Brainerd High School senior Mark Ahlberg has never had a problem putting his thoughts down on paper.
Writing is a way for Ahlberg to express himself and it has helped him look at things differently. The language arts staff chose Ahlberg to represent Brainerd High School in a national writing contest sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English.
Ahlberg was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for the national honor. Ahlberg was one of four students last year to submit their writings for an NCTE award. The NCTE is an organization devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.
Ahlberg did not win the award, but received an honorable mention. He submitted a writing comparing the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" to the movie.
"I was pretty excited," Ahlberg said of being asked to represent Brainerd. "It shows that they respect my writing."
Ahlberg said he has always done well in English courses. In middle school and junior high he was in accelerated courses. Currently, he has Advanced Placement Language and Composition and creative writing. He said his creative writing class analyzes writing styles and writes essays.
"Writing is a way for me to express myself," he said. "It challenges me to think on my feet in creative writing. We don't get to see what we have to respond to for class until we are there in class."
Art focus: Creative writing
Art activities: Creative writing, Chamber Orchestra and The Brainonian
Favorite subjects: Advanced Placement Language and Composition
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being named editor-in-chief of The Brainonian
Artist most admired: His sister, Katie Ahlberg
Favorite movie: "Tommy Boy" and "Mission Impossible"
Favorite TV program: "Saturday Night Live"
Favorite song: "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers
Parents: Randy and Sandy Ahlberg of Baxter
The BHS senior is the editor-in-chief of the high school's yearbook where he has the opportunity to put his English skills to work. He said he does not get to do as much writing as he'd like to do, but he has fun working on the yearbook.
Writing runs in the Ahlberg family.
"My whole family likes to write for fun and they do well in English classes," said Ahlberg. "My parents don't write as much as they used to ... Now they just write letters."
Ahlberg said he admires his sister, Katie, who graduated from high school last year. He said she is a good writer and she thinks creatively.
Ahlberg enjoys writing satires the most.
"I'm a very sarcastic person and writing satires is fun," he said. "I get to poke fun of things I think are odd. I can reach people better with satires."
Ahlberg does not like to write an analysis on poetry. He said poetry is very subjective and is hard to analyze. He does like to write about entertainment and the media.
Ahlberg wanted to participate in Fifth Street Journal, the school newspaper, but it did not fit in his schedule. He has, however, submitted three editorials. He wrote two editorials on public displays of affection and another about why students should get involved in Class Cabinet.
He is most proud of his editorials on public displays of affection. He said he had a lot of fun writing them and he got a lot of feedback.
Ahlberg said his strength in writing is the ability to think creatively and see things in a different light. He said he needs to work on his sentence structure.
Ahlberg plans to attend Belmount University in Nashville to major in music business. His goal is to work in marketing or in artist development at a recording label company. He would like to work for a publication of some kind at the university to work on his writing.
Crystal Magnan, senior, Brainonian: Magnan is on the marketing staff for the yearbook. The Brainonian adviser said, "She represents Brainerd High School in a polite and professional manner. She is always pleasant and does an impeccable job."
Savanna Arnold, senior, Painting One: Arnold's painting adviser said, "Savanna is an independent and diligent painter. She is dedicated to her craftsmanship, which is clearly apparent in all of her artwork."
Jessica Hurd, senior, Fifth Street Journal: Hurd is a staff writer for the Fifth Street Journal. Her adviser said, "Jessica has written several quality news stories, most requiring in-depth interviews. She is also a photo editor and is always willing to help with pictures."
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