2/11 In-Class Writing

Outline for my audio essay pitch

I have two topics that I a write about:

  • The time I traveled to Mexico by myself and stayed with my cousins for two weeks, and have never talked or seen them ever in my life, that my mom even had to send them a picture of what I looked like so they knew who to pick up.
  • The time I learned how to read sheet music, and the difficulty it was to not only learn that but transpose and actually apply that into playing the instrument I was assigned to learn

The time I went to Mexico alone:

It was the summer of 2019, I was red at home watching my fish swim when my mom asks me if I wanted to meet my family in Mexico for the first time. She probably could tell that I was bored, so I agreed. My mom called my uncle and my cousins and asked if they wanted to meet me, and my cousins said yes. Next thing I know I had a plane ticket booked to Mexico in three weeks. The day of the flight I was really nervous, I have never met these people in my life! It would be the first time traveling alone! I have never even been to Mexico! Of course, in the United States they only show the negative of Mexico, so that instilled fear in me because I thought I would be kidnapped, especially since I was alone. Once at the airport, I said goodbye to my family and crossed through TSA. I was a little nervous to find where my flight was going to load on, but luckily I found it. Once getting onto the plane, I realized that I would have to sit next to two random people, which was the scariest part of all. Luckily for me, they were two elderly men who I later found out was on a trip to see the catholic church they had built in a small town.

After that long six-hour flight, I was nervous and excited to see my cousins who I have never met. The thing is, I went out the wrong exit and ended up at the wrong terminal. That’s when panic set in, and a worker noticed and decided to help me. He got luggage and helped me find my right exit, and kept asking for a tip, I didn’t know that was the norm over there, so I laughed it off, but then later gave him a dollar. Finally, exiting, I see two people who look like the cousins my mom showed me in a picture, and I go to them. They were really excited to see me and tried not making it as awkward as possible. They told me that we were going to their house to meet my uncle and aunt, which was the scariest part of all. Here I am, in a country I have never been to, going to stay with complete strangers but we are related. I was super shy at first. I never knew what to say, and in no better words to describe it, awkward. They were so different from me and my family.



February 6th, Freewriting

In seventh grade, I decided to join the band at my middle school! I thought that I would have a blast because I picked to play the saxophone, then if I wasn’t able to pick that then I picked the clarinet as my second choice. It turned out that they placed me to play the trumpet… At first, I was shocked and wondered why, but I realized my best friend was a trumpet player so I was okay with it. Learning how to read music was hard at first. It is a completely different language. It took me forever to differentiate between a whole note, quarter note, and sixteenth note, and I was even more confused about the difference between the bass and treble clef. Once learning how to read my music, it turned out that I had to switch the notes from treble clef to the trumpet notes! Luckily for me, it wasn’t that bad compared to that of a french horn player, but it was super confusing at first. This was called transposing. For example, in class, we would be asked to play a concert Bb, and for us, it would be a C. It got some time to get used to but that wasn’t half of what I had to do. After overcoming the obstacle of learning how to read sheet music, now it was time to actually learn how to play the trumpet as if it couldn’t get any harder. The trumpet, in my opinion, is one of the hardest instruments to play in the whole ensemble, and some famous musicians would agree with me. The buzzing is what makes it extremely difficult, and also the fact that there are only three “buttons” which are called valves.

A few years go by and I decide to continue to play trumpet in my high school. Yes, I guess you can consider me being a person apart from the band, but don’t get the wrong idea. My high school band was not those stereotypical lame cringe bands that you see in movies or social media. It was a well-known high school band who would play all over the world. For example, my band played at the 2008 Olympics, and in 2016 went to Prague. We were then invited to play in Australia, but sadly we would not afford it. I was also in the marching band, a band that had over 300 members and would compete across the whole state of California. It was very intensive, and we would have eight-hour practices every Saturday, and on Tuesday, Thursday, and sometimes Friday we would have practices from 5-9pm. It was intensive, but It was worth it when we would win at the Grand Championships in Fresno. All and all although I may not have liked it for some time, I have made great memories that I will remember for the rest of my life.


Outline for the First Essay

  • My experience learning how to read music
  • A brief introduction of me explaining myself now, how long I’ve been playing the trumpet, etc.
  • How I got chosen to learn an instrument I didn’t even want to play.
  • “It took me forever to differentiate between a whole note, quarter note, and sixteenth note,” I can go more in-depth and even show pictures and show them one at a time.
  • I can talk about the struggle of me learning how to read music, but now I had to basically learn it all again because I had to transcribe on the trumpet. Maybe explain what transcribing is.
  • Explain how all of that hard work came with even harder work because now I had to implement that into actually playing my instrument.

February Fourth In-Class Writing

Main expectations

  • ┬áNeeds to be clear and planned in advance
  • Non-fiction essay about insights of your life

What I might have a hard time on in this essay is trying to find something insightful about myself, as I don’t see myself as a person who has experienced a lot. I was always in the background of everything, so I never really faced issues directly at me, but I have seen it happen to other people. I have some ideas on what I should do my essay on, but I don’t know if they are okay.


An experience I found intriguing in Garnette Cadogan’s essay “Black and Blue” was when he had to completely change his ways and even had to create rules in order to not become someone of interest by police. Police in the United States was treating him unjustly just by the color of his skin. It was unjust, how this man who came here for school had to be scared for his life walking alone whether it was day or night. These things just shouldn’t happen, and it’s a bad part of the united states because they are showing the world how horrendous the police system here is. Cadogan’s essay and description of when he got arrested by multiple police officers remind me of the movie called Fruitvale Station, and how a young innocent man was killed by police officers for no reason. They thought he looked suspicious, but in reality, he just wanted to start life over from coming from a bad place. It is unjust how many have to experience this, and the worst thing is, is that most police officers get away with doing this as if it was just for taking someone’s life so brutally. Many say that we shouldn’t get race involved in this, but how could we not when It is always the same situations throughout the nation.


January 30th, in-class Discussion: Similarities and Differences


The majority of people talked about their own experiences growing up. There were many cultures mentioned and the realization that many grew up with neighbors and friends who have similar incomes to those of their families.

  • People can relate to Brook’s ideas and relate them back to their community.
  • A lot of people relate to Vance’s ideas, and how there is a divide in the types of people he would see at the grocery store.
  • Acknowledge the huge difference between the wealthy and the poor


Overall, some disagreed on how diversity in the United States is decreasing, showing the city of San Francisco as an example of how culturally diverse this city is. Although I can agree with how diverse San Francisco is, it is only one city compared to the rest of the world, and even here you can see the economic difference especially with the amount of homelessness there is.

  • Some disagree with Brook’s ideas, saying that there are in fact very culturally diverse places.


At first, I did not know anything about these cultural bloopers, but after watching the video, I realized that I have heard about some myself.

An example of a cultural blooper is that right now in China the coronavirus is spreading all over the world, and how now at USF many people do not go near the international students from China, even if they haven’t been home for months.

Another example of a cultural blooper is how Mexicans can be really good at the sport cross country because they are known to “cross borders”



Hello, my name is Michelle Davalos, I am a freshman currently majoring in Biology, and I am from Union City, California. Some hobbies of mine include painting, hanging out with friends, making TikToks, and playing the trumpet. A fun fact about me is that I was able to pick out and eat a guinea pig and a llama in Ecuador. The guinea pig tasted like fried chicken, while the llama had little to no flavor and was very chewy.


Hello world!

Welcome to your brand new blog at University of San Francisco Sites.

To get started, simply log in, edit or delete this post and check out all the other options available to you.

For assistance, visit our comprehensive support site, check out our Edublogs User Guide guide or stop by The Edublogs Forums to chat with other edubloggers.

You can also subscribe to our brilliant free publication, The Edublogger, which is jammed with helpful tips, ideas and more.