Thursday, June 2, 2016

My Last Post

Junior year has almost come to an end and it's time to make the last AP Lang blog post of the year. I have to say that I'm actually going to miss making these blog posts, as dorky as that may sound. But more than anything else, I am definitely going to miss AP Lang. I have to say that this was one of the best classes I've ever taken. I don't know if any other students actually read other people's blogs (I know Miss Amodie does) but if you do, I'm going to miss you guys a lot. My favorite moments of this year were walking into class every period A and talking about our problems, complaining about other teachers, whining about writing essays, eating lunch upstairs, and so on. Some days I would honestly just come into school so I wouldn't miss our class. 

So here's to next year. I hope something else will get me to come to school. 

In all seriousness, the main focus of this blog is supposed to be about our childhood dreams and how we are going to achieve them. The first thing that came to my mind was that I didn't have any childhood dreams. I honestly can't remember wanting to be anything or do something special when I grew older. I do have to say that now, I really only have one goal. I want to be happy. 

I have always wanted to be happy, really, truly, happy. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been miserable. I can remember when I was around five years old and I would be playing with other kids at recess, and I remember having friends but I would always feel detached and separate from everyone else. I still feel like that, in a generally lesser sense, but I still feel like that. I always thought that I was missing something from my life that I could get from other people. 

I have learned that other people aren't going to make me happy. I have to make myself happy. Now, how am I going to do that? I have absolutely no idea, and I'm completely okay with that. I'm trying to be happy every day and just take things for how they are. So if I'm trying, that's as good as the real thing. I'm going to be okay in the end someday so all I can do is relax and wait for that to happen. That's how I'm going to fulfill my childhood dream.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

College Essay

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. 

Since about the age of eight up until now, I have always been fascinated by old family stories. They not only were unique to our family but persoanally, they seemed like a history lesson that could not be found in the textbooks. One particular tale, told by my grandfather, stood out to me as a mystery. On my father’s side, my great-grandfather’s father left his mother when he was young and never returned. He made no attempt to call the family that he left behind nor did he tell them where he was heading. My great-grandfather, who died two years before I was born, searched for his father for years without ever finding any trace of him. I sympathized for what my great-grandfather went through and recently, I was determined to discover what happened to his father and solve the puzzle, doing him justice.
            I decided to start with an online genealogy software, in which my father had an account and had already entered some preliminary information. Gideon L. Bateman, my great-great grandfather was born in Providence, RI in 1888. His death was unknown as well as his whereabouts after 1930, when he was listed on the census as living in Los Angeles with his family. This made sense to me because my grandfather also recounted that they had to move around frequently because Gideon had various jobs as an engineer. With this being my only given information I decided to search for his death certificate. This popped up fairly quickly with a basic search and pinpointed him in Wilmington, NC where he died in 1957. His occupation was listed as a hearing aid salesman, and more surprisingly he had a different wife. Once I knew that he had remarried to someone named Mary Hughes, I looked for a marriage certificate. I found it in Charleston, SC where they married on May 17, 1949.
            Now that I knew what he did, where he lived, and who he married, I should have been satisfied with the answer I was given. Nevertheless, I was not. It simply would not do my great-grandfather justice. Next, I decided to look for newspaper articles. I found their marriage announcement, adds for his hearing-aid company, Acousticon Wilmington Co., and city directories. I could not believe what I had uncovered but still, I kept going because I still had a lot of unanswered questions. What happened to his hearing aid company? What did Mary do after he died? I eventually found my answer with Mr. A.P. Jordan. I found a newspaper article that said he took over the company in 1959. I then looked for his death certificate which, to my disbelief, listed his wife as Mary Hughes with the same address that appeared on my great-great-grandfather’s death certificate. This is when I stopped my search; for I had solved the mystery but I had also had reached the last straw.
            My quest to do right by my great-grandfather did not work out as I had planned yet, I do not regret discovering the truth. I had done something that my great-grandfather had spent years trying to do and I made sure that his efforts were not in vain. This pursuit submerged me into a field which fascinated me, that of history and genealogy. I have definitely been aided by my persistence, astuteness, and analytic abilities throughout the process. I enjoyed playing my part as a detective and I uncovering a family secret that someday I hope to pass on to my family. This is just one of the stories that I have encountered while researching my family history and I am not the same person I was before. This experience made me decide what I wanted to do in my life. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Equality vs. Equity

Equality is defined as the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc. Equity is defined as fairness or justice in the way people are treated

Take a position where you either argue, support, or defend the statement that fighting for equality will eventually lead to equity among certain minority groups.

Source 1:

Source 2:

Source 3:

Source 4:

Source 5:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Examples of Fallacies

Bandwagon - appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.

Spongebob asks Patrick if "wumbo" is even a real word. Patrick responds by saying everyone knows what wumbo is . " It's 1st grade, Spongebob"

Anecdotal- using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument, especially to dismiss statistics

Sandy argues that if Spongebob, Mr. Krabs, Patrick, and Squidward can last over 1 minutes on land it will prove that sea creatures are better than land creatures.

Composition/Division- assuming that what's true about one part of something, has to be applied to all or other parts of it (I'm really sad it wouldn't let me show this)

Squidward relates talking loud and sounding smart to playing instruments loud and sounding good.

I Can't Think Of A Creative Title™

In his TED Talk on creativity, Lawrence Lessing uses three examples to strengthen his argument on how we should stop the extremism of copyright. The first is how John Philip Sousa thought that the phonograph would take away the creativity of the individual. The second is a Supreme Court case that challenged that airplanes were trespassing on property but failed. Finally, Broadcast Music Inc. gave away free music that was created by the public even though it was not the best quality.

These three examples all mimic today's culture regarding copyright and how kids today make their contribution to culture. We are a "rewrite" culture and not a "read-only" culture. Piracy laws are in place so that people do not trespass on ideas on the internet and the public today mostly consists of amateur culture. Lessing had a good argument and supported it by using evidence from our society. Also his connections that we live in an "age of prohibitions" where "ordinary people live life against the law" was really strong since it took his argument and applied to his audience.

I agreed with him that a culture that is built upon breaking the copyright law is not right and the extremes of having no copyright and too much copyright just will not win on either side. Lessing makes another good point of having "artists make their work available for non-commercial use". This would allow youth culture to continue and not be subjected to copyright laws. Kids today would still be able to make good memes and not have to worry about copyright.

This difference between kids today and kids before, according to Lessing, is that they watched TV and we create TV. Maybe this stems from our Millennial self-entitlement, or the fact that we were subjected to a lot of information from a young age, but society as a whole is progressively getting more creative. Why would we want to limit this? Creative people are valuable assets in any situation since they are generally better at solving problems and critical thinking on their own. In that case, listen to Lessing in order to stop Uncle Sam from limiting the freedom of the creative people. Without creativity we are nothing but a bunch of gray, lifeless masses. So let's get creative.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Today in class, the John Oliver video talked about the reality that goes behind funding congressional campaigns. The congressional campaigns ending in 2014 received a total of 1.7 billion dollars. That's more than the 1.4 billion than that received from the presidential campaigns of 2012. More info on that can be found here in this cool map. That is an astronomical amount of money going into a competition and should be concentrated into other areas.

Oliver also comments on how congressional candidates spend most of their time campaigning yet, they hate campaigning. However, there is no law ready to be passed in Congress that will solve this problem. It is also incredible how political campaigns diffuse themselves into everyday life. Oliver notes that political candidates use seafood restaurants, wedding anniversaries, and even pop concerts, citing that "the power of Taylor Swift not only changes the music business it makes money".

Personally, I like politics right where it is, on CNN, and not at the 1989 tour. Since it is a hassle to everyone involved, I do not quite understand why it does not just end. Seriously, what is the point? The reality behind it is that a huge amount of money is needed to fund a political campaign.

Someone has to pay for all those rallies, bumper stickers, and other merchandise, and that someone is going to be people of the higher classes. No person with average income can afford to do all the necessary tasks required of an election campaign for Congress. This not only in itself is problematic to society on an economic end but also a personal end. If we are electing people to represent our ideals and interests in Congress then, they should live similar lives like the average person but they simply do not. They only support their rich friends and their corporate sponsors. This is largely responsible for the reputation of Congressmen of being greedy and stupid.


High end political campaigns will never die. As long as money exist and Congress still thinks they can buy votes then we shall keep receiving those phone calls to pledge our donations. Hopefully one day, we will be able to see an honest person in office who will actually do their job which is to represent the American people. Unfortunately for now, we will remain a Walmart-nation overly concerned with how we can lower the cost of labor and make the most profit.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Comic About Comics

We've all heard of the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures express feelings and ideas that we just cannot explain in words. In his comic about comics, McCloud argues that pictures and words need to go hand in hand. A good comic is composed of both words and pictures. One is not meant to outshine the other but rather harmonize with each other in order to tell a good story that relates the thoughts and feelings of the character. 

McCloud establishes his credibility by simply putting his ideas into practice. By using a comic to talk about comics, he uses a balance of words and pictures. In this way, we can see that he made a good comic and since he makes comics he should have good basis on what makes a good comic. It's almost like a comic-ception, a comic whithin a comic. In a similar sense, an essay about good writing would establish credibility by simply being an essay. A writer has every right to define what's good writing like McCloud has every right to define what's a good comic. 

Even within his comic, he says that as a child he used words and ideas interchangeably but then realized their importance. As readers, we can all see that he has a basis of knowledge that we share with him. We were all kids at one point and this shared stage of life makes it easier to see that he is credible. We all read books with pictures and then we went on to books with words. He is a credible source to decide the importance of one over the other.