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Rachel Konig

Writing: Finding Truth


RHE 330E
Davida Carney
September 30, 2017
I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am. Slamming the Dr.
Seuss classic shut, I yelled to the kitchen: Mommy I did it! I read a whole book! I was more
impressed with myself than she wasconsidering shed read Green Eggs and Ham to me only a
million timesbut my spirits remained high as I stuffed the slender book into my tote bag and
danced out the door for kindergarten. My sister said this was the year she wished she hadnt
asked for a little sister: I used to think that was offensive but in retrospect, if roles were reversed,
Im not sure I could handle a sister who read every single word in sight aloud. For an entire year
I read not only my schoolbooks aloud, but also street signs, billboards, and anything else that
caught my eye. My family eventually got so annoyed that they tricked me into playing the quiet
game. To their surprise, I ended up obsessed with the quiet game. How did they pull that off you
might wonder? Because every time we would play, they gave me a pen and some paper.
The WITS program, Writers In The School, was my first chance to explore and challenge
my passion for writing. The program began when I was in third grade in Ms. Stewarts class at
The Fay School; each classroom was assigned a writer from the program who would come teach
us about writing every Wednesday for the whole year. We each were given clean white folders in
which we would file all of our compositions throughout the yearmine quickly became the
equivalent of other girls obsession with hair braiding.
I wrote what I saw and what I felt. I described crispy fall leaves and the stickiness of
melting ice cream. I wrote about thinking. I wrote about writing. Watching my peers frustrated
by our weekly writing assignment only motivated me, as I enjoyed grappling with words and

finding ones that fit together like puzzle pieces. I recognized my eight-year-old brain as complex
as complex as an eight-year-old can befor I could read deeply into the world around me and
recreate it on paper with a natural cadence. Writing became therapeutic to meand it didn't hurt
that I was pretty damn good at it. My WITS instructor, Ms. Furranti, acknowledged my creative
maturity after reading my reflection about a painting shed shown us from The Menil Collection
in Houston. She invited me to read my composition, along with other students ages K-12, at The
Watchful Eye: a WITS Student Reading held at The Menil Collection museum. It was like Id
mastered the French Braid.
Reading at that event is obviously something I have never forgotten. It was a validation
that I was actually good at something I loved. The memory of having my work appreciated
continues to motivate my writing and pushes me to be a better writer, and in a way that people
can connect with. For the next few years, my parents encouraged me to keep writing: I attended
writing camps over the summers and I met with tutors who challenged me to read at a higher
level while developing comprehension skills above average students my age. I did resist,
however, and my mom often withheld privileges such as TV or play-dates until I completed my
homework. I had a slight tendency to rebel, I admit, as I didn't understand why I had to take
these classes when my friends did not. However, although it took me a few years to admit, these
camps and tutors helped me excel through the rest of elementary school, as well as middle
school, until I achieved acceptance to one of the top private high schools in Texas, The Kinkaid
School.
Kinkaid embodied the classic RWKS or rich white kid syndrome. Yes, Hell exists. The
halls were dominated by an unspoken but interminable feel of competition that drove many of us
to inevitable anxiety that pressured many to be better than the kid in the next desk. Success was

no longer about self-confidence or giving your best; it was about being the best. I learned this
quickly. Id found my own places to hide out and study without revealing my secrets to others. I
perfected my own study guides that even just glancing at would make someone nervous, and
wrote in a way that people may deem neurotic. I lived in office hours, stayed after school, and
even was told to get some rest by my teachers. I was an overachiever and my teachers
noticedespecially when it came to my writing ability. Before I knew it, Id written (slaved
over) three personal narratives, a persuasive essay or two, a couple fiction pieces, and plethora of
analytical responses to short stories, novels, and poems. Id fallen in love with The Great Gatsby,
Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried, and Huckleberry Finn. Then BOOM, it was
senior year and I was plowing straight in to college essays.
Senior year was certainly an age of self-discovery: I had been dumped by my boyfriend, I
forgot to eat, I was captain of the girls varsity volleyball team, and I had to balance my
schoolwork with college applications and essays. Writing was my coping outlet, one I used to
find comfort in loneliness, stress, and the complexity of my mind. I mentioned earlier that
writing became a form a therapy for meone that my psychiatrist couldnt provide. Luckily, I
met someone who understood what writing was to me. You might be surprised that this
episode is not in fact writing about the content of my college essaysI wont bore you with
details about my role model or one word that describes me. Instead, it is about the person who
guided me through themJonathan; we met at the beginning of senior year when my mom hired
him to be my college essay tutor. He became more than my tutor, however. He became my best
friend.
People tell me Im hard to read, but not Jonathan. After our first session, he prided
himself on knowing exactly who I was by what I had written and how I wrote it. Over the course

of the semester, our sessions explored writing and meaning well beyond that of an average
thinker (or senior). Jonathan shared his own struggles of being a complex thinker and feeler: he
was admitted to Yale at the young age of 16 and dealt with the death of his father shortly after.
He truly faced seclusion beyond anything I could fathom. He taught me to appreciate the
advanced level of my thoughts in my writing rather than allowing it to isolate me.
With isolation came writers block. I was not inspired and if I was, I focused too intensely
on perfection and not enough on simply writing what I was thinking. I remember Jonathan, little
52 Jonathan, launching up from his seat and raising his voice saying just f****** write,
Rachel! Don't think, just write! Instead of letting my heartbreak, anger, and stress interfere with
my writing process, Jonathan encouraged me to use these feelings as inspiration.
Over the years, I have developed a dependence on listening to music while I write.
Jonathan made fun of me for my habit, but understood my affinity, however, as the emotion and
distinct sentence structures achieved in song lyrics are what I hoped to accomplish in my writing.
Music forced me to feel. Regardless the genre, perhaps not hard rock or metal, my mood would
synchronize with whatever song played in my earphones and spark my imagination. Listening to
music made me feel like I wasnt the only one in the world feeling hurt or stressed, my loneliness
in turn was rendered common for someone who had been through hardship. Like composers,
musicians, and lyricists who often draw from personal experience, Jonathan challenged me not to
suppress my feelings but instead exploit them and let myself become vulnerable in order to give
my readers a sense of who Rachel Konig was. This quickly led to the return of my fluid words
and disappearance of writers block. In what was, frankly, one of the darkest times in my life,
Jonathans pride in me helped me see the light. Most importantly, he taught me to be proud of
myself.

Jonathans confidence in my writing prevailed as I tackled AP English.


The class was appropriately dubbed Social Issues as we read controversial stories and
novels that explored topics of identity, race, gender, and change. I remember walking in and
sitting at a large round discussion table with my teacher, Mr. Lambert, standing on top of it
welcoming us. He is a creative soul, to say the least, and the best person to teach this class. He
promoted discussion and friendly argument while simultaneously teaching us about the world
and how we fit in it. I have to be honest, though, I was nervous that my reading and writing
ability was about to be put to the ultimate test. And the ultimate test it was.
First semester went by surprisingly quick, and I succeeded beyond my initial
expectations. I was a daily class participant: I created my own ideas and observations about our
readings and I felt comfortable sharing with my classmates. Mr. Lambert often praised me for
my contributions as well as my writing assignments. Second semester began with a warning
from Mr. Lambert that we were about to embark on the most difficult assignment of the entire
year, the one that hed mentioned multiple times throughout the first semester.
We dove into Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare, a novel that sheds light on the
duality of identity and life. Through daily discussions, I was inspired by the challenging
questions of what composes identity and what promotes change. Reaching the halfway mark of
the novel, Mr. Lambert handed out the dreaded assignment attached with a photo of a painting of
a triangle, and an essay called The Movement of the Triangle by Wassily Kandinsky about the
painting. It was an attempt to define the general aesthetic, or spiritual (and possibly literal)
movement and change that life produces. Our task was to analyze the essay and painting
alongside Guares Six Degrees. I was challenged not only to identify metaphor, symbols, and

give textual evidence, but most importantly to draw my own conclusions on how what Id read in
Six Degrees was somehow connected with Kandinskys painting and essay.
This assignment took over my life for the next few weeks. I say this with gratitude,
however, as I utterly enjoyed being stressed over investigating ideas of change and identity. I
studied Kandinskys perplexing diction against Guares multi-faceted character and took lengthy
notes until I realized that there was so much I wanted to write about.
I took the assignment and sprinted with it while others let it loom as they procrastinated
as long as possible. So, it was no surprise when I confidently turned my paper in a few days
early. I walked away from that paper not only with an A, but also a new perspective of my
creative process and honestly, about my own identity.
To write is to thinkbut beyond mere internal reflection, writing ultimately produces a
greater understanding of ones incessant thought composition. If people were to scroll through
my Notes App, they would find variations of my intransigent brain in a series of short essays and
unique word clusters, like those of Green Eggs and Ham. I have written these because they
provide me with insight into my jumbled thoughts; they function as an outlet for the complex
confusion of life. Using words and the skills Jonathan taught me, I am able to portray my truth to
try to understand The Truth. Writing allows me to be anywhere at any time, to have a thought
materialize and be immediately immortalized. Headphones in place and ideas whizzing, I escape
to my own little world that where no one is able to remove me. I embrace this world of mine,
finding comfort in it as Jonathan suggested, as it is where my best work reaches the surface.
Writing is spontaneous, original, and most importantly, mine. It is a way to be vulnerable without
being completely exposed or transparent. Rearranging words is a puzzle, one with many
solutions, all of which I am ardently determined to find. Whether with a keyboard or a pen,

writing is therapeutic because it liberates and organizes thoughts to make them flow. Diction and
syntax render the incoherent into the comprehensible.