Dear AP English Language, Thank You

I don’t know that I would have wanted to take AP English if it hadn’t been a graduation requirement, but retrospectively I’m so glad it was. Considering myself as a STEM student who never really had any profound appreciation for English, I expected to trudge my way through the course. Instead, I took away from this class impactful life lessons that expand far beyond the scope of reading Shakespeare.   Initially, one of my main problems with English, which I found particularly bothersome being a Math/Science person who enjoys factual objective truths, was the inescapable nature of subjectivity. Thus, reading Tompkins … Continue reading Dear AP English Language, Thank You

Persepolis: The Story of Contesting Narratives

Analysis of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi written for my junior year AP English class: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi takes place during one of the most tumultuous periods of Iran spanning the overthrow of the Shah, followed by the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. In this novel, Satrapi visually highlights the dynamic clashing of narratives between a young Marji and those of the Islamic revolutionaries, as they gather and consolidate power to crowd out all narratives but those of their choosing. As the story progresses, the growing maturity in Marji’s artistic … Continue reading Persepolis: The Story of Contesting Narratives

The Limited Power of Rhetoric 

Analysis of Shakespeare’s Richard III written for my junior year AP English class: One of the prominent overarching themes in Shakespeare’s Richard III is the power of language and the use of language as a weapon to achieve political power. Throughout the play, Richard is able to manipulate characters and events within the play specifically through his eloquence and ever evolving persuasive techniques. His eloquence and ability to deflect suspicions and accusations enables him to manipulate, confuse, and control those around him for his malicious desire to attain the Crown. This is consistent with Cicero’s description of how, “eloquence without wisdom is often most … Continue reading The Limited Power of Rhetoric 

Problems of Panopticism in Schools and the Modern World 

Analysis of Panopticism by Michel Foucault written for my junior year AP English class: In an effort to normalize the scoring of papers from English students, a project was initialized in 1923 to set up a standard for grading. Given a variety of sample essays that demonstrated the paper equivalent of a score from 1-10, the goal was to produce a standardized guide for ranking the quality of papers as determined by experts in the field of English. Even today, the vast majority of schools continue to carry on this system of assigning scores to students as a means of comparing … Continue reading Problems of Panopticism in Schools and the Modern World