Hi 7th hour!

Please respond to the following questions about today’s presentation:

1.) Which of Sierra’s poems stood out to you the most and why?  I’m not asking which ones you liked best; I’m asking which ones do you now remember and why do you think that is the case.

2.)  Sierra uses diction (her word choice) exceedingly well.  How can you relate her talent to your own diction in your writing?  Think of ALL your writing, both creative and analytical because diction applies to all writing.

3.  What do you think of Sierra’s delivery (the way she presents herself onstage)?  Why do you feel this way?  What can you learn/apply about her delivery to your own delivery when we give speeches?

Again, read what people ahead of you have already written about and see if you can come up with something new as well as responding directly to what people have already written.

You have until 1:00 on this coming Monday (Feb. 29) to respond to today's discussion post.

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Replies to This Discussion

1) The poem she wrote about her sister stood out to me. This poem hit me personally, becuase it made me think of my own sisters, the trials we've faced, and how they are always there for me when I need them. I may or may not have cried. I think my own personal connection to it is why I remembered it the most.

2)Usually, I only think of diction if I'm writing for an audience to say out loud. I think it would help me a lot to help to think of diction in all of my writing. Sierra writes a lot of poems that are just on the page, but when and if she reads them out loud, they still sound beautiful. I think I should remember that we still read "out loud" in our minds when we read something, so paying attention to diction is always important for successful writing.

3)I loved that she seemed comfortable with us onstage, and yet she still maintained a professional persona. I felt like I could talk to her and engage with her, and yet I recognized that I needed to respect her. As for her vocal delivery, it reminded me of music. In orchestra, we use cresendos, decrescendos, different dynamic levels and accents to symbolize emotion in a price Sierra did the same thing reading her poetry, just with her voice, which I thought was really cool and engaging.
1. Peom that she wrote for her sister stood out to me the most. I have a sister who I really love and care for and to listen to Seirra's writing about how her sister went through a hard time amazed me. I wish that if my sister went through the same thing that I could do what she did and stand by her sister's side. Her writing truly expressed how she felt about her sister and I admire that.
2. When I think of diction it is purely during my writing, but what if I added it to my speech? While giving our speeches I didn't realize how many times I repeated certain words until after I gave it. My diction in my writing tends to be okay I try not to repeat words, but Seirra took it to a whole other level. When we write our next paper I am going to try and not repeat any words.
3. She seemed totally confident in who she was and why she was there. I really was in awe of this. She was so confident in her own skin. She didn't try to hide anything and spoke what was on her mind. I feel that I am already a good public speaker, but to just be that comfortable all the time is amazing. What was the most amazing was when she read from a paper it still sounded and felt like she was purely speaking to us. I found that amazing and I hope she comes back next year
1. The poem that stood out the most to me was first poem that she read "Today Means Amen". I really remember this poem because it made me feel good about myself. I liked how she didn't ev r say a name in the poem but instead addressed the person she was talking to as "you." I thought that this was really unique and I was a good way to capture the audiences attention. The poem made the audience feel important and like they were really loved.
2. I feel like my writing is not that descriptive, and at times it can be quite boring. I think that if I were to read my writing pieces to someone else and watched their reactions, I could tell how to make my diction better. In analytical pieces, I could use more descriptive verbs and use synynoms of words I want to use. I think that this would help me to be less repetitive and make my pieces less boring.
3. While she was on stage, Sierra seemed like she was old friends with each person in the audience. She was completely comfortable. Whenever she messed up, she just made a joke and brushed it of. I think that in order to improve my file very, I should imagine my audience as an old friend who I feel comfortable with. I think that if I were to pretend that I was just talking to Someone I'm really comfortable with, I would get less nervous and sound more confident.
1. The poem that stood out to me the most was the one Sierra wrote in the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer's mother. Whenever I hear about dangerous criminals on the news I find myself thinking of how the parents of the victims must feel, not really caring about the feelings of the fugitive's parents. Sierra's poem made me truly understand that no parent wants their child to grow into a bad person. It made me sort of sympathize with Mrs. Dahmer when she started trying to come up with things that she must have done to cause Jeffery to turn into what he was. I never thought of the sense of guilt parents in her situation must have for creating the person that caused others so much pain.

2. I try to choose words that will make my writings more creative rather than dull and boring. For instance, I make sure not to repeat words too often. Also, I choose words that are more complex than the ones in a freshman's essay but I don't go too crazy to the point where only a college professor could understand me. I may not have the same skill level as Sierra when it comes to diction, but that doesn't mean that I won't someday. Since I'm only in high school, I can only improve from where I am now. Hopefully one day people will be comparing the quality of their diction to mine.

3. I really admire and even envy how well Sierra can present herself on stage. If she was nervous I would have never guessed it. Her voice never shook or quivered. Even when she would mess up a word she wouldn't let it ruin her reading or her confidence. It was obvious how comfortable she was being on stage. The fact that she spoke at a single microphone stand instead of behind the podium made the experience better for me. It made it seem as if she was just talking to us rather than giving a presentation. From watching her I learned that confidence is the key to having an inspiring and powerful speech.
1.) When I was reading the first question, the poem that she dedicated to her sister first popped into my head. Since I have a sister too, I felt a connection to what she was saying, like Paige and Chris. But then I remembered the persona poem in the perspective of the serial killer's mother, and I think it's this poem that stood out most to me. When she started the poem, I was expecting some lighthearted, funny poem. Instead, she opened up with death almost straight off the bat, which shocked me. I was intrigued; what if someone I knew wasn't the person I thought they were? Would I still stand by that person, despite all the horrible things they've done, despite the rest of society turning against them? I don't know what I'd do, and that poem really made me think of all the different perspectives of a situation, even ones I wouldn't normally sympathize with.

2.) Actually, I usually read my essays aloud while and after I finish writing so that I'm more likely to catch grammar mistakes as well as check the flow of it and the diction. I have hard time not repeating certain words in my essays, which makes my essays repetitive and sometimes boring. But Sierra's use of diction just made the words in her poems come alive, and I could really visualize what she was talking about. I guess it's because she knows she has an audience that will listen to her speak, so she makes her work as interesting as possible. I should keep the fact that I'm not writing for just me but also an audience in mind, which might help with my diction.

3.) She definitely looked really comfortable up on stage. She probably looked even more comfortable on stage than I look when I'm only presenting to a class. She made sure to engage with the whole crowd and pulled all of us in. I really like Paige's comparison of Sierra's use volume to an orchestra's of dynamics. I totally see a connection between the two; Sierra spoke louder to emphasize something important, or spoke softer when she tried to pull us in and inspire emotion. In orchestra, we use dynamics to add interest and feeling and to make up for the inability to tell a story with words. For Sierra, her use of volume in her speech made up for the lack of pictures/images to tell her story.

1. The  poem that stood out to me was the one  from the perspective of Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother, the mother of a murderer. I thought the point of view alone was extremely interesting because the voice of  a murderer’s mother is quite neglected to be heard when all I see are headlines of the criminal on the news. Due to media’s center of attention, I admit I sometimes forget that murderers have families, friends, and loved ones, as well. When she mentioned how others have criticized the mother on how she was unaware of her son’s “problem” I was appalled. Initially I thought, “how dare you rebuke the caretaker on her son’s unpredictable actions.” Possibly, this poem stood out the most because it provoked a reaction out of me. My reaction was disgust towards the criticizers, pain for the mother, and curiosity on what other emotions the mother must have felt when she heard of her son’s first murder. Furthermore, her words reminded me how ignorant the public is when it comes to important voices, stories, and emotions that are involved with other events around the world. It made me wonder how many lost voices there are because they did not receive any screentime. Since the majority of society focuses on what the media portrays, there are millions of voices washed away because they’ve been neglected on the news. I thought her writing was truly unique and the realizations it provoked made this piece truly memorable.


2. One reason why Sierra was my favorite poet from Writers Week was her precise use of diction. Her gift to choose certain words over another is able to bring life and passion into her stories that are  immediately felt by the audience. Although I am not even close to Sierra’s talent, I notice that repetitive words in my formal writing extremely bother me. I try to be more aware of my repetition and ask my editor, usually my sister, for suggestions or I look it up in a thesaurus myself. Similar to Chris, I was not aware how my diction lacks in variety when I speak out loud. Now looking back on my speech, I typically resorted to words that I use frequently in my vocabulary. However, when I have time for creative writing I love choosing words that my mind immediately thinks of as a response to my emotions. Especially in poetry, I love finding the perfect word and emphasizing it through repetition or synonyms. Although I am not certain on how strong my diction is, I will try to improve on it in all of my writings in the future.

3. I was absolutely blown away by Sierra’s stage presence. I thought she was very charismatic and her passion for the words she was reciting was further emphasized through her gestures. I admired her talent to memorize every word, but also being able to remember her pauses and when to put more emphasis on certain words. Her confidence on stage was amazing and it enhanced her performance in ways I neglected to realize in performances prior to Writers Week. Personally, speaking in front of an audience makes me nervous, which made her performance that much more impressive. However, I will never know if she was truly comfortable on stage or she was simply a great actress at appearing confident. I do not know how my experience would have changed  if her voice was shaking or she simply stood behind a podium with a monotone voice, but I know her delivery significantly impacted her performance. In the future, I will try to find techniques to calm my nerves before presenting my speech and I will also attempt to pry my hands off the podium and use gestures when necessary.

1. One of my favorite poems of hers was the one through the perspective of the serial killers mother. It was a very unique poem, and was about a very unique topic and from a different point of view. There was also a lot of emotion in the whole poem which made it even more interesting. The poem was also very powerful when she talked about how no one ever asked her, the serial killers mother, if she was okay, and no one listened to her when she said that her son had been a beautiful child. I think there is a lot of truth in the poem as well, when you hear the stories of criminals and murderers on the news it's easy to put the blame on the parents. It's easy to forget that although everyone is grieving for their loved ones the man hurt, the family of the man is grieving for the son they lost as well.
2. In my writing, I try to use different words so I don't repeat myself too much. Sierra uses very creative words in her writing. They otherwise wouldn't have made sense, but I think she was able to incorporate them very well. If I were to use these creative words in my writing, I would have to adjust other aspects of my writing to make it fit in as well. She also uses repetition to get her point across, especially in her form poem. It's easy to make repetition sound boring or duo, but Sierra did an excellent job using repetition to her advantage in her poems. Her overall word choice and the order of her words makes her poems seem more emotional and passionate, and she doesn't an excellent job in her wording.
3. I was very impressed by her stage presence. Her voice was loud and clear. She didn't look nervous on stage, and her gestures and eye contact added to her overall performance. She paused in the perfect moments for her poems, and raised and lowered her voice based on what she was reading. I think that her delivery made her poems seem so much stronger, and definitely made it much more interesting and entertaining to watch.
1. The poem that stood out to me the most was the poem from the perspective of Jeffrey Dahmer's mother. This is the case because I never really thought about what a mother would feel if her son grew up to be a murder. Her poem did a nice job of showing the emotions of his mother. After hearing this I felt bad for his mother, because no one raises their son to be a murderer. When the mother felt guilty for the crimes of her son, because she could have done thing differently to prevent this, it made me realize that just because her son is a murderer she will never stop loving him. This poem stood out to me the most because this was a view point I never heard anything about. Through her poem I could understand what families must be going through when they realize a loved one has committed a crime.
2. Sierra's use of diction was outstanding. When I read my papers I try to see if I used the same word many times in my essay and I try to change a few. I also use a thesaurus to find synonyms for overused words like good. After hearing Sierra's poems, I realize how few word can work hard for you and how to paint pictures with just words. I will try to improve my diction in all my future essays.
3. I really admire how well Sierra presented on stage. She seemed like she was right at home on stage and enthusiastic about sharing her poems. Even when she messed up on a word she would just pause say the correct word and move on. I loved how she gave eye contact to all sections of the audience, this made me more engaged in what she was going to say. Also, her voice was loud and clear even in the back of the auditorium. After watch Sierra, I understand how hand gestures can make a speech more interactive. In the future I should improve my hand gestures when giving a speech. I really enjoyed Sierra's performance and hope we get to see her again at Writers Week.
1.The poem about Sarah Winchester was a very memorable piece of art. The story was not only eerily creepy, but it also had a powerful message. In the poem, Sierra explains how Sarah was not entirely crazy, for she too has felt grief like Sarah has in her past. In Sierra's life, a heartbreak had caused her to lose a piece of herself and go a little crazy, just like Sarah did many years ago. Sierra explained how a heartbreak, whether a breakup or the loss of a family member, can cause you to lose a little piece of your heart/self that cannot be regained. Sarah wasn't a mad woman. She was just a woman processing through immense grief in her own way.
2. Sierra had an excellent and unique diction, as her use of words was captivating. I noticed she used a lot of alliterations which was pleasing to the ear in spoken word. Even if she did not read the poem aloud, the alliterations still would have had a huge effect in our minds. It's a play on words that really draws the audience/reader in. I could use alliteration more often and effectively in my writing to captivate my readers as well.
3. Sierra's confidence definitely shone bright while she was up on stage. She was fearless up there and did not care how many times she messed up or lost her train of thought. Her tone was conversational, just like ours should be during speeches in class. One thing I took out of Sierra's presentation was that whenever she messed up one word in her poem, instead of pausing or looking fearful what the audience might think of her, she found the right word quickly and just kept on reciting. She didn't focus on her mistake but rather got back on track and kept going. That is an admirable trait of public speaking, one that is rooted in confidence which I would like to work up to.

1) The poem that stood out to me the most was her poem about Ariel. the reason I remember it the most was because of what she claimed Ariel's response to the poem was. It was a very superficial reason to remember her poem, but I remembered this simply because I thought it was funny how Ariel thought Sierra was being a jerk for writing a poem about her. Also I could definitely see myself reacting the same way at someone who wrote a poem about my life, even if it was meant to be super encouraging.

2) I thought Sierra used a lot of simple words that still painted a great picture. Everything she said was easy to understand and she didn't try to use terms that make people sound intelligent, but no one else understood. What I will take away from her is how many allusions she made to popular things and how much pop culture she integrated into her poetry and just her stage presence. It again made her easy to understand and also a lot more enjoyable to listen to. Though it may be hard to integrate pop culture into a essay, I'm going to try to do that to make writing more enjoyable for myself and my readers.

3) I think the thing that struck me the most about her stage presences was just how comfortable she looked and how much she seemed to enjoy it. Taking a video during her presentation may not seem that professional, but it really helped connect her to the audience. I think that was one of her greatest strength, her connection with her audiences, every time  she looked at our discretion it felt she was looking right at me. What I'm going to take away from this is to be confident when going on stage. More that that I wasn't to remember to not be afraid to be myself and show some personality during my speech. It was something I really enjoyed seeing from her and now it's something I want to integrate into my own speaking.

All of Sierra's poems were so amazing and so different! I honestly loved them all, but the one that stood out to me the most was the poem about tampons because it made me laugh, and also even though it was meant to be towards men afraid of buying tampons for their daughters, it showed me the funny side of tampons and periods.

Sierra makes her characters sound real and she understands what they're feeling. She uses emotion a lot to convey people's personalities and who they are. She doesnt keep describing the same thing with the same word, and I struggle with that, so I think I could improve on that.

She was really confident, and communicated with the audience a lot. She always kept telling us what inspired her and why she wrote something and I feel like that helped me connect with her better. Her poetry sounded like she was speaking to us instead of reading and I think that's awesome. She seemed like making a mistake didn't even unnerve her and I hope that I can be that confident while giving a speech.
1. The poem that stood out to me the most was "Today means Amen". Most of her other poems were about her experiences or another story. But she dedicated this poem to every individual in the world who was feeling down, who deserved to live to be loved. It had a beautiful message to it. It was very inspirational and had a lot of meaning. It is one of those writings where, if someone listens to it, they would automatically feel better about their day.
2. Sierra DeMulder uses a lot of imagery and comparison, including similes and metaphors in her diction. I try to use imagery in order to make my audience visualize the content in my story. She also tries to stop using repetitive words by having synonyms for the different words. She uses the same words only when it's on purpose. I also try to use synonyms of the same words to avoid repetitive words. Her use of diction differs from mine as she uses more comparison than I do.
3. Sierra is the most comfortable presenter in writers week I've seen so far. She was humorous and very engaged with the audience. She was looking for the audience's reaction and reply to her statements and asked the spectator's what they wanted her to do. I have a lot of things to learn from her. I become timid when I'm presenting. She is comfortable and enjoys presenting to an audience. She was also very organized while she was presenting. I can learn to be more comfortable with the audience and make more eye contact.


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