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Ravings Of A Dead Poet.

Welcome to the Dead Poets' Society, where we meet in internet caves, read poetry, and write.

The Handwriting Tag.

Greetings, Dead Poets!

I saw the luminescent Stay and Watch the Stars doing the ever-popular Handwriting Tag, and since she nominated anyone who would like to do it, I went ahead and did one of my own! Hope you enjoy:3

The rules are really simple; just handwrite the answers to the following questions:

1. What is your name? And your blog name?
2. Blog URL
3. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
4. Favorite quote
5. Favorite song
6. Favorite band/singers
7. Say anything you want
8. Pass it along to a few bloggers
WP_20150819_22_39_08_Pro

I made mine really big since it’s kind of hard to seeXD Sorry it’s not so decorated, but I didn’t have any of my coloring stuff with me!!! In case you can’t read it due to blurriness, here are my answers:
1. Kate; Ravings Of A Dead Poet
2. ravingsofadeadpoet.wordpress.com
3. see on paper…
4. “No one is going to stand up for you. No one is going to fight for you. No one is going to be successful for you. You have to be your own power.” ~Marine Corps Drill Sergeant
5. “I Love You Baby” by Frankie Valli or “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten (probably butschered all of the spelling in this section)
6. Lana del Rey, Taylor Swift, Louis Armstrong, Fall Out Boy Mumford & Sons, and (of course) my baes BTS 🙂
7. Sorry for the lack of decoration on this! (Example #32876325 of why my Senior quote will be, “I tried”)
If you’re interested in doing this, please feel freeee!!
Carpe Diem,
~Kate.

Soladicium Character Blog Hop. | How to Create (Accurately Represented!) Diverse Characters

Soladicium

Greetings, Dead Poets!!! If you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably been awaiting the super exciting new post that I’ve been talking about well *drum roll* here it is!

I’ve been collaborating with Elly, Sabrina, and Dunelleth to create this Soladicium Character Blog Hop. Each day during this week, you can check out our blogs and there will be a new post on different aspects about characters (stay tuned to find out the schedule)! Today, my topic is “Diversity” and the importance of it within novels. Enjoy!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you don’t support minorities, I don’t support you. This isn’t to be cruel, but I find the importance of inclusion and representation within literature and life to be far too great. What I haven’t addressed before is this: exactly how to go about promoting these ideals within your own novels.

Many of you reading this are not of an ethnic, religious, or sexuality/gender-based minority (among others), and like you, I understand how difficult it can be to accurately portray people who, quite frankly, aren’t like myself. The important thing is that we, as responsible writers, put forth the effort to figure out how to represent those minorities and put forth the effort to make minorities an essential part of our writing.

When it comes to inclusion and representation, the single most important factor to consider is accuracy. Research, in-depth discussions with people of that minority, and candid portrayals of what you found are all essential to creating realistic and well-created characters. If you’re uncomfortable speaking with someone or do not personally know someone of the particular minority you wish to represent, the internet is an all-mighty and vast resource that I particularly love. (Google is mah bestie 5ever) If, however, you do know such an individual, I would sit down with them and discuss what stereotypes they hate, what they’d like to see more of, and other such topics. Naturally, make sure that they are comfortable with the conversation!!

Secondly, remember that simply slapping a non-white, non-hetero, non-cis, etc. person into a supporting role is not inclusion. This is what many call “filling the quota” for diverse characters. To truly endorse open-minded thinking regarding people, minorities must fill significant positions within a novel, or at the very least be a dynamic character (as opposed to flat).

Also, unless the entire novel surrounds their minority status (such as a young homosexual coming to terms with themselves), do not evah make their sole purpose in life to be that minority. Doing this perpetuates the idea that the only thing minorities think/worry about is their status. For example, instead of writing a story about “Lisa, the black homosexual scientist who discovered a new species”, make your story about “Lisa, the scientist who discovered a new species (and is also African American and homosexual)”. This simple change allows people to understand the character as a person first, making it easier for the average, more close minded reader to accept them as gay/ethnic, reinforcing the idea that such orientations/colors are okay.


Obviously, one post cannot cover everything that needs to be covered regarding diversity. Hopefully, though, this gives you a starting point. If you’re interested in learning more about this sort of stuff, please feel free to comment your questions/suggestions in the comments below! Check out the following schedule to continue hopping along this week!

  • Monday: yo yo yo you just read it
  • Tuesday: Sabrina on Personality
  • Wednesday: Dunelleth on Names/Dynamics (posted on ravingsofadeadpoet)
  • Thursday: Elly on Realistic Characters
  • Friday: Surprise Ending!!!

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

I’M BAAAAAAAACK

Hello, marvelous Dead Poets!

It is suddenly occurring to me that I didn’t explain my extended absence before I took said extended absence. I told a few of you guys personally, but didn’t make a post about it (which is a pretty stupid thing of me to do).

For those of you who weren’t aware, I’ve been dealing with a lot of mental health issues, particularly ones that have plagued me for an extreme amount of time. After finally recognizing the problem, I decided to take a summer-long break from blogging. Not gonna lie…. it’s been pretty fab.

I’ve gotten a lot of quality rest, cleared my head, and all-around de-stressed. My journey for mental health isn’t over yet, but I’m feeling much more confident about the future.

Now that school is starting back and I’m getting back on track, I’ve dusted off my *absolutely ancient* laptop to begin anew. I’m so excited to begin this next chapter in my blogging, and I’m so honored that you guys have stuck with me through it all(especially since this summer was my one year anniversary:3).

To kick this off and swing back into blogging Tarzan-style, the lovely Elly from A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts, the spectacular Sabrina from Books and Bark, the radiant Dunelleth from the depths of Tumblr, and myself are organizing something very special. Stay tuned to find out what it is!!!!!

Carpe Diem,

Kate.

The Creative Blogger Award.

creative-blogger-awardThe absolutely beyond fabulous Elly from A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts nominated me for this award. She is truly a fantastic blogger, and seeing her posts on my dash always makes me a little fangirlish. If you aren’t subscribed to her, you’re either living under a rock and don’t know what a fantastic blogger she is or you’re so amazed by her blog that you just can’t handle so much beauty on your dash at once. Even though you may be blinded by her sparkle, I highly recommend her! The rules for this award are as follows:

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Tell the nominees these rules

So here we go!

  1. If I were a Disney princess, I would so want to be Merida. Honestly though, I’m more like Belle.
  2. “My Own Personal Version of Love” by Will Jay is the soundtrack to my life…
  3. I’m really interested in becoming a professional advertiser/marketer. I would loooove to own my own business.
  4. I don’t play any sports, but I really like to watch boxing. For some weird reason, this surprises everyone who knows me.
  5. I dress extremely girly/preppy. I’ve often been told my style is “Sunday Morning Housewife”. I suppose this explains the strange reception of fact #4…

I know so many flawless bloggers, so I’m just going to say that if you’re reading this, you’re nominated! I’m so incredibly blessed to have such amazing followers and peers as you guys, and nobody is more deserving.

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

The Bucket List

SeniorFor those of you who are unaware, I am currently a rising senior in highschool! I’m super excited to have hit this milestone, and I can’t wait for all of the adventures I will have.

Freshman year and sophomore year, I was extremely reserved. In Junior year, I’ve broken out of my shell a bit, but during Senior year, I want to go all out- do all the things I never thought I’d do. For that reason, I’ve made a bucket list. In order to have some accountability, I’ve decided to make the list here and do a series. As I complete one of these MANY tasks, I’ll write you guys a blog post! Note that some items are not present simply because they give away my hometown and/or high school, which I’m not about to doXD Here’s the list:


DAILY/WEEKLY

  • Start a journal
  • Do a daily bible study
  • Get fit
  • One act of kindness every day
  • Wear pink on Wednesdays

THE SUMMER BEFORE

  • Take official Senior pictures
  • Visit colleges
  • Attend a professional baseball game
  • Go to the City Pool
  • Tour the Clock Tower
  • Get a drivers license

BEGINNING OF THE YEAR

  • Get a group of Senior friends together and have the “Breakfast of Champions” on the first day of school (each semester)
  • Go to a game for each sports team (boys and girls) [NOTE: I’m including this 3 times because there are new sports seasons throughout the year]
  • Go to my best friend’s house for homecoming preparation
  • Register to vote
  • Get a yearbook
  • Sew a dress and wear it to school
  • Get a senior hoodie
  • Participate in every dress up day (twin day, superhero day, etc.)

MIDDLE OF THE YEAR

  • Get a massive group of friends together and all wear the same color, offering no explanation.
  • Go to the county fair
  • Attend a Midnight premier of a scary movie
  • Walk through the cemetery on Halloween
  • Sit with someone at lunch who doesn’t usually sit with anyone
  • Go completely electronics free for 24 hours
  • Go to a game for each sports team (boys and girls)
  • Do a makeover
  • Go a whole day in silence
  • Go caroling
  • Participate in Lent

END OF THE YEAR

  • Go to a band concert
  • Go to a game for each sports team (boys and girls)
  • Send in Senior photos for the yearbook
  • Perform the chorus senior song
  • Ditch school ONE time (Senior skip day doesn’t count)
  • Attend Senior prom and slow dance
  • Enjoy Senior skip day
  • Flash mob my chorus teacher
  • Leave notes in my favorite books for future readers to find
  • Leave a freshman care package in my locker
  • Write an inspirational letter for the lovely underclassmen who will take my place and give it to them on the last day of school
  • Write an honest letter to every teacher I’ve ever had and anonymously deliver them on the last day of school
  • Graduate
  • Make a scrapbook/video montage of my adventures
  • Road Trip (camping and Helen with my besties)

THE SUMMER AFTER

  • Find a karaoke night and rock it
  • Walk through a drive through
  • Play “Don’t Stop Believing” at least four times straight in Waffle House
  • Attend a concert

THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

  • Go to honor choruses
  • Go all out for every holiday
  • Get a new hairstyle
  • Go to the FBLA state conference OR the Key Club state conference
  • Make a really cheesy movie with props and everything (at least 30 minutes long)
  • Go on a date
  • Pull a legit all-nighter (Watch Star Wars and Forest Gump for the first time ever)
  • Get baptized
  • Get CPR certified
  • Get my ears pierced

Well, that is (finally) it! If you have any suggestions for my bucket list, leave me a comment below!

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

Summer Writing Prompts

Hello, Fellow Dead Poets! Check it out– I’m not dead! (NOTE: If you’re just here for the prompts, you might want to skip down a little bit.)

I should probably amend that- I’m not physically dead, but emotionally and mentally I am certainly drawing my final breaths. This past month has been a whirlwind of activity, with preparations for getting rid of the old seniors (graduation), and for becoming a new senior (ermahgerd can ya belerve it?). I am now proud to declare that I am in the home stretch and nothing can stop me from obtaining high school domination! Furthermore, I took my APUSH and APLang tests and they were ridiculous (if you took them, leave a comment below so we can support each otherXD) Also, my SAT scores came in and I am dying with happiness! I did so much better on them than I thought that I would.

So now that you’re all caught up as to my lack of posting, here are the things you’re actually here for: summer writing prompts! (NOTE: I did not come up with all of these- many are from the vast interwebs. These are just a few of my personal favorites.)

nyc


  • Write a story using at least four of the following words and phrases: beach umbrella, Sahara desert, ice cream stand, teacup, ice cube, lion, sunscreen.
  • Write a story about your favorite summertime activity (swimming, camping, laying awake and watching the stars, simply sleeping in, etc.). Nothing is off-limits!
  • Describe the atmosphere of a county fair. Include the tastes of the fair food, the smells of the livestock, the sounds of the stage shows, and the feel of riding the Ferris wheel (or another favorite ride). Use as much description as possible!
  • If you’re writing a novel, take one of your characters and place them in an entirely different summer-inspired setting (i.e. even if you’re writing a fantasy novel, put them at the beach or on the boardwalk). What do they do, think, say, and feel?
  • What are some inside summer activities that you love and why? (make sure these relate specifically to summer, so if you put down ‘writing’ you explain the significance of it in the context of that season)
  • Describe your favorite summer treat. This can be a snack, a full meal, or a desert – anything that you associate with summer! Make it a poem, a vignette, a short story, or even a recipe!
  • If you see a movie/multiple movies during the summer, write a critic of the film using as many adjectives as possible.
  • Describe your favorite moment or memory of summer in 25 words.
  • Write a poem about camping. Why are you there? What do you see, hear, smell, taste, feel? Make this poem extremely descriptive!

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

Regarding the Status of Creative Writing in the American Education System

In fourth grade, my teacher had a conferrence with my parents. She told them that, though I far surpassed my peers in reading skills (I learned to read froma King James Version Holy Bible), I was entirely incapable of articulating a written sentence. Just in speaking, I could phrase things and ennunciate things in a more mature manner (I have been cursed to be an old lady in a young person’s body), but according to this teacher, I was not able to, and would likely never be able to, write a complete thought correctly. My spelling was wretched, my grammar was dismal at best, and forget about a focused topic. Keep in mind that this was fourth grade, so the topics weren’t that difficult. She told me that she would give an A for effort, and to just do the best I could. Even at that age, I knew she had given up on me. She believed me incapable of learning from her and believed herself incapable of teaching to me.

In the end, the trick is on her. (Mwahahahahahhahaaaaaa)

As I’m sure you can tell, I am perfectly capable of writing. If you’re a follower of this blog, you already know my incredible passion for storytelling and poetic devices. So what changed? I discovered creative writing (I also discovered that I hated teachers and would do anything I could to make them look wrong or stupid). Call me a horrible child, but that’s how I was (still am, to a much lesser extent). I realized in ninth grade that writing was what made me happiest; I get so much joy from every word etched in black ink on a paper.

That teacher believed I was wrong in the most quintessential of ways that an individual can be ‘wrong’. She thought that I couldn’t write anything propperly, much less with new and inventive ideas. My later teachers (until ninth grade) also claimed my writing was (in much nicer terms) boring and predictable. Let’s get real for a second here: everything that you can say has been said before (excluding the rare cases of currently uninvented words). There is absolutely no character, no plot idea, no setting idea, no configuration of words that has yet to be discovered. To be called boring, even inderectly, is so terribly hurtful. Little me truly believed in herself, and to have teachers, respected authority figures, hate my writing was crushing.

For many Americans (sorry, I’m a GA public schooler, so I obviously know nothing about other nationsXD), students learn the terms “archetype”, “cliche”, and “trope” in the ninth grade. As learners, we are force fed the notion that our ideas are not unique; they have already been thought. Some, like myself, are taught to not even try, because we will always be horrible at writing. lt is during this crucial time period that young intellectuals become curiouser and curiouser regarding their own minds, and the implecations their thoughts have on the greater world. However, it is also during this time that these same people are told they are not good enough, especially the young writers. Every story is made of previously stated sentence; every sentence of previous phrases; phrases of previous words; words of previous letters; letters of previous ideas. Our characters are not new, our plots are redundant, our attitudes, though optimistic, are trampled.

For young adults, it is now more important than ever to regard these oh-so-boring combinations of ideas as revolutionary.

The magical thing about words is not the order in which they are presented, but the intent with which they are expressed. For me, each and every word of my writing is a declaration of independance, of inspiration, of love for the art of writing. I hope, for the sake of all, that my readers feel the same.

For too long, the intellectual curiosity of many young men and women regarding writing has been stiffled. They are not permitted to explore, to create, to discover, or to improve. Maybe, just maybe, this new generation of writiers, can be called upon to fix that. Today, I’m not asking for a lot. All I hope is that you will never tell a child they are incappable. Especially with writing, never tell an interested child the should not try. Never allow your expectations to narrow the limits of their view. Please, for the children who were us, lift them up and nurture their interest.

Also, screw all of my gosh darned English teachers who said I couldn’t write.

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

AP Prep: The Strategy

AP Tests are mind games. They try to get inside your head and freak you the heck out and make you cry yourself to sleep, but they can be conquered! (If you didn’t see it, check out my previous AP Prep post before continuing on!) Today, we’re delving into the aforementioned AP Writing types to discuss some important strategies for  vanquishing the AP Demons.


  • Short Answers: When approaching these, take a look at what you’re being asked before you look at the quote, passage, or image. Oftentimes, knowing what you are expected to glean from the passage significantly aids in obtaining that information. Sometimes, you will be given options as to what you may write about (i.e. you may get a political cartoon with multiple interpretations, and you may be asked to explain one of the ‘correct’ responses, which will be provided). After doing this, I recommend jotting down your ideas on the image/passage. This will help you organize your ideas. When actually writing the response, remember that you are writing for time. You are not expected to be highly eloquent, but to simply get the information out there. Keep these “SHORT” answers short and simple.
  • DBQs: Before reading the documents, read what you are expected to argue and select a position that you feel comfortable with. This position should be one that, even if you do not agree with it, is easy to weave in outside information (info not provided in the documents), which will boost your score significantly. Next, skim the documents. Some of them, you won’t use because you won’t understand the argument they present. That is okay! You aren’t expected to use all of them, but use half plus one as a minimum (if you are given ten, use at least six). Once you’ve skimmed the documents, begin grouping your documents into usable paragraphs. Take special note of the order in which the documents are presented; they often lend themselves to the order they could be grouped in! If this is a history DBQ, cut the fluff. If this is a lit/lang DBQ, it better be softer than a down pillow!
  • Synthesis Essays: These are basic. Read the sources (for these, I recommend actually reading them, instead of skimming) after choosing a side on your argument. Then, structure your argument in a fluffy way that enhances the sources, while also using the sources to enhance your argument. With these, rhetorical devices are super important; it’s like you’re writing a persuasive paper/speech.
  • FRQs: Write. For. Time. You are not expected to be a pretty writer, but to get the job done in an extremely short amount of time. In other words, write everything you can on a question, but get at least something down on each one. You can always come back and add to each one if you have time.

I hope these tips help you out. I’ve got the APUSH test on Friday and the APLang test on next Wednesday, so I’ll pray for you and you pray for meXD

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

AP Prep: The Types.

As I’m sure many of you AP-taking highschoolers like me are freaking the freak out as the start of exam season draws near (MONDAY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL). Lucky for you and I, most of the tests involve some major writing components. Throughout this week, I’ll be giving you some exam prep so (hopefully!) we can all stay sane! Below, you will find the types of writing you may be asked to perform on exam day.


  • SAs (short answers) are awsome because they will give you a quote, exerpt, or polictical cartoon and ask you questions pertaining to it. I love these because they give you information! Even if you know NOTHING about the carpetbaggers after the Civil War, if you get an SA on them, you can bs your way through. Here, the key is to get your point across in as few words as possible. To practice, try taking a fairly broad subject, like the carpetbaggers, and try to sum them up in four sentences max. Just don’t get too broad, like the American Revolution!!!
  • DBQs (Document Based Questions or Death Beyond Question) also give you info, but are more difficult. You will recieve between 11 and 15 documents, all pertaining to a specific subject. You must write an essay about that subject (they will give you a question and you usually have to take a side). Then, those documents must be separated into at least two good paragraphs, prefferably three, that each explain a point in your arguement. The key here is to cram your essay with information. These are generally used in the history exams, so make sure to add in outside historical information! Just synthesizing your documents isn’t going to cut it. Also, stay in the vague. If you aren’t 100% sure of something, don’t put it down. If for some really weird reason you didn’t remember Lincoln’s name, but you remember that he’s the sixteenth president, it’s okay to put that down. The only way you can screw this up is to put down something wrong! BUT remember this rule of thumb: half plus one. If you have ten documents, use at least 6 (half plus one). Aim for more, but that is the bare minimum.
  • Synthesis Essays are hell for some and a blessing for others. For me, I loooove these. These are found on the APLANG and APLIT exams; they look similarly to the DBQs, but are so much simpler. One example we did in class this week is a perfect example: the prompt was basically “synthesize the documents into a cohesive essay that explains one of the major considerations in granting womens’ sufferage”. The documents included speeches, political cartoons, and poems. Alls you had to do was make points A, B, and C, and use the documents to prove them. No outside info needed! Remember the rule of thumb here too!
  • FRQs (Free Response Questions) are the worst. I know they’re found on the APHUMANGEO test, but I’m not sure about where else. Maybe APEURO(?) The reason I think they suck is because you have to recall information from nowhere. With multiple choice, you have options, so you can kind of narrow it down. With DBQs/Synthesis Essays, you’re given the needed info. But wth FRQs, you are asked a straight up question (like “Briefly explain ONE reason for the Great Migration in America”) without any real context or help. With these, always attempt, but if you don’t do so well, just try to make up for it in the other sections.

I think that’s all of the types! Tell me in the comments below which ones you like/hate, as well as if I missed any! Look for my next AP Prep post soon!

Carpe Diem,

~Kate.

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