I have alway thought that english was one of my stronger subjects. I have always loved to read and write, ever since I was a kid. I have alway taken the honors english courses and considered myself “advanced” when it came to writing an essay or reading a book. I came into AP english this year excited for what was to come. I had heard a lot of great things about Mr.Ziebarth, especially since I had Mr.Theriault the year before. I also had a friend, Aysia, who had told me nothing but good things about this class. I knew that I was in for a lot of reading and analyzing work, which I was pretty excited for because I love to read new books.
I can’t even being to explain how much I learned in this short amount of time I have had with Mr.Ziebarth. From formal and important things like how to analyze essays, to subtle and helpful tips like asking yourself questions while reading. We learned the importance of diction, structure, tone, rhetorical strategies, and so much more. These lessons were incorporated into learning how to develop well written essays, while also reading books and practicing identifying these factors. All of these lessons were brought together by the end of the year, making me into an amazing english student.
I never thought I would develop so much as a writer, and a person, throughout the class. I was not super talented in analyzing strategies that author’s used in their writing, so I was a bit nervous about being so heavily graded on that all year. In the beginning, I struggled with style analysis because I hadn’t had much practice with it. As the class went on and we continued learning and practicing, it became a lot easier and I feel like I improved a lot since the beginning of the year. Now, looking back, I can honestly say that I feel like my most improved skill is style analysis. The Grapes of Wrath essay exam was honestly, in my opinion, my best essay written all year and that proves how much I have grown. It is a lot easier for me to identify different strategies used by authors when reading and I am impressed with how much I learned this year. Being able to write a well written essay on the rhetorical strategies was a huge accomplishment for me, especially because the essay was on a book that was full of symbolism that was hard to understand. I was able to write the essay because of all of the practice we had done in class, which I owe all to Mr.Ziebarth. I have to admit, all of the practice seemed a bit redundant, but looking back on it made me realize that there was a purpose to all of it.
Mr.Ziebarth’s AP english class was all but ordinary, and that was what made it so special. Of course, we did traditional AP english activities like writing essays and analyzing pieces of writing, but we also did fun things like keep a blog. The class was a perfect balance between learning and having fun, which made the class so much more enjoyable. It also made it easier to absorb the knowledge that we were given. Most teachers only provide constant direct instruction without giving the students time to be creative. Mr.Ziebarth gave us the freedom to be creative. Throughout the process of having and maintaining a blog, I have learned to be more free with my writing. I was always so traditional with my writing. but this class taught me that its okay to be informal and carefree once and a while.
In the last few weeks of class, we read a book called Catcher in the Rye. Throughout the time we read this book, we discussed a question that seemed to stick with me. The question was, “how do words limit or build connections you can make with people?” People have been communicating by using words for thousands of years, obviously words play a huge role make connections with people. They allow us to learn things about other people, find out things they have in common, and form relationships. But the main character of the book, Holden, has a very hard time making connections with people. This is one of the cases where words can actually limit the connections he made with people. Holden was a very lonely kid. He found it very easily to find something wrong with someone that made him want to leave. He had very few friends, and the ones he did have, were people he spoke poorly of. Holden had a very poor way of expressing his feelings towards people because he had no filter. He always just said the first thing that popped into his mind, which caused people to dislike him or find him immature, showing how his words limited his ability to make connections with others.
With these last words, I bring my last blog post to a close, It has been such an amazing experience keeping a blog these past two years. I have learned so much and have loved having a place to keep my thoughts and writing. Thank you to anyone who read my blog, I hope to continue improving my writing skills and become an even better writer and person. It has been a pleasure.