Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Diagnostic Essay

Original Diagnostic Essay

People come and go in our everyday lives. We meet people at school, work, and our neighborhoods. Whether by choice or randomly, that person has the ability to affect your life during one moment or during a course of time. For me, one person, in particular, changed my life from the moment I met her.

Every Sunday, I would go to church early in the morning. This particular day, however, I had to stay at church longer to wait to have choir practice. Since practice did not start for another two hours, I sat in the back to watch as the little children have their own worship service from the back. While sitting there, I notice someone else sitting across from me alone. I met her for a moment in the past, but it was a mere “hi-and-bye” greeting. She looked bored and tired, probably from having spent all day at church. I am usually a shy person and did not go up to people often, but for some reason, I got up the courage to go talk to her. I think it was mainly out of boredom. I asked her if she wanted to go walk to Pizza Hut nearby to get something to eat. At first, she seemed astonished that I asked her in the first place. She reluctantly agreed to join me. We took the five minute walk there. Surprisingly, we opened up to one another, talking about school, boys, our families, friends, and hobbies. We spent the whole time in Pizza Hut, without realizing that two hours had passed by. We headed back to church bringing with us a close friendship, we did not realize would last for years to come.

Camille and I had little in common, however. I was brought up to be passive and quiet. She, however, could talk for hours on end. By meeting her, for even just that one time, I learned how she can be a bit outspoken. She spent our time telling her wild stories and little secrets. I did not think you would tell people, especially upon meeting them for the first time. Even our styles were different. I preferred black and brown colors on my clothing, while she mixed and matched different shades of yellows, purples, and greens in hers. From what I could tell, the only things we had in common was church. We both grew up with the same values and morals. Church became a great factor in what held us together.

From the day we went to Pizza Hut together, we would talk to each other every Wednesday and Sunday at church. Every event sponsored by the church, we would go to together. We slowly became best friends. We spend weekends together and help each other cramming for tests. We became inseparable, double trouble, is what our parents would call us. Nothing kept us apart.
Nothing, except for distance. Five years after I met Camille, my mother told me that we would be moving to Japan for three years. Change scared me, especially to move away to a foreign country with a different culture and language. What scared me even more was how Camille was acting after I told her. Next thing I knew, she started distancing herself from me. I would get ignored phone calls, awkward conversations when we did see each other, and cancels on our plans. It felt like I was losing my best friend before I even left. Finally, a week before I left. I confronted her about everything. I did not want to leave knowing there was something wrong. After hours of tears, we talked and realized that our friendship was more important than distance. We tried our best after I left to keep in touch as much as possible.

Distance cannot break a strong bond between two people. For me, talking to someone randomly turned into an endless friendship. We may not have been able to talk everyday on the phone while I was away. However, after three years in Japan, I returned back to Virginia and I spend time with Camille, as if I saw her yesterday. She taught me how to open up myself to another person and the value of what one person’s friendship can mean.

Revised Diagnostic Essay - The Bondage Between Ying and Yang

“Time to wake up! 6 o’clock, let’s go! Let’s go!” cried my mom, at Sunday morning. No matter what city or state we lived in, this was my normal ritual on Sundays. Grumpy as I was, I would get ready for my whole day spent at church. Moving around so much, it was hard to have that close friend to turn to. This one Sunday, in particular, was how I met my ying to my yang, as I called her.

Just like any other Sunday, I went to service at 7:30 a.m. Afterwards, I would play quietly with the little kids that were busy running around. Since I had choir practice in 2 hours, I had plenty of time to spare. Now, do not think that I was too sky of a child to not make friends with anyone my own age. I just choose to never get close to any of them. Today was different. Today I met Camille.
Now I was a very timid girl. I tried my best to always do as I was told without question. I focused on my studies and did not ever worry about hanging out. Being an only child, I learned to be independent. My voice was not one to carry across a crowd. I was not one to draw attention to myself either. I guess I just learned to keep to myself most of the time. I never really worried about having close friends, just because I did not want to leave them when I moved, since my mother was in the military.

Camille was different. She was one of the social people at church. She is exactly 1-½ years older than me. Outspoken, hyper, and active are words that I think of when I describe her. She was loud and proud of it. She was open about everything she talked about and did not hold back. I have always been intimidated to even start a conversation with her.

Today I changed all that. While waiting for choir practice to start, I sat in the back of the chapel, when I noticed that Camille was back here also. Most kids went home with their parents to eat or they could drive would grab food to eat. She looked bored sitting slumped up in her chair. We both were just watching as the younger children were having their own separate service. Bored myself, I got up the courage to ask her if she wanted to go eat with me at Pizza Hut. We’ve met in the past with a mere “hi-and-bye” greeting, but that was about it. Before this Sunday, we would literally just take a glance at one another and move one. She probably found my invitation surprising, which I did as well. She agreed anways.

On the way to Pizza Hut, we walked the whole grueling 5-minutes there quietly at first. Grrrrrr…. our stomach grumbled. “Ha-ha, I guess our stomachs wanted to break the silence,” Camille laughed.

“I think knowing we’re going to have pizza soon got its attention,” I laughed back.
“Any guys you like at church?” Camille asked openly. “Pssshhh…they’re all pretty whack. We see them every Sunday,” I replied calmly. After that, we just talked about everything from school, boys, families, friends, hobbies, and boys. We spent the whole 2 hours at Pizza Hut laughing and joking around. I told her of how I moved around to about 13 different schools, which she understood since her father was in the military, as well. While she told me her crazy adventures of steal candy wrappers from her crush’s car and going around Trick-or-Treat-ing the day AFTER Halloween.

After that, we just clicked. Everyday conversations on the phone started overtime. We spent time together at church functions. We helped each other cram for tests, while also spending the night at each other’s houses. We became best friends.

It was all almost too good to be true. When I realized it really was. How one Sunday brought me a best friend, another Sunday brought me bad news. My mom had been trying her best to not move us around so much. Five years after I met Camille, my mom told me that we would be moving to Japan for three years. All of a sudden my comfortable life was disappearing once again. Change was a constant fear in my life. Here it is, once again, to haunt me. I guess I wasn’t the only one that was scared of change. After I told Camille, she started to distance herself from me. Daily phone calls led to “I’ll call you back”s. Hanging out every weekend turned to busy with other things.

I couldn’t have this. One week before I left, I had to confront her. I did not want to leave things like this. She finally agreed to meet up with me at the same Pizza Hut that our friendship began at. There, Camille gave me a letter, surprisingly, while I had a letter for her in return. With tears in our eyes, we apologized and hugged promising that our friendship was more important than distance. Both our letters were about 7 pages long, hand-written. We both talked about how we started our friendship and how even though we were different people, we were the best of friends.

When I moved to Virginia I was not expecting to make a close friend. I ended up leaving Virginia knowing I still had my crazy best friend.

During my time in Okinawa, Japan, I got close to a lot of people there. From my strong friendship with Camille, I allowed myself to really open up with other people. I ended up being the Homecoming Queen during my senior year. I had 3 best friends in Japan. These friends did not replace the overall “bestest” best friend I had in Virginia. Camille and I emailed on days that we could not talk on the phone because of the cost and time difference. We sent packaged mail of gifts for each other’s birthdays, always going all out like we did even when I was living there.
After three years in Japan, I came back to Virginia and I hung out with Camille like I saw her yesterday. We went back to talking about school, boys, families, friends, hobbies, and boys once again. This time we were older and wiser…hahaha…just kidding. Like I said, I hung out with Camille like I saw her yesterday. We still laughed and joked around like we did 8 years ago, when we first met at the Pizza Hut near the church. Close ties like ours are really hard to find. Camille brought me out of my shell of being a timid girl to opening my eyes to learning to have close ties with people.

Our differences are what brought us together. She saw the side of me I would not let, even my mother, see. I can honestly say that I have found a true friend in her to make me a better person. Even through the challenge of distance and arguments, our friendship withstood them all. Now that I live in Virginia again, we make an annual trip to the same Pizza hut to reminiscence on the past. Can’t wait for further adventures to come!

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Reflection of English 111

From the first day of class, I knew this class was going to be really laidback. English 111 helped me have an open mind about a lot of topics I didn’t think of before. From my political interests to controversies against graffiti, we discussed topics I never had much care about. This class allowed me to think outside the box and not just look at one side of a topic. I had to really dig deep and analyze in a way I’ve never analyzed before. Although the atmosphere in the class was really chill, the due dates of assignments were sternly set.

Throughout the semester, I learned to work independently and also work with others as well, especially in peer reviews. It allowed me to share my thoughts with others while encompassing a person’s opinion. Although some of the reading seemed pointless, they later found significant value in future lessons in themes and later topics. This year was also a presidential election year. So our class took advantage of that by including that into our reading. This got me to be more into politics even though I rarely pay attention to those things. Another subject we would talk about would be themes and synthesis papers. We watched movies to understand how movies can have common themes with books I haven’t even thought of.

During this class, I also did some presentations. These presentations help me to overcome fear I have with standing in front of people. It allowed me to talk about subjects I haven’t thought of before. By the last day of class, I was pretty comfortable with almost everyone in there. It was a fun experience, especially getting to know everyone there. By the end of the semester, I met great people and got websites to help me expand my writing skills. The class was definitely full of laughs every Monday and Wednesday.

Related Link
Writing Lab: Need Help?

Guide to: Grammar & Writing
Check Paper: TurnItIn.com

Image from: http://www.ashevilleneurofeedback.com/images/think_outside_the_box_brain_cp.jpg

Response to "Rhetorical Analysis"

Something really important that I learned in English 111 was doing a rhetorical analysis.  With this analysis, a person can easily analyze any form of text.  This type of analysis involves three triangles.

The main triangle used is the rhetorical triangle.  This includes the purpose, author, and audience.  A good rhetorical analysis requires a further knowledge of understanding where the author is coming from in the first place.  A person should really research beyond what is given.  The audience is another important part of the triangle.  If the author is trying to let his or her ideas be known to a small group of individuals or for people in general to know, it is shown in the way to author is writing the text.  When the author uses words that only a professional of a topic would know then they are speaking to a specific audience.

The purpose is broken down into three parts:  entertainment, inform, and persuasion.  This has its own triangle.  Entertainment is for the enjoyment of the audience.  However, inform deals with the need to tell a reader of an important subject.  Persuasion is a way in which the author tries to make the reader lean towards their side of a certain matter.

The part that really stuck to me were the rhetorical appeals.  They are ethos, pathos, and logos.  These appeals have their own triangle separate from the rhetorical triangle.  Ethos appeals to credibility of the author.  An example of this is an author using their personal experience within their text.  This is important to test the knowledge of the author on whatever it is they are writing.  Pathos gets in touch with a person's emotions.  Using words like death, abuse, and harm, these words provoke a negative feeling within a person.  Unlike the negative words, sunshine, happy, and rainbows give a person a more positive feeling.  Logos involve the logical understanding of a subject.  This is by using facts, history, and statistics.  With this appeal, a writing uses common sense to engage a person's attention.

I think rhetorical analysis is going to be something I'll continue to use in my future writings. 

Response to "Bomb It"

Most of my life, I lived in suburban areas.  When I moved to Okinawa, Japan, it was like a whole different world.  All over the walls of various buildings, you would see this abstract-type of art.  With pictures and lettering, there were different colors.  During my English 111 class, we watched "Bomb It."  In this movie, we saw both sides of why people do graffiti and the people who are opposed to it.  The movie opened my eyes to different types of graffiti.  I usually do not like documentaries; however, this film and "Supersize Me" were entertaining films.  It dug into other countries' graffiti showing how this art is shared all around the world.
I watched this movie in my English class to show us how to do an argument paper.  The movie was to show us how to see both sides of a controversy on graffiti.  "Bomb It" allowed me to see that graffiti can be seen as a beautiful art form.  Although I Know that drawing on someone's private property is illegal, I do not see anything wrong with having a person's artwork expressed on public grounds.  Some people make the argument that graffiti is an eye sore; however, as the documentary stated, tall buildings can be an eye sore to some.  It is just a matter of a person's opinion.
In my opinion, I think that graffiti is okay in its own way.  To do it on private property and for gang initiations would be wrong.  All and all this movie let me see that even the simplest thing as writing on a wall can have both sides to it.  I thought that the different graffiti from around the world were really amazing.  After watching the movie, I looked up the movie.  There is further artwork that artists in the film made. Great movie to watch =]

Related Links
Official Website:  BOMB IT!

Response to "Supersize Me"

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to go to McDonalds to get a Happy Meal.  Those delicious McNuggets and french fries were always my favorite.  Of course, I always wanted the new toy tat they had for the month.  Today, I would go to McDonalds when I was rushing to get food to eat or just when my parents did not feel like cooking.  After watching "Supersize Me," I questioned my eating habits, especially when it comes to fast foods.  Watching how just how one month of eating McDonalds can do to a person, I realized that I should probably watch what I eat, not just at McDonalds, but at other fast food places.
This movie packed hilarity and serious facts on issues in regards to eating fast foods, focusing on McDonalds.  "Supersize Me" showed how McDonalds and other fast food places advertised their products to appeal to children.  With the newest Barbie and racecar toys, children get the meals just for the toys alone.  Another favorite attraction to McDonalds is the Playplace they provide for kids to play in.  They also commercialize the food with the fun-loving Ronald McDonald.
McDonalds also has a dark side.  With their hundreds of calories in their food.  The breakfast menu alone has more than the average intake calories for a day.  Although, it is not McDonalds fault for millions of people purchasing food from them everyday, they do tempt people with their advertisements.  With their growing popularity, McDonalds is found to be all over the world.  Even though there are so many McDonalds very few have nutrition facts guide display for consumers to see.  The movie showed how McDonalds is one of the contributors to weight gain not just among adults, but to our youth as well.
Even though the movie made me question my hunger cravings for fast foods, I still eat there every once in awhile.  

Related Links
To Watch Full Movie:  Supersize Me