David J

Be someone nobody thought you could be

Personal Narrative

My personal narrative is about my transition to Canada from China in fifth grade. Specifically how I became friends with Jack.

 

Rationale

In my personal narrative, I based it on the story of the first day of school in Toronto, Canada. The story begins a brief introduction about my life in China to create a contrast to the life in Canada. I was facing both internal and external conflicts dealing with new environment and making new friends. To make the readers empathize with my emotional turmoil, I used literary techniques like metaphor “I slowly walked over to where other kids lined up like warriors ready for battle.” hyperbole “He had on a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and he seemed like a giant to me, I thought he was in high school.” imagery “When I scanned the courtyard, I found the place where I could fit in: a game of foursquare.” and personification “When the ball touched the ground, it curved to the right.”

 

In the story I was still a little boy who was not good at English, I tried to show that through making my dialogue with simple choice of dictions ““No, no, I’m good.” I said while stuttering.” and incorporating some Chinese “”Xie xie, mom.”” I characterized myself differently from others to show my uniqueness through my outfit “That day I was wearing a blue shirt that said ‘active’ on it in Chinese, it was my favorite shirt that I had.” and that I was shorter than others.

 

Furthermore, I used literary techniques such as alliteration “When I heard that my body shivered a bit but also felt a strange satisfaction of accomplishment.” Here it creates emphasis on my shyness as a kid but also proud for what I have achieved. In addition, I emulated Holden’s style of speaking from The Catcher in the Rye “…, although I did not feel I was ready for school but I told myself to be brave and all.” “… she told me that my dad is going to go to Canada to work or something like that.”

 

Overall, my memoir is to reflect on my friendship with Jack and how I grew from that experience.

 

 

The Transition

“Have fun honey.” My mom said in a quiet voice with a sense of discomfort.

“Xie xie, mom.” as I said while turning around.

It was the first day of school and was I nervous.

When I got to the courtyard, there were already a lot of students hanging out there. I walked around with my hands on my backpack straps looking around the courtyard like a detective — a desperate attempt to find a clue where could I fit in.

 

It was the summer of 2012 in Toronto Canada. A place that I did not know it existed until a month ago. I was overwhelmed by the fresh air and the blue sky that I rarely saw in China. Everywhere people spoke a foreign language that I was not familiar with. With my mom’s eager anticipation for me to improve my English, I was enrolled into a summer camp at Upper Canada College. After a week of camp my English skills remained the same, but I mastered the game of four square. For an 11-year-old boy, starting a new life was an exciting adventure like a cocoon that just turned into a butterfly exploring the brand new world.

 

Back home in China, I use to go to a school where we had 40 people in a class, and we spoke only Chinese. My days were filled with classes and sports. I would typically wake up at 6:30, for half an hour ride to school on good days, traffic can be horrific some days. Once at school I would run up the staircases trying to avoid getting caught being tardy. During first block I would glance at the clock above the blackboard every 5 minutes. Eagerly anticipating for a 10-minute game of soccer during recess. My friends and I would run around like wild puppies being let go from the leash. For me, school was a friendly place where I could be with friends.

 

Then one day when I came home from school just like any other day, then my mom approached me. She had this friendly smile on her face and then she told me that my dad is going to go to Canada to work or something like that. At that time, I didn’t know what it was all about, all I knew was that we were going to move to Canada at the end of the school year. All these fun days with my friends are just gone like this? It was really devastating for me to hear that news. Time went by fast and it was the last day of school. All of my friends and I were sad, but we did not know how to express our emotions. As usual, after school we went to the store the last time for a quick snack, then back to the field and played our last soccer game and I thought that was probably going to be the last time I will see them.

 

Life in Toronto was completely different. I was enrolled at Rosedale public school for me to attend and I participated in the orientation for new students. My first impression was that the school was a lot smaller than my school in China. I didn’t think of it as something negative, I just thought that the school had a different style and I just needed some time to adapt to it. I spent the last two weeks before school trying my best to improve my English skills. I was reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, although it was just a simple story, for me it was an achievement. Two weeks went by fast, I knew I was not ready for school but I told myself to be brave and all.

 

When I scanned the courtyard, I found the place where I could fit in: a game of foursquare. Then I slowly walked over to where other kids lined up like warriors ready for battle. I was filled with confidence. That day I was wearing a blue shirt that said ‘active’ on it in Chinese, it was my favorite shirt that I had. The line was not too long so soon it was my turn to play. When the ball was tossed to my quarter, I moved my right leg back, gripped my hands tightly together and then smashed the ball. The force was so strong I was even amazed by it. I could tell everyone there were stunned from their facial expressions. They were probably wondering who this skinny new kid in town was. I then casually walked to the next square feeling more charged. I took my ready stance and faced the next shot. The ball was first served to this boy next to me. He had on a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and he seemed like a giant to me, I thought he was in high school. As he hit the ball to my sqaure, he twisted his wrist. It seemed just like a regular shot so I gripped my hands together and hit towards the ball. The second I started moving my hands I knew I messed it up. When the ball touched the ground, it curved to the right. Then I looked to my side and saw the ball rolling down the courtyard in between others. That was when I realized that I was out of the game and went back to the line. Then I heard a voice from behind me,

“Hey you new kid, go pick up the ball.” His voice was aggressive with a feeling of dominance.

Without a word, I went to pick up the ball and I handed it to him trying to avoid eye contact. The game continued. I was confused at how he manipulated the ball to spin. So I kept close attention to him and saw a movement in his wrist before every shot. When I stood in my square again, I swung at the ball and missed again. My chance to revenge once again failed. And he had on a victorious simile. Two more humiliating defeats from my side then I finally figured out how to receive his shot. Failure is the mother of success, so I thought it was now my chance to bounce back. Once again he had this weird wrist movement while having a smirk on his face. I stayed calm and made a quick calculation. Since he moved his wrist to the right, so I knew the ball was going to go to the left. I aimed my hands like I was holding a sniper and launched my hands toward the ball. The ball flew like a bullet into the tall guy’s square and he was not ready for that. Just like that he was out of the game.

“You got lucky there, get ready when I come back.” He said with a rough voice.

When I heard that my body shivered a bit but also felt a strange satisfaction of accomplishment. The next couple of rounds were pretty easy with me eventually getting to the king square.

“Jack, show him who’s better.” said a guy that was standing in the line, he was also taller than me and had a beanie on.

I was the king so I served the ball first to this guy on my right. He then hit the ball lightly to Jack’s square. I was baffled by what was happening. Why did he hit it so carefully to Jack’s square? Jack then of course just smashed the ball straight on to my square filled with vengeance. I don’t know why but my natural instinct just made me dive for the ball. Unfortunately, I landed sideways on the concrete ground. My tailbone was hurting like hell. Then what happened next surprised me, Jack walked up to me and held his hand out.

“Hey, you good?”

“Ya, ya I think I’m good.”

“Hey, let me take you to the nurse.”

I did not know how to respond appropriately, everything was so overwhelming, it made me feel like a celebrity that just stepped out of his car and was being bombarded by flashlights. I just followed Jack and went to the nurse.

“Yo, my name is Jack,” Jack said holding his hand out.

“Hi, my name is David,” I said while shaking his hand.

“Hey, your dive there was pretty impressive, I’m sorry if I made you feel unwelcomed earlier.”

“No, no, I’m good.” I said while stuttering.

At first we were trying to talk about where we were from and I was trying to tell him about my life in China. But soon I think he found out that I was not very good at English so we just waited for the nurse to come and check on me. The nurse was very kind, she made me bend my knees a couple of times and twisted my waist. She said that there was nothing wrong, I just scraped some skin. When we were leaving, she gave both of us each a lollipop. Back in China, our school didn’t allow us to eat candy on campus, but here they give out candy for free! I was relived and it is undoubtedly friendly enough for me to feel at ease. For the whole year Jack and I were best friends.

 

Whenever I think back to that time of how I got to be friends with Jack, I tell myself to be confident and be myself. I became friends with Jack because of his skills, and he gave me respect for my effort. I still remember when I was on the ground and he gave me a hand. Initially, I did feel uncomfortable interacting with Jack since I was just a new kid, and Jack was much bigger and been at the school for a long time already. As time passed, we got to learn each other better. I learned that he was also in fifth grade, it’s just that he was taller than everyone. He would always help me if I was lost or I didn’t understand something. During recess every day we would play foursquare, although we would be competitive, but when the game finishes, we will go back being best friends.

 

Impresive improvement

For my impressive improvement, I have chosen to improve my tonguing and articulation. I have chosen to show my improvement through the part of Lord Tullamore since there are a lot of 8th notes that need to be tongued. For practice, I have chosen some scales to practice and also a song to practice. The scales will help me as it needs good articulation and tonguing, each time practice I will try to play the scales faster than last time. Then for the song that I chose, it has 16th notes and 8th notes in it which will challenge my tonguing and articulation. I plan on to do my practice routine 4 times a week with each time being 30 to 45 minutes.

Band: What I have learnt

From the first quarter, I had gained a lot of experience as a band member. We just had our first concert of the year, it went pretty well except for Michelle’s guitar strings broke and that the speakers were not working 🙁    I didn’t really remember how loud the electric guitar was during rehearsals so I didn’t realize that her guitar strings were broken after the performance. I think I did pretty well at the concert, there was one transition between flipping the music that I could work on. I also feel that our section should be more organized during sectionals and have a person in charge of it.

5 Things

5 Books:

  1. Gathering Blue
  2. Lord of the flies
  3. Messenger
  4. Looking for Alaska
  5. Catch 22

5 Podcasts:

  1. The Lowe Post
  2. Bleacher Report
  3. Hang time
  4. The center ring
  5. Esports today

5 Documentaries

  1. The golden gate bridge suicides
  2. Secrets of body language
  3. The best ghost cases ever caught on camera
  4. The world’s most dangerous drug
  5. American’s brutal prisons

5 Memories

  1. Pingyao
  2. Xinlong
  3. Star Night
  4. Via Ferrata
  5. One Day

Things to do and things no to do in 8th grade

Things to do

  1. Do your homework
  2. Listen during class
  3. Prepare for tests
  4. Check Studywiz
  5. Be creative
  6. Have team work
  7. Be an independent thinker
  8. Be organized
  9. Be responsible
  10. Have fun and enjoy 8th grade!

Things not to do

  1. Don’t miss class
  2. Don’t be late
  3. Disrespect the teacher or your peers
  4. Be off task
  5. Waste time
  6. Be stressed
  7. Not finish your work
  8. Do your homework on the last minute
  9. Be forgetful
  10. Not have fun and not enjoy 8th grade ;-;

South Horizons

Our magazine is called North Horizon. In the magazine, it includes articles about 3 of the main minorities in China: Miao, Dai, and Naxi. There are also maps and infographics about the different cultures and arts of the different minorities. During the process, each person in our team decided on which minority that each of us is going to do, then we each traveled to the place to study geography, culture, and art that they have there. We did it by watching traditional shows or just simply by talking to the people there. We each met new friends on our visits and had a lot of fun. Although it was irritating to create the infographics and maps because of the imperfectly designed websites, and it was very time consuming, but I still enjoyed the process a lot. After creating the magazine, I feel like my writing also got better. I really liked this project because we got to try many new things that I had never done before and I would like students next year to also have this opportunity to do this fun project.

Persepolis 2 book cover

 

For the resolution of Persepolis 2: Story of the return, written by Marjane Satrapi, I made a book cover showing one of the main themes that were conveyed through the story. The story talks about an Iranian girl living during the 1984s. During the 1984s in Iran, there was a law that women must wear a veil when outside of their house. The reason behind this law is that it shows too much of the women’s body if the vein is not being worn. The main part the veil is trying to cover is the women’s hair. In the book, the main character Marjane doesn’t like the veil idea at all: “… you don’t hesitate to comment on us, but our brothers present here have all shapes and sizes of haircuts and clothes. Sometimes, they wear clothes so tight that we can see everything. Why is it that I as a woman, am expected to feel nothing when watching these men with their clothes sculpted on but they, as men, get excited by two inches less of my headscarf.”(143, Marjane) This is during a meeting in her school about the ladies revealing too much of their hair. Personally, I think the rule should never have existed, but if that rule has to be there, then they will need to change it so that it is to both men and women. Why should the rule only be applied to women? At that time, if you are caught by the police for not wearing a veil, then you will stay in jail waiting for your family members paying a fine in order for you to get out.

 

The book cover I had created is a picture of a person with half of the face wearing a veil and the other half exposed. With the captions on it: “Make the right choice”. Hope you enjoy it!

How characters have developed or changed over a period of time.

Dear Mr. Schroeder,

 

I think Marjane, the main character in the book Persepolis changed and developed a lot through the whole book. “We didn’t really like to wear the veil, especially since we didn’t understand why we had to.” (3) At the beginning of the book, Marjane was really naïve, she didn’t know why she had to wear the veil. She then turned more and more independent. Like the part where she also want to go to the demonstration but her parents don’t let her: “ Don’t worry! We are going anyways!” (38) She doesn’t really care about the consequences of things that she does. Later on in the book, she turned into a showoff: “They cut my dad’s leg off, but he still didn’t confess! … So they cut off an arm as well.” (54) Her friend’s father was a hero, but her father wasn’t a hero so she had to make up things, but then she found out that her uncle Anoosh was a “hero”. She thinks that heroes are people who had been in prison. “There are lots of heroes in my family. My grandpa was in prison, my uncle Anoosh too: For nine years!” He was even in the U.S.S.R. my great-uncle Fereydoon proclaimed a democratic state and he was…” She even brags more about her family members being heroes after knowing that her uncle is a hero.

Near at the end of the book she turned from not knowing what veils are why she had to wear it to having strong opinions on what she thinks about the revolution. I think the revolution made her a stronger person, if her life just went on with everything going smoothly, she wouldn’t be who she is today.

Thank you,

David J

 

 

 

The Iranian Revolution

I have this incredible idea for my narratives. By reading Persepolis and researching about the Iranian Revolution, I was shocked and astonished by what happens in a revolution.

Cyrus, a 13 years old boy, in a rural school in Tehran. His mom is an American and his dad is an Iranian, and both of his parents are Mossadegh’s supporters. Even though his mom Catarina doesn’t really care, his dad still made her a Mossadegh supporter. Cyrus himself has strong own opinions. He thinks that Mossadegh is a bad and unfair leader. He pretends to be a supporter of Mossadegh to make his family happy. Until when the Iranians invaded the American Embassy, his parents want him to go out and celebrate with them, then he couldn’t hold it anymore.

My character is a 13 years old boy called Cyrus whose mom is American and Dad is Iranian. His family is a strong supporter of Mossadegh but himself doesn’t really like him. I will need to write the acting side of him and his thoughts (what he really believes).

The Narratives itself should be engaging and interesting. Cyrus is an independent and strong character.

From 1953 to 1979, there were many changes and continuities in Iran. First the leader of Iran changed once, from 1953 to 1979 the leader of Iran was Mohammad Reza shah Pahlavi, but from 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini changed Iran into a religious government. Also, the government type changed. Before when the Shah was the leader, it was an autocracy. After when Khomeini took over, the government type changed to a religious government. Their view about America also changed. Before, the Shah was great friends with the American presidents. Afterwards when Khomeini came in power, the Iranians held hostage of the American embassy which caused a lot on chaos both in Iran and in America. A continuity was that the Iranian people’s hatred towards foreigners.

Iranian Revolution in Plain English (Common Craft)

 

For our Common Craft video, we chose 5 turning points in total: 1905, 1925, 1953, 1963 and 1979. For our first turning point 1905, we talked about how the Shah creating the Majlis, and British and Russia invaded Iran and divided it up into their own parts. For our second turning point 1925, we talked about Reza Khan becoming the Shah and he wants to modernize Iran. For our third turning point 1953, we talked about Dr. Mossedegh kicking the British oil company out and America sends a CIA agent to make Dr. Mossedegh go to jail. For our fourth turning point, we talked about Reza Shah wanting to westernize the country so it caused protests, then Ayatollah Khomeini came in. For our fifth and last turning point, we talked about the Iranians hostage members of the American Embassy. The process of making the video started first from writing each turning points then we peer edit each other work. After we were done with that, we started to find appropriate images that would match up well with the text. After that, we recorded the voice part of the video. Then at the end, we recorded the video. I think I did all of the work I needed to do and sometimes doing extra work to help others out.

 

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