Friday, October 5, 2012

Letter to my favorite.




Adjectives out of order


This was a letter I had to write in my English 101 class at my old school. It’s directed to a teacher I had in high school, who is now my mentor and good friend.

Dear Jillian Joy Debritz,

            Since I have met you I have learned just how deeply love can affect a person. When I first met you my sophomore year I had no idea who you were, but kids around me all loved you and talked so greatly about you that I figured you must be a pretty cool teacher. Boy, was I na├»ve. I soon realized you were not like most teachers just trying to get through the day and get their job done; you really cared about us as people. From the classroom, to Malibu, to our Starbucks coffee talks, you have always shown me your love and it has inspired me to show my love for others as deeply as you continue to do for me.

            Not only did being involved in the ASB leadership class change me, but having you as a teacher is what really changed me. Coming to class every day and seeing how much you truly cared about us and about the school and everything going on in it inspired me each day to want to make a difference, handing out my passion to others as if it were candy. Even when you needed time to find your joy again, others felt you were abandoning us, but I felt we owed that time to you for all your work and love you had put into us to that point. ASB years were some rough years, I know, but  you stood strong and showed people how much you cared about us and how much you loved what you did, and in the end you made a bigger difference in just those three years than any other person at that school.

            School was where I met you, but Malibu was where we connected. What I love most about our friendship is that it is based around Jesus Christ and His love. I have no idea why I even decided to go to Malibu, since I had never even heard of it or Younglife, until I met you. But you were just so passionate about it, and would tell us to sign up every day when we walked into class, and soon enough I realized it must be a pretty legitimate thing if you loved it so much. Malibu came and went too fast, and boy did it change my life. Seeing you love on all those kids around you and just truly care about what they had to say and what was going on in their life, made me want to have that kind of relationship with you. Soon enough it happened and since then we have become closer and grown to love each other as sisters. You, loving and passionate, have influenced me in many ways.

            Being able to create memories with you during school and during my Younglife experience will always stay with me, but what I love doing most with you is going to Starbucks and just sitting and talking, reminiscing the pages of our books. You are the best listener I have ever met and I truly appreciate that. You have sat and listened to me talk about all my boy problems, friend problems, school problems, and even the good parts of life, too! I have always felt most comfortable talking to you because you have such a deep love for people I know you would not judge me. Starbucks will always remind me of you and our loving conversations.

            From ASB leadership, to Younglife and Malibu, to Starbucks, you have made a huge impact on my life with your love for me. You, loving life and loving others as if they would be gone tomorrow, are my role model. You are the strongest, most caring and loving person I know. You have shown me how great it is to have a relationship with Jesus, and now He is my best friend. I am beyond thankful that you are a part of my life. You have changed me in more ways than you know, and I thank you for that. I will forever remember the significance of this photograph and how much that moment affected me. John 13:12-17.


Alyssa Jo Moreno


Friday, September 28, 2012


Crisp, salty, fresh air blew through my hair as the boat made its way through the Princess Louisa Inlet. AFTER 15 HOURS OF TRAVELLING—TEN HOURS OF DRIVING, TWO HOURS OF FERRIES, AND THREE HOURS OF BEING ON A BOAT—WE HAD MADE IT. WHILE the Princess (name of the boat) was pulling up to the dock all I remember is a bunch of overly happy people screaming and jumping up and down. I thought we were going to a crazy island. I soon realized they were welcoming us. UNTIL that point I had been a little nervous of what to expect of my upcoming week, but once I realized how happy these strangers were to meet us, I knew that this was about to be the best week of my life.  

WHEN I had signed up to go to YoungLife’s camp called “Malibu”, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t even know what YoungLife was! For some reason though, I had felt compelled to sign up for it. It was probably my teacher who had advertised it to us. She was a teacher that I absolutely adored, WHO also happened to be involved in YoungLife, thus I followed in her lead and somehow ended up in Malibu, Canada the summer going into my junior year in high school.

BEFORE arriving at Malibu (or seeing it) I had no idea what to expect. BECAUSE this was my first time really being away from home I was nervous. But upon catching my first glimpse of Malibu, I was in love. It was absolutely the most breathtaking place I had ever been to. Just the fact that it’s nestled in an inlet gives you a little idea of how beautiful it is. But add the mountains and towering trees that surround it and it’s nothing like you can imagine. Everywhere I looked I was amazed.

AS the week went on I soon realized that not only my surroundings were amazing, but absolutely everything about Malibu was amazing: MALIBU WAS LITERALLY HOME AWAY FROM HOME. From the zip-line and Frisbee golf course, to the battle-tubing and bead-making; Malibu had everything a kid could dream of.

There was one word that popped into my mind with pretty much everything that I experienced during my week at Malibu: incredible. Signing up to go to Malibu was the best decision I have ever made; especially since it was such an impulse decision. IF you ever get the opportunity to go to a place called Malibu, located up in Canada, I highly encourage you to take that opportunity and experience the best place on this earth. ALTHOUGH I have not been back to Malibu since that summer going into my junior year, my mind (AND HEART) often wander back to that breath-taking place, filled with life-changing memories that will be with me forever.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog #4

FANBOYS. I feel like I heard that acronym all throughout high school, AND it meant nothing. YET, (does that work? I put a comma after the coordinating conjunction instead of before…hmm…) something about it obviously stuck with me because I seem to understand it pretty well. OR so I think.

This past week was a blast for me. I absolutely loved making the sentences on the magnet board and having the challenge of only using a few select words; I think that made it a lot more unique and fun for us to be creative…some of us got very creative, ha ha. The activity really helped me to grasp the difference between intransitive, transitive, and linking verb sentences. WHILE IDENTIFYING NOUNS,VERBS, AND ADJECTIVES COMES EASY FOR ME, IDENTIFYING THESE S-VI, S-V-O, AND S-LV-SC SENTENCES DOES NOT COME AS EASY. BUT that is why we are practicing them, right? J

WHEN WE WENT OVER THE SENTENCES WE CREATED ON THURSDAY, I SURE GOT A GOOD LAUGH FROM A FEW OF THEM. Being able to not only create our own S-Vi, S-V-O, and S-LV-SC sentences, but see other peoples sentences also, was nice to get a more broad understanding of the different ways they are. FOR as many of the sentences that we made, we all better be pro at identifying them now.

BEFORE I BEGAN THIS CLASS I THOUGHT I WAS PRETTY GOOD AT GRAMMAR; I have realized I have a lot to master before I should be allowed to teach a class. Something I have come to realize about myself though is that I may be able to write perfect grammar (eventually), but when it comes to speaking perfect grammar…that is a completely different story. When I speak I feel like I sometimes become dyslexic with my words or I just forget about using correct English and result in talking in slang. Oops. Depending on the situation I am I try to use correct English when speaking but that may not always work if I get too caught up in something, SO my future students better just ignore how I talk at times…

Overall, this week was a fun week of learning for me. I guess not so much learning, as reviewing, but still…I feel as if I accomplished something, made some new friends, realized how many classes I have with mostly the same people (which is awesome, let’s get some study groups going, eh?), and had fun learning all in one. I’d say that is a solid week. Although I do not enjoy math, NOR science in the least little bit, I absolutely love English for some reason and feel like I am doing something right with my life. That is a great feeling. Oh, P.S…we are one-third of the way through the semester!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blog #3

“Alyssa Writes her Blog”, if this were the title of an article ‘Alyssa’ would be the subject, ‘writes’ would be the verb, and ‘blog’ would be the object…meaning this title is a SVO, or subject-verb-direct object. When going through the newspapers this week and identifying whether different titles of articles were just subject-verb or subject-verb-direct object, I learned that sometimes you have to assume they left out a certain word, that could be the subject or something. For instance, I remember one of the article titles looked as if it had no subject, but by adding one word into the title all of a sudden there was a subject, you just sometimes have to assume who the author is directing the subject to, if it is not given.

Prepositional phrases are also starting to stick out to me more easily now. I remember learning prepositions and how my teacher helped us to learn them was by thinking about a box: If an object could be under, below, within, above, inside, or whatever about the box, then it was a preposition. I hated prepositions and I had no idea what my teacher was trying to teach me with this whole box thing back then. But now, after we have been going over all these article titles this past week I was able to identify prepositions and prepositional phrases so much easier than ever before. It was great!

What I’ve really been enjoying about our grammar class is how we are so interactive. I hate sitting in a class and being talked at…lectures literally kill me. But with our class, I love how Barbara will explain a little, but then she will just throw us right into practicing what we are discussing for the day. That is so much more helpful rather than just reading from a book what something is, at least for me.

It’s kind of like what the teacher in Dora did. She would let the kids work on their assignment with each other, trying to figure stuff out and what not, and then they would discuss their assignment and why they did certain things they did, like placing a period in a certain place. For us, we work together as tables to figure out different grammatical things in the newspaper articles and then go over it as a class and are able to see/hear other people’s perspectives on what they found, because they may have found something that another group may have not. I do enjoy working by MYSELF, but I really enjoying working with others and being able to get another’s opinion or perspective on something that I may not be sure about.

BETWEEN YOU AND ME, I may think that I am good at grammar, but being in this class for the past few weeks has made me realize I have a lot more to learn/master.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog #2

It is crazy for me to think that we are already going into the fourth week of school…time flies when you’re having fun, right? Looking at what we have been learning about so far in our grammar class I feel like everything is more a review for me, which is a good thing because that means all my past teachers were obviously doing their job. But having all this review is nice because it is not only refreshing my knowledge on punctuation, but it is also expanding my knowledge on it because I am now gaining other perspectives of how punctuation can be used and still be correct.

For instance, I never actually knew if a comma was supposed to come after an ‘and’ when listing things, but now I realize that it honestly does not make a difference. So now, I feel like I need to just decide whether I want to use a comma or not in those cases so then my writing is consistent.

I also have enjoyed working with classmates on assignments and being able to hear their perspectives on where they think certain punctuation should go, or whatever. THEIRS may be different than mine, but in the end both our ways of punctuating could work.

IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, I remember writing a lot of poetry so I had to learn how to punctuate that; IN HIGH SCHOOL, we stuck to essays and I soon figured out that poetry and essays are punctuated in different ways. But in both middle and high school I remember working a lot with my teacher whenever I did not understand something, or even just trying to figure it out myself…I just hated doing stuff wrong, including punctuation in my school papers.

WHOSE job is it anyway to make sure kids are learning grammar properly? Well, teachers obviously. But I also believe it is the child’s responsibility. After reading the Dora story I believe that the way a teacher teaches their students highly affects the outcome of whether or not a student is going to enjoy learning, or not, and thus whether a student will actually gain knowledge on something, or not. ITS outcome is all based on the teacher. Teachers have such a huge influence in their students’ lives and whether they grow up enjoying school or not. That is the reason why I want to become a teacher. I had a few teachers all throughout my schooling career that really made me love school. But there was one teacher in high school that really changed my life and made me want to become a teacher just so I can make a difference in other kids lives’, like she did in mine. I am going to make sure I use the fun and accurate ways of teaching, whatever that may mean for me.

When it comes to teaching styles, it’s YOURS that I enjoy Barbara. J

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blog #1

I remember being in my Language Arts classes through elementary and middle school and absolutely hating it. I hated how confused I was by commas, clauses, run-on sentences, and how there were so many dang rules on writing correctly. But by the time I reached high school English had somehow become my favorite subject. Although it still is by far my favorite subject I feel like I have things I can still work on to make myself a better writer.

One grammatical issue I need to focus on this semester is my use of commas. For the most part I know when and where a comma is needed, but there are times when I kind of just throw them into my writing because I think it should be there. I don’t want to have to guess if I need a comma in a sentence or not, I want to automatically know that either it does or does not belong in it.

One example of when I just guess on when to put a comma is in a sentence where I am listing things and I am not sure if I should put a comma before the ‘and’… “I’ve always wanted to travel to France, Spain, Italy and Greece.” I just want to know when a comma is needed.

Another grammatical issue I would like to focus on this semester is the use of colons, semi-colons, dashes, and ellipsis’. My writing is based a lot on how I am saying it in my head, so when I pause my thoughts in my head I always want to use an ellipsis to continue whatever thoughts come next. Or with colons and semi-colons, I usually just stay away from them all together in my writing because I am not that comfortable with them and would like to be so then I can use them when appropriate in my writing.

For example, “High school was four years of fun, easy, exciting times…and then came college.” I don’t actually know when ellipsis’ are appropriate to use, yet I like to use them in my writing a lot…which is probably not the best thing to do because I am probably using them totally incorrectly.

For colons, semi-colons, and dashes I just need to start using them more often in my writing so I become familiar with them. I honestly rarely ever use them because I just don’t like them, probably because I never really learned when to use them and when not to. So I have no examples to show for those…

Overall, from this class I hope to learn exactly when it is appropriate to use colons, semi-colons, dashes, and ellipsis’, and when it is not. I hope to gain more knowledge on writing techniques so that when I do become a teacher I can teach the techniques to my students in a way that is easy for them to understand so then they can enjoy English and writing and not despise it like most people.