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If you told me last year that I would be taking a Hybrid-Online English class for my eleventh grade year I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Online learning was just so taboo to me. I mean my Mom went back to college about a year ago to get her masters in nursing, but she took all the classes online. Being a full time charge nurse and a mother of two bratty teenagers only left her time for online classes. Even though they were supposed to give her more time it felt like she was spending more time doing her homework than anything else. So, when the word got out that two teachers were starting an online English and History class, I really wasn’t all that intrigued. I just assumed that an online class meant more homework and more time which wasn’t all that convenient for a girl in the choir and theatre program all while trying to balance school and a social life.
Then one day as I was sitting in my English class some guy walked in. He had this big beard and a big grin on his face. My first impression of him was wow he seems really nice. He introduced himself as Mr. Theriault (I didn’t know how to pronounce it either when I first saw it). He began to tell my class more about the online English class. He explained that it would be less stress and less time consuming. Despite my speculations I was sold. I was going to be in the first Hybrid-Online English class in my High school.
Flash forward a couple months later it was the first day of junior year. I felt pretty seasoned by that time in high school so I wasn’t very scared, but I was interested about how this whole online thing was going to go. Fifth period rolled around and I sat down in my English class. Mr. Theriault walked in and basically introduced himself and had everyone introduce themselves and say why we decided to take an online class. To be honest I felt like I was in an AA meeting. Nevertheless, the year had begun.
As the months progressed I was really impressed with my teacher. I’m not going to lie I was skeptical about him. He seemed to be a little younger then my parents so I wondered what “online” meant to him. To my surprise he has even more knowledge about the internet then most of my friends and I do. He was constantly giving us many different ways to accomplish our projects. Whether it be podcasts, videos, or blog posts. I was never bored! Also, I appreciated him so much as a teacher because he was very forgiving about late work and was open to any ideas we had.
I began to realize how little time and energy my English work took. It was so convenient because I would have a whole week to do an assignment. As I mentioned before I was involved in two very demanding programs that took not only my time, but my energy. I liked that four days out of the week I had a free period to take a nap, do homework, or just clear my head a little to get rid of all of the stress. As I realized this I started to see online courses in a totally different way. Online courses provide a student with more flexibility and time. It decreases stress significantly and helps kids find balance in their life. Of course I’m not speaking for every kid out there, but what I know for sure is it was a good experience for not only myself, but the classmates that I have talked to. If you have an opportunity to take an online class at your local school and you have as busy of a life as I do, take the opportunity!
Lana wasn’t the most popular girl in her 12th grade class, but she wasn’t unknown either. She was just Lana Ray Krane. She grew up in a middle class family as the oldest of four kids. All being brothers except her. So, you could say she was pretty tough. She did not take crap from anybody. Though even though she was hard on the outside she was very soft on the inside. The only person who really understood that about her was Ricky. Ricky and Lana had been friends ever since they met in preschool. Unknown to Lana however Ricky had loved her since the fifth grade when he could establish what those feelings meant. Ricky never stopped thinking about Lana. Whenever he saw her he couldn’t help but feel his heart beat faster and faster. He loved the way she stood, the way she fiddled with her hair when she was nervous and most importantly he loved her smile. Unfortunately for Ricky he knew he could not be with Lana. For she had had the same boyfriend for all of high school, Shawn. Ricky highly disliked Shawn because he was simply the worst human being that ever walked the planet, well in his eyes. To Lana she knew he could say hurtful things sometimes, but she loved him and simply couldn’t see the bad in him. Ricky was always the one Lana came to when Shawn hurt her. She would run to Ricky crying whenever he would shout at her. She would never cry in front of Shawn because he always told her that crying is for the weak and to not waste his time. One day Ricky was at home doing homework when he heard a chime from his phone, it read, “Lana.” Of course since it was her, right away he opened the text. “ I need to see you, something bad has happened with Shawn.” Of course without hesitation he responded, “ Alright, meet me at the park by my house in five.” He then jumped up, grabbed a jacket and ran to the park. As he approached the empty park he saw Lana sitting on the swings. Her back was to him and her head was down. “Hey! What’s going?” Her face was shadowed under her hair and from the dark night.” She sniffed her knows and wiped her face gently. She looked up and in the street lamp light he could see a swollen black and blue eye. Ricky couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Shawn had never gone this far before. He kneeled down in front of her and grabbed her hands. “Did he do this to you? I’m gonna kill him. What happened,” said Ricky. “ I broke up with him because I was tired of being hurt and he couldn’t take it so he punched me,” said Lana. “What an asshole I’m glad you got yourself out of it,” said Ricky. Lana then started speaking really fast. Almost as if she was hyperventilating , “I just wanted to say I’m sorry I put you through all this. I’m sorry I didn’t listen when you told me he wasn’t good for me. I’m sorry that I haven’t been a good friend and that I let him to be mean to you and,” suddenly without thinking Ricky just kissed her. After he pulled back slowly and they both opened their eyes simultaneously. “ You don’t need to be sorry for anything.” They both smiled.
During Spring break of 2017 I was giving a great opportunity to go to New York with some kids from the Fountain Valley High School’s theatre department. I had never been to New York before and I was really excited to experience it with some of my favorite people. I was also had the amazing opportunity to bring my Grandma, Mom, and my Mom’s best friend on the trip.
We took a red eye flight from LAX and I will tell you that was a pretty awful experience because after the flight we had to continue throughout the whole day walking around New York.
With our tour guide, Janet, we went around a bunch of landmarks in New York. We saw many things like the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center. Though I think my favorite place that we visited was the 9/11 memorial.
I was kind of nervous to be going to the 9/11 memorial because I was scared of what I would see or what I would learn. When you first get there it’s odd because you could feel the energy change. I don’t know maybe it was just me. As we went I started to feel even more nervous. We started to go deeper and deeper into the building until you saw the concrete of ground zero. I just stopped for a minute and took it in.
As you continued there were many pieces of artifacts that you were able to touch and to be honest with you I was scared to. I was afraid that if I touched it I would be overcome with emotion. So, I avoided it for a while until I felt like I had to. I touched this display outside with all the names on it. As I looked around, reading, my friend Sage said, “Do you remember any of the names we saw inside ,so we can try to find them?,” I looked at her and said, “No, I don’t.” And in that moment I realized what just happened. Sage and I spent probably 15 minutes or more reading about the victims on 9/11, but I couldn’t remember one single name. How could I have done that.
Sage and I just sat in silence and continued to look at the names. I realized I had to remember one name or I had no right to say Never Forget. I remembered the name Rodney Dickens. He was a child who was on a school trip and was on American Airlines Flight 77 which went into the Pentagon, he was 11 years old.
This is a photo of him
This is the picture of the Pentagon. The place where Rodney’s life ended.
Loneliness is an interesting concept to me. I feel like everyone tries to avoid complete loneliness. I mean it’s one thing to want to have a day to yourself, but completely alone forever? No me gusta. It’s funny because I feel like the feeling of loneliness doesn’t gradually develop. It just hit’s you. Suddenly there’s silence. No one likes to admit they are lonely. I like to think only the brave do because once you admit it to yourself, it’s there. Kind of like the shadow that follows you. I know that’s kind of corny to say, but t’s true.
Take a gander at Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield from ,”The Catcher in the Rye,” for instance. They are both similar in many aspects. They both don’t really give a crap what other people think of them. They tend to go on their own without anyone on there sides. They make me think of that song by Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” That’s how they are really. They embody that song. One of their biggest similarities is that they are lonely. Though what’s interesting is that’s also their biggest difference.
Donnie is quite open about the fact he is lonely, he literally says, “I don’t want to be alone.”
However, Holden is kind of different. I think personally he is afraid of being alone. He doesn’t want to admit to himself that he is lonely. He does say thing’s however that indicate it such as,” “Well- take me to the Edmont then,” I said. “Would you care to stop on the way and join me for a cocktail? On me, I’m loaded.” ” He tells this to a cabbie that he literally just met! Now, I don’t know about you, but that is just plain desperate for human interaction. My main point here is that there are some people that admit loneliness like Donnie and some people who admit loneliness like Holden.
Loneliness is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. Like you’re that one guy in that Twilight Zone episode who avoided a nuclear bomb and was left the only man alive. Without other people in your life you simply have no body, but your self and that my friend is not easy.
Do you ever just want to explore something on your own? Like just get in your car or walk to whatever you want? Me too. Especially ever since I’ve gotten my license I’ve been doing that. Sometimes after a long day I just want to get up and go somewhere. Kind of like Holden Claufield in , “The Catcher and The Rye.” He just got on a train and went to New York and did whatever the hell he wanted.
I’ll tell you that’s what I call freedom! Being free to just go from club to bar to hotel without any problem. Now I don’t go to bars or other things like that, but I’ll take myself to PCH and drive to see where it takes me. Or I just drive.
Throughout all these adventures you can feel like and start to become an adult. Now in Holden’s case that kind of put’s him in situations that he shouldn’t be involved in. Though you learn to take care of yourself.
I mean who’s gonna help you if you get lost? No one. Who’s gonna drive you? No one. Who’s gonna buy you dinner. No one. No one, but yourself. Now some people might find this scary, but to me it sounds like a blessing in disguise going on your own like this. It allows you to make mistakes. It allows you to hold your own hand and not expect other’s to hold it for you. After all, nothing last’s forever, so you got to know how to take care of yourself because the only one you can truly rely on is you.
In the, “Catcher in the Rye,”Holden Claufield is a boy living in New York City,but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Early in the story you come to actually understand why Holden doesn’t particularly try in school. He explains to us, the reader, that he had a brother who died of leukemia.Holden always saw his brother as the better of the two. My analysis is Holden chooses not to try in school because he doesn’t know how he could replace his brother. In fact, he doesn’t want to replace his brother. People deal with grief in a variety of ways. Sometimes people don’t even deal with it at all. Why is that? Personally, when I feel that particular aching feeling in my chest, you know, the one that feels like your heart is crying real tears. I tend to avoid it. Why would you want to feel that way ? Arguably it’s one of the most painful feelings in the world. People tell you the best way to deal with that feeling is to hit it head on. Though what I’ve come to find with that feeling is once you feel it, you can’t escape it.Whatever, is making you feel that feeling, whether it be a person, picture, etc., you feel that feeling over and over again. It’s inescapable,maybe that’s why Holden avoids to do school work, it makes him think of his brother.
It’s interesting really how the thought of play can mean different things for so many people. The thought of play can be anything from playing with dolls to reading a book. I feel like the whole premise of play is to have fun! Though what is fun? What is play?
The Merriam-Websters definition of play is as follows,”recreational activity; especially: the spontaneous act of children,” that’s one of the definition’s anyway. Though I found this definition interesting. They relate to the word play by something children do. Why is it that the play of older people aren’t recognized? Now maybe you don’t agree with me that play is looked down upon for adults and or teenagers, but it’s there. My friend’s and I sit behind the gym at lunch and we will be eating and chatting, you know usual lunch antics. Suddenly two other students will run by yelling tag you’re it! My friends usually look with disgust and say,” Can you not.” When they say that I remain silent, but i think to myself why does it have to be such a big deal when people are playing and having fun? It’s the same thing with adults some people find it cute when college kids are playing on the playground while others frown upon the, ‘immature behavior.” Of course it’s different when they are being mischievous and problematic, but if they are not doing any harm what’s the big deal? I’m a strong believer that you need to be a kid as long as possible. Yes, there are times when you need to act like your age, but when you don’t need to then why should you? Being a child is one of the best times in your life. It’s free it’s fun and you can be yourself without an judgment.
I was returned to this magical feeling when i spent my hour of play playing, “Detective,” with my little cousins. We had discovered a “crime scene.” The magic wand had been stolen and we had to find it. THE WORLD’S WELL BEING WAS AT STAKE!!! We roamed around the park finding clue after clue. When suddenly we found who stole the wand. IT WAS MR. SQUIRREL!! The squirrel was chased in high pursuit, but he got away. However, he did drop the wand on his way to his tree that led to his secret lair! We had found the wand once again and the world was safe. We dug a small hole and buried it because it’s powers were too great to let anyone get a hold of it again.
Did people stare at me? Yes. But hey I had the most fun that i’ve had in a looooong time. It was almost rejuvenating. My brain was clearer afterwards. The best way I could describe it is waking up from a great night’s sleep and having the feeling that you could get a lot of work done. My point here is that it doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter how weird you’ll look! Just get up out of your seat and off your phone and play! Let your imagination to be free. I don’t care if you are eighty- five years old, you have the ability deep inside you to be a kid again. The ability to be who you want to be whenever you want.
All you gotta do is play.
When you think of, “Leonardo DiCaprio,” what are the first things that pop into your mind? Well, if you are anything like me your first thought’s include, “Man was he a hunk,” or “God the academy waited this long to give the poor dude an Oscar.” What I think a lot of people fail to notice is actors like Leonardo DiCaprio have a lot of power in their Oscar holding hands. When it comes to acting you have a lot of power. You have the ability to make people THINK. That’s crazy to know that someone who gets paid to be someone else has the chance to change the way that anyone thinks. Now you are probably thinking… How on earth can anyone do this? Well, it’s very simple. They tell the truth. Once people see the truth of a situation there perspectives can change at the speed of light whether it be for better or for worst. The words an actor uses and the way they use their creativity to deliver them can change the view of others. You know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,”? In this case I believe that words speak louder than actions.