Saturday, October 29, 2011

The way to do it.

1. Sturdy Work Space. This is essential. I have to sit at either the table in the kitchen, or the one in the dining room to do any sort of essay or other homework. Since I don't have a desk, if I happen to sit on my bed, or God forbid lie down on it, I will fall asleep. This is inevitable. I have way too many experiences with falling asleep with my face in Tindall last year (but then again, who can blame me?).

2. Shitty First Drafts. Ever since I read that excerpt in AP Comp and forever and forever, that is my Bible when it comes to writing any sort of paper. I just open up a Word Document, type what could be called a "structured free-write." I write it as though that's what I will be turning in, and just let the words be practically vomited into the document.

3. Utter destruction. I print my "shitty first draft" and then proceed to self critique. No...self critique is too nice a word. I tear it apart. It's better that I'm harsh to myself versus someone else, right?
(I blurred it because this paper was embarrassingly bad quality of can still kinda see the edits though.)

4. Old fashioned. Before I type my new(er) and (more) improved draft, I have to sit down and write my paragraphs by hand. I make outlines, bulleted lists, blurbs of ideas, and (for the first time with this paper), a CRJ. I just can't get my thoughts properly aligned on the computer. Word is okay for thought vomit, but that's it.

4. CAFFEINE! YEAH BABY! As I was creeping through other people's blog posts before I decided to do my own (I'm admitting it because I know you all do it too), I noticed a lot of people said they drink tea or coffee when they are working. I'm no exception to this. Usually I drink tea, but when I feel like I need an extra creative burst, I'll drink coffee (don't ask me how those two relate). My favorite is definitely Tim Horton's French Vanilla Cappuccino from Canada.

5. Taking advantage of space. Yeah...I just let my stuff go everywhere (see last blog post).

6. Revising. I revise and revise and revise until I feel that if I have to read one more word from the paper, I will cry. Or throw up. Or maybe both.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


When I'm workspace can become just as scattered as my brain.
All those papers belong to me. I am proud.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What it takes to write.

For me, I have found that I cannot write a good essay or paper unless I have done something on paper first.

Whether that be by brainstorming or writing the actual essay itself, I cannot seem to do it on the computer. You open a blank Microsoft Word document, ideas fresh and ready to be formed, and are met with...the cursor. It sits there, blinking, as though it's impatiently waiting for you to get started. 

Well? What are you going to say? Why haven't you started saying it yet? Type! Type, I say! I don't have all day! Well?!

Yeah. It judges you, and it rushes you. That stupid blinking cursor. 

Paper & an old fashioned pencil never judge. They wait patiently for ideas to come flowing out, and let you write wherever and how ever you want. I tend to brainstorm with a paper and pencil, and then put those ideas  on the computer in a document after that. I can't even proofread without reading it on paper. Mistakes just don't jump out at me on a illuminated screen the way they do after the paper is fresh out of the printer.

Of course, I do have those days where I simply cannot do anything, whether it be on paper or on the computer, no mater how hard I try. 

It happens to the best of us, right?

Plus, doodling is fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Well it's a big big city & it's always the same.

Another cute song because...I'm a dorky teenage girl. I really don't like the music video, so if you're going to listen to the song I wouldn't watch it. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Everything affects everything.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing the author Jay Asher speak at the Ridgedale Library.

If you don't know who that is, he wrote the book Thirteen Reasons Why (left). I'm not focusing on the book itself for this blog post, but rather the message it sends. It really is a suspenseful and strong book, and if you want to know what it's about, click here.

Initially, this seemed like a terrible book to me, why would anyone read this? It sure puts a damper on your day. But I was wrong; the things that were dealt with by characters in this book are very real issues that many teenagers go through every day.

The author himself was amazingly hilarious. He told jokes and laughed and told personal stories about his childhood. He told us how and why he decided to write this particular book, and what an impact that had had on him.
He then spoke of the message the book sends.

(Disclaimer: I will try really hard not to go all SBS* for this part, I really will. Promise.)

Jay Asher told us that everything affects everything. What you said to someone yesterday may have made or broken their day, but it may be something that you said without thinking. The smile you gave someone in the hall could have brightened their day. The rude remark may have been "just kidding" to you but hurtful for that person.

Basically, we don't know. We don't know what people are going through. As human beings we are naturally selfish and think only of ourselves, and don't think that anyone else could possibly have it as bad as us (I mean, my mom took away my phone the other day. My phone. Do you realize how traumatic this is?!)

So...try to think about that. And I will too.

(if you can't read it, he wrote "everything affects everything" on the bottom of the page)

On a less preach-y note, he has a blog! He's a really funny guy, as mentioned before. He blogs about all the places he goes to for his book tours, which I thought was pretty awesome. He updated his blog with the Minnetonka stuff last night, so you can read that if you want.

I challenge you to try to find me in the picture that's second to last on the page. You can do it. I believe in you.

Be a nice person.  

Mrs. Cardona, do I win for cheesiest blog post ever?

* Not trying to say that SBS is bad in any way. Don't hate me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

High school students are...

When you type "high school students are" into Google, it auto completes your result to "stupid" "lazy" and "poorly prepared for college."

Being a high school student myself, I take offense to this. Yes, we can be extremely lazy, but the other two are completely untrue. Calling us all stupid and poorly prepared for college is a hasty generalization (that's right, I'm applying what I learned in AP Comp). 

Looking at just are school, we are most definitely not stupid or poorly prepared for college. If this was the case, our ACT average would be much lower than it currently is, and there would most definitely be no one receiving 36 as their score. Another thing: Wayzata offers 26 AP classes. If students weren't passing the AP tests with a majority of fours and fives, they would not be offered. Stupid? I don't think so. Poorly prepared for college? Definitely not.

High school students are lazy. This statement is one that I cannot argue as a lie. Like Patrick Welsh and Mike Rose stated, high school students are lazy. They get bored. Motivation dissolves. Why is that? Why do high school students get in the "I don't wanna." mood and resort to making Facebook statuses complaining about school? In my opinion, what Mike Rose stated in his essay "I Just Wanna Be Average" was exactly right. Students get bored of seeing the same thing year after year after year. Take US History for example. We've been learning about the Mayflower and Pilgrims since...what, the third grade? The only difference is we don't get to make the awesome hand turkeys anymore (ripoff!). We're restless people, and it's no wonder we get lazy about going "more in depth" about something we've been learning about for years. What I understood from Rose's essay was that learning brand new things makes us want to put more effort in, and I think he is correct. 

Welsh argues that instead of just the school systems and teachers being blamed all the time, we should blame the students themselves, as well. After all, everyone involved plays a role in this. I agree completely with Welsh that students need to be blamed as well, but like I said, I think everyone plays a role. Sometimes students don't work hard enough, sometimes teachers aren't good at teaching. You can't pinpoint the problem on one party. What Welsh goes on to say is that students that have immigrated from another country tend to do better in school, with one subheading specifically reading "Asian vs. US Students."

This is the same argument that was presented in the documentary Two Million Minutes. Welsh brings up the idea that his Asian and other immigrant students did better than his American born students, acing tests while the American students brought home Cs and Ds. Why? Apparently most of them owed their success to studying hard. In the documentary Two Million Minutes, the overarching argument ends up being that while Chinese and Indian students devoted all their spare time to schoolwork and their studies, American students focused on other things as well.

I was taken aback by how the American students were presented, with the guy saying he did homework when he had the chance, and the girl saying she was going to be in a sorority so "there would be a lot of partying." Of course, the Chinese students mentioned how they loved doing homework, and the Indian students were working their tails off to get into engineering school. The documentary had a good message, but it was filled with fallacies and deceiving images. The facts and statistics used were unfavorably used for Americans, and people in authoritative positions at well known colleges were saying how America is falling behind. Coming from Pakistan, which is pretty similar to India. I know that those students work extremely hard to be successful, but that doesn't mean that American students don't work hard as well. Yes Chinese and Indian students devote themselves to school, but that ends with them not being as well rounded as American students. High schoolers from the USA have experiences with having jobs and being in leadership positions before they are forced to experience it in the real world, and that gives them an advantage in the long run.

I think being a high school student in America is very beneficial. My family moved here when I was six years old so that my siblings and I would have opportunities to do our best in school and reach our full potential, and I still think that we did the right thing. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not cool, not cool.

Okay, okay. I'll admit it. I get irritated very easily.
I throw temper tantrums about the littlest things, because some things that some people probably don't even notice inject fury into my very core and make me want to scream until my head explodes.

...maybe that's an exaggeration. But for real. People that know me pretty well get to listen to my little rants about stupid things, and there's so many of them (take note that this list has been shortened).

1. Used tissues lying around. I cannot even begin to describe how much this irritates me. I don't care what it was used for, if I see a crumpled up tissue lying anywhere but in the trash, I will be pissed.

2. When people say "funner." It literally makes me cringe. Merriam Webster says it's sometimes used, but i'm going to just take that as a no.

3. Misusing your/you're. "Your silly!" "My silly what?"  It is really not that hard to figure out which one you're (see? I used it correctly!) supposed to use.

4. Unnecessary swearing.

5. Tangled headphones. (They must be doing a tango in my pocket, how else would this happen?)

6. People who constantly talk while watching a movie. I'm sorry, can I please hear about what your little sister did after we find out who stole the money? Thank you.

7. Girls(/guys but it's usually girls, i've found) that scream when they see each other. I didn't really want to hear out of my right ear anyways, so muchos gracias for shrieking your friend's name like you haven't seen them in twelve years.

8. When boys do this. It creeps me out so much.

9. People that talk with their mouth full. Need I elaborate on this?

This is a little embarrassing, but this is just a glimpse at my pet peeves.

Betcha didn't know I was so irritable just by looking at me, huh? Click here to see a playlist of  videos about annoyances from one of the most awesome people on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



Let's admit it, every one has uttered a swearword at least once in their lifetime (if you haven't, hats off to you! That is some willpower right there). Whether it be because you slammed your finger in the car door, or because you are feeling any sort of strong emotion, it's justifiable from time to time.

What isn't justifiable however, is when I hear a sentence that goes something like this:
"#$%, that @#$^ girl just @#@! took my $%@ $#%$, and now she's #$#%^ staring at me. #$%@."
(feel free to fill in the blanks with words of your choosing.)

Really? Was that absolutely necessary to have seven swear words in your sentence?

That's one of the biggest thing that irritates me about teenagers (yes, I do realize I myself am a teenager. Doesn't stop me from being irritated though). I'm sure being in school for ten to thirteen years has broadened your vocabulary enough so that you can express yourself using words other than obscenities. It's trashy.

Here is a relevant image (also, I just like putting up images with my blog posts.):

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Picture this:

It's one of those classic scenes from movies and TV shows. The main character is faced with a dilemma, and is torn between doing the right thing and doing what they want. Just when they are about to break down and give into their temptation, however, a holy, beautiful angel dressed in all white, usually carrying a harp, poofs onto their right shoulder.

This angel talks some sense into them, and tells them to do the right thing.

The character is now leaning towards doing the right thing, when poof! Another figure appears on their left shoulder, but it's...the devil! The devil is in all red, wearing horns, and usually has a scowl on his face. The devil tells the character how happy he will be if he gives in to his temptation, and usually takes a couple of jabs at the angel.

Well, I feel like my devil and angel popped up for a moment today, right after I opened the fridge.

Do you see this?! Do you see this? My mother brought this home the other day for us, excited about how delicious it looked. Nothing that delicious can be good for you (even though it is only 90 calories per two tablespoons which I guess isn't that bad. BUT STILL.)

I stood in front of the fridge, doors open, pondering...

Should I have some?

No, it's not that healthy. I could eat something healthier.

But it looks so good!


My angel won out this time around.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fatima is an impatient person.

pa·tience [pey-shuhns]
1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

Hmmm. Looking at these definitions, I cannot claim that I am a patient person. Often times, I become bratty, and in the mindset of "I-want-this-right-this-very-minute-gimme-gimme-gimme." But that's almost just human nature...right? Or at least the nature of teenagers. Let's look at a couple of stories. 

1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Well. This is most certainly not true, sadly. The "without complaint" most directly makes it so, and I'm not proud to say it. Over the summer, my brother was trying to test out of seventh and into eighth grade math, so that he would be able to get ahead. I offered to help tutor him so I could help out my parents, and they even offered to pay me if he did well. 

The first couple of days were great. We would go over a couple of lessons, I'd give him some homework, and we'd be done. Soon, however, things started going not-so-well. You see, my brother has this really irritating habit of making a joke out of everything, and finding everything funny. It might have something to do with the fact that he's 12. One day, I glanced back at his paper to see how he was working to find:

That's right. Parenthesis Man. He was giggling over it like it was the funniest thing he had ever seen, while I looked more like this. There were many fights and insults and anger, and to just put it simply, it was not a pretty picture of patience. 

2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
A beautiful example of this would be when you're at an amusement park. Amusement park. Not wow-I'm-so-glad-I-spent-all-this-money-only-to-have-it-all-gone-to-waste-because-of-lines-of-horrendous-lengths park. When my family and I were in Florida a couple weekends ago, going to Disney World we had the fantastic opportunity of experiencing this. People were jam packed walking throughout, and one ride in particular had a line that drove us insane. We waited what seemed like forever in this line (hyperbole, right?). The only thing that made it okay was Mr. Potato Head was entertaining us. 

3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
Let me think...oh, I have one. Over the summer for AP Lit, we had to read as well as annotate the book Emma by Jane Austen. The main character was not one I was too fond of, and she definitely did things that make me dislike her immensely. I think I will just let my picture do the talking for this definition. 
Three strikes, you're out!

I am not a patient person. (I really hope this changes...)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Set your sights high.

I remember when I was in 8th grade, and Obama was running for president.

All the adults that would talk about him, whether or not they liked him as a presidential candidate, all raved over what an amazing public speaker he was. "Obama's speeches are wonderful to listen to." was what I heard from my social studies teacher.

At the time, I just accepted this. Yes Obama had a pleasant voice which made listening to him enjoyable, but I didn't really understand what made his speeches so fantastic. Now, thanks to AP Comp, I do.

In his speech, Obama uses a great deal of parallelism, as well as repetition and climactic order. He effortlessly combines these flourishes with ethos.

Because Obama is giving a speech in which he needs to motivate students, he uses repetition to get his point across and really make it stick in the students' minds. He repeats specific phrases, like "it means" to get the high schoolers thinking and evaluate their life in its current state, and how it will be in the near future. He also uses anaphora, repeating certain words. He says you need "question" and "explore" but he also uses we. This brings him down onto the level of his listeners, saying that he needs to be working hard just like them. This establishes his ethos. Obama uses parallelism almost throughout his whole speech, as he says what students, as well as Americans in general should be doing. This approach of no-nonsense, getting-things-done is very effective, because the way he presents it makes the listener think that if they can do one or two things on the list, they can do all of them. Climactic order is another flourish Obama uses. He starts off with talking about the students, how they're young and they may not know what they want right away, and then goes on to say how they will be the "future of America."

As mentioned before, Obama uses ethos when he includes himself in those people that need to be working hard to make the country better. He also establishes ethos when he talks about how when he was young, he did not want to be paying attention in school. This makes it easier for the listener to connect with him, and think something along the lines of "hey, i'm like that now. If he was like that then, and has been so successful, maybe I can do the same!" which makes that a great tactic that he used in his speech.

As I said before, Obama is known for his deep, rich voice that draws listeners in when he's giving speeches. Though he says in his speech that he is not there to lecture the students, but rather give them advice. When he speaks, it seems like a parent gently encouraging you to be the best you can be, rather than a parent looking at you with disappointment and yelling to do better in school. A majority of his sentences are very short and direct, but there are some long ones included here and there. Even when he includes long sentences, however, he makes sure to pause in the middle so that the listener is able to digest the statement, or nugget of advice he just gave.

One thing I really liked about his speech was the fact that from time to time there were "um"s and "uh"s, and he stumbled over what he was saying. This, for me at least, indirectly established ethos because it shows that even the President of the United States can get nervous and forget what he was going to say.