On the first day of my Freshman high school English, I entered the classroom with an extremely self-assured, even intermediate, sort of feeling. I signed in late and tiptoed to the last seat in the classroom, comfortably supporting my feet on the seat in front of me. Every year, English has been my worst subject and I failed at it. I had to work hard for every grade I earned in that class and thus far proved to be a real challenge in my mind. Every time I complete an assignment, I procrastinated and eventually end up writing ten page essays the night before or the day of and still would average an “A-” on all of them. This was definitely the worst thing I could do to improve my Reading and Writing, since I felt no confidence or remorse towards my actions. I would stay up late or wake up 2 hours in the morning, just to finish a paper that I loathed writing. This bad nature of staying up to finish a paper led me to believe that I was untouchable, when it came to writing that is. This aspersion led me to ask the question, what is there that I don’t already know? I thought I was an english god. Too bad I was in for a major eye-opener.
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One big problems that I found constant throughout all my writing pieces and projects was the difficulty answering the “why is it important?” question. When I wrote something, I knew exactly what my thoughts and ideas meant, but the problem was, I assumed that my audience did too. I also never clarified the common knowledge that I would find by researching. I would increasingly display vague information and would assume that my audience felt the same kind of sympathy towards say, my memoir, as I did. This problem still progresses in all of writings to this day, but it’s not in the worst phase it could possibly be in. As I had started my freshmen year in high school, my writing was unreadable because it had no intentions, no moral. I would finish the paper just to get the “A” I need, and nothing more. But all that has changed as I progressed through my junior and senior years.
Besides my slight writing deformities, I have accomplished many pieces that has made me content of my writing. Such as my excellent introductions, that not only catch the readers attention, but also to get them hooked into reading my entire pieces. In all my pieces, the introduction, for me, is the most important part, so I make it very descriptive and inspiring. They force the audience into a phase of wonder, and make them research about a certain topic even after they’ve reviewed my paper. I love to put big words and complex looking sentences, just to make my audience happy, excited, and even in disbelief right from the start.
If it wasn’t for the constant peer reviews and teacher conferences during my junior and senior year, I would have had never been made aware of my strengths and weaknesses. At first, I hated peer reviews. I felt like it was a waste of my time and effort. But soon after I got the gist of the whole thing, my essays always came back with a “Good job!” or a smiley face, demonstrating my writing accomplishments. Peer reviews helped me see what I can improve on and where exactly I make my paper sound awkward or just plain weird. After all the experience, I like to say, “peer reviews, thanks for everything”.
When it comes to Reading, my journey just takes a new route every single year. Even when I entered high school, I wasn’t much of a readerâ€¦nope, not even one book that I would actually want to read during my pastime. I felt so jaded from any kinds of reading materials, whether it was a book, a magazines, or even the Sunday comics. I felt very detached because most of my years I spent watching TV was when I should’ve picked up a book and plowed through it, if not even the first page. Even summer reading! I was never motivated to read those lame pieces of writing because they were a waste of my time (as I thought). Peer pressure on books, like Harry Potter, never seemed to induce me into reading either. At this point I had no idea what my future would be like without reading. But just as I had lost hope, just as I was about to stop, I gained moral reason through a system I like to called “read and reward”. For every book I read, I was awarded with a little extra credit or a piece of a snicker bar (sophomore year). I felt as if I was in a contest, and the rewards were sweet! As a result, I started reading more and more books, especially during my junior year. Such as, “Of mice and men,” “The Great Gatsby,” and little excerpts from “Moby Dick”. I may not have loved all of them, but at least I felt like I earned the grade I received through hard work (through actual reading).
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From that point on, I started to read and most importantly, began to feel more confident. With every page I read, I would clinch my dictionary in one hand and would sit there, reading and searching for an elongated word that I could add to knowledge. That for me was like playing a video game; turn the page (press the buttons) and search (look for a win). Now I felt like I was spending my time in the best way possible. Not just improving my reading skills, but also fitting into the society today.
As I progress throughout my senior year in high school, I will always remember the strategies I have learned and taken from previous years. Reading and Writing may not be my best subjects, but so far they have been my best improvements. I’m proud to say that now I have truly accelerated in my Reading and Writing career and will further due so.
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