Walking in the classroom of 307 in the beginning of my sophomore year was no mistake. Well, of course not, it was on my roster. But, the experiences that happened inside those walls will forever change my writing and perspective.
The only perceptions of Mr. Block's class I could acquire were those of his past students. But, that wouldn't compare to actually participating in his class.
With expectations held high the first day, I knew this was going to be a rigorous course with many action packed activities.
Since my last portfolio, my major turning points were taking in better consideration of outside opinions and analyzing literature and situations more deeply. While I had acquired those skills, I had a lot to bring to my new History and English classes.
The first assignment was to write a page, just a page, about anything that came to mind. One had a whole night to express whatever they felt. Go home and write A page tonight. And let that page come out of you--- Then, it will be true. I’m asked to write a page tonight. (From L. Hughes.) This was the task. I particularly favored this as a beginning assignment because this was the first impression the teacher would have of me. Looking back, I realized my favorite part of this assignment: Originality is just a word until you embrace it. When I had reminisced about this activity, I beamed in excitement knowing I had done a lot of exemplary work throughout the year and it'd be great mission to convey my best works.
Besides the other mini projects, I'd like to shine some light on my benchmarks that were assigned throughout the year. Specifically the podcast and play projects. The purpose of the podcast project was to interview someone outside of the school and convey, through audio, how this person had crossed boundaries in their life. The depiction of "boundaries" could be defined in any way one thought necessary. The boundaries could be social, domestic, academically related etc. At first, I wasn't accustom to the process of this project. I had experience on interviewing people from my participation in the school's newspaper, SLAMedia, and written articles, but to make an influential podcast was very challenging. I had to be strategic in the way I portrayed my subject and still have the podcast orally pleasing. Here, the podcast is linked and for everyone to enjoy. In addition to my podcast, I'd like to acknowledge the play I wrote. The purpose of this project was to explore the questions, What are universal right? and In what different ways do people struggle for dignity, hope, and happiness in their lives? In the beginning of this project, I didn't know what to write. I had trouble thinking of a central idea my play would revolve around. But, in the end, I spent months writing, revising, and getting feedback to make my play exceptional. I decided to focus on materialism in today's youth. I have a snippet of the play, Just Do It, available to those interested. My intentions were to use realistic dialogue and convey a topic of conformity among modern youth. I believe my efforts, in the project, have bore fruit that will one day affect teens across the world.
Overall, throughout the year, personally I've gained more confidence, expertise, and creativity. Concerning confidence, I realized, confidence in your work doesn't come easy. While be challenged this whole year, it was difficult feeling concrete in my writings in the beginning of the year. An example project was my Lord of the Flies vs. Micheal Jackson. I decided to compare the boys' lives in Lord of the Flies to the life of Micheal Jackson. An initial hardship was having support among my classmates to do the topic because it was too profound. But, I had a determination to find a way to convey my point. Another would be the Art in the Open project. Students had to find a location close to the school and create a dance piece. (The description of the project has more detail in the provided link.) In this task, I definitely had to step outside of my comfort zone to create an exceptional performance. My group mates and I had wonderful times choosing the location and collectively creating a dance. The difficulties comprised of choosing a fit location, initially finding motivation to pursue and create a performance, and allowing the environment and accidents while practicing create production to shape our dance. On presentation day, the achievement was substantial and an audience pleaser.
I've also learned to express one's self wisely and discreetly can move massive audiences. I think accomplished acquiring idea through these examples: As mentioned above, the "Write a page a night" assignment was the beginning of showing strategic placement of concepts and ideas. Although the class wasn't told to write with a strategic mindset, I think it's value in introducing a class of rigor and creativity was priceless and began a classroom setting of prudence. In addition to that, I'd like to recognize my letter to author Edwidge Danticat. In this letter, I tried to avoid being generic, but realistic. I had read her book Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work prior to me writing her a letter and I was flabbergasted and impressed at her work. I not only wanted to convey the idea of her brilliant work, but how her foot print on society has affected me as a person. It was great to read her response to the class.
Lastly, I became empowered in the concept that if a change of thought in norms, in one person, can move others to pursue a great cause. In the process of writing my play, Just Do It, I wanted to be brave and show my views on this pressing topic. I have problems with societal norms that could be changed if only people were educated about what they could/can control in their communities. That's what I wanted to convey through this piece. In addition to my play, I wanted to show my Somebodies poem. This stood out to me because it had a key connection to my play. I wanted to convey that those who are stuck into society's norms are controlled by those who refuse to be. And those who refuse to be, make society what they want and mold people into thinking they can't change society, but just live in it. My intentions for this is to educate those of my community and show people if they want change, it's possible, as long as we work together as an organized group.
All in all,
in this past year I have been pushed to many limits and my mind has been
stretched, but only to benefit me as a writer and thinker.
Other works of mine:
Language Auto Biography