Creative Writing

This poem is based off of my mother’s journey to America from Vietnam. It was inspired by Stephen Vincent Benét’s, Western Star, which chronicled the western migration of pioneers in America. The Boat People was awarded the Gold Key award and a national American Voices nomination from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

This piece adopts Ernest Hemingway’s writing style (a frequent use of basic sentences and as/is verbs) in a light hearted short story about one boy’s disillusioning encounter with Santa Clause. Jolly Old Saint Nick also makes several references to Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises.

Source-based Essays

This essay refers to several texts including David Kamp’s article Rethinking the American Dream, a short story called The Swimmer by John Cheever, Tim O’Brien’s novel ​The Things They Carried, and various articles on the Columbine High School Shooting. It focuses on using all sources to draw attention to the failure to satisfy the American ethos of optimism and success in a postmodern society.

This essay tackles the issue of wrongful convictions in the US and how the criminal defense system fails to fully compensate exonerees for the psychological, financial, and emotional damage they’ve suffered.