Before AI Revision Intro: In class I was given an objective by my teacher to create an essay on the themes found in a book we’re currently reading called, Long Division, using AI. The essay was formed by comments and annotations I have made throughout my reading of the first few chapters of the novel. I’m conflicted about the essay, I find it impressive on how AI has become so advanced and can craft a whole essay; however AI is not perfect. There are some mistakes and because it only has the information I input and doesn’t have much knowledge on the book itself so is unaware on some of the background. 

After AI Revision Intro:

In class, my teacher gave me an objective: to create an essay on the themes found in the book we are currently reading, Long Division, using AI. I formed the essay by making comments and annotations throughout my reading of the first few chapters of the novel.

I am conflicted about the essay. On one hand, I find it impressive how AI has become so advanced and can craft a whole essay. On the other hand, AI is not perfect. There are some mistakes, as it only has the information I input and doesn’t have much knowledge on the book itself, so it is unaware of some of the background.


The text I’m reading, “Long Division” by Kiese Laymon, addresses a variety of social issues, including identity, culture, and inequality. Through the actions and dialogue of the characters, as well as the imagery and allusions used by the author, Laymon is able to effectively portray the struggles of black people in America.

The character of LaVander Peeler is an example of the way some black people can internalize racism. Throughout the book, LaVander repeatedly uses the N-word and makes disparaging remarks about black people. He also often speaks in a way that is meant to make him seem as if he is of a higher class than other black people. Nicholas C. comments “This lets me know that he doesn’t embrace who he is and his culture much, trying to please white people which he is probably surrounded by a lot.” This quote suggests that LaVander has been so heavily exposed to white people that he is trying to be accepted by them, rather than embracing his own culture. This can be seen as a form of internalized racism, as LaVander is trying to conform to what he believes white people want him to be.

The use of the N-word is another example of the social issues addressed in “Long Division”. In the comments, Nicholas C. mentions that “black people shouldn’t be limited to our use of the N-word because it’s something we have reclaimed and took power over…when the N-word is put into music or books and non black readers are consuming it they may feel entitled to say the word themselves which I think is not ok.” This quote highlights the fact that the N-word has been reclaimed by some black people as a way to take power away from the word’s original meaning. However, when non-black people consume it, they may feel like they have a license to use the word as well, which is not acceptable. This quote further emphasizes the idea that racism is still a prevalent issue in our society today.

The theme of identity is also explored in “Long Division”. City, the protagonist, often reflects on his own identity, questioning whether or not he is “black enough” to be accepted by the people around him. Nicholas C.’s comment “I don’t know why City gets so defensive about LaVander calling him and homosexual to the point he has to make it overly clear and prove why he’s not, there may be some truth to it and that’s why he’s getting defensive” suggests that City is insecure about his identity and is trying to prove to himself and others that he is not homosexual. This further highlights the struggles of black people in America and how they must often confront their own identity in order to be accepted by the people around them.

Finally, the theme of inequality is explored throughout “Long Division”. While City and LaVander are both competing in a national spelling bee, they both recognize that their win would prove something to America. Nicholas C. states “LaVander is doing it more so in spite of white people and selfessiously proving his better than African Americans and that he’s special whereas City is doing it for better representation for people like him.” This quote suggests that LaVander is participating in the competition to prove himself to white people, while City is doing it to prove that black people can be successful. This further emphasizes the idea that there is still inequality in our society, and that black people are often held to a different standard than white people.

As I continue reading “Long Division”, I am looking forward to learning more about City’s identity and how his views may change as a result of the competition. Additionally, I am curious to see how LaVander’s relationship with his father will affect his behavior. I am also interested in seeing how the author will further explore the themes of identity, culture, and inequality throughout the book.

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May 2, 2023 2:26 pm

Nicholas, It was really interesting how you stuck on how you used AI in the classroom and how it can have a positive impact. Something you can add is maybe putting in an example of your using AI, like work you did in the past for that class. I really enjoy reading how AI was a tool for you in class and in a way made your witing stronger and more powerful. 

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