You are on page 1of 5

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. Nevertheless, it takes a lot of energy and motivation to stay here when my entire life has been spent in Athens, Georgia. Sparring many details, I must elaborate to convey my message.
During my senior year, my grandfather became ill so my parents came to Charlotte to

take care of him and my grandmother. By myself back home, I was a wreck. I could not focus in school, quit many extracurricular activities, and alienated myself from friends. I took up writing because the page was like a friend I could tell absolutely anything to and not feel that I was bothering her. However, I should have spent that time writing applications because I had not applied anywhere. Therefore, while I was up here for my grandfathers funeral I toured UNCCharlotte. I got accepted and was planning to live in the dorms, but my dad got sick and we needed the money for his surgery. With my grandmother in Georgia and the house vacant, I moved in. My Grandfather Simpson was so important to me because he always told me how proud he was and helped me get the best education. I would not be here if it were not for him. So as I write this reection, I must focus on certain developmental aspects that happened throughout the calendar year instead of the school year. 2011 has been all about changing positions for me, in my life and in my English 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. Consequently, it was only after reading Seans piece that I realized using the word does not make a piece any less worthy. And it was not until Samanthas did I realize one could actually write in rst and second person. I warmed up to it slowly by using second person in

ICW2 and rst person in ICW4. I imagine it as a sixteen year old having his rst class of wine in Europe. He feels a little self-conscience, but at the same time he thinks what a cool rebel he is.
You can tell if I have any idea what I am talking about whether I give personal examples

or not (do not look over my earlier 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 big, intelligent words. Honestly, I think Scribner sometimes takes this approach. But she too admits no one really knows what literacy is. Luckily, with enough readings, writings and class discussions I realized you did not want an essay like the Websters dictionary. Teachers merely want an argument backed up with valid evidence, and I believe I nally got there with my Domain Analysis paper.
Despite good evidence, my wording is rarely simple. Once, I was compared to Faulkner

(a complement until I read Absalom, Absalom!). Till this day I get editing comments about how confusing my wordiness is. I blame this on teachers why comments smeared all over adolescents papers 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. With the help of my peers, I made my paper cleaner by getting rid of underdeveloped clutter.
I babble because I refuse to outline. In high school I would write my essay, then write an

outline if I had to turn one in. 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. Still having not outlined this year, I now manage to jot-list which helps me pick the more signicant ideas I want to expand on.
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-so-special cases), I break into my Vault energy drink stash. Whenever I write I have to be drinking something with sugar in it. It activates my brain. Then, I sit down and write. Except on the really tough cases I sit down and get so frustrated I resort to the 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. 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 therapeutic help from a peer, I received a comment on my Honors reection: all the commas can be confusing. I have never appreciated honest criticism so much.
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. Before I write, I walk around thinking. As soon as I have enough material, I simply sit down and type it out.

Moving to this city brought about freedom for me as did ENGL 1103 with the freedom to

write however we chose. That in itself allowed us to think creatively, especially during the Inquiry Project. I love organization, but teachers should take from you and make guidelines instead of laws when it comes to presentations and writings. As if bottled up inside us, thoughts, words and creativity pour out in those instances. Even more so when there are not projects and essays due every other day. I have learned to love doing multiple, seemingly-irrelevant activities because it leaves so much room for analysis at the end of the semester. Such as the simple oral or writing activities we did in English. After those assignments when it was time for the portfolio we had enough personal experience, inquiries, and knowledge to make it sufcient.
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. Last April, 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, during a conference, you said I had A+ Artifact Analysis paper. It only strengthened my belief that writing stories, taken from my experiences, is what I do best. In stories, it becomes acceptable to add details whereas in informative essays, teachers want concision. I was just writing in the wrong style this whole time.

Overall freshman year I have explored different perspectives. Part of it becomes the fact

that UNC-Charlotte is more diverse than my high school was. I have become more open-minded in my approach with people and similarly with readings. College permits me to establish my own opinions and ways of doing things. Even in simple instances, such as responding to Brandts pieces. I did not read other peoples passages, but I believe I took a different approach by commenting on the disfavored sponsors of literacy. It is as if I have shifted my thoughts from

irrelevancy to relevancy. This year I took various risks from writing styles to life styles, fortunately to nd out development requires changing positions.

Related Interests