Sofia O.

7th-Grade English Portfolio

My Porftolio Reflection

1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

In the beginning of the year I would not have described myself as a strong writer. My writing was boring and simple. I think that my writing has improved significantly over the course of this year. My writing is much more interesting now because I use more adjectives and figurative language.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

I think my writing strengths are that I can write an organized papers very easily. I can  show my ideas and thesis clearly in my writing. Someone reading my paper would not be confused while understanding my writing.

3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

I would like to make my writing next year flow better. Sometimes my writing is very dull and I need to elaborate more on certain parts. I want to learn different styles of writing to improve my writing.

4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.

I think my essay for The Giver best captures my growth. We wrote this essay toward the beginning of the year so if you read it, then read one of my papers from now you would be able to see a huge difference. I learned a lot of different writing techniques this year and that reflects on my writing throughout the year.

5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.

I am most proud of my quarter two independent reading project. It shows a passage from the book I read, as well as a review and an explanation of the food I brought in. I thought my ideas in my paper were very clever. I explained my thinking very clearly and gave evidence for my reasoning.

Artifact #1

The world in The Giver by Lois Lowry is a dystopia because the people in the community do not get to make choices.

The people in the community do not get to be close to people or pick their spouse. When Jonas receives the memory of family, he is confused as to all of the different people, and he says, “‘Who were the old people? Why were they there?’ It had puzzled Jonas, seeing them in the room” (117). When Jonas thinks this, it reveals that he does not experience being together as family, specifically with grandparents. This also shows that the community does not feel emotions. Jonas’ community does not get to experience many of the things that are valued the most. All of the things that matter can not even be experienced. When Jonas discusses fitting in and decisions in the community with Asher, he remember, “Even the matching of the spouses was given such weighty consideration” (47). When he recalls this, it shows that people in the community are assigned a husband or a wife because they know no other way. This is yet another example of a choice the citizens can not make. Whoever put these people here have not only taken away choices, but freedom, love, and any other emotion. Even though the people of the community do not know it, they are being deprived of all important things

The community is not a good place to be. Jonas has made the right choice. Selfish to only save himself and Gabe, but the right choice. He saved himself (and Gabe), which is very hard decision to make.

Artifact #2

I begin laughing. Shelf life? My god, I have a shelf life!

“It’s not that unusual-”

“Stop! I have a shelf life, for God’s sake! That is unusual!”

“Call it whatever you want, but what living thing doesn’t have a shelf life of some sort? We all do. You’re twisting this out of-”

“I can’t believe this!” I circle around, my arms flailing over my head, but just as quickly I’m disgusted that I’m mimicking Claire’s nervous gestures. I stop cold and face Father. “How long does it last?”

“In this environment, we think it may have a good two hundred years. The problem is, there is no data yet-”

“And if we go to a cold climate? Boston?”

“Again, we don’t have definitive data, but it could be reduced to just a couple of years or maybe even less.”

I stare at them both. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it does. I have a life expectancy of between two and two hundred years. What’s next? I back toward the door. “How could you do this to me?”

“We did what any parents would do. We saved you.”

“Saved what? I’m a freak! You saved an uploaded artificial freak!”

Mother steps closer and in an instant her hand shoots up ready to slam across my face, but she catches herself, her hand frozen in midair. She deliberately lowers it to her side. Even in her rage, she cannot harm one cell of her treasure Jenna’s face. “Don’t you dare call yourself that! And don’t you dare judge us! Until you’ve been in our shoes, you’ll never understand!” She turns abruptly and leaves the room.

Father and I stare at each other. Her exit leaves a hole, an imbalance to our already teetering triangle.

“ Its been very difficult for her, Jenna,” he finally says, his voice soft and uneven. Is he unraveling too? They’re both disintegrating before my eyes. I need out. Get away, Jenna. I open the kitchen door to the backyard and step halfway out- like it hasn't been hard for me?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox was the last book I read this quarter and by far my favorite. Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has been in a coma for over a year and has no memory of her previous life. She has undergone serious treatment for her injuries and her parents may have taken it too far. So, what actions were right or wrong to do when they “saved” Jenna Fox. Do they have their morals all wrong? As she awakes, Jenna struggles to find out who she really is and the answers to all her questions.

Jenna’s situation is the most different from anything I have heard in my life. Jenna has a really difficult time understanding who she is especially when half the people she knows are lying to her. What really happened in the accident that sent her into a year long coma? I really liked the book because it made me want to know who Jenna is more than Jenna did herself. I counldn’t stop reading it. Jenna knows so much, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

I brought in cotton candy because when you eat cotton candy it disappears in your mouth. It’s there one moment and gone the next, you don’t chew it, you don't swallow it. It is just gone. This reminds me of Jenna before the accident. She was living a perfectly normal life then BAM! She wake up from a year long coma with no memory of her life. When Jenna was in a coma, her body was present, but not her brain, just like cotton candy, it is there, but it is gone.

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