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Public Rhetoric

Revised Final Draft: Asian American and Affirmative Action

To college admissions, merits do not merely mean high test score and GPAs, but also many other factors like extra curricular that shapes a student to be well-rounded. Nevertheless, race and ethnicity should not be a factor taken into account. Hubert Zhao, Chinese American student with a weighted 5.3 GPA, is a victim of affirmative action. He filed a complaint against Columbia and Cornell Universities after being rejected for admission. AsAm News is a community of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander interested in reading, learning and commenting on news, events, people, and issues. They published an article discussing an issue of affirmative action, “Hubert Zhao is a National Merit Scholarship winner, was the president and captain of his high school’s Science Olympiad, Debate, and Science Bowl Team … out of Zhao’s class of 700 students, only he and an unnamed Indian American student were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Neither were accepted to any top 20 schools while others of other racial groups in their class were.” (Chan) AsAmNews is Well-rounded is a subjective word and there is no definite standard for it. Nevertheless, Zhao clearly participated in many extracurricular activities other than school works. Zhao’s case proves that a more qualified Asian American was denied from top colleges whereas other race with less achievement can somewhat easily being admitted.

 

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Literacy Narrative

Revised Final Draft: But is it Art?

When Ms. Melander finished grading all the essays I received a surprising result, my first full score. Though I was satisfied with my writing, from all the previous setbacks I did not expect a grade like this. She told me that she did not take points off of any grammar mistakes because it did not matter. All she cared about was how well we answer the prompt and the way we lay out our ideas with supportive evidences. My essay had met all the standards. I recalled my memory where I asked her if I was able to survive in this class. She never said anything like “you can’t do it”, but instead she challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. A literacy event is an occasion when you reflect on your literacy and writing. Getting a full score on the essay in an advanced class was a special and memorable literacy event to me. Additionally, I was more comfortable with writing and I had a better understanding of the higher order of concerns in writing. A good essay needs to be expressive enough in order to engage with the audiences. After this assignment, it reassured myself that I would succeed not only in this class, but also in. This class had taught me how to present and convey my thoughts and idea. But is it art? It depends on how you view it and interpret it.

Profile

Revised Final Draft: What is so great about Korean drama

A girl’s father, a manhwa artist, had been missing for days and she decided to visit his studio. When she arrived, the monitor on the table was left unattended, and displayed the last scene of the manhwa her dad was working on. A copy of the famous painting, “Goya’s Saturn Devouring His son,” next to the drawing tablet caught her attention. On the back it noted, “Rather than be devoured, I will devour.” All of the sudden the drawing tablet started to shake and flicker. A hand covered with blood came out of it and grabbed her. She was being transported to an unknown rooftop with a bloody man on the ground, the main character of the manhwa. She realized she was dragged into the world her dad had created. Korean dramas are mostly in a miniseries format with distinctive concepts and features, such as mysterious melodrama about a parallel universe between the reality and manhwa world, or a romantic love story of two people from different social background. Because of its variety of interesting drama concepts, Korean drama has brought attention to many people from everywhere in the world. Irene, a sophomore in college, is a big fan of Korean drama.. She has been a member of the Korean drama discourse community ever since the Hallyu became popular. Hallyu means the Korean cultural wave started around the early 2000s with the fast-growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture. This community consists of people who watch Korean drama on a daily basis and have great interests in their culture. The main goal that Irene shares with every member in the community is to bring more people to watch Korean drama and spread the Korean Wave.

Uncategorized

Interview Transcript: What is so great about Korean drama?

INTERVIEWER: Hi, how are you today.

IRENE: I’m good. How about you?

INTERVIEWER: It was a long day. Anyway, let’s begin our interview. So do you identify yourself as a member of this discourse community that involves Asian drama lovers?

IRENE: Yes, I watch Asian drama almost every day.

INTERVIEWER: What types of drama do you usually watch?

IRENE: I watch Korean drama the most. I also watch Chinese and Japanese dramas.

INTERVIEWER: What genres are there and what do you like?

IRENE: I personally like romance and historical ones. It really depends on the plot of a drama.

INTERVIEWER: Do you also watch American shows?

IRENE: Yes, I do. I have watched shows like Friends, Sherlock, the Big Bang Theory, and etc.

INTERVIEWER: Interesting. But you still prefer Asian drama more?

IRENE: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Is there anything special about Asian dramas that American shows don’t have?

IRENE: Asian dramas are usually G-rated compared to American shows. They are less violent and sexual. Some of the dramas’ topic are close to real life, which make me relate to it more.

INTERVIEWER: Would you say this is also because of your cultural background?

IRENE: I think that is one of the main reason why I love Asian drama. Because I am familiar with the cultural custom, food, and lifestyle, I enjoy the drama more. For examples, I often don’t get the jokes in American shows. But I laugh more with Asian humor.

INTERVIEWER: Do you get addicted to watching Asian drama?

IRENE: All the time. Especially they always end every episode with cliffhangers. I get anxious when I have to wait for the newest episodes to come out next week.

INTERVIEWER: The interview ends here. Thank you very much for spending your time with me.

IRENE: No problem. I had a great time too.

Literacy Narrative

Reflection: But is it Art?

  1. From this writing assignment, I learned how to express my ideas through writing by creating an outline before I started the actual essay. Outline helps me see the connection and relationship between each ideas that I would like to further discuss in the essay.
  2. After reading some of the suggested readings given by the professor assisted me to find a topic that I would like to write about and gave me a better understanding of what a literacy event is.
  3. It is hard to compose a writing without enough ideas this is why brainstorming is very important. I write down my ideas and try to list out everything related to the topics and my ideas, like a wireframe. Usually I would draw down at least 2 ideas for each sub-topics to have a direction of what I am going to write about. This helps me to develop a better essay.
  4. The genre of the literacy narrative focuses on a first-hand narrative about our own personal experiences that have to do with reading and writing. When composing in this genre, we have to think back to our own experiences in order to come up with a story. I think audiences would want the author to be descriptive to show the experience to them vividly. To achieve this, I tried to detail every part of my writing so the audience could understand my feeling. I chose to write about this event because it had impacted my writing skill.
  5. I think the strongest part of my final draft is where I talked about how the essay I wrote helped me grow as a person and made me more comfortable with writing. The weariest part is where I tried to give an explanation of the background of the class and how I kind of went off topic.
Public Rhetoric

Peer Review: Asian American and Affirmative Action

  1. Has the writer chosen to 1) write an argument for an audience that agrees with them; 2) write an argument for an audience that disagrees with them; or 3) critique the argument and rhetorical strategies of someone else’s argument? How can you tell that this is what the writer has set out to do?
  2. What issue has the writer chosen to address? How has the writer shown that this issue affects them directly? Who else is affected by this issue? Describe the rhetorical strategies being used to connect to the audience on this issue?
  3. What position does the writer hold on this issue? What reasons do they have for holding this position? Assess the quality of their reasoning (strengths and weaknesses).
  4. What evidence does the writer use to support their reasoning? Evaluate the quality of sources based on what you learned in our library research workshop. Do they have a sufficient amount of evidence to convince their audience?
  5. How has the writer addressed alternate views and perspectives on this issue? Describe the rhetorical strategies being used to connect with people who disagree.

 

Alex He:

  1. In this particular essay, the writer has chosen to express her concerns that disagrees with practices we currently have, in this case affirmative action. To disagree with the author, one critique maybe that Affirmative Action is a useful policy to help get people who are in a low socio-economical status get into college bringing them out of poverty, therefore reducing the poverty rate, and to stop the perpetual cycle of poverty. The author has set out to confront these social issues by laying out her argument specific to Asian Americans being targeted by Affirmative Action.
  2. Affirmative action is shown to influence not only the author directly, but also countless other Asian Americans who she feels are being discriminated against during college acceptances due to their race. By using deductive reasoning, she presents the facts (average SAT scores) in a generalized way and then works her way down to a specific personal example from her life.
  3. Having experienced first hand, this racial discrimination towards Asian Americans is very personal to the author, therefore she plays the role of the persuader to inform others about this inequitable social relation that is enforced in everyday life. The author presents us with both factual evidence and personal experience which ties it up all together. This personal experience gives the audience something to relate to, therefore making her claim even strong. However, the author lacks a real transition between the opposition paragragraph. This obscures her main claim, blurring the line of whether she is for or against Affirmative Action. An example would be starting off with, “You might question whether Asian Americans would benefit from affirmative action bans. The answer is yes.”, which lacks a conjunctive verb that modifies the main clauses, while also joining them together.
  4. The dichotomy of using both real data and personal experiences help to further back up her claim and show her passion in the essay. This gives the readers a personal connection with the author through what she is trying to convey. They do have a sufficient amount of evidence used within this essay, but I would personally like to see more cited or footnoted. Some sources are less known, and might consider using more reputable publications.
  5. The author does clearly point out that not all Asian American are affected by Affirmative Action. She mentions that some Asian Americans actually benefit from the Affirmative Action. Through the use of both logos and pathos, or logic and emotion, she connects with others that have an opposed view. The opinions of people opposed to her claim are expressed in this paper, giving an emotional appeal to the opposing party. Lastly, facts of higher acceptances are shown which further closes the gap between the author and the opposing view.

Daphne Tan:

  1. The writer has chosen to write an argument for an audience that disagrees with them because she provided a lot of evidences to support her argument.
  2. The writer has chosen to write affirmative action and how it relates to Asian Americans. The writer lists a lot of examples about Asian American. As an Asian American, the writer also comments on these examples. Asian American and high school senior are affected by this issue. The writer lists many examples and uses ethical appeals to connect to the audience on this issue.
  3. The writer disagrees affirmative actions. She thinks college admission should not depend on race. Everyone should have equal chance to get into his dream school. The quality of her reasoning is strong.
  4. The writer uses the two girls in her high school and also statistic from universities to support her argument. There is a sufficient amount of evidence to convince their audience.
  5. The writer comes up with an opposite view after she lists many supportive examples. This will make audience who disagree with her think her essay is fair and logical.
Public Rhetoric

Rough Draft: Asian American and Affirmative Action

From November to January, there are many holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. It is supposed to be an enjoyable time for family gathering and friends reunion. With all the applications, financial aid, scholarship, and recommendation letter piling up, it could also be an extremely stressful period for high school seniors who are applying for colleges. In order to get into dream colleges, everyone works hard throughout high school trying to maintain decent grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and do volunteer work. However, some people could get admitted to top colleges with lower requirements while some people have to prove themselves extra smart to get in. Affirmative action in college admission does not provide equality; rather it is a new kind of discrimination, especially toward Asian Americans.

Affirmative action was first introduced to society in 1960s by President John F. Kennedy to ensure job applicants and employees were treated equally despite their race and color. This policy is still being used in college admission today. Its initial approach was brought out positively to help those minority groups who had historically suffered from discrimination. These minority groups include African American, Mexican American, Hispanic American, and etc. While they receive lower standards for college admission, Asian Americans who are also a minority group do not receive the same treatment. A journalist writes, “Asian Americans need SAT scores 140 points higher than Whites and about 400 scores higher than Black and Hispanic high school students to get into elite schools with all other variable being equal.” (Shengdun) Although Asian Americans are considered as minority group, they are being labeled as “model minority.” Model minority refers to minority group that have achieved a high level of success. Asian Americans appear to be more hardworking and intelligent and because of this stereotyped image, many elite colleges are afraid of having a “too Asian” campus. This is where affirmative action comes in place. Elite colleges like Ivy Leagues and top liberal arts school purposely raise the requirements of admission to limit the amount of Asian Americans. Affirmative action indeed gives other minority groups a higher chance of getting into a good college, but many talented Asian Americans are rejected simply because of their race. If affirmative action only gives advantage to certain minority groups, then it loses its original purpose of providing equality.

College admission should be based on merits and not be affected by applications’ race. Why should Asian Americans be targeted by affirmative action and face discrimination? A mother of two children says, “We want our children can be treated equally. I see the kids studying until 2 o’clock in the morning and participate school debate teams and do social works. I want to live in a country where hard works are rewarded.” (Shengdun) It seems unreasonable to have a perfectly qualified Asian American student to lose the chance of getting a better education at an elite school to those who are less qualified. A study conducted by Princeton University uses SAT scores as a benchmark to show how race and ethnicity affect admissions. The study results reveal the fact that African Americans received a bonus 230 points, Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points, but Asian Americans are penalized by 50 points. (Shyong)

To college admissions, merits do not merely mean high test score and GPAs, but also many other factors like extra curricular that shapes a student to be well-rounded. Nevertheless, race and ethnicity should not be a factor taken into account. Hubert Zhao, Chinese American student with a weighted 5.3 GPA, is a victim of affirmative action. He filed a complaint against Columbia and Cornell Universities after being rejected for admission. According to AsAm News, “Hubert Zhao is a National Merit Scholarship winner, was the president and captain of his high school’s Science Olympiad, Debate, and Science Bowl Team … out of Zhao’s class of 700 students, only he and an unnamed Indian American student were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Neither were accepted to any top 20 schools while others of other racial groups in their class were.” (Chan) Well-rounded is a subjective word and there is no definite standard for it. Nevertheless, Zhao clearly participated in many extracurricular activities other than school works. Zhao’s case proves that a more qualified Asian American was denied from top colleges whereas other race with less achievement can somewhat easily being admitted.

You might question whether Asian Americans would benefit from affirmative action bans. The answer is yes. California banned race-conscious admission on public college in 1996. Many Californians were upset about this decision made by the lawmakers. But data had shown, “After California forbade state universities to consider race in admissions, the percentage of Asian students at the University of California at Berkeley rose from 37 percent to 44 percent. At CIT … more than one-third of students are Asian.” (Zimmerman) The intention of trying to create a diverse environment in these elite colleges is great, even so they should not deny Asian American students’ effort when they work equally or harder than other students. If affirmative action could not provide equal opportunity for all minority groups, then it should certainly be banned.

As mentioned earlier Asian Americans would need to score 140 points higher than White American on the SAT to get into a top college. Affirmative action was carried out to help minority groups, but why did White Americans also benefit from this policy. The author of the article Asian-Americans, the New Jews on Campus writes, “That just doesn’t make sense. African-Americans and Hispanics have suffered discrimination across our history; whites haven’t. But if we make whites compete on a level playing field with Asians, our colleges will become too Asian.” (Zimmerman) Asians had suffered in history just like other minorities. For example, the Chinese Exclusion Act signed by President Arthur in 1882 prohibited all Chinese immigration. Chinese labors also had to deal with horrible treatments and anti-Chinese sentiments. In addition, Japanese Americans were forced to leave their homes and put in War Relocation Camps during World War II after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. By definition, Asian Americans are minority. Although this may be true, not only they do not get the advantage supposedly provided by affirmative action, they are hurt by it. White Americans did not endure any kind of inequality, but benefit from their race. With affirmative action, Asian Americans are being punished for working hard and being high achievers.

As an Asian students myself, I do not like the idea of affirmative action. From my graduate class in high school, two intelligent and well-rounded female students were the valedictorian candidates, and they both applied to Stanford University. One of them, Maggie, Chinese American, had taken more AP classes, scored higher on the SAT, done many internships related to STEM, participated in volleyball team for all four years. The other student, Vanessa, Mexican American, had the same GPA as Maggie, interned at a local hospital, was once the concertmaster of the school orchestra. Though they both had outstanding achievements, only Vanessa was admitted to Stanford. In contrast, UC Berkeley offered Maggie a full tuition scholarship. Again, California’s affirmative action ban is only effective for public school. Maybe there were other variables, but I suspected that Maggie’s admission might have been affected by her race.

Although affirmative action seems to hurt Asian Americans, on December 13, 2016, two Asian American students petitioned to join Harvard lawsuit to defend affirmative action. The lawsuit against Harvard University was filed in 2014 by Edward Blum, the president of Students For Fair Admissions, Inc., which accused Harvard for engaging in discrimination against Asian Americans using racial classification on admission. One of the two Asian American petitioners, Jason Fong actually supports affirmative action. The news reports, “Fong said he experienced bullying and social exclusion in private elementary and middle school, which had few students of color … he finds his public high school to be more inclusive and a safer place to share his own ideas.” (Fuchs) Affirmative action can undoubtedly bring diversity and different cultures to college campus. I agree with Fong’s statement that a more diverse school makes him feel safe. When I first visited Cal Poly, I was not comfortable with the environment. After staying in San Francisco for years, especially my high school had about eighty percent Asian students, I did not feel welcomed to the campus with mainly White American students. Diversity in college could impact students positively on racial tolerance and self-esteem, which can be fulfilled with race-conscious college admissions.

Affirmative action on college admission could be two sided, beneficial and harmful, to everyone. Due to Asian American’s hardworking nature, they are being seen as “model minority”. This stereotype does not serve as bonus point on their college applications, rather a hurdle that prevents them from receiving higher education. If affirmative action only supports specific minority groups, then this policy should not be adopted and used against other minority groups. Or else it would just be another type of discrimination; ironically, the policy was created to stop it. All minority groups should be treated fairly and equally.

 

Work Cited

Shengdun, Hua. “Asians Urge College Admission Equality.” China Daily, US ed. ed.: 2. Dec 10 2015. ProQuest. Web. 9 Mar. 2017 .

Shyong, Frank. “For Asian Americans, a Changing Landscape on College Admissions.” Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2015. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Chan, Louis. “Asian American Files Discrimination Complaint against Ivy League Schools.” AsAmNews. 25 Aug. 2016. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Zimmerman, Jonathan. “Asian-Americans, the New Jews on Campus.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 58, no. 35, 04 May 2012, p. A26. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=75230224&site=ehost-live.

Fuchs, Chris. “Students File to Join Harvard Lawsuit to Defend Race-Conscious Admissions.” NBC News. 15 Dec. 2016. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

 

 

Profile

Rough Draft: What is so great about Korean Drama?

A discourse community is a group of people who share the common goal, provide information and feedback, and communicate in their unique language through a platform that belongs to them. Irene, a sophomore in college, has been a member of the Korean drama discourse community ever since the Hallyu became popular. Hallyu means the Korean cultural wave started around the early 2000s with the fast-growing popularity of Korean entertainment and culture. This community consists of people who watch Korean drama on a daily basis and have great interests in their culture.

With the advancement in technology, watching videos do not limit to televisions and dvd players anymore. People can easily stream video online with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and also download movies and TV shows through many different websites. The two very popular types of program that adolescents watch are American TV series and Korean drama. Although they both are TV shows but they are distinct in themes, acting, and cultural influences. I asked Irene, what are the biggest differences between American and Korean drama. In her opinion, Korean drama is more dramatic while American show is more realistic. However, she preferred Korean drama because the culture presented was closer to her own culture. It often depicted strong family bond and a more innocent relationship between people. She could relate to the characters more because of that. In contrast, American TV shows revealed the real side of humanity, which included divorced parents and more sexual and violent scenes. She rather watches an idealized story with happy endings than feel sorry for the sad reality.

But why do people enjoy drama so much? “My everyday life is so bland and boring. Interesting events probably only happen once in a while, and it’s not even that exciting or worth mentioning,” said Irene. Drama has entertaining storylines, climax, and tensions between characters. The plot often addresses wide range of emotions from happiness to the pain of life. For example, a character loses their lover and family due to sickness or horrible accidents. It is human nature to feel empathy for the rough life that protagonists have been through so we easily get drawn into the dramatic scenes. Drama can serve as a form of escapism. “I watch drama whenever I am stressed or procrastinating … romance comedy is my favorite type of drama because it helps me clear my mind.” Irene explained how watching drama is her way of relieving stress. It allowed her to leave all the troubles behind, even if it was just for a few hours.

Another great thing about watching drama, especially with a group of people, is that they will always have something to talk about. “Whenever I finish the newest episodes of the drama I am currently watching, I will eagerly text my friends to discuss the plot.” Irene said sometimes she would have more fun sharing her thoughts on the drama and characters than actually watching it. She also added “Even when there is no one to talk to, I will go online to look at other people’s comments.” The reason why she did this was because she wanted to see if anyone agreed with her. It is completely normal for us to constantly seek validation and approvals. This is an advantage of being a part of a discourse community. Because every member in this community have the same interest and taste in drama, which makes it easier to find someone who also share the similar feeling. In addition, when Irene is waiting on a new episode she would anticipate what is going to happen to the story. All the plot analysis and predictions on Internet help to reassure her guesses, and also stimulate her curiosity in a way to keep her watching the drama.

In a discourse community, there will be a group of novice and a group of experts. I proposed the question if Irene considered herself as an expert of Korean drama since she had been in this community for a long time. She did not think she was at that level yet. Her explanation was that Korean drama had changed a lot throughout the years. In the past, most Korean drama would follow similar plot and cliché storyline; everything was predictable. However, it had greatly improved in many different aspects. Korean drama expanded the variety of genre and concepts. For example, a recent popular drama, Goblin, talked about an immortal man who had lived for over nine hundred years and how one’s past life could affect this life. Moreover, the entertainment company also used Korean drama as propaganda to discuss serious social issues such as child rape cases or the intense Korean office culture. The positive development of Korean drama made Irene reflected on her preference in old cliché drama. Therefore she thought she still had a long way to go to become an expert.

After being devoted to this discourse community for many years, I wanted to find out what was her secret for keeping her passion and appreciation for Korean drama. “I think the reason why I am still attracted to Korean drama is because of all the extension in reality from a drama on the internet. A website that I use every day is called ‘Weibo’, where I could search up ratings, other people’s comments and analysis, fan arts, and so many other things.” said Irene. Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website. It is like a combination of Facebook and Tumblr. You do not need any permission to follow someone and reblog their posts. But Weibo gives you a set layout of your profile so you do not get to design your own blog. You can also create a “fans discussion page” that allows people to share their thoughts and works with others who has the same interest – like a genre of a discourse community.

On Weibo you can find pages that are specifically for the drama that you are watching. Hashtags are also being used on Weibo. One thing useful about Weibo is when you search up a hashtag it automatically arranges the posts by real-time popularity. In this way you can easily find the newest and the most discussed posts. Like Facebook, under every post you can leave comments and even start a thread to express your view on the drama. If other people agree or disagree with you then they can mention you in the comment with the symbol “@”, and you will get a notification. But you don’t have to feel obligated to reply if you don’t want to talk. It is just a convenient way to communicate with other people in this community.

From the interviewed, Irene mentioned the extension in reality from a drama. She was referring to the fan creations such as stickers of a character, fan arts, and “fan fictions”; these creations enriched a drama. Fan fiction is a special fandom jargon. Because we all have our own imaginations and sometimes the story does not fulfill our expectation. As a result, fans are inspired and encouraged to develop their own stories based on original characters, sometimes with different settings. Weibo is an excellent platform for fans to publish their works and share with others to get approval.

It is always nice to have a group people who appreciate the same things you love. Being part of the Korean drama community let Irene to have a voice to convey her ideas through internet and gets feedback from the others. This is a valuable life experience that everyone should have.

Literacy Narrative

Rough Draft: But is it Art?

              Throughout middle school and high school, writing essays in English class was never my favorite. It was not difficult to get a good grade because the teacher would give out worksheets and outlines to develop ideas before I start on anything. After all the preparation works the teacher would then assign first, second, and third drafts until I was ready to finalize my writing. There was always plenty of time to finish the assignment. However, writing became a lot harder and different when I took my first AP class in sophomore year.
              My high school offered architecture and drafting classes as an elective course for students who were not involved in any language immersion programs or academies. Students could take this class as a one time thing or choose to move on to a more advanced class, which we called it the ACE Pathway. I was a member of the pathway. The class that came after beginning architecture was AP Art History. Before I signed up for it Ms. Melander, the head of the ACE Pathway, warned me about the workloads and the daily writing assignments. The fact that English was not my first language discouraged my will to improve on writing. In order to push myself I decided to take AP Art History because I thought writing about things I was interested in would be the best way to change how I view English and writing. The pace of an AP class was so much faster comparing to a regular high school class. Since it was a mandatory class, Ms. Melander dropped whoever did not finish their summer assignment because she did not want any lazy students or students who could not handle the workload. On the second day, she already assigned an essay on a piece of artwork from the Paleolithic era, but she did not give any instructions on how to structure the writing. As a result, I received a bad grade. Ms. Melander then explained to us her grading guideline. For AP Art History, we were expected to write analytical and descriptive essays for artworks, time periods, artists, and etc. I was used to composing argumentative, persuasive, and narrative essays, this type of writing was totally new to me. Just starting with a thesis statement was completely different from what I have learned. Instead of having a sentence summarizing up the point that we try to prove, we were supposed to list out the three main ideas that we will further discuss in the body paragraphs. This is because on the AP Exam, the graders have to grade every essay in a very short amount of time and they would want to see every points and claims explicitly. Moreover, this kind of historical essay was detailed oriented and had to have historical references to back up your statements. I could not add any personal feelings so I had to be careful with the word choice. Any words like “I think” or “I prefer” were not acceptable.
              When the course moved on to Ancient Greece I was very excited to study everything from this time period. My knowledge of Ancient Greece was limited to Greek Mythology and epic poetry. I have always found those stories fascinating yet doubted their truthfulness. As I learned more about Greek Pottery and sculptures, I discovered how Ancient Greek people carefully painted and carved onto these devices to depict characters and range of scenes from the Greek mythology. One important aspect of the Greek culture was gods and temples. Ancient Greek believed in the twelve major Olympian gods and goddesses. To praise and seek protection from the gods, they built many enormous temples devoted to their patron gods of the cities. The most famous and well-known temple was the Parthenon. It was located on the highest point of Athens, the Acropolis, dedicated to their patron goddess Athena. In this way, the Athenian would have to look up to the temple every day to worship Athena. The Parthenon was built with the golden ratio to show perfection. The harmonious design of the columns was curved and tilted to create dynamic balance The sculptures on the pediments and the friezes were filled with life-sized, idealized human made in perfect proportion. The Parthenon remarked the golden age of Ancient Greece, the Classical Period.  Without any surprises, Ms, Melander assigned another essay for us to write. We were asked to discuss how, why, and in what way does the Parthenon reflect the history and the people from this time period and the background of Ancient Greece.
              I have written about 4 essays since the course started, and every one of them was returned with criticism and horrible grades. Although I was a little discouraged by the comments Ms. Melander gave me, I felt confident when I was writing the essay about Parthenon.  Because I was so involved with the history of this time period, I understood the course materials extremely well. In which motivated me to write down everything I have learned to show my passion for Ancient Greece. When I was writing the essay, my biggest concern was not whether the grammar structure was correct. To present all the ideas and thoughts I had in mind was my priority. I did not have to worry about searching up and using big fancy vocabularies because every art history terms was already complicated enough. Even though I had a hard time trying to put my interpretation of the Parthenon into words and sentences, I tried my best to give a detailed analysis of the relationship between every specific aspect of the architecture and the Ancient Greek culture. Also, providing a series of visual and contextual evidences to back up my statement was essential. I could not just come up with a lot of ideas without any explanation of the possible intentions of why the Parthenon was built. Writing essays was never my strong suit, but I ended up doing more than the basic requirement asked for.
              When Ms. Melander finished grading all the essays I received a surprising result, my first full score. Though I was satisfied with my writing, from all the previous setbacks I did not expect a grade like this. She told me that she did not take points off of any grammar mistakes because it did not matter. All she cared about was how well we answer the prompt and the way we lay out our ideas with supportive evidences. My essay had met all the standards. I recalled my memory where I asked her if I was able to survive in this class. She never said anything like “you can’t do it”, but instead she challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. Additionally, I was more comfortable with writing and I had a better understanding of the higher order of concern in writing. A good essay needs to be expressive enough in order to engage with the audiences.  After this assignment, it reassured myself that I would succeed not only in this class, but also in writing as long as I try my best to convey my thoughts and ideas.