Literary Essay Brainstorm

From the books that I’ve read throughout English 9 this year, the books that have captured my interest the most are “An American Spy” by Olen Steinhauer and “The Eye of Minds” by James Dashner. Although time remains to continue read a new novel or two, or perhaps re-read books that I’ve read earlier this year, these novels are the candidates being taken into heavy consideration as I decide which novel I would like to write about this year. The main reason which I would prefer to write about these novels the most are the protagonists, the authors of each book make me feel connected to the main character, starting from when they were first introduced, and progressing to the personalities they have at the end of the novel. The protagonists’ development in both novels is what I see myself writing about in the future, however, I still plan to review what I’ve read within both books (and others) before coming to a final decision over what I plan to read.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner | Reading Checkpoint

The Eye of Minds is a science fiction novel written by James Dashner of a virtual world of gaming that intertwines the real world we live in. The novel begins by depicting the protagonist, Michael, taking on the role of a suicide negotiator in hopes of saving a girl named Tanya. This negotiation takes place in the virtual world, however, Tanya had an understanding beyond the average player and managed to rip out her Core, one of the essential “organs”, and it meant that she died in the real world and would not be able to re-enter the Wake (how players address life in the real world). Michael is portrayed as a character who cares about nothing more than the game, but this experience was something he’d never encountered before, and it conveyed more emotion from the character. Moreover, before Tanya’s death, her diction convyed that the game was unjust and she had undergone much pain playing it. This leads me to infer that the people who control the game are soon to be found out by Michael and his allies.

Page No. 30

In-class Diagnostic Analysis Reflection

This blog post of my reflection over the time in-class diagnostic analysis that was complete on Friday for my English 9 class. I share some of the challenges I faced when attempting to analyze the given speech, the struggles I faced writing the essay, things I may have wished for prior to the diagnostic analysis, and what I would change for the future or what I wished I’d done for more success when analyzing and writing the essay.

  • What did you find hard about understanding and analyzing the speech?

The most challenging part of reading through and analyzing the speech was identifying a repeated use of techniques. I think that I did a good job in identifying a variety of different techniques, but it had taken me an extra bit of time to read through Thunberg’s speech again and identify what techniques she used more than once. However, I feel like this was just due to a lack of depth whilst I read although I was trying my best, and it may be a skill that just needs some time for me to develop further.

  • What did you do well and what did you struggle with, in terms of writing the essay?

The main struggle I encountered whilst I tried to write my essay was connecting the dots (annotations) that was all across the sheet, to my interpretation of the essay. Although I feel as if I got the general ideas that were being conveyed in the speech, and I’m confident that I did well in finding techniques within her speech, the most time consuming period throughout the class was after completing the annotations, and trying to write out the reasons she used her various techniques and why they were effective. I must state that I didn’t really complete the part where I describe the effectiveness of her techniques at the end of the essay as I wasn’t able to complete it.

  • What do you wish you had done differently OR what would you do differently for the next timed, in-class essay?

To connect to my previous statement, one of the things that I wished I would’ve done differently is mentally drafted the paragraphs in my essay after having read through it, and once I’d completed a more thorough read of the speech with annotation, I would’ve made changes to the mental draft I created. This would’ve better prepared me for the phase in which I write my essay. Additionally, I hope to read through the piece of text provided with more depth for the next time-writing assessment, and this will reduce the amount of time it takes for me to finish the analysis stage as less re-reads will be required.

  • What topics or skills would you like more instruction on and practice with, for this type of task? (For example: how to identify and remember the names of techniques, how to annotate, how to outline, how to manage your time, how to proofread…)

I wish to have a better understanding on how to identify techniques well and how to annotate, as these will both be beneficial to the period in which I’m reading through and developing an understanding over the text, hopefully in a more efficient manner.

Socratic Seminars Reflection – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


To end the first semester off, classes had Socratic Seminars which discussed “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, a novel written by Sherman Alexie and with the images being illustrated by Ellen Forney. In each class, students were divided into different groups which were to create their own questions about the book or aspect within the book and discussed these questions. In order to provide students with an opportunity to understand expectations and improve, there were 2 seminars, the first being a formative Socratic Seminar, and the other being summative.

From my point of view, during the summative Socratic Seminar, there was a slight improvement in the depth of my interpretations, for example, I shared the adjectives Sherman Alexie used to describe the white race and how they continue to suggest that Junior admires the white people. I was often trying to pay attention to how often I used terms such as “like” and “uh” as I spoke, however, I would assume they are oral habits I carried over from the formative to the summative seminar. I attempted to engage more as the 20-minute seminar was in its dying stages, but remained aware that other people had ideas to share, but I also think that I could’ve invited people into the conversation at times to be a better participant during the discussion.

I believed that students such as Edward Zeng and Christina Lin were well-prepared students who also listen very well throughout the discussion, and they demonstrated their ability to listen and speak by contributing their ideas with connection to the ideas that other students made.

In order to improve as I look forward to potential upcoming seminars, I should practice conversing my ideas out by myself similar to how people practice scripts. This is because of how I noticed that I was not very clear at expressing my ideas as I sometimes stuttered or lost a train of thought, and by practicing prior to the seminar, I might become more confident at sharing my ideas which is important during seminars. Additionally, I think that it may have been useful to re-read the text or pieces of text more because I may have been able to connect a quote or an event to one of the questions or ideas discussed during the Socratic Seminar, this would improve the quality of the contributions I make during seminars.

“The Wicked Deep” by Shea Ernshaw | Reading Checkpoint

I’m currently reading “The Wicked Deep” by Shea Ernshaw, and after finally developing the habit of reading to some extent, I’m on page 23 at the time of this writing. One of the things that I find most interesting is the main character, Penny, and her relationship with her mother. Although she is still in her teenage years and completing her high school career, at the cause of her father’s absence, her mother had taken a damaging mental toll after his sudden absence, and Penny feels the necessity to always be there for her mother and she feels discomforted when she is not able to fulfill this role. From my perspective, this created an emotional connection as I feel sympathetic over her situation. Penny also mentions the hopes of her father’s return and implies that this would be a way for her mother to be who she was before her husband’s disappearance, and also for Penny to be “free” from her responsibility (taking care of her mother and leaving Sparrow). This suggests that she feels locked with her mother for eternity, and it leads me to propose the question: “How will she escape?”

An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer | Reading Checkpoint

I have begun reading the American Spy by Olen Steinhauer, and I am currently on page 53. The character that receives the most focus is Xin Zhu, and Steinhauer built a character who has a bad history, having killed 33 CIA agents with the belief that they had taken the life of his son; however, although it is still early throughout the Novel, Xin Zhu is not portrayed as an evil character in a dramatic fashion. I think the author is trying to convey as a character with personality, as Xin Zhu has shown that he is a patriotic character who not only cares for his country, but his family as well, and he’s shown that he has a sense of humor as well. But at the same time, through the aggression seen in the story, Xin Zhu conveys himself as a man who wants China to dominate instead of creating peace. If I were to make a prediction, I think by the end of the story, Xin Zhu would have experienced a change in heart and would have changed from a man seeking vengeance, to a man willing to understand perspective.

Drama Imitating Art Project

< img width=”60px” alt=”Loading…” style=”margin-top: 100px” src=””/>

Loading…</p >

For our Drama Project, Neo Stenstrom and I selected the imitating art option, where our goal was to select 7-10 images, and with the materials that we had and the restrictions we faced, we attempted to recreate iconic moments from our favorite movies and selected pieces of art as well.

Captions for each of the images:

Harry Potter Casting Spell from Harry Potter Series (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban):

Expecto Patronum!

Harry Potter First Broomstick Lesson From Harry Potter Series (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone):

Off to above where many wish to go

Kevin Gasping from Home Alone Series (Home Alone: Lost in New York)

The facial expression of one who was left behind

 Kevin Hovering Peaking over table from Home Alone Series (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York)

A whole new world

Self Portrait by Frida Kahlo:

An imitation art of art that imitates appearance.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci:

In all things of nature, there is something marvelous, but we must first look around to find it

Madonna and Child by Master of St. Cecilia:

The birth of a child is the birth of a mother, and to the child’s eyes, the mother is a goddess, to the mother’s eyes, the child is everything. If you can’t be a mom, get cat.

The Life of a Commoner during the French Revolution

Bernard Laurent is a man who was apart of the Third Estate, the lowest class in France during the Ancien Regime which was an unjust system towards the Third Estate. He has a close relationship with Charles, his brother, alongside his aging mother, and he hopes there will be positive change to make his, his family’s, the lives of others more fair.

The French Revolution was an unsuccessful revolution, although there were positive changes that derived from it. For example, the clergy had lost a significant amount of power even though it remained the main religion after the revolution, overtime during the revolution, more people began to turn against the clergy as they were against the revolution and wanted to stay with the Ancien Regime. Secondly, with Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen gave the people liberty and brought a little bit of equality between the high and low classes, but even with these benefits from the revolution, there still remained a large gap between the low and the high classes and at the end of the revolution, there was still one man in power which what the convention was trying to avoid and thousands of lives were lost along the way. Overall, the French Revolution’s detriments seem to outweigh the benefits.



France’s 18th Century Calamity


The French Revolution was an 18th century revolution that took place over 10 years and contained several changes in ideas and leadership, there were a few violent years that left thousands of people dead. It started with an irresponsible king who led France poorly and an unjust system towards the low class, the Third Estate. Ascribed to France’s debt, the lower classes began to struggle with their conditions even more and the people decide to rebel against the king, which was the flashpoint of the revolution. This video will be sharing some of the important events that occurred throughout the revolution, and people still hold different opinions on the topic, however, it will also give an answer to the question, “Was the revolution worth it?”. Hopefully by the end of this video, you’ll be provided with a fair amount of information to make a statement of your won.

Photo Citation:

Ehret, Matthew. The Jacobin Terror 1789-1794: Just Another Color Revolution? 28 Aug. 2019,


This is a memoir, however, it is creatively made up of memes that represent my Covid-19 experience, including eLearning, and social distancing.

Part 1 – School being delayed

Part 2 – Returning home

Part 3 – Rapid increase in Coronavirus increasing

Part 4 – Desire to go back to regular schooling

Part 5 – A visit at the doorway from good friends

Part 6 – Regretting not being as grateful for all the time spent with friends

Part 7 – Struggling with the loads of school work

Part 8 – Waiting for permission to leave the house and the elimination of the virus