Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TOW#30: Letter to a New APELC Student

Dear New APELC Student,

You've probably heard many things about this class, good and bad. But don't worry, you can do it! It's not as terrible as it seems.

Ok, so first, the best thing about this class is that the work load is pretty small. You may have a reading section due here and there. BUT, I warn you, do not neglect the assignments. For example, there may be an assignment where you have to read a section and then annotate it. This seems like nothing and you think that you can b-s it. Wrong. Make sure you really read it and understand the purpose. Sometimes you may need to read it a couple of times and this really helps! If you don't listen to this advice, you are going to cry during the assessments that we have once every end of the marking period.

Secondly, put effort into your TOWs. It may seem like a hassle and easy to write whatever since it isn't being graded, but it is really good practice for essays in the AP test and Timed/Take-Home Essays.

You are also going to do grammar with Ms. Pronko, which may not sound exciting but it is pretty fun because Ms. Pronko is awesome. In the end of the year, you may have a grammar final towards the end of the year, but "unfortunately" for us, we didn't have one.

In the AP exam, you not only have the essays but the multiple choice. The format looks like the SAT, but it is much harder. My advice, start working on it a little now. There is plenty of practice online. We didn't get to practice as much as we wanted to because of the crazy scheduling (snow days). This isn't urgent, but if you want to get a head start then go for it.

The essays are a bit tricky. You may be frustrated and panic at first because you may have been a straight A student who received a 3 (73%) on your summer essay. But don't worry! I nearly passed out too. But you'll learn. Set up meetings with Mr. Yost or Ms. Pronko for help.

And finally, relax! If I made it through this class, believe me, so can you. The class is really fun in general and Mr. Yost is really funny.

Good luck this year! You can do it! And even if times are hard, just keep going.
And remember, "It's just school."-Mr. Yost

Former APELC student,
Chaeyeon Lee

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

TOW#29: Documentary Rhetorical Analysis- Food Inc.

Food Is Not Real Anymore

Where do you think your burger came from? No not the restaurant, but where it actually came from. Food Inc. portrays the idea that the food we eat is not a "real" as people may assume. There are no farms but factories creating our food on assembly lines. Animals are being mistreated and chemicals are being spread all over the plants to create the "perfect" and best-tasting crop. People should stick to organic foods because it supports pesticide-free crops and goes against animal abuse.

How is it that fruits and vegetables are in season all year round? Chemicals. Crops are genetically engineered to taste good and look appealing. In the documentary, it shows footage of massive machines harvesting crops, which is fine. But it shows the chemicals sprayed onto fruits and vegetables to get rid of bugs and make it taste delicious. Putting chemicals in our food is wrong. It may have beneficial intentions but it actually has harmful effects such as food poisoning. This exemplifies the idea that grown food should not be chemically engineered.

So how are the animals treated? Animals are treated horrendously. Chickens, for example, are abused, thrown around, and kept in dark dens their entire lives. They live in tight spaces and barely have room to live in. They become so overweight that they can only move a few steps and then collapse back down. Chickens should not be handled this way. Similarly cows and pigs are treated worse. They live in tighter spaces and usually have to live in their own feces. They are fed corn to fatten them up. Cows are supposed to eat grass, so eating corn is bad for them. Animals should not be treated this way despite the fact that they are going to be eaten anyway.

Food Inc. showed a whole new world about where food really comes from. Farms are actually factories and animals are treated immorally. The way food is produced should be changed for not only the food, but for the people consuming it. Think about what you are eating.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TOW#28: Documentary- Food Inc. 2008

Not Real Food

This documentary exploits the truth about where our food comes from. Eric Schlosser, the author of this film, wanted to show the world that they are being deceived by these massive food industries that call themselves "farms" when in reality, there is no source of farm life anywhere. One particularly interesting fact that I learned was the fact that most of what we eat contains corn, even in foods like soda that no one would expect corn to be in. It was even more shocking to hear about a boy who died from E. Coli. His mother only wanted an apology from the meat industry, but they were even reluctant to do that. As a result, she became an advocate and fought against those food industries.

The documentary definitely appealed to logos with its inclusion of video proof. There were videos of the treatment of chickens; It was petrifying. These poor chickens were living in dark, crammed spaces, and never being able to see sunlight. Their living conditions were so bad that the companies didn't allow cameramen to film the chickens. This appeal to logos brings fear into the audience because it shows how horrible these animals are being treated and how unnaturally they are cared for.

There were several anecdotes that were very effective for the film. One story told of a woman who had a son who died from E. Coli. It shows the uneasiness that she feels about the fact that her son died from eating food. There was also another story about a family who was financially struggling. This showed that there were deliberate reasons why people chose the dollar menu from McDonalds over a head of broccoli which costs much more. These unhealthy foods cost more because they are easier to make, thus making the food more artificial. Therefore this unfortunate family can only amount to junk food because it is more affordable.

Overall, the documentary was very effective. It not only discussed key ideas about food that many of people do not know, but also it showed physical evidence of what they were trying to say. The documentary was for people in America who are unaware of the terrible things that are going on in food industries. Although this document may not change anything anytime soon, it is a great start to show awareness to what people are eating and paying for.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TOW #27: TOW Reflection

In the beginning of the year, I felt that TOWs were pointless and just a waste of time. But as I did more throughout the year, I realized how much I've improved my writing. I realized that some of my first TOWs lacked understanding and analysis of the content. But I soon realized how to recognize the purpose of the content and appropriately analyze them.

I've definitely mastered understanding the purpose and being able to write the structure of the TOWs. I fully understand how to write them without making the writing look listed. However, I feel that I still struggle with finding good yet difficult content to analyze. I seem to lean towards easy topics because the purpose is easy to point out.

Overall, I feel that I benefited a lot from writing the TOWs. It not only gave me a broader perspective of different types of literature but also gave me lots of practice writing in certain formats.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

TOW#26 Audrey Hepburn Quote

Since today was Audrey Hepburn's 85th birthday, I decided to write about meaningful things she said when she was alive. 

She was the classiest, the best, the most amazing role model any woman could look up to. She was not only beautiful on the outside, but also beautiful on the inside. In this famous quote she talks about beauty. Her quote basically means that anyone can be beautiful. But it isn't to physically be beautiful, but to act beautifully. 

She believes that people choose beauty and those who choose to act like good people are beautiful. She shows that physical beauty is not just something that is born with, but it is developed over time. If one lives with love for others and optimism, they will be beautiful. She in this sense, appeals to ethos because she herself is a beautiful person. But saying such encouraging and meaningful words makes her more lovely. 

Audrey Hepburn never thought of herself as an icon. She was just the best Audrey she could be. She did not worry about what others thought. This shows toughness because as a woman, she has a lot of pressure to look her best, but she looks her best for her not for the people.

She is truly an inspirational person because she believes that each and every person can be beautiful. Beauty is a choice. Although being nice is not going to physically makes someone literally beautiful, she means that it is attractive to see someone kind and smiling rather than someone bitter and angry. She shows that all beauty takes is kindness, love, and confidence in yourself. 

Although she is no longer with us, she still remains in many hearts as a classy yet beautiful woman. She is not only a phenomenal actress, but also a wonderful being. Her beauty and kind words will last forever.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

TOW#25: Korean Ferry Accident Vice Principal Suicide Note

"Surviving alone is too painful while 200 remain unaccounted for. Please hold me responsible for all of this. I pushed for the school excursion. Cremate my body and spread my ashes over the ship sinking site. I may become a teacher again in the afterlife for the students whose bodies have yet to be found."

Every year, a junior class from each school in South Korea goes to Jeju Island, the Hawaii of South Korea. After many years of rigorous and endless studying, students in the junior year go on this trip for one last fun before they take the dreadful college entrance exam. On April 16th, 2014, a Korean ferry sank in Jindo, South Korea with more than 400 passengers and crew members abroad. Of the few who survived, the Vice Principal, Kang Min-Gyu, hang himself on a tree. A suicide note was found in his wallet.

He felt guilty; he felt guilty for surviving while hundreds of other students did not. He proposed that he would teach in heaven to those who lost their lives. He could not bare to live and be happy while others lost their lives on his watch. Not only that, he took full responsibility because he suggested the trip. 

He felt that he has no right to live. He felt that it is his duty to go with his students. He appeals to pathos in his note because it shows his selflessness, courage, and morality. He is selfless in a sense that he gave up his own life when he could have survived. Courage plays a role because he was not afraid to give up his life. He was willing to take his own life to teach in the "afterlife". He even asked to be cremated so he could be spread into the ocean. He wanted to be with the students who remained in the ocean.

This tragedy affects South Korea immensely since South Korea is such a small country. The country will continue to mourn and grief for a very long time. This issue will remain in South Korean people's hearts for the rest of their lives. Guilt is the biggest issue. People like the vice-president was so overwhelmed with guilt that he couldn't bare to live. How will the rest of the families and country live on?  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

IRB Intro: "Dawn" by Elie Wiesel

"Dawn" is the next book in the series of "Night" by Elie Wiesel. This book is about Elie's perspective of what he experienced during the Holocaust. This second book "Dawn" continues this treacherous journey to escape this horrible life and find freedom.

I chose this book because when I was in the 10th grade I read the prequel "Night". I was really moved by the authors writing, especially since all the events really happened. I am looking forward to read this book because I can see more insight of the Holocaust and a first person's account.