Monday, May 11, 2015

AP Seniors: "This I Believe" & "The Moth"

Before you develop your own “This I Believe” statement, peruse and listen to existing testimonials here. Use the “explore” tab to search for 5 intriguing statements. For each statement, note the following:


1. author/speaker

2. crux or “thesis” of statement

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s

Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own statement.

Visit “The Moth” site. Select and listen to 3 stories. For each story, note the following:

1. speaker and title

2. theme of the story

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s story

5. a score (based on our rubric)

Then, click here to learn some storytelling tips. Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own story.

34 comments:

melanie morris said...

The Invitation to Name our Beliefs
1)Author- Dr. Beth Boehm
2)She believes in having the freedom and courage to stand up for and defend all that one believes in.
3)Her style involves a fair amount of nostalgia combined with a factuality and understanding of how important her father’s teaching had been to her. Her delivery is relatable and provides advice to readers to also stand up for what they believe in.
4)My attitude is very similar to that of the reader’s because I, too, feel as though our opinions and morals are the only things that make humans into individuals.

The Beauty of Waiting
1)Author- Angela
2)Technology has led to a deprivation of the simpler and more delicate things in life, for we no longer need to wait around and make up things to do for ourselves. She believes waiting for things has great value.
3)The style is almost condescending but in a way that does not make the reader feel BAD, only contemplative and more aware. It is structured well with a nice intro and resolution of ideas, with a delivery that is done in earnest to make sure her ideas are heard.
4)I feel that I most definitely agree with the speaker’s attitude because a lot of the time people are too focused on things going quickly, when sometimes life just goes too fast.

Eric Sanford said...


1. “I Believe in the Car Radio”
1. Molly Walter
2. Car radios provide random songs which may trigger otherwise forgotten memories associated with those songs.
3. a. First person point of view
b. Casual delivery, conversational
c. Nostalgic tone
4. I agree with the speaker in that music can be a very good way to remember certain nostalgic events in a fond manner, and that this reminiscence can also greatly improve the listener’s mood.

2. “Respect Yourself”
1. David Westwood
2. One must respect themselves before they are able to fully respect others.
3. a. Nostalgic tone
b. Flashback to childhood
c. First Person point of view
4. I agree with the speaker in that respect is extremely important to finding success and happiness.

3. "Listen to Your Mother-in-Law"
1. Judi Russell
2. It is better to enjoy what you have in life in the present rather than to keep things "hoarded for tomorrow".
3. a. Real-life allusions (Hurricanes Betsy and Katrina)
b. Hopeful/ optimistic tone
c. Emotional, personal delivery
4. I agree with the speaker, because possessions are just objects that should be enjoyed, because, as the speaker reveals, they may not be usable forever, so it is best to use them while you still can.

4. "Less is More"
1. Joel Boutin
2. It is better to live in a simpler style with fewer material possessions.
3. a. List of "jarring facts" the speaker found
b. Allusion
c. Transcendentalist tone
4. I agree that it may be better and healthier to live with less dependence on material possessions, but I disagree that such a drastic lifestyle change is needed to accomplish this.

5. "Ideals Don't Bend"
1. Uta Hagen
2. No amount of hardship should be able to destroy or damage one's ideals.
3. a. Allusion to artists and musicians
b. Inspiring/ persevering tone
c. Spirituality
4. I agree that one should strive to maintain their own ideals, overcoming any obstacles such as the blackmailing and threatening that the speaker went through.

Anonymous said...

This I believe
1. It just says Mallory
2. You don’t know what you have until its lost
3. The person is depressed. They are revealing their daily struggle to simply wake up in the morning. They lost their will to live and explain how they gave up.
4. I feel bad for them because they were in a really bad place. It’s nice that they are starting to realize their importance in the world and how they can find strength in their family.
5. Keith
6. Self determination
7. The person struggles with poor self-image and is very self-conscious. He wants to be a better runner and get better grades
8. I’m proud of him for gaining the self-confidence to run in races and getting better grades like he wanted to.
9. Amanda
10. Art is important
11. They show signs of creativity from a young age and develops it through their life.
12. I agree with the things she says. Art is an important part of life that is often overlooked because of the lack of creativity in society.
13. Zosha
14. Believing in hard work as opposed to faith.
15. The person doesn’t believe in a god but they believe that the universe is fixed and whatever happens would have happened no matter what.
16. I think it’s an interesting perspective.
17. Alexis
18. The importance of family.
19. You should spend time with your family because sometimes things happen and you never know when the last time you see them will be.
20. They make a really good point about family. It is important to be grateful for them and appreciate them because bad things happen.

-Allison Brooks

John Cormier said...

Ideals Don’t Bend
1. Uta Hagen
2. Belief in the Past
3.
i) Simple Sentence structures
ii) Religious delivery, like a guest speaker in a church
iii) It was very reserved in its delivery but was still persuasive.
4. I personally view this speaker as very honest and straight forward in their beliefs and that they have a good understanding of how the past effects the future



Our Noble, Essential Decency
1. Robert Heinlein
2. The average human is a decent person.
3. A. Formal tone
B. Strict structure
C. First person point of view
4. I had a positive reaction to everything this man said except for honest politicians.

Jensen Bramwell said...

This I believe…
1) Lauren, PA
She believes that love should be unconditional.
Her writing included: a casual tone, humor, and the incorporation of dialogue.
Her love for macaroni&cheese is much greater than mine, but I agree with the theme.

2) Jarid, NY
He believes that youth lasts forever.
He incorporates: similes, imagery, and humor.
The humor in his writing lightened the mood, and I agree with his thesis.

3) Sarah, TN
She believes that real love is unconditional.
She uses repetition and details throughout.
I share the same love for cats and agree with her statement.

4) Marie Celeste
She believes in ignoring society and loving yourself.
She starts very negative but has a positive shift at the end, and the writing style sounds young.
At first I didn’t like it, but by the end I did.

5) Sarah, MA
She believes that being barefoot is a part of nature.
She includes a brief story, filled with imagery and humor.
I also like walking barefoot, but not to the same extent.

Jensen Bramwell said...

This I believe…
1) Lauren, PA
She believes that love should be unconditional.
Her writing included: a casual tone, humor, and the incorporation of dialogue.
Her love for macaroni&cheese is much greater than mine, but I agree with the theme.

2) Jarid, NY
He believes that youth lasts forever.
He incorporates: similes, imagery, and humor.
The humor in his writing lightened the mood, and I agree with his thesis.

3) Sarah, TN
She believes that real love is unconditional.
She uses repetition and details throughout.
I share the same love for cats and agree with her statement.

4) Marie Celeste
She believes in ignoring society and loving yourself.
She starts very negative but has a positive shift at the end, and the writing style sounds young.
At first I didn’t like it, but by the end I did.

5) Sarah, MA
She believes that being barefoot is a part of nature.
She includes a brief story, filled with imagery and humor.
I also like walking barefoot, but not to the same extent.

Jensen Bramwell said...

This I believe…
1) Lauren, PA
She believes that love should be unconditional.
Her writing included: a casual tone, humor, and the incorporation of dialogue.
Her love for macaroni&cheese is much greater than mine, but I agree with the theme.

2) Jarid, NY
He believes that youth lasts forever.
He incorporates: similes, imagery, and humor.
The humor in his writing lightened the mood, and I agree with his thesis.

3) Sarah, TN
She believes that real love is unconditional.
She uses repetition and details throughout.
I share the same love for cats and agree with her statement.

4) Marie Celeste
She believes in ignoring society and loving yourself.
She starts very negative but has a positive shift at the end, and the writing style sounds young.
At first I didn’t like it, but by the end I did.

5) Sarah, MA
She believes that being barefoot is a part of nature.
She includes a brief story, filled with imagery and humor.
I also like walking barefoot, but not to the same extent.

marissa eisnor said...

1. Kim O’Connell

2. O’Connell uses an unknown language to help try to connect with another side of her heritage and her mother.

3. The poems title is a play on words because it is about her mother and also about a “mother tongue”. She repeats the word “Vietnamese” as if trying to identify with another part of her heritage. She uses everyday memories to recall parts of her life that involve her other half of her heritage.

4. I like the attitude of the speaker, it is easy to follow and light hearted.

1. Kate Hutton

2. She wrote about race tensions and how she sees them in her students lives and how they also recognize it.

3. It is very well written, easy to read. Clearly written by a teacher. She tries to show the different perspectives of herself and her students.

4. l like this piece of story telling because it is an important topic to talk about.

2/5 "I believe"

Katie Folan said...

1. Clinton- a vet who talks about losing his dog and dealing with the death of a pet
2. The speaker believes that time is better spent with loved ones, and that love and memories are far more important than money and other material things.
3. The author uses quotes, shifts point of view from past to present, and uses repetition to assert his belief.
4. I agree because dogs and other pets are very special and our loved ones bring the greatest joy and love to our lives, which is more important than material things.

1. Cathy- a woman who realizes the many great ways dogs can improve one’s life
2. The speaker says that getting a dog has pushed her to be out in nature more and put aside technology to better her mental and physical health.
3. The author uses repetition to assert her belief, shifting point of view, and a lot of imagery to create a picture of two opposing settings.
4. I agree because it is important to get outside and put down technology sometimes, and dogs are a good way to get you out in nature.

1. John- a man with a dog named Cowboy who has changed his life
2. The speaker discusses the mutualistic relationship between himself and his dog. He believes that he has learned from his dog as his dog has learned from him.
3. The author uses repetition to assert his belief, imagery to illustrate his life with Cowboy, and incorporates quotes directed at his dog.
4. I agree because I have learned a lot from my dogs as this man has from his.

1. Jeanne- a woman who talks about the experience of getting a new dog
2. The speaker believes in getting another dog because it is a symbol of hope and resilience.
3. The author uses repetition to assert her belief, imagery to illustrate her life, and quotes.
4. I agree because dogs make me happy.

1. Bridget- a woman who believes in her family farm
2. The speaker believes in her family farm and the sense of pride that comes from working on it.
3. The author uses repetition to assert her belief, imagery to illustrate her daily life, and a shifting point of view.
4. I don’t have a farm but I imagine it brings a lot a pride to a person.

marissa eisnor said...

1. Chris Porter

2. Porter writes about the struggles of defying stereotypes and simply living his life.

3. He tells his story through discussing several times in his life where people have doubted him. Also he starts with a very general description of a stereotypical black male. Then he goes on to tell his story and prove this wrong.

4. This is a good thing to discuss and show that stereotypes are usually not true.

3/5 "I Believe"

Laura said...

The Grilled Cheese Principle by Emily Schmitt Lavin
1. The speaker is the author, Emily reflecting on a childhood memory of her mom always burning one side of a grilled cheese.
2. The main idea presented is an analogy of burning a grilled cheese sandwich to many of life’s activities and that although they are easy to accomplish they are tedious to perform and distraction/carelessness often result in mediocre/bad outcomes.
3. Her style focuses around a memory from childhood that her older self is able to make a connection with. She uses details and explanations to explain how and why her mom tended to burn the second side of the grilled cheese sandwich, while she the first. She then describes how this repeated mistake has changed the care of her future actions. The speaker also utilizes cooking directions in her speech to incorporate the steps needed to reach perfection, not just in cooking but life in general.
4. I like how the author in a lighthearted manner reasons why we tend to fail by using an analogy of making a grilled cheese sandwich.
I believe in the car radio by Molly Walter
1. The speaker is the author, Molly Walter who reflects on the small, but impactful memories from listening to music.
2. The main idea presented is that the car radio is a key token to brighten anyone’s mood in the matter of moments after being in a disastrous mood.
3. The speaker delivers their message by use of a present activity that is reminded from a past one. The speaker reflects everything she has to say back to that one embarrassing moment as a fourteen year old girl when her mom began singing to her favorite song with her friends in the back seat. She explains how powerful a simple memory can be and how easily retrieved it can be when it is connected to music. At the end of her speech she clearly states her belief in the power of music to change any mood.
4. I one-hundred percent agree with the speaker. Just now when I began writing this I was in an awful mood until I played some music.
I believe in singing “happy birthday to you”
1. The speaker is the author Brian McDonald.
2. The main idea presented is that of the appreciative feeling of shared positive experience in signing the one song all Americans know.
3. The speaker points out, reluctantly that singing this song on someone’s birthday is the only time you can really sing and not get judged for it. He also mentions a research study that supports singing as we traditionally do for birthdays because it releases positive endorphins into the brain which makes us happy. He then makes a connection to how our ancestors must have survived, singing as a community. He also describes his first memory of singing this song with others outside his family and how it made an impact on his growth.
4. I like how the speaker includes the study, as it gives more than just personal experience to support his argument made.

Laura said...

Learning to listen
1. The speaker is the author, Peggy Ramin.
2. The main idea presented is to know when to listen, not just hear, but truly listen otherwise you may miss out on making a connection with others.
3. The speaker begins with pointing out the type of loud family she lived in, giving an explanation for why she would talk more than she listened. She then extends her belief to when she was in South Africa. She builds up the part to where if she wasn’t listening wouldn’t have ever heard the little orphaned girl say she loved her. The speaker concludes with stating her belief of knowing when to listen and just not hear.
4. I completely agree with the speaker. Too many people like just to hear themselves talk, thus never had been able to hear those that don’t compete to talk over them. A lot is missed when we don’t listen, so much that bad things could have been prevented.
Speak up
1. The speaker/ author is Jay Frankston.
2. The main idea presented is the importance of speaking up.
3. The reflective narrative is told truly in the fashion of a story because while I listened along I followed the text and realized the speaker added in more details and went off on tangents, which goes to show the depth of his story and his belief. The author picks out the 75% of the French population that did nothing to stop the Nazis and Holocaust instead of the 15% who actually partook in it. He poses the question of ‘what if’, deepening the thought process and developing a more significant meaning to what he was saying. He also follows up with his own belief by providing a snapshot of speaking out against the cigarette smoker who carelessly threw his lit cigarette out of his vehicle at a red light.
4. I love how this speaker went about his story. He started on a massive scale and brought it down to the micro to prove to the listeners that they should speak up for the small things, otherwise they may never speak up for the big things and never have a voice in making a difference in the world we live in.

Eric S. said...

1. Earlyne Alexander “The Cup of Coffee”
2. The theme of this story is that hope can be found in even the direst of situations, and that it is important to stay close with those you love.
3. a. Emotional delivery from the speaker
b. Hope juxtaposed to the fear and unknown caused by the attacks
c. Foreshadowing/ alluding to how many remember the events of 9/11
4. This story was emotionally gripping, and keeps the listener’s full, undivided attention, building suspense as well as evoking a real emotional response.
5. Score: 14


1. Anthony Griffith “The Magician”
2. The theme of this story is that the beliefs one has as a child may prevent them from seeing a harsh truth, but once that truth is found, they will realize what is truly important to their life.
3. a. Epiphany- speaker realizes that his fantasy of having a caring father will never be true, and that his mother is the most important person in his life
b. Allusions to tv shows the speaker watched as a kid - Peanuts
c. Small moments of humor juxtaposed to the saddening truths that the speaker faces
4. This story evokes a strong emotional response from the listener, utilizing a simultaneously tragic and uplifting life story to convey that the speaker’s ability to realize that his father would never be a true parent to him helped him to fully appreciate all that his mother had done to ensure that he was successful and happy in life.
5. Score: 15

marissa eisnor said...

1. Joel Boutin

2. Joels essay is about how he learned that he lives more “deliberately” with fewer material possessions and how his life is better with “less”.

3. Joel describes first his time serving in the peace corps and how he learned more about the way he truly feels happy living with less materials. Then he writes a simple list of these things he was able to learn. Finally, he describes the impact made on him and how it affects his life when he first came back to America and how he lives his lie today.

4. He offers an interesting point of view and I like is attitude, it is not preaching that everyone should live this way but rather just explains the way he lives and how it came to be.

1. Natasha Sajé

2. Natasha’s idea is that everyone has some sort of talent, even if everyone doesn’t see it.

3. The structure of her story is one essay in chronological order from where she first was told she had no talent to when she realized “everyone has talent”. The story has a meaning and conclusion in this idea and it gives a point to reading it.

4. I agree with the speaker and she is probably right, I like her attitude and can relate because often I fee untalented but then I remember things I am talented in.

5/5 "I Believe"

Katie Folan said...

1. Molly Ringwald- Mothering in Captivity
2. Molly Ringwald has to deal with her troublemaking daughter who says she doesn’t need or want friends and ends up in the principal’s office. The principal says her daughter is bully, but Ringwald knows the sweet and compassionate aspect of her daughter so she goes on a journey to try to bring her sweet daughter back. She comes to realize that her daughter isn’t thriving in her school life because it isn’t her “natural habitat.”
3. Ringwald uses a lot of imagery to illustrate different scenes, she speaks slowly and clearly so the listener is able to follow her story, and she tells a story that has taken place over years chronologically.
4. I enjoyed her story because it showed me that everyone has different talents, interests, and places where they belong; it is important to figure out your “natural habitat” so you can thrive and live happily.
5. I would give this story a 14/A.

1. Kate Tellers- But Also Bring Cheese
2. Kate Tellers discusses her struggle in dealing with her mother’s illness and then her death, and how she reluctantly embraced the sadness of her mother dying.
3. Teller speaks loudly and very clearly so she is easily understood, tells her story that spans over many years in a chronological order, and uses humor to balance out a sad story.
4. Teller’s story evoked a sense of sadness in me through stories of her close relationship with her mother and her death years after being diagnosed with an illness.
5. I would give this story a 15/A.

1. Bobby Stoddard- A One Year Sentence
2. Bobby Stoddard discusses his relationship with a woman who used to be a drug runner and turns herself in and gets a one year sentence. He uses his girlfriend’s prison sentence as a pickup line, which brings him to his wife of ten years whom he has two children with.
3. Stoddard speaks clearly so he is able to be understood, uses humor to lighten his story about his girlfriend going to prison, and uses imagery so the listener can picture different scenes.
4. Stoddard’s story is funny and sweet but doesn’t really have a universal theme or lesson.
5. I would give this story a 13/B.

John Cormier said...

Nana Lit the Beacons
1. Ralph Bunche
2. Always look on the bright side of life
3. Simple easy to understand diction, religious tone, delivered in first person
4. I stand by Ralph’s views on life as they are similar to my own family even if we lack a figure like his nana.
The Elixir of Growth
1. Mohandas K. Gandhi
2. Love between individuals is the elixir of growth.
3. Organized agreement/ persuasive style, stern serious tone, Appeals to religious sentiments for support to a peaceful approach
4. Once again I agree with Gandhi’s creed of brotherly love over coming all and the belief in a benevolent god
A New Birth of Freedom
1. Maximilian Hodder
2. How Hodder came began to see the sunnier side of life again
3. Terse delivery, optimistic tone, large span of time covered
4. My attitude is irrelevant, as this is the speaker’s interpretation of the actual events that happened in his life. It is about his own faith in humanity as it changed throughout his life.

John Munger said...

This I Believe:
Finding Out What’s Under Second Base
Lex Urban
Believing in always looking under “second base”
Getting right into the story, no introduction
Showing how that statement had changed his life
Use of seriousness and humor throughout the story
I agree with the speaker in that life is not about the destnation, but the journey and it is important to look under second base. It will make you appreciate life an everything in it.

The Freedom of Baseball
Hillary Kambour
The Freedom that Baseball provides to a family and the emotions and appreciation that comes out of baseball and what it brings out in a fan.
Talking about baseball and her family tradition with baseball
How Baseball made a presence in her life with her children
Showing how the game meant so much more to her than just balls and strikes and hitting and running
I feel that sports often have a lot more to it then the simple actions that it takes to play. I feel that it brings out an emotion and a genuine apprecation for those who excel at the game.

The Power of Hello
Howard White
Every person deserves to be acknowledged in some way
How the story with his mother built the foundation of who he is
Starting with a story
How it became his way of life
I also feel that every person deserves the respect of a greeting until that person shows that they no longer deserves that respect. A simple hello can really change someone’s day.

The Importance of Neighbors
Curt Columbus
The reliance on technology has taken away from being interactive. These random interactions make him whole. It’s the contact that nourish him.
How it relates to his job
The story of how the interaction with his neighbors have begun to become a huge part of his life
He tells us that he worries that the world is changing because of the newest technology
4. I believe that we will soon lose connection with society becaue of the newest technology. We think that we are still in society becaue we see them behind a screen. In reality, we are slowly losing contact.
Disrupting My Comfort
Brain Grazer
He believes in getting out of his comfort zone
Explains how he is successful, but still enjoys leaving his comfort zone
Stories of how he wanting to meet all different people as a way of immersing himself in all aspects of the world and how he also exits his comfort zone of the cushy lifestyle of a rich, Hollywood man
He says that it is what makes him grow
4. I would agree that leaving your comfort zone would help you grow, but only if you let it. I know for me when I leave my comfort zone, I becoe a whole new person and don’t allow any change in my life. I say that it is great to leave your comfort zone, only if you are willing to let it change you.

Anonymous said...

Ariana Bruno
I Believe Statements
Story 1: Less is more
The author of this statement is Joel Boutin, his thesis is that “less is more” hence the title. One device that he uses is the delivery of his story, it is so blunt and straightforward that there is no room for exaggeration. The next technique he uses is structure, Boutin starts with his main idea and then transitions into the reasons why he believes living simply is better. The last tactic that he uses is relatability, he makes his story easy to understand such as, “ life was suddenly, for lack of a better word, plastic. Not plastic in the malleable sense, so much as in the synthetic, phony sense.” I agree with Boutin’s statement and believe that a simple life helps you to appreciate the world more.
Story 2: I believe in the car radio
The author of this statement is Molly Walker, her overall theme is “its ability to transform one’s mood” , referring to the car radio. One device she uses is the structure of her story, she starts with a general statement then develops the background information so that the reader understands why she believes the car radio helps peoples moods. The next technique is her delivery; unlike Joel Boutin her story is much more relaxed. The third device that Walker uses to enhance her story is the use of memories. She uses her memories to describe specific incidents where radio songs change a bad mood when played at the right times. I agree with her statement because I have personally experienced the radio enhancing my mood.
Story 3: The elixir of growth
The author of this story is Mohandas Gandhi, he has two overall themes, the first being “I believe that the core of all religions is the same” and the second “Nor do I believe in the superiority of nations or races”. Gandi uses two essential underlying themes of love and fear to tie the two theses together. The next device he uses is intuition and knowledge of the subject matter about the relationships between people of different races and cultures. The last technique Gandhi utilizes is structure; this statement is set up into a series of paragraphs that smoothly transition into one and other. I personally agree with Ghandi’s opinion about love and patience being key peace keepers but find it hard to think that in today’s corporate and militaristic governments that love would accomplish much.
Story 4: The basic rules still apply
The author of this story is Judy Stokes, she believes that by maintaining the same principles learned during childhood, that adult conflicts can be prevented. One technique she uses is her personal experiences along with the words of John Lennon to influence the reader’s opinion. The next technique she uses is her delivery, it is written formal enough to sway the audience but casually enough to seem like everyday dialogue. The last device she uses is her repetitive connection between peace and lessons such as sharing, respect and nonviolence. I believe Stokes is correct in her connections because the people who were never taught these lessons are who become the problematic people in society.
Story 5: Ghosts of my ancestors
The author of this story is Lisa Furmanski, she believes that the ghosts of her ancestors guide her to better actions and decisions. One device she uses is the detail of her family background, without providing immense detail the reader wouldn’t understand the point of the story. The next tool is her delivery, she is very focused and calculated her tone. The last technique is her switching in theme from positive to negative. I believe to some degree that family spirits guide you to do remote things but I don’t believe that they are constantly nagging you.

Anonymous said...

Ariana Bruno

The moth
Story 1: A tale of two dinners
The author is Bliss Broyard, the theme of her story is the conflict of racial identity. Broyard uses repetitive detail to her family and incidents to make a point about her situation seem more confusing. The next technique she uses is humor, she tries to make the audience laugh because everyone knows about dealing with a family crises of some sort. The next device she uses is her delivery she makes this sound very much like she’s telling it to a friend or at a party instead of being a serious matter. I believe the story was overall pretty funny and she ties in her points seemingly well for the allotted time. Score-7
Story 2: Yes means yes
The author is Elna Baker, the theme of her story is achieving happiness by being true to oneself. Baker uses extensive repetition of the word “yes” all throughout her story to enhance the intrigue of the audience. She also uses humor to make her situation seem more awkward due to her newfound relationship restrictions. The last technique she uses is underlying meaning, that yes and no may not always mean what they mean. Depending on the scenario the choice you make despite its impacts are always correct as long as you are satisfied with yourself in the end. I like the story and how it is told, it gets a little bit annoying but it captivates the reader at the same time. Score-7
Story 3: Wrong side of the grass
The author is Chris Tombline, his theme is understanding the impact that little actions have. One technique he uses is telling the majority of fluff story until the shift at the end for the title to make sense. The next technique is his tie in of humor because the subject matter is depressing. The last device he uses is his delivery, the listener may believe that the story is going to end one way but Tombline drastically shifts it at the end. I liked to hear the story but it wasn’t as interesting. Score-6

Adam Marcon said...

Adam Marcon
“This I Believe”


The world is an endless tragedy with the rise and fall of cultures and species, the endless cycle of natures build and then the inevitable climax that shatters it down and returns the cycle to its roots. But in the wake of life’s own fragility we see the true unsurpassed beauty that enraptures it, the kind of beauty that only something so easily damaged and yet so unbreakably resilient could have. There is only one possible conclusion that could accurately summarize life for what it truly is, a beautiful tragedy.
Life’s beginning is a mystery and its end unknown, humanity’s existence is only a word within the chronicles of the World and to a greater extent life itself. Humanity is the most recent and dominant species to roam the world and take its shot at life but even it will someday meet the peak of its potential and then be swept away into the past with the other previous dominant forms of life. What comes after us is impossible to surmise but life has proven that no matter what comes along to crush it, it will always return with simply a different face. It’s this recollection of life’s changing faces that allow it to be more than just a hopeless ongoing tragedy and instead something graceful and elegant. Life is art, it breathes, quite literally, it has worn many masks, dressed in colors invisible to the eye and existed in forms too numerous to count, the majority of which residing as memories in the past that are held with no recognition from anyone but the most ancient trees and rocks, but even they did not see the beginning.
It’s often difficult to grasp the vastness of life from the eyes of a human, drowned in the needs of society that hold no true value in the whole of life, as what we see as the beginning and the end only hold true in regards to humanity but life is seemingly without end only the capacity to change and adapt as necessary, as a wise man once said “life..uh..uh..uh finds a way.” (Malcolm) Although the premise of this line is laughable, the message remains the same, life will always triumph over the outer forces that attempt to snuff it out. Life is a great mythological warrior that is struck down and defeated, who has all of its pleasantries and pride taken from it only to rise from the ashes and bring about justice and beauty once again. I truly and without doubt believe that life is an endless and beautiful tragedy.
Speaker: John T. Ma
Thesis: As one grows older they must remember that helping others comes before helping yourself.
Tory telling: Used brutal honesty and sympathy building to show the reason behind his earlier selfishness.
Mutual Feelings: I’m inclined to agree with his realization but even despite his hardships I feel his morals shouldn’t have been so difficult to sway.

melanie morris said...

1) Author- Shelby
2)Everyone has to make choices in their lives that will make us who we are, we control our own fate.
3)Her structure is mainly done with a second person point of view with a delivery that still tells a story and leaves a message. Her style is sophisticated yet appropriate.
4) I would have to say that for the most part I agree with her that we need to take control of our own lives

Anna Sweeney said...

The Making of Poems
1. Gregory Orr
2. He believes in poetry as a way of surviving emotional chaos, spiritual confusions and traumatic events that come with being alive.
3. His writing style involves telling a story that evokes emotion in the reader/listener. The delivery of the story starts with his statement, and the title which does not tie in with the essay until towards the middle of the story. His voice while telling the story is monotone but also shows his emotion and passion for what he believes.
4. My attitude toward the essay in relation to the reader is similar because to him poetry gives him hope and is his way of expression and everyone should have their own way of therapy.
Unhardened Hearts
1. Kate Hutton
2. She believes in the hearts and power of young people.
3. She begins her statement with a story about her own life and relates students. She talks about each type of students and how they can change; the quiet ones talking out about what they believe and the usually loud ones speechless.
4. I have similar views to her because I am young and agree that my generation can change things if we try and I don’t want to grow up and be ashamed of what happened while I was younger. I also want my children to be innocent and not have “hardened hearts.”
Listen to Your Mother-in-Law
1. Judi Russell
2. She believes in living in the present- all we have power over is today.
3. The reader seems like an older, wiser woman talking to young people and giving advice. She has been through tragedy and has lots of experience in life. She tells people her experiences and how you should grow from them
4. My attitude is similar to the reader because I agree that people shouldn’t live in the past or always worry about the future because what they have could disappear easily, and you shouldn’t take what you have for granted.
Be Cool to the Pizza Dude
1. Sarah Adams
2. She believes in being nice to the pizza delivery man.
3. The essay begins and ends with an introduction about Sarah’s life. She sets her essay up in four principles that she believes in. Each principle is a different life lesson, but she starts it off about the pizza delivery man.
4. I agree with what she believes in because I think people should be nice to everyone and let go of some anger you are holding on to. Everyone has bad days so don’t take yours out on some stranger or employee.
Happy With What I Have
1. Marianne Bachleder
2. She believes in being happy with what you have and what you are given and not letting consumerism control you.
3. She tells a story about a young boy that has such wisdom, which makes the listener think. Her delivery is much like a wise old woman giving advice to young people.
4. My attitude is similar with the reader because I too believe that people should be happy with what they have and not always want more.

Marissa Eisnor said...

1. Grace Lee Boggs
“Partners in Struggle”
2. How a woman found the love of her life through common struggles.
3. She uses humor when needed and can also be serious, she uses great use of flashback and characterization to convey the story and its meaning.
4. I loved this story!!
5. 8

1. Terrence Buckner
“Last Laugh”
2. A young man comes to terms with the fact that other people wont accept that he’s gay.
3. The story is told very casually, lots of filler words, it has elements of humor however.
4. I liked the story, it was kinda sad but he has a good attitude about it and a sense of humor.
5. 6

1. Steve Zimmer
“Tempus Fugitive”
2. A mans adventure of bringing his girlfriend to comic con.
3. He delivers the story in a choppy, broken up manner. He uses a couple sound effects to really show the story as hes telling it. He does however use a lot of filler words.
4. The story is funny and descriptive but could have been delivered better.
5. 5

3 moths

Emily D said...

Emily Durst
This I Believe
a. Daniel Ferri
b. “I believe in the kindness of strangers”
c. Dan’s delivery of his story was profound and somber. His son’s critical condition against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina set a melancholy mood. However, Dan brings light to both situations by connecting with his statement “I believe in the kindness of strangers”.
d. Dan’s story was uplifting and allows us to see the light amidst disasters. I take Dan’s story as inspiration to try to spread kindness each day, since the impact it has could be extraordinary.

2) a. Emily Vutech
b. “I believe by exposing ourselves to new people and environments we can increase our understanding and, therefore, our acceptance of people, places, and situations that are beyond our familiar experiences.”
c. Emily’s upbeat and positive attitude during her delivery of the story matches that of the atmosphere of the gay bar she used to work at. It is a sign of how the job has positively impacted Emily’s life and how significant “bridging the gap” is to her.
d. I would agree that gay rights are not just a gay issue. They are everyone’s issue because gay rights are human rights. “Bridging that gap” will allow people of all sexual orientations to find acceptance and will help lead the way to ensure equal rights for all human beings.


3) a. Natasha Saje
b. “I believe that every human being is born with talent for making art.”
c. The delivery of this story is done so with hope and defiance. The mentioning of the “grafted apple tree” not only visualizes the mixture of disappointment and defiance, but it is also how Natasha displays her poetic talent. The mood is very uplifting with an ending on how Natasha encourages her students to follow their dreams and talents.
d. It is encouraging to know that everyone has talent. Seeing potential in everyone not only makes for a great teacher, but also makes a great artist who was once on a journey of self discovery. I agree with the idea that it is important to follow your passions despite what critics say.

Emily D said...

Emily Durst
4) a. Tori Murden McClure
b. “I believe that love and friendship are the things that make our humanity bearable.”
c. Tori’s desire to find justice is made even more impactful by mentioning her brother Lamar. She was searching for justice not for herself, but for her defenseless brother, thus making her mission more personal and meaningful through her selflessness. Tori puts more meaning into her journey of justice and helplessness by undermining the significance of her adventures. This is done at the beginning with Tori saying “So I feel no shame in telling teenagers that I rowed a boat alone across the Atlantic Ocean because I was stupid” and later on revealing to the audience that she has done extraordinary things like ski across Antarctica and climb mountains.
d. I take this as a reminder to seek fairness in everyday life. Also, it is a reminder that we are all always human and even as humans we can be astounding superheroes.

5) a. Andrew Riutta
b. “I believe most every man has stood toe to toe with himself in the bathroom mirror, shadow boxing in an attempt to maintain those many myths that say he must be unbreakable and unafraid. But I also believe every man owes it to himself, as well as those he loves, to turn away from that mirror, and instead gather his strength from a willingness to be as gentle as he can possibly be in this increasingly hostile world.”
c. Andrew makes his story almost chronological, starting with his heritage and ancestors from Finland and working his way through the brawny men in his family until he reaches himself. In his story, his girlfriend and daughter become symbols of courage and true strength for Andrew, two things he realized he did not have when his girlfriend announced she was pregnant.
d. Here Andrew is breaking down the myths of being a man. I believe that society teaches men to only display a tough exterior, that brawn is equal to their worth. I also believe that men all have the capability and right to be gentle and vulnerable. Being vulnerable is part of being human and all men are human.

Emily D said...

Emily Durst
Moth
a. Grandma Pugh by Charles Pugh
b. The theme is dealing with the loss and illness of a loved one. How through loss one can gain so much.
c. Charles delivered his story with a balance of sadness, hope, and humor all in the right places. His grandmother was a human time capsule that was beginning to lose her memory. Charles tells her story through the recollection of memories in order to tie it to her Alzheimer's.
d. Losing a loved one that you were so close to is an incredibly difficult process. However, Charles is right in saying how loss can give you as many good memories as hurtful ones.
e. grade=A

2) a. A Tale of Two Dinners by Bliss Broyard
b. The theme is discovering one’s own identity through family heritage and race.
c. Bliss conveyed her story through the use of humor despite the loss of her father. She was able to discuss the issue of racial identity and the differences between racial cultures through the use of humor. This helps give the story an uplifting, feel-good effect.
d. Discovering one’s personal identity is important in a person’s life. Bliss’ story is a model to be followed: when dealing with identity issues and discovering yourself, do so with good humor. You feel at home eventually.
e. grade=A

3) a. Tackle Football Birthday Party by Julian Goldhagen
b. The theme is discussing gender roles through the eyes of a child.
c. Julian uses humor to help break down the barriers of gender and sexual orientation by discussing his fear of tackle football. He changes his pace and tone from loud and excited to soft and suspenseful to convey the different emotions in his story.
d. Children should not be confined by the gender roles put in place for them by society. It is also important to take away that childhood interests and gender roles do not necessarily make up a person’s sexual orientation.
e. grade=A

Laura said...

Because it matters
1. The speaker is Kevin McGeehan.
2. The theme of the story is going on your own terms and making the best out of any crummy situation.
3. The speaker utilizes jokes to lighten the mood of a depressing situation. He also asks the audience rhetorical questions, which engages the listeners and often provokes amusement. The speaker uses his mother’s lack of a bridal shower as a reason to go forth with the party. The speaker also notes some good, serious points throughout the silliness of how the rest of the story is told, such as how in a situation you know you are going to die; you should go out on your own terms. The style is rather optimistic, especially in such a gloomy situation.
4. I enjoyed how the speaker took a different perspective on his mother dying of cancer. I know that this would be the way I would like to go about death in general, but doubt I actually would be able to. It’s inspirational.
5. The story is well put together. I would give this story an 8.
The test
1. The speaker is Steve Osborne.
2. The theme of the story is the speaker’s father and how he spent his last moments of life concerned with his son passing his lieutenant test on Saturday.
3. The speaker talks with a New York accent, which adds a more realistic understanding of the story presented. The speaker would also impersonate his father, voice and all, which added a layer to the story. The story was not told from the view of a sentimental person, rather in the view of a tough kind of guy his father was. Not many emotions were revealed to the listener rather than the memories themselves.
4. It was an interesting story to hear, particularly the fashion in which it was told. I feel as though if the speaker were not a tough city boy, the lack of attachment to what actually happened in the story would not have gone over so well (it also helped a lot with the rough accent).
5. I would give this story a 7 because I feel as though it could’ve have been better crafted and presented in a clearer fashion.
Mothering in Captivity
1. The speaker is Molly Ringwald, mother of Matilda.
2. The theme of the story is the importance of finding your natural habitat.
3. The speaker begins with introducing a reoccurring problem of bad habit with her daughter, Matilda. The speaker talks in first person narrative, allowing the listener to imagine the story as it is happening. The speaker also uses a moment of epiphany to conclude the story, ultimately resolving the issue of problematic behavior.
4. I enjoyed how the speaker spoke with so much emotion- it made the story believable. I connencted with the level of frustration of not knowing what might be the matter and the reluctance when she finally understood the actions of finding her daughter the right habitat to flourish.
5. I believe this story is put together well and is told compassionately. I would give this story an eight.

John Munger said...

The Moth

Man and Beast- Alan Rabinowitz
How animals gave him the ability to speak and how it changed his life and resulted in his true calling in the science community
The way he uses animals as his way to speak, it makes you feel the pain he must have gone through as a young boy

The description of how he grew up with doctors and psychologists as a way for the audeince to feel what it must have been like to be a stutterer.

The way he moves through his life explaining how animals had always given him the voice he had to try so hard to find.

This story is amazing. They way he worked so hard to finally find his voice is truly extraordinary and the way he used animals to find the truths of his life and the how working with animals had become his real world closet. It made him feel good, which is absolutley incredible.
14-15

Victims Impact-Ed Gavagan
2. It shows how a person needs to appreciate their time on Earth because it can be or it can possibly be ripped away from you in a blink of an eye.
The start of the story immediately pulls you in
His way of evoking a strong sadness after he thinks he isn’t going to live
He uses humor as a way to take away from the sadness of the story
The story makes me really appreciate life and everything that it is good for. It’s crazy to think that a man can go through so much pain. It shows that life is truly fragile.
14-15

You’re So Screwed-Ryan Knighton
2. His want to test his senses while he is slowly going blind
Use of humor to start the story
He makes you appreciate the ability to see, but also shows you that he is truly normal as much as he doesn’t look normal

He is still willing to go beyond the limits of danger, The best experiences don’t invite you. It shows how hard he has to work to still enjoy life.

I am impressed at how he is still so funny even though he can longer see. It makes me appreciate everything that I have and the abilities that I have because some people aren’t that lucky.
14-15

Jasmine Graslie said...

1.) David Westwood
2.) “If she can accept herself, she can both accept the weakness and admire the strengths of others.”… “I believe in self-respect”
3.) This author talks about both the present and past, so he utilizes time as an element. He also speaks in a more broken style where the phrases aren’t long and fluent, but meaningful and shorter. He also uses a positive tone and encouragement as a way to convey his ideas.
4.) I agree that self-respect is an important part of growing up and becoming a better and more understanding person.

1.) Lex Urban
2.) “I should always take the time to find out what’s under second base.” To do what makes you happy no matter how you look or what people think.
3.) Lex uses a flashback to a time in little league baseball and talks about his friend Patrick who was on second base at the moment he was speaking of. He also takes a more comical approach when explaining his memory and moral of the story.
4.) I really enjoyed Lex’s story about second base. I thought it was funny and enjoyable to listen to. I think it’s important to take the time to do what makes you happy and just enjoy life.

1.) Emily Vutech
2.) " I believe that exposing ourselves to new people and environments, we can increase our understanding and, therefore, our acceptance of people, places and situations that are beyond our familiar experiences."
3.) Emily uses a slow pace to explain her story. She uses the characterization of different people and tells how they opened her eyes and everyone should expose themselves
4.) I like the way Emily conveyed her story. I agree that it’s super important to get familiar with people and cultures you normally wouldn’t be exposed to. It can be a real eye opener and learning experience for you.

1.) Besty Adler
2.) "I believe in walking the dog"
3.) Betsy uses natural imagery to help convey her personal opinion on walking the dog. She also uses an optimistic tone and flowing sentences to show the importance of just relaxing and letting your mind wander while walking the dog.
4.) I agree that walking the dog can be relaxing and eye opening when you’re put into the natural elements.

1.) Seeta Sistla
2.) “I believe in the power of perfume”
3.) Seeta uses a personal story to convey her thoughts and ideas. She utilizes a sad, but profound tone to describe her parent’s love and the importance of perfume. She also uses a lot of descriptive imagery to show her story.
4.) I agree that perfume can mean more than just trying to be sexy. In Seeta’s case it was a symbol of the strong and lasting love of her parents.

Jasmine Graslie said...

The Moth
1.) “Tackle Football Birthday Party” Julian Goldhagen
2.) This Moth story is about a young boy who was afraid to go to his best friend’s birthday party because he was gay. He wasn’t exactly your average young boy, he’d rather stay home and do fashion shows, rather than take on a game of tackle football.
3.) Julian uses a more comical approach to tell his story. Instead of making it seem sad because he didn’t feel like he fit in, he made it funny and positive. He used more of a fast pace to tell his story, to help reflect his thoughts and actions at the time and even slowed his pace down during more serious intervals. Lastly, Julian used some similes to make connections with his story.
4.) I really liked the way that this Moth showed Julian’s struggle. He made it light hearted and enjoyable to listen to. I liked his personality and the delivery was very well done.

1.) “I Don’t Do Sexy” Amy Rood
2.) This Moth is about an older woman who had trouble showing her sexy side, but wished she could for her husband. She decides to take a ‘dance class’ and it ends up being an epic fail, but a good story to tell and laugh about.
3.) Amy uses humor to tell her story. The whole story was hilarious and not one bit was serious. She describes her sex life as a comedy and definitely lives up to it. She turned an awkward situation into an even more awkward situation by trying to make her uncomfortable self learn how to be sexy. She did this by attending a pole dancing class, which, by her research said that everyone would come out of it feeling good. This, however, didn’t happen, but she still made the best of the class and gave false hope to her husband thorough her failed attempt.
4.) Well, she definitely uses comedy as a tool to help convey her story. She also uses some allusions to outside things to make her story even more comical. She doesn’t use pauses often, her story was mainly continuous.

1.) “Good News Versus Bad News” Erin Barker
2.) Erin tells a story about her mother’s pregnancy that tore her family apart. She talks about how excited she was about the new family member, but she was also young, so she didn’t fully understand the situation. Her father ended up telling her the truth, which made her hate her mother, the actual father of the baby, and the baby. However, as time progressed she learned to forgive everyone, including herself.
3.) Erin’s story was mainly serious. She dropped comical lines every once and a while to keep people from getting uncomfortable, which gave the story a more interesting twist. Her delivery was well done. Erin took her time speaking about her situation and often put pauses after she had referenced something, or made a joke. Her story was a little choppier than the others, but it fit the purpose well. She also used allusions to add more meaning.
4.) I really liked the way Erin spoke about her rough patch and really enjoyed listening to her story. I like how she delivered it a little differently and put showed her character throughout. She stayed true to herself and told the truth in a fun way.
5.) I give all of The Moths the highest possible rating. Every moth was well spoken, a decent length and truly gave you a look into all of the speaker’s lives.

Kaitlin M said...

(This I Believe)
Living for Today
1. Author: Rebeca
2. Thesis: The saying “Live each day as if it were your last” is not true.
3. Observations: very personal, relatable, had some humor here and there to keep readers interested
4. This author could not have written this any better as I feel the same exact way about this saying.
Demons and Dust
1. Tori Murden McClure
2. Love and friendship are what makes life bearable.
3. Starts out with the title name and explains situation, very relatable (talks about bullying) States the “I believe” statement towards the end
4. I agree with this author, and I really liked the story she told to explain the concepts of love and friendship
Beyond the Noise
1. Kathryn
2. This author believes in the calming noise of listening
3. Starts with a quote ( gets readers hooked), has two stories instead of one, ends with an “I believe” statement
4. I too believe that listening is important. I myself am a listener, and relate to these author’s stories.
The Friend Who Makes Me Complete
1. Penny Hagin
2. Friendship makes this author feel complete in the world
3. Starts out story with a statement that explains her life to show how her best friend completes it, explains relationship instead of having an actual story, ends with “I believe” statement
4. Like the author, I believe friendship is important and something special.

Kaitlin M said...


(This I believe)
Living for Today
1. Author: Rebeca
2. Thesis: The saying “Live each day as if it were your last” is not true.
3. Observations: very personal, relatable, had some humor here and there to keep readers interested
4. This author could not have written this any better as I feel the same exact way about this saying.
Demons and Dust
1. Tori Murden McClure
2. Love and friendship are what makes life bearable.
3. Starts out with the title name and explains situation, very relatable (talks about bullying) States the “I believe” statement towards the end
4. I agree with this author, and I really liked the story she told to explain the concepts of love and friendship
Beyond the Noise
1. Kathryn
2. This author believes in the calming noise of listening
3. Starts with a quote ( gets readers hooked), has two stories instead of one, ends with an “I believe” statement
4. I too believe that listening is important. I myself am a listener, and relate to these author’s stories.
The Friend Who Makes Me Complete
1. Penny Hagin
2. Friendship makes this author feel complete in the world
3. Starts out story with a statement that explains her life to show how her best friend completes it, explains relationship instead of having an actual story, ends with “I believe” statement
4. Like the author, I believe friendship is important and something special.

John Cormier said...

1. Matthew Dicks- The Pole Vaulter
2. To stand out you need to be the best of the best not the best of the rest.
3. Matt cleverly used humor, and his own point of view to explain his story in a very relaxed way.
4. I completely relate to Matt, minus the name situation, as his thoughts during a track meet are very similar to my own. While his reason for why we try hard in team sports may not be pure it is accurate.
5. 7

Ahnya Dague said...

Finding Acceptance in Macaroni and Cheese
• Author: Lauren from Lafayette Hill, PA
• Thesis: Unconditional love should be unconditional without string attached
• 3 observations: 1) Told in a very passive point of view 2) Includes the use of quotes 3) Humorous with irony
• I believe the speaker is too transfixed on a single aspect of her life and should work on eating more than just mac and cheese for the rest of her life. I think her family is right in trying to improve her health and getting her away from just mac and cheese.

This I Believe
• Author: Nickolena from York, PA
• Thesis: Power of redemption and unconditional love
• 3 observations: 1)Author is regretful of her actions toward her mother as a teenager 2) Appreciates the little things after everything she’s been through 3) casual style
• My attitude: The author is very loving and appreciative of her mother, even more now in her mental impairment. This girl would do just about anything to repay her mother for everything she gave her growing up.

The Things That Bind Us
• Author: Katherine from Nashville, TN
• Thesis: Having a tight family bond/ritual can get you through even the worst of times
• 3 Observations- 1) Uses past and present tenses 2) Uses similes to convey the family connections 3) Incorporates a somber tone
• I believe that the author truly appreciates her family and everything they do, even in the hardest times. She believes that having a tradition and family rituals to fall back on in tough times keeps families together.