Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

English and History have always been the weaker links for me as a student. I’ve felt more confident in math and in science ever since I was a little kid in kindergarten. Although they still may not be my strongest subjects I feel as though I have grown so much as a writer this year through the way I learned.

Writing is a bit tedious to me, although I love expressing my feelings through words I always seem to get writers block, I hit that wall and am not able to finish a piece of writing as well as I’d hoped. I still have room to improve on my writing, no doubt about it, but with the variety of work I was able to produce this year it has helped me build some confidence in the writing area. I can’t take the credit though because it was the curriculum that helped me so much. We learned each thing in such a new and different way that I never got bored with the work.

When things got challenging I feel as though I learned the most. One of the general understandings from the year was “When challenging yourself, you are bettering yourself” and I can say that my work is pure evidence of this. One example was our playwriting unit, where we were asked to write an entire one act play on our own, each about a totally different topic. Never in my life would I have expected to write a play. I didn’t know where to start or even what I would write about, but by the end of the process I produced a piece I was very proud of. A second example the general understanding for the year was our choice reading project. I chose to make a prezi, which I had never done before. It took me days to figure out how to use the website and then another few days to decide how I was going to display all my thoughts on to this incredibly new website. Both of these examples were quite challenging but they are the building blocks of creating a strong writer.

“Identity is everything” is another general understanding from the year that I feel showed up various times in our learning. When you know yourself, you can conquer almost anything. The first connection I make to identity is my culture and I was able to portray this in my language autobiography. Along with the writing we were also told to create a digital story which explains briefly the three parts of me and how they shape who I am. I was able to show how the different languages I speak connect to my daily life. Something I wrote during our language unit that stuck with me is “Language is personal because it joins people together”, I have found this true in many circumstances.

My OpEd directly relates to identity and the fact that you have to know yourself in order to love and understand yourself. It clearly states the problem of self harm in young teenage girls because of society’s definition of beauty. I say “The meaning of beauty in our society today is twisted and ridiculous.” and “It has been implanted in our brains that we must look that certain way and if we don’t we are considered ugly to society.” The way you look is part of your identity and you should not be ashamed of yourself no matter what.

Journal writing was something I really enjoyed this year and I feel they were the training wheels to the rest of my writing. Each entry was completely different from the one before, one day we were analyzing a quote, the next we were writing short poems, and the day after we are writing fully opinionated statements about world matters. Although sharing my opinions and debating with the class was always very fun, the creative writing pieces were probably my favorite because each persons was different and unique. We wear the mask was one of my favorite poems of the year and then we wrote our own. “We wear the mask to hide our face” was my first line. This goes hand and hand with the theme of identity that we worked on throughout the year, people hide their true colors because they are afraid their true selves are not good enough for the world. Never shall I forget was another journal entry that let me express a moment in the beauty of poetry. I wrote “Never shall I forget... that last race, spring season of my novice year.” Each line was a different part of the experience, explaining to the readers each special moment.

I could name a hundred different general understandings from the history and English course of my sophomore year but to me the ones that stood out the most were “Identity is everything” and “When challenging yourself, you are bettering yourself”. I felt directly connected to these statements both through my writing and my morals. I grew not only as a writer this year but a person who knows herself, her identity and her limits of challenge.

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Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 5.16.57 PM