Goals for AP Literature 2nd Semester and NEW IDEAS :)

Speaking!!!!

I would love love love it if we did more public speaking assignments. I know I do things like theater and poetry out loud, but I still feel like I’m getting a little bit rusty on speaking publicly. Although the content of the speeches could really be about anything, maybe we can begin to do personal independent projects on poetry and then present to the class what we’ve learned. Maybe we need to write poems and have a dramatic poetry read off! (Using the techniques that we’ve observed through our analysis of poetry.) Maybe we could write speeches based on the underlying themes of the AP books we have read. I don’t care really, I just want to speak more.

I should probably read more AP Lit. I have read what has been required but I have not been reading more than that. And I should be! So I shall.

With writing… I feel like we haven’t written a lot this semester. Yes, we’ve been doing our blog posts. And yes I have written stories, poems, narratives, rants, history analysis, poetry analysis, and various other things, but I don’t feel like that will help me on the AP exam. I really do enjoy doing those posts, but they aren’t the types of things that we’re going to have to be writing to pass the AP exam. I believe that if we could cut it back to one blog post per week and made it something legit, it would be more productive and less easy to forget, especially if we know that they’re actually going to be graded based on our writing, not just on the fact that we do them. I’m going to punch myself in the face for saying that one…….. but I’m just trying to be honest.

So that’s what I hope to see next semester. I don’t even know if I want to take the AP test knowing that I will probably fail or get a 3 at the highest because that score counts for nothing at any school that I’m applying to. But it’s whatever, I might take it. Not sure. 

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Upon the Burning of Our House – Anne Bradstreet

In silent night when rest I took,
For sorrow near I did not look,
I wakened was with thund’ring noise
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice.
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,”
Let no man know is my Desire.
I, starting up, the light did spy,
And to my God my heart did cry
To straighten me in my Distress
And not to leave me succourless.
Then, coming out, behold a space
The flame consume my dwelling place.
And when I could no longer look,
I blest His name that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.
It was his own, it was not mine,
Far be it that I should repine;
He might of all justly bereft
But yet sufficient for us left.
When by the ruins oft I past
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast
And here and there the places spy
Where oft I sate and long did lie.
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest,
There lay that store I counted best.
My pleasant things in ashes lie
And them behold no more shall I.
Under thy roof no guest shall sit,
Nor at thy Table eat a bit.
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told
Nor things recounted done of old.
No Candle e’er shall shine in Thee,
Nor bridegroom‘s voice e’er heard shall be.
In silence ever shalt thou lie,
Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity.
Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide,
And did thy wealth on earth abide?
Didst fix thy hope on mould’ring dust?
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky
That dunghill mists away may fly.
Thou hast a house on high erect
Frameed by that mighty Architect,
With glory richly furnished,
Stands permanent though this be fled.
It‘s purchased and paid for too
By Him who hath enough to do.
A price so vast as is unknown,
Yet by His gift is made thine own;
There‘s wealth enough, I need no more,
Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store.
The world no longer let me love,
My hope and treasure lies above.
 
While looking into Bradstreet’s life, her house actually did burn down. This poem describes her experience of this taking place. It is clear that she felt the inner conflicts. While she trusts God as her father and believes that all things are his and his alone, she has a hard time letting go of her earthly possessions. She conveys this feeling of conflict through her “tug of war” rhythm and conflicting statements. 
The poem is make up of many couplets, which make a poem very flowing and sing-song. There is a clear cadence throughout the whole piece. I believe that this indicates how fluidly all of her thoughts and feelings about her home burning down are running together.  This feeling also gives that “tug of war” feeling by making such a rhythmic cadence. 
The “tug of war” feeling also emphasizes that she can’t decide how she feels. She knows she’s supposed to be grateful and thanking God at all times, but as she passes the ashes, she can do nothing but stop and stare at what used to be and what could have been. She knows that her greater reward is in heaven, yet she also knows that there will never be anyone to sit at her table and hangout at her home ever again, because it is gone. 
Her punctuation isn’t too peculiar, and the repetition of the style helped to set the initial cadence that I discussed. The regularly used punctuation helped to establish the couplets, which also rhymed. It is interesting that she capitalizes some of her possessions and the word “Him” that refers to God. This symbolizes that in this moment, they are of equal importance. While she finishes the poem with a statement that lets readers know she values God over her possessions, it is very conflicting for a time period. 
This poem made me sad. I thought about what it would be like for me to lose my entire household and I can totally sympathize with Bradstreet’s feelings. That inner conflict would be very prevalent in that situation, no matter who you are. Bradstreet has an interesting style of conflicting feelings that are always flowing together. She does an awesome job at conveying that she feels a certain gray area about what is right and what is wrong. 

AP Buuks r hard 2 reed 4 meh

Sometimes I’d rather read something besides an AP book. Actually that’s most of the time. No offense to the books on the AP list… they’re just not my style, know what I’m sayin?

They’re good books. They filled with so many wonderful things and filled with rich literature. But I’m going to be very blunt and honest. They’re just not for me. So, I have to muster up all of the willpower in my being to go out of my way to read an AP book.

Sure, I’ll definitely read them if we have to for something in class. I enjoy reading them! But if I’m not being forced to, they’re not my go-to.

SO… all of that being said… aside from 1984, I am not reading an AP book at this moment. But on top of reading that and my bible and having 693465349 other things to do, I’m not sure I’d be reading it all that much anyways. Even if I checked one out. I appreciate the book groups forcing me to read AP books because I know that it’s important if I want to take and pass the AP exam in the spring.

So uh yeah I’ll get on that…

Update on my Senior Project

Well… My senior project is 100% completed! I went to work crew for Young Life over the summer and did all of the things that I need to do to make it a senior project. Serving purely The Lord for a month was something that is hard to do in normal life. I was blessed to have been able to call doing something that I absolutely love a senior project! #ServiceIsTheBest #LoveDoingStuffILove #LoveSeeingHappyPeople #DoesThisCountAsABlogPost? #IFeelLikeImCheatingSoImUsingLongHashtags 

I Miss My Friends… (PB) (FC)

This is going to be pathetic… so read at your own risk.

You may call me a whiner or a cry baby or ungrateful over-dramatic. Call me what you will but I’m just going to write what’s really on my heart right now. I might be pathetic, but this whole post is the truth. It may seem like a middle school kid of problem… and that’s exactly why I’m so confused.

I miss my friends. I’d like to say that I don’t know where they’ve been or why I miss them. I’d like to say that it’s just because we’re all so busy that there’s no time in the day. I’d like to say that things will be normal again and I know it.

Well I can’t really say any of those things, because they’re not true.

I know where they’ve been. They’ve been having so much fun talking to each other and making plans and going out together. They’ve been having fun doing all of these things with new friends or better friends. They’ve been super busy with other obligations as well. But what happened to me in that mix of fun?

I feel pathetic writing this. I feel so incredibly pathetic and kind of embarrassed. But I feel left out. Some people may be like “whhaaaattt that’s bull!” But it’s not really…

To whom it may concern –

I miss you. I wish you had time for our friendship and the fun times that we have together. I wish that between the craziness of life and the new and other friends that there could still be crazy Erin time. Crazy Erin is going crazy over here listening to her friends make plans during class as they turn her backs to her. I wish that it would cross your mind to include me, but I know that I can’t always be included. It’s just been a very long time since I have been involved and I’m not sure why.

I’m just worn down trying. Trying to initiate contact and forcing a connecting when you all seem reluctant. I feel like I beg to hang out with you, and you’ll typically still say no. It’s pathetic, like this blog post. You can read our text messages if you don’t believe me. This effort is wearing me very thin and I can’t keep on going pretending that you still care about my life or care hang out with me once in blue moon.

We used to spend all day together. We used to spend multiple days together. Now I only see you in class. We used to be spontaneous and go on adventures and do things that made me smile and grew our friendship. Now you’re too busy. We used to have inside jokes and sleepovers. Now I wonder if you remember any of them.

Maybe it’s a part of growing up. But maybe it’s not. Maybe you think you’re more mature than me, and therefore shouldn’t spend your time with me. But maybe you’re not. Maybe you don’t like one of my other friends, you know, the ones who pour effort into our relationship and treat our relationship with importance equivalent to a boyfriend. But maybe you need to learn that we can all be friends by grace. You’re being hurtful. I’ve heard you say things and act ways that I never thought I’d see, especially towards someone that you used to call a best friend.

I’m just a little offended that our friendship meant that little to so many of you. Did I do something wrong? Did I do something to upset you? Where did you go?

And to those of you who HAVE made the effort to be my friend: thank you. I am so incredibly grateful to know who I am important to. It’s nice to have people that talk to me because they care about my life as opposed to when they need something. It’s awesome to know that there are people who would treat a friendship with the same importance that they’d give to a boyfriend. You fight to stay in my life and I’ll always be fighting to stay in yours.

I love you all so dearly; new friends, old friends, bad friends, awesome friends. You’re all my friends and I will continue to pour love onto you because I do. There’s nothing that can stop that. I just wish that you’d realize that you’ve benched me.

LOVE ME.

Love, Erin

Okay I’ll stop being pathetic now.

If someone hangs out with me.

And no… Anna doesn’t count. She just kind of shows up. 😉

Putin Isn’t So Bad After All! (FC)

Everyone seems to think that Vladimir Putin is some terrible person. Sure, maybe he isn’t conforming to westernization through globalization, and maybe his people are starving. Maybe he’s super controlling and does things differently than how Americans prefer them, but there’s the key. Everything he does is just different from the United States, but does that make it wrong? If everyone took a good look at all of things that are so much better than they would be without Putin, they’d realize he’s not so bad after all!

            Russian Oligarchs play a huge role in Russia’s economics and politics. An oligarchy is a small group of people that have control over something, and in the context of Russia, they have a lot of business control. While Putin doesn’t take a lot of the wealth in Russia for himself (a mere $153,000), it seems like his friends make lots of money. Yuri Kovalchuk is a good example of this. He was once Putin’s neighbor, and once Putin was put into power, Kovalchuk’s bank – Bank Rossyia – went from being a small minnow among many to a major player and Kovalchuk currently has a 30% stake in the bank. He’s worth 1.5 million dollars! Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it seems to me that Putin was so generous to his friend and former neighbor and pulled some strings so that he could get more money. I wish I had friends like that. But aside from his friends making lots of money, there is a small circle of Russian elite who seem to be controlling the money, which is something that was supposedly reduced when Putin came into power.

            Russian oligarchs appeared to decrease drastically when Putin transferred his title from Prime Minister to President. Those who had been a part of the oligarchs that formed in the 1990’s seemed to lose the power that they had. The oligarchs formed at this time were the result of government cuts, mass privatization, and free trade, also known to many as “shock therapy,” because it was meant to shock the economy and reduce state monopolies and ultimately reduce the risk of the return of communism. Shock therapy simply changed the state monopolies into private monopolies, which run in the same manor. One example of this is Boris Berezovsky’s story. Under former president Yeltsin, Berezovsky was the most powerful Russian oligarch that there was. To make a long story short, Berezovsky helped Putin rise to power, and then Putin exiled Berezovsky. Putin is such an awesome guy for getting rid of the bad guys like Berezovsky and giving money to his friends like Kovachuk. Putin did so much to undo the negativity that oligarchs brought to Russia with his economic reforms. He did such a great job of knocking down the 1990 oligarchs!

            But wait… what’s an oligarchy again? The definition is a small group of people that have control over something, and in the context of Russia, they have a lot of business control. So looking at where the money was in the 1990’s to where it is now, it doesn’t seem to have been distributed differently at all. The only difference is the name that owns the money. That’s weird! So the same oligarchs aren’t in power, but new oligarchs are, and these new oligarchs are all buddies of Putin. Again, I wish I had friends who would give rich people’s money to me! Putin’s such a solid guy. The amazing thing about what he’s doing is that even though he technically doesn’t control the money, he is still omnipotent and benevolent.

            This is where Putin’s awesomeness can truly be seen. He’s doing an amazing job at controlling the oligarchs. “Mr. Putin enjoys nearly limitless power, having brought the oligarchs to heel, recentralized political authority, dismantled fledgling democratic institutions and put most of the economy back under state control.”  While Putin seems to be all-powerful, he is not. The oligarchs are still thriving, but they are different than before. Putin spends a lot of time mediating oligarch quarrels and making sure that everything continues to go according to plan. I think it’s so awesome that Putin can control everything for Russia and make sure that the oligarchs don’t get out of hand. They need someone like Putin to control their quarrels and it’s awesome that he’s willing to step up and do that for them.

            Putin is totally undervalued in our society. So what if Russian people aren’t happy? So what if the only Russian’s with money are Putin’s BFF’s? So what if he’s hostile and dictatorial? He’s doing an awesome thing by keeping these current oligarchs under control. There will be a day when Putin ISN’T in power and that’s the day and that’s the day that should be feared. The oligarchs will then have complete power politically and economically. Without Putin… Russia is doomed!

Songwriter at Heart (FC)(PB)

I’ve been slacking.

I kinda feel like I was always supposed to be a songwriter.

Not like a famous one like Taylor Swift or Jason Mraz, but simply one who write songs.

And no, not like orchestral pieces. But lyrical contemporary stuff.

Can you see it? I can see it.

I think I’m supposed to be a songwriter. It’s a good outlet for feelings (ew) and I love love love to make music with my guitar (although it is not where my talent lies) and love love love to sing.

I’ve tried to write songs in the past. They’re stupid and hilarious and embarrassing and I think my sisters made fun of me for them. (I may have made up the last one because the memory is fuzzy, but I think that’s because I repressed it. I do that with bad memories.) I think that I should do something along those lines. Guitar playing really helps to make me feel better. Kind of like a stress and emotional release all at once!

I’ve also always loved to write. I love to blog. I think songwriting is another thing that I’d enjoy writing. Again it’s not something that I think I’d be super talented at but my songwriting wouldn’t be about the quality of talent involved.

My songwriting would be more of a thing for me personally. Kind of like a journal with a tune. How fun! So songwriters who write to become famous, you know, good for them! That wouldn’t be my goal. In fact, I’d probably never let someone see them ever because that’s just how I am. I’m so awkward. So these songs would probably all be awkward as well… which is kind of a bummer.

So songwriting. Maybe. Maybe I will share my songs and become a super star and leave Hockinson forever and become rich and blah blah blah. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll sit at the saturday market in Seattle everyday playing my sad songs hoping that someone will pay for them.. you know? Maybe.