My first time taking the ACT I was a sophomore in highschool, and its been three years since then and I believe whole heartedly I was a smarter person at that time because of four classes:
1. Latin 2 (Honors)
2. Classical and Medieval History (Gordon College Professor who is super awesome)
3. Classical Literature and Writing (Honors, taught by an ordained bishop, who also consequently is the smartest person I have ever met)
4. Geometry (With my mother who is an Engineer and it rocked)
These foundations are classical Greek and Roman foundations of education (plus add some philosophy and cultural anthropology for unbiased analysis reasons) and this is what I call the perfect lessons to prepare you to write a three page essay in under thirty minutes with organized ideas AND quotes from the literature/historical manuscripts that should be burned into your brain forever.
According to the the syllabus of my Classical Lit and History courses, I now can have a conversation with a student who has a masters in Classics or Literature very well.
I used a quote from Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (Renaissance, Italian scholar and philosopher) for my essay on the ACT that I tied in to the importance of learning and intellectuality. (…this post is so entirely opposite from my last blog post my goodness.) This quote talked about the different parts of humanity and what they make a person appear like.
“When man came into life, the father endowed him with all kinds of seeds and with the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow and bear fruits in him. If these are vegetative, he will be like a plant; if they are sensual, he will become like the beasts; of they are rational he will become like a heavenly creature; if intellectual, he will be an angel and a song of God…. ” (The Oration on the Dignity of Man 1486)
So, to the ACT essay graders, I think I looked pretty damn hot 😉
Along with using quotes and being able to accurately tie them into the random subject you were given, you need to have a good idea of how you like to start your essays, or how to get yourself into a good writing mindset.
I usually try to use the page they give you to plan out your essay to write the first paragraph in. It gives you some idea of how you want to format the lay out, but not the entire thing, more the sound and rhythm of your essay. Colloquial or very formal, your essay should reflect how well you can store knowledge and apply it correctly and nicely to anything they throw at you. And they will throw you some strange questions that seem pretty stupid at first glance.
I’ve taken standardized tests for 3 years with essays tacked on them and it gets old really fast. Also, if you are taking a CLEP exam, remember to CITE the information they give you properly, it’s not just there for you to stare at contemplatively.
Another thing, use AWESOME vocabulary and use it in a tasteful way,
“Swivel chairs are too ridiculous for rambunctious kids who let their glee overwhelm them, tenaciousness can often upset pedantic teachers.” (This sentence is gross but do you understand how silly it sounds to have this many unusual vocabulary words in one sentence?)
You should use them like THIS:
“Good adjectives and adverbs should be used ubiquitously.” (This is a fair example because colloquial and gray words like “good” are not very useful descriptors(adjectives); they are subjective to someone’s biased point of view of “good”, but words such as “unseemly” (with other descriptions of WHY it is unseemly) is an approved adjective.)
If by any chance you are able to use a semicolon properly in a paragraph you will probably get good points. The quote I just used above is a good example of semicolons.
” Colons (:) are used in sentences to introduce that something follows like a quotation, example or a list. Semicolons (;) are used to join two independent clauses, to separate main clauses joined by a conjunctive adverb or to separate items in a list that already uses commas. “(Your Dictionary.com)
And some examples:
“With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.”
“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”
I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a journal entry maybe not once a day, but at least twice a week to keep your mind flowing easily in writing; even if it is total nonsensical babble about school and drama it will help.
1. Some how reacquaint myself with Alejandro
2. Get more people to accidentally flirt with
3. Cuddle with everyone
4. Fail an audition
5. Environmental Science class is still not accomplishing anything
6.English Composition II is still not accomplishing anything
7. Be annoyed by my ENG II teacher
8. Talk to Dr. Teacher
9. Send love notes
10. Get rejected
11. Cry pitifully to oneself during class
12. Throw papers manically.
13. Throw oneself onto couch in desparity
14. Devise evil plans
15. Watch stupid videos
16. Facebook too much
17. Listen to depressing music
18. Argue with That Pirate Kid
19. Get Married
20. Disappoint my father
21. Dont drive
22. Drink a lot of tea
23. Microwave a lot of tea and meals
24. Eat alone
25. SHIT TON OF MOISTURIZER
26. LIP BALM
27. Have cold hands
28. Play guitar till my fingers almost bleed and my hand falls asleep.
30. Try to forget
31. Get depressed by the holidays
32. Cancel New Year’s Eve Party because I hate everyone
33. Unfriend a lot of people on facebook like a pro
34. Go shopping.
35. Video game therapy.
36. Block people on Xbox
37. Make new friends
38. Scrap four blog posts.
39. Pretend to do work .
40. Write long lists.
41. Go to Church
42. Send this link to people
After thinking over the “Reason for the Season” quite a bit during this long and very nice vacation, I have quite a few annoying things to point out. (Yes, this means another list…sorry.)
1. I was thinking back on the day I babysat my neighbors, they are twin girls that are six. I picked them up off the bus at 3:15 and brought them to my house next door. I pulled out their homework from their back packs which their mom had told me to help them with. I knew K#1 would do fine, she was smart sweet and always listened to me. But K#2, was a little rascal. She knew exactly how to get under anyone’s skin, and very quickly. But I was used to this about her, since this was the fifth week that I had picked them up. We sat down at the counter. I purposely put myself between them so I could give each an equal amount of attention. K#1 started her work and all I had to do was read the instructions for her if she didn’t know what to do. I could see K#2’s eyes getting that gleaming look all the kids do when they realize exactly how to piss me off. I was very prepared for this though. K#2 kept dropping her pencil purposefully. I picked it up twice, but then I had an idea. My mother (the ingenious women that she is) had made an entire bucket with sharpened pencils in it. I went and got it and put it in the center of the table. Every time K#2 dropped a pencil, I just handed her another one. No pause, no words, just put it right into her hand. This continued for quite some time until she refused to actually hold on to the pencil. If she wanted to take it a step farther, so would I. So I put her in the corner of the kitchen on the other side of the counter where I could see her but K#1 couldn’t. She protested. She did not understand why she was carried there. I told her: “Once you stop dropping them pencils I’ll let you sit over here, but if you keep this up, you have to stay in the corner for five minutes.” So I walked back around the counter and helped K#1 with her homework. K#2 didn’t cry or whine. She knew that wasn’t the way to get at me. Smart girl. She was baffled for awhile, her plan was foiled. (victory to the baby sitter!!) Then she said: “I wont drop them Zandia.” (That’s what they call me…) I replied: “Are you sure?” She nodded. “I’m sure.” So I walked back over and lead her back to her chair.
2. (Yes it does have to do with Christmas.) This is what I realized this morning. Parents, during Christmas time use this phrase to stop kids from being bad: “You better be good or else Santa won’t come.” Don’t you hate that?! Lying to your own children just to get them to be good. (Sub-list) Telling them:
a. Santa exists.
b. Santa is omnipotent.
c. Santa only gives gifts to those who deserve it.
And this doesn’t bother parents at all? Not a niggling feeling of guilt in the back of their mind, or a tingling feeling of regret at the bottom of their hearts? Nothing? See, when I realized that Santa did not exist I knew that my parents had been lying to me for 10+ years of my life about a very big part of my child hood. I was very angry to say the least. But I never spoke out about it. Never, Why? Because every parent was doing it. Not just mine. America, what have you done to us? If you made the connection between 1 and 2 = A+. If you did not, I’ll take it slow by adding 3.
3. I didn’t use the phrase. It didn’t even pop into my head. It didn’t occur to me to make an excuse using a fake higher power (the god of children) to guilt the kids into being good. Why would a parent use the weakness of their children this way? They don’t know what’s wrong or what’s right if you don’t show them. Could I stress that anymore?
Parents… Those things that help build our view of the world can also destroy it.
The bottom line is: Teenagers don’t just think about sex.
Maybe you didn’t know, but I am a dancer, not a pole dancer or a strip club dancer, a real hip-hop/ballet/tap/jazz/contemporary, dancer. I dance because its an emotional devotion. I use it as emotional stress relief and a work out. I get to be joyous while I dance, or I get to show my deepest, darkest, inner most, secretest pain ever. The stuff no one talks about, the stuff that is indescribable with words, and only with movements can people truly see how I feel. This past week was “peek week” at the dance studio. The classes instead of being closed doors, are open to parental and friend viewing. Usually this is a great time to show how hard I work to my parents to stay healthy, strong and capable to perform. My mother who dance for her whole youth loves to watch me and my class mates dance, she understands each movements strain and power, she sees each muscle flex and tighten then spring to jump or coil to turn. I love that she knows this. On the depressing side of this phenomenon, my father, who couldn’t be more blind, only sees the mistakes, the miss comings, or the constraints that I have. I might be a dancer, but I have always been naturally inflexible, although I am much better than I was 3 years ago, I am still not jumping into the air with my feet to my ears. Obviously, because I am physically impaired, this means I am not good enough for him. I am just not pretty, perfect, barbie like enough to be a good leaping, bounding dancer for him.
At the beginning of the week, Monday, I gave him a schedule of performances, days, dates, times, places, and details of my life until January. This was to prepare him to know what time to be where and how to be ready. I new it was just my pathetic way of crying to attention from him but I didn’t care. He took the hint (after many arguments). Wednesday was the first class of the week. I have Ballet Contemporary, and Hip hop after. Ballet started at 6. We warmed up or arms, legs, torso, back, neck, hands, feet, knees, ancles, toes, shoulders, and waist. We strengthened our thighs, calves, and abs. Then we danced across the floor. Back and forth, back and forth, spinning, traveling, jumping, twirling. Then we did our actual combination of a song, that at the end of the year, we will perform on stage. It was great. My dad wasn’t there. Finally it was 5 minutes till the end of class, and my dad walks in, I totally mess up my shene, and cant even rande-son and porta-bras. He sits down, and my teacher tells us we are going to do leaps. This is my least perfected dance movement. As you already know, I cant do a split, not like I don’t try or anything, I just havent had the capability to do one yet. I can try to do a leap but it doesn’t look the way it should. So, I leap and I can see my dad head shaking, and he puts his head in his hands, then after I try for the third time he tries to correct me by yelling some type of mangled french words he stole for my teacher. We ignore him.. and class ends.
After that, I went to hiphop and I could tell he hated it, because he just sat there with a disaproving look, and I am actually a really good hip-hop dancer. I learn fast, and can do all the moves properly without falling on my butt. Dance finished and I was angry. I went home disapointed with myself and my dad.
Thursday, is the class I am the best at, Tap dancing. I can do a tap off with anyone. I am super good. We jumped for 2 minutes, thats our warm up, jumping without touching our heals down at different speeds. Then we did out excercizes across the floor, draw back, Cincinati, Buffalo, filaps, shuffles, pull backs.. etc. Then we did time steps and then hop shuffle jump toe turns, which are my favorite. We did our combination to As long as You love me by JB (yeah yeah tease me all you want, its a good song…to tap too.) and then we were done. My dad praised my a lot about this stuff, which is nice he noticed finally how hard I work.
I have a choral performance Monday, its every year, twice a year, once for Christmas, once for spring. He wont be coming, but I don’t care, because it gives me more leeway bring a friend.
Welcome to my bitter sweet suburban life. I am just content I don’t live in a poor aids infested place like Sudan or Libia, better pray for them… It’s horrible to be a woman there.