Monday, February 10, 2020

Comment Wall

Nathaniel Vo Portfolio

A Story Portfolio


  1. Hi Nathaniel,
    I enjoyed reading your story! I too thought that Rama passing the tests to win over the respect of the king and his wife, Sita, was an extremely important part of the Ramayana. The modern interpretation that your story brings is definitely accurate! Tests and exams run a lot of our lives as students, and the stress they bring is more than real. They take a huge amount of time, thought, planning, and preparation. I am currently studying for the FE exam to become a professional engineer and am putting in a lot of hours. I like the dialogue you have in your story. It adds a personal element between Peter and his professor. It's not too overwhelming either. I'm a sucker for happy endings, and I liked how you gave one but incorporated a cliff hanger delivery. The only thing I would suggest is to add more vivid detail in his second make-up test as you did in the first exam. Great work!

  2. Hi Nathaniel,
    Wow!!! This is such an amazing story. Reading these storybooks always gets my head thinking over what story this could be, but this one had me scratching my head. I do agree with you about this story being kind of the turning point of Ramayana because if he did not go and break the bow, he would never have met Sita. They would not have gone through all of their troubles if this didn't have happened. I like the kind of small voice that resonates through the story. Kinda creepy, but cute. Right now, the page looks kind of jumbled with so many words. You could move the author's note to the very bottom and put the picture in the middle to really split the work up. I would like to see a little more detail about the second story. Give me some emotions! I like the ending, but it seems kind of abrupt.
    I am ready to read more!

  3. Hello Nathaniel,
    I liked your new twist on the story of Rama passing the tests to win his wife. We certainly don't have to do anything crazy like bending ancient bows whenever we're tested, do we? That's funny to think about ancient test-taking strategy. I like that you made the story of Rama more relatable to a modern audience by turning the Odyssey-esque challenge into a modern day exam. I was wondering, why did you chose the exam to be an electrical exam? Is it a somewhat personal story? I also think the ending of the story felt a bit rushed. It felt like you did a good job of being descriptive and paying attention to detail whenever your main character was taking the first test, but you breezed through the second test really quickly, as well as whenever the main character found out he passed. A couple more sentences and it would have been golden.

  4. Hi Nathaniel,
    I really enjoyed your story. The first few lines are filled with so much detail and description, I can literally feel the anticipation and pressure Peter feels as he is about to take his test. What if, with your formatting, you spaced out your story a bit more, separating the character dialogue from the rest of the paragraph. I think this would help it read more fluidly and allow the reader to process this intense scene to the full extent. “The loudest silence fills the air of the room.” Is my favorite sentence in your whole story. I’m not sure what it is, but something about it is just so powerful and actually made me catch my breath. As I read your story, I was picturing it in my head as a movie. You have such great imagery throughout your story. This adaptation of Rama's test to win his wife was great! I absolutely cannot wait to read the rest of your portfolio. Awesome work!

  5. Hey Nathanial,
    Great first story! You are completely right in your author's note: this story is really relatable, and the moral much easier to understand as a test than as a bow. I thought it was an interesting choice to have it be an electrical exam. Is that something you have experience with? Maybe a few sentences in the author's note is necessary to go into more detail about that choice! Also, I was a little thrown off by the sentence "Countless nights of sleep surrendered." It seemed like an incomplete sentence at first, but then I reread it a few times and I can see why it is also grammatically incorrect. But since i had to reread it, it threw off the rhythm of the story, so I would suggest rephrasing that to something that might be like "he had surrendered countless nights of sleep to this exam. He knew..." I think that would really keep the rhythm of the story going! Its so weird, I almost feel like I've read this story before because it sounded so familiar to my own anxiety during a difficult test! Anyway, good story and can't wait to read more!

  6. Hey Nathaniel!

    My favorite part about your story was your author’s note! I know that may sound a bit strange, but I thought your author’s note was very informative and you also had an interesting take on the story, which I liked because it made me think differently. If it wasn’t for your author note, I would’ve been confused about the direction of your story but because I read it first, I understood the lesson of your story perfectly. Also, I really love the layout of your page. I think it’s a great way to organize the story and author’s note side by side while keeping it separated.

    For your next story, what if you try writing it from the first person perspective? I think that would change the tone of the story a lot by making it seem more personal. Also, that allows the main character to really convey their emotions through the text

  7. Hi Nathaniel! I love how your story begins with explanatory dialogue. This allows the reader to automatically feel part of the story. Personally, as I was reading the story, I felt like I was a character myself watching the examination and this was through the sharp beginning of your story! You have done a great job with this. Furthermore, the initial dialogue was also explanatory. This is really good because you were able to accomplish two things with one statement: creating dialogue and providing and explanation of the setting. As I read the end of your story, I wonder what the reaction of Peter was after he heard the words "Congratulations, Peter."? I think it would be cool to see how Peter felt after he passed. Also, what if Peter spoke to friends about not passing the examination? Through that, maybe we can dive more into the feelings of Peter regarding the situation. Overall, you have done an excellent job with your story! Keep it up!

  8. Nathaniel,
    I absolutely love this story, because it was one that I could personally resonate with. Although I have never had anything spill on one of my tests, I have definitely gone through an experience where I was very confident in parts of an exam and then something happened and completely threw me a curve ball and had me panicking the remainder of the exam. I have also encountered having a professor who was so understanding and accommodating to me and my situation, as the one was in your story. I liked the characters in this story and the way that you created a scene that was what every student experiences at some point in time during their college or even school experience. In relation to the story that gave you this idea, I think that you did an excellent job recreating a story that is somewhat the same, yet completely unique. Awesome job!

  9. Hi Nathaniel!
    I really enjoyed your work! These stories were interesting to read and just long enough that my ADD and I didn’t get bored. I do have a couple questions about the second story: who was Sarah? It’s kind of implied that she’s the boys’ sister, but it is never clearly stated. And also, what happened to Sarah? I get the impression that your portfolio will feature separate stories that are unrelated to each other, so I’d (personally) really like some closure on Sarah. On that note, I realize that all your stories will be different, but have you considered a little bit of an intro to kind of prepare the readers for what is to come? Just briefing what you’re gonna do and your intent with the whole work. All in all though, your stories were very readable and flowed well chronologically; splitting the huge paragraphs into smaller ones would make it even more readable. Great work!

  10. Hi Nathaniel,
    Your portfolio is very enjoyable. Your first story about the examination is very cool and I think it encompasses the anxiety and feeling of taking an extremely important test very well and I could relate to it very well. I think it is great that Peter got another chance to take the test. Everyone deserves a second chance and especially when it comes to important exams. The added stress that comes with exams is also a hurdle. I think your author's note was very informative and interesting and it helped me to understand where your influences for your story came from. I think it would be beneficial for you to have some sort of intro to explain what themes will be explored in your portfolio as you have no names for your stories and no title for your portfolio to give any indication to what kinds of stories will be included.

  11. Hello Nathaniel

    I really enjoyed your first story about the test. Your story really reminded me about the times I took the ACT and how serious the exam/exam atmosphere is and the preparation for it. I couldn't imagine taking that test and then spilling my water all of it in the middle of it after feeling confident about it. I enjoyed how you took an approach that us students could relate too instead of just rewriting a typical Indian Epics. The authors note was very imformative and was able to give good insight about which story yours was based on. I hope you enjoy the rest of your semester and i look forward to reading your last story!

  12. Hey Nathaniel,
    Fantastic work all around. The first story was definitely relateable and a fun way to tell of Rama's story to win his faithful wife. The author's notes were informative, thoughtful, and added extra depth to each story. I can see we employed similar techniques in changing settings and small plot twists to add extra seasoning to the old tales. Thank you for sharing your work with us, and hope you are doing well amongst all the craziness this semester.