At My Fingertips

How Technology Has Helped Me Learn

Our Laptops

This year, our English class got laptops, and they actually work! In past years, we only were only granted limited amounts of "internet time" on worn down laptops. These were the laptops that would say "logging on" if you chose an unlucky number. Basically, they were a joke.

The laptops we use in Mr. Webber's class, at WJHS, allow us to...

And Allow Us To...

Log On To Google

Google Drive is an amazing invention. It's up there with vaccines and television. ☺ On Google Drive, everything we type is automatically saved. If my laptop dies unexpectedly, I have it all backed up!!! I can also create spreadsheets, slide shows, and documents You can share these files with peers. It really brings our classroom's community together when we are all editing a paper.

How I Have Improved...

Throughout the year, I've improved as a writer. When you can easily locate any piece of information within a matter of seconds, you get more research done. I love the library, but I don't always have time to hunt down a book when I'm writing!

My First Piece For Mr. Webber

Apparently I'm an intimidating person. Whenever my brother takes the wheel of the car with his “fancy” new permit, he says that my silent judging is too intense for him. Speaking of cars, I don't understand why people take the doors off their jeeps. Aren't you the slightest bit concerned that the next sharp turn could cause you to fly out of the car, soar across the road, and die in a spontaneous explosion of road rash and blood. Also, there would be a lot of car wrecks as people attempted to swerve around you, aka the nearly dead person in the middle of the road. That's a road I wouldn't wan to be on; I mean,it would be gross driving through a pool of blood.

The road I'm on and the road I want to be on is the path of partial insanity. What's enjoyable without a little crazy? Any situation can be improved with wackiness. For example, being stranded on an island, trapped in an elevator, or just in a classroom. We all secretly look forward to seeing that one person crack and befriend a coconut, attempt to escape the inescapable, or be completely random.

Obviously I'm not the average American teenage girl. If I saw One Direction, I would probably photograph people as they fainted, and do average girls listen to musical adaptions of “The Raven” on repeat for hours? I am obsessed with charcoal drawings and have seen every South Park and Daria episode twice. Heck, I even have a baby doll head lamp with another baby doll coming out of it! The only thing keeping me pleasant to be around is my understanding of insanity.

We all have something weird, but embracing it goes against a series of norms we as a society have created.

My Reflection...

I'm cringing at all the errors I see! This is before we started to us the computers. I couldn't even track down the rest of this paper! I sent this through an email to a friend! Praise the Internet! I didn't have spellcheck or easy access to research. I just had my immature brain.

A Rough Draft of My Final Paper

I always knew that I was going to college. As my dad started to sense my ability to think for myself, he began to take me, extremely often, to see his name carved into the sidewalk at U of A. I would try to pay attention and listen to all his stories, but I would find myself getting distracted. I don’t think that he realized that my mom’s manipulation had already consumed my tiny mind. My mom would always mention how she wished that she had finished college instead of taking the first job in optical that she was offered. She would also talk about how much trouble her family, who never went to college, had. “Your Aunt Linda is getting her fifth divorce. I wish she would have worked harder in school and earned a scholarship. I hope you go to college.”

By the time I was five, I was in Kindergarten. I didn’t catch on to the ABC’s as quickly as everybody else. Why couldn’t they let A mingle with Q every once and awhile, and what if T and G were best friends? How could they hang out if H and P were always in the way? These were the questions that haunted me. School was just really confusing in general. Why did I have to be held against my will when I needed to go to the bathroom or when I wanted to eat a snack? Why did I have to take a nap at 10:00 if I had only been awake for 3 hours? After a month or so, I began to catch on. The school was an artificial society. Depending on who your friends were, you valued different things. The smarter kids wanted valued brains, the cutest kids valued appearance, and the kids whose parents took them too little league practice valued brawn. Of course, I had the vocabulary of a five year old, but I had the general concept down.

I honestly don’t know what will happen if I don’t get accepted to college. It would probably result in an internal apocalypse where I believe my soul is. Besides the fact that I ever job I have ever wanted requires a degree, there are so many other reason why I NEED to.

All throughout school, I was stretching guidelines. Occasionally, my idea would backfire in my face, but I could always fix it with one of my last minute plans. This year, I tried to calm down my urges to scale the different and to have my ideas blend in with everyone else. However, I learned an important lesson: I work better when I have guidelines to twist. A nasty phase of extreme writer’s block breaks out whenever I try to just write. It happens when I just draw, and it happens when I just start singing. I need the guidelines to form my own project. It’s how I strive for the unique. According to Dale J. Stephens, “the problem is that school kills creativity.” (49), but for me this is the complete opposite. Stephens’ problem with schooling is that it draws the box that we contain ourselves in, but I function best when I can move around the outer edges of the box. It’s like penguins standing on a cliff overlooking the water. Occasionally, one penguin gets shoved off, and if he lives, the rest of the penguins jump. However, if an arctic seal consumes his flailing, they remain on the cliff. That’s how my brain works! Removing all guidelines would make everything I do creative, yet it wouldn’t stand out. Matt Stone and Trey Parker worked under the guidelines that Comedy Central Studios presented them. They hatched all of these ideas that turned into shows that turned into funding. That funding is for their own studio. That’s how I want my life to go. I need to gain the stability of sly creativity under guidelines until I can safely venture off on my own.

I’m very outgoing person when I want/need to be. I was the girl at camp that cooked everyone breakfast with her hair straightener! I don’t need lessons in socialization; I need opportunities to use my skills. My idea of college is based off of television; I’m going to be honest about that. However, I know enough about myself to not question my ability to adapt. I don’t particularly like Arkansas. The similarity of our student body should be studied. What does mean? I’m automatically the weird child in this melting pot of people. All the time. Constantly. Do you know what it’s like to have the first adjective people describe you with be “weird.” I gave up on the idea that everyone, or anyone, is unique a long time ago. There’s not a lot of description in weird. Was it something I said? Was it something I wore? What did I do? Diversity is everywhere in college. I can find somewhere to cluster. I can finally make references and have people laugh! I won’t be the weird girl in the group because my new friends will just know how unsatisfying that label is. Also, there are a million takes on every situation. How can I experience that if I’m not surrounded by a vast amount of peers who are learning what they want to do with their lives? I want to live in a dorm and make unnecessary charts with my roommate. I want to have a roommate that I hate or love or even a mixture of both. I want to leave my family and find out just how wrong my perspective on what the real life is like is. I want to have a fantasy of independence that I can reflect back on when I pass the milestones in my life.

On the note of education, people are convinced that because of the increase of people

getting degrees, they are losing their value. That may be true, but what am I going to do

when all of my competition have degrees and I’m just sitting there like “I can do that

stuff, too...”I could never trust myself to open up my own business, and that’s not what I

want to do anyway! I may have the internet and almost every recorded piece of

information at my fingertips, but I’m not capable of teaching myself. How can I learn all

that I need to know about math by looking at equations? How can I tell the difference

between biased and unbiased information that I don’t understand. According to David

Leonhardt, “ Education helps people do higher-skilled work, get jobs with higher paying

companies, or open their own businesses.” (47).

Yet Another Reflection...

This paper isn't even finished and it's a million times better than my first paper!


Being able to refer to websites as I'm writing has inspired my writing. I can write about much more creative topics!

My Morality Story: The Lice Age

Aside from his interest in studying geology, Jeffrey Clyde was remarkably average. He had a wife and child. He was aging well as one could observe by his claws that still clasped down strong and his face that had avoided wrinkles. Why, even his mind, though past the age of adolescence, behaved as such in every category aside from science. However, his ignorance was stunted when the shafts that surrounded him parted. As mind boggling as the occurrence of Ragnorak would be, a broad eye met his own. The shafts eventually returned to their original position and shielded the louse from the eye.

Jeffrey scuttled back to the bustling town center. The townsfolk were bottling the liquid that splashed from the wells and guiding their children through the streets. Then, Jeffrey punctured their calm nature by shrieking, "I saw an eye! The shafts parted!"

Suddenly, the Vice President emerged from the crowd. “ Continue with your daily affairs, and let me have a talk with Mr.Clyde." The crowd dispersed, and Jeffrey was eager to share his story with anyone, especially the authorities. He followed him into the city hall, a set of shafts with an unusual gray tint.

“Now Jeffrey,” started the Vice President, “what would incline such a sensible townsfolk, like yourself, to spout such wild stories?” He poured two glasses of aged red liquid as he spoke.

“Vice President, I assure you that I was not telling stories!” He ignored the glass and stood. “It was an eye! I swear it was," he ran to the end of the shaft. “ It was larger than this very room. I you follow me, I’ll show you where the shafts parted!”

“Mr.Clyde, sit down please.” Jeffrey ran back to his seat and uneasily took a sip of the liquid to please the Vice President although he was buzzed enough off of his excitement. "Now what you saw was a hallucination, and I can't allow you to be corrupting the minds of our children. You have a child, right?" He topped off Jeffrey's drink.

Ignoring his cup , Jeffrey said,"Yes, her name is Beth.... Vice President, I can assure you that what I saw was not a hallucination! It was an eye! It was an enormous eye!" He gestured as he spoke.

"Now, Mr. Clyde, I am trying to help you. Go home to your wife and Beth and relax. I don't want to hear any more stories about eyes or giants." He stood up and motioned to the door.

"But," protested Jeffrey.

"Goodbye, Mr. Clyde," and with that, he shut the flap of the shaft.

Discouraged and unsure, Jeffrey made his way home. His deep thoughts tampered with his ability to see the stares and remarks of the town. He continued in this state well after his wife, Patty, greeted him at the door, along with his daughter, Beth, gently nuzzling into her shoulder.

In the morning, the rain came. Initially, the town believed that it was nothing out of the ordinary, and they slowly made their way into their shafts, but then a Albert was hit rather directly with a drop. He screamed in agony and slowly the life began to drain out of his eyes along with his innards. Fear took over their bodies. The town, in a fit of screaming and shoving, was washed away. To an outsider, there would have appeared to be a wild case of Tourette's. Families, unable to enter their shafts clung to anything and were blown away. Fred clung to his oldest son, but the wind was so harsh that he was ripped in half and poor Fred was left holding the upper body, the eyes still filled with fear. He weeped and lost his grip on both the shaft and his son and was thrust into the air. Frank rushed to the center of town. "It's happening !”he screamed as he tried to catch bodies, some alive, some dead, and some very mangled. Suddenly, he remembered Patty, his wife, and Beth. "Patty! Patty I'm coming. Please answer!" However, no individual voice could be recognized. "Patty! I love you!" He fell to his knees. " I love you!" He shrieked as he bawled.

Finally, the air was still. It was an utter waste land with bodies scattered along a red and grainey ground. Jeffrey, being light headed, bent down and bit the ground and sipped the juice until his stomach hurt, but at least he could feel something. He dug his claws into the ground and splashed some on his face. Then he set out to find Patty and Beth. He needed to see them. He dashed out of town while constantly tapping his claws together in a combination of anxiety and fear.

After wandering and searching corpses for quite some time, he came across Patty, and upon the sight of her, he puked. He puked for a solid minute before he came to his senses. "Patty! Oh Patty!" He kneeled down next to her. " "You're going to be okay." Then he saw her legs. They were scraped to where her veins and nerves were spread out behind her. Some touched her bloody mouth and left a greasy gel across her face. Her nubs of legs were bent so far back that she could have seen them if she could turn her head even slightly to the side, but the pain would have made her pass out.

"Jeffrey..." She took A deep breath " I'm not going to make it."

"Don't say that Patty! I'm going to help you.."

"Jeffrey, it's ok. I left Beth with the Vice President. Tell her I love her.”

"Patty! You will see her again!"

She tried to smile, but ended up cringing. "I love..." It was too late. She was gone. As the life faded from her body, Jeffrey held her.

"I love you, too, Patty."

I Have Improved...

I Have Improved...

I can now use quotes effectively in my writing. They're not in the most proper format because they were all from the same two speeches the entire class was reading!

Roosevelt Is More Persuasive Paragraph

Persuading is a delicate art that can be created or demolished through the smallest of details. Both following a serious terrorist attack, two presidents, FDR and George W. Bush address the nation, but who has mastered the art of persuasion?Bush is working towards emotionally creating an argument that escalates by providing instances of community as Americans. However, he begins to address himself as an individual throughout the speech such as ʺImmediately following the first attack,I implemented our government's emergency response plans.ʺ (16), ʺThe search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts I have directed...ʺ (16), and ʺI appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks.ʺ (17). The over usage of this pronoun separates him from the rest of the country when a time that unity is so important and does not include why he has authority and finds himself as a superior. However, FDR takes a position that is surprisingly unifying in the rare instance he refer to himself as “I” and states his actual authority. “As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed...” (15) comes across as Roosevelt implementing actions that are his unquestionable responsibility. Roosevelt also is more persuading through the words of his speech than Bush in that he only hints religion. Bush expresses a very direct view of religion in his speech, “Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you with me.” (17) Can you Imagine the shock from the American followers of any religion that does not follow the psalms when Bush verbally built a barrier with religion? However, Roosevelt only hints this by saying, “...we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God.” (15) This gets his point across in a way that is not so direct. Based on how the material in their speeches fit their need to persuade, Roosevelt should be considered more effective than Bush because of the sheer unity he spreads consistently through his speech.

I'm Grateful for Technology

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