Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Homework Assignment for 9.14.09

due by class time on Monday 9.14.09.

First, either create a new blog or go into your settings and change your
display name to what you are called in class. Maybe for you all that share a name, you can add your last initial. Your display name is different from your username, which is probably your email. If you need some help with this, make sure you see me after school on Friday & I will help you set up your blog. Remember, this is a public (as in everyone in the world who has internet access can read it) space, so please do not share any personal information.

In the comment box of this post, I would like you to write a letter to the class (me included) as an introduction to yourself. Share anything you want (remember this is public), but I am most interested in learning about your life as a reader and a writer thus far. Self assess & share. This is a homework assignment and will be given a completion grade.

Please put an extra space in between your paragraphs before you paste into the comment box.

Length: 1,000 words

Image is by Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986


R. Gallagher said...

Place letters here. . . Looking forward to them.

hillary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SamP1 said...

**Posting this in two comments, because it didn't fit.**

Mr. Gallagher and class,
My name is Samantha Lynne Power. I also go by Sam P, Sampy, Sam, Sammy, whatever one may wish to call me; I usually answer to anything. I’ve been on the Malden High crew team since my freshman year (that’s a spring sport. It’s rowing. Not canoeing or kayaking, but real-life, The Head of the Charles Regatta type of rowing.) In the fall, I row with a group called Gentle Giant. I’ve been rowing fall season since my sophomore year. I tried field hockey my freshman year, and I loved it… but it wasn’t for me. Other than that, I’ve been a registered Girl Scout since I was in fourth grade. Our troop remained active until we all started high school, and we stopped meeting due to different scheduling issues, but some of us still have pretty close friendships. In fact, I met Sam J in Girl Scouts.
My family has a pretty interesting structure. It’s not very unusual, but it seems that way to me. My parents had three children – my brother Ryan, my brother Eric, and me. When I was two, they got divorced and four years later, my mother got remarried and a few years after that, my dad did the same. My stepfather is from Egypt originally, so he is of the Muslim faith. My mother converted to Islam when she got married and so, her, my stepfather, and my two half brothers, Adam and Yousef (Arabic for Joseph) all practice Islam. My father, on the other hand, now has a stepdaughter by the name of Kayla. Usually, I don’t deal with any of the half or step nonsense when concerning my siblings.
I spent this past summer working for a friend’s mother, who breeds Vizsla dogs (usually bred for hunting quail – his mom shows two that she has, and hunts one of them.) I spent the summer down in the dirt with seven puppies out of the litter of her “middle child” of the three dogs – Vola, who is six years old. In the early weeks with them (I spent their first eight weeks with them, after that they go to their new families), it was easy. Making sure Vola was recovering from the birth well, and mostly watching the puppies sleep. After a while, it became dangerous to venture into the puppy pen – my shoes, clothes, face, and hands got chewed by the teething pups, the ends of my hair torn apart by the monsters that grabbed on tight. Going home covered in mud every day makes you feel accomplished, trust me. This summer, I also took a road trip to North Carolina to visit my dad in North Carolina. I usually go there every summer, but this year I could only make it for the one weekend. It was the first time I had gone more than an hour and a half in a car without getting sick, which is quite an accomplishment for me. One last thing I attempted to do this past summer was collect every single Arizona Tea can that existed. I didn’t end up getting all 50, but I do currently have over half of the flavors that were released, and a wall that the cans have created on my desk, stacked on top of one another that fall down regularly. Out of the 27 or 28 different flavors I did get this summer, Raspberry Tea and Pomegranate Green Tea take the cake as my favorite. The worst was Diet Green Tea Energy. It was a fun summer project to keep me occupied and entertained for a while.

SamP1 said...

As a reader, my experiences since high school started have been pretty limited to school texts. In middle school, I often read as a form of entertainment. My favorite was the Harry Potter series, obviously. Once I started high school and started a sport (I never did anything like that in middle school), it became too time consuming to start reading anything other than assigned text, which is and was really unfortunate, because I didn’t enjoy reading most of the books that I had to. As the years went on, the reading got less and less desirable. Actually, I believe that the last book that I enjoyed reading during my high school career was my sophomore year, and that was First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, a memoir by Loung Ung. The summer of 2008, I started to read Little Women (it’s my favorite movie), which I loved and got halfway through before school started and I got pulled back into the rush of work. I have never really been a non-fiction person, except concerning memoir, so last year’s focus wasn’t incredibly exciting for me, though it was fun at times. This year I’m looking forward to my focus and objective of choice: poetry, fiction, literature, a change of pace from last year’s class.
As a writer, I feel that the Language class seriously improved my writing skills. While I know that I am still an avid summarizer (I just can never seem to break the habit of filling my paper with summary of a story), I’m forever trying to improve my work, and I feel that I have since the beginning of my junior year.
My goal for this year is to earn a higher score on my AP Exam and aim to better my writing and reading skills. Not being able to read as much as I have since middle school has deteriorated my focus and reading speed. It became very hard to get through texts last year, and I’m going to try to fix that this year by focusing harder (reading out loud at a whisper helps) and taking my time to understand everything the text is saying. In writing, I want to be able to write an entire paper without over-summarizing a story and make it so I can make it stronger and more affective to a reader. My goal overall for this year is to stay focused and keep up with the work, because that was my major downfall last year. Thank you for reading and getting to know me. I hope that this year is very successful for all of us.
Samantha Power

Sandy. J said...

Dear Mr. Gallagher,

My name is Sandy Schneider Joseph, and my life as a reader and writer is interesting, to say the least. I always liked to read since I was young. It was one of my favorite things to do because at a young age, my parents or my uncle would always tell me stories, tall tales. They were so fun to hear, and I loved the way they were told to me. In Haiti, where I was born and raised for nine years of my life, we have famous fables and tall tales, one very famous one is about Bouki and Malise. They were these two young men who were involved in all sorts of shenanigans. It’s as if they were inane to entertain people. At times they got along, other times they didn’t, they encountered problems in their way, at the end of the story, they conquered it all, and that was my favorite part of the history. Fables were also read to me by my relative about animals that represented a big idea. There were myriad stories about the fox, which in Haitian fables, he was the villain and the devious animal that would deceive everyone and got his way. There was also the turtle that represented laziness, but he was intelligent when he wanted to be. All those stories and fables contributed to my connection with the fables and the story-telling in Achebe’s Things fall apart. I liked the way they told the stories to the kids in Okonkwo’s village, even though he also saw that as being “effeminate”. He also used to be told stories to when he was young, but he used to pretend to not like them because they weren’t the “manly” thing to do. He resented his son Nwoye for enjoying those stories that his mother often told him, he perceived them as “woman things”. Anyhow, back to my story, I grew up liking reading, I don’t know why but it always sparked my interest. When I moved to the U.S at nine years old, I instantly knew that reading was going to be a different experience for me. It was exciting because it was going to be in a new language, and I was already experienced in that area. Creole is every Haitian’s first language and French is our second, many people don’t know how to speak French because they’re not educated. Unlike many fortuitous people, they don’t have nor the privilege or the opportunity to be educated. It was interesting and very exciting to learn a new language. I was very ebullient about learning to read in another language. My first time reading in English in my bilingual class in the fourth grade was a tad bit scary. I read, but I didn’t understand anything that I had read. I remember my teacher asking me if I had read English before or taken any English courses, I said “no”. I felt happy, because to me that meant I had done a good job for my first time. Another incident occurred two years later, but not as pleasant as the first one. I was in sixth grade, and I was in English class. It was my first time reading English in that class, and I was anxious because I still had an accent, that I desperately wanted to get rid of. I was asked to read, when I started to read, the whole class started laughing at me. I felt so embarrassed, I was so red, but I continued to read. After I was done, I acted like nothing happened and bowed my head. The experience was hurtful, but it strengthened me in other forms.

Sandy. J said...

The next year in the same school, I had to get up in front of my class to read Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening”, and I did an excellent job, a better job than my fellow American classmates whose first language was English. I saw that moment as victorious and a stepping stone in my reading and writing career. Seventh grade was the highlight in my reading and writing career. I would always go to the library and read books; I even missed lunch to go to the library. I loved reading the series “The cheetah girls” and “Gossip Girl”, which is ironic because “Gossip girls” became a hit show, and “The cheetah girls” became a movie with two sequels. I also had a best friend who loved to write poems, that was the beginning of my writing career. We loved talking about reading and writing poems to “express our emotions”. She was the type of poet who wrote poems in a repetitive style. I was subconsciously writing in the same style as her, repetitive. She also wrote in a story form in not a stanza, but I wrote it in poem form. I would write poems mainly about how I felt about silly teenage issues; such as boys. I was infatuated with the idea at the time, and often would write about that. The months went by, and I finally had the courage to write about my aunt who died, that poem was very long. It also helped to write it, because I expressed feelings on the paper that I couldn’t during the funeral, or through crying. My poems often were long, and I let my friends read them, they always told me how good my poems were. In the eighth grade, I moved to Malden, I barely contacted my best friend, but I did keep our tradition of reading and writing poems. I also read a lot in the eighth grade, we would have reading assignments in my English class that I thought was fun. I read about 40 books that year; I especially loved the Blufford series. They were relatable, and very fun to read. I read almost all of them; I would always bother my English teacher about getting me the new books, she knew I was immensely interested. I continued to write poems in the eighth grade, and they were very famous. I always showed them to my friends to get feedback from them. There was a poetry slam at school, and by that time I had already written many poems. I didn’t submit any of my old poems to the slam, I wrote a new one about Haiti, but people didn’t vote for it because they couldn’t relate to it, I understood. I helped my friend with a poem, and she said she wanted an “idea”, I gave her that but she simply took my poem. I was so upset, I think I cried, I wrote that poem from the heart, and about someone special to me at that time. She plagiarized my work, and won a third place trophy for it, I was very upset. I even wanted to take the trophy back from her, but I figured that it was enough that everyone knew that I really wrote it and I didn’t need a trophy to tell me that. Overall, I changed as both a reader and a writer, I ameliorated in writing but I abandoned reading. It still interests me, I just don’t seem to have time for it anymore, and I mostly read when I need to, which is very unfortunate.

Stephany J. said...

Mr. Gallagher and class,

For those of you who are about to embark on the journey of reading my letter of introduction, good luck. I suppose you should get ready to know me as a person and a recipient of English literature. If you can handle it that is. Within the next few paragraphs I hope that you all will be able to get a better idea of what kind of person that I am and aspire to be. Now that that is out of the way, let the introduction begin !
I would like to formally like to introductive, but there is only so much a blog comment can accomplish. Since the two previous posts decided to enlist their full names I have decided to do the same. My name is Stephany Marie Jean. If you couldn’t tell from my last name I’m Haitian, just like the other forty percent of Malden High School and no they’re not all related to me. The only family I have ever had in Malden High School were my two older brothers and my cousin, but they’ve graduated a long time ago. For clarification my name is Stephany Jean. Yes, Stephany with a “Y” and not an “ie” even though most Microsoft word documents seem to think otherwise. When I was born my was spelt the typical way and then my father changed his mind five minutes later. It was due to the fact that he didn’t like to be typical. While I am writing this I can almost hear Stephanie Apollon scoffing in the background. We’ve had our arguments about which of our names are more acceptable, but we have found a common ground so that we were able to respect the difference in spelling. Throughout my life I’ve always had to deal with it no matter how irksome it became.
Aside from other aspects of life I would like to think of myself as a simplistic type of person. My friends would probably say otherwise, but that’s alright. Most people think that I look angry all the time but that is not the case. That is just the way my face Is when my face is emotionless because it takes to much energy to smile when there is no need to.
Now that that is cleared up, don’t be afraid to approach me due to the “angry face”.
Every since freshmen year I have taken a liking to the artistic departments of the high school. Since then I have been apart of the choral art society for 4 years. I have been apart of five different choirs within the school. I am a chorus geek and I am proud of it !
I have also been apart of our dance team as a front line dancer for about the same amount of time. One could say that this is where my obsession with expressing myself in different ways has sprouted from. Unlike most of my peers I actually love classical music because I feel as though it contains some substance. I enjoy listening to other types of music too, so I guess you can say that I’m not completely out there.

Stephany J. said...

As for as my life involving my educational career there isn’t much excitement. All of my life English used to be my favorite subject in school. I would actually be excited to go to class. In the eighth grade I actually read about two hundred books so I suppose you could categorize me as a bit of a bookworm. I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. I would read everywhere I went. I was literally infatuated with reading. My teacher would have to find me books to occupy me during class because I’d always finish before anyone else. Did I mention that I was a quick reader ? Even though I finished quickly I could give you a complete overview of the entire book without missing any important aspects. It could be exacerbating at times for her but she admired my spunk for different types of literature. The only people who know this were the classmates that I graduated with in 2006 from the Beebe School.
During the summer I would be at the library everyday and check out about eight books at a time to read for the week. When I got to high school that passion did not change much until junior year. As a matter of fact I was tricked into AP Language and Composition. I was told that I was being enrolled in an honors class, but when I got my schedule it was incorrect. When I tried to drop the class my guidance counselor would not allow it because he thought that I could use the experience in that type of class. At the time I did not care much for those types of “experiences” because I knew that that class would be my very downfall. I had never been in an AP class before that so like anyone else in my situation I did not know what to expect. Lets just say that AP Language and Composition destroyed my love for the English department in its entirety. I would dred going to class because I felt like I was behind the level of everyone else. They all seemed to flawlessly get high scores while I basically struggled to get passing grades in that class. To this day English still does not give me the same feeling that it used to. I take it because I have to and it’s a graduation requirement to have four years of English.
AP Language and Composition did have its perks as well. That class made me a much better writer compared to the beginning of the year. I was taught to look for fallacious remarks and statements that people make to lure in others. Another large part of last year was learning about rhetoric. It helped me to look at all parts of the situation instead of just from one specific stand point. I was able to realize the importance of strong analytical skills. Without those specific skills it was basically sink or swim. By the end of the year I was able to appreciate the class for what it taught me. Even though I can look back and see the progress I’ve made, that does not mean that I liked it that much.
Hopefully this year is the year to restore my love for the English department. It is too soon to tell now but let’s see if Mr.Gallagher can change my mind about it all. My main goal is to acquire a four on the AP exam. Last year I got a passing grade of a three, but I would like to play it safe and acquire a higher score just to be safe. Moreover, I am not the excited English student I used to be but hopefully I can turn back into the lean, mean, reading machine that I used to be.

Stephanie A. said...

My name is Steph A. and I love to ramble. Many people who know me will agree I will and can ramble about basically anything I can think of ranting about. Why tell you all that I ramble? Well because I’ve come along way with it. Some people may see rambling as a flaw, but I have learned to embrace it. I don’t see it as a bad thing because it’s often the way I get all my thoughts out and take the important parts. For me it’s not a bad thing to ramble. Last year, when I got stuck on writing papers I’d just start with a rant or ramble or however you’d like to call it, and I realized, if I stayed on topic, it worked out well for me. Some writers are poets, some are essayist, some produce plays, and as a writer, I am a rambler.

Letting you all into my reader/writer career, since I can remember being in school, I have always favored reading and writing over and other subject. I might have just been in my early days of being an over achiever, but I remember in first grade when we were working in the reader-writer work books we had, I use to fill up as much of the page as I could just because I really like to write about anything. I found two of those books in my house last year and I was an ambitious kid. I just always liked to write, especially about myself.
Creative writing assignments or the write about your self tasks are the type of writing I prefer to be more accurate. No offense English teachers of the world, but when you tell me to analyze a book in essay form, I don’t get so excited. Though I’m sure, one day, some teacher will possibly prove me wrong and make a formal writing assignment on a book enjoyable. In most cases I find writing fun and enjoyable in free writing assignments. Not to say all essays on analyzing books are unpleasant, I just prefer being creative and coming up with my own ideas not based on a book.

I really liked writing in sixth grade when we had to write a memoirs and poems. Coincidently I also really enjoyed writing in eighth grade when we again had to write poems and memoirs. I wrote pretty seriously but I like the assignment and still found it fun to talk about myself and what I was thinking. I also liked that part when we got to share with everyone in the class. I mean, I didn’t just like it for hearing myself talk but I like hearing what everyone else had to say too.

But the best writing assignments I had during any year, so far, had to be last year in my AP Language class. I can’t remember any other year with so many free writing assignments in high school. What other teacher would give class assignments with themes such as being stuck on a stranded desert island or writing a, This I believe, essay? It was a lot of fun. Those assignments along with many other different writing assignments and homework made me want to think and make my writing better then the one before. I can safely say that everyone in my class not only learned and came to understand what kind of writers we were, but we all got to know about each other’s writing styles as well. I feel like I got stronger as a writer, with my class and the teacher continuously pointing out what worked and what would still work if I took parts out. Other then the writing assignments, it was a cool class in general with one funny teacher and only fifteen of us students.

Stephanie A. said...


That pretty much covers the person I am as a writer with my writer experiences, but defining my self as a reader isn’t as easy.

First of all, just as me as a writer, I have also always loved to read. If there is one solid fact I can say about myself as a reader, it be I can read for hours. I suppose you are all expecting me to say what type of books I like the best, or at least what genre I prefer, but I really just don’t know. I’ll read anything. I use to assume that I wouldn’t like science fiction, then I read, The Uglies, by Scott Westerfield, and it changed my mind. But I guess if I had to generalize the type of books I’d lean towards, I’d have to go with memoirs. I don’t know why but I also seem to be reading memoirs. I liked, The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, and Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. I also read a memoir written by Roald Dahl, not knowing he wrote one of my favorite books, Matilda, and I really enjoyed his memoir.

But still, I can’t just say I like memoirs because there are other books I’ve read that I’ve really enjoyed. I’m going to just make a list of the books I really liked that were not memoirs and, no worries, I’ll try keeping my list short. My list of favorites includes, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, The Truth about Forever and This Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen, Define Normal, by Julie Ann Peters, and one of the books at the very top of my list, My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult.

A book I should have included in my list should have been Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, but I purposely left it out because to me it would just seem like I’m following the crowd and that’s not something I’d want to do. The fact of the matter is, I did not think I would ever like a book about anything remotely science fiction like a book with vampires in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I read the book freshman year before the movies came out and before all the attention of the media was drawn onto it and I’m glad I did read it before. Because if the movie came out before I read the book, I’m not sure I would have given the book a chance.

I’ll read almost anything as long as it’s good. I don’t have a favorite genre or style or type of book. The thing I wish I could learn to do better is picking out books. I never know what I will or will not like because there isn’t a specific genre I go for. But I guess this isn’t really a bad thing because I can expose myself to many different types of books. Reading books to me is like trying new food; I’ll try it and give it a chance because I’ll never know if I don’t try.

Well, you all now know everything there is to know about me as a writer and a reader. I am very excited about this new class. I don’t know but I can sense that this is going to be a fun year and I’m going to grow even more and learn more then I already have begun to learn about myself. Who know? Maybe I’ll even change my style of writing, or make it even stronger, or maybe even establish a genre of books I like. But if anything, I know I am going to like this year. I can just feel it.

oliviak said...

My name is Olivia Kahn, nothing too special about it. I have, however, always disliked my name because I feel like there are too many syllables to pronounce. In any case, it is my name and I’m not going to do anything about it. My life as a reader/writer is not too extensive. My real interests in writing peaked in my sophomore year of high school, where I had a teacher unlike any that I’ve ever had. He was a very interesting man, an existentialist thinker. Overall his personality was rather crazy and his teaching methods even more so. For homework once, he told the class to write an essay about every lesson we’ve learned since first grade. Personally, I thought he assigned it because he didn’t know what else to do, but I won’t get into that. My opinion of the essay was that it was ridiculous; I didn’t want to write all of that. However, it really made me think about what lessons I actually learned. Up to the April, I had been going to the same school since first grade, and I don’t think I’ve ever disliked anything more. So as I was looking back, I couldn’t even think of a meaningful lesson that I had learned from the school. I suppose I could have used examples from outside of the school, but I think most of me had decided upon not writing the essay within his guidelines. Instead, I wrote about all of the little and insignificant things my school had taught me over the years. For example, they taught me how I should walk with my hands folded in front of me instead of swinging my arms, and that exercising on a broken stationary bike is not dangerous. I liked being able to write about those kinds of things and I thought it was a decent essay. Unfortunately my crazy, existentialist teacher did not agree and I think I failed that one. Despite that, it did open up my eyes to thinking on a wider path.

I have always liked to read, but the book has to be engaging right from the start or else I will put it down and move on to something else. When I was in seventh grade, I was forced to read The Call of the Wild by Jack London. It was in this particular reading experience that I discovered I couldn’t handle anything involving animal cruelty. I bring it up because it’s one of the few books that stand out in my mind from elementary required reading. My teacher at the time always made me read the part of Buck and I hated it. I think I cried a couple times because he kept getting hurt, and I have a very big soft spot for animals so it was hard to get through. I also read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee that same year and it was and still is my favorite book that I have had to read in school. Honestly, I don’t remember the entire book, but I do remember the main points. It was interesting to me and I’m sure if I read it again now I would gain even more out of it than I did then.

oliviak said...

Outside of school, I’ve read quite a few books, and as I think about all the ones I’ve read, I realize that it’s a very mixed group. I do enjoy reading mysteries, and I think that started after I read And then there were None by Agatha Christie in sixth grade. I couldn’t put that book down, I loved all the twists that the plot had. I tried to read more books by Christie, but I found that many of them don’t start off as being too interesting to me so I’m never able to finish. Also, and I really don’t like to admit this, but I read all of the books in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I will justify that statement simply by saying I read them as a freshman, before anyone really knew about them. What I liked most about those books was the idea behind them, not so much the writing style. Towards the end of the series I was becoming bored and I ended up just skimming through them so that I could find out what happened. I find that I’ll do that if I like the storyline of a book, but not author’s style of writing. That occurred with a book I read this past summer, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I loved all of Brown’s ideas and his incredibly extensive research; however, his writing style began to annoy me half-way through the book and I started skipping over lines because it took him too long to get to the point.

Most of the time, I prefer reading books that challenge me to think and stay engaged so that I can understand what’s going on. I like writing when I’m interested in the topic, as I’m sure most people do. I used to journal almost everyday, but that’s something I’ve been slacking on lately. Journaling allows me to write down anything that I think, and whenever I look back over the pages I find it interesting to see how much I’ve jumped around, usually because I’m just writing as a stream of consciousness. Writing is helpful to me because it helps me get out of my head. I find reading to be similar to that, especially if I’m reading a memoir. I read a couple of memoirs earlier in the year and found them really interesting. One that stood out to me the most was Dry by Augusten Burroughs. He struck me as a very interesting man with quite a bit of background. A lot of his material is heavy, but it allowed me to see into his life, all of which was real.

For this year of AP english, I’m really looking to improve my writing skills and find at least one thing that I’m passionate about. I want to begin my journey of self-discovery, and I’m hoping that the challenging and creative aspects of this class will allow me somewhere to begin and an idea of where to keep going after I’ve left.

Samantha J said...

Dear Mr. Gallagher and class,

I guess I’ll start this letter by introducing myself, I’m Samantha Johnson, but I go by any nickname including SamJ. I was born here in Malden and though I started life living in Revere, Malden has been my home for fifteen of my seventeen years here on this earth. I have an extreme Boston accent at times and “wicked” is used in almost every other sentence that I speak. My name was the most popular name in 1992 and I know at least eight Samantha’s in Malden High School, that’s why we have all taken on our respective last initials to distinguish ourselves. I attribute my very common first name to my very original personality. Setting myself apart from the crowd was a goal for me when I first entered Malden High, which accounted for the twelve piercings I had in each ear up until last year. I’ve toned it down a lot since then.

I’m the youngest of three siblings and I come from a two parent household. My life hasn’t really been easy and from that I find most of my inspiration for writing. When last year began and I was informed that we would be writing memoirs, I was extremely excited to say the least. I enjoy reflecting on life and writing about it, it has always been my way of dealing with problems. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy writing so much, writing provides an escape for me and literature has always held a big place in my heart. My family isn’t exactly the most normal and attempting to explain my relation to my three siblings always seems to be a major project, which usually includes the use of diagrams to explain.

This summer was probably one of the most interesting times I have had thus far in my life. To put it simply, I basically became a mom to my nephew. The wording is a little strong I guess, but I don’t know how else to explain taking care of an eight month old little boy almost twenty-four hours a day five days a week. When last school year ended I had put writing on the backburner and after a full year of AP Language, writing was the last thing I thought I would want to do last summer. My nephew changed that for me. He seemed to do something interesting and hilarious everyday and I didn’t think that the memories of those three months should be lost. His little adventures gave me a reason to continue writing over the summer and I now have a book of ramblings about him.

Well, before I go off I better get back to myself. My writing and reading interests started at a young age. Before I could read I would make every one of my five family members read me at least two books before I would give in and go to bed. My family didn’t find it as funny as I did to make them read to me for four hours a night. When I finally learned how to read my mom started buying me a book a week. This was mostly so I wouldn’t memorize the stories she was reading to me at night, which meant she could skip parts without me knowing, thus shortening the nightly ritual to two hours. Reading was always a fun past time and throughout grade school and middle school it was one of my favorite things to do.

Samantha J said...


High School made reading and writing an impossible past time. After doing homework the last thing I would want to do is read more. On the bright side of things, I built up my reading speed a lot because the quicker you’re done reading for homework, the quicker you get to go to bed. Freshman and sophomore years in English weren’t very memorable to me. I found it kind of boring to be honest. I enjoyed reading, but the assignments where some of the most boring I have ever encountered and I grew to strongly dislike DJs.

Last year was one of the most interesting years I have had in English. English has always been my favorite subject and AP Language with Mr. Walsh last year was the best years for me so far. When I first entered AP last year it scared the &*%$ out of me. I didn’t know if I was up to the challenge and it just seemed so overwhelming. As the year went on, my interest in reading and writing was once again sparked. I found myself wanting to read and during that year I also became very interested in the writings of Chuck Klosterman, who I did my research paper on in the end. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto remains one of my favorite books. The writing style and the subject matter always kept my interest. Last year was the first year I had ever been given so many free writing assignments. When we began memoir writings I immediately fell in love. I hate to talk about myself, but writing about my past was more interesting to me than the endless DJs I had done in prior years. There was more freedom given to us as AP students last year in our writings and it was refreshing.

Last year definitely made me a stronger writer. I was able to stretch my wings in a way and really look to see what made my passionate about reading and writing. It didn’t seem to fix my worst downfall though, which is my writing ADD. I am wicked scatterbrained and I even though I tried especially hard to organize my thoughts in this letter, I still have my moments. My brain just seems to move faster than my fingers can type sometimes and all the thoughts just don’t seem to make it on my papers. This also means that spell check is my best friend and proof reading is something I could improve on.

I am really excited about this year. I am done with non-fiction and memoir. I can’t wait for poetry and literature. I want to continue to improve in my writing and build upon the improvements I made last year. I’ve got a new coffee maker and the people at Dunkin Donuts already know how I like my coffee, so I am ready for the sleepless nights of AP once again.

-Samantha Johnson

Jen said...


My name is Jennifer and I was born in Haiti. I’ve been living here for about seven years. I’m the oldest out of three children. My brother’s the middle child, and my sister’s the youngest.

I plan on going to college somewhere around here when I’ done with high school. I’m not really sure where it is that I want to go, and there are so many great colleges around here. I don’t plan on going out of state because my parents are dead set against it, so I don’t really have a say in this. They think that I’m too young to go off on my own with no parental support. Honestly, I would be happier if I had the option to go wherever I want. However I still don’t think I would actually leave had I been given the choice.

I feel like my life has become so complicated lately. I must admit that I’m feeling a bit panicky thinking about the near future. At the moment I’m not sure what it is that I want to do with my life. I don’t know what I want to study, because I can’t find anything that I’m passionate about. So, I don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up being one those people who hate their lives, and their careers. My mom thinks that I should study nursing, or anything in the medical field, but I know that’s not for me. I think that I feel so confused because of all the different choices that I have. My parents came here to give us opportunities that we wouldn’t have found is we had stayed in our country. They gave up their comfortable life to make a better one for us, and I don’t want all their efforts to go to waste.

I’m taking AP and honors classes this year, so I guess life will be a bit more difficult. I guess I should probably say goodbye to my social life, because I know that getting home late from work and taking on piles of schoolwork won’t be a walk in the park. I thought it’d be a good idea to take APs because it’s the sort of works that I’ll have to do next year anyways, so I may as well start now.

Jen said...

I’ve always liked English class, more than the other subjects. It’s just that this year I’ll have to work harder, because the work’s going to be more intense, with the grading and expectations. I think that I can do this as long as I don’t procrastinate as I did over the last three years.

I usually like the novels we read in class as long as they keep me interested. Some works that I’ve read in class and actually hated reading and working with but I ended up liking the bigger story, like a Tales of Two Cities. I can’t say that I have a specific genre that I prefer; it just depends on the novel and the author. I like reading, even though what I read in my own time is not as intense as those we read in class. When I read it’s to enjoy myself, so I don’t want to be looking for Christ Figures and symbols. I think that I’ll enjoy what we’ll read this year as long as it’s’ not extremely similar to Heart of Darkness, because that was just horrible. I had a difficult time staying focused, because it was so confusing. I dint really see the point behind the story. The main character was exploring our other side that’s more beastly, but I’ve already done those before. I don’t really like poetry since I usually have a hard time understanding what the poet’s trying to convey. I know I have to work with it so I’ll do what I have to do.

As you can see my writing is probably not as elegant as it should be as a senior. It’s not that I don’t try; it’s just that my writing style’s been the same for a while and I don’t know how to change it. I know that I’ll be harder for me this year, because we didn’t do anything in class last year, so now I have to work hard to earn a decent grade.

I am ecstatic that I don’t have to worry about MCAS or SATs anymore. Now, I just need to focus on my college applications all that come along with going off to college. I feel like the letter might be hard to write because it weighs so much to you acceptance.

I don’t like this assignment, because I don’t really have much to say about myself, and it’s taking a while to think about what I should be sharing.
I also do volunteer work, and I actually like doing it. I don’t think about how it’s for college, because I actually like helping them. It makes me feel good, because I’m doing something selfless (even though it’s not) and helping others.

During my free time I like to read and listen to music. I usually like to read science fiction, and fantasy. The characters get to live in a foreign world where so much can happen. I also like reading novels of different time period. It’s interesting to see how much things have changed, both culturally and socially. Like how women had no rights be fore, and they were their husbands’ properties, look at us now. Also how Blacks were treated and viewed and now how things are better in some ways like the fact that in fantasy, these characters can do things that we can’t, and that should be impossible. It’s nice to think of how our world would be like if we were actually living like they do. I like reading because it takes me away from this world. So I usually forget about my problems for that moment. I travel to another world, where I don’t have to worry about life, college, and the near future, that’s looming over my head. Just for those moments I feel peaceful.

hillary said...

My name is Hillary Ann Du. I think I have a very cute name. Others just think it sounds completely “white.” Whatever. My name was supposed to be Valerie, but my dad kept forgetting and saying Hillary… I think it suits me well because it describes my personality well – funny. Really, I am very funny. Also, starting from freshman year many people have called me “Hailry” because of my math teacher’s accent. And I guess this year my nickname is going to be hilldizzle… My last name is so cool, in my opinion. My father’s family originated from China, but lived in Vietnam. In Chinese, Du is spelt “Yi” (余), but translating into Vietnamese would be Du (the D is supposed to sound like a Y). So then they moved to America and tada! – Du (D sounding like a D…).

I like to sing. I am a part of the school’s Concert Choir and have been a part of the Choral Arts Society since freshman year (although I got put into the class by accident in the beginning). You would not even have to know me that well and already know that I am obsessed, a very appropriate word, with Korean music. I find it so ironic how I am already two kinds of Asian except for the one I want to “be.” And strangely, I like rap – a lot. I only enjoy some American raps, but they become way too racy and ridiculous. I like Korean raps. You won’t find me with earphones on in school or anything (because they broke…), but Kpop is the reason for my procrastination. I used to cry over a single B. Now I pray for at least a C. I should really learn to control myself.

I would have to say I actually really enjoy reading a nice book. I would really have to disagree with some books the schools have assigned though. I like picking my own books because I know what I like. Of course what I like is nowhere near appropriate. For instance, I would rather read a modern book than some book written in 1849. I liked the books that elementary/middle school assigned, unfortunately. And basically if there is a difficult/taboo romance in the story, I will most probably like/love it. Some might not know this, but I also have a mature side to myself. I have two favorite writers (not famous and not paid) that have become two of my writing idols. I am giving a WARNING if you plan to click the links because as I have said, they have mature, realistic themes so only if you’re comfortable with profanity, ha-ha. [Examples – Rey:, dearskye:] Oh, the ramblings I can go on with Kpop and fan fictions.

hillary said...

Some actual books that I enjoyed were Chinese Cinderella (I could read this and cry every time), Speak, So Far From the Bamboo Grove, Flowers for Algernon and The Outsiders. I was an avid fan of Lurlene McDaniel novels and the Lemony Snicket series. If I like a book then I will go ahead and read the rest of the series without stopping, seriously. And I also read the Twilight series. Harry Potter books were a bit too large and boring for me, but the movies are awesome, I must say. To sum up my preferences, I enjoy books with romance, gangsters, mystery, and heart-ripping sadness.

I am saying this now and never taking it back – I hate works by Joan Didion. I could not have chosen a more appropriate word. I did my big report on her last year for AP English and I do not believe I could have chosen a worse person. I was too cowardly to check what I got on it as a grade, but what does it tell you that the only way I can define prose is boring? I will stop talking about her because I cannot express anymore hate in any nicer ways.

But speaking of AP English… it has helped me to a certain extent. I mean, I cannot go anywhere and not rhetorically analyze a billboard or a commercial anymore. It has also helped me in understanding literature more as in finding the purposes of essays/novels. I believe I score others’ essays well, but I don’t seem to learn from them very effectively. My essay writing is so uniform that I bore myself into writing anything just to get it over with. I have no idea how to get better. I have no idea how to break out of the 5 paragraph essays!!! It is always either 4-5 paragraphs and part of the reason is because of time restrictions and poor planning. I do not have a very wide range in vocabulary so that is also a huge problem. I always try context clues, but it never works for me. At least not in the SAT.

So it is pretty darn obvious that I love creative writing. Not to seem vain or anything, but even this assignment was super fun. I like making up stories instead of reporting about others, kind of like the total opposite of the guy from Marley & Me. It does not feel as though it is homework, but is rather a very exciting thing for me. I remember in Mr. Walsh’s class he gave us a one-time assignment for creative writing. It was fun and freeing. Curiously, creative writing may take me longer to write than a school essay… Creative writing demands perfection. That quest for perfection leads me down a road to intense writer’s block and a never-ending list of incomplete stories. They even have their own folder.

To me, senior year was suppose to be a fun and relaxing year (only compared to junior year), but here I am again in AP English. I pray with my whole heart that I will enjoy English class this year. It took me a lot of thought and persuasion to keep this class and I hope it is worth it. I guess it is up to me to make it worthwhile. Thank you for reading!

Kellie said...

Mr. Gallagher and Class,
Obviously my name is Kellie as you can see in my “display name”. I think I should first start off by saying that I don’t like to “frolic around the subject”. I like to get to the point. I feel that unnecessary explanation and analysis of obvious things are uncalled for. That is one of the reasons as to why my writing isn’t as good as it could be. Therefore, I’m just going to tell you straight up, that I didn’t like reading. Unlike everyone else who posted so far, I never really enjoyed reading. Sorry book lovers, but I just couldn’t see what was so great about reading a book all alone, in the quiet, while I could be doing more interesting things. Don’t lie guys, I know that most of you would drop a book if you had the choice to go do something more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, books are all right, but I never took a liking to them until actually last year.

Ok guys, first of all, my life as a reader has not been the greatest. Before I moved to Massachusetts, I lived in New York where my school wasn’t the best. When it came to reading, I didn’t learn anything and I felt pretty stupid because third grade was when I actually began to read well. Of course, I didn’t understand what I read sometimes, and I read significantly slower than other kids. This just made me hate reading even more. Obviously that changed because I’m in AP Literature right now.

While we’re on the topic of reading, I feel like I should mention some things about my previous reading experiences. In New York, I didn’t really care about reading and I didn’t think it would help me that much in life. Because I read so slowly, I sometimes read things backwards and got words confused. My teachers eventually put me in a “slower” class because they thought I had dyslexia. I’m not sure if I really had dyslexia, but I knew that I didn’t want to stay in that slower class. Not only did they not help me with my reading, but they made me feel extremely stupid. I clearly had to work harder to get out of that class which I made myself do. I worked my butt off to get out of special-ed because I knew I didn’t want to learn reading and writing the way they were teaching me. Ever since then, I pictured reading as the basis of school. I worked even harder to stay in regular classes and along the way, I eventually developed a liking to reading and writing which was very unexpected from me.

I must admit that my reading life was at its ultimate high last year in AP English. I really enjoyed reading works of composition that were actually real. I felt as though there was a purpose to my reading, and I wasn’t just inside of an irrelevant and unimportant fairytale. AP English made me so interested in rhetoric and style, that I eventually began to love reading. It’s pretty sad that it took me sixteen years to actually enjoy reading, but that’s the way it worked out. I realized with reading, that the more mature I got, the more appreciation I gained for reading. I eventually realized the importance and amazing parts of reading.

Kellie said...

The readings that I liked the most were memoirs and non-fiction. They were just so real and I felt as though they were the only things in English that were true because everything else seemed to be literature which was completely fake and untrue (sorry Mr. Gallagher). But some pieces of literature that I absolutely loved were the summer books Things Fall Apart and Remains of the Day. I loved these books so much, I think it’s because they were somewhat like memoirs. Ok, scratch what I said before, I don’t completely hate “fake” and “untrue” books, because I like to figure out the symbolisms and motifs within books. The Great Gatsby was one of my favorites as well.

In total contrast, my writing life was completely different. I don’t know why, but writing came to me much easier than reading. I also didn’t mind writing assignments in school, I actually liked writing assignments. Maybe that’s the reason why AP English was so interesting to me last year. The one thing that messes me up when I write is my randomness. Sometimes, I have so much to say that I start off with a strong beginning, but I mush everything up in the middle and mix things up sometimes. Usually, I have good points, but I feel like I just go on and on about nothing and sometimes I repeat things I already mentioned. This goes for discussions as well. Even though I sometimes don’t make sense, it’s only because I have too much to say, and I confuse myself. My writing clearly needs work but I still love writing. Though I know what I want to say, I always find a way to confuse myself and others when I try to have a discussion about something. I think I need more help on not being so confusing when writing essays and even talking.

Well guys, you now know all about my reading and writing situation. Even though I still read a little slower than others, I think that reading and writing are interesting. The only reason why I didn’t enjoy reading was because I wasn’t taught to appreciate literature and reading. I don’t think the way I did when I was younger because last year definitely changed my reading and writing life for the better. I’m still trying to figure out what kinds of genres I’m into, because literature books aren’t really my forte. Even though I seem shy in class, I’m really not guys. It’s only the fact that I’m trying to organize things in my head which takes massive amounts of time. Oh yea, I think I should also warn you guys that I use the word “guys” way too much which is weird because we’re in a room full of girls, and Mr. Gallagher. Well guys, that’s basically my entire reading and writing life summed up in a couple of pages. Bye guys!

Jess said...

I have a feeling I'm going to completely miss the mark with what you intended for blog spot, so I apologize in advance if that is so.

Hello class, My name is Jessica Leigh Lucas, but you can call me Jess. I like to sing (albeit horribly), make faces, and swing from trees. I am one half of a pair of twins. The other half is my brother Justin. I love sports, but not conventional ones. I do a lot of drawing and painting but I am not in school art classes because they are too restricting.
I am very easily excited, but I don't have ADD even though it may seem so sometimes. I'd like to say I'd try anything once, within reason. Don't go asking me to jump off a cliff though, that's just not nice.
It is very doubtful that I could live without technology. You'd find me curled up in my closet if I didn't have my computer or video games for when I get bored.
I actually enjoy high school and I plan on getting everything I possibly can out of this last year, so I hope none of you are apprehensive about approaching me because If I could get to know you all more it would make this year even better.
Here is a very important piece of information about me. I hate Uggs, Crocs, and anything that has to do with Twilight. It awakens the beast inside me, for lack of a more accurate phrase.
For my entire life I have been passionate about animals, and everything about them. I have a project somewhere in my house I'd love to find from when I was in first grade. The teacher asked us to make a poster of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Back then a "project" like that was just a piece of paper with the career spelled wrong and a bunch of hearts and stars everywhere. Everyone else put firefighter, policeman, or nurse. I put something along the lines of "vetarinaryan." You could say my ambitions have changed. Now I want to be a veterinarian. It's kind of a crazy dream, but I would love to be a veterinarian for a zoo in Australia. Come visit me some time!

Jess said...

When it comes to me as a writer, I can't really tell you anything about writing before high school. To me, it didn't start becoming real until that point. I was never big on writing, I'd prefer drawing or painting or some other form of visual art to express myself. Last year in AP Comp however I began feeling differently. The writing became a lot more personal and open to creativity, especially with the projects like the memoir, which I enjoyed. Also, we did a lot of projects that weren't just two or three drafts, which to me is a lot more rewarding because the final product seems a lot more refined and I can be more proud of my work. Some of my favorite projects were the Stranded essay (AKA the desert island disk) and the Shakespeare poetry assignment. I do not like public speaking or getting in front of the class, and memorization is very difficult for me, so it was challenging but rewarding. When it comes to my actual writing style, I tend to use too much personal voice, and although the idea in my head for an essay is very precise, when it comes to writing it down I get a little formulaic or I ramble because I get nervous and feel like I didn't write enough. I'm hoping this year will help me refine that, since on the rubric it says we need to be clear and precise, so I assume we'll work on that.

Reading wise, I'm sure we have the same experiences when it comes to in school reading. Outside of required school reading, my favorite book series' are Pendragon and Lord of the Rings. Not the most sophisticated, but the fantasy aspect fascinates me in ways the standard required reading in school never can.
I should let you all know right now that I have Peter Pan syndrome. I refuse to grow up completely or let go of my childhood. I make sure I relive a piece of it every single day of my life. This does not mean I can't be mature when it calls for it, but life isn't fun if you can't goof around a little. With this warning aside I'll now say that I LOVE reading comic books. Probably not what an English teacher would want to hear about when it comes to reading experience, but it says a lot about who I am as a reader and as a person.
When it comes to things that interested me as a reader, I'd have to say I already have a literature circle group topic already figured out and I can only hope it's as interesting to other people. I would love to read about the seven deadly sins and the nine layers of hell. I am an atheist, but I find it absolutely fascinating. Either that or books about or written in the Middle Ages. Both topics are very interesting to me.
I think I can count on a good year with this class, and even if we end up having conflicting interests I'd love to broaden my own.

Jackie said...

My Dearest AP Literature Class,
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jacqueline Tynes but I would prefer it if you would call me Jackie. I am seventeen years of age. I was born June 26, 1992 in Boston, Massachusetts. I grew up in Cambridge and Boston with my brother and sister Kayla and Duane, as well as our mother and father David and Carmen.
As a child I was always a dreamer and used books to feed my wild imagination. I read books that were filled with magic and tales of far away places. I remember the first book I ever read word for word was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss and ever since then I’ve been in love with books. Ever since then I’ve been reading one book after another. I also love discussing what I read with others, I like being able to share my ideas and here other peoples perspectives and ideas. However I do feel as though is nothing wrong whatsoever with a good old fashioned debate (argument perhaps, but, I’m afraid that may be pushing it).
When it comes to the subject of writing I fear that I personally feel that I am not very good, although I do so anyway. I like to write all kinds of stories. I’m not a very big fan of my poetry, or poetry in general for that matter, only certain kinds really. I like to write mysteries, historical fiction, and plays. Plays are always fun to write, fantasy as well. When it comes to plays, I usually just call them dialogues because that’s what they really are. I don’t really share my writing though as I am actually quite insecure about it. I feel as though some of my writing is too personal to share with others. My favorite thing to write is historical fiction and dialogues. I like writing historical fiction because history is my favorite subject. I like writing dialogues because I can put different characters and personalities in conversations that would perhaps not happen no where else. Also, I can shed a new light in sometimes overlooked characters and ideas.
I would have to say that my favorite book of all time is Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is my favorite because this is the only book that can take my breath away every time I read it. I’ve been fascinated with it ever since I was a child and it has influenced the way I think and who I am ever since. I feel like I’ve always been in search for Wonderland because it’s a place where the impossible is possible, where the illogical is completely logic, and where nothing makes sense. That’s the beauty in it that I think adults seem to forget, that life doesn’t have to make sense, that there are no rules, and that there is no need to be rational. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think that Wonderland is real, and it’s possible to get there. You just have to believe in it, to want to actually see it. You have to be willing to leave this world where people are to caught up in there own reality, too caught up in what society says is normal or “in”. I guess you could call it wishful thinking, or a forever young attitude. I’m constantly looking out of the window, day dreaming, always thinking of Wonderland. I’ve always seen myself as the Mad Hatter; the things I say never make sense. To me, life is like a mad tea party, and I just keep switching seats, singing and drinking tea as I go on with my life. People don’t see it, but I’m never what I appear to be.

Jackie said...

Well, I suppose I should move on shouldn’t I? Perhaps I should talk about Peter Pan, my favorite play. I hope you see a pattern here, in my fascination with “kiddy lit”. It is because I believe that children see what adults can’t. They can see the wonder in life, the magic and they dare to believe in it. But I suppose it’s time to move on.
I took Advanced Placement Literature because I wanted to have a more challenging course than the normal English course at Malden High School because, to be perfectly honest, they were boring and moved way to slow. I hope to be able to have in depth discussions and read literature that stimulates the mind. I also hope that it will be taught in a different format (not to say that my previous teachers taught it badly). I hope that this English class won’t be just another English class. Hopefully, this class will give me a different perspective on literature, a different way to think about things. Hopefully people won’t hold back like they do in CP or honors.
I don’t really know what else to say about myself, I must admit I don’t really like to talk about myself much. I find it redundant and annoying. I actually like learning about other people. I like people, I find them so interesting, the things they say, what they’re into. I especially love people from other places, other parts of the world. The way they talk, the different cultures, how they dress what they look like. This world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. All our lives are somehow intertwined even though we never really think about it. This world, our history, our lives, it’s all like one big, long, epic Greek poem. We our writing and reading about our lives as they go along just living day to day. It’s so interesting to think about it, although we read literature and analyze it, thinking about what the author is trying to say, or what’s written between the lines, all we have to do is look around and see it happening right in front of us. We are living in one never ending story book. We are all in Wonderland we just have to open our eyes.

Sincerely Yours,
Jackie Tynes

Gaelle said...

Dear Mr.Gallagher and Students

My name is Gaelle Audrey Wagnac.I don’t even know where to start. My favorite sport is soccer; I’ve been playing since I was like 7 years old. In my freshman and sophomore year I played soccer for the school. This year I’m planning on playing tennis, or crew. I have four siblings. I’m the fourth one .Three of my siblings went to Malden high school , well Mr.Gallagher probably know my sister because she had him as a teacher before last year, she said he’s an amazing teacher. All three of them graduated and they are in four years of college, that’s what exactly I’m planning on doing. I want to become a pediatrician or an F.B.I

Something that really bothers me a lot at my school is that no one can really pronounce my name. Every year I have to go to the same thing over and over, and every year I ask my self when is someone going to get my name right. Even in the first day I pronounce my name to the teachers, they still can’t get it right, at point I’m like not even trying to correct them, I just let them pronounce my name the way they could pronounce it . Sometimes even my friends can’t pronounce it right but it’s cool. Well I’m not going to lie, some teachers get it right, and that really gets me happy. I think it’s very easy to pronounce, it’s not that hard. I’m hoping this year, I don’t have to go to that same process again, but I know definitely I have to go to that process.

English is not my first language; actually English is my third language. My first language and second would be Creole and French and by now you all probably realize that I’m Haitian. When I came to America I didn’t know any English. For some reason I learn English fast, I don’t even know how. Well actually I do remember by watching TV, every word I heard from the TV I would repeat over and over. I learn English in my 5th or 6th grade or so. To tell you the truth it wasn’t easy at all, not understand people when they talking to you.

I didn’t like reading at all. Until I came to high school, they gave us summer reading books to read. The book that I chose to read was “fresh Girl by Jaira Placide.” It was one of the best books that I read, since then I start became interested in reading books. I started ready plenty of other books such as; Jason & Kyra, Drama High collection I started reading three or two books in a day, well depend what types of a book it is. But the only problem I had is that I just read the book just to read, I didn’t really take notes, it didn’t seem important for me to takes notes. All that Stop when I got in my sophomore year, every book that we read she wanted us to take notes that got in my last nerve. I started questioning myself what’s the point of taking notes? How is it going to help, but guess it did help me. In my sophomore year, I developed a lot of strategies of taking notes such as; predicting, reacting, asking deep questions, and also looking up words that I don’t know. The books that I read in my sophomore year was; Night, Lord of the Flies which I use those strategies to help me understand the text.

Gaelle said...

I love writing, but I don’t know why, it’s better for me to write the way I feel then to explain to someone the way I feel. But as I move to my junior year, I started not liking writing, I guess, because I always get the same feedback saying that I need to work on my grammar, and I need to work on my tense. That’s the only two problems I had in writing, but I started in improving more and more, I came from a lower score to the highest score. I was so proud of myself. Well I guess I improve from it because she told that I have to always read every thing that I wrote out loud to see if there is any error. At least the writing part got out of the way, but still I had another problem the speaking part. I rarely participate in student discussion; I don’t like talking in front of people or let’s say a whole class. Since my teacher knows that I really wanted to go to AP English, she told me that I needed to start participating; because that’s what they mostly do AP English.

That’s why the first day of AP English Mr. Gallagher asks what my goal for this year class was? I said to participate more in class. I know it’s going to be a little hard for me, but still I’m willing to do anything to a grade I deserve. My last year teacher told me I have what it takes to be in AP English, I’m a hard working person, always in time, always do my homework. But the only problem is that I have to participate more. To tell you the truth I’m really proud of myself, when I came to America, I didn’t know any English, not even a word, and now I’m an AP English , this is a big step. Also my other goal for this class is to improve my writing more, and my reading, and take good notes, because I feel like I could improve more in taking notes. Like I said in the beginning that my sister said that Mr. Gallagher is a great teacher, he help her improve her writing skills, all the things she learn from his class, she use it in her college, and she said she’s doing pretty well in her essay. I’m hoping the same thing happen should happen to me.

Sincerely yours