Thursday, May 22, 2008
When I knew that we had to write a reflective essay for our last assignment, I immediately thought of a few of the writings that we did, the Camus paper, the college essay, the Joyce paper and the research paper. My mind told me that there are more writings, so I tried to remember. But I failed to remember all, because I did the most writings in this year than my other years in high school. Certainly, I feel proud because I know I’ve definitely improved.
Before starting this assignment, a couple scenes of me being in the class arose in my mind. Almost everyday I came to English class with a heavy backpack, a purple binder which has a composition book inserted in its pocket and a heart ready for Mr. G’s overacting and surprises. Seating in a crowded class, I felt insignificant, but tried my best to concentrate. I know that the notes from Mr. G and comments from classmates would help clarifying my misunderstandings, so I focused on taking notes, especially for Joyce’s “A Portrait of the artist as a young man”.
I did not start off the year with a solid thesis, good evidences and an active tone. Even though I was sure that I did put efforts in all my papers, my papers were always vague. I did not know how to be specific. It was when we had to write our college essays, I started to panic, because I really wanted to do well but I lack the confidence. Happily, Mr. G showed us model college essays and created his seven guild lines for writing the college essay. “Be personal and concrete” was what I followed through my entire essay. And I certainly “include anecdotes” when I was writing. I realized that being specific was basically giving details clearly.
I improved in being detailed when we had to describe the 1000 words for only one painting. Indubitably, I was startled after I heard about the assignment, knowing that I have never described anything for more than 500 words. As Mr. G calmed us by saying “A good painting can worth a thousand words”, I only picture how I would fall into sleep while doing the assignment.
Sitting in front of my computer, worried and helpless, I took a glance at the painting and only saw a man in red, a horse, a few trees and a few boats on the sea. I doubted that if I can really finish the assignment; I even started comforting myself by thinking that a 15 out of 20 would not be so bad. And I finally get my self started. In the process of noticing the order of what my eyes see, and thinking of color, space and dimension, I let myself free write as much as I can. Surprised by myself, I had already done a few chunks of paragraphs after the free write. For the first time, I successfully described a painting in details. Later, I connected the painting with its title and my theory to develop the thesis. And I drew my conclusion lastly to make my assignment up to a thousand and twenty-five words. Relieved, I eventually went to sleep.
As the year progresses, my thesis started to be solidified, my evidences became specific, and my tone was more active. I believe the analysis of Page 9 of A Humument is my best analytical essay in the year. I focused on my thesis and backed it with fine explanations. It was also interesting that I had to come up with a reasonable explanation for each of the images and sentences on the page. By doing that, I learned that nothing is stupid if you have your argument point with good evidences.
This year, I put the most focus in English than I had ever before, not just because I had the most assignments, but also because I had the most interest in English. I was not just given books to read and essays to write; I was exposed to many kinds of art and literature. I saw the performance of Ted Berrigan on Red Sift, Ferrini’s movie in Charles Olson, the ballet performance of Ophelia’s death and Mr.G’s over acting. I also read the most possibly bazaar reading, “The Stranger”, the most possibly difficult reading “A portrait of the artist as a young man” and the most possibly powerful tragedy, “Hamlet”. Loving art myself, I wish I’ll be able to see art again in literature, which would make me enjoy learning English.