Genaidaliz Claudio is a writer at BHSEC, Cleveland-West.
BardVERSE: What’s easiest for you when creating an essay? What is more challenging?
Genaidaliz: When I’m writing an essay the easiest part is putting my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs into my paper. I embed my experiences into my paper and connect them with the book I’m reading. The most challenging part about putting my papers together is finding the right language that helps my paper sound interesting. I try to make my paper interesting for the readers and for myself. Language plays a huge role in essays or any type of paper; language grabs the reader’s attention. But in my papers I don’t only want to grab the reader’s attention. I want them to be mesmerized with my writing style. I want my readers to like what I’ve written.
BardVERSE: What’s been your favorite essay you’ve written at Bard? Why?
Genaidaliz: My favorite essay that I’ve written at Bard is the one that has been published, “Searching for God and Self in Marjane Satrapi’s _Persepolis_.” My _Persepolis_ essay holds a special place in my heart. I investigated social norms and relationships, and I had a strong connection with this essay. I put my all into this paper, and I believe that this will be my best paper of this year. The language and quotations I used were captivating, and it all went together. Overall, I think this was one of the finest papers I’ve written at Bard.
BardVERSE: What’s your favorite book you’ve read at Bard and why?
Genaidaliz: My favorite book at Bard was _Persepolis_, because it was a very informative visual novel. I wound up learning about the culture of Iran along with its history. I was interested in how Marji’s dreams of becoming a prophet made her stand out. This novel taught me how there are times where words aren’t needed because there are pictures. Although the story was about Marji’s life, I interpreted the pictures in my own way. The pictures spoke volumes. As a person I go into depth with pictures, words, and expressions, and this book made me go into depth.
BardVERSE: How do you go about gathering evidence for an essay?
Genaidaliz: When I gather evidence I go back into whatever book I’m reading and find quotations that go with my thesis. Finding quotations can be difficult because there can be a lot to choose from. When I’m choosing quotations the language has to speak to me, and it must have meaning. If I can’t find quotations that I personally like, I go on the internet and find quotations that connect with the idea I try to convey in my paper. Annotating also helps. Annotating makes searching for quotations and important moments more convenient.
BardVERSE: What advice do you have for writers at Bard?
Genaidaliz: Advice for my fellow Bardians is to find out what kind of writer you are. Never compare your writing style to others, because everyone writes differently. Everyone has different ways of expressing their opinions, ideas, and beliefs. There’s always room to become a better writer, and taking constructive criticism is one of the ways to become better. As a writer myself I find different people to critique my work, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to have numerous mistakes. Don’t be upset about mistakes, because those mistakes can be fixed. Try to learn things from others as well, because others can help your writing become more interesting. Never give up on writing if you love to do it or because someone is putting negative thoughts in your head. I suggest to love and embrace your writing style because no one can write and express themselves the way you can.
BardVERSE: Whose writing do you love to read in or outside of Bard?
Genaidaliz: In my literature class I love the ideas of my classmate Marc- Joelitza Montgomery. She has ideas that speak to me, and I respect her as a person and a writer. I’ve never read any of her papers but in the future I’d love to. [Editor’s note: check out Marc-Joelitza’s essay “Desperate for Attention: The Horror of Neglect in Frankenstein,” here on BardVERSE.] An author that I admire is Rupi Kaur, an Indian-born Canadian poet. Her writings are so beautiful and captivating. I never get tired of reading her poems. As a writer I know that I’m not a poet, but I admire poets and different types of writers. I admire how people can express how they feel in different words. I believe that poetry is another type of language that is more heartfelt and creative. I want to read different forms of writing and try to understand them. Expanding horizons in the literature world is very important as a writer, it can help writers find different parts of themselves. Uncovering different parts of oneself can be exciting and overwhelming. Soon I hope to understand my different sides of expression and learn how to convey them.
BardVERSE: What kind of writing topics interest you most?
Genaidaliz: There are numerous writing topics that interest me. I’m interested in love, social norms, beauty, anger, friendships, dreams, darkness, reality, and appreciation. I go into depth with these topics depending on the circumstance. With beauty, I love to talk about the beauty of people, nature, expression, and relationships. Many things are beautiful, and appreciating these things make them more valuable. People fascinate me, they carry themselves in different ways. At times I wonder why people hurt one another. I feel like we as a community don’t value each other as much as we should. I’m interested in so many topics, and I hope to keep writing papers that interest others.
BardVERSE: Is there a place or time you usually write?
Genaidaliz: There’s really not a specific time or place to write. It really depends on when I feel the most expressive or when there’s a lot of stuff on my mind. I’d really like to write outside of school because the only time I write a paper is for school, not for enjoyment. I enjoy writing a lot, but whenever I do write it reminds me of school. There’s never a time where I’ve written for myself, and I’d like to change that. I deserve to express my feelings and to make time for myself and my thoughts.
BardVERSE: How do you get into the mind space for writing?
Genaidaliz: I honestly don’t know how I get into the mind space for writing. Music helps me enter a calm state of mind and all my thoughts just start flowing. As I hear the lyrics of the music they give me ideas of what words I could put in my papers. Music speaks to me, and I want my writing to speak to other people. I want my writing to be something people are captivated by. It should be something people try to figure out, the way I try to understand what certain lyrics are about.
BardVERSE: What topic would you like to write about but haven’t yet?
Genaidaliz: There’s a series of topics that I haven’t written about that I’d like to. A topic I really want to write about is the beauty of people and feelings. This topic is difficult because not all things people carry are beautiful. They carry heartbreak and pain as well. Humans are complex creatures, yet I’m so fascinated by them. Getting into depth with people is so interesting and enchanting. People have stories to tell, but no one wants to listen. There are also humans who are evil, but I just want to know what makes them that way. We can all learn from each other and create an understanding of our differences. Feelings are what makes us human; they make our stories more interesting and relatable. They can be expressed in many ways: through dance, art, music, and writing. Feelings are such a vague topic; they’re so hard to explain. Yet, I’m going to try and write a paper about the beauty of people, or the difficulty of conveying feelings.
BardVERSE: What do you find most gratifying about writing?
Genaidaliz: What I find most gratifying about writing is how good I feel when I turn in a paper that I worked hard on. I also find it gratifying when people like my writing and can connect with it. I find myself rereading my papers a lot because I want to see if I can fix anything. My writing has evolved, and it will continue to do so if I continue trying. My intention as a writer is to spread new ideas about stories that have been told. I want to help others try to tell their own stories by connecting it with another one.
BardVERSE: What do you find most challenging about writing?
Genaidaliz: The most difficult part about writing for me is trying not to repeat. I tend to repeat myself in my papers, but I do it a lot less then I did freshman year. I feel like repetition is also important because if I repeat myself then it’ll let the readers know what point I’m trying to make in my paper. Repetition can also lead to readers getting tired of reading the same thing over and over. Yet repetition is both my weakness and strength, it can be difficult to distinguish when I should repeat certain details.
BardVERSE: How do you come up with an imaginative, provocative title?
Genaidaliz: When I come up with titles I think of different words that represent the book. I think of a title that will grab people’s attention. I use words that sound interesting and complex, but I also try not to confuse my readers. Others have taught me that it doesn’t matter what words you use, it’s how you use them. The use of words is very important, and when I come up with my titles I try not to overthink. So, when I’m in a calm state of mind, listening to music, I let my imagination take control.
BardVERSE: Which classmates’ writing do you admire and why?
Genaidaliz: I admire and respect Marc-Joeliza Montgomery as a student, person, and writer. We are similar in a way, and we just relate to each other. The way she puts her words together is truly artistic. Her words are paint, the pencil a paintbrush, and the paper is her canvas. She is an artist with her words. She gives me great ideas when we have class discussions. I respect her for trying her best all the time, and I believe she deserves more credit as a writer.
BardVERSE: Give one tip for writing a good essay.
Genaidaliz: One tip I have for writing a good essay is be comfortable with the environment you’re in. Your surroundings can impact your writing. Do what’s best for you and your mental state. When I write my papers I listen to love songs and calming music, or to any music that helps me think and that helps my writing flow. Just don’t overwhelm yourself. If you’re overwhelmed try to put some of that feeling into your paper. Putting emotions into essays makes papers more interesting and heartfelt.
BardVERSE: Which character you’ve read at Bard fascinates you most and why?
Genaidaliz: A character that I’ve read at Bard that fascinates me most is Jin from American Born Chinese. Jin interests me because he wants to change himself so badly, and once he changes he wants no one or nothing to ruin it for him. It interests me how he wants to go from a Chinese boy to an American boy. He wants to hide who he truly is. Jin is so ashamed of his culture and his true self. I’m so interested in this character because his story is so interesting. This graphic novel showed me how to not be ashamed of who I am and where I come from. Also, Jin also shows me not to hide my true colors but to love and embrace them.
BardVERSE: What current writing projects are you working on?
Genaidaliz: Currently, I’m not working on any specific projects. I am reading Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad. So far, the novel conveys a lot of darkness and the language is very original. I do plan on writing a personal essay but a little differently. I will try and use quotations from books that I’ve read in my sophomore year. It’s not a promise but it is something that I’d like to do. If I don’t use quotations from books that I’ve read, then I might use song lyrics; whichever helps me express myself in a better way.
BardVERSE: What’s been the most magical setting or place you’ve written?
Genaidaliz: I haven’t found my magical setting for writing yet. I want to find that place in myself though. I don’t really know how to express that idea, but I don’t want my setting to be physically visible. I want it to be for me and only me; therefore, my magical setting is my heart. My heart is where all my ideas thrive and grow, and that’s why it is so magical.
BardVERSE: What question do you wish we asked but didn’t? Then, answer that question!
Genaidaliz: Some questions I wished were asked are the following: What does it mean to be a writer? What writing style do I admire the most? What topics can never be expressed by one paper? When did I discover my love for writing?