It all started in middle school. I had my first “real” English class where we had to actually read, write, and do work ourselves. It was a rude awakening because I was never a fan of writing, especially on my own.
I remember the countless nights of struggling to write even a single paragraph. I would sit at my desk staring at the computer screen, hoping sentences would somehow magically appear. I would always wonder why I had to write this because I thought it would not be relevant to any career I would have in the future. Ever since I was a kid I have always liked math and science more than English.
They seemed to come naturally to me, and I did much better in those types of classes. However, as time went by, my English and writing skills began to somewhat improve. In high school, my freshman and sophomore year English classes were not too bad. There was the occasional essay where we had to write maybe two pages. Because of this though, I became a better writer and thinker. I was never too worried when we would get assigned an essay because I could usually knock it out in a few hours the night before it was due, and still get a pretty good grade on it.
However, this all changed my junior year. When I discovered that my English teacher in my junior year was Mr. Kuhn, I began to get very worried. All I heard from his past students was that he was a very strict grader who only liked a certain style of writing; and if you did not write his way you suffered the consequences. Unfortunately, when I was assigned the first essay I did not take it as seriously as I should have. I procrastinated once again and wrote this haphazard essay in a mere hour and a half. When Mr.
Kuhn returned our graded essays to us, I was all but surprised to see that I got a C-, which was the lowest essay grade I had gotten. Out of disappointment in myself, I promised that I would do my best to not procrastinate and dedicate more time to this class. As my junior year went by, I felt as if I were going back to middle school. I would spend hours looking at a blank computer screen, trying to think of the perfect thing to write so I could get a good grade, even though that was unlikely.
Based on how the year was going, one could only imagine how distraught I was when my teacher assigned us an eight-page research paper. I kept thinking, “If I am having so much trouble writing three to four page essays, how could I possibly write an eight-page essay? ” On the bright side, however, the topic of this paper was to pick a side of a controversial or opinionated issue, and use sources to help explain why you think it is right. After several days of failed topics, as well as stress build-up, a light bulb finally lit up over my head. Ever since I was younger, I have always taken an interest to past wars and the leaders who fought in them.
I guess it was because several of my family members fought in wars. Nevertheless, I came up with the issue of how Robert E. Lee, general of the Confederate Army in the Civil War, should be considered an American hero. I felt that most people regarded him as a traitor who should be condemned, while I believed that he was a respected man who did not fight for slavery, but for honor and family. I finally found something I could write that I considered fascinating, and I was extremely excited about it.
After a few weeks of writing and revising, I eventually finished the essay, making it exactly the way I wanted it. This was one of the very few papers that I actually felt confident about as I handed it in to my teacher. When Mr. Kuhn returned the essays, I was astounded to see that I got a 97. It was the highest essay grade that I got in his class, and I could tell that he was fairly impressed. To this day, that research paper is my finest piece of work, but I am still eager to put my English skills to the test and become a better writer.