Christmas Journal Capsule

I’m doing a big cleanout of my parents’ place. I’ve already thrown out many notebooks without saving any snippets, but this time I felt a bit sentimental after reading through early stuff. Transcribed my diary and school journal entries; kept all errors.

What does 1st and 4th grade writing look like, compared to 8th, 11th and collegiate level? It’s funny to see a human changelog, and most importantly, what hasn’t changed.

Rising 2nd grade #

May 27, 2005

yesterday I went to a aqariem and at the end of my jrnie, I got a pengin that could skwek.

Write about a past memory (4th grade) #

I’m putting further samples into this readability analyzer for fun and for pain.

September 12, 2007

During the summer, I went to Niagara Falls. That was about 2 months ago. It was a 2 day vacation. On the first day, my dad drove to the northern part of New York. It was so close to Canada, but we didn’t bring our passports. Then, we went into a motel and booked there. We stayed for a few minutes. After that, we walked to Niagara Falls. The first waterfall we saw is called the American Fall. There were pretty lights that make it beautiful. I stared at it and stared at it. All of a sudden, there were fireworks from the canadians.

On the second day, we drove to Niagara Falls. Again, we saw the American Falls. This time, we saw a rainbow. I forgot a few things after the rainbow. One thing I do remember is that we watched a movie about Niagara Falls. Then we went a took a boat ride on a boat called The Maid Of The Mist. It went near a falls called Horseshoe Falls. It’s on the canadian side and is the second largest waterfall in the world! Another thing we did was go to a place called The Cave of the Winds. It’s on Goat Island. It’s really just a bunch of decks near the Veil Falls, the smallest of the 3. But you get really wet. Espacally at the Hurricane deck. It was so much water splashing on you. After that, we saw cool snails. They have swirls in them. Well, that’s it.

The End

Flesch Reading Ease88.53
Gunning Fog Scale Level6.38
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level3
SMOG Grade7.68
Dale-Chall Score5.37
Fry Readability Grade Level3

Pubescent Cusp (7th grade) #

September 30, 2010

  • How are people transformed through their relationships with others? (Why does Sucker change so completely after Pete tells him off?)

People can change from relationships b/c what others say/think MATTERS. Especially when with close people. Take Sucker, for example. Pete told him off many times. Finally, Sucker believes what Pete tells him, and becomes angry. Sucker changes to NOT be what Pete said he was, and now has anger in his heart. Feelings can really change someone. Depressed people are different from optimistic people, no? Also, close family/friends tend to freely say their input, positive, or negative. The positive things really boost up a person. The negative comments can degrade a person. This is why we need to learn to think before we say/act.

Flesch Reading Ease66.88
Gunning Fog Scale Level9.53
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level6.17
SMOG Grade
Dale-Chall Score7.45
Fry Readability Grade Level7

Literature Prompts (8th grade) #

September 9, 2011

My goals for English:

  • I want to improve on my persuasion writing skills and credit sources better.
  • Use unique words in my papers. Celerity, philantropist, cynical, haphazardous, etc. Maybe learn new vocabulary?
  • Have interesting discussions about… complicated subjects.

My goals for 8th grade:

  • Find an academic subject I really like.
  • Be social… I guess develop my interpersonal intelligence.
  • Learn more art techniques and such :P Art is my favorite thing to do!
  • Use cool handwriting(?). Not very important.

Role @ School

  • I procrastinate a lot. I really don’t want to be a leader

March 2, 2012

How does power affect people?

A few days ago, Miss Baradas told our lunch study to sit down after lining up to go to the cafeteria. She doesn’t like how loud we talk (but I didn’t say a lot) so we all sat down, waiting to go downstairs. Eventually after wasting 3 minutes, we finally lined up again and walked down to lunch.

The next day, everyone came and sat quietly in their seats, hoping to leave on-time for lunch. Ms. Baradas commented, “This is creepy,” because everyone was mostly silent and staring at her like obedient dogs.

I think in a few days, we’ll revert back to our former selves and talk loudly. Then the teacher will have to scold us, we’ll waste more time, then we’ll become obedient, and it’ll be a cycle. I might be wrong, but I’ll have to see what happens in the next few days.

Warts have power over me. I get frustrated with their existance on my skin, and I go through great efforts to destroy them. I had one on my wrist. It got frozen off by a dermatologist after a bunch of visits every two weeks. So far, it’s gone, but I got a new wart on my foot and on my hand. I suspect a bud is popping up near my pinkie knuckle, so I plan to use acid on it now, before I get a third lesion.

These things are so annoying they make me embarrased. Who wouldn’t with an ugly bump on an otherwise beautiful hand? ok my hand isn’t that beautiful.

I have power over my pet bird. She always hops around when I come near her, excited for food and treats. She also likes to run away from me if I don’t have anything to give.

In that case, the bird has power over me because I want to pet her, but I need to have food before she’ll come near me.

Parents, teachers and older siblings tend to have more power for obvious reasons. Still, isn’t it possible to rebel against authority? Like, someone could stop caring about the fact their parents will shout at them or ground them. I’m grounded? Bleh, I’m still going to use electronics. Mom shouts at me? Who cares? Dad spanks me? It doesn’t hurt. Dad pulls out internet connection? I’ll do something else. Mom threatens to take away allowance? Why, I don’t even get allowance in the first place! So what can a parent do to exercise authority over a teenager? Does the teen give power to the parents? Depriving children of food and contact with friends may work with some, but what about the person that doesn’t care?

Wow, on that note, my father never spanked me, which I’m grateful for. I was talking about hypothetical punishments that parents try, which children tend to outgrow when they’re big enough.

Flesch Reading Ease81.83
Gunning Fog Scale Level7.74
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level4.75
SMOG Grade8.53
Dale-Chall Score5.99
Fry Readability Grade Level6

Current Events (9th grade) #

Assignments for history class.

March 29, 2013

Brazilian Doctor Killed 7 Patients to Free Up Hospital Beds, Police say (
Brazilian Doctor Charged WIth 7 Murders, May Have Killed as Many as 300: Investigaor… (

For 7 years, a doctor named de Souza worked with other doctors to kill patients. They injected lethal doses and altered medications and oxygen levels. She was arrested, but is released and goes to monthly court appearances. De Souza has mentioned in phone conversations about clearing the intensive care unit. The gov’t is planning to “reorganize the hospital.”

This is pretty scary because people trust doctors to do their best. Doctors have to take an oath, too. Is it that hard to get permission to euthanize someone who is terminally ill? De Souza should be in jail, no, prison still if there is enough evidence of her involvement in murder. Serious crimes cannot be pardoned. There is not enough info in the articles, but some patients probably could of recovered if they weren’t killed off. It’s saddening if families found out their loved ones were killed off to make room.

April 15, 2013

London Braces for Violence Ahead of Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral (
Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral: Full Military Rehearsal Carried Out (

Margaret Thatcher did not want a flashy funeral, but she gets one anyway. Protestors plan to gather and show disrespect to Margaret at her funeral. Police are carefully gathering intelligence. Also people have gotten the song “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” high on BBC’s charts. The funeral was rehearsed on April 15 (in local time). Critics complained about the money spent which comes from taxes.

I think it’s pretty bad that a grand funeral would be held when Thatcher requested not. Of course, people continue to complain, and the funeral is no exception. Still, whether or not Thatcher was a “good” prime minister or not, she is a historic first for females. It seems pretty mean that people use “witch” to describe her by getting that song on charts.

June 3, 2013

Syra Conflict: Red Cross ‘alarmed’ over Qusair
Syra: PM says end of arms embargo sends ‘clear signal’ to Assad (

So far in Syria’s civil war, over 80,000 people have been killed. As rebels fight against pro-governmemnt groups, people are dying from bombs and firing. The city of Qusair is trapped among extremist Hezbollah forces and the gov’t. The situation is getting more desperate, as the world tries to find a solution.

This really is quite complicated and tough to navigate. There are a lot of lives in danger, and no one wants to waste resources with pointless decisions. All these foreign countries getting involved is worrying because what should they do? Could Syria be left to work their own problems, or do other countries have their own interests?

All of these entries were rated together, excluding the news headlines.

Flesch Reading Ease64.76
Gunning Fog Scale Level11.15
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level7.43
SMOG Grade11.07
Dale-Chall Score8.07
Fry Readability Grade Level8

Electronic Entry (10th grade) #

November 15, 2013

A new digital currency called Bitcoin is on the rise. No one knows who first invented Bitcoins. Computers have to solve mathematical problems in order to acquire the coins, and using the system is difficult. The coins are a computer file, and each transaction made using Bitcoins is authenticated through a central network. The algorithms involved are designed so that only 21 million bitcoins are in circulation at any time, and there is already 57% of the total amount in circulation. Bitcoins are not commonly used, although they are used for online black markets and legitimate internet transactions. Governments and banks in many countries are realizing that Bitcoins may become something serious.

The idea of a digital currency is interesting. I’m not really sure how stable it is, or how secure it is. However, it seems the be the inevitable path that we’re heading. Economics would have a whole new spin. Maybe this would become the next revolutionary change in money. I don’t know. This whole idea is too new to me, but at the same time credit cards and electronic banking indicate that society is heading in this direction anyway.

Source article

Flesch Reading Ease56.16
Gunning Fog Scale Level12.17
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level8.78
SMOG Grade
Dale-Chall Score8.07
Fry Readability Grade Level11

Project Closure and Reflection (11th grade) #

June 9, 2015

  1. The process

It took a couple days for the project to gain momentum with a small duo; KC and I. We were incredibly fortunate to have secured three original interviews within the first half of the allotted week. The Network, a current events club at our school, meets every Thursday and its members are passionate about social issues and politics, and since they met the day after the project was assigned and I knew more people in The Network than in the official school newspaper organization, The Outlook Post, I interviewed an aspiring journalist immediately. KC had a family gathering on Friday; her cousin just graduated with a communications degree, which meant she had expertise in dealing with information, and KC’s uncle was a former Secret Service agent who worked under two presidents (Nixon and Clinton). So I believe that despite the short deadline, we operated under a massive stroke of luck and with the right connections at the right moment.

Creating a movie was a little cumbersome due to a lack of professional software and a lack of portability. We edited on KC’s laptop and switched off roles. One person would edit the video, the other would look for images, music and resources that would enhance the viewing experience. Organizing the clips was our top priority along with streamlining the footage, since proper cuts and pacing are important. However, technical difficulties arose and delayed importing the material we wanted. As a result, we could not spend as much time implementing quality music and creating proper voiceovers for certain parts.

  1. The product

Our team decided on a documentary because it offers more dimensions to present information. A documentary can send audio and optical signals, but a podcast is limited to audio and a website/magazine is limited to optical. Whether we made good use of both channels, I am not sure but I definitely believe things could be done better. I tried to include a little humor with the images since I’m a novelty seeker who likes to show random stuff for the sake of engaging an audience.

  1. Your personal response to the assigned question: What is the American Public entitled to during times of conflict and unrest?

I think the word entitled is pretty interesting since it asks what the public deserves, or rather, what humans deserve. I know the question asks American Public but America’s values strongly emphasize human rights and individuality so to group people into a monolith, the only way to do that is to acknowledge everyone is human and thus we share human traits. It makes me discuss things regarding all of mankind. Are people entitled to knowledge? Safety? Peace? It’s a hard question because my first response is,“Yeah!” And then, “We don’t always have those.” It’s a question that shows how idealism and realism are at odds. We should have peace and prosperity and safety, but we don’t.

Our documentary focuses on how much information the American public is entitled to during conflicts and wars. With the saying, “Knowledge is power,” of course people want any and all information because it means more power or control in some shape or form. And the reason why there’s such a thing as “leaking too much information,” like specific military operations, is because within the public are adversarial figures who want to sabotage the military, government or even a country, and most people in the USA do not want terrorists to gain an advantage. You’ve got to determine who is reliable enough to receive sensitive information, and not reveal it to someone who deserves to know just because they pay taxes.

Flesch Reading Ease48.41
Gunning Fog Scale Level14.56
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level11.32
SMOG Grade13.51
Dale-Chall Score8.56
Fry Readability Grade Level13

College essay #

November 11, 2019

Critical Review of “How the Steel Was Tempered”

Socialist realism was a cultural and artistic phenomenon originating from the Soviet Union, adopted as the official doctrine of the Stalinist era. Used as an umbrella term for Soviet culture during the 1930s-50s, it meant anything from a “truthful, historically concrete depiction of reality in its revolutionary development,” to works that inspire revolutionary upheaval, as socialism had yet to be achieved in full (Volkov). Nowadays, it’s largely fallen out of date, and the term is infrequently mentioned. The novel “How the Steel was Tempered” by Nikolai Ostrovsky upholds the socialist realistic ideals that contributed to Stalin’s agenda. Analyzing select excerpts of the novel, this paper will prove how Ostrovsky’s protagonist is the ideal socialist hero because he pushed himself to his limits, becoming the embodiment of camaraderie.

The novel focuses on positive aspects of Soviet culture, depicting an exemplary character: a brave and intelligent warrior, supportive of, and supported by, his fellows. The socialist realist style converts Soviet ideals into concrete actions contributing to class unity. It also warns those who oppose the demands of socialism, chiding labor critics as outcasts and leeches that feed off the working class unfairly. The admiration that Korchagin earns is meant to influence readers to follow suit: when you stick to these principles, you’ll be rewarded with comrades who’ll stay by your side, even unto death.

Works Cited

  • Geldern, James van. “How the Steel Was Tempered.” Mass Culture in Soviet Russia. Indiana University Press, 1995, pp. 163-72.
  • Volkov, Solomon. The Magical Chorus. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I left out the middle of the essay here, but the whole assigment (without the sources) is graded thus:

Flesch Reading Ease43.2
Gunning Fog Scale Level15.2
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level11.66
SMOG Grade13.96
Dale-Chall Score9.48
Fry Readability Grade Level15

To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve learned to write any better. At least, the quality of the prose seems stagnant, but maybe I’m just harsh on myself. It’s more like it becomes easier to express certain topics. I’m still trying to learn how to downgrade my prose to like, 6th grade level? I don’t know. Maybe 8th grade is a happy medium.