I have changed. Not what everyone expects of me, yes I might be a little heavier from the freshman fifteen, or my back is crooked from toting around a loaded backpack, or the fact that the only thing I want to do anymore is sleep. But I know the truth; I’ve changed from that high school kid cranking out the five paragraphs with no revisions and really no care. For once I am actually proud of what I am turning in for credit. Not just because I know I will get a good grade, but that I am giving out my thoughts and emotions in a mature way so my audience can see and hopefully understand what I am thinking and feeling through my eyes.
I am now a revision freak. I must have people go through my paper and mark it up. From the first inquiry I can see how my peers have helped me become a better writer. It could be something as little as explaining the boat from Strayed’s essay or something as big as starting over because I don’t make any sense in my proposal. I can see how a simple rough draft of an essay takes away the stress from throwing it all together at the end. I now create a proposal and find a friend to look over it. If they like it, I continue forward, if they don’t then I will figure out the problem and fix it. The first rough draft is always the worst. I don’t know my direction or really a clue about format or voice or audience until I see the words and thoughts on paper. Then I and my peers can edit the crap out of it. The second draft is better. I have a more focused idea heading into it. I write with more ease and more knowledge. I am happy and go for one last final review from my peers and maybe my professor (if I have time and they would be so kind). By now its tiny tidbits of advice, it’s almost ready. I read through my essay one last time, usually with a thesaurus and change a few words to make it sound pretty. And like that my crazy random thoughts and words in my head are transformed into an essay that I’m ecstatic about.
I am not without faults. I know tricks to make the length or word requirement. Talking in circles is how I work through day to day life. It’s easy and natural for me to talk a lot but when people really listen to me; I’m just saying the same things over and over to fill the empty space. I know I can do that with my writing as well. I don’t know any new information or I can’t think straight so I just rant and rave. I also think that it can be somewhat of strength. I rant about every thought on my first rough draft and that gets me to the word count. And by my second rough draft my peers and I can look through it and pick out the good parts of my rant and now I have some good ideas to fill the page.
I want to do more essays but not in text. I loved the photo essay for inquiry three. It was challenging to combine all the ideas with the pictures but it was so much fun. I love taking pictures (I don’t care how bad I am at it) and this was awesome and not too much like the text essay. I got my point across in a creative way and I’m proud of it. I might want to do an audio essay in the future but I have to get some more confidence (I think my voice sounds too manly when recorded and it freaks me out).
This English class has been like no other. I love it and I’m sure if every English class was like this one then there would be less complaining and more terrific papers around campus, the Miami CCM book would become a tome. I am so glad that I was able to take this course and with an open mind I was drawn into the world of essays and all their glory. I was expecting the normal boring class with huge assignments from awful books that no one would really read on their own time. Sure the assignments in this class were rather large, but we had so much time and we broke it down so small, that it didn’t matter (except maybe to Manu). Thank you so much for this class and giving me the confidence in my ability to produce an amazing essay.