New Perspectives

Throughout the entirety of my time in English 131, my perspectives have been broadened and the overall concepts that I take from a class have been significant within this one. Through reading all the different narratives, essays, poems, etc. there has been a few that have really made an impact on me. Some of my favorites of the semester are Serafina and the Black Cloak, “Blogs vs. Term Papers”, and “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation”. These three have made the biggest impact on me because of the way they’re written, the message, and the take-away.

Serafina and the Black Cloak presents an interesting theme that has a great overall message to its readers. This novel by Robert Beatty indicates how people in society don’t need to be so worried in trying to conform to the norms of society. In this novel, Serafina isn’t who she believes she is. She finds out that her father isn’t really her father. People need to find who they really are and not worry about the effects of society. This includes, likes, dislikes, thoughts, opinions, and so on. While there are many perspectives and interpretations of different subjects, these are what make the world go ‘round. This has impacted me because society drills into our minds the whole idea of being politically correct when this is not necessary in the slightest and this novel helps us to realize that through a very adventurous story.

Matt Richtel’s article, “Blogs vs. Term Papers”, is another piece of writing that gave me a view of a certain subject that I never considered or paid attention to. This article gave the reasons on why writing blogs have so many more positives than those of a regular term paper. Within the article, an English teacher at Stanford University explains how “[t]he students often find their ideas much more crystallized after expressing them with new media, she says, and then, most startling, they plead to revise their essays” (Richtel). This is just one of many example’s explaining why blogs have a much more positive outcome than just a regular term paper. This has impacted me because up until this class, I had never had any experience of writing a blog. This, in the least, taught me how to navigate through a blog, and gave me a solid foundation to a whole new world of writing.

Lastly, another article that impacted me was “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” by Jean M. Twenge. This article really dove in depth on a crisis that is developing within the current generation. Everywhere you turn, there is someone with their phone out. Smartphones consume their owner and, in a sense, desensitize there way of life while on it. Twenge explains in the article, “The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health” (Twenge). This article has opened a totally different perspective on the way I view modern technology. While technology has made such positive progress within the lives of so many, it still has so much that is unknown and effects that could result very negatively.

English 131, has transformed a lot of the ways I view certain aspects within society. What has made this so easy, is the way in which we, as students, have the material presented to us. The three pieces of writing that have been presented throughout this course will continue to be with me as well as the new concepts that I have learned. In conclusion, this class has led me to many take-away’s from the class that range heavily not only through the material itself, but through the whole experience.



Annotated Bibliography

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the Black Cloak. Disney/Hyperion, 2015.

This is a novel of fantasy and has a theme of being yourself. I think this relates to the class by teaching very important lessons which can help benefit not only my life but those around me.

Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,

This article was all research in which the author compared and contrasted blog papers in relation to regular hard-copy essays. This article is very credible and has excellent findings that can be used for future findings and research.

Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Mar. 2018,

In this article, Twenge dives, in depth, to the a problem facing the world in modern society which is smartphones. The author explains that how though they may be used in a very positive way, they also are used very negatively.




Betrayal: The Way to Ruin

Zadie Smith’s novel Swing Time poses many elements that develop the overall plot of the narrative. Her novel explores the lives of two women, the narrator and Tracey, who grow up together and want nothing more than to dance. However, the two branches off and go their separate ways. The two develop a different kind of relationship and this relationship spirals downward. The reason for this: betrayal. In accordance to this, not only the two drifts farther apart, but other relationships are damaged, and people lose what they have.



Part five, chapter six, is a chapter that seems to have the word betrayal written all over it. The chapter begins with Mrs. Isabel being notified of the missing cashbox. Mrs. Isabel immediately decides to talk to the narrator’s mother and they realize that the criminal has to be Tracey. With this assumption, the two women call the narrator into the room to question her about the situation. The narrator explained, “we locked up at eleven-thirty, stacking all the chairs, after which Tracey went her way and I went mine. I thought she’d posted the key back through the door, but of course it’s possible she pocketed it” (280). This shows major signs of betrayal between the two and looks like it might ruin relationships among families.


Furthermore, the two adults realized that somehow Tracey and her father, Louie, were in this together. It seemed clear that what happened was that Tracey’s father was given the key by Tracey. He then took the key to go back into the dance classroom and steal the cashbox. The narrator observes of Miss Isabel and her mother, “Miss Isabel believed Louie must have stolen the key. My mother was equally sure he’d been given it” (280). This is evidence of two people in the story betraying not only the narrator’s family, but the entire dance class.

Finally, in the end of this chapter, Tracey’s mother is confronted about the actions that are nearly positive assumptions. With great fury, Tracey’s mother defends her family and proceeds to put down the narrator and her family. Tracy’s mother changes


everything and tries to get everyone’s mind off the real problem by talking to the narrator’s mother about the piano player for the dance class, Mr. Booth, and how she is now accusing him of sexually abusing some of the students within the dance class. In astonishment, the narrator says, “I made it as clear as I could that Mr. Booth had never laid a hand on me or on Tracey, nor anyone else, as far as I knew” (282). Mr. Booth was forced to leave by the end of the week. This is another sign of betrayal within the chapter. Almost everyone betrays the piano player because of something he didn’t do. A lie starts and gets everyone’s suspicion up and, in turn, ruins a mans career because of one simple thing: betrayal.

Throughout this novel, this theme of betrayal reveals how a story can be shifted so suddenly and change the relationship status of so many. Swing Time defines betrayal for the reader and gives the audience constant drama which ruins relationships.

Works Cited

Smith, Zadie. Swing Time. Penguin Books, 2017.

Basketball: My Passion

I grew up not knowing much about the game of basketball. I was always around the football atmosphere because no one in my family was a basketball fan or even watched basketball. Yes, they knew who Michael Jordan was and I certainly knew who he was through the movie Space Jam, but I couldn’t tell you one team in the NBA or even a player. In fifth grade, I decided that I would play for my

elementary school and see how it went since all of my friends were doing it. I went out and made the team, however, all I did that season was ride the bench, and when I did go into the game, I had no idea what I was doing. The next year I didn’t even play, but seventh grade rolled around and I decided to give it another go. My mom bought me a basketball goal for my house and I continually practiced outside of designated practice times. On the weekends, I would go to the YMCA with friends and play until i couldn’t pick up another ball. My skills developed and I started loving the game. I am currently a senior in high school and have played every year since then. Everything about my game has gotten better and I have received numerous medals and awards representing the player that I have become. Basketball has been an amazing part of my life and I wouldn’t be who I am without it.