Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Battle of the Essay (Part 2) - A Writing Journal

Last week I shared with all of you the beginning of my essay writing tale (which you can read here). As promised, here is the second half and concluding part of the story. In this second installment of "The Battle of the Essay", I learn even more valuable lessons and am brought back down to earth.

Over the long weekend I awaited my essay. I got sick; a bad stomach ache, and I didn't eat much.  There was nothing to do except to suffer through it.

But I wasn't about to miss getting my essay back. No way.

My mom let me sleep through homeroom and my first class, gym, (I look forward to the day when I don't have to take it anymore. I'm so close.). This meant that I woke up actually rested, and had time to watch a bit of TV before arriving, and my first class was Language Arts. It was amazing. I wish all my days were like that. Then again, if it was up to me, I'd stay in English the whole day.

Unfortunately, getting our essays back was one of the last items on the agenda. I suffered through grammar and thinking maps before we got there. The whole room was on the edge of its seat, but of course Mrs. M decides to talk a bit more before handing back our essays. (In her defense, it's very hard to get students' attention after you've handed back their work.) As a whole, the average grade in our class seemed to be a B- or C+. It might sound bad, but this was our first essay for her, and Mrs. M's a  critical grader. She expects a lot from us.

My paper was a 91%, which is amazing for the first assignment. I was brought a bit off my high horse when turns out I wasn't the only one to earn an A-, or the only one to be asked to be used as a "model" essay. She didn't read any essay out loud.

The next class we had a "free period" since we had a field trip coming up. However, you were supposed to be doing something. One of our options was conferencing with Mrs. M about our essay. Not wanting to turn down this opportunity, I signed up.

This meeting took me down from my cloud of oh my gosh I'm so good at this! I was on after reading the orange post-it note last week. Mrs. M told me that it was my introduction and conclusion that were pulling my grade down. They weren't "bad", but they weren't good either. They didn't "match the level you have in the rest of your essay". This doesn't necessarily surprise me. I can see what's she's saying, but I still liked them. But yes, I can do better.

Many lessons were learned in this small amount of time. Most of all, there is always something to improve on. Mrs. M loved my essay, but she dared me to be pushed further. This might aggravate her students sometimes, but I really appreciate it. Second, you have to accept the good with the bad. I'm one who tends to focus on the negative, especially when it comes to my writing. My introduction and conclusion weren't the best, but the core of my essay, my argument, was solid. That's not easy.

I'm proud of my essay, even if I could do better.

And thus concludes the battle of the essay, or at least, this essay.

What'd you think of my overall experience? Ever had a similar one? Ever gotten on a high horse to be crashed down? Share your thoughts below.

1 comment:

  1. Hee hee :) That essay was killer :D

    I did all right, though - she told me my thesis statement was too broad, and that my conclusion was weak, but hey, I'm pretty glad with what I got. Essays scare the crap out of me. I was so sure I'd get a C because she kept saying things about how hard it is to get a good grade...

    But I digress. This experience happened to me in seventh grade with Mr. M and I was pretty depressed for a while. So I know how you feel :D