three page, double-spaced essay. And, I feel ashamed and beat up constantly for my grammatical errors. Instead of focusing on what I’m saying or trying to say, the errors are found and my grade for that essay is either a low B or a high C. English is not my best subject. History is not my best subject. In truth, I don’t have the best subject. I lie and say that English is my favorite or history is my best class to show everyone that I don’t have a weakness. To show everyone that I’m an intelligent human and not some student that sits in class who talks too much and laughs weirdly or has weird friends. I’m smart too. I really am. I have a goal, I have a dream, but I have weaknesses too. They may all be the subjects, and English is one of them, but I’m still improving. I improve. But I noticed that I improve in a slow way. This AP class taught me something, one important thing. One thing I could probably try to remind myself before I wallow into depression once again. “Just have a good time. It’s not the end of the world.” That’s two pieces of advice in one sentence. That’s like killing two birds with one stone. See what I did there?
This class looked beyond my writing, thanks to Mr. Ziebarth. Whenever he gave feedbacks about my topic, he would notice that my writing is in need of details from time to time. There were times people told me that my writing is good enough and that I just need to fix the flow or add more details, but he was precise and showed me where I can add details. Sometimes, for me, when I’m told I need details, I add them and then it just becomes too much. On the recent project we had done, which was a College/Career Essay, where we had to practice writing college essays to prepare us for next year, I wrote about my insecurity in the past as being a Filipino. And in this one particular section, my teacher told me, he told me that I need to add the “why” and “how”. How was it I felt insecure? I felt the need to be accepted? Why did I need to be accepted at the time?
That was how I found out that the so-called “details” I’ve been told much about to write down on my essays were not just any details. But specifically, “why” and “how”. For example, for Grapes of Wrath when we had to tie in our essay off of an intercalary chapter with the rest of the book’s class question, I wrote down that the author had used juxtaposition and provided an example. But because it was timed, I had to do the best that I could to try and make sense of things. Surprisingly, it made sense to him. Just that he had written down in small comments on the side, “How does this connect with_____” or “Why did the author use this for?” Those are the things I still need to improve on. Even if I passed those essays, I still need to work harder. But I’ve improved the flow of my essays. I provided pieces of evidence and managed to work my technique on transitions so that my sentences have a flow to create the paragraph I want.
I’ve learned how to take notes from time to time. For me, I tend to read for fun instead of doing it for school because it causes me to lose sight of joy. This was one downside of AP English was that we had to read, which was no biggie, but I’m just not motivated enough. Nonetheless, I submit myself because of the reading checks we have on the day when we were supposed to have read these chapters that were assigned to us. Since I’m not motivated, I rarely take notes. Most of the time I don’t and I try to recall what had happened in the chapters from memory.
For instance, I don’t waste my time writing down notes that are just frivolous to me such as the date, the time, and details that don’t relate to the characters. Moreover, I don’t take notes that don’t relate to the class question. I admit these were a bit risky but once I do absorb myself in reading, I will remember things and try to incorporate them in class. Such as the color yellow in Grapes of Wrath, and also trying to explain what the intercalary chapters meant.
Recently, we had read a book called Catcher in the Rye. And the question I was responsible for is “How do the words reflect his life, himself, and his connections? (Holden)” I feel like Holden is somehow an adult who has a mind of a child. The way he interprets things are a bit too literal and people just look at him like he’s weird. For example, Phoebe told Holden about Catcher in the Rye, the saying, and it meant to save children from their loss of innocence. But Holden took it literally as him saving children from falling off the cliff. There were other instances where with him and Sally, he told her that they could both run away together and live off in a cabin. But Sally said no. It’s almost like Holden is this child who plays “mommy and daddy” game and pretends to get married and have kids with the girl he likes. To me, he’s a half kid and a half adult. Perhaps, that’s because he’s still a teenager. So overall, his words make who he is as a teenager who still has yet to reach adulthood and still carries within him a childlike mind.
Here is my last post. I wish I could’ve improved more on participating and speaking out loud. But perhaps, I can improve along the way. Thank you for being a great audience. Thank you so much! [ that’s a zero draft though I don’t know if that counts. We do those in English too. ]