The highlight of my year so far consisted of when I ran my best against Union with a time of 20:26 for three miles, not to mention everyone else on my team earned a personal record as well. Our races against union were always a big deal, but the most recent will always be the most important one in my heart. I am very close to all the seniors on the team, we all met on saturdays and did long runs together, and I was a captain with a few of them for two years, I have always looked up to them as role models. On the day of the union race we all realized that we only had really two races left with each other, which was really sad but in a good way because it made us want to run our hardest and best for each other. Our coach, Joran Perry, even bought us all a rose and a note of encouragement individualized for each one of us. That being said, it was already a very special and important day before we even started the race. At the start of the race there was absolute silence before the gun went off, there was no nervousness, instead the air was bursting with anticipation, we were all so ready to run that if the coach didn't shoot the gun at the time that he did we would have all exploded of readiness like fireworks. As the gun shot off, we all ran forward quickly with confidence. I was supposed to stay with their third girl, as I was Tulare Western's third girl, and I stayed next to her through the first mile, but in the second mile i realized I wasn't going as hard as I could, so I sped up. As the distance grew between us, I kept thinking i heard footsteps, like someone was following me, like she was catching up. All through the second mile i kept running faster, and faster, and faster, so fast that i went into a place where I couldn't hear my pain anymore, the desire to beat her and to beat my last time was all i heard. I sprinted the last 800, then looked back after i crossed the finish line. She was in the last mile, a full minute behind me. I was indescribably happy when i realized this and heard my time, it was the highlight of my year.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Looking back on the RPs I did this semester, I learned many important factors that build a successful writer, such as learning how to completely summarize a passage in only four sentences, as well as trying to fit as much as you can in a single sentence with it being correct. I struggled to follow through with completing every single RP each week due to the fact that I was not responsible. I have no excuses, knowing that there was one due each week, but I always forgot to due it on thursday night after a cross country race, or during a rally set up, which I know will affect my grade and I feel terrible about. I semi-overcame those struggles by setting an alarm on my phone after school, so when thursday came around I knew I had an RP to do. I think RPs can help you grow as a thinker, writer, and reader because as a thinker, you have to understand what the point the author is trying to get across and what tone she/he is using. As a writer, you have to know how to form correct long sentences and create a full and complete summary in just four sentences. Additionally, you need to follow a correct format every time. RPs help you grow as a reader because you need to analyze the article, and access which information adds to the point the author is making and access which information needs to be addressed in summarizing the article. My goals for RPs next semester is to have every RP completed correctly! I have the format down I just haven't been competing them due to the horrible habit I have created, but next semester is a new leaf and I intend to break my habit and complete all the RPs assigned to me if it's the last thing I do! Sorry if that was a tad dramatic haha!
The writing assignments that were most beneficial for me was when we would do "cone of silence" and time ourselves. These assignments were useful to me because I tend to write too much and for too long. I know that when I take the AP test I will have to write out what I want to get across in a minuscule amount of time, so it's good for me to practice this now( I LOVE the "cone of silence", it is very helpful to me!!!). I believe that my writing improved because of all the analyzing we did in class, vocabulary we learned, and all of the Cornell notes we did on how to write better essays, although I don't usually do my RPs, which I feel very guilty about, those helped me as well. I learned to use better vocabulary and focus on what I was trying to say in the essay, also, learning about ethos, pathos, logos, satire, etc. helped me write in such a way that my readers would pay attention. The weaknesses that still remain would be my struggle to write an essay in forty minutes, as previously stated, I have a problem with writing more than I need to in order to say what I am trying to say. Another issue i still face would be that I am so used to the basic five paragraph format because it has been pounded into me since fourth grade, so it has been very difficult for me to stray from writing that way, and when I am timed, that's the only one that comes to mind.
A reading from this semester that was the most powerful to me was "A House On Mango Street" because it was very real to me. It, the book, dealt with big issues such as racial segregation growing up,poverty,thievery, wanting to belong,teenage pregnancies, immigrants, and rape. This book made an impression on me because the people in the book, Esperanza and the community, felt very similar to the people in my life, poverty is very apparent in parts of Tulare.We have many Mexican immigrants here trying to be successful in life.Our county is the largest teen pregnancy county in all of California.I just a few years ago went through adolescence like Esperanza and was searching for belonging. I also have a big family with a mother who wants us to do very good in our education. The book "A House On Mango Street" just seemed so real and similar to all the things around me, it shocked me to see them all written in a famous book. "You will always be Mango Street. You can't erase who you are. You can't forget who you are"(The House On Mango Street, 105). this quote impacted me because at first I didn't realize what the women were trying to say to Esperanza, but then I understood that they were trying to tell her to speak about, to remember about, what happened in her life, her family's lives, her neighbor's lives, and her friend's lives. I struggled a little bit with this reading because she, the author, wrote in such a way that at times I didn't truly understand what was going on, such as when Esperanza and her friend were at the fair. I overcame my struggle by asking my classmates about what was happening and concentrating on looking deeper into the reading as in progressed in the book. After reading this work of Sandra Cisneros, I learned that it is important to speak up and address the things you experience and see in life because of the simple fact that they, the problems in life, need to be known. when you speak up about the experiences and problems they can be addressed, and it also helps others who have gone through they same things know that they are not alone.