Hi 6th hour!

Today at Writers Week we saw the following student presenters:  Julia Dirkes-Jacks/Luke Madden; Esther Shim; Amanda Fleischmann; Erica Machuca; Daniel Classon; Abigail Iuorio; Sofie Palumbo; Emma Albrecht

Choose at least three of these writers and write about what you liked best about their writing/presentation.  Give specific details from their presentation to clearly illustrate what you liked/admired.  “She was good” is NOT enough of a response here!

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 Monday (Feb. 29) at noon to respond to today's discussion post.

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Replies to This Discussion

1. I really liked Julia and Luke's debate a lot because they had a lot of very true points. They made it comical and it was enjoyable to watch, but in reality those are problems faced by short guys and tall girls. I related to this piece because everything Julia said I found to be true being tall. Their point about tall females being less feminine, and short guys being less masculine and society actually thinking like that was interesting because it is sadly very true.
2. Also, i enjoyed Erica's piece a lot because at the beginning I wasn't quite sure where the story was going, but then she told her personal story about depression and trying to end her life last summer, and I thought that was extremely brave of her to tell in front of her school. I also really liked the point she was trying to make that everyone does matter, and you have to become stronger than the disease you're fighting. With depression and suicide being prevalent topics right now in society, it was cool to here how she knows her disease is still there but she's learned how to be stronger than it.
3. I liked Abby's piece a lot also because basically the whole story seemed just random topics like using the word "classic" after an encounter with a guy, and also the story behind using "you tryna". But at the end she said she wasn't sure what she wanted to write about, but her point was you will be remembered for something in your life time even if it's just getting people to use a random word like "classic".
1. I enjoyed Julia and Luke's debate. They presented it in a humorous way that was entertaining to listen too. It was also interesting to hear them talk about something that not many people are familiar with, but am any people can relate. I liked their final message of being happy with who you are.

2. I liked Erica Machuca's story. I appreciated that she was brave enough to share her struggle with depression with so many people. She made me realize that you never know what people are dealing with or have dealt with in their past. When she first came up on that stage, I would have never known what she was going through.

3. I enjoyed listening to Emma's piece simply because it was humorous. She turned a bad situation into a story that she can laugh about and not feel embarrassed about. She decided to not make her situation bad, rather she laughed at herself and made it not a big deal. She conveyed that no one should care about what people think, and it's okay to laugh at ourselves when something embarrassing happens.

1. One of my favorites was Emma Albrecht because of how lively and confident she was even though she was sharing a potentially humiliating experience about peeing her pants. I loved the fact that after she had peed her pants, she held her head up high and laughed it off. I know that if I were in that situation, I would not have reacted the way she did and I would never speak of it. I also liked how she prefaced her writing by telling us that she’s prone to accidents because that foreshadowed her accidental peeing and it increased the suspense as we waited to hear what mishap had happened to her.
2. I also enjoyed Julia and Luke’s presentation about their height problems. I liked that after their debate, they decided to team up against the short girls and the tall guys, the people who fit into society’s expectations. They acknowledged that they both were at societal disadvantages because of their heights and they didn’t need to compare who had it worse. I also liked the format of their presentation because it was unlike all the other ones that I have seen and I felt like it helped keep people’s attentions.
 3. Another presenter I liked was Sofie Palumbo and her story about her driving test. I liked how she was able to incorporate song lyrics into her piece and how that helped set the mood. Furthermore, I admired that she seemed confident singing onstage, which can be a pretty difficult thing to do for a lot of people. I also feel like many people can relate to her topic and the stress that comes with driving tests.

1. I liked Sofie Palumbo's presentation. It was very humorous due to her excellent delivery. She was confident while up on the stage. Her speech was well paced and conversational and easy to listen to. Her story was about her driving test. It is a common story among teenagers since most of up get licenses. She was very nervous about her test, and her supervisor was a cranky old man. Her nervousness made her almost failed. I admire her ability to look back on a difficult experience and turn it into a funny story.

2. The Julia Dirkes-Jacks and Luke Madden presentation was very entertaining. It was a funny skit about their height difference. At the beginning, Luke is wearing normal shoes and Julia is wearing heals. They try to get close to each other levels, so Julia takes her shoes off and Luke stands on a backpack. I really enjoyed their acting skills. It made the performance much more enjoyable. I thought that that their commentary on height stereotypes was very informative. I am a moderately tall person, so I don't feel prejudice for my height, but now I feel bad for people who are overly tall or short.

3. I enjoyed Emma Albrecht's story. It was funny because it was an extremely embarrassing experience for her. I admire her courage who came out to hundreds of her classmates and told a self deprecating experience. I probably could not go onto a stage and do what she did. Also, she seemed very confident during her presentation.

1. Julia Dirkes-Jacks/Luke Madden's presentation addressed a pressing issue of societal values. I like how they used humor to ease the audience into the discussion of gender expectations in a relationship and the difficulties of being a relatively short male or tall female. They sent a positive message of discarding the idea of conforming to a predetermined normal. Rather, they encouraged embracing what you have and working with it.

2. I liked Daniel Classon's short story about the discovery of God's body and the Catholic Church. His use of strong exposition was able to smoothly transition the audience into a creative new world that he had thought up. He also brought up the idea that religion isn't necessarily about worshipping a superhuman figure. Rather, it can be about using our own lives to benefit those of other people.

3. Emma Albrecht's account of her most embarrassing moment was a great last piece of my writer's week experience this year. She showed humility but also courage in being able to tell the entire audience about the time she peed her pants in the mall. She wasn't afraid to laugh at herself and used the experience to build herself up rather than tear herself down. I think her bravery can teach us all that though not every moment can be our best moment, we can use each of our experiences to learn a new lesson.


1.)      I loved Julia Dirks-Jack's and Luke Madden's "argument" about the problems faced from being a very short boy vs. the problems that come with being a very tall girl. This presentation was my favorite because I can relate to everything Julia said because I too am a 6 foot tall girl. They talked about their everyday struggles and debated about who has it worst.  Luke’s argument ranged from not being able to reach the highest shelf to not being able to find a prom date, while Julia’s included being taller than most boys and not being able to wear heels. Not only did I appreciate the light humor incorporated, but I loved how between laughs a very important message was told. The message was that people should not be judged because they do not fit into the normal standards. Everyone is different and  the “norm” should not exist. I also liked how at the end they talked about the importance of positive body image.

2.)      Another student whose presentation stuck out to me was my good friend Abby Iuorio’s. I loved hers not only because of the sarcastic jokes, or even because of the funny backstory, but because of the positive message she spoke of. Abby told us about how she had influenced so many lives just by starting a phrase that somehow everyone started using. She shared that everyone has impacted the world at one time or another and that everyone brings something different to the world. Without everyone, the world would not be the same. The phrase she started was “trynna” and even sometimes I find myself using it. Because of her speech, now I’m “trynna” see what my mark on the world is.

3.)      Last, but not least another student’s presentation that I enjoyed was Emma Albrecht’s. I really liked hers because of the courage she had to share an embarrassing story in order to give us important life advice. The story included her peeing her pants in a store in the mall when she was seventeen years old. I loved how she was able to get through this incident by laughing about it and not taking it too seriously. She informed us that no one should ever take their mistakes too seriously because it is better to laugh them off and learn from them. Emma possessed great stage presence and I feel that everyone enjoyed her presentation.

1) I really liked Julia Dirkes-Jacks and Luke Maddens about who has it worst between short men or tall woman. They presented their piece with such enthusiasm it drew the audience in. They were also funny giving examples of why each person had it worse. I apreciated the deeper meaning they had in their writing. There are so many expecions for men and woman setting the standards of what is normal. This writing made the point that instead of judging people you should appreciate their unique qualities.
2) Emma Alberchts presentation was one of my favorites. For her to get on stage and tell her most embarrassing moment must have taken a lot of courage. She told her story with such excitement, building up the suspense I couldn't help myself from laughing. I liked how she used a different voice to imitate the store manager. Emma was optimistic through the whole story and showed every one that if you don't care about the situation no one else will care and it won't be a big deal.
3) Lastly I thought it was incredibly brave of Erica Machuca to go on stage and tell everyone about the hardships she went through. It saddened me when she talked about trying to end her life. She was also very inspiring because she fought hard and is still fighting.
1. I like Julia's and Luke's piece because they talked about the troubles they face as a tall woman and a short man. They tackled a real issue that most people ignore. It shouldn't matter how tall or short you are; that shouldn't be what society views you as. They talked about a social issue and how Julia is not "feminine" just because she was taller than average. I liked their overarching message that it doesn't matter what you look like, but rather what your personality is like. They were also really comfortable on stage, and they used their personalities to show people that there is more to them than their height. Also, I loved how Luke stepped on his backpack at the beginning and how Julia took off her heels. It was a great way to tie humor into a real social issue.

2. I really liked Esther's speech because she talked about a father's view on a child who is considered "different" by society. I liked how she structured her speech. She started off with how the father loved his child even though he/she looked different and his love seemed to grow throughout the piece. For me, the saddest part was how the father started to believe what society was saying about his kid. Even so, he realized that it shouldn't matter whether you look different. People should accept these differences and love one another, like the father did.

3. Emma's story was really funny. It was really brave of her to talk about peeing her pants in front of an audience. I liked how she ties her personality into her speech by adding sassy and funny side comments. One of the things that stuck out the most was that she accepted what she had done and didn't let people's judgements affect her. She laughed at herself even though something embarrassing happened to her.
1. I really enjoyed Julia Dirkes-Jacks/Luke Madden's performance. They had a very unique way of highlighting their differences and rather than ignoring them, they embraced them. Both presenters recognized that although they are challenged in the height field, that is nothing to be ashamed of. They created jokes out of all of their insecurites that come with being short or being tall and acknowledged that they should be proud of the way they are, and shouldn't be told otherwise. I also really enjoyed how they added a comic twist to each of their insecurites.
2. I also enjoyed Abby's performance. She took an emotionally touching story that was close to her and shared it with a really large audience. That sure does take guts. I like how she narrated the story in a way that allowed the audience to feel more involved in her story. The phrases that she used like "classic" and "you tryna" really helped to add to the overally friendliness and warmth of her speech.
3. I really enjoyed Emma Albrecht speech as well. The fact that she admitted that she had peed her pants as a 17 year old goes beyond just an embarrassing story. What really impacted me about her speech was the fact that she was so open about everything that had happened. Had this happenned to me, I would not be one to share this story with the world. She keyed us in to every aspect of the story as if we were her friends and we were the ones with her. I also really liked how she narrated her story in a very natural way adding in comments like "for real" and "oh no".
I really enjoyed Julia Dirkes Jacks and Luke Madden's performance because they brought up a subject that applie to many people, but isn't spoken about very often. I, myself, am under the average heigt of girls my age. Sadly, it is true that society has standards for physical features of men and women, and people get judged and defined by that, which brought them to the greater message to love your body and accept the differences.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Emma Albrecht's piece. It was very brave of her to discuss her most embarrassing moment, and do it in such a humorous way. Every person has moments in their life that they arent so proud of, and to know that there are other people going therough the same embarrassment is comforting.

Finally, I like Sophie Palumbo's performance because it was just a nice story about her experiences with driving. I haven't started yet, so it was good to know someone else's experiences with it. My favorite part was when her dad told her that the man sitting next to her while she was driving actually liked her, and she called him "the nice old man".
1. I really liked Julia Dirkes-Jacks' and Luke Madden's debate about who had it worse, tall women or short men. They did a great job of creating strong arguments for both sides, while also making it fun to watch. I also though it was really interesting that in the end they both came together because even though they have very opposite opinions, exaggerated by their height difference, they still are friends.

2. I also liked Dan's story, which was both exciting and thought provoking. His ideas about how Christianity is both vulnerable and indestructible were well explained as if he was giving a speech through his story. It also brought up many ideas about religions and how people like to think without questioning what they are believing in. Although it may be slightly controversial to criminalize the Christian church his references to the DaVinci code were entertaining and well thought out.

3. Abigail Iuorio's story was really off the wall and all over the place, but it was entertaining and funny. The stories she told about how people effect other people made me remember the butterfly effect and how almost everyone on earth is connected by just 6 or 7 people. Thinking about this study and her story makes me think how different are we really from one another. Overall I thought her stories, like many of the other presentations we have watched last week, were thought provoking and entertaining.


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