As a high school student, junior year had been the toughest year for me. However, with hard work comes dank rewards. My journey in AP Language has specifically been the most rewarding. In Mr. Ziebarth’s class, I’ve acquired an extensive amount of knowledge as well as a chance to sharpen my skills. In the beginning of the school year, my essays were extremely boring and disorganized. My old English teacher told me he wasn’t able to finish grading my essay because he kept falling asleep. On rare occasions, my essays would get graded but always received an unsatisfying score because of how disorganized it was. Some assignments that really stood out to me was the descriptive essay. It helped me develop my descriptions of certain situations. It made me realize how important it was to paint a clear image in your reader’s mind. Not only that, but the descriptions also helped me in real life. After the essay, I began to notice all the details in the world around me.
I favorite assignment out of the whole year was the sidewalk drawing. I still remember this project because it was like no other. I never thought that I would be drawing images on a sidewalk with chalk in high school. This unique assignment meant a lot to me. It reminded me of the childhood I once had. It made me realize how precious my childhood was before I lost it. Not only did this day remind me of my childhood, but it was also educational. It was simply a highlight of my year. It forced me to look deeper into The Grapes of Wrath. When my group examined the text more carefully, we discovered a life lesson. When Tom left the family to go on his own, it was a message that Steinbeck was trying to convey. My group concluded that we should “keep calm and move on.” This could obviously be applied to real life. There are certain things that we should just forget about and move on. The past is in the past and we should focus on the future that is ahead of us. We should prevent dreadful things from the past from holding us back from our full potential. The sidewalk drawing was a great experience for me. I’m grateful that Mr. Ziebarth planned it.
Throughout the year, we also wrote many essays. These essays aimed to improve our overall writing and literature skills. Many of them were effective in allowing us to find our strengths and weaknesses and improving upon them. One of my main strengths of my essays is that is very clear. Many people have told me that my essays get to the point and everything is where it needs to be. All of my descriptions are clear as the sky and understandable. My weakness is my focus. More than often, when my group revises my essay, they suggest that I stick with the prompt more. Half way through my essay, I tend to drift away from the prompt and go off topic. As a writer, the class discussions helped me improve the most. I was pressured by everyone else and this helped me to try and push harder when I wrote my essay. I was careful to specifically organize everything and have a good thorough description. I also made sure that I was following the prompt. This made me realize how to improve my writing and please the teacher.
To be honest, there were times when the class was boring. Sometimes I would fall asleep during discussions. Most of the time, people were saying random things about the book to simply get a participation point. The big question for our book “The Catcher in the Rye” was “how do holden’s words reflect him, his life, and his relationships?” To answer this question, we can look at how Holden describes other characters in the book. Holden often calls others “phony or dumb.” This illustrates his personality because it shows how he is negative about everyone. As a result, this pushes him away from others. Holden’s words forces him to distance his relationship with others because he has a negative feeling about them. However, we can see that Holden is confidence throughout the book. He tries to talk to many girls about his personal life. Like Holden, I became confidence because of this class. I became so confident in myself that I was able to fully express how I felt about a topic during discussions in class. Even though I get roasted, I am still comfortable enough to say my answer to the whole class. My best improvement was my confidence and social abilities.