My Heart Will Go On…..

Arriving at middle school was  scary.  That was my introduction to America and  English.  I arrived at school and knew I was in trouble when everyone was just staring at me.  I knew that I would have to open my mouth and let my English come out, or lack of  English rather.  I had learned to speak and read and write English in China but now it was the real thing.  We would  practiced over and over again.  But no matter how much we practice, we can’t say the letter, “r”.   And no matter how many songs we listen to, we can’t seem to make English sound like English, it still sounds like Chinese.

You would be surprised to find out that we learn much of our English by singing American songs.  I like Celine Dion.  Not only for her singing voice but also because it’s easy to follow her English.  When I’m not singing I will be down at the grocery store.  No not buying groceries, I’m walking down the aisles reading as many labels as I can.  Nouns.  That’s how I learn them. Milk, beans, carrots, cookies, bread.  I also work on labels and brands.  Borden, Carnation, Swanson, Heinz.  Then  over to the produce.  Then over to the bakery.  Back at home, I read Chinese and then I have a CD in English so that I can follow along with the English.   For some unknown reason, I sing English better than I can speak it.

Back at middle school, a girl named Amy came over to me and smiled.   She welcomed me and told  not to worry because she would  be my friend.  I smiled back but I knew  it was the smile of a coward.  Did I mention I was scared?  In the classroom the teacher welcomed me and asked me to introduce myself.   I didn’t   know enough English to put together a sentence let alone a story.  So I said, “Hi My name is Xinting pronounced like this Chinting.”  Then I’m blank.  Nothing would come out of my mouth.   Everyone was  staring.  Now what?  Well, I opened my mouth again and talked, not sang, the words to Celine Dion’s song, “My heart will go on,”  from the movie, Titanic.  Now, they were really staring, even the teacher.  That’s how my brain is wired.  I have learned to say many English words by singing them.  So I did the next best thing and I spoke the words to her song.  My palms were sweaty and I thought I would throw up but when I was done, they clapped for me!  Wow was I surprised.  The kids wanted to know if I knew other songs and I said yes that I did, all of Celine Dion’s songs.  The teacher said it was okay if  we didn’t hear them all today.  I became friends with many of the kids and at recess time and at lunch time we would sing songs.  That was the best practice of speaking English that I could have gotten.

Of course, at home  only Chinese is spoken so it has taken me a long time to get the pronunciation correctly.  There were many Chinese kids at my school so there really wasn’t the need to speak English because we had our safety net.

I practice English as much as I can.  I have to.  One day I want to be an author of children’s books.  I want children to love books as much as I do.  I want children to read about adventures of Chinese children and how hard they work to learn English. My goal for my books would be to have the content in English and in Chinese.  I write English better than I speak it.  But that’s because I have spent hundreds of hours writing it.  I have journal upon journal where I write everyday happenings in both Chinese and English. And you know, I can sing English better than I can speak it.  One day I will meet Celine Dion and I will be able to sing with her.  Well maybe, just speak the words because did I mention I can’t carry a tune?  But that’s a different story.

Please feel free to click on both of the following links.  One link is about me and my favorite book that is in Chinese but comes with an English CD that I listen to and follow the Chinese words together with the English pronunciation.  Even though I have reviewed this book and Cd many times, I always go back to it because it is a very special part of who I am and who I am becoming.

The other link has a video that shows a girl telling us how she learned English.  This is very similar to what I did as I was growing up.  Both of these links represent a girl who was born in China but is here in America now.  She is Chinese-American with a thirst for knowledge and a big heart.




Literacy Autobiography – Poetry

If you would rather read instead of watch:

In relation to creative writing, I have always struggled. Even as a kid, every year that it came time to write a “Young Author” book I stressed out over even beginning to think of an idea to base a fictional story on. When it came to poetry lessons, I drudged through the process as I thought about how dumb it was to say something in so many different words that could instead just be clear and concise.

However, as my educational career continued, I became more and more obsessed with books. Although many of them were non-fiction, some weren’t and either way I was enthralled by how a writer could arrange their words to elicit some desired emotion in the reader. I began to learn that I could cry over a book, but never over a movie. Words simply moved me.

Around high school, I began to appreciate poetry. Yet in my Literature and Language classes I still had trouble analyzing it and tearing it apart piece by piece to try and understand the meaning, motivation, rhetorical skills used, and so on. However, I began to envy the writers even more. That they could express emotion and appeal to another’s soul rather than just appeal to their logic with a solidly backed up argument. That writing could be an art and a form of expression in a lyrical sense rather than just a useful one.

It wasn’t until I took a class studying Buddhism and related topics in the mountains of Colorado that I began to understand. In this beautiful place, I saw poetry all around me. The way nature moved and related to the humans visiting. The way the sun greeted every morning and the moon took its’ place at night. The way that complete strangers exchanged acts of kindness and love.

In the summer, I accepted a job offer doing marketing and public relations for the very retreat center that I had stayed at. This time, I had the ability to take classes and workshops for free, along with the privilege of living on this beautiful piece of land for three months. It was in this time that my outlook on creative writing changed.

I attended a writing workshop set in the mind of meditation and mindfulness. The weekend long class was full of people from all different walks of life; those finishing up writing books, people that had never written for enjoyment in their lives, and people like me, floating somewhere in the middle. It was in the first session of this class that I was told to just go outside, see what I was seeing, and write about it. And I was also told that I couldn’t be wrong. The fact that I didn’t need evidence to back up my argument threw me for a loop, but I decided that trying wouldn’t hurt and set out on my adventure.

It was with this piece of writing that I understood the enjoyment of using poetry as a form of expression. Using the beautiful backdrop that I was surrounded with and the new relationships I was forming as inspiration, I began to write as much as I could that summer. Now, whenever I feel strongly about something or don’t have the proper words to explain how I feel to someone, it has become habit to simply write a poem. For me, it is a form of a journal, but this time finally one that I don’t have to force myself to keep. It’s been a solid year now, and I have been writing regularly and enjoying it thoroughly since.

Here are a few of my beginning and favorite pieces.

How To Play Squash


Visual Argument – Is personal branding important?

This is a visual argument for what it means to brand yourself. I would love to start my own business that caters to the younger audience who is looking to stand out among the crowd of job-seekers by helping them to form a personal brand and implement that brand through new and interactive forms of materials in lieu of the same old resume. The challenge of this kind of ad is showing the visual differences between the branded versus the non-branded job applicant – all without actually showcasing my actual interactive products, in this picture being an online portfolio.

Continue reading

Visual argument- Which life would you choose?

This is my baby, Henry as the model.  I chose to do this topic because I have actually never seen an advertisement for it before.  Working in the animal field, I have seen several pets come into the hospital reeking of a dirty ashtray.  It really makes me feel for the pets, and what breathing must be like for them. Second hand smoke can effect your pets just as much as humans.  They can even develop lung cancer, chronic allergies, or asthma, which can shorten their lives, and they don’t get that choice.

So which life would you choose for your pet?



Visual add 2


My photograph shows that for women voters, Hilary Clinton is not only the best choice, she is the only choice.  Hilary is the preferred choice for this group of voters who have been waiting for 30 years to see a female candidate win the White House.   Hilary  is constantly in the public eye and her popularity has not lessened in spite of several scandals that happened when she was the first lady and when she was the secretary of state.  She is very popular with gay and lesbian voters of all ages.  She appears to be the front runner even before she declares her candidacy.  Placed in front of the American flag,  there is no other candidate.

Hilary’s politics are liberal and although she has not stated an official position as a candidate, it can be expected that she will have a lot of things to say about women’s pay, time off for family or even sick pay for the lowest paid workers.

Disappointed voters may be looking forward to her candidacy for these reasons and because they have been waiting so long to see a female candidate that actually has a chance of winning and becoming the first female president of the United States.



Mindfulness Meditation How-To for Beginners

I decided to make a how-to video on Mindfulness Meditation. Being a recent beginner myself, I wanted to outline the simple steps for other new beginners with still pictures that they could look at and try themselves. Meditation isn’t usually what people think, so I wanted to dispel some assumptions while giving a quick guide!

Pool For Beginners

I have always enjoyed playing pool for fun so I joined a league about a year ago.  I’m certainly not a professional but these are some important techniques that I learned when starting which made a huge improvement on my game.  I have never made a video before nor have I ever edited one but here it is!

YouTube link/Teaching Chinese

Hello everybody!  I am excited to publish my first video to YouTube!  I have never done it before.  It took me a long time to get it uploaded (I’m terrible at 2 things: English and internet).  What I am doing is teaching the audience how to say several things in Chinese.  Unfortunately, my video was not long enough so I may have to do 2 of them to satisfy requirement.  The words I am teaching you to say in Chinese are: Communicate, writing, literacy, blog and visual argument.  Those are important to us but not to anyone else so my audience would be anyone who wants to learn those words and anyone who wants to laugh at me for my pronunciation.  Yes, English is hard.  In my next blog I will tell you how we learn English.  It may surprise you.

YouTube link:


I decided to add another video because the other one, not good enough!  Too short!  I’m excited anyway to even have a video.  So please click on the link and you can watch me teach you to say Hello, thank you and a few other important terms, in CHINESE!  Have fun, I did!




Week 3

This week is about multimodal composition.  Your assignments this week will test your ability to apply your understanding of rhetoric and argument using different media and modes.  If you are not a geek, nerd, techy, or otherwise a friend of the digital, do not panic.  Just ask me questions, and I will answer.  However, you will find it easier just to dive in and take some chances.  That’s what college is for, after all.

I want to point out that the “Participation” part of this week is a bit more extensive than the previous two weeks.  Just keep that in mind as you work on your own projects.

Feel free to start on Learning Module 3 as soon as possible.