Friday, January 18, 2008

1) I found the personal essay very difficult to write, because I don't feel that anything especially significant and "deep" has happened in my life. Looking at the sample essays also didn't help, because it just made me try to write like them - which just made me not able to find a good topic to write about. Anyway, I think the genre has some strengths, especially when you are trying to convey a very abstract notion. The form tries to ground abstract in something tangible by telling it in the shell of a short story. However, I still prefer to write in fiction, as you are not constrained by factual matters. I also find it quite difficult to write about myself directly. With fiction, I can write about myself through the actions/persona of an imaginary character... I don't reallly know. Basically, I had trouble finding a topic to write my personal essay on, and I didn't experience this problem when writing fiction.

2) Reading is important to the writer because otherwise, you would have nowhere to take ideas from. Reading other people's work helps set a standard for you to aspire to and even surpass one day. It can also give you new writing ideas and copy... Reading improves your writing because you get used to good writing conventions, and it improves your mind to read critically and to write critically. Basically, reading helps you inprove your writing, because after studying the way another author achieves an effect, you will also learn how to achieve that effect - but not by duplicating. sum it up. Reading is ingesting in, and writing is regurgitating all that you've breathed in.

3) And so ends the class of creative writing. There have been good....and bad times... but it's all good. My favourite piece I wrote in this class was my first short story. I am actually quite proud my idea...since at first I didn't think it would work. But, it did work out pretty well. So, since i liked writing the first short story most, that makes my favorite genre: FICTION!!! This is just because I found it the easiest to write due to the very wide style of writing it encompasses. I enjoyed the freedom to write about whatever. The hardest piece to write for me was the personal essay, since I had absolutely no inspiration or previous experience in writing anything like a personal essay. All the essays I have written in the past have been to analyze another piece of writing. I honestly can't analyze myself. The piece I wrote that I don't really care for was my play. I just kind of goofed around on it, and wrote about a communist revolution taking place in China, with pirates and a clone of Mao Zedong... good stuff! I will definatley used my acquired communist powers in other forms of writing, and try to convert as many people to its cause!

4) I don't really feel like doing the quiz - I'm too busy play flash flash revolution online.

5) I don't know the disney reference. I don't remember much from the disney movies I have seen.

Monday, January 7, 2008

the unexciting blog

1) I don't really think I have any guiding principles. I feel that I live my life in the present, and most of my actions are circumstancial. But, for the purpose of this exercise, I guess I could come up with a cliched statement. My guiding principle is "treat everyone with respect". I try to stick to this principle....mostly of the times. Sometimes, I feel it's just impossible to achieve. But, even if I do go against my own guiding principles, I never go against it before I get to know someone. I never disrespect anybody based on any first impressions, or at least I try my best not to. There probably has been some time that I have acted on a first impression, but I don't distinctly remember one. This is a guiding principle, because it is the basis for our civilization. It is the foundation for tolerence which should be a very important aspect of everyone's lives.

2) Ummmmm.....I don't really watch the news that much. I guess the Hollywood writers' strike had kind of an impact on me. I remember feeling really annoyed that they shorted the season of Heroes from 24 to only 11 episodes. That really made me angry. There were also several other shows that were shortened with really terrible season finales that bugged me. Some other "headline" news that affected me: Britney Spears getting arrested. This made me feel good about myself because I realized that I'm far more fortunate than her, even if she is rich. Looking at her "stoned" picture in the paper made me feel satisfied.

3) I haven't actually decided what I want to accomplish this year. I guess one of my goals would be to save up for a new laptop, hopefully a really good one. Either that, or I bug my parents enough so they buy me one. I probably won't be able to achieve this goal, because I'm not very good at saving up money and my parents are already pretty resistant to my begging. Other accomplishments include beating the battle tower on my Pokemon game. This has been eluding me for a few months now, and I feel that it is time to dominate. I can't think about anything. I guess I could try to be more serious about my homework...and not procrastinate, but that's probably never going to happen no matter how hard I try.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

toward the future/ from the past

1) The main limination was the inherent inability of a play to convey the thoughts and actions of characters without dialogue. Plays are grounded in the discourse between the characters, and I thought some of the scenes I wanted to portray insufficient with just using dialogue and some exaggerated actions. Sometimes I wanted to create suspense by having one character sneak up on somebody, but the fact that you can see the whole stage on a play severely limited this. There were also times when I wanted to limit what the audience saw (like in movies), but this is near impossible on a stage. At times, I also wanted to focus in on some small events, but that wasn't possible due to the absense of a camera. This absense of focus on an event made me worry that the audience wouldn't notice - I guess I could have exaggerated the event, but that would defeat the purpose it being a "seemingly small event". There is also the obvious limit on special effects, but that was never too much of a problem for me - I never intended my play to have much "eye candy". However, despite these limitations, I found the task of overcoming these challenges fun and exciting, whilst still trying to maintain faithfulness to my initial ideas.

2) My initial idea for a personal essay would be to write about my experiences from living in three quite different countries: England, China, and the U.S (the latter being drastically more different than the others). I will probably focus on the societal differences - contrasting the strict traditional chinese views of my parents to the liberal ideals experienced here in the U.S. I'm not sure how far I can go with this essay, but I'll see. I probably won't stick to this idea - it's starting to seem a little limited in options....i don't kno...I'll see how it goes.

3) This is reverse pshychology - if I tell children to do something, then they will have some "compelling desire" to do the opposite (it's been proven true by some psychologist with lots of big credentials). Thus, this is my advice: do lots of drugs, have lots of sex right now, and drink a lot of alcohol. Whilst you are having sex, make sure not to use protection. Also, being a pimp is good for you health and hygiene - it promotes a healthy heart. Do not watch any disney cartoons, as they will corrupt your mind. Make sure to nuke the world and the moon whilst you're at it. An ethic of violence is far more productive than peace - Terrorism is awesome! Also, make sure you don't feed poor third world countries, make sure jews don't ever get a country, and be sure to promote more violence in the middle east (give iran some good old nukes).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Luigi Pirandello

1) I think theme is an important aspect of literature. However, since I am a very literal kind of person, I often don't like to read things that don't have a very explicit theme. This is why I don't like books such as "invisible man" by ralph ellison. I find it deliberately confusing to the point that I feel the author doesn't even know what he's talking about. But still, theme is an important part of literature. I think writers are charged to expose some flaw within our society. However, I do also feel fine about stories not necessarily need much of a theme to be interesting to read. Some examples are the Harry Potter books. I honestly believe that the author didn't originally have any explicit theme in mind when writing the first few books - although JK Rowling maybe did manage to weave some kind of theme into the later books.

2) I honestly don't think that I can write a "great" piece of literature. But, I think that all great pieces of literature discuss topics that are never "outdated". An example is Shakespeare's plays. They talk about tragedy, and lust for power and other crazy stuff, and these themes are still prevalent in writing today.

3) my goal for a long lasting impact would be to start a religion: called YUJIE-ISM. As a writer, I could make this possible, since I would have the ability to "bible" kind of book that would be the heart of this new religion. The purpose of the religion is to make everyone be like me - AWESOME!!!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

stuff i think about

1) I sometimes think about things.....sometimes. Anyway, the most recent thing i was pondering about was happiness. After watching the "pursuit of happiness", I think I realized that happiness is only derived from the journey. Its true that the the successful end brings you momentary euphoria, but it's your journey towards success that impacts you the most.
Soon after the success, you often begin to feel indifferent about it, and in my case, you start to want more. However, this never the case with the memories you have from the journey. When you think back, you often feel proud - the memories are kind of bitter sweet. You feel glad that you were able to live through them, but also you probably wouldn't want to relive them again. All of my comments above were probably just rambling. I find it hard to describe my thoughts after watching the movie.

2) Sid the sloth from the movie "ice age" is the most dynamic person/thing I know. He was able to make fire when the crew was making their way though a blizzard storm. And, through his ingenuity, he was able to make a fire to keep the baby warm - all done without setting his tail on fire..... I especially admire his snowboard/skiing skills that he employed to outrun the tigers. I think Sid is very inspirational. He is the sticky nasty stuff that you can't quite get rid of, that holds the whole group together.

3) the piece art that has inspired me is actually the song "imagine" by john lennon. I like the sense of hope he tries to express. It makes me feel hopeful when I feel sad, or I think something is hopeless. I admire Lennon's ability to still be hopeful, even when he points out all of the flaws he finds with the world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The last blog - EVER. - happyness

1) happiness is the feeling you get when your brain releases endorphins. This can cause a blissful and joyful feeling. You often feel happy when something when something happens that benefits either yourself, or the people close to you. Happiness is often attained through natural means....

2) Happyness = success!!!!!!!!! I am most happy when I achieve something that exceeds my personal expectations. This isn't necessarily about school, in fact, I get the most happiness from success outside of school. I often find happiness from being successful in debate and other competetive activities. Being with my friends adds to my happiness, due to their support and company.

3) My parents have probably had the greatest influence on my happiness, since they have the most control over all aspects of my life. They have very extreme effects on my happiness, often influenced by my academic life and their measure of me to their expectations.

4) Conversely, I also have a big impact on my parents' happiness. I often find their expectations of me are too high. I often feel angry with the unfair burdens they place upon me, and I sometimes rebel against them.

5) I don't really know what my greatest need in life is. I can definately list of some of my greatest wants, but my needs and wants are mutually exclusive. I think I am quite easily pleased, so my needs probably aren't very high. I know that my wants will probably lead to happiness - it would be ideal if I could obtain the same end of happiness without any of the means, but that would probably me to become a monk or something.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Assignment 8

I will probably use my first story - "Anomaly's End" since I think it would make quite a good picture book. It is quite a lighthearted story that would seem enjoyable for young children. If I somehow change my mind, I would probably use one of my poems - possibly "Singularity" or "What is poetry?" since they are my best poetic works - i think.
one of my poems