Monday, May 9, 2016

Blog #32

Due to the nice weather today, in class we went outside and experienced the effects of nature on our minds, like the romantic writers who fled the cities to experience the beauty of nature in the country. While outside we read two romantic poems, which  included many details about nature. The poems contained many of the characteristics of American Romanticism including #3-Shuns(to reject) the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature, #5- Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual, #6- Contemplates nature’s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development, and #9- Sees poetry as the highest expression of the imagination, because they are in the poetic format.
After reading the poems by ourselves we had to write reflections on how nature affects us. I began by writing about my surroundings and what I was experiencing while being outside. I then went into more detail about the weather, and my feelings towards the nice spring day. The breeze reminded me of the beach, so I went on by writing about the beach and how I would rather be there than in school where there was noisy traffic. Doing this in class was an effective way to get a sense of what American Romantic writers seeked: unspoiled nature.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog #31

Today in class, we continued our notes on Transcendentalism that we began yesterday. The notes we took yesterday introduced Transcendentalism, with the definition which is: Transcendentalism- A literary movement that believes truth exists beyond reason and experience. After this we focused on the five major tenets of Transcendentalism which include non conformity, self-reliance, free thought, confidence, and importance of nature. Non conformity is all about not being who other people think you should be, self-reliance means to be independent, free thought focuses on individuality and respecting others’ opinions. The others include confidence which is having confidence in who you are and the importance of nature which is the balance between man, god, and nature.

After taking notes on the five major tenets, we read some quotes from Transcendentalists and learned about the two Transcendentalist writers from the time: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. By learning more about the writers we could see Transcendentalism from their perspective, as daring individuals for being different. Yesterday we also continued working on the Rip Van Winkle assignment that was started on Friday. In this assignment you have to identify the ten characteristics of American romanticism. Doing this is a good way to practice identifying certain meanings within a text and annotating.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blog #30

In class for the last two days we have been focusing on Rationalism and Romanticism. Rationalists believed the city to be a place to find success and self-realization, whereas romantics associated the countryside with independence, moral clarity, and healthful living. We learned that rationalism focuses on what is logical and practical and romanticism is about feelings, whether optimistic or pessimistic. People in the eighteenth century were more of rationalists and in the nineteenth century, people began to open up their minds to romanticism and creating stories from their imaginations.
During the nineteenth century, events such as The Louisiana Purchase (1803),
The Gold Rush (1849), and Education and Reform brought a new wave of thinking and exploration with the arts. After learning this we created the following list of the ten characteristics of American Romanticism:
  1. Values feeling and intuition over reason
  2. Places faith in inner experience and the power of the imagination
  3. Shuns(to reject) the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature
  4. Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication
  5. Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual
  6. Contemplates nature’s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development
  7. Looks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progress
  8. Finds beauty and truth in exotic locales(different,exciting, ex. Grand Canyon) , the supernatural realm(not true) and the inner world of the imagination
  9. Sees poetry as the highest expression of the imagination
  10. Finds inspiration in myth, legend, and folk culture- Greek, Roman stories
This list is a good way to organize the points that we had to recognize in a poem by American author Walt Whitman called When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer. Today in class we analyzed the poem and tried to locate the ten characteristics within the poem. This was a good way to practice analyzing text and finding certain points within the piece.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Blog #29

For this blog post, I am going to write about the PARCC English test and how it was in comparison to the SAT english section. On Monday morning, the first day of testing I was very unsure about how the test would be compared to the SATs I took in March. One thing that I do not like is taking assessments on the computer. I would much rather prefer to read something on paper and physically underline pieces of the text that might be useful in a response. In the SAT essay I found that it was much easier to underline the pieces of evidence I was going the use in my essay. In comparison, the PARCC took much more time to navigate and ran slowly. 
For many high schoolers, standardized test are a common debate and many students have avoided it because they are unsure that they are required to take it. I believe that if the student gets a certain score on the PSATs/SATs they should be able to graduate, without wasting their time testing during school hours.  

Blog #28

For my paper based on a documentary, I watched the film The True Cost and learned the real impact that fashion has on the world. It was very eye-opening and made me realize how unequal our world is. In comparison to first world countries, who are over consuming and buying cheap clothes every time they feel they “need” to, developing countries are working hard everyday to meet the quota of the cheap clothing industry just to be paid about $10 a month and live their whole lives in poverty. Writing the paper made me realize how wasteful we can be and how much we have in comparison to other countries.

Many people take what we have for granted and don't stop to think about others while living their lives and keeping up with the trends they see in stores. Although something may be cheap and look high quality, when you check the tag, you'll see the true background of the item, most likely made in a poor country unlike ours. This was definitely an interesting topic to write about and it is something that needs to be addressed more often.

Blog #27

In class we looked at the Argument Rubric Reflection on the google classroom page. By looking at the rubric it is easier to see what needs improvement on the paper. There was a post on the classroom that we had to respond to. This was a good way to set the goals to improve the paper to it's best draft. The goals that I made for my paper were to create a stronger, clearer claim within my essay, establish more effective transitions for each topic, utilize a variety rhetorical devices, and have proper citation. In order to address the weaknesses of the paper.
Later, I looked over Mr.Rivers’ comments on my outline and made changes to improve it. Initially, I was using too many first person words and had to change some of my sentences. Other changes I made included making my argument stronger and specific to the argument, incorporating more outside evidence, and change some evidence to help prove my point.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blog #26

In class we focused on making the best rough draft possible. I began by reading over my rough draft and then reading it to my table. By doing this we were able to discuss ways our papers could be improved. While writing my rough draft, I focused on incorporating interesting vocabulary and making a good argument for my issue. After looking over the comments on my outline, I made some changes for the final draft of my essay. Some changes I had to make were in the topic sentences and improving my evidence. While addressing these problems, I tried to focus on one section at a time.

Some challenges I faced while fixing my rough draft was using more outside evidence. In my rough draft, I used mainly evidence from the film, The True Cost which the paper is based from. I found a lot of evidence to support my claim, but had trouble incorporating it all to fit into the paper. By making some adjustments, I was able to make it fit better and include more outside evidence.