Not all students like writing, but no student hated writing like I
did. I would sit and stare at papers, begging for a good idea. When I couldn’t
find the diamond idea for a paper, I would sit and rack my brain till we ran
out of time or I broke down and quit. I slowly started to hate writing. I never
struggled in anything else academically, so why did I have to be so bad at
putting a pencil to paper and making words?
As I started junior high I always dreaded
going into English class and being forced to write about books like ‘The
Outsiders’ by S.E. Hinton. Analyzing diction and imagery hurt my brain, and
identifying themes in a book was one of the last things I wanted to spend my
weekend doing. After years of dredging through reading and writing in
elementary I was so mad at the hole I dug for myself I started to ignore it. I
would blame teachers for picking on me in English and I would try to skip
homework or cheat off my friends, anything to get away from writing. I
didn’t admit to myself what I did, but in the back of my head I always knew it
was my own fault.
As I was moving into high school, writing started to seem like a
monster. I wanted off the path that I had been on and was tired of fearing
writing assignments. I started trying again. But the amazing recovery I was
hoping for didn’t come, I would spend grueling hours of scrapping ideas on
assignments that others completed in twenty minutes. English made me feel like
I was ten again.
Those two years trying to scrape my way up didn’t come even close
to preparing me for the biggest challenge I would have in high school. After
getting a couple B’s I needed to take AP courses to straighten out my GPA, the
first available at Kingsburg High is the one class I swore I would never take,
English Composition. two hours every other day of the thing I hated most.
My mother constantly offered me help with writing during the
period I went through but I had always refused. I wanted to be independent and
I felt like I would be patronized by her writing skills. So after a month of
stalling, I asked for help.
My mom and I spent about
a week practicing how to write theses, analyze articles, and write with a flow.
I couldn’t believe the changes in my process; I was able to read articles,
identify what the theme was, and how the diction affected the work. After a few
months of practice, I slowly started to enjoy writing.
Over the next year, my
AP composition teacher was tough on me because she knew I struggled in the
years before her class. She didn’t want a weaker student to be crushed by the workload,
so she piled on essays at the beginning so the student who couldn’t handle it
could switch classes. After around 8 students dropped out, she was surprised to
see I remained. She saw the growth I made from summer to the beginning of the
school and did the most she could to push me to my limits as a student. Using
politics, film, and uncomfortable writing situations, she taught me how to