After receiving a C+ on “How To Write an Effective High School Paper,” a tenth-grade writing assignment that was given to my classmates and me in late September, I couldn’t help but think that the year ahead was going to be a complete struggle and even a bore. Ugh! I thought to myself when seeing my carefully handwritten three-page paper all marked up with red lines, symbols, and illegible comments by my English teacher. In my defense, the other students received from the C to F range with the exception of one girl who got a B-.
The teacher positioned herself as the type who would never even dream of giving out an easy A. It would only be earned if merited. The sight of Mrs. Brown (*name changed to protect the innocent) each afternoon at fifth period could turn your stomach after lunch. Oh, the demands she had on us to become highly effective writers and readers with a strong command of the English language!
One day when another classmate began to zone out during her lecture, Mrs. Brown called him out—but with empathy instead of wrath. She shared a little bit of her own experience as a high school student. She talked about her struggles with writing, and how she managed to transform her weaknesses into success. She then honestly admitted that in fact, she too would find herself zoning out as a student only to find that she missed out “on all the learning” from which she could have benefited.
In that moment, Mrs. Brown seemed different: she crossed the line from teacher to one of us, a human. She explained how learning in general can be so much more interesting if one actually pays attention. She added that when one continuously looks at the clock or out the window, time will never pass and it becomes dreadful, whereas when one is engaged, time flies by and one even wants more of it.
When I took my seat the next day, I decided that I was actually going to listen intently and perform to the best of ability so that I, too, wouldn’t miss out on all of the important things I needed to learn. It worked like magic! The class period flew by, and I finally understood some key writing elements that I was previously fuzzy on.
Mrs. Brown’s class actually ended up becoming my favorite that year, and I earned my A. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. If it wasn’t for her hard but meaningful class lectures, writing activities, and numerous requests of revisions, I don’t believe I would have developed my writing skills and passion for literary expression.
For the rest of my high school and college career, my confidence as a writer helped me achieve better results and assisted me to reach heights never imagined. It also made my studies that much easier. Other teachers and professors would even compliment me on my abilities and command of linguistic expression.
So, what’s the point of all of this? Writing not only becomes one of the fundamental skills that we need to use as students, but it is used in our everyday lives, both personally and professionally in all types of forms. It’s a type of communication that gives us freedom—to express what we think and who we are in a way that we can put our innermost thoughts to paper and immortalize them forever!