Memory Box

The first item that I have chosen for my memory box is my childhood stuffed animal that I named Cotton. Cotton is a white stuffed elephant and was given to me when I was five years old. Cotton is all white except for on his feet there are patches of gold silk. He has small black eyes and most of the stuffing has started to fall out of him. Cotton is the only toy that I still have from when I was little. I used to sleep with it every night when I was a little girl and I would take him with me wherever I went. The reason that he is so important to me is because he reminds of my childhood and especially the place that I grew up. I grew up oversees in Thailand and there, elephants are the national animals. Also, in Thailand, white elephants are said to be very special as the represent royalty and good luck. For this reason, my parents decided to give me cotton. They explained the significance to me when I was 5 years old and since then I have always cherished him and still keep him close to me when I go to sleep.

The second item that I have chosen for my memory box is a letter from my Dad. My Dad gave me this letter on my first day of college. I keep this letter hanging on a board next to my bed along with a collection of pictures of me and my friends and family. The reason that this letter is so special to me is because it is the only letter I have ever received from one of my parents and the message inside is very important to me. As I mentioned before, I grew up oversees in Thailand and as a result my parents couldn’t not make it to my orientation for college as they were still oversees and therefore, they sent me a letter instead. Going to college was one of the hardest things I had to do because my family was literally on the other side of the world. During my freshman year, when I would get homesick I would read the letter that my Dad wrote to me and it would bring back memories of my life in Bangkok and of the times spent with my family.

The third item that I have chosen for my memory box is my old letterman bag. It is a black back with gold trimming and has patches from 6 different south East Asian schools (Manila, Taipei, Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore and Malaysia). On the bag, there is a patch for each of the sports I played and the years during which I played them. The reason that I have chosen this item is because it reminds of one of my greatest high school memories. It reminds me of my last year playing varsity soccer and it reminds me of the time that we broke school history and won the Gold medal for the interscholastic association of south east Asian schools for the second year in a row. Also, this bag reminds me of all of the people I got to meet through traveling and all of the memories I shared with my teammates and the new people I met through traveling.

Looking back at the three items I have chosen, it seems as though all three of the items that I chose remind me of home and my memories of growing up oversees.

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Open Letter Final Draft

Dear all of you text happy people out there,

I watch you everyday and hope to never be like you. Thumbs moving a million miles an hour, eyes totally focused on the small little device that controls your life while someone stands right in front of you. They try and talk to you and hold a conversation with you but really, they are just talking at you while you reply every once in a while with a “yeah or uhuh”, never bothering to even look up.

I see you in groups at restaurants with your friends, all of you sitting together but each of you on your phones texting other people or checking instagram or Facebook. What ever happened to talking face to face? What happened to actually talking to the person that you’re sitting next to? The saddest part of it all is that you don’t even notice you are being rude because this behavior is so typical of the current generation and it is even starting to become accepted.

Next time you are with a group of friends I challenge you to try and go two hours without touching your phone. I hope you will see everything you are missing by constantly being attached to your phone. You will build stronger relationships with the people around you because you will be able to focus all of your attention towards them. You will see that you can actually have fun without having to have your phone glued to your hand. One thing that I like to do when I’m at a restaurant with all my friends is to all put our phones in the middle of the table and their first one to reach for their phone has to pay the bill. It seems kind of silly but it makes for a much more enjoyable time because everyone is engaged and apart of the conversation and no one if off on their phone texting other people.

You might think its socially acceptable to be on your phone when your talking to other people but I guarantee you not everyone shares that same belief. Most people find it rude to be talking to someone who is paying no attention to them or is more interested in their phone then talking to you. In fact, “94% of people have reported that they find it rude when people are on their phones while having a conversation” (Cocotas). That means that only 6% of people find this behavior to be socially acceptable yet you still do it all the time. Recent reports in the United States have shown that “smartphone owners aged 18-24 send 2022 text messages per month” (Lepi). That means you are sending an average of 67 text messages a day. An insane amount!

Another thing you do that I find incredibly rude is when you text in class. You might not want to listen and you might not care about the class but I do and so do the majority of the people in the room. You might think its not distracting because your volume is turned off. But just to let you know, the vibration is just as annoying and we can all hear it go off.   Not only are you distracting other people in the class you are also hindering your own learning. There was an experiment that took place in 2010 that solidifies this argument. In the experiment, 62 undergraduate students taking a course in the principles of accounting were asked to take part in an experiment to determine how texting affects class performance. As part of the experiment, half of the class was allowed to text during the lecture, and the other half of the class had to have their phones turned off. After the lecture, both groups took the same quiz and the students who did not text scored significantly higher on the quiz than the students that did text during the lecture (Weimer).

I hope that you realize the implications of texting in class and what it does to both you and the people around you. If you don’t care about your grades or the class then at least be considerate of the people that do. If you don’t care that people who text in class score significantly lower on tests then the people that don’t then please don’t even bother showing up because your insensitivities are hurting those around you that do care.

What bothers me the most though is when I see you while I’m driving. You might think that you can multitask, or that its okay to just send one quick message, but did you know that “five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting? If your traveling at 55 mph that is the length of an entire football field”(Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks). I hope that helps to put some things into perspective for you. Even just glancing at your phone for a second while you are traveling that fast leaves so much time for you to get into an accident. You are covering a lot more distance than you probably think. In fact, “texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash. Studies have shown that cellphones cause an average of 1.4 million car crashes a year”(Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks). I hope you are as shocked as I am about these statistics and I hope hearing those numbers will make you think a little harder the next time you are in your car and you reach for your phone.

I hope that me writing this letter has helped you to realize how your actions affect the people around you. I hope that it has become clear to you that the majority of the people around you do not embrace the actions that you find to be socially acceptable. I hope you consider the implications of your actions and how they affect those around you and I hope you are willing to start making some changes.

Sincerely,

Arianna McKinney

Works Cited

Cocotas, Alex. “CHART OF THE DAY: Kids Send A Mind Boggling Number Of Texts Every Month.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 22 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-number-of-texts-sent-2013-3&gt;.

“Featured Video: Stairs.” Texting and Driving Prevention. NHTSA, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2014. <http://www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org/#facts&gt;.

Lepi, Katie. “14 Facts You Should Know About Text Messaging | Edudemic.” Edudemic. Edudemic, 04 Aug. 2012. Web. 09 Oct. 2014. <http://www.edudemic.com/14-facts-you-should-know-about-text-messaging/&gt;.

Weimer, Maryellen. “Students Think They Can Multitask. Here’s Proof They Can’t.” Students Think They Can Multitask Heres Proof They Cant Comments. Faculty Focus, 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 09 Oct. 2014. <http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/multitasking-confronting-students-with-the-facts/&gt;.

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Open Letter Draft 1

texting_article

Dear all of you text happy people out there,

I watch you everyday and hope to never be like you. Thumbs moving a million miles an hour, eyes totally focused on the small little device that controls your life while someone stands right in front of you. They try and talk to you and hold a conversation with you but really, they are just talking at you while you reply every once in a while with a “yeah or uhuh”, never bothering to even look up.

I see you in groups at restaurants with your friends, all of you sitting together but each of you on your phones texting other people or checking instagram or Facebook. What ever happened to talking face to face? What happened to actually talking to the person that you’re sitting next to? The saddest part of it all is that you don’t even notice you are being rude because this behavior is so typical of the current generation and it is even starting to become accepted.

Next time you are with a group of friends I challenge you to try and go two hours without touching your phone. I hope you will see everything you are missing by constantly being attached to your phone. You will build stronger relationships with the people around you because you will be able to focus all of your attention towards them. You will see that you can actually have fun without having to have your phone glued to your hand. One thing that I like to do when I’m at a restaurant with all my friends is to all put our phones in the middle of the table and their first one to reach for their phone has to pay the bill. It seems kind of silly but it makes for a much more enjoyable time because everyone is engaged and apart of the conversation and no one if off on their phone texting other people.

You might think its socially acceptable to be on your phone when your talking to other people but I guarantee you not everyone shares that same belief. Most people find it rude to be talking to someone who is paying no attention to them or is more interested in their phone then talking to you. In fact, 94% of people have reported that they find it rude when people are on their phones while having a conversation. That means that only 6% of people find this behavior to be socially acceptable yet you still do it all the time. Recent reports in the United States have shown that smartphone owners aged 18-24 send 2022 text messages per month. That means you are sending an average of 67 text messages a day. An insane amount!

Another thing you do that I find incredibly rude is when you text in class. You might not want to listen and you might not care about the class but I do and so do the majority of the people in the room. You might think its not distracting because your volume is turned off. But just to let you know, the vibration is just as annoying and we can all hear it go off.   Not only are you distracting other people in the class you are also hindering your own learning. There was an experiment that took place in 2010 that solidifies this argument. In the experiment, 62 undergraduate students taking a course in the principles of accounting were asked to take part in an experiment to determine how texting affects class performance. As part of the experiment, half of the class was allowed to text during the lecture, and the other half of the class had to have their phones turned off. After the lecture, both groups took the same quiz and the students who did not text scored significantly higher on the quiz than the students that did text during the lecture.

I hope that you realize the implications of texting in class and what it does to both you and the people around you. If you don’t care about your grades or the class then at least be considerate of the people that do. If you don’t care that people who text in class score significantly lower on tests then the people that don’t then please don’t even bother showing up because your insensitivities are hurting those around you that do care.

What bothers me the most though is when I see you while I’m driving. You might think that you can multitask, or that its okay to just send one quick message, but did you know that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting? If your traveling at 55 mph that is the length of an entire football field. I hope that helps to put some things into perspective for you. Even just glancing at your phone for a second while you are traveling that fast leaves so much time for you to get into an accident. You are covering a lot more distance than you probably think. In fact, texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash. Studies have shown that cellphones cause an average of 1.4 million car crashes a year. I hope you are as shocked as I am about these statistics and I hope hearing those numbers will make you think a little harder the next time you are in your car and you reach for your phone.

I hope that me writing this letter has helped you to realize how your actions affect the people around you. I hope that it has become clear to you that the majority of the people around you do not embrace the actions that you find to be socially acceptable. I hope you consider the implications of your actions and how they affect those around you and I hope you are willing to start making some changes.

Sincerely,

Arianna McKinney

Sources:

http://www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org/#facts

http://www.edudemic.com/14-facts-you-should-know-about-text-messaging/

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-number-of-texts-sent-2013-3

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/multitasking-confronting-students-with-the-facts/

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The Early Bird Gets the Worm

If you want to be successful in life, you better be a morning person. Morning people, simply put, are more productive than night owls. They wake up ready to embrace the day and don’t waste away the hours of sunlight hitting the snooze button every fifteen minutes. Morning people are more organized and put together. They are ambitious and goal oriented and are concerned with more than just what outfit they should wear to the party tonight.

You can tell a night owl just by looking at them. They are the people that show up to class at 1:00 still in their pajamas with a venti Starbucks in their hand and make up smeared under their eyes. They are always saying things like “its too early for this”. Morning people are happier and are eager to help. If you ask a night owl for help they will just shrug you off with annoyance because you’re getting in the way of their sleep. Morning people are never trying to catch up on sleep. Instead they spend their days being more productive. Morning people are more available to do things because you can actually reach them unlike the night owl who needs to take a nap in the middle of the day because they only got two hours of sleep the night before.

Night owls think that they have more fun but they are wrong. Morning people get all of their errands done before the night owls even think about rolling out of bed and have the rest of the day to relax and have fun. Night owls just sleep the day away and rush through their chores doing a very minimal job. They always put things off to the last minute because they “lost track of time” They don’t start their homework until midnight the night before the assignment is due and get bad grades then say stuff like “I don’t know why I did so bad! I stayed up until 4:00 am working on this”. The main problem with night owls is their prioritizes are all jumbled up. They think in the moment and don’t consider the repercussions of their choices. They don’t consider what decision will be best for them later on but rather what is the most fun thing to do right now. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.

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3 Audiences (Fiction)

Audience 1: Friend

Dear Lilly,

Dude, I have some pretty big news! Mr. X proposed to me last night! I know its like super sudden and out of the blue but I actually think that we’re ready for this. I mean you have spent a lot of time with us. You know how happy and in love we are together.   I’ve already stared looking into places where we want to hold the ceremony and everything. There are so many places I can’t decide! I know I definitely want a summer wedding though so I really have to start planning stuff because there isn’t much time. Like I’m seriously looking into booking something only a couple of months from now… The venue that im absolutely in love with is only available on November 1st and after that there is a two-year waiting list so I really want to book this soon I’m so excited and I hope you are too because I want you to be my maid of honor! We should definitely get together because there is so much I have to tell you. Like how he proposed was so cute and so out of the blue I couldn’t believe what was happening. Ahh I’m so happy dude! I can’t wait!

Lets get together soon!

Love,

Ari

Audience 2: Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have some pretty big news to tell you. Mr. X proposed to me last night and I said yes. I know you probably think that we are too young to make such a big decision but something about this feels really right. We have been dating for a while and I feel confident in saying that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. We make each other happy and I truly believe that we are ready for the next step in our relationship. I hope you can support this decision because I have already started looking into some venues and would really appreciate your input and help with organizing the ceremony. The venue that I am most interested in is only available on November 1st and after that there is a two-year waiting list so I really want to book this soon. Please let me know what you think and be honest with me because your approval is very important to me.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Lots of love,

Arianna

Audience 3: Professor

Dear professor,

I am writing to inform you that I will be absent from class on November 1st. I have just recently gotten engaged and the only available day for the venue that we are interested in is on this day. I will make sure to complete all of the assignments that I missed for that day so that I am not behind. I hope you understand the circumstances and are willing to help me catch up with the rest of the class. Please let me know if you have any concerns.

Regards,

Arianna McKinney

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Literacy Narrative

With only one more big assignment left, my two years of IB HL English was finally coming to an end. The only thing left to do was the one assignment that I had been dreading since it was first introduced to the class two years ago. The internal oral commentary (IOC) was one of the major IB English assignments. For the IOC, we were to be given a twenty-line excerpt from any of the texts that had been covered over the last two years of the course and asked to deliver a 10-minute oral commentary regarding the text. We were given 10 minutes to prepare what is essentially an “oral essay” as we were asked to address the main themes, concepts, symbols, etc., of the passage as well as its relevance to the rest of the text and to the world.

In order to prepare for the assignment, the students in the class got together to do practice IOC’s so that we could give each other feedback. We each chose passages that we thought were relevant and could possibly show up on the IOC doing mock exams with each other. After hours of studying for this and feeling confident after all of the positive feedback from my peers and my professor I felt certain that I would do well.

When it finally came to be my turn for the real IOC, I walked into the classroom to find a table centered in the middle of the room. On top of the table lay a collection of brown slip folders, each one containing a different random passage mixed sporadically across the surface of the desk. I picked up one of the folders and looked inside to find a passage from Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” Out of all the texts that I could have gotten, this was the text I was least comfortable with. Nevertheless, I had still studied it in great detail and felt prepared enough to perform very well.

I structured my commentary exactly how I would have if I were going to be writing an essay. I worked my way down the 20 lines addressing the symbolism and moral significance and at the end tied it all together to connect to one of the major themes in the book. The whole process and studying for it was extremely tiresome but after those ten minutes were up I felt confident that I had done a very good job. I felt I had good organization and addressed all of the relevant points of the passage. To my surprise however, the grade I got for the assignment was a C.

Not only was the grade below what I was expecting, the comments from my teacher were also worse than I had anticipated. One of the comments that surprised me the most was “poor organization.” I thought that the way I structured my commentary was coherent and well thought out. Another comment that stood out to me was “not enough attention to detail.” Throughout that IOC I thought that I had done a good job with addressing all of the main themes and symbols and linking their importance to the rest of the book. I thought that I had a strong level of understanding for the text and I thought that I did a good job portraying that in my response to the passage that I was given. However, the comments and the overall grade I received for the assignment proved otherwise.

After all of the hard work and studying that I did for this assignment I was extremely let down after I saw my score and as a result, my confidence in reading and writing was shaken. After seeing this grade I began to question my skills as a reader and a writer. I lost confidence in my ability to analyze texts and their relevancies. Also, I questioned my ability to structure essays.

This experience has really made me question my strength as a reader and a writer. It has also made me question the value of peer reviewing. All of the feedback that I got from my peers and my teacher as well was very positive during the practice internal oral commentary. The positive feedback made me feel confident with my abilities as both a reader and a writer before taking the IOC so I went into the exam feeling good about my abilities, but was disappointed when I saw the grade and the feedback from my teacher.

Having this been my final reading/writing assignment before going into college, I entered college with a very negative outlook on my reading and writing skills. As a result, I have avoided taking classes that require a lot of reading and writing essays even though I do enjoy taking them. I am hoping that with all of the reading I do outside of school, it will help me to develop better skills in reading and writing so that I will have the confidence to take more of the classes that interest me.

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