Second Semester

This essay was a free topic analysis on Othello. We spend a great deal of time in class working through the play, acting scenes out, and analyzing the important aspects of this play. As a result, I felt that I was fairly ready for this assignment. However, my ideas, as usual are not very strong. My thesis was pretty basic and not too difficult to prove. Mrs. cordero said that my thesis was not sophisticated enough. Maybe because of that, my support for the thesis was strong and complete. Besides the ideas, I felt that the other components were pretty strong. I got a three in conventions, which was pretty disappointing because there weren't very many errors marked when the essay was returned. Overall, I received a 45/50.

Othello Notebook
This notebook was a comprehensive guide to the play Othello. There were many components that we had to include in the notebook. Besides the cover, of course, we also had to include summaries, vocabulary, logs, quotation analysis, character analysis, and our dramaturgy. This assignment took a lot of time to complete. A lot of it was not particulary difficult, like the vocabulary and the summaries. However, you had to spend the time to do it. The character analysis and quote analysis required more thought and effort but the main concern, again, was time. I actually finished this before midnight the night before it was due because I had been working on it consistently throughout the week. I earned a 38/40.

The Legend of Fa Mulan
As part of our study of Woman Warrior, we compared and contrasted different versions of the story of Mulan. In the novel, the second chapter, "White Tigers" is the story of Mulan. We found another copy of the actual legend and watched the Disney film for the other versions. We first talked about the different methods of writing this type of essay and discussed the merits of each. This one is a whole to whole essay because it does not need to be as in depth. I felt that I did a very thorough job on this assignment. I found a few aspects that were similar in each story but had some element that was unique. The biggest problem I had was the amount of summary I put into the essay. I felt that I was forced to tell a lot of the story because otherwise it would have been unclear as to what was going on.

Individual Reading Projects: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Each book report consisted of characters, summary, alternate ending, and analysis of writing techniques. I really enjoyed reading this novel because I thought it was absolutely hilarious and extremely random. I had fun doing the illustrations, but the rest... The characters and summary were pretty easy to; as long as you had read the book, it should have been fairly simple, though possible time consuming. The alternate ending was enjoyable because I could rewrite the story pretty much anyway I wanted, especially since it was so random anything could have made sense. The analysis was probably my weakest section because the thesis was very bland. It didn't really state an author purpose but more like a fact. I got a 72/75 on this assignment.

Individual Reading Projects: A Separate Peace
This assignment also consisted of the same elements: character, summary, alternate ending, and analysis. The characters of Gene and Finny are very well developed and I found some of their attributes very interesting to analyze and describe. I was rather unsatisfied with the ending when Brinker's stubbornness and nosy attitude get Gene. The alternate ending gave me a chance to make things as I would have liked for them to end. For this essay, I am proud to say that I had a decent thesis. Instead of focusing on the technical issues, like diction, syntax, organization, and details, I used a statement of theme as my thesis. I then used the techincal aspects to prove the theme. I felt that worked well for this particular novel because the themes are all very important and powerful. I also received a 72/75 on this assignment.

"O' Captain My Captain"
This piece was one that we completed together as a class. We worked extensively on developing strong organization and voice. Our topic was the symbolism of the color red. I didn't find the topic particularly appealing. My ideas were rather weak. As I revised other's essays, I found many of the same ideas cropping again and again. That is one of the downsides of the same topic for everyone but it's difficult to be original. I didn't do too well on this essay.

Dead Poet's Society
After analyzing Walt Whiman's "O' Captain My Captain," we watched the Dead Poet's Society that related to the poem. It was an intriguing and thought provoking film that explored the lives of prep school boys. I wrote my analysis on two fairly important but very different characters. I related one characteristic of both these people to each other and showed an interesting relationship between them. I felt that the ideas were strong because I was very interested in the issues presented in the movie but the voice was not appropriate.

Lord of the Flies (first draft)
I wrote my Lord of the Flies essay on the unique relationship between Ralph and Jack. Unfortunately, the one linked here is the one with the weak thesis. I rewrote the essay but I changed almost everything though I did work with my original as the starting point. It somehow evolved into what you see here. This rewrite focuses more on the dark side of people and how Ralph managed to avoid becoming like Jack and tribe. I admit the first draft was a very weak piece. I hope that this second time around, I write more coherently and powerfully.

Guide to Island Survival
This assignment was meant to be a fun project that related to Lord of the Flies We wrote a survival guide given the hypothetical situation that we landed on an island with only a knife in hand. This was a time consuming project and involved extensive research. The Army's field guide was a very useful resource. I received a 20 out of 25 because I neglected to cite each picture individually. I recieved 5 extra points though so everything evened out.