Hello! My name is Katrina. I am a sophomore at a small school in Nebraska. I enjoy reading in my free time. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and spending time outdoors. I have a lot of friends and always have a fun time when I’m hanging out with them. I am kind of laid back and I don’t enjoy drama so I try to sneak my way around it. A big part of my life that is reflected in some of my writing, is that I am adopted. I have a great family who loves me and I enjoy spending time with them even though I am the youngest so I get picked on more. I hope you enjoy my blog and that you see how I have improved.



This is my blog for English which showcases some of my pieces from this year. This has some of my best pieces but it also shows some of my pieces that weren’t done as well, but that helps show that I have improved in some places and need to improve a little in a few of them. I have improved this year with my speaking. I have enjoyed being able to share my findings with my class mates. I enjoy writing and speaking and it has been a joy being able to learn more about how I can make myself even better. I want to continue to find new ways to show what I want to write about and take some chances with my writing to show that I am willing to be risky to try new things with my writing and speaking.

Reflection Essay

Over the 2017 school year, I have had many ups and downs when it came to my writing, reading, and presenting speeches. I have had some good pieces that show that I have grown. However, there were also a few pieces that didn’t show improvement as much. I have had lots of fun writing, reading, and presenting speeches and I wouldn’t change the out come of any of these because my pieces that I didn’t do as well on, helped me grow into a better writer, and will continue to help me in the future when it comes to speaking, reading, and writing.

With my writing, I have come a long way. At the beginning of the school year I wasn’t getting good grades on all of my pieces of writing because I didn’t spend much time on them. However, I learned that it’s important to try my best even if I am writing about something I don’t want to write about. As I started putting more effort into my writing, I was able to try new ideas and experiment. At first, with my creative piece that we did a speech on, I was a little scared to try to do a real story because I feel like they end up sounding better in my head. I also added better word choice in this piece than I usually do. I think this was one of my best pieces I wrote this year. It had some flaws but it helped me realize that I can experiment and go out side of my comfort zone for my writing.

Another thing that I learned in my writing, is that the more research you do for a research paper, the easier it will be to write it because you will have so many different sources to choose from. I found it easy to write my research paper because I had a lot of research and it was a topic I was passionate about. My research paper is another one of my best pieces and I had fun writing it even though what I was writing about, was hard put down on paper.

Overall, I have improved in writing a lot this year and I continue to enjoy doing it more and more. I can have fun with writing and I can write about topics that I’m passionate about and it usually turns out pretty good for me.

I feel like have done pretty well in reading as well. I haven’t done as much reading as I have writings, but I feel like I have been able to understand what I’ve been reading pretty well. I have been able to use my findings in my research and apply that information to my writing. I have been able to understand what authors want to get across to the readers as well.

Some things I’ve learned from reading is that I need to make sure that everything I’m reading is true and if it’s not true, I need to be aware of that. It’s easy to get information that isn’t reliable, but you have to take that extra step to find a reliable place of information before assuming it’s true just because you read it. I also learned that finding multiple places that say something is beneficial and it helps you when you are applying everything to your writing.

Overall, I have improved in reading. I don’t think I have grown as much as I did in my writing. However, I have still been able to have fun with my reading and learn from the information I find or read in a book. I enjoy reading and it has been very beneficial to know that I need to make sure that I have facts that are reliable, and that have been said more than once, and have been proven to be true.

In presenting speeches, I have grown tremendously. I used to be scared out of my mind to go up in front of my classmates and talk. At the beginning of this school year, I was so scared to do my first speech however, I ended up having a lot of fun with it and I ended up doing pretty good on it. I have learned that I can’t work myself up about speeches because that ends up making me do even worse that I think I will do. I have also learned about myself, that I need to talk about something that interests me so that I don’t forget what I am trying to say.

Speeches have helped me become more confident when I am talking in front of large groups. I get a little nervous here and there, but comparing my first speech and my last speech, my knees weren’t as shaky, my voice wasn’t as shaky, and overall I just looked more confident as we had more under our belts. I had a lot of fun with my speeches and I’m excited to take these new tips with me for future speeches I may have to give.

Overall, speeches have been fun to do. I have learned more about my self and what brings the confidence out in me. I enjoy hearing other speeches because that helps give me ideas of what I can do to better my speeches in the future. However, I need to make sure that I will always keep my own splash of creativeness in each piece, in order to make my speeches sound like me and give them my voice, not someone else’s.

All in All, I have grown a lot this year. Not just as a writer, reader, and speaker, but as a person because of these. I have been able to write my feelings out about what has been going on in my life this year. I have also been able to read stories about people who have been in the same situation as me. Also, I have been able to talk about my life and what I’ve had to go through. Doing this through all three topics has helped me cope even more with my childhood and it has helped me to grow in writing because I have been able to find more and more ways of being able to share my story with other people.


Nightmares Coming to Life

Meets Objective


I ranked myself as, “Meets Objective,” because I was able to present this speech in a fun way and I got a decent grade on it. I was able to bring facial expressions in at the right time and make body movements when they were necessary. I was also to get the audience involved and I made them want to hear more because I left some suspense at sometimes such as when I said in the middle of the fifth paragraph, “We got a steal. We were running back down the court. I was running at full speed. The ball was flying down the court. I was going to get it. I kept running and running.” People wanted to hear what happened because they could tell something would happen but they weren’t entirely sure. I can improve more to master it, but I feel like I got better and better with speaking in front of the class as the year progressed. I need to continue working on getting the audience involved and I need to use better word choice to keep them hooked and want to hear more.

Considering Author’s Craft and Style

Found Poem

Meets Objective


I ranked myself at, “Meets Objective,” because I was able to take the meaning of a speech and turn it into a poem. I enjoyed doing this even though it was a short side activity. I used a speech by Helen Keller called “Knights of the Blind.” Her speech was talking about how the actions of others matter to people like her even if it doesn’t look like it. I was able to take words from her speech and show this by saying, “Life would be different, a better world is important to have. It is more important to render life. Someday you will come together, stand with glad confidence. The best gift is not life, it’s blessing and comfort to others,” which is in the last stanza. I can improve, but I am proud of my arranging in this poem. It was fun being able to interpret the meaning of her speech into what it meant to me by using a poem to show that.

Holistic Reading and Application

Adversity Blog Reflection

Shows Improvement on Objective


I ranked this objective as, “Shows Improvement on Objective,” because I got better at being able to connect two things and show that they mean something together. I need to working on this still because I’m not the best at it but I can do it effectively. I compared adversity in the world today with the adversity going on in Eleanor’s life by saying, “I know that facing adversity can be challenging because it makes you face hard things that you don’t want to deal with. With what Eleanor had to go through, I feel like it was good for her to have someone like Park to help her through her difficult time. Even though Eleanor didn’t want anyone to know about what she was going through, I feel like she needed someone to help her get it off her chest.” I was able to show how the book could connect to someone facing adversity. I was showing that they could ask for help and it might help them. Also, I was able to show that sometimes someone just needs you to pry things out of the just like what Park did to Eleanor helped her come out with her problems that she was facing.

Close Reading and Analysis

Of Mice and Men Questions

Need to continue to work on objective


I ranked this with, “Needs to continue to work on objective,” because I didn’t do very well on this piece. The idea of the first part was to compare the character to a symbol, and though I might have done that, I feel like I could have done a lot better. Based on the comments I got back from Mr. Stoltenow, and based on what I think, I could have done a better job digging in to my character and I could have showed the similarities a little better. I need to work on this because it still isn’t a very strong piece for me and it would be best if I could make comparisons better. In the second paragraph, I wrote, “Lennie is an example of a character who is disposable. He is seen as someone who is less then anyone else because of the way he acts. However, there are a few other characters that are seen as disposable such as Crooks.” I could have done better with this because we were to choose one character to talk about and as you can tell in this, I talked about two and I didn’t ever show how they connected in the end of my answers to the questions.