The Six Ways

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Picture {2006} {Hurdles} {cc-by-sa}

Track and Field, water, Football, lifting, sandwich, and watermelon. This was our very first assignment in AP Language/Composition, which was to say six things that we like. Then you gave us a quote, “We understand the new in terms of the old”. We had to analyze and apply one of our interests in this quote, and I chose my watermelon. I said “ I compare old watermelons with new to see which is juicier”. Now that I look back at this assignment, I still have no idea why we did that, or what that meant. But that was my first writing experience in this class. My last writing experience in this class was writing about my goals for this upcoming senior year. It’s amazing how I’ve went from analyzing watermelon to figuring out how I’m gonna get myself to college. But how were we prepared up until this point? Our very first assignment turned out to be what ended up getting me through this course.

Track and Field

In Track and Field, I’m a hurdler. For those that don’t know what that is, I jump over a row of sticks as fast as I can. These rows act as obstacles that are in my way as I try to get to the finish line.  My first impression was that this was going to be an extremely boring class. Just the sound of it “AP Language and Composition” sounds a bit awful. You gave us the option in the beginning of the year to take either a red pill or a blue pill. I don’t remember which pill means what, but it was a decision about whether we wanted to stay in this class, or transfer out. And I really thought about this. You had a slideshow filled with expectations and lesson plans that sounded complicated. You identified what our hurdles were gonna be this year, and gave us the option of whether or not we wanted to “race”. And I realized that all of my classmates were gonna go through with it. I was ready to start this race with all of them, and just hope I didn’t hit a hurdle and fall.

 

Football

Football to me, is known as the sport that I quit. It is something I’ve been doing my entire life. There was no other sport that I knew, and I didn’t see myself doing anything besides football. This applies to my writing. Going into this class, I thought there was only one way to write. A 3 pronged thesis, where I have to talk about each topic in my body paragraphs and provide evidence. But I found that this was far from the only way to write.

I eventually had to learn several styles of writing. I had to learn how to write a descriptive essay. how to write a synthesis essay, how to analyze HOW rhetorical strategies are used in a passage, and most importantly, I had to figure out why stories matter. And I still haven’t figured that one out. I was able to make my own unique writing style, and express my emotions through my writing. I never thought it was possible, just like I never thought it would be possible for me to quit football.

 

Water

I don’t have any significant meaning for my water. I just need water to survive. What did I need in this class to survive? Creativity. Something I absolutely lack. This weakness ended up becoming my biggest accomplishment. Throughout this course, we had to write many different types of essays, which had different prompts and expectations. And it wasn’t until this class, that I learned how to write an essay in my own way. My race essay is a great example. I was able to reflect my feelings of my race into the organization of my essay and make it my own unique story telling narrative.

 

Sandwich

My sandwiches are my life. They’ve been through thick and thin with me this entire year. Literally thick and thin, because I only make peanut butter sandwiches. That’s what my table members have been to me this year. They’ve helped save my grades, read my most personal essays I’ve ever written, and have helped me become a better writer and reader. Even though some of us still might not be all the way comfortable sharing their personal thoughts, I don’t think there’s anyone else I’d want to share my essays with besides these people. They’ve learned how I write, they know about my personal experiences, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness every one of them get through this class with me and progress as writers.

 

Lifting

Lifting is strength. It makes you stronger so you could keep everything together. What has kept us all together this entire year? Mr Z. I don’t think there’s any other teacher that could have made “AP Language/Composition” as fun as Mr. Z has. He found a way to teach the curriculum while making it fun for all of us, and teaching us that it is possible to live without thumbs. His sense of humor, and outgoing attitude made it easy for all of us to open up to each other, as he created an atmosphere that is efficient AND amusing.

Watermelon

Watermelon. Juicy watermelon. I love it. There’s nothing sweeter. It’s just the best. This class is my watermelon. If you take a look around you, it’s not one of those boring classes where nobody talks. Some may have come into this class, knowing everybody, while others have began as strangers. But we’ve all grown accustomed to our peers, and learned to accept everybody’s opinions. This sweet ending, is what made me love this class, almost as much as the sweet ending after eating a piece of watermelon.  

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