As I look towards the AP English Literature Exam, I find that my favorite book can be applied to almost any prompt.
When you truly admire a work of literature, you can find obscure concepts within it. The Great Gatsby has been my favorite book to analyze and read. Once you finish a class, you can feel the literature being put behind you as you close each of the books. However, AP English Literature class has given me an opportunity to revisit old stories and use my newer skills to analyze these works further.
I look forward to using my personal collection of stories I’ve read to answer prompts on the AP exam, as it will allow me to reflect on my academic highlights from school. As I recall each story, I can remember the class conversations I’ve participated in and the numerous essays I’ve written. I hope to remember these stories into my older years and apply them to my own life.
It is strange the way that we associate music with memories.
It is like a strong perfume that is impossible to disassociate with an era.
There are songs I cannot listen to because I was sad during the month it was in my playlist, or even because I feel that I have moved on from that time period. I now listen to a song knowing that one day, likely very soon, I will have grown out of this small era and will associate the song with the general mood of the month.
Small things in life change rapidly, including the clothes you choose, the breakfast you eat, your daily routine, the people you talk to, and the music you hear. Listening to music from a different era of mine often makes me feel uncomfortable, even if it was a good era, simply because I am not there anymore. It reminds me that times have changed, even if it is month to month.
Sometimes I regret listening to the same four songs day after day on my drive to school because I know what I am building. It will be a memory for my future self to listen to and reflect.
The automatic association of music and memories is hard to shake. They are not implicit memories, it is the general tone of the era that went unrecognized until you hear the songs and realize the moment has passed.
Today in the United States, women make 82 cents to their male counterparts 1 dollar. Then this is broken down into different races and ethnicities. “Black and Hispanic women workers are paid only 65 cents and 58 cents on the dollar, “stated epi.org. “Compared with 81 cents for white, non- Hispanic women workers and 90 cents for Asian women.” Inequalities between different races and ethnicities between women are also so different. Women who are white and Asian get a step higher than those who are Hispanic and black. Women are treated like shit still to this day.
We can not leave our houses without protection- pepper spray, knives, tasers, and more. We fear our lives; wondering if we are going to be killed, sexually assaulted, or raped. We are scared of our shadow and men. When we say all men, we do not mean all men, but we do not know who will hurt us and who will not.
The Pink tax exists. Products that are geared towards women and females are marked up higher than products that are the same but are geared towards men. This makes feminine products more expensive and harder to buy. Menstrual products are expensive, and these products should be free. Every person who experiences menstruation should be able to have these products for free.
Media and Society pick women apart for their bodies, thus creating lots of body dysmorphia in women and teens today. If someone is not the perfect hourglass figure or what society deems as skinny, then they are considered fat or overweight. They could be healthy and still be deemed overweight, and this could cause lots of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. But if someone is too skinny, then society comments on their weight as well. Society and the media love commenting on women’s bodies.
Speaking on commenting on women’s bodies brings up the topic of abortions. Men love commenting about women and what they should do with their bodies. There are laws set in place against women having abortions, such as the gestation limits. This law states that “43 states prohibit abortions, generally except when necessary to protect the women’s life or health, after a specific point in pregnancy, ” (guttmacher.org). These laws are made by men who try and restrict women and their bodies.
February has brought about the time to create senior pages. I have spent time scrolling through my camera roll, searching for the perfect photos that can encapsulate four years of high school into a single 8″x10″ page.
I found photos of my friends. Photos of projects I had done in art class. Photos I had taken for AP World History projects. Sifting through hundreds of memories to find the most valuable moments has proven to be more difficult than I had thought. I have narrowed it down to about forty photographs, which, if I were to use them all, would be about a centimeter wide each.
While small on paper, many memories still remain as vivid as the day I experienced them. I remember carving pumpkins at my freshman Halloween dance. Is that memory less valuable than the time I hung my art in an exhibit? Do I feature friends, experiences, or accomplishments? What photograph will take up the most space?
As I sift through the photos, I imagine what words will be written on a page. I could write a classic senior quote, a thank you to those who helped me through school, or simply my name in a basic font.
I know my senior page will encapsulate my high school experience as I remember it. I just need to find what moment will serve as the biggest picture.
Music is everywhere, even if you do not realize it. It could be playing in a shop you are walking by, or it could be someone playing the trumpet on Hollywood Boulevard.
There are so many different genres of music, for example, pop and blues. Radio shows like Kiss FM and the Heat predominantly play popular songs, like Good Days by SZA. You can find any music genre of your liking on the radio. Music streaming sites such as Apple Music and Spotify allow listeners to create playlists to their liking.
Listening to music one thing, but making it something else. Being able to sing a song or play a chord on the guitar is another feeling. Making music is so moving and beautiful. Even if you are not good at it, making music is an art form. Depending on your mood, for instance, sad music is a very different mood than happy music.
Music is all around us, and it is being made and listened to every single second of every single day.
Right now I am planning for a mural I will be painting on former OVS teacher, Ms. Pasqua’s house. She has inspired me to paint a scene of Ojai with the Topa Topa mountains lined with inspirational quotes. This mural is an outlet for me to express my passion in the fight for equity.
The Ojai Valley has given me so many opportunities to improve myself as an artist, and painting a mural visible to its residents is my way of giving back to the community. I have had practice with this form of art in middle school when we worked on large-scale projects. I helped to work on the Fourth of July parade floats as well as life-size paper mache projects. I painted giant decorations to add to our OVS float, and created letter-signs that spelled out the name of our school.
Growing up and seeing the beautiful murals in Ventura County, I have always wanted to add my own color to the town. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to gain more experience with painting and share my art with the Ojai community.
In this day and age, almost everyone has a social media account whether it is Tiktok or Twitter.
Myspace used to be big, but then it got taken over by Facebook. Stereotypically Facebook is used by moms or people older than 30. Tumblr was also really big, and the popularity of the app is still there, but not as popular as other apps.
The big three for GenZ is Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Twitter could also fall into that as an honorary member. These apps are very popular to show what you are doing and talk to friends. Tiktok is an app that has dancers, comedians, fashion inspiration, and more.
Pinterest is also a social media, but there are no likes involved. It is an app to put together boards and get ideas for things.
Social Media is fun, but it could also be a toxic place. So when using social media, be careful about what you put out onto the internet.
This year I learned that there are two types of Christmas trees: a noble and a douglas.
I was standing in the parking lot of Lowe’s, searching the fenced in barn for this year’s tree. To my left, there were the douglasses. I knew that any one of them would look great in my living room. They had the classic Christmas tree feel, and I felt satisfied with the quality.
Then, I looked to my right. Propped along the wooden fences were the plush, green noble trees. And they were, indeed, noble. The trees looked as though they came straight out of a holiday hallmark movie. The branches looked as though they grew to meet cold winter snow, and I could not picture any kind of tree that represented the holiday better.
I again turned to my left. The douglass trees then looked drab. Dying, even. The only thing that made them more appealing than the tall nobles was the pricetag. I sorted through each of them, however, and found one that would suit my living room. I admired it and it’s imperfections seemed to disappear. But I again turned towards the nobles.
The contrast in beauty was striking. The tree I had found did not seem as beautiful anymore.
I recently watched the notebook with my friend, we will call him John for now. So my friend John practically begged me to watch the notebook, and I agreed and give him the normal run down. I warned him that he will absolutely cry. So we get to the part in the movie where Noah and Allie are LITERALLY in the rain in the boat. She’s about to find out he wrote her 365 letters and that he still loves her. I’m sitting there stuffing my face with popcorn, and I start to hear the sound of logs being sawed. John is snoring. He has the audacity to fall asleep. So I do the thing any dedicated notebook fan would do and I pushed him off of the couch. The movie continues and we are at the end where they die together and I am crying, ugly crying. And I look over and John is asleep AGAIN! I asked him how he liked the movie the next day and he said that it was “alright”. And that is the story about how I stopped being friends with John.