Monday, May 8, 2017

Seniors: This I Believe & The Moth

For this final unit, you will compose a "This I Believe" statement and deliver a "Moth" story.

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.

Please submit your notes as a comment to this post. Be sure to include your name. 


Dan Fiske said...

Man and Beast
By Alan Rabinowitz

Overcoming Challenges
The story is told in order from beginning to present of his life, it explores the point of view of the speaker and how events affected him, and displays an emotional tone towards the subject.

I find the story to not hold any one emotion, throughout the story I feel happy that the speaker overcame his challenges and was able to do things that he enjoyed.

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy
By Deepa Amkebar

Cultural Identity
The story includes the speaker’s thoughts on her own culture including humorous mocking, her thoughts on traditional Indian marriage, and the way she felt pressured to look more “American”.

I find this story to be surprising on how far she went to change her skin color to not look Indian. This pressure does not seem to be prevalent in everyday life to those not experiencing it and allows the listener to further understand the way people think.

Shane McCarthy said...

1) Gloria Steinem, A balance of Nature and Nurture
2) The theme is human development and connection to society.
3) Steinem begins with stating her belief, in regards to whether humans are raised by nature or nurture, as a combination of both. She then details her reasoning by using person experience of when she first started school at the age of 12, to how she conformed to the time's gender rules, and how she found herself after college.
4) I think Steinem proves a good point that humans are a balance of nature and nuture.
5) Score: 8

Emma Sudduth said...

"From Princeton to Prison: The Rise and Fall of my American Dream" by Mahamoud Reza Banki
Theme: Racism, Stereotype, American Dream
Observations: slow calm delivery, eloquently stated, drawn-out imagery
My Attitude: I was surprised and sympathetic to Banki's story. I can't believe this type of witch hunt could exist
Rate: 14

"Once More, For Our American Daughter" by Linh Song
Theme: Courage, Immigration, Vietnam War
Observations: She seemed incredulous that her family went through the Vietnam war at such a young age. She tried to make light and comical.
My Attitude: I was surprised how young parents were and how they had to escape Vietnam
Rate: 13

"A Nontraditional Love" by Samuel Lewis Lee
Theme: Racism, Drugs, Love, Poverty, Loss
Observations: He tries to make his story light, but he is clearly emotional about his past mistakes and experiences. He skips through time very quickly.
My Attitude: I enjoyed hearing his story even though I knew it wasn't supposed to be happy. He was a good storyteller.
Rate: 13

Alexa DeRosa said...

"From Princeton to Prison: The Rise and Fall of My American Dream" by Mahmoud Reza Banki
Theme: Racism, American Dream
Observations: slow and pointed delivery, short but impactful statements, vivid imagery regarding feelings and emotions
My attitude: shocked, sympathetic, disappointed
Score: 15

"One More, For Our American Daughter" by Linh Song
Theme: Immigration, Vietnam War, Family history
Observations: made a difficcult topic a bit more comical but still hard hitting
My attitude: sympathy, fear

"A Nontraditional Love" by Samuel Lewis Lee
Theme: Drugs, poverty, unstable family situations, loss
Observations: Made the story lighthearted but obviously has regrets, he kept me interested even talking about some darker elements of his life
My Attitude: impressed by how much he was able to overcome
Score: 14

Anonymous said...

Man and Beast by Alan Rabinowitz
The main theme of this story is how to overcome challenges throughout your life.
One unique thing about how this story is told id that it is in chronological order of the speaker's life. He also shows how certain challenges affected his life and how he overcame some challenges. He uses an inspirational and emotional tone in the story.
I liked the story and thought it was inspiring how he overcame some challenges and still lived a happy life.
11 or 12.

From Princeton to Prison: The Rise and Fall of my American Dream" by Mahamoud Reza Banki
The main theme is having a dream and racism
This story has very detailed statements of emotion and is told in a slow paced manner, includes imagery
I feel for the author and what they went through and I feel bad that this really did happen to this person
Zach Charboneau

Anonymous said...

Title “Once More For our American Daughter” by Linh Song
The Theme of this story is discussing how her parents were refugees and what it was like for them growing up.
She conveyed her story in a way in which the listener was attracted because she started off with a statement that enticed the listener to want to know more about her family's past. Her style was good because it includes family which is a great topic that everyone can relate to. Delivery was strong  
I think that it is impressive that her parents were able to go through life as refugees and still raise a strong and smart daughter.
14 or 15
Zach Charboneau

Casey Holmes said...

Man and Beast
By Alan Rabinowitz

Man discusses overcoming a speech impediment
The story is told throughout his entire life, it explores the point of view of the speaker and that his parents made numerous sacrifices for him, and displays an emotional tone towards the subject without stuttering

Throughout the story I feel sympathetic towards the speaker as I see that he struggles with normal problems but worse throughout his life.

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy
By Deepa Amkebar

Beauty standards
The story includes the speaker’s thoughts her culture and marriage in a mocking way, and the way she felt pressured to look more like an American beauty queen.

I find this story to be surprising on how far she went to change her skin color to not look Indian. This pressure does not seem to be prevalent in everyday life to those not experiencing it and allows the listener to further understand the way people think.

Once More for Our American Daughter
By:Linh Song
Theme: perseverance of a family immigrating from a war torn country
This story includes the story of how her parents met each other, both of her parents escaped from the same place, relates it back to her dinner conversation with her parents

Uses humor to explain a very serious matter of how children escaped and faced officials

This I Believe

Title/author: The Power of Presence by Debbie Hall
Thesis of statement: power of presence
3 observations: helps to avoid the fear of death in the dying, presence is a state of being, a silent type of power, and an intimate power that is not like the usual quick connectivity
Attitude in relation to the speakers:she believes that living in the present is important for a healthy mindset

Title/author: The Power and Mystery of Naming Things, Eve Ensler
Thesis of statement: the neglected part of the women’s body
3 observations: father abused her, sexual abuse to stand up to sexual violence, awareness and stories of women who have gone through the same as her
Attitude in relation to the speakers: she tries to define her childhood trauma by spreading awareness and shares stories to let women know that they are not alone

Title/author: Do What You Love, Tony Hawk
Thesis of statement: stereotypes do not define the type of person
3 observations: defying teacher's outlook of him as a failure, loving something you do is hard even if it has a bad rep, he loves that he skateboards
Attitude in relation to the speakers: doing what you love leads to much more happiness than being rich or famous

Title/author:Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day, Josh Rittenberg
Thesis of statement: perspective of events can be seen as good or bad
3 observations: wars have been seen but also ended, so many new technologies will be made, family will always be there to support each other
Attitude in relation to the speakers: He seems as though he is battling the conflict between adults and teenagers but instead of him getting mad he carefully reasons his argument

Title/author: Live Your Life So That You Have No Regrets, Nancy Yucius
Thesis of statement: live your life the way you want to and be ambitious
3 observations: we can learn from our parents, do exotic activities and work hard/ have goals, everyone is dying or living at the same
Attitude in relation to the speakers: she does things that made her nervous but was grateful, she focused on events not things

Stef Baptista said...

This I Believe

"The Basic Rules Still Apply"
1) Judy Stokes
2) I believe that the basic rules we learn as children still apply even though we tend to deviate away from them as we become adults.
3) tone: firm, includes personal elements, structure: concise and to the point
4) I agree with the speaker's firm attitude regarding the topic.

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"
Andrew Sullivan
I believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Tone: firm, gives multiple examples, structure: 3 paragraphs for each part of his statement
I agree with Sullivan’s very firm attitude and stance on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and how many minor examples he used to get the major point across.

“Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day”
Josh Rittenberg
I believe that this generation will see better days despite the mess that the world is in now.
Tone: optimistic, gives a backstory as to why he believes tomorrow will be a better day, is able to relate this back to his family
I agree with Rittenberg’s optimistic outlook on this generation and his reasoning as to why we will see better days.

“Live Your Life So That You Will Have No Regrets”
Nancy Yucius
I believe that you should live your life so fully that at the end of it you feel satisfied with what you did.
Tone: serious but also heartfelt, explains why she believes this through personal examples, very concise and to the point
I agree with Yucius’ outlook on life and how you should do everything you want to do in life so you don’t regret anything in the end.

“Disrupting My Comfort Zone”
Brian Grazer
I believe that going out of your comfort zone and continuously trying new things is what makes us grow as people.
Tone: laidback, gives many examples, goes off on a small tangent but then goes back to his main idea at the end to wrap it all up
I agree with Grazer’s ideology that going out of your comfort zone every now and then is what makes us grow as people.

The Moth

“Once More, For Our American Daughter” by Linh Song
Theme: family history, Vietnam War, etc.
Tried to add comedic relief, very emotional, very grateful for her family
My attitude: I was very amazed and interested in her family history and how they escaped Vietnam.
Rate: 15

“Over The Wall” by James Shuter
Theme: European history, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of oppression, etc.
Included minor details that make a big difference, first hand experience, made it very emotional
My attitude: I loved how much emotion he put into this story and how he added comedy to a very emotional and serious situation.
Rate: 15

“The Game Changer” by Monica Cheru-Mpambawashe
Theme: family history, loss, etc.
Tone: very serious, tells the story with emotion, adds a pronounced shift in the story
My attitude: I could feel the emotion that the storyteller spoke with and enjoyed the various shifts in tone, they added a lot more to the story.
Rate: 15

Emma Sudduth said...

Emma Sudduth
"Community in Action" by Studs Terkel
Theme: Great Depression, Hard Work, Community's responsibility
Observations: He seemed passionate yet reserved; slow, vivid narration, well-spoken
Attitude: I was inspired and even surprised by his attitude towards hard work and community during the great depression and now
Rate: 15

"An Ideal of Service to our Fellow Man" by Albert Einstein
Theme: Life's mystery and in so ts beauty, service to others
Observations: complete ownership and belief in this truth, well-spoken, analytical
Attitude: I am surprised that this essay was written so many years ago and yet I have never heard of it, I agree with his belief as well
Rate: 15

"Doing Things My Own May" by Bela Fleck
Theme: Creativity, taking your own path
Observations: He was not totally confident, but he is dedicated, Content with his conclusion
Attitude: Inspired, Content
Rate: 14

"The Power of Presence" by Debbie Hall
Theme: Power, Service, Empathy
Observations: Still seems in awe of her experience, disappointed in totality of our community's neglect, complete belief in presence
Attitude: sympathetic, surprised by her story of presence holding an important role in humanity,
Rate: 14

"The Power and Mystery of Naming Things" by Eve Ensler
Theme: Power of Names, Truth, Abuse, Shame
Observations: Content with her discovery and relief, still in shock of abuse
Attitude: Inspired, Hopeful, Grateful
Rate: 15

Alexa DeRosa said...


"An Ideal of Service to Our Fellow Man" by Albert Einstein
Thesis: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; the mystery of creation and eternal life; doesn't believe in god but is content to believe in the mystery
Observations: confident delivery but not condescending or disrespectful of those who have beliefs that differ from his.
My attitude: I was interested throughout the delivery of the story and he made many good points that made me question some of societies established beliefs.

"The Virtues of the Quiet Hero" by John McCain
Thesis: Honor, faith, and service to oneself and all of mankind
Observations: A solemn and measured delivery of some of his most difficult and most fond memories.
My attitude: I was moved by his relation of his suffering and the good he was able to take out of such a traumatic experience.

"When All of Us Are Home" by Sister Mary Scullion
Thesis: We can no longer ignore the problem of homelessness, the stigma surrounding homelessness is untrue and each person should be given the opportunity to get back on their feet, our greatest power comes as we join together for a common good
Observations: a passionate delivery that implores listeners to reach out and help those in need instead of ignoring the problems.
My attitude: Her passion for this issue was moving and interested me in ways I could help.

Hunter Weatherby said...


This I Believe
A Patch of Earth- Ellen
The main idea is that a small patch of land holds many memories and contains endless history.

The Yellow House- Julie M Sellers
Going to an old broken home in hope of moving on from a past love, the author learns more about herself than she had thought she would. The house had the same physical qualities that the woman had emotionally. Learning that the house, like her, was still waiting for the spring to come.

Appreciating Time spent Alone- Brock
As a single child, the author confides in spending time alone and creating story lines and a small society with dolls. After growing older and going to college, the speaker wishes once again to be out of the “chaos” that he once craved, leading to a sense of appreciation for silence.

A Place of My Own- Erin
After moving several times through her life, the author always felt the need to find “her spot”. The spots always differed, but had one thing in common; the outdoors. The importance of a “freeing place” is strengthened in college.

The Power of Travel- Rachel
Believing in the power of traveling, the author tells her story of going to many different places and having new experiences that she will forever cherish.

Once More, For Our American Daughter- Linh Song
The speakers parents were refugees that came to America. She tells the stories of her parents struggles of escaping from their counties. She adds some humor into the otherwise horrifying story. “If you're deaf, you don't know what gun fire sounds like”.

Over The Wall- James Shuter
A man's story from Germany where he witnessed the opening of the border between east and west Germany. There were a lot of people that gathered that night and would dance. They walked along the wall and witnessed people trying to destroy the wall and could see the barbwire fence. They got to sit on the wall and overlook the other side of the country.

The Contact Lens- Chrissie Graham
A girls story of being a “dork” and wanting contact lenses to get rid of her bulky glasses. She was 11 at the time and loved the contacts. She tells the story of losing her contact lens that she would have to pay to replace. The speaker adds a touch of humor to the story. It's the story of a child procrastinating telling her mother for 4 years.

annabeldiestel said...

Annabel Diestel

This I Believe:

“We’re All Different in Our Own Ways” by Joshua Yuchasz
Theme: bullying, respect, acceptance
Observations: uses rhetorical questions to grab attention, gives examples of well-known historical figures who were considered different, then uses himself as an example
My attitude: fully agree with the speaker, I feel sorry for the way he was mocked for being different, and I appreciate his story and support his ideas of acceptance

“Speak Up” by Jay Frankston
Theme: Holocaust, World War II, standing up against wrongdoings
Observations: gives statistics to reinforce the severity of the situation, uses real, personal examples to get the point across
My attitude: It was a very moving story, and a perspective that is not usually the focus of Holocaust discussions. It allowed me to consider all of the people who stood by and did nothing, even if they were not involved they could have spoke out against the hate.

“The Power of Music” by Joyce Parry-Moore
Theme: music, healing, cancer, expression of emotion
Observations: uses descriptive language to make you feel the experience she had for yourself,
My attitude: I admire her perseverance and faith in what she loves

“Love on Four Feet” by Sarah Culp Searles
Theme: failure, rising up, affection, unconditional love, renewal
Observations: uses simple examples about her family’s cats and her interactions to allow people to relate to her story and understand what made her realize what love really meant
My attitude: I was sad that it took her own shortcomings to appreciate her cat but I’m glad she came to do so

“Moving Beyond Stereotypes” by Chris Porter
Theme: prejudice, stereotypes, humility
Observations: very interesting story that I did not see coming, in believing that someone else was uncomfortable with him, as a black male nurse, he ended up being the one making assumptions
My attitude: very moved and it made me reflect on my own assumptions about people


“Once More, For Our American Daughter”
Theme: refugees, Vietnam War, family history, immigration
Observations: tells a difficult story of the perseverance of her parents while adding some comedic elements, without losing the message, bringing people in
Attitude: it’s impressive that her parents were able to survive through so much
Score: 13

“From Princeton to Prison: The Rise and Fall of My American Dream” by Mahmoud Reza Banki
Theme: Racism, the American Dream
Observations: impactful statements, storytelling is excellent and the vivid imagery brings people in and makes them fear as he did
Attitude: surprised that someone had to go through this, sympathetic towards Banki because he didn’t do anything wrong and simply wanted to live the American Dream
Score: 15

“A Nontraditional Love” by Samuel Lewis Lee
Theme: loss, drugs, poverty, unstable family
Observations: his high level of emotion is very evident which makes you feel sympathy for him and want to hear more of his story
Attitude: his childhood was very tragic and it is impressive how he dealt with everything and how he has tried to overcome his struggles and become a better person
Score: 13

Justin Johnson said...

Justin Johnson

A Non Traditional Kind of Love
By: Samuel Lee Lewis
Theme: hardship, compassion, loss, poverty
Observations: Describes the poor living conditions that became very normal for him, shows a deep sense of emotion, indirectly characterizes Rosa very well.
Attitude: I was surprised someone who had endured that much pain still wanted to become a better person and make his protectors proud.

Once More, For our American Daughter
By: Linh Song
Theme: immigration, perseverance, hope, family
Observations: Linh utilizes comedic relief on top of an inspirational story of the struggles her parents faced coming to the U.S.
Attitude: I was amazed by her parents’ will and desire to give their future daughter a better life.
Score: 15

Fair and Lovely
Deepa Ambekar
Theme: beauty, stereotypes, inspiration, self confidence
Observations: Deepa describes the Indian beauty standards and the struggle to look white at a young age until she begins to see the beauty in her skin color and heritage.
Attitude: I was glad she finally began to accept herself and have a high self esteem.
Score: 13

Kathryn Ward said...

1.) The speaker is Deepa Ambekar and the moth is “Fair and Lovely”.
The theme of the story is the racist ideals of beauty.
The speaker utilizes humorous characterization, self-defeating anecdotes, and personal setting.
I believe it is saddening that the speaker had to undergo the low esteem and self hatred caused by racist ideals of beauty. I also think it is extremely important to tell these stories to show the effect and consequence they have on people.
I would give it a 15 on the rubric.

2.) Terry Wolfisch Cole is the speaker of “The Runaway”.
The theme of the story is the relationships between mother and daughter.
The speaker utilizes ironic humor, characterizing intonation, and a flashback narrative.
I find the moth very relatable and humorous; a sweet story that reminds me of my own childhood.
Score = 14

3.) Ally Mason is the speaker of “Babe”
The theme of the story is unexpected success from something that seemed doomed from the start.
The speaker utilizes humorous misfortune, an anecdote style, and a “fairy-tale” resolution.
I found the moth well delivered and humorous.
Score = 14