Blog: Experiences from writing 11/2/2014

Writing processes differ in everyone, as argued in “Chronotopic Lamination: Tracing the Contours of Literate Activity”, by Paul Prior and Jody Shipka. Not everybody sits down in the same way to write a paper. Some people do the entire paper all at one time, some take ten hours because they’re multitasking, some have to do all other homework beforehand, and some need to clean their bedroom before they even attempt to start writing. The point is that each individual has a different method for producing their writing pieces. Each writer has past influences that have shaped the way that they currently write a paper.

In my elementary school, there would be monthly assemblies in which one student from each classroom would get to share their writing piece in front of the entire school. I had been selected as the student of the month to do so several times throughout my elementary career. Each student loved being able to share their work in front of the school. I, as well as most of the other students, had the goal of being selected to read. It was something we all worked hard for when it came to our writing assignments. This class made me think that writing could be fun if you wanted it to be fun. If you really tried and put yourself into it, writing could be enjoyable.

During my junior year of high school I had a very strict English teacher. She had wanted to teach us how to write the best college entrance essays that we could possibly write. So she named a mock university after herself: Ms. Hammes University. Each student in the class had to write an essay in response to her prompt. The word limit was 500 words, but Ms. Hammes wanted it exact; not a single word more or less. There was also not to be a single grammatical or punctual error within our essays. It was pass or fail. You had three chances to get accepted. A single mistake would earn you zero out of fifty points, and if after the third attempt your essay was still not PERFECT, you simply failed the entire assignment. This class taught me major editing skills. I learned to become a better writer, and to pay more attention to detail.

I currently do not particularly love to write, but I would definitely pick writing over reading. I now pay greater attention to detail when I write due to Ms. Hammes’ class. I also strive to outdo my past self and to write the best pieces I can write. When I write a paper I aim for an A, and I am not satisfied with a B. My past writing experiences have shaped me as a writer. Who a young child has as a teacher and how they run their classroom can crucially affect how an individual feels about writing all throughout their life.

If I could go back to my junior year of writing, I would focus more on encouraging myself. My teacher may have helped each of her students learn to write amazing college entrance essays, but it was not a very encouraging class to be in. I feel like she only focused on the negate, and not on any positive feedback. If you were denied to Ms. Hammes University, you would get tons of feedback on all of the bad things in your writing. However, once you were accepted, that was the end of it. No positive feedback. I would go back and give myself more positive encouragement. I feel like I enjoyed writing more before I had her class. The process in which an individual writes is crucially important when it comes to the output of the work. Prior and Shipka noted on the different ways that students write. Being comfortable is, in my opinion, when the best writing pieces occur. Also, the genre of an essay should be changed frequently. That class solely focused on college entrance essays. (I did not even have to write an essay for the college I ended up selecting!!!) A writer’s identity is greatly influenced by their teachers that they have through their learning process. My writing identity was greatly hindered when I was first rejected to Ms. Hammes University. It took an emotional toll on me; I had spent great amounts of effort and time on that essay and I thought it was perfect, yet it was not good enough for her. My interest in writing was hindered due to that teacher and her way of running her class.

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