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High School Writing Sucks

Written By: cquach on August 13, 2008 1 Comment

As a young’n, I hated reading and writing. I mean, I liked reading fun books, but I never did too well writing about them or any other subject matter, and since I lacked in one, I started to hate them both. Writing is a soft science, and my parents never approved of soft science subjects. So they never encouraged me to read or write. The only person who looked out for me was my sister. She would make me read books all the time, and not just easy kid ones either. As a middle-schooler, I would read Frankenstein, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and many other classics. At the time, I never really understood the deeper meanings to the stories, though I did find them interesting and usually sad. Reading was not really an activity to enrich my mind or understanding; it was like a tool. If I wanted to get better at wording or writing, I would have to read because if I read, I would subconsciously understand phrase structure and other grammatical inventions. On the other hand, if I was really interested in the plot, reading was fun and entertaining. Now, however, I find reading to be enlightening! Maybe it’s the nature of the books I read, maybe not. There’s much more to get out of books than meets the eye. They’re like Transformers.

Eventually, I came into writing essays like all the other boys and girls, and I absolutely abhorred it. Was there ever anything interesting to writing a “persuasive” essay, 5 paragraphs long? Hell no! In fact, teaching this kind of thing probably scares most kids away from reading and writing. At least it did me. As I came to hate writing more and more, I took to math and science, where my grade would be determined by law, logic, and reason! If I understood the concept, then I would be fine. Writing was much more of a pain in that the grading is totally subjective. So what if you don’t like the way I write? I always got C’s on pretty much every essay I wrote through high school. Surprisingly, I always got an A- in the class, just the bare minimum.

I got sick of scraping my way through essays, so sophomore year, I started to keep a journal of experimental literature (AKA poetry). I didn’t do it to be a chic beatnik or anything. I just started to write small free-verse poems. I never thought the first few were good either. Cheap, tawdy, the usual banter about life. It was during my junior year that I discovered sonnets. 14 lines of precise and perfect wording. Writing those, now that’s an art. I attempted my first few, butchering the meter, not really understanding how to go about it. After some time I became fascinated with rhyming. I loved the correlation between meaning and sound, so I began writing poetry that bounced to a meter and also encapsulated 100 different ideas. My first real rhyming work (no good meter though) was a six-page poem I wrote about my version of Dante’s 9-level inferno. I never knew that you could get so gruesome with so few words or present so many pictures in so few lines. Well I guess it was a lot of lines in this case, considering it was six pages.

Anyway, since I’ve been in college, I haven’t nearly as much time to write freely. For some reason, I’m very much into drawing now, but I still love to read thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting books.

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One Response to “High School Writing Sucks”

  1. Homeschooling High School on: 21 September 2009 at 7:47 pm

    You sound a lot like my older son. He made the switch from Liberal Arts to Engineering precisely because he wanted better defined “rules” around what he created. He was also very analytical as a child. My younger son, however, shows no signs of ever retreating from his love of reading/writing. These all come from the same gene-pool, mind you.

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