Another Semester of Learning Something New

IMG_1719.jpgWhen coming into a new semester you are trying to navigate all the possibilities of what you might read this semester. Learning to read books that you do not normally pick up you get to learn about either life lessons or drawn into a good book. While there are different challenges English 131.03 has taught me to open my eyes to all literature. After reading books like Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time we got to hear back from the authors and ask them questions that popped up in our heads. As this semester comes to an end I’m learning to be a better writer, with different text and analyzing new articles. As a student, I can allow myself not to understand difficult text, but in class I allowed myself to read Serafina and The Black Cloak which was hard for me to grasp.

Even though it was hard for me to read the book the events in the book were alluring. As the author wrote about how the sequence of events that happened from the disappearing children and to finding out what the main character identity was the author would keep the suspense going. Learning that you can always keep your writers on their toes is the best feeling I hope that I can fully learn how to do that technique.

Along with analyzing young-adult readings I learned that I am able to connect with some situations and understand them. For example, after reading Zadie Smith Swing Time I learned that I can relate to two teenagers growing up and finding their selves. The article “Why So Many Adults Love Young-Literature” by Caroline Kitchener relates in several multiple messages that people explain why they feel young-adult literature is more popular. Kitchener gives several explanations about how young-adult literature is very popular, it made me want to read and to analyze more young-adult literature. Kitchener’s information gave explanations about how that by reading young-adult literature that the reader can be drawn into the scene (even as an older reader) we are still coming of age. Myself personally I feel like adult literature to many people can fantasize the fictional moments that can bring creative and relaxing ideas.

As a college student, I would have never picked up Robert Beatty’s Serafina and the Black Cloak simply because it was a little easy to understand. By reading this book it relaxed my mind on how that there is so much of a deeper meaning in a children’s book. It has made me a better reader and writer due-to I need to learn how to step out of my box. Learning that you don’t always have to appeal to yourself you have to appeal to your readers.

As a first-year student, it was very difficult to properly format a paper the way a professor was wanting it. The biggest thing having to get used to was to properly format a paper in a professional way that my instructor would like it. I quickly learned the way to writing a great paper is by starting without having your computer. Like E.L Doctorow said “Writing is an exploration. You start from noting and learn as you go.” I quickly saw how I can fix tiny errors that can be fixed but could be improved.

One of the articles that stuck out to me the most was Twenge’s Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? We rely so much on our cellphones that they allure us in and we make our phones out priority. Today in time children get wild up about their smartphones and depend on them every given second. We try to figure out why do we get allured into using our cellar devices when we have learned pencil and paper.

When writing I depended so much on technology such as my cell phone and computer. Our phones allure us in and we will stay on them for ours just looking at social media for hours. Learning that I needed to do more stuff with hand and pencil I started to write my letters to my parents and boyfriend. Being able to do this assignment taught me how much we relate I depend on my cellphone. We use our phones to send quick messages but being able to have the specialty to write someone a letter is heart-warming.

As the semester continued I never fully understood on how people could write blog post and give so much detail, but when it came to term papers I can never find enough information to write about. In addition to Twenge’s article allure brought Matt Ritchel’s Blog vs. Term Papers. The author being able to show how blogging is very creative but the writers are very untrained. While people who write term papers are very educated and they have some type of lay out for their papers. Ritchel interviewed a Duke professor and states “As a writer, it offends me deeply.” speaking on how blogs should replace term papers. He explains how the professor feels like she drew her audience more by the blog than writing a lengthy essay.

Being able to have our blogs gave us that freedom for what we wanted to post or say. It gives that sense of freedom that you have when you are writing. Being able to post pictures and to comment on others blogs to show that you have some type of interest. Writing my blog gave me practice with writing personal to show that I am different the most people and I want them to know how much I have grown as a student.

Work Cited

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the Black Cloak. Disney/Hyperion, 2015.


Annotated Bibliography

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the Black Cloak. Disney/Hyperion, 2015.

Serafina and the Black Cloak was written by Robert Beatty. The novel is a fictional story about a girl who is being kept a secret from the world but finds out there is more about her than she thought. Serafina then realizes there is more about her because of how she looks and her incredible senses. A man in a black cloak comes out one night and haunts the of the Biltmore and takes the children. Serafina is determined to who is the man in the black cloak. Throughout the time being of finding the man in the black cloak she is also trying to find out who she really is.

Kitchener, Caroline. “Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 1 Dec. 2017,

In the article Why so many Adults Love Young Adult Literature, Kitchener had a various amount of people talk about the different reasons why adults enjoyed reading young adult literature. While some people can see that young-adult literature is made for young people, but people offer different examples of how young literature can put a different impression on them.


Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,

Blog vs. Term Papers by Matt Richtel writes about the difference between blogs and term papers. Ritchel explains about the challenges in college or high school student experience when writing. The article explains how blogs are more enjoyable simple because students can express freely about their writing rather than following any rules. Term paper are not interesting simply because of with term papers they have to be precise and formal.


Smith, Z. (2017). Swing Time. Londen: Penguin Books.

Zadie Smith wrote Swing Time in which she talks about the difference up bringing between two friends and families. The novel starts out with two brown skin girls learning to grow up and learn their way around life. Throughout the book the readers can see the adolescence between the two girls and what they have to overcome. Both of the girls have a passion for dance but only one makes it her true passion.


Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Mar. 2018,
“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation” by Jean M. Twenge explains how the reality and relationships have been destroyed from our generation also known as iGen. In the article, Twenge explains how the teenage generation has completely changed from teenagers in the past. iGen is safe but due to the amount of use of Smartphones and social media the generation is dangerous.



The Difference Between Two Mothers


         The novel Swing Time, Zadie Smith demonstrates a sequence of life events. You get to see how differently both the narrator and her friend Tracey. As you read the book you see how the mothers raised and dressed their daughters differently from each other. The two lifestyles of each mother’s finances, beauty, discipline, and behavior shows intriguing cultural outlook as far as their employment goes. Even though the mothers live almost the same lifestyle the reader gets to see how each woman is different in the way they believe they raise their daughters.

        In chapter 1 the reader gets to see a vivid image. In your head about how different these women are. Tracey’s mother believed in looking good all the time and so should her daughter. The narrator describes Tracey’s mother by saying “her mother was white, obese, afflicted with acne. She wore her thin blonde hair pulled back very tightly in what I knew my mother would call a Kilburn Facelift” (10). But as for Tracey, the narrator describes Tracey as her mother’s own glamour. She uses Tracey beauty to show what she made and how her daughter should be seen 24/7.

        When reading about the narrator about the narrator’s mother, the readers get to see how her mother is natural. The narrator describes her mother taster of fashion was for the future. The narrator’s mother said “She dressed for a future not yet with us but which she expected to arrive. That’s what her plain white linen trousers were for, her blue-and-white-striped Brenton T-Shirt, her frayed espadrilles, her severe and beautiful African head”(10). Her mother made it a plan they would get out of the estates once she finished getting her degree. The narrators mother had dreams to find better opportunities for them, her mother hoped that she would be able to be like Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem.

        Readers witness how different the mother’s behaviors. When the narrator’s mother was questioned about the money being taken the mother was calm about the situation. But she also questioned Tracey and her behavioral problems. The narrator’s mother blamed the reason for why Tracey acts the ways she does is because she’s in a broken home. When Tracey was accused of stealing money from the dance studio, Tracey’s mother was upset and cussed at the narrator for being perfect.

        The truth about the two mothers are that you can see where how one can be immature and how the other can be judgmental. Both women can be good parents but you also see how some of the mother’s actions rub off on their children. It shows you how not everyone is perfect but you always have downfalls. Zadie Smith wanted readers to see how you can come from the same neighborhood but you have different stories and different talents.


Work Cited

Smith, Zadie. Swing Time. Penguin Books, 2017

— Swing Time. Penguin Books, 2017


The Difference Between Two Mothers

The novel Swing Time, Zadie Smith demonstrates a sequence of life events. You get to see how differently both the narrator and her friend Tracey. As you read the book you see how the mothers raised and dressed their daughters differently from each other. The two lifestyles of each mother’s finances, beauty, discipline, and behavior shows intriguing cultural outlook as far as their employment goes. Even though the mothers live almost the same lifestyle the reader gets to see how each woman is different in the way they believe they raise their daughters.

About Me

My name is Janiah Denise Hall I was born in Salisbury, North Carolina home of Cheerwine and Pepsi! I am a cheerleader and I also run track in my spare time. I have a strong case of wanderlust. Over the past several years I have been out of the country 7 times. The places that I have traveled to Belize, Mexico, Cancun, Mexico, St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Island, Roatan, Grand Turks, Turks and Caicos Islands, Mexico, Nassau, Bahamas, Jamaica, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Each place has taught me so many things from language, culture, and the natives. Seeing outside of each place has taught me how to appreciate the things that I have. Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 1.42.01 PMScreen Shot 2018-01-22 at 1.43.47 PM

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