The New Beginning and the Final Chapter

My friends,

AP Lang has been an unbelievable road trip adventure with you all — a road trip that spanned over the course of a year and, with a desire to be young, brave, passionate, extraordinary, and simply teenage behind the wheel, almost like Holden Caulfield in “Catcher in the Rye,” (which by the way, also helped me realize that I needed to cherish my family and loved ones more) took us down a path that winded with twists, turns, trials, tribulations, and fond memories we made. Congratulations for making it to the end.

When I started off as a wee junior, a little girl, a little sprout, I honestly had no idea what to expect from the class — all I had known was that it was going to be more difficult, and that my teacher would not be as forgiving. It still feels as if I saw Mr. Ziebarth standing outside his classroom, holding his 4-fingered hand out for the first time, that I had just landed in Sacramento to speak to lawmakers and senators after winning an essay contest (which taught me that hard work definitely pays off, and that even I, a nobody, can make a difference), and that yesterday I had only begun to learn where the ropes were. That yesterday, I learned where the hand sanitizer was, the meaning of a firm handshake, the demands of professionalism, and the fact that there is so much wisdom to be found in a handful of words, like “phony” (ha ha). And that year, I hitched on this road trip, like in “The Grapes of Wrath,” and this road trip has got me “marching on.”


Photo 2017 by Baron News

So then what? That is a difficult question to answer — much of what did happen seemed like a blur to me at first, but now that I look back upon this year, I remember what happened down this bumpy road:

I grew intellectually (through my recently acquired knowledge of rhetoric), physically (because I’m a pubescent gal), and mentally (through my eventual tolerance of Abigail William’s annoying cries from “The Crucible”).

I started to listen, to set aside judgment, and to bring an open mind to whatever people have to say, especially during our student driven socratic seminars.

I began to think of the meanings of life, love, and philosophy more than ever. I kept asking myself questions — and still do, in a continuous soul-search for discovery.

I looked closely and appreciated smaller and more ordinary aspects in my life more often (through S.Q.U.I.D and blog posts like these haha).

I honed my public speaking capabilities during my time here. And I still suck! Whatever. That’s alright.

I, deep down, grew more reserved than ever, although I still kind of act like a loony ninety percent of the time.

I suffered from brutal depression and grew into the most vulnerable person I knew — and, I confess, I still do and I still am, although I try to smile a bit more.

And I crossed paths with new friends. I realize now that I am fortunate to have great people at my side.

Crystal, Elaine, Vikki — oh, you people. A quote to sum up my experience with you:

“How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so damned awful.” — Evans G. Valens

I basically winged it for most of the time. That kind of worked.

Now I’m almost a senior in high school, and I realize that, sadly, there isn’t much time left before I graduate and move on. I can’t avoid that. And with that, I’ll be no longer be at FVHS, but at a university walking through unknown corridors and exploring new halls. Knowing that I set foot in this class as a young and naïve child and emerged from it an uncertain and contemplative human in the highest grade level at the school is truly intimidating to think about, and thinking about moving on after this class makes me both stoked and afraid, almost like I don’t know if you’re tying balloons to your waist and taking to the skies on a leaf blower as you leave this class, but wherever you’re going and whatever your next journey is, whether it be ERWC, AP Lit, or Modern Media, I urge you — make every precious ounce of it count, for adventures are finite and deserve to be looked back upon as one cherished memory after another.

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Photo 2016 by Dianne Bui

And whatever you end up doing — you will make it. I promise.

You made my AP Lang experience, and I hope I have helped make yours.

Congratulations, and farewell, guys (almost anyway).


Dianne Bui (zapdbizzle)

Featured Photo ©2014 by Matthias Ripp [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

6 thoughts on “The New Beginning and the Final Chapter

  1. Wow. This is such a good post. I loved how you made wrote as a letter to people and made it personal. I also thought having the short, two sentence paragraphs made it flow nicely and honestly just look really nice.


    1. It was also refreshing to see that you were honest about how your public speakings skills weren’t stellar, but you made yourself more relatable to others who have been in your position.


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