2/11/20 Pitch Practice

Mia Santino

Jenilyn Lauigan 

Zhaowen Zheng 


Story: Learning Spanish 

Intro: I plan to discuss my views on learning a new language and how a classroom environment can effect that. I’d like to start by first addressing my personal experience with Spanish and how my dads side of the family speaks it. This explains to my audience why learning this new language is important and relavent to my life.

Body: Next, I will inform my audience on my past experience with a particular technique of learning a new language that I was shown in my high school Spanish classroom. I will discuss how this form of teaching is unhelpful and difficult for students to learn an entirely new language. 

Body 2: Then, I’d like to discuss how much my learning perspective has changed when coming to college. I will do this by telling my audience how my new professor approaches the new language and her strategies for getting the class to digest and understand Spanish. 

Body 3: Compare the two forms of teaching/ classroom environment. Maybe talk about how I have been able to use spanish in daily life.

Conclusions: Offer the audience: I hope to teach my audience that there is a technique to learning a language that works. I also hope that this can help those who are interested in understanding a new language so that they can communicate better with their loved ones, friends, and overall community. 

My audio essay is aimed to help the audience grow and expand their knowledge of other cultures and languages. This has been an amazing experience for me and I plan to help others experience the same feeling. 

Suggestions for them to start learning: persuade audience.


2/6/20 Freewriting

Learning a new language can be a difficult, not to mention daunting, task to accomplish. Being in my first year at USF, I have been given the opportunity to truly delve into my academic experience, especially when learning to speak the Spanish language.

Throughout high school, I took Spanish for three whole years and graduated knowing next to nothing. My teachers had failed in getting me and many others to truly understand and be able to speak the foreign language, and this was sad to me. It was sad because I had wasted so much of my time and effort to come out with no Spanish speaking ability. In highs school it was all handouts and workbook page, up until we were handed the test in which I would fail.

Flash forward to today, I can confidently say that the professors here at USF take pride in thoroughly teaching all of their students. My professor has taken an approach to teaching that I actually enjoy very much. Spanish class is a very conversational space, meaning we are always talking in Spanish and writing as well. Both these techniques are extremely important and useful when learning a new language, it is the only way to honestly understand all of the details that make up a language. With this new style of learning I can go into tests confidently, rather than nervous of failure. I feel as if my Spanish classroom is a safe space, a place where you are able to make mistakes and actually learn from them. This in turn allows a student to move forward with their language learning skills.

When comparing my two different Spanish class experiences, I notice how failing in my past made going into college Spanish a lot more scary for me. However, here at USF Spanish has become one of my favorite classes to attend and be apart of. My perspective has been able to change completely, for the better. I have enjoyed my first year of college and part of that is from being able to be in a Spanish classroom where I feel encouraged by my professors and positive about how much I can and have learned in a short period of time.


  • Intro: Talk about learning a new language- difficulties. Talk about family history with Spanish language- why I want to learn the language.
  • Body 1: Talking about high school Spanish experience- negative, teachers approach/ technique.
  • Body 2: Talking about college Spanish experience- positive. Professors approach/ technique.
  • Body 3: Comparing the two and talking about my ability to speak the language back then vs. today. Talk about how now I can pick up on things my family is saying much quicker and easier.
  • Conclusion: Refer back to intro/thesis, rephrase argument, and have a good lasting impression on audience.

2/4/20 In Class Writing

After reading the audio assignment instructions, I am excited about our first essay task of the new semester. Here are some expectations our teacher has for this assignment:

  • compose an audio literacy that is compelling to others about some time/event/period in your life (or the lives of your family or friends)
  • provide insight into our lives
  • we must mix/edit our voices, music, and images on each slide.
  • cite any images we may have on the slide

This assignment is a bit difficult being that I have not had the pleasure of working with Adobe Spark yet, I may face some bumps in the road when using the audio tool or adding music to the slide. However, I am hopeful that after watching a good YouTube tutorial, I can be a proficient Adobe Spark user. I plan to tackle this assignment slowly so that I am able to create a well laid out slide show as well as include a cohesive narrative, along side images that flows well with my theme of my essay.

It is interesting to read about Garnette Cadogan’s personal experience with being looked at funny for being different or looking different from others. He explains how upon moving to America people began to walk in the opposite direction of him, call him names, and look at him weird. This example he brings up about walking is very similar to a TedTalk I once watched about a women of color who noticed how men of color were treated different when walking in the streets. The fact that both parties bring up the same view shows how real these social scripts are made out to be, people are believing what they want without know the whole truth. This is potentially dangerous and harmful for those of minority because they feel so ostracized from society that they begin to question their identity. No one should feel this way, and although we seem to be moving forward with accepting diversity, many people refuse to change the negative ways they view people different from them. Cadogan is a perfect example of how telling your personal struggles with racial tension and cultural norms, can help expand those who are closed minded on the subject by opening their eyes up to the brutal truth about people who act unkind.


1/30/20 In Class Writing

When reading my classmates views on each of the essays written in author James S. Miller’s Acting Out Culture, I was able to take their ideas and compare and contrast them to mine. My interest immediately gravitated towards those who had strong opinions about David Brooks essay “People Like Us”.

  • I have had experience with non-diverse areas and extremely diverse areas. One of my classmates that lives near where I have grown up, discusses that they have heard stories from their parents about how back in the day their parents had only seen those of the same race living in that community
  • Now, that community has it has become an extremely diverse area and we have been able to experience that change throughout our childhoods.
  • I found this interesting because where I am from, which is close to where my classmate is from, I saw to be a town of comformity with people who had similar outlooks on life.

Now I am able to appreciate that where I am from is actually quite diverse, as it has changed greatly from the past and continues to embrace new culture, ideas, and people.


Cultural Bloopers:

  • Armenian kiss each other on booth cheeks when greeting each other.
  • Americans shake peoples hand when greeting (left hand)
  • Singing Happy Birthday on someones birthday
  • Opening the door for someone
  • Saying I’m sorry
  • Flushing the toilet and washing hands after using the restroom
  • Saying bless you after someone sneezes
  • Saying hello and goodbye
  • Chew with your mouth closed
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Asian, Indian and Swedish culture take their shoes off before entering the house

1/28/20 In Class Writing

Ryan Burt

Alex Marsden

Mia Santino

It is clear to see how our society has evolved greatly since before the 21st century, with  many people choosing to transition their identity and role they play in our world. Some gender non-conforming people identity as male or female, some as genderqueer, nonbinary, agender, or somewhere else on, outside, or in-between the spectrum of what they understand gender to be. In a 2012 Human Rights Campaign report, about 10% of LGBTQ youths identify themselves as either transgender or as other gender. Many people within this LGBTQ community seek medical help when making the decision to transition gender, expanding the group of people who surround them during this time in their life, as well as being a huge part of this decision and their life.

Unfortunately, many transgender people face issues in society, as proven in another Human Rights Campaign report stating that in 2019 at least 25 deaths of transgender people were reported. This highlights the struggles and dangers they can face on an average day, making it hard for them to choose the role they play in society. In other research, it is proven that incarceration rates for transgender women is unproportionally higher than other genders.

Even though transgenders face difficulty in their transition, they also meet victory as they conquer so much along their journey and receive love and respect from many. They thrive in the community when they are shown support and love from their family, friends, school, or work. This gives them the confidence they need when making such a big and important change in their lives. The support from others can also alter how our culture views the LGBTQ community, as many feel open to discussing the subject online for the world to see, helping ease those who are nervous about the upcoming change they wish to go through.

Sources: http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-trans-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2020, http://www.apa.org , www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov




Hello everyone, my name is Mia Santino from San Marino, California. I am currently a freshman here at USF and an undeclared arts major, however as I figure things out, I am leaning towards design or a more creative route in my future.
Throughout my second semester rhetoric course journey I hope to expand my knowledge of our world while also being able to express my thoughts on paper. I aim to engage in this class and the discussions that we have in order to advance my writing skills.
When I am outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, adventuring around the city, and shopping! I also love cats!


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