Monthly Archives: July 2009

I just saw something truly frightening

Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

Believe it or not, these are descriptions of excerpts from actual essays from people, who are now certified lawyers for the California Bar, who scored the highest in the state on these particular essay questions. Not only that — the California Bar deemed these the highest-scoring essays in California, and posts these on their website as exemplars good reasoning.

I’m about to take this exam this week—entering my own personal hell for eight hours a day this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday—and reading these made me realize: hey, these folks are no more intelligent than I am? Continue reading



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Movie Review: Planet of the Apes

I’m in Michigan and I’m realizing that most of my good stuff is back in Cali, and so here’s just a little thing to hold this blog over until I can get back. To compensate, I’ve included a second post below that is an oldie but goodie 🙂

July 30, 2007

My English teacher says I’m too opinionated. That I need to say more facts and not just opinions. I agree. There’s a lot of terrible things to say about the movie I saw.

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The Ballad of November Eleventh

What do you do when you’re obsessed about a sweet 17 year old pop star who has more talent and musicianship than anyone in perhaps about a generation?

Write an epic about him, of course!

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“One SimLife to Live” – Episode 1

I’ve always been a geek, and part of my problem has been a love for computer games. The Sims 3, for example, just released on June 2, 2009, is a work of modern art.

Create any person you want – a rock star, a dysfunctional family, a vegetarian neurotic – and let them loose in a colorful, slightly kooky simulated world and watch the shenanigans. You can control what jobs they take, their personalities, the friend and enemies they make, create complex, sordid lives, it’s all up to you. For some people their pleasure is much simpler – one favorite pastime is to put a “Sim” (as they are affectionately called) in a house, lead her into a closet, take away the door using the House Editor, and watch her die.

I, on the contrary, prefer creation over destruction. I was inspired by one creative blogger’s Sim game / anthropological study focusing on the digital lives of Alice and Kev, a homeless father and daughter who try to live out their lives in a cold and unforgiving Simtown. I figured: why not try to live out a simulated life in this wonderfully weird alterverse? Continue reading


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“This Is the Conversation We Never Had”

At UC-Berkeley in 1999, I had the good fortune of taking a creative writing class with Cherrie Moraga, a renowned Chicana poet. I was struggling to reawaken my muse after four years of professors assigning me expository essays had successfully crushed whatever creative impulses I still had.

Our assignment on this particular occasion was to write a dialogue consisting of that conversation we wished to have, but never had… Continue reading


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“Video Games”

This was my homework assignment for seventh grade: write a “persuasive essay” to convince the reader of a particular point of view. My teacher was a stickler for grammar and wrote over our papers with her red ballpoint pen. She would only give us assignments to build up the rudiments of expository writing. She was regimenting us for a future of standardized testing, she was.

I kept trying to be creative with my assignments, but she had none of it. “Check mark.” “Check mark.” That was all I got back. No smiley faces that Mr. Fleming, my awesome sixth-grade English teacher, gave me. I wanted to excel, I wanted to stand out! I didn’t want to just be competent.

I’m not bitter. It’s all sort of helped me, I guess. (I am taking the California Bar now, after all.) I just wish I got back more than a red check mark, that’s all. Continue reading


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Hello world!

Wow, this is my first post and it’s supposed to be historic and stuff. But I gotta run to class and study for the California Bar! Well, it’s called “Hello world!” So yeah, that. Okay, I’m done. (For now.)


Well, actually:

Well, there used to be a boy who had this idea that he could be a writer. Continue reading


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