Commonplace Book Sampler

English 2

By way of example, here is a recent page from my CPB, with some lyrics to a song I like on the left, a journal entry on the right, and a sketch I did on the bottom.

Samples from Student Commonplace Books (2015-17)

Tic Toc Lyrics         

Don’t leave me

All I can say are blunt words like that

I who just keeps getting angry

Although I’m sorry

Even when I reminisce the memories

Why can’t I see it

Just where it was

That our love started going out of place

— Infinite, Tic Toc

I really like these lyrics because they sound really poetic and when you read them in Korean it looks like art. The translation doesn’t completely capture the feeling in the original lyrics, but it’s the best I could do. I was planning to write a short story using these lyrics as a base, but never got to it. Here are the same lyrics in Korean:

날떠 나지 말아달라고

뻔한 말뿐못 하고

화부터 자꾸만 내는 내모습,

미안 하지만

다 기억을 되살려 봐도

왜 내게는 안 보여

도 대체 어디 였던 거니

우리 어긋난 시작이

Il Pleure dans Mon Coeur 

par: Paul Verlaine

Il Pleure dans mon coeur

Comme il pleut sur la ville

Quelle est cette langueur

Qui pénêtre mon coeur?

O bruit doux de la pluie

Par terre est sur les toits!

Pour un coeur qui s’ennuie,

O le chant de la pluie!

As a student of French, I really enjoy this poem. Its beautifully sculpted and sound great when pronounced correctly. I love saying this poem, and I feel that Paul Verlaine did a wonderful job on this. No wonder it’s one of the most popular poems in France! I did not want to put a translation in, as that wouldn’t be giving the original text any justice. Just look up the title, and you will find out what the poem translates to. Also I didn’t include the translation in my book since I understand it.

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” (B.F. Skinner)

        This quote really spoke to me, which is why I put it in my CPB. I interpreted this quote as that you might forget individual things that you learn but you will remember the entirety of your learning experience. For example, you might forget how to find the area of a triangle but you will remember the lessons that you learned in your math class, like hard work.

“If today were the last day of your life would you want to do what you are about to do today?”

(Steve Jobs)

This quote definitely made me think about what I did today and whether I lived this day to the fullest. Today I had four hours of summer school, three hours of driver's ed, two hours of water polo and a hour of homework. Today would not be my ideal last day on earth. I would much rather spend it with friends and family on an adventure or at the beach. This quote can definetly change someone's way of thinking about their life and career. Someone could see this and figure out they’re not happy where they are in life and whatever they’re doing. It could be their job or just a partner. They would then go no to do everything in their power to change that. This quote has made me think about how I go about life, and I now strive to live each day to the fullest.

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten” (Lilo & Stitch)

This quote is important because it talks about family. Family will always be the most important thing in life. Family isn’t necessarily just your parents and siblings, it’s also the people you love and care for, and would do anything for. Many people don’t have a family, and that makes me feel so grateful for the amazing, loving family that I was blessed with. I can’t imagine living my life without the people I have grown to care for. This quote and picture is dedicated to my family—Mom, Dad and Aaron :)

        “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”

                                        (Henry Ford)

        I chose to put this quote in my commonplace book because it says a lot about the progress of the human race. For progress the human race requires new kinds of innovation, if you just try to work with what you had before, you will never get as far as using new ideas or materials. That is why I admire people such as Elon Musk because of the fact that he thinks outside the box and comes up with ideas such as sending everyone up into space. Despite the fact that there are numerous failures he still won’t give up and tries to find another way to make it work.


The koi fish circle

Both are opposites,

yet the same.

There is a part of each other

within themselves.

In an eternal swirl

or black and white,

the koi fish swim.

I was inspired by a discussion in class for A Tale for the Time Being when we were talking about Jiko’s quote of how up and down are the same and everything is the same.


“Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those which are there.”

This was one of the first quotes in my commonplace book. It’s from the quantum physics article we read for class called ‘Dream Machine.’ This quote fascinates me because it’s finally stating that humans don’t know everything. This quote also tells me that you need to think differently in order to understand something great, which I think is something we often forget.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” (Aristotle)

I love this quote. I memorized this quote when I was in 7th grade and I haven’t forgotten it since. I think I was first drawn to this quote because I love Aristotle. Actually, when I first read this quote I was really confused. I didn’t know what he meant by “not an act but a habit.” But now I understand what he was trying to say. This quote has stuck with me through the years and I doubt I am going to forget it anytime soon.


“Do not dwell on the past. You history cannot be erased, but your future has yet to be written, so make the most of what is going to happen instead of worrying about what you cannot change.”                (Anonymous)

I try not to regret over the things I did because all it does is waste the time that I can do other things. I think it’s better to go for things instead of stepping down from the fear of regretting.  The past can’t be changed but your future can, and this is why I love this quote.  It tells me I can write my own future regardless of the path I was born to.

This is a picture of an abstract piece I worked on, which was inspired by our activity in class in which we were given 5 minutes to draw whatever we wanted on a square piece of paper, using a whiteboard pen. Originally, I planned on drawing one daily. However, it took longer than I expected to complete a piece, so I have finished only one so far. It was quite relaxing drawing in the lines and spaces into my commonplace book using a sharpie pen. After being used to sketching in outlines first and planning every stroke, it felt strange having the freedom to let the pen swirl or twist whichever way it wanted. I enjoyed seeing the picture being formed from the numerous random marks. The experience was soothing and I plan on finding time to make more abstract drawings.

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These are two pages/entries from my commonplace book from about a week ago. On the left page is a picture of Steve Nash. I decided to put that picture in my common place book because Steve Nash is one of my favorite basketball players of all time. He is someone that I look up to and someone that I aspire to be like. On the right side of the picture is a quote by Steve Nash. I liked this quote because it says that you should only play the game if you enjoy it and if you want to be a pro you have to love what you do. I think that this applies to basketball as well as other things. If you want to become something, you shouldn't do it because of fame or money, you should do it because it is something that you love.

I chose this picture and quote to put on a page in my common-place book because I found this really inspiring. I think that the picture matches the quote because there are many different ways we could go about this life, and these many options help to shape each of us into who we are. The choices that we make are what shape each of us. This quote matches the picture because it shows that once you find the meaning in your life, you have to choose how you want to share it with others. Life is important and each of us have a different purpose in our lives; we just need to find and share it.

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

(Abraham Lincoln)


I like this quote because it emphasizes the importance of living life to its fullest. Everyone has a limited amount of time in this world and there are no redoes. If you can't make the best out of the time you have, you don't deserve another second. Do what you want with the time you have so you can die without regrets. The one thing I don't want to do is to die knowing that I wasted my time.


I chose this quote by Kurt Vonnegut because it is really inspiring to me. The quote means to me that every moment in your life is special, even the small ones, because they all shape you into the person you will be in the future. The picture I chose of the flower goes with the quote because, the flower is something really small and simple in the world, but even though it is small, it still matters. I think the quote is important because it says that someday in the future you are going to look back on your life to all the things that have happened to you, and even if in the moment something seemed irrelevant, you are going to realize that it helped you grow to the person you have become.

I put the quote about Michael Phelps because he is a person I respect and is a person I look up to.  He talks about accomplishing goals and limits on what you can do.  I think his experience makes him wise and I agree with what he says.  I put the quote by Mark Hamill because it is realistic and unique. I put the image of a Beatles album because it means something to me and it has many deeper meanings than what you see.  It is one of my favorite album images.


I decided to draw this mandala in my commonplace book because this was the beginning of drawing for me. After drawing this, I got my old sketchbook and drew everything I wanted to in there. The reason why I feel like this is important because at first, I thought I wasn’t good at drawing but after doing this, it taught me that even if you’re not good at something, you should try it anyways. I practiced drawing for quite a while and now, I think that I’m pretty good at drawing.

This quote is said by Morty, a character from an American-made British-style dark/science-horror comedy TV cartoon series, Rick and Morty (The kind of show that makes you cry, then give in to our insignificance when compared to the grander universe, and then makes fart and burp jokes in almost every episode). I put this quote in my commonplace book (I just wrote the quote directly into my CPB; I have yet to find a printer that can print GIFs) because it touches upon existential Nihilism, a field of philosophy I rather like. Existential Nihilism is the idea that human life has no set value. It’s not saying that life has no purpose, but instead saying that no one is instilled with purpose upon birth and we can’t find any purpose from the universe. We have to find meaning within ourselves, and our purpose is created by ourselves. In essence, it’s the idea we’re just really smart semi-hairless apes that think too much about our place in the universe and why we were created when in fact there is no purpose/meaning to our creation; it basically just happened and we need to accept that in order to actually do things in life. Nihilism says that the universe, were it to be sentient, wouldn’t care about us. In the scene, Morty’s proposes his nihilistic view: the universe is uncaring, so I won’t care that it doesn’t care. He summarizes this in his last sentence by asking his Sister if she wants to watch TV. They could stand there and contemplate their place in the universe, or they could just accept the fact that they each have to find their own place in life and say “Okay, now that we’ve got that settled, let’s go watch TV.” I like the idea of not trying to think of my given purpose, and instead doing something that fills me with a bit of purpose.

These are two pages from my moleskine journal that I drew/ wrote up within the past week.  Although these pages aren’t directly taken from my common place book that I’ve dedicated to this course, I feel that since they’re both related to the course and were writing during the time that the summer session took place that it’d be fine.  On the left hand side is a little ramble that I wrote down.  It talks about how I want to write and how I like writing, how there are a lot of things I want to write about and that if I am to ever change or accomplish what I want, then I have to go for it instead of just talking about it.  Overall, I just do these from time to time where I force myself to put some words on the page.  I do it because I not only love to see a full page of ink but it just feels good not really holding back and letting the pen move.   The photo on the right side is a diagram of how schools are divided.  I decided to draw this out after that one day where we were talking about this subject in class.  The difference main between the high school stereotype and my diagram image of our grade is that the stereotype is like a pyramid with the populars on the top and the Punahou one is a 4-way venn diagram.  Although this isn’t really the type of things that go into my CPB, those things are more analytical and observative, I think these pages fit quite nicely in the category of CPB.

“Life is your canvas. If you’re not happy with it, paint something different.” (Sheila M. Burke)

I put this quote and this picture in my CPB. I was trying to find an inspirational quote about life and how you can control your own life. When I found this quote, I thought it would be perfect in my CPB. What thinking of what picture would reflect the quote I thought of a messy canvas, filled with all sorts of vibrant colors. The messy colors represent one’s life, filled with ups and downs. The good thing, like the quote suggests, is that no matter how messy life can get, you can always clean it up with a new canvas. I believe the messy canvas represents everyone’s life at one point in time because to be honest, no one has had a perfect life for their entire existence. The clean canvas represents a fresh slate and new chances. I believe that no one is just given happiness in life. It is a sought after gift that most people long for. However, you don’t have to work for happiness because it is always right in front of you. You just have to start on a fresh new canvas to get a better view of where your happiness is.


“Brain dead but the heart's still beating, like i don't know pick a Kardashian.” (Anthony Bourdain)

I put this quote in my CPB because it is something that I would say. I really don't like the Kardashians. It expresses how i feel about the Kardashians in a funny joke. I also write about what I cooked during the day in my CPB. Normally I write about what i made for dinner. I write about how I made the dish and what i would change the next time I make the dish.

Image result for lance mountain quote

I chose this quote by Lance Mountain because it really spoke to me and it made a lot of sense. There are a lot of people in the world who think that they skate, but in reality, they just skate to look cool. True skaters will skate at whatever time, whenever, and wherever. Real skaters skate because of the fun in pushing on a skateboard and just having fun while riding. Being unable to stop riding is the true definition of being a skater. I chose this quote on go skateboarding day, which is on June 21.

A spread from my commonplace book.


Summary: Hokulea came home from their extensive Worldwide Voyage.  This journey that took years of planning and executing and the connection I had to the voyage came full circle this past weekend. In third grade, I was in Ms. Ane’s third grade class. That was six years ago. We took a field trip to Sand Island to learn about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Malama Honua project. Hokulea and the Hikianalia was drydocked getting prepared and furnished for the Worldwide Voyage so unfortunately didn’t sail on it. But the things I learned on that field trip made me feel connected to the project. It felt great to see the project come full circle!

Image result for genderbread person 2.0

(Disclaimer : This entry from my commonplace book is not intended to offend, or discriminate against the LGBT community. )

Today in Pauahi, I noticed that they changed the “genderbread person” and made a few small changes from the first version. The Genderbread person v2.0 explains the more “liberal” view of how gender and your biological sex works. It explains that gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and attraction are all on a spectrum. Although I am fine with people identifying with whatever gender or sexual orientation they want to, the “biological sex” section has me questioning reality. Has society begun to reject basic biology for their own convenience? Where do we cross the line?

        I want to answer the two questions that were presented to to us during class: “What kind of world is this?” and “How should we live in it?”

        Before answering those with my own answers,  I want to go over my background information. In class, we were told that we live in a world where we are responsible for our own unhappiness. I don’t think that this answer is totally correct nor incorrect. But then again, everyone has their own opinions right? Anyway, my answer would be considering my personal experiences and life lessons such as: fend for yourself, respect those around you, and many more. In order for me to answer this question, I’m imagining myself having to abandon my young child with whatever information and advice I have to give him or her, that he/she will have to learn to survive with. Although it is saddening, I would be so determined to make up the time I’m about to lose for my child. I would tell him/her that the world we live in constantly changes, but there are somethings that will never change. It’s a world full of death, evil, and hate, so protect yourself well. But, with that being said, it’s also a world of life, good, and love. In this world, learn the difference between the two and learn through experiencing both. But, always choose to live a life where you make good choices and learn to love. Find someone to love. And love yourself. Don’t be conceited, but challenge yourself to do things, take chances that will help you become a wonderful person whom you can be proud to be and love. This world is full of sorrow that you have yet to experience, but use it to make yourself stronger.

        Now, addressing the other question. You decide how you want to live in this world. Embrace the good, the happiness, and use it to help make this world that is full of choices and the people who don’t know what choices to make, what chances to take. Help them also make decisions that will also influence the world in a great way.

        This weekend was pretty laid back. On Friday night, I went to my friend’s birthday dinner at Shokudo. It was probably the most fun thing I did that week because I got to laugh and talk with some of my closest friends outside of school. One thing that happened that night that stood out in my brain was when I had to leave earlier than everyone else: As me and my mom were driving away, I looked out the window and saw the girls taking a squad photo without me. :(

        On Saturday, I woke up late and spent the majority of my day watching Hawaii-Five-0 and Lucy at my grandparents’ house. At 2:00, my mom took me and my sister to karate. My friend and I thought that we’d be receiving our belts during class, but either our belts hadn’t been shipped in yet, or we didn’t pass our test. After karate, my mom took me and my sister to Uncle Clay’s for shave ice; I got a mini coconut and strawberry shave ice topped with strawberries and coconut flakes. It was just what I needed!

        This morning, Sunday (and Father’s day), my mom dropped my sister and I at our grandparents’ house again so I could do homework while she was at her soccer game. But my grandparents weren’t home, so my sister and I were alone in the house for a while. At 1:20, my dad picked us up and took us to our aunty’s wedding.

        Looking forward to another great week!

I chose the poem “Human Family” by Maya Angelou. This is because it ties into my own beliefs about people and my hopeful vision for the future. I just think this poem ties in nicely with what I stand for, and my ideals about the world, and about people

I chose a quote from Beauty and the Beast. I also added a little drawing to connect the entire piece together.  The quote says “And what good is a voice when so few will listen?” It is basically saying, what’s the point in talking if nobody is really interested in what I’m talking about.  This relates to many teens as well as me.  We can all relate to this piece, and that’s what I’m trying to do in my commonplace book.

        I included this poem by Rupi Kaur in my commonplace book because I found this poem inspirational. It talks about a woman’s self confidence which I think is important. Many girls now feel that they need to fit people’s expectations which I do not believe is right. Female empowerment is growing in the world, but there are still people who do not believe women should have the same rights as men. This poem is important because it helps explain the type of person I am.

This is my most recent and favorite entry on the two main questions we are thinking about this semester. I have not figured out my answer yet.