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Family Narrative

It’s funny how things all look the same to you in the dark, and sometimes
you learn that the hard way. I remember hearing a story about my grandmother,
though, and it gives me the impression that she had about the same personality
back then as she does now. She’s usually absentminded and a bit impatient, and
that tends to result in the occasional mistake. Which brings us to the very event
I’m talking about.

All those however-many years ago, when my older uncle was still in Form
2 (or was it 3? Local school grade systems aren’t my forte), my grandmother
would get put of bed while it was still dark and make breakfast for her children,
as they usually don’t have time to eat at home and have to bring breakfast to
school. She never turns the lights on, as that would wake up the kids and every
neighbor nearby prematurely, and they probably need the sleep. She gets up,
goes to the kitchen in the dark, opens the refrigerator, and takes the bread and
jam for a sandwich, then spreads the jam on in the dark. At least that’s what’s
supposed to happen.

My uncle left for school with the sandwich one day, and was the only one
who was in enough of a hurry to do so. Everything seemed normal that morning.
Then he came back that night and just had to ask what was in that sandwich,
since it turned out unbearably spicy. Apparently, chili sauce and jam have the
same color in the dark, so you can pretty much figure out what happened from
that. The issue didn’t go much farther beyond the initial complaint, so all ended
well. The whole family still remembers it, though. How could they forget?

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Opinion Piece

I personally think the iPhone is rather overrated. It can’t be denied that the iPhone is a very convenient tool to have. On the other hand, its functions are largely identical to the iPod and iPad. The only real advantage you would have over an iPod owner would be the phone function and better flash player compatibility. Compared to other smartphones, it has less customizability as well, requiring you to actually jailbreak it and void your warranty to extensively customize their homescreen. It is also impossible to remove the battery and memory without dismantling it, so if either breaks down then you really have a problem.

College Essay

Reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence.

                  Physical activities have never been a strong point of mine. People always say I should go outdoors more often, instead of staying home or in the city. They say that I need to get out more. I agree, I probably should, but I’m honestly thinking twice about that idea. I’ve been camping before. That was two years ago, for a school trip. It was a unique experience, and I don’t regret it. I probably won’t ever get another chance, though. That, however, I don’t mind at all. After that experience, I don’t think I’ll ever consider doing it again.

                  There were definitely more of us in our tent than there should have been. Our bags and supplies, mostly clothes and food, had to be dumped outside just for space. We could manage enough space for a card game if one person leaves, but that’s about all we could manage. Sleep was rather uncomfortable, to say the least, so It’s not like we spent much time in the tent.

                  We had supplies for food already that we gathered up days beforehand. The four of us were sharing lunch, so we generally weren’t hungry, except during breakfast. I was going to share macaroni for breakfast with someone else one morning, but the bowl of macaroni didn’t last five minutes before half of it was lost for good. My friend took the other half, so I really just starved through the morning. Dinner was okay, as someone was actually watching us by that point.

                  We always had work to do. We spent one morning doing nothing but look around for decent firewood. It took the whole morning, and we were sweating rather hard after being in the sun for that long. We got back around lunchtime, which I really couldn’t wait for, but that would have to wait. I always have trouble standing around for too long. After that we were grouped off for activities in the afternoon. I think that went relatively smoothly. Of course, I kind of accidentally found a shortcut through the mountain path to my destination, but the lunch afterward was good.

                  The trips to the site we put up our tents at and the return trip were what put me off the most. The road twisted and turned around the mountainside. The whole trip was two hours long. Our bags each seemed to weigh a ton. It honestly seemed like it took an eternity before I reached the destination, lagging behind rather badly. I had felt like I was going to die and just wanted to collapse on the floor there. I was seriously contemplating ditching the group and just going home.

                  As I said initially, I don’t regret signing up that time. It was an interesting experience, and I probably wouldn’t get another chance to do something like this. However, I think that I’ve had enough of nature for quite a while.

Restaurant Review

A Relaxing Monday

            Outback Steakhouse seems unimpressive from the outside, but in a populated area with many stores and malls, most businesses don’t. The restaurant mostly serves Australian-themed food, as the name would suggest. Waiting chairs and a bar with a TV playing the sports channels are there to help keep you occupied. However, it was a relatively uncrowded time of day when we visited, so it barely took thirty seconds for us to get seated. The walls were done in relatively mellow colors, and the dim lighting and the slow tempo of the music gives off a somewhat relaxing vibe. After you order, the waiters bring in bread and a salad to keep you occupied while they make your food. They seemed slightly disorganized that afternoon, though, as it took a while for actual plates to show up.

The Aussie Cheese Fries, the first item that was ordered, showed up in about fifteen minutes. The fries are served in a plate, are coated by cheese, and are of varying length. You can definitely taste the cheese and small, cut-up pieces of bacon in it as well as a dip, and the combination had a somewhat satisfying salty taste, with a hint of sourness. The next order, Tuscan Chicken with Risotto, arrived after another ten minutes. It was made from a tender piece of chicken coated with some mushroom, pumpkin, and cheese, along with a little helping of rice, which tasted okay. The chicken itself had a lot of pepper on it, so someone who cannot take spicy food should not order it.

The Alice Springs Chicken came next. It seems redundant at first to order two different chicken dishes, but the dish was different enough from the previous one. Like the fries, it contained some cheese and bacon, with some extra mushrooms in the mix as well, mixed together, covering a large fried chicken breast. It came with extra fries as well, though they are of the normal variety and not cheese fries. It came with a different dip, and the taste was sharper, something that I liked. The rib-eye steak came last. We ordered it medium rare, so it was still soft and a little pinkish in the center. The steak was prepared in garlic sauce, so the taste was slightly sweet.

As said before, the service that day was a bit disorganized. Despite the fact that the restaurant was not highly populated, it took a while for the waiters to get around to doing things sometimes, as they seem somewhat distracted, perhaps by the boredom from the lack of people to serve (which would be somewhat ironic). At the very least, waiting times for neither seating nor food were long, so the staff was not slacking off. Prices for full-size dishes often vary between $50 and $100, but the restaurant is willing to take credit cards. They even have a club for premium membership that offers some discounts, though these discounts are not offered on public holidays. Overall, I think this restaurant serves pretty good food. If you wish to have some western food for a change, this place is a very good option.

Unit Reflection and Response

Pick any two of your writing pieces and write a short justification as to why you have chosen to categorize them under a particular Orwellian purpose.

 

Piece 1        College Essay             Purpose            Historical

 

Justification (make specific reference to your text)

As this text was a piece about a past challenging experience in middle school that was overcome, it fits the category of historical writing      /4

 

Piece 2 Restaurant Review            Purpose             Aesthetic

 

Justification (make specific reference to your text)

Aesthetic writing mainly concerns itself with the senses, how things sound, smell, or taste. The descriptions of the food at the restaurant in this piece fit this category well.      /4

 

  1. Which of your pieces was the most challenging to write? Give three reasons and explain.                                                                                           /3

The Opinion Piece was perhaps the most challenging to write. It took me a while to think of a topic to write about. I’m also not the type of person to share his thoughts on a matter, so actually writing it knowing it would be read was hard for me.

 

  1. Which of your pieces was the most enjoyable to write?  Give three reasons and explain.                                                                                                          /3

The College Essay was perhaps one of the to write, which I guess made it relatively more enjoyable. It was also a rather memorable event, and I doubt I’ll forget it for at least several years. It’s almost refreshing to look back on something that happened and feel relieved for all the things that didn’t go wrong.

 

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?                                        /4

I guess many consider my writing style to be fairly unique. It’s serious enough when it should be, but isn’t without humor, so in many ways it gets the job done pretty well. My main problem in writing is that I often get stuck for a long time trying to figure out what I would write. Inspiration isn’t easy to come by for me.

 

  1. A future career or field of study I am considering is just see below.   /3

5.What kind(s) of writing described by Orwell might be important in this career or field? Give specific examples.

I’ve considered both medicine, perhaps even chemistry in general, and computer science. Science, both the conceptual, like computing, and the physical, like physics, biology, etc. have always intrigued me, in their strange complexity while still allowing for functionality to perfection. Both are rather expository, so perhaps a mix of egotistical and historical writing would be needed for research papers, with a touch of political. Aesthetics may be needed, actually, so these fields really do cover all bases.

 

  1. What advice would you offer ICS College Writing teachers as they plan this unit for next year? What might be some additional pieces of writing to add and why? How was the timing and pacing? Did you receive enough feedback? Did you receive enough instruction and input so you knew how to do each assignment? You can make specific comments about specific assignments here. What did you like or not like and why? What would make this unit more student friendly, provide more learning, or make it more interesting?    /5

Overall, I think the course was fairly adequate in content this semester, and I could not think of something else we could have worked on at this moment. Though we sometimes (read: nearing often, though it was probably just this class) got sidetracked, and the ignite presentations took way longer than it should have, the pacing was otherwise good enough, and we made it to the end of the unit with some time to spare. Feedback was pretty substantial, and instruction was clear and it was easy to ask for clarification if necessary. The teacher was willing to provide help with some of the more personal issues that came up this year as well. In that regard, it is fairly student-friendly, and the occasional days of reflecting on a movie helps break the pattern of work up. Overall, I can’t think of much that can be improved, except the “getting sidetracked” part.