In 9th grade, English was all about hammering down the basics of essays. We learned how to construct a thesis and communicate an argument in five paragraphs.
In 10th grade, it was about perfecting the structures of the papers that we wrote. It was incorporating quotes appropriately and eliminating “to-be” verbs.
In 11th grade, we learned how to take the analysis that we had originally done for these papers and present effective examples to bolster our arguments.
In 12th grade, it was wrapping up everything that we’d learned thus far and communicate our points not only effectively, but efficiently. It meant writing over the word limit and cutting fluff so we could present fleshed-out arguments in as few words as possible, while preserving its essence.
In a school in which discussions govern the class structure, my evolving personality inside and out of the classroom showcased my progress as a student of English. My initial contributions were quiet, uncertain statements, but I’m ending high school with the ability to take a stance on positions that I can defend with confidence.
Outside of the classroom, however, you’ll find me on this blog. Many a time have I employed techniques that I learned throughout the years that have benefited my writing well.
Meanwhile, I’m a music columnist for my school’s newspaper, a position that I hold with contentment. Although I had written for my school newspaper in the past, the articles had always been about sports, and until late, I had never found satisfaction in such topics…
The articles that I write for that column are similar to the ones on this blog, because in both cases I care about the content, which allows for comparatively better and more interesting writing.
English is my strongest subject, as a result of the teachers, the curriculum, and the implicit analysis that I can bring to the class every year.
In tenth grade, my teacher introduced me to the essays of Thoreau, one of the first works of non-fiction that I actually enjoyed. His explanation of the world and its accompanying metaphors helped reveal nuances in society that I hadn’t noticed before.
I spend half of my days trying to create clear metaphors for my writing content, and the other half coming up with bad literary puns. Metaphors (and similes), I find, are one of the most profound ways to get an idea across to an audience; and I am always amazed to see what other people can pull from within the depths of their minds.
Friendships are like the earth’s plates?
My emotions are like a dripping faucet or a breaking dam? There’s no in between?
The tears stood in her eyes?
My love of reading, writing, and everything in between starts and begins with English, a subject that has consistently been my favorite throughout the years.
At one point, I stopped BSing my papers, ditching my mechanical approach for a far more emotional one.
Somewhere along the way of the 12 years of schooling I’ve endured, English came to be the subject that I immediately drifted towards when it came time to tackle homework.
Free writes are damn powerful; they actually provoke personal thought. Most of the time, we write with the expectation that our words will be read by other eyes, but free writes are different. We’ve been assured that our words are for our eyes only, and time is allotted every so often, cultivating a personal writing style that shifts through the years.
The English language is technically my second, but has become my first. Some texts I have read and reread so thoroughly that I have fallen in love with their individual fragments of phrasing.
I love English’s arbitrary nature, and I love the rhetoric that teachers use when they try to communicate arguments to us. I love the oratory skills that grow stronger day by day, and the public speaking that we’re pushed to exercise every so often.
It’s like this: every time a teacher mentions one of his or her favorite texts, I feel compelled to read it, or at least write down the name for future reference. If some piece of writing is strong enough to win over an English teacher, then goddamnit, it must be special.