My journey with poetry began in grade 4 when I started to explore types of poems and structures of poems. My current understanding of poetry has slowly formed over the years by reading and even writing my own poems. Famous poets such as Edgar Allen Poe, Shel Silverstein, Langston Hughes, all seem to have their differences which are really intriguing when looking into these works of art. I believe poetry is the art of expressing emotion through everyday words and/or figurative language. Through any path, each poem should have its own message veiled behind the words that blindly lie on paper. When reading poems, I truly am focused on the word choice and the emotions the writer tries to communicate through the words. My guesses on the messages are usually based on the connotation of the word or even how that certain word is used in other writing pieces. However, I lack in observing the structure of the poems.
Starting this unit really excites me as I am looking forward to exploring more about poetry. I am looking forward to analyzing a variety of poems and getting different perceptions of how poems are interpreted by others.
Right now I am reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Looking back on my goals, I think I chose a good book to transition through genres and to expand my reading time. Jane Austen’s words really motivate me to think deeply about the book’s ideas. However, the romantic aspect lures me in and at the same time, the mix of the historical background expands the genres types.
Before starting this book, I was also doing some required reading. My group read the book The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and that also expanded my reading genre a bit. While this book was a graphic novel, it was also a politically based book where it talked about bigger ideas. The ideas introduced a bigger perspective on how the government can have an effect on peoples everyday lives.
In general, I think I am doing well in terms of expanding the genre’s I read, however, I am still not reading for the time I would like.
From this unit, I have learned multiple things about the way I speak and me in general. I’ve also learned what an idiolect is and how our idiolect changes the way we think and the way we perceive things.
Depending on where we grew up, our accents, background…etc, we are able to develop our own idiolect. In this idiolect we develop, there are phrases learned or various sayings made famous only to those in a certain sociolect. To others, they may be oblivious to these sayings and reject the idea or construction of the phrase or word.
The culture and environment that surrounded me at a young age have been the key element in shaping my idiolect. The friends that were around me and the adults I had to socialize with both expected different standards of speaking. At home, my dad expected perfect or “Standard” English to be used. Any grammatical errors in my sentences or mistakes in my pronunciation were pointed out and taken note of. I was and still, am very cautious about the use of words such as “thing” or “somethingy” or any words of that sort as I was criticized for word choice or vocabulary. This also bled into my texting or emailing with my parents. There were constant situations where the Asterisk symbol was used to point out incorrect syntax even in a casual context. Now, even at this age, I am very aware of the way I talk to my parents and how I talk with my parents. I have to constantly think before I say something and make sure I get my idea across quickly but still with clear and concise wordings when in contact with others older than me.
In contrast, when I was interacting with friends, more slang and texting language were and still are used. As my friends were of similar age and native speakers of English, most typos and bad sentence patterns were looked past and they could identify the true meaning of what I was saying. I was never afraid of misunderstandings and miscommunications when I spoke with language error. In addition, more casual texting language merged together in actual communications. Abbreviations such as “lmao,” “tbh,” “rip,” and “smh” came up in regular conversations and were widely recognized even with other teenagers or kids of similar age. Types of slang like “dude,” “duh,” “aight,” gave a sense of covert prestige amongst those who spoke in alike ways. Although these two types of speaking were indistinguishable to each other, they somehow worked in harmony and impacted me in general as a person. In front of adults, I like to display the proper and polite side of myself whilst in front of friends or acquaintances of about the same age, I can speak in a more lexical and relaxed manner.
In my household, there was an accepted way of doing things. In my earlier youth, my parents were stricter about the way manner words were used, my clarity in annunciating words and paralanguage. Instead of calling a friends dad so and so’s dad or mom, I had to refer to them as Mr., Ms., or Mrs. When asking to pass something across the dining room table, I had to ask using “may you please,” rather than “can you.” I made sure to sit in a way where it seemed I was actively listening in when communicating with an adult and showed interest with eye contact to give them a sense of respect. The justification behind all this was others recognizing the good fashion I was brought up in. At a young age, even without recognizing why I talk in this certain style, I built a habit of saying these short phrases and it has now fused together with my personality in general. Even speaking without mumbling and speaking understandably gave a sense of the level of education and status one received. These slight changes in words contribute to impressing others and giving a presence of overt prestige to family friends or colleagues of my parents. In a case where one of my friends was not up to the same standard, they were looked down upon and looked as if they were raised improperly.
Currently, my reading has been very limited. Looking forward, I want to expand the number of genres I read and generally just read more. I’ve realized the importance of reading books because from forced reading I’ve noticed changes in my perspective and thought. However, choosing books that grab my attention can be challenging at times but I still want to dip into genres such as historical fiction or science fiction. For me, it’s tough knowing which books to read first. If the first book I read is boring from a new genre, I would normally attempt to stay away from that certain type of genre. Although I know that it is not purely for enjoyment, I do want to look at topics that interest me when reading a certain type of genre.
I think looking through ideas that interest me, would help propel me to read more often and slowly broaden my horizon. In the beginning, I would most likely need specific times for reading to get me started but after that, I think it would be easier.
Some books I may want to read would be:
- The Outliers
- Thinking Fast and, Slow
- All the Light We Cannot See
- Lord of the Flies
- The Mocking Bird
Going to a place that is unknown is completely based on what you hear, that is until you get there. From hearing chilling stories about other boarding students to hearing stories about triumphant or fortunate graduates, it can be a real shock. Sometimes just thinking about it can scare a future border. As one of the lucky millennials in this generation, to have such encouraging and involved parents, I can personally say, there are times I have been dependent on my parents or have felt like I need my parents to support me in certain circumstances. For students like me, it could be nerve-racking to be separated for a while. On the contrary, it does not always start with the butterflies that flutter through your stomach. Sometimes it can start with an explosion of exhilaration and merriment. It’s the feelings of meeting new people and venturing through a new environment that queue all the anticipation. Possibly, it could be the thought of starting over and having a clean slate. Eventually, all these feelings catch up to you and most times you will find yourself in a situation where you are torn between two sides and two emotions.
For me, it started with the eagerness and enthusiasm for becoming a boarding student. The idea of having independence and being on my own lit a fire in me. The concept of being self-ruled, made me feel like a real person that makes their my own decisions rather than following rules someone else makes. Although, I enjoy being with others that are my age and the freedom received, in harder times I find myself being alone without my family. Being away from my sibling and parent makes me anxious about a situation that occurs when I am not around or when they are not around. Nevertheless, others that surround me makes me feel like everything is going to be okay–there is always someone to talk to and someone to understand me. With both polar emotions mixing together, it was confusing to me. Sometimes I was filled purely with bliss and other times filled purely with unhappiness. In spite of that, I can assure you there is repeatedly going to be someone that is willing to help you, even in times when you do not feel like there is.