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The sparkling lights shine off satiny black cars seen through the crystal pane and

if my eyes focus I see myself. This is a dream. My dream. Also, happening to be my reality. Ever since my rst Charlotte Christmas I have wanted to live here. Though I believe it was fate that got me here. ! Sparing sappy details, I must elaborate to convey my message. Me being here

was not planned. My Grandfather Simpson got sick, my parents had to come take care of my grandparents in Charlotte, I was alone and could not focus on school or applications, I only applied to UGA, did not get accepted, granddad died, I checked out UNC-Charlotte while I was here for the funeral, got accepted, Dad got sick, had to spend dorm money on his surgery, grandmother Simpson went to nursing home in Georgia, this house was vacant, here I am. Like everything, including writing, some days are better than others. 2011 has been all about changing positions for me, in my life and in my literary literacy. ! I left my comfort zone in Athens just as I left my comfort zone in essays. Looking

back on my rst in-class writing assignment it seems so stiff. We were taught in high school not to use the word is or any form of it; consequently, it was only after reading someone elses piece that I realized one could actually write in rst and second person. I warmed up to it slowly by using you in ICW2 and I in ICW4. Yet it was not until ICW7 that I nally reached my comfort zone. ! You can tell if I have any idea what I am talking about whether I give personal

examples or not (do not look back over my work once you read this). For instance, when we rst started writing about literacy I had a very slim idea what was going on; therefore, I wrote very broad statements backing them up with long, intelligent words.

Luckily, this writing pieces is different; I know what I am talking about. Plus, I am not one for BS-ing for I only write as much as I am sure of. That is not to say I do not babble. Once, I was compared to Faulkner (a complement until I read Absalom, Absalom!). ! Till this day I get editing comments about my wordiness and how it becomes

confusing. I blame this on teachers why comments smeared all over adolescents paper encouraging because in every sentence. Nevertheless, my brain rants for pages once I understand a topic. A blessing, right? Wrong. Before this semester I had no idea how to decipher which ideas should be elaborated on or not, therefore I wrote down everything. Editing my This I Believe statement was the rst time I have ever eliminated an untting paragraph. It felt great. ! I have good ideas, I am just not always sure how to explain them. Even when

telling stories I fail to explain things simply. I have to go through every detail in order to get the point across. And when I am done my friends often add and then you found $10. Meaning that was a terrible story and to make it better you should at least make the ending exciting. Regardless, even with jumbled ideas scattered everywhere across the page, like a kid slinging paint I manage to create some nice artwork. Throughout peer reviews people mostly comment on sentence structure rather than content and whenever my toughest critique (myself) edits them I rarely second-guess my thoughts. However, that is not the problem which haunts me till this day. ! Run-on sentences. Freshmen year my teacher wrote kids down a letter grade for

run-on sentences. Hence, my phobia of them and my addiction to commas. Commas are my best friend. I have become so attached its no longer a healthy relationship.

Receiving therapeudic help from a peer, she commented on my Honors reection, all the commas can be confusing. I have never appreciated honest criticism so much. ! Having not deciphered whether it be a curse or blessing, my rough drafts and

nal drafts are basically the same. I have never been one to outline. When necessary I would write my essay and then write the outline to turn in. A blessing since I spend very little time on essays, a curse due to the organizational issues. As I mentioned in my Domain Analysis Paper, AP English courses only allow forty-ve minutes on each essay, thus in my opinion getting my thoughts down is more important than arranging them perfectly and concisely. But this is no longer AP English. This is college and soon enough the real world. ! This semester I have not had a miraculous awakening but merely a change in

positions. I have always known I prefer writing stories and I was able to develop it more so this year. A few months ago I wrote a 200-word short story which brought my mom both tears and laughter. She said it was the best thing I had ever written which is a lot since she has never been a fan on my writing. Then, after you said I had earned an A+ on my Artifact Analysis it only strengthened my belief that writing about my experiences is what I do best. As I am sure that is true for numerous people. ! ! With the freedom to write however we choose brought about the freedom to be

creative, especially during the Inquiry Project. As if bottled up inside us, the thoughts, words and creativity pour out when not having written in a while. The beauty of not assigning essays every other day. I have learned love doing multiple, relevant activities before a project. Like writing pieces this semester. We would do simple oral or writing

activities that way when it was time for a major project we had enough experience, content, and thoughts to make it good. ! By writing process I am sure you were referring to outlining and such. But since I

do not outline I must be honest with you about my process. I have a drinking problem. Water, coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate and in special cases (which really means not-sospecial cases) I break into my Vault energy drink stash. Whenever I write I have to be drinking something with sugar in it. Then, I sit down and write. Except on the really tough cases I sit down and get so frustrated I resort to jot-list in outline form. But before all of that I make a list of goals. I look at the prompt and put down in my own words what you are looking for. Afterwards, I mentally compile the goals so everything gets covered in a semi-efcient way. !

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