Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Lake Project: Come Prepared-Dex

The last time I went to the lake, I learned an important lesson on the necessity of coming prepared whenever you are trying to take pictures of wildlife. Animals generally don’t want you to be anywhere near them, so, if they see you, you generally only have a few moments to capture an image before they are gone.

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Knocking at a Closed Gate…-Sophie

Over this Thanksgiving vacation, I was able to find some time to work on my short writing. Although this writing is not a condensed historical account that covers every aspect of the communist society in China, it unfolds a unique perspective on viewing the history. Given the free time I had during break, I finished most of the writing. In this upcoming weekend, I plan to wrap up this short story, enrich its content and polish its language. As soon as this writing is finished, I will quickly start my study on Eastern European literature because I want to finish reading one more book for my project before this semester ends. In this blog post, I would like to share more about my writing process and talk about the challenges I have met.


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Last Research-Ria

Rather than complete a film on my research this semester, I am rather, going to complete a large annotated bibliography with all of my research. The annotations will include what helped me and also what information I found to be most intriguing and crucial. This semester I am glad I changed my focus. I think I was able to gain a better understanding of the conflict of India/Pakistan by hearing two perspectives rather than just plain fact. While I needed facts in my research, the bias gave me new angles that were much more personal. Much of the information I received from reading about the Partition I found to be similar to Israel/ Palestine. There are continuing wars and fights breaking out even years after the conflict first began. Towards the end of the semester I researched more regarding Kashmir. Kashmir, currently belongs to India but it majority Muslim. Pakistan and India have fought over Kashmir’s independence for years and there are ongoing battles and protests. In the news recently there has been violence and even schools were shut down. Both countries have not come to an agreement on where Kashmir should stand: as a part of Pakistan or India.  Continue reading

Last One :)-Yanwen


Time runs fast this year and I still haven’t done all I need to do for the semester. Senior year has been quite busy for me with all college applications, class load, and projects. But the good thing is, the two projects I include in this semester’s independent seminar keep themselves in the good shape so far and keep progressing. Since this is the last blog before the final presentation, I’d like to wrap up what I’ve gotten right now. Continue reading



Perhaps I haven’t gotten as much done this semester as I had originally wanted to, but now I realize, that little problem may not be as bad as I thought it was. I set out to discover my own skills and behaviors as a creative writer and then, with the knowledge of my habits in mind, be better prepared for the second semester (during which I’ll continue writing). I’m glad to say that I actually have figured out exactly what I needed to figure out. Now that I know my own capabilities, I’m prepared to be much more productive as we journey into the final half of our school year.

One thing that I figured out about halfway through this semester was how I create before I write. I keep a little black notebook in my backpack that serves as the encyclopedia of all the thoughts I’ve ever had about my story. Some of these thoughts have become realities on paper, while others were never added at all (crossed out or erased due to impracticality or maybe just because I changed my mind), and some have yet to be added to the story at all. This notebook has been my greatest and most valuable resource this fall, because whenever I’ve been pressed for time to work on my story, I can always refer back to what I’ve written previously in the notebook to point me in the right direction.

This is not only because of the wide array of random thoughts on my story that I’ve scrawled on the pages of the little black book but also because before I write even one page of new material, I map out the next five or so pages worth of story material in the notebook. From there, I also use the notebook to double check where these pages fit in the grand scheme of my story. Do they develop the plot in an interesting way or are they superfluous? Are the plot points action or conversation based? Once I’ve answered these questions, as well as some others, in my notebook, then I proceed with actually writing the material, which, it turns out, is quite easy when you know what you want to do with that exact page.

Anyway, I was just trying to give you a glimpse into another, and arguably the most important, part of my process. It’s where the true creation is. Thoughts flow directly from my head to paper when I use the notebook, which acting as a sort of filter, lets me keep writing new material into my story. It’s the create in creative writing that really allows me to enjoy myself and take the essence of my story further than I originally thought possible. Creative writing allows us to take a little something of our own souls and push it out into the greater world, sometimes in ways others might not understand at first, but still in ways that feel liberating for us. A writer for The New Yorker wrote a fictional piece on creative writing that expressed the power of the craft. It is called (aptly) Creative Writing.