Drawing of my original character (OC) Arcturus, who acts as a mentor in a book that I have been writing in my head for years. I created this drawing on the IPad with the popular Apple Pencil using a wonderful app called Procreate.
WR 122 Movie Evaluation Essay
21 May 2017
Irrational Love Defeating Programming
Wall•E is the ninth feature film to be released by Pixar Animation on the 27th of June in 2008. It is a rated G animated movie for its family friendly plot and is generally considered a combination of the genres: science fiction and children/family. However, when watching the movie, it quickly became clear that there were multiple similarities to romantic-comedies. A movie about robots and environmental destruction is at heart a love story told in a very unique way including the initial “meet-cute”, a humorous sidekick, a period of courtship, and the transformation of character; all of which show the audience that love is not unanimous and there are different ways on expressing love.
One of the conventions of romantic comedies is the “meet-cute”, whereupon the couple are depicted in an initial clash of personalities or comical misunderstanding. Wall•E is love-struck with the beauty of EVE when she first arrives on Earth and follows after her mindlessly as the earthbound robot yearns to just hold someone’s hand. In comparison, her rapid fire response to disturbances and the resulting mushroom clouds leave Wall•E trembling.
There are defined social differences between the star-struck characters as well, EVE is from a world of new, while Wall•E is old and aged. With these points it is important to realize Wall•E is unique in telling their love story; Wall•E and EVE are both robots which consequently prevents the story from being told in the usual fashion. Owing to the movie relying on non-verbals, detailed animation in the faces of the robots, and musical cues are used to represent the love between the two robots.
Throughout the film, the romantic story builds through a series of actions whereupon the young couple demonstrate their care for one another. This is important in the fact that the lead couple does not fall in love at first sight. These scenes thereby allow the characters to fall in love with the personality and quirks of the other. Shortly after EVE and Wall•E are introduced, a brutal sandstorm ensues and Wall•E is prompted to take EVE to his home for safety. Here, he excitedly shows EVE his collection of objects that range from a light bulb to a Rubik’s Cube. Eventually, Wall•E puts in a romantic movie titled Hello! Dolly which at one point has two characters holding hands. This nonverbal action is later used onboard the Axiom to represent the words I love you without explicitly saying it.
Additionally, when hanging around with Wall•E on Earth, EVE meets Wall•E’s insect companion, Hal. Hal is Wall•E’s sidekick and he provides lighthearted humor, particularly because he is a cockroach. However, once the two robots leave Earth, Hal is left behind and a cleaner robot fills this role. M-O is first shown cleaning EVE and her fellow robots of any contaminates. Afterwards, this robot follows the debris trail Wall•E left behind with increasing frustration, unexpectedly providing humor.
While there are multiple music sequences including Wall•E picking up trash at the start of the film and EVE scanning Earth upon her arrival according to her “Directive”. Two particular montages that stand out from the rest fit the criteria of a romantic-comedy. The first takes place on the polluted Earth whereupon Wall•E dotes on her even to his own harm after she shuts down upon finding a green plant shoot on Earth. This is essentially the courtship period between the two.
The second montage highlights the loving care that they have developed for one another during their time on the Axiom. Their playful natures are exhibited as they fly about in outer space —Wall•E with a fire extinguisher and EVE self-propelled. Additionally, the robot couple, particularly Wall•E, is able to initiate a “meet-cute” for a human couple by simply bumping into their hover cars. Consequently, the humans then begin to look at the Axiom in a different light.
Most compelling is the transformation of character the plot resolves. In general, romantic comedies feature a protagonist undergoing a transformation or discovery, usually realizing the other person is indeed their soul mate or true love. In Wall•E, the protagonist sparks a transformation in all those around him by simply being true to himself. In other words: “…the plot evolves into something with intergalactic ramifications, wherein Wall•E and EVE create a chain of events that eventually convinces humans to get off their lard-asses and return to Earth.”
From the cleverly scripted “meet-cute” that opens the film, to delightful tie-ins to classic romantic comedies of the past, and finally to the remarkable transformations of all the characters, Wall•E is a romance against which future films in this genre will be judged. The director of the movie, Andrew Stanton, once stated, “From the beginning, I could never drop the idea that is should really be a love story.” When even the director of the movie believes that Wall•E is a love story, it is no wonder that the film has the necessary components for a romantic-comedy. Though not a traditional romantic comedy as it centers around non-human characters, the lesson we can all learn from Wall•E is that loves knows no boundaries.
N.a. “Wall•E.” Pixar Wiki. Wikia. n.d. Accessed 15 May 2017. <http://pixar.wikia.com/wiki/ WALL•E>.
N.a. “Romantic Comedies.” Filmbug: Guide to Movie Stars. Filmbug, n.d. Accessed 20 May 2017. < http://www.filmbug.com/dictionary/romantic-comedies.php>
Myers, Scott. “Pixar Genius.” Go Into The Story. Go Into The Story, 24 Sept. 2009. Accessed 24 May 2017. <https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/pixar-genius-6efa65683ef5>.
Wall•E. Stanton, Andrew. Walt Disney Pictures, 2008. Film
WR 122 Essay 2
3 May 2017
Homeschoolers Are Not Abnormal
I have never been to public school. When I tell people this fact they are always surprised. I have grown to expect an exclamation of disbelief, even from people my own age. Despite the growing popularity and rising numbers of homeschoolers, there is still a strong aversion to it. People frequently ask me: “What about prom? Do you have any friends? How do you make friends?” I make and have friends just like anyone else, except age is not a restriction. I connect with people based on shared interests and experiences thus I have strong friendships with those younger than me, as well as with adults. Homeschooling has also enabled me to explore my passions without having to encounter obstacles in my path. I discovered who I want to be and what I want to accomplish in my lifetime far earlier than others because I am homeschooled.
Homeschooling, in concept, incorporates a diverse spectrum of approaches to education. Some of the popular methods include but are not limited to Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, “School at Home”, Unit Studies, and Unschooling. My family considers us an eclectic blend, particularly Charlotte Mason and Unschooling. The Charlotte Mason philosophy believes a child is a person and we must educate the whole person, not just her mind. In Mason’s words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life”, which my mom repeated to me throughout childhood. It is a gentle approach that incorporates living books, narration, time outdoors, and modern languages. The Unschooling approach is more relaxed whereupon we have the freedom to explore whatever peaks our interest at any given time. We also take part in a variety of extracurricular activities (e.g Boy Scouts, swim team, service learning projects, and volunteer experiences) which provide opportunities to connect with others and build community. In my mother’s words, “We follow the ebb and flow of life, allowing life to lead the way.”
A handful of stereotypes have emerged because of ignorance in regards to what homeschooling is and how it is achieved. The public school system, from my perspective, pushes the idea that homeschoolers are weird, uneducated, and abnormal. There is an automatic assumption that homeschoolers are unable to perform properly in society. In contrast, this could not be further from the truth. Albeit, many families choose this lifestyle because of religious reasons, disagreements with the vaccine requirements, or are concerned that their children will not thrive in a “traditional classroom” due to learning disabilities or physical handicaps. In reality, homeschoolers act more mature at a young age, are generally more willing to help around the house (either with chores or helping with younger siblings), and are more enthusiastic about their schoolwork. They realize the value of tasks, such as folding the laundry, in building their skills for the future. Monotonous busywork like comprehension worksheets and vocabulary crossword puzzles are unnecessary. The student is thus afforded the time to pursue long-term passion projects that meet both academic and future goals.
My mom decided to homeschool my brother and me for multiple reasons. When I was five years old, I told her that I wanted to learn to speak Chinese. Immediately she knew that no traditional school would be able to provide me this opportunity, at least where we lived. Foreign languages were not even taught until high school in most school districts at this time. Eventually, she found a private instructor and I began my journey towards Mandarin fluency. If she had made the decision to send me to the local elementary school, I never would have had this unique experience. Additionally, I likely would not have discovered how intriguing and unique different cultures are until much later.
Furthermore, my brother and I make friends in a natural way without feeling required to have friends of the same age. When my family went to the Galápagos a few years ago with a travel group we connected with two retired couples and another family with grown children. My brother connected with a grandfatherly figure who looks remarkably like Charles Darwin. Every morning, they were the first to wake and would be found on deck sipping cocoa and telling tall tales of their adventures. Similarly, I became friends with fellow a Harry Potter fan, Karen, and was “adopted” by another family when my parents wanted to go for a panga ride and I desired to go for a hike with the other group. Karen and I would often reminisce about our favorite books and discuss the art that we each loved. After we had all spent a week in the Galápagos, our family along with the two couples we became particularly familiar with joined another travel group to go to Machu Picchu. Our friendship and camaraderie with these two couples was so familiar that the people from this new group quickly made the assumption that we were traveling with both sets of our grandparents, even though this was not the case.
People who were taught at home often become successful entrepreneurs as living on the “outskirts of society” has allowed them to think outside the box and discover solutions to problems with ease. From an early age I have had the goal of pursuing a college degree. Since the age of eleven, I have focused on pursuing my academic goals with more fervency and have developed a plan for how to pay for college without incurring debt or student loans. Upon realizing that there was an absence of bubble tea vendors in our local area, I had considered opening a food cart style business. After completing a market research survey and writing a business plan, I discovered just how much money I would need up front and how much time I would be obligated to work. As I am a full time student, aiming to complete my Associates degree while I also complete high school, I realized this was not the best option for me. I have thereby opted to pursue other means of financing for college and now rely on art commissions and a variety of odd jobs. When I am older, I will most assuredly take on a part time job and have already made promising inquiries.
By homeschooling, I have been allowed to explore who I am without being pressured to like the same things as everyone else. My taste in art, literature, and music are different than my peers because I have not been expected to follow the crowd. I have been independent from an early age and my travel experiences, foreign language studies, and extracurricular pursuits have molded me into the person I am today. I stand proud knowing I can defend my opinions without worry of how I am perceived.
In order to earn the optional extra credit, the professor required us to read a book and then write a review of it. Focusing on what we thought of it, what we understood, and so on. Then she asked us to meet with her to discuss the book. This was easily my favorite assignment to do for writing this past term.
WR 122 Extra Credit
3 May 2017
Eucalyptus & Monarch Butterflies
Senses are vital as they are how everyone experiences the world. Humans like to imagine that they are the only ones who use their senses, yet that is a misconception. Animals and plants also use senses to navigate their surroundings. For example, carnivorous plants rely entirely on touch to capture their prey. Another misconception is that other creatures do not have as many senses as us, this idea could not be more wrong. Animals experience hundreds of other senses that humans can not comprehend. Diane Ackerman’s book, A Natural History of the Senses is the perfect guide to discovering depths of our senses that we do not fully appreciate, including nostalgia and sexual attraction.
The most brilliant aspect about the book is Ackerman’s ability to vividly describe each sense and what the human body learns from it. She uses her personal experiences to connect with the readers on a nostalgic level; painting eloquent pictures of moonlit beaches, oranges, and eucalyptus with resting monarch butterflies. Ackerman begins her book with the sense of smell and reminisces of how she spent one Christmas season:
I traveled along the coast of California with the Los Angeles Museum’s Monarch Project, locating and tagging great numbers of overwintering monarch butterflies. They prefer to winter in eucalyptus groves, which are deeply fragrant. The first time I stepped into one, and every time thereafter, they filled me with sudden tender memories of mentholated rub and childhood colds…. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be proclamations left by some ancient scribe. Yet, to my nose, it was Illinois in the 1950s. (Ackerman, p. 18)
By allowing the reader to visualize a memory of hers, Ackerman cleverly draws her audience into a story of noses, ears, eyes, and tongues, which otherwise would have been dull and lifeless.
At the beginning of the section on taste, Ackerman states that taste is a social sense. “Humans rarely choose to dine in solitude, and food has a powerful social component.” (Ackerman, p. 127) Upon reading this statement, I quickly recall all my past gatherings with family members during which we have shared a meal, especially during the holidays. I envision couples leaning in towards one another at a table in a romantic restaurant; friends sipping a cup of chai tea as they catch up on the latest news. Even going out to eat alone is a more social occasion then eating in the solitude at home. Food is central to many social moments and our sense of taste is intimately involved.
When young writers are taught the nuances of writing and techniques to make their writing stand out from the rest, they are encouraged to use details and often to consider all of the senses. Ackerman’s book gives proof to why this is such a vital technique to learn and apply. To describe an apple, a writer should not only use words based around the color and shape of the fruit such as red, firm, and round. He should also consider the crisp sound an apple makes after biting into one, the tickle of the tart juice as it trickles down your chin, and the sweet floral fragrance that calls a perfect summer day to mind.
While A Natural History of Senses is written in an engaging style, rife with rich detail, I admit had to set the book down several times and return to it at a later time. Ackerman discussed in length each of our senses in the context of attraction to others (pheromones), kissing (taste), and sex (touch), which is something I am not fully comfortable with. Thankfully, the book was written in a scientific context.
Ackerman’s portrayal of our bodily senses from a natural history perspective is both informative and intriguing. Her colorful descriptions of each sense provide readers with a unique exploration of the depths of our senses. By using her memories, Ackerman easily communicates with the reader on a conversational tone. Our senses are how we comprehend and explore our surroundings, Ackerman’s book provides a useful in-depth analysis of them. Be keenly aware when our noses affect our sense of taste and remember the childhood memories of summer days, flower picking, and rushing waves.
Required Words: 有空，好不好，剧情，节奏，新出的，紧张，没意思，要不，变成，最近，谈论
23日是星期四，我爸爸工作回家以后，我们坐车去Portland。星期五, 爸爸的好朋友带了我们去Portland的机场以后，我们一起坐三小时半飞机去芝加哥。我们两点十五分到了芝加哥。星期五我家人在“Shake Shack”吃晚饭， 我吃了汉堡和薯条。爸爸说：“明天晚上我们会吃有名的芝加哥披萨。我也想吃烤肉。”
周六我爸爸要去开会，妈妈弟弟和我参观了芝加哥博物馆。可惜很多人也参观美术博物馆，因为周六的天气非常冷。美术博物馆里有我最喜欢的艺术家Jackson Pollock的一件艺术品。爸爸回家了以后，我家人在Lou Malnati’s Pizza吃了晚饭。我们一起 吃了有名的芝加哥披萨，非常好吃。
Another character of mine that goes by the name of Loki Winterwren. He is also a main character in my book.
Khaos Fernwell (fen-well) is the protagonist of my book that that I have been wanting to write for years. His design has changed slightly since this drawing, but nothing drastic.
Assignment: This is the final essay and should include: your experience at college, changes in your writing, and what grade you should earn in WR 121. Make sure to use persuasive, compare and contrast, narrative, and evaluative writing techniques.
WR 121 Final Essay
9 March 2017
Green Tea Chocolates
Jane Goodall has been a role model to me since I was a young girl when I had the opportunity to meet her at a Roots & Shoots conference. Her words and life experience inspired me to work hard to make a difference for others in the community, animals, and the environment. For many years when I was a child I wrote to Santa requesting a better environment. On family walks I would always pickup litter and we took part in community invasive weed pulls regularly. I illustrated posters to communicate the danger of releasing unwanted pets like the red-eared slider turtle into the wild. As I grew older I realized I could have a greater impact by pursuing a career in environmental engineering. College and the lessons I have learned thus far, specifically in regards to writing, will play an important part in my chosen career and protecting the environment in the future.
“Every individual matters.
Every individual has a role to play.
Every individual makes a difference.”
– Jane Goodall
My first college experience was in the fall of 2016 when I enrolled in Algebra I. The logical nature of mathematics has consistently appealed to me. Unlike traditional artists who use paint or authors who express themselves with words, engineers use mathematics as their medium. Consequently, I was intrinsically motivated to also complete Algebra II in the same term, receiving an A in each course. As my second term now comes to a close, I am confidant I will receive an A in my third college level math course, Intermediate Algebra II. However, not investing equivalent time and effort to also develop good communication skills —both written and verbal— can be a self-limiting decision. Mathematical skill is only a part of what an engineer needs to succeed. Therefore, I am currently enrolled in English Composition I, the only other course I am currently taking at Southwestern as a part-time, dual enrolled student.
Throughout this term, I have developed a deeper understanding for the writing process than ever before. I have discovered the three rhetorical devices of persuasion used to convince audiences, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos – each coined by Aristotle. I have learned strategies and techniques for choosing an intriguing title. I now also recognize the struggle I previously experienced with writing introductions and conclusions and the many clichés I infused into my work. Furthermore, I had previously found constructing a thesis statement near impossible and I would often wander from my topic. While criticism has been difficult to receive, green tea chocolates and a box of tissue have become my constant companion these past couple weeks, I have grown tremendously over the course of the term. I developed a better understanding of where I went astray in my writing. Often I failed to understand the original assignment. I am continuing to grow as a writer having completed just one college level writing class thus far. I look forward to all the challenges to come and applying the skills I develop in the future.
My Mandarin professor has said I am the best student he has ever had the pleasure of teaching because I am highly studious and always put my schoolwork above leisure time. I have approached all my college courses with the same methodology. This is demonstrated in English Composition by my near perfect attendance; I missed only one class due to family circumstances but scrupulously notified the professor in advance. Another factor to consider is that I have turned in all assignments on time and have fully participated in class activities, willingly reading aloud the work my partner and I composed. Additionally, I have read all assigned reading material, annotating the text while doing so. While I may have misunderstood the specifics of the two writing assignments, I was diligent and made every effort to apply the feedback once it was received to subsequent writings. Lastly, I have sought out assistance from other skilled writers rather than relying solely on my own perception of the assigned task. . I have clearly met or exceeded the criteria outlined in the course syllabus for which an A is deserved.
The lessons I have learned in writing are already helping me better communicate with others. For example, I was able to clearly share my vision for a student conservation project to the staff at South Slough which will commence next term. As an aspiring environmental engineer I know skills in mathematics and sciences are critical, but writing is equally important. Engineers have a reputation for being weak writers. However, a broad array of skills are required to be effective in today’s multidisciplinary teams. Developing my writing skills will help me correspond effectively with my colleagues and the public. As a strong writer and mathematician, I can make a difference.
“What you do makes a difference.
You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
– Jane Goodall