About Me

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reflective Essay

This year has been my most productive year and the year I have improved the most in my grammar and writing. I remember the time we had to explicate a painting with one thousand words minimum. One, I am not an artistic person and know nothing about art and the meanings of colors, shades, styles etc. Two, one thousand words to me was a million in my mind, I was shocked to hear that we needed at least one thousand minimum. I knew this would be my toughest writing assignment yet and I stayed up all the way to twelve just looking at the painting and trying to find words to explain everything I saw. Not surprisingly, I got a bad grade on that assignment. I was very disappointed and thought I was very far behind everyone else in the class. However, I kept trying and trying to learn the deeper meanings of why an artist would paint something a certain color, why they would put characters where they were, and I read the explication paper about ten times. During third quarter, we were given another assignment almost exactly alike to the one thousand word picture essay. We had to explicate Tom Phillips’ Humament. I was scared and thought to myself I would do horribly again because writing about paintings just wasn’t my thing. However, I stayed up till one in the morning from nine at night and used everything I had learned to write about the painting. Amazingly, I got a 49/50 my best grade on an essay during the whole year.
I have improved so much on analyzing everything and improved on vocabulary and using words to explain what I have to say. In addition, I have managed to write everything in my mind very quickly so I am able to perform well during time tests. This was one of the classes I looked forward to during the day because I knew I would learn something new every time. In the beginning I hated homework from English class because I knew it would be an essay or writing assignment, however, now I realize how much those practice explications and essays helped improve my overall writing. People who had this same English Honors 12 class last year and are now and college told me that this class would be a harder English class than the college English classes and I would be absolutely ready for college after having Mr. Gallagher. I agree with every word they all said to me because I believe I have improved so much on everything because of how much practice I had and the help I got from analyzing the deeper meanings in things and being able to talk about art for the first time and actually know what I am talking about. Moreover, I learned about how to organize my thoughts and jot them down in a orderly fashion rather than write everything and make the ideas all scrambled around so they would be harder to understand. Also, thanks to the consistent writing assignments we would get weekly, I was able to become responsible and manage my time and know exactly how much time I would need to brainstorm and how long it would take me to finish the essay and pass in a good assignment. Before I use to have a standard on my work and just try to complete the work assignment, however, now I write to get the best grade I can get because I am not afraid to write my ideas down because of the confidence I gained from my improved writing.
I am astonished from reading what I wrote in the beginning of the year to what I have written now. My essay structure, organization of thoughts, explications on authors and artists, and vocabulary use has improved drastically. I believe I was able to improve this year so much more than the previous years was because I was never bored during period six. I was always on the edge of my chair with everything we would do in class because it was so exciting. That is also why I learned to appreciate my writing so much and enjoy expressing my feelings and ideas about pieces of literature art, and history.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

College Essay

It is amazing to realize how greatly my mother has impacted my life. She's the kind of person who makes everyone around her smile and feel alive, the kind of mother who always has time for her child even while working five days a week and having to take care of my grandmother, and the kind of community leader that helped build a Thai Buddhist Temple in Raynham. Growing up with my mother, I came to love the excitement of learning something simply for the sake of knowing something new, but I also came to understand the idea of giving back to the community for a sense of happiness and accomplishment. My mother's strongest characteristics is wanting to learn new things. I was ten years old when I went to Thailand with my mother. Every night my mother would read to me stories about Buddha and his adventure through life and how he reached out to the people and helped cure diseases and feed the poor. Despite traveling with my grandmother who was sixty at the time and had trouble moving around from place to place because she would get tired easily, we managed to be at every different Buddhist Temple where they had statues of Buddha from two feet to one hundred feet long. I remember taking pictures of every ancient tablet and statue and meditating in famous places that even the king of Thailand once went to. Seven years later, I still look at pictures taken from time to time and cherish the moment what I have learned on these journeys about culture, history as well as my family and myself. While there has been many things my mother has opened me to, my life has been equally transformed by what she has shown me through her work at the Thai Buddhist Temple in Raynham. At the age of nine, I accompanied my mother to Wat Nawamin, the Thai Buddhist Temple, and watched as she helped the young children who went to the temple read and write Thai as weel as help donate food to the monks. While she attended meetings, I helped with the Sunday Schools by helping the children draw in their coloring books and help calm them down when they would go a little crazy. After, I began work as a volunteer with five and six year old children every Sunday to help teach them how to use computers. It is here where I first began heping in the community and providing help to those in need. In the seven years since I first went to Wat Nawamin I have learned not only the idea of giving to others, but also deriving from them a sense of spirit. The experiences I have had have been magnificent; I have learned to truly value them by watching my mother. She has filled my life with her passion, and changed it with her devotion to helping others. In her love of everything and everyone she has helped, I have seen a hope and life that is amazing. Next year, I will find a new home miles away. However, I know my mother will always be by my side.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hamlet Dialetical Journal Entry

"If with too credent ear you list his songs, or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open" (43)

As Laertes goes off to college and he talks to Ophelia, instead of talking to her in a sad way because he is departing her, Laertes does not bid farewell. Instead, Laertes gives Ophelia advice about her situation with Hamlet. Laertes acts as an overprotective brother as he gives her advice on what Hamlet may try to do. For example, when Laertes explains for Ophelia to not faill for his words and if she does fall for him, watch out for her treasures or in other words her virginity. Laertes is looked upon as a good brother and really shows his maturity as he is expressed as a strong person willing to give help to his little sister.

Book Cover for Memoirs of a Geisha

I chose to collage pictures of geisha activities to emphasize the life of a geisha to the public. In the original cover of only the picture of a geisha's face, I decided to be more detailed about what a geisha really is such as their culture and talents. In addition, draw the public in with the beautiful girls on the cover, just like in the book how geishas draw in men with their looks. "You should have told me sooner what a pretty girl you brought with you. Her eyes....they're the color of a mirror!" (P.60). In addition the book also stands out compared to the other books beacuse of how colorful the cover is and how Asian traditions is unique compared to other books on the counter. The book is about a poor, young girl from the countryside who dreams of becoming a geisha after moving to the city and seeing the life of a geisha. Just like Sayuri, the main character, I wanted the public to be drawn to wanting to read Memoirs of a Geisha after seeing how unique and amazing they are from the cover. Throughout the whole book, they talk about the traditions and cultures of a geisha. I wanted the public to witness it first hand so they can get a taste of what is in sotred for them if they read the book. This story is also a romantic tale that is kind of like a Cinderella story. The hearts and the picture of a man and woman in love on the cover signify the love that is going on in the movie. Sayuri chases after the Chairman who is a man that is unreachable for her because of his status and hers, so she becomes a geisa hoping it will change it so that they have a possibility of being together. The Chairman is also the only goal and dream she has to look for in her life after leaving her family back home and being seperated from her sister. "In that brief encounter with the Chairman, I had changed from a lost girl facing a lifetime of emptiness to a girl with purpose in her life." (P.113). Love has such a huge impact in this book so expressing it in the cover that is a love story will draw in the public who are interested in love stories into buying the book. In conclusion, my book cover is superior to other book covers because this cover is vibrant and noticeable. It will catch your eye and once it does, you will be drawn into readin git because not only is it story about Asian cultures and traditions but it is also a love story. Having two different subjects is great because it draws in two different types of people, those who are interested in Asian culture and those interested in love stories.

SAT Prompt

Everyone will fail at something in their lifetime. No one is perfect at everything nor even good at everything. However, not everyone can pick themselves up after failing or have the determination to proceed to try again. I agree with the fact that being able to quickly recover in response to a challenge is essential to success. Since everyone fails in order to succeed you must be able to pick yourself up and go at it again. Just like the saying goes, "Fall seven times, get up 8." In my life, I have had to go through many obstacles that impacted my life greatly. When my parents split up, I didn't know what to do. I loved both my mother and father; and here the judge is telling me to pick either my mother or father to live with. I chose my mother knowing she was weaker emotionally and needed me more than my father. However, it was a tough loss and a tragic event in my life. Sometimes failing comes to you when you don't even expect it. For example, my parents splitting up made me feel like I failed them because I couldn't help them stay together and keep the peace between us. Moreover, I was very depressed and hurt inside everyday. However, I picked myself up and stopped moapping around because that didn't help anything. Instead, I cheered up and helped both my parents feel better and happier since I was no longer sad and I could help cheer them up as well. You can't control destiny and the things that happen in your life, but you have to keep on trying and have the determination to go on. Another time, I failed was during the first time I played lacrosse. Everyone on the team had three yeras of experience under their belt while this was the first time I ever picked up a stick. I was good for a beginner but I could never keep up with everyone because they were so good compared to me. So at home and during my spare time I would practice all day and then eventually I became the starting midfielder and one of th ebest on the team. I felt very accomplished because I never gave up and turned my failure into a success with my determination and will power. In my opinion, failing helps us to be stonger people. Without failing, success would be nothing than just an ordinary world. It wouldn't be something special but just something that everyone had. Moreover, getting back up and standing up on your own after failing makes you feel proud and accomplished. On the other hand, never failing would just be dull and something that doesn't make you feel like you achieved something. In conclusion, failing and getting back up again is the greatest glory because it is so much harder to achieve since getting back up requires you to do so when all the odds are against you and you feel your most vulernable. I believe if you can do that, then you have the strength and courage to go against anything. In addition, if you can rise everytime you fall, then you have much more strength and determination than someone who has never failed because they have never gone through all the heartaches and stuggles that a person who can rise again that eighth time after falling down seven times.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A picture worth 1000 words

When I first took a glimpse at the painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Bruegel, I noticed the little worker wearing the red shirt. The red shirt was the most vibrant color throughout the whole painting. I also noticed the very bright sun in the background. I believe it is nice the way Bruegel made the sky bright and then where all the people are located dark, since it shows how the sun acts as a god while everyone else is just humans. Afterwards, I noticed the sheep with the peasant working and looking up at the sky since it was near the worker in red. In addition, I noticed the sheep that is the close to our view rather than all the other ships and then realizing that the feet in the ocean are Icarus. Just like how Bruegel personifies the sun as a god, he makes the ship block the sunlight from where Icarus has fallen. Next, I noticed the fisherman near Icarus at the bottom right of the picture. After seeing all of the big and bright objects of the picture, I realized the ships in the background along with the two mountains, one located to the left of the picture and one located to the right. In addition, I noticed the town in the back faded out from the picture so that we can’t really notice it. There is also a cave in the middle of the ocean. I have also noticed the colors that Bruegel uses with all his objects and people. For example, the sky is black, pink, and yellowish giving it a dull background that is kind of in a condition of darkness roaming over. Then there is the sun which is huge with a yellow and orange mix of color to it. I then noticed there were a few sheeps that were black instead of white. In addition, I noticed that the darkest part of the whole picture is the bottom right part where Icarus’ body lies. The ocean where Icarus landed at is pure black expressing his death and since no sunlight is there, the work of the gods. After noticing the colors of the picture, I noticed the way the workers were dressed. For example, the mill worker has a grow coat with the vibrant reddish orange shirt that was the first thing I noticed in the painting. In addition to the hat to block the sun with. The mill worker has a horse pulling the cart he is holding to lay fertilizer on the ground. The mill worker is also dressed up old fashion just like the time period was. Moreover, the sheep worker is also dressed in an old fashion manner. He is wearing a blue shirt and holding a stick while looking at the sky. The next worker is the fisherman who is fishing right near Icarus’ corpse. I believe he is fishing near the corpse because he is probably curious to what happen to the man who he assumed was a god who just fell down to the water and died. He is wearing a fisherman hat with a white coat. After looking at the whole picture I decided to try to understand why Bruegel used the colors he did, put the people and objects where he did, and fade all the colors that he did. I believe that the black ocean on the right bottom of the map signifies the death of Icarus and that is why the ship is there. The ship is used to block the sunlight which is personified as a god from Icarus’s corpse. Next I believe the cave in the middle of the ocean signifies how Icarus and his father were trapped onto the island and couldn’t get out so they flied out of it. Then the sky being black, purple, and yellow is to signify a depressing mood to what has happened which is Icarus’ death. In addition to the whole painting being dark and gloomy where only the sun is strong and vibrant since it signifies a god. I also noticed how the top of the picture is very bright due to the sun and the bottom of the picture is dark and gloomy. I believe it represents how Icarus should have stayed in the middle and not fly too high or too low, because of how the sun would melt his wings and the bottom the oceans would get him, so that is why the middle of the map seems the perfect blend of color which is not too bright and not too dark but in the middle. I then noticed a turtle where Icarus’ dead body lies. I believe that signifies new life and a rebirth since there is a living animal swimming around Icarus’ dead body. After all the backgrounds and colors that I tried to figure out why Bruegel did it, I thought about the significance of the workers. The workers are in the painting to show the natural side of the picture as in the human side. There is a god side to the picture which is the nature part as in the sun. Then, there is the human part where they look up to the sky to be astonished by the gods and since they are all working to get their food and nutrients from nature, I believe it is significant. Since the human workers are doing their jobs to get their source of nutrient and food from nature, it shows how powerful nature is and how powerful the god is. For example, how easily the sun melted Icarus’ wings to cause him to fall into the ocean and die. The ocean is also another god since it is nature. The sun melted Icarus’ wings to cause him to not be able to fly anymore however the ocean is the element of nature that kills him. Overall, Bruegel uses a very unique style of color, texture, people, and objects to subject the viewer to many components of the picture such as the vibrant red shirt, or the bright sun.

"The Wedding Dance in the Open Air"

The Deeper Meaning of ArtArt portrays many aspects of one’s life such as social status, ideas, and even history. In the poem, “The Wedding Dance in the Open Air”, by William Carlos Williams, social status is displayed by the peasant’s type of clothing, ideas of what the peasants dream and hope for is displayed, and history of how people acted and what it meant is shown compared to how we would see it as now. Williams writes his poems in a haiku form of three line stanzas and with his lack of punctuation, emphasizes the important words of the poem. Williams starts out with showing the dreams and hopes of the peasants. He begins his poem with describing how the peasants are dancing, “disciplined by the artist/to go round/& round” (1-3), explains how Brueghel, the artist, expresses the way the peasants have a never-ending work cycle. The peasants finally have a time where they are celebrating other than working. In the painting, we see the peasants dancing to the music playing, swinging their arms around, and having fun. Usually we see peasants working and being excluded from civilization as their social status are the lowest of the people and they have no connections other than between themselves and taking orders from other people. Williams expresses how the peasants dream for escape of this cycle of working and to be away from civilization saying, “they prance or go openly/toward the wood’s/edges” (15-17). Williams continues his poem with expressing the simplicity of the peasants. The clothing of the peasants is described by Williams, “ample-bottomed doxies/fills/the market square” (7-9) and “rough shoes and/farm breeches” (17-18). In the painting, we see the peasants wearing the clothes they go to work with, showing how poor the peasants are because they can’t afford formal wear. Moreover, we see how uncivilized they are with their bewildered dancing rather than proper dancing such as ballroom dancing. In addition, Williams’s expresses how uncivilized the peasants are with expressing how the peasants act, “mouths agape/Oya! /kicking up their heels” (19-21). They are acting almost like animals rather than normal human beings as they are so caught up in the moment of freedom from work and being able to let themselves go. The simplicity of the peasants on how they dance, dress, and express themselves portrays how different we judge society. In the painting, we see the peasants dancing and touching each other with music playing which is a sense of order for them. Nowadays, we see order as precise and exact. However, back then, they see order as balanced with the music and dancing being in complete harmony with one another. The history of how we looked upon order and society is shown with all the little details that Brueghel presents in his painting.In conclusion, this poem reveals the simplicity of the peasants and how they are trapped in a never-ending work cycle which they hope to escape. In addition, to the history of how we looked upon order compared to how we do now. Williams’ use of haiku reveals the deeper meaning of the ideas and images that Brueghel presents in his painting.