Dear Reader,

I’m sitting here now, thinking about what I’m going to say in this blog post. The college project for me was sort of a blur. I remember doing it, but I felt like I was an autopilot because I would simply follow the prompt, without really thinking about what all my high-school accomplishments meant to me. The only part that really stood out to me were 1) The average SAT scores and 2) The CSU essay.

        1) For the My College Section part of the project, I chose two universities to research: Harvard University and Columbia University. For Harvard University, the average SAT score was 2257 and for Columbia it was 2230. You may be thinking, c’mon Langa it’s Harvard what else did you expect? But I was under the impression that once you got past about a 2100 on the SATs, the Ivies look more at your personal essay and your extracurricular activities. I remember feeling (&I’m still feeling) discouraged because I got a 2210 on my SAT. I remember when I found out my score, I was ecstatic. The first time I took my SAT I got a 2000 and I knew that I wasn’t going to get into an Ivy with that score. But with a 2210, I thought to myself, I have a chance. 

And then I looked at the average SAT scores and my feeling of hope slowly dwindled. 

From this POV, the college project really gave me a glimpse of reality. Prior to the assignment, I was really excited for college applications, thinking that they would be fun because I’d get to showcase who I am. However through this project, I realized that the process of applying for college is rather … monotonous. Like doing paper work. Lots and lots of paper work. 

This is not to say that the college project was simply a project that was boring and a catalyst for disappointment. Because it was not. Where I really found excitement was in the CSU essay.

         2) The CSU essay was without at doubt the best part of the project. You know that feeling of accomplishment when you write an essay, or a poem, that you feel is really good? Well that’s what I felt about my CSU essay (sorry if I’m being cocky) but I just felt really good about myself and what I wrote. Writing an essay in response to the CSU prompt made me feel prepared to write my personal essays next year. So props to you Mr. Z, assigning us the CSU essay was a good decision. 

While these things stood out to me about the project, the project for me also was uneventful. I think that I felt that way mostly because I had already done so much college research on my own, free time that researching colleges as a school assignment sort of ruined the experience (contradicting my predictions). However, I did learn things that I hadn’t learned before, such as the specific average SAT scores as well as how hard it can be to navigate through a college website. The most boring part of the project would have to be the Resume. I felt like I was just listing my activities, but I didn’t get to write about them, making my activities very meaningless. It could also be that I had just submitted my Coronet Award Applications and my Baron Banner Application previously so I basically had to write down all my activities and achievements three times. 

In addition, the personal letter of recommendation just felt awkward. Like, how am I supposed to be humble and write this (I don’t think you’re supposed to be humble but yeah you get the point). 

Overall, the college project just seemed insignificant, even though I acquired new knowledge. 

But don’t quote me on this, it’s the end of the year and my brain is fried from APs. 

Love ,

Langa

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A conclusion for all titles

I hate starting with the title. I mean, how am I supposed to know the summation of my words before I have even written blog/essay/other writing piece?

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This year, in AP Language and Composition, my writing strategies were, in my opinion, revolutionized. Everything that I had learned about writing up to 10th grade was thrown out the window. For example, my English teacher, Mr. Ziebarth, despised three prong essays! And remember all those times you would restate the prompt in your introduction paragraph? Nope, none of that in this class. I think this was the first class where writing was about what YOU the individual thought, not what other people thought put into your own words. I remember I struggled with this in the beginning of the year, I was like, “You want to know what I think? Aren’t I supposed to use other people’s words to support my argument?” I didn’t fully come to terms with this concept until about the middle of the year, when I got too many “Langa, what do you think?” on my papers.

When I finally realized that in this class, it’s all about your opinion on the subject, I felt that the writing in this class became not only easier, but also more meaningful. I used to think writing was super easy, almost like math. There was a template, and you just plugged in sentences. But it was never really your writing, it was more of you compiling up other people’s writing, you know what I mean?

I feel that this class has taught me that people want to know your opinion, that being biased and opinionated is actually desired.  A lot of the times, I take this middle road , even in my writing. For instance I was about to say “I take this sort of middle road,” instead of “I take this middle road.” Instead of having a clear side, I tend to balance on the middle of two ideas, because I like to see two sides of a story. However, this class has made me realize that you can still look at two sides of a story but come to the conclusion that one side is actually the better side. And I think this trouble in writing reflects in the struggles I have in life. I am so indecisive, whether it is when it comes to test-taking or just life decisions. I always just go back and forth on the pros and cons without ever reaching a conclusion. However, with this class, I have been empowered to not look at the two sides of a story, but analyze the different aspects and formulate an idea of what I think I should do.

Furthermore, I feel like this class has taught me to develop insightful thoughts. Sometimes, I feel as if I am like a parrot, like I just repeat the opinions/facts that other people tell me. Now, towards the end of the year, I feel that this particular English class has conditioned me to always use evidence to support my ideas. So now, when I give an opinion, I can be confident that it is not just a flimsy thought that went through my brain, but rather, it is a well developed and logical opinion.

I have reached the end of my thought, and now my head hurts. Literally I’m drawing a blank. I’d write a conclusion but nah, this is a blog post, not an essay! Have a good night ya’lls. Prom is in like 4 days and I’m getting really excited.

Love,
Langa

p.s. I just thought of a title right after I wrote “Love, Langa.” I hope that it is fitting

Grapes of Wrath Reflection

Here’s a secret: I actually really enjoyed reading Grapes of Wrath. While most of my classmates claimed that it was “the most boring book ever,” I found it quite pleasurable. To me, this novel was sort of relaxing to read; I always felt as if I was watching one of those old timer films that have beautiful scenery and Oscar-nominated actors, you know what I mean?

My favorite part of the novel was its realistic portrayal of the endeavors of a migrant family in the 1930’s(the Joads). In particular, I liked the slow pace of the novel. Rather than jam-packing this novel with adventure and action, Steinbeck chose to focus his novel more on the daily life of the Joads. Through Steinbeck’s depiction of the Joads’ daily life, Steinbeck illustrates the beauty of unity and selflessness. 

One important idea that is repeatedly exemplified throughout the novel is the concept of a family. The novel starts off depicting a family from Arkansas getting reading to migrate to California. For me, the image of a mom helping a pregnant woman to her car, and of little kids running around was really heartwarming. Since I’m an only child, I have the tendency to feel very lonely. Having a family, however, makes me feel as if I’m not lonely, and as if I’m part of something bigger. Likewise, reading about a family coming together to start a new life struck me as 

 

 

TEXT CONNOTATIONS: FOR DUMMIES

First off, lemme start off by saying that I don’t think any of you guys are dumb, I just like the title.

Secondly, I’m really no expert at reading the connotation of a text message but I’m kinda bored right now and I’m listening to cutesy music ( Missin’ you like crazy by Us the Duo- this song is great) so I’m writing this as a source of entertainment.

OK.

So, we all get text/ fb messages, and sometimes, we just can’t tell if the person is joking, angry, mad or sarcastic. The thing is, the connotation of text messages is all relative to the person. For example, outgoing girls tend to text “hey ! :)” instead of “hey”. However, mellow guys might just say “hey”. As a result, there is no formula to determine the connotation of a text message, but I hope this helps.

GREETINGS:

I think “hey” “hi” and “sup” all give about the same connotations- I think they all reflect a sort of neutral, laid back connotation. The reason I think this is that these greetings are all very short and don’t require a lot of energy to type, so the person texting this is probably chillin’. On average, men tend to use these greetings more often then women. Women will generally either capitalize their greetings or add a smiley face or add an exclamation mark.

“SUP, hi!, wazupppppp, hey:)” – these give a positive and exuberant connotation, as if the person texting this is happy to hear from you. These texts reflect enthusiasm in a text’s nonexistent voice. It’s as person sending this is trying to verbally communicate to the receiver. In addition, writing “wazupppp” takes more work than writing out “hey” so obviously you are worth the writer’s time. While these greetings are more frequently used by men, smiley faces attached to a greeting are also used by boys, who are generally flirtier/more outgoing/ have an interest in you.

Identifying anger:

When someone is angry at you, their texts will tend to be longer and more deliberate. You will probably see more punctuation marks because the person is trying to convey a sense of seriousness. Furthermore, their thoughts will probably be more complete because the writer is probably deliberately trying to say a CLEVER offensive remark.

Ironically, if the person decides to incorporate French in his or her texts, lower case French tends to indicate more anger than does upper case French. In other words, if someone says “F YOU” this probably is an act of joyful banter. However, if someone says “f you.” you know something is up.

Identifying sarcasm

This for me is the hardest tone to decipher in a text message, because you can’t hear the fluctuations of the speaker’s voice. However, I do think that when a person is sarcastic in a text, they will exaggerate some capitalization ( NO, I LOVE GETTING F’s) or use this face “-_-“. The former reflects how a person usually raises his or her voice when saying something sarcastic. The second is a bit harder to explain. Here’s a given convo.

Person 1: hahahhaahhaah loser .

Person 2: I love you too

-_-

Notice how the face -_- comes on the second line. When someone is sarcastic, they will usually send this face afterwards to convey the sense that what was said previously is not to be taken literally.

Well it’s getting late now so I’ma have to go to bed now. THANKS FOR READING!!!!!Image

 

Initially, this article was written as part of the application process to attend a journalism camp at Princeton University. Even though I didn’t make the cut off for the camp, I still want to share this article. 

ords in length.

 

I’ve never really worried about my weight; however, as I progress through high school, I realize the emphasis so many girls place on their figures. As I walk through the halls I always hear “I wish I had your thighs” or “Kill me now your legs are perfect.” I think to myself, “Why in the world would anyone kill themselves because their legs aren’t as bony as someone else’s?”

In my opinion, the importance that many teenage girls put on their weight is extremely detrimental to a teen’s emotional health. In a recent TED talk by Laura Mathis, she said, “Studies show that thin people are far less happy than larger ones.” Mathis’s argument is sensible because when a teen says  “I wish I had your stomach,” she emphasizes what she does not have, evoking a sense of discontent with her body. A girl will feel as if her body is not good enough and that there is essentially something “wrong” with her body. This mindset triggers a domino effect of constant demoralization that will ultimately end in a feeling of hopelessness. As a result, if girls don’t learn how to appreciate their bodies soon, society might be welcoming a new generation of dejected women.

I think that girls’ obsession with weight stems from the misconception that beauty is defined by a skinny waist and slender thighs. Naturally, every girl wants to feel beautiful. Since society promotes this idea that women must be thin in order to be attractive, many girls feel that they must be skinny in order to be beautiful. However, in reality, beauty is not defined by weight. According to Harvard psychologist, Dr. Craig Malkin, men find that confidence is more alluring than appearance. In an experiment, he noted that women were able to win men with a simple smile and direct look in the eye. He stated,“Amazingly, it didn’t matter what these women looked like!” As a result, women should not obsess over their weight because being skinny is not as significant as it seems. Weight will not suddenly make a girl look like goddess, nor will it suddenly attract males. In the end, a woman’s personality shines above all.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that we shouldn’t strive for a healthy body or that we shouldn’t admire another person’s body . I’m saying that we should avoid putting ourselves down if our bodies aren’t “picture perfect”. Rather, we should embrace our  bodies and feel good about ourselves because in reality, we are only as beautiful as we believe ourselves to be, regardless of our weight.

 

An Analysis of the Grapes of Wrath

Hey readers. Earlier today,I was watching Netflix and thinking about suburbia life and how I couldn’t wait to go live in a city, where “life happens”. I realized that this sentiment of eagerness to move somewhere else, is the same sentiment reflected in the novel I’m reading in English, The Grapes of Wrath.

Let me go back. If you guys don’t know, The Grapes of Wrath is a novel written by John Steinbeck in the 1930’s. Just a side note( I learned this in history today), the Works Progress Administration actually commissioned Steinbeck to write a book about the depression as a way to stimulate the economy. Anyways, the novel portrays the struggles of an Oklahoma family, the Joads, on their journey to California in search of a better life.

In this particular section, the Joads were ridiculed for their optimistic vision of the future in CA. On the contrary to the Joads’ vision, many people told the Joads that they would not find work in CA and that Californians were mean. The other people sneered at the Joads for their idealistic hopes. This scene came back to me as I was hoping for a better life in the city. I realized that I am like the Joads. I want to move to a different place, but in reality I don’t know the true conditions of city life. It makes me think, am I foolish to want to move to the city? Are the Joads foolish?

In all honesty I don’t know. Just like how I don’t know if the Joads will be successful in CA, I don’t know if I’ll be successful in the city. I guess I’ll have to wait and find out.image