Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sam McCartney: Reader / Writer

August 2007
Sam starting 9th grade ~ Ben starting 12th

Sam's generosity in allowing me to share his Mother's Day Character Sketch earlier this month reminded me that I had also saved this essay that he wrote at the beginning of highschool.

Sam McCartney
Period 7
Mrs. Warner
August 2007

As a writer I feel like my writing is very explosive. I always build a picture for the reader to visualize, but often my writing does not flow. I love to use vivid adjectives, but often the subject of my writing is lost. As a student I was continually told that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I fell into the trap of trying to use a thousand words. My real problem, I believe, as a writer is that I think faster than I type, which often fills me with a negative feeling about writing. Although writing and I don’t always get along, the feeling of finishing a paper and reading it, knowing that it is mine makes me feel much fulfilled. My favorite type of writing, and the best type of writing, is definitely persuasive writing. I am a talker and I love to convince, so any chance I get to persuade or debate a topic is a joy. Although persuasive writing is my favorite, the piece of writing that I wrote that makes me feel like a great writer was an analytical paper about Helen Keller. I had really thought about Mr. Keller and his son, and an idea just clicked. I felt great about myself.

Reading is very fulfilling task for me, but I really have to get inside the book. For example, when I read The Most Dangerous Game I really felt like I was in the story. Another hurdle that often makes reading a more difficult task for me than I like is that I have to read in silence. I have to really zone in and capture the essence of the story to understand it. I enjoy fiction more than non-fiction because I really jump into fiction and imagine myself in the made up world of the book, whereas in non-fiction I have trouble putting myself in the characters' shoes because they are real people. My favorite type of book, just like my favorite type of movie, would have to be a mystery book. The rush of excitement I feel when the unknown killer is revealed or the criminal is caught is like no other. The most unproductive assignment, or rather unit, I have ever had in English was my poetry unit in seventh grade. First of all I didn’t like any of the poems and second of all I don’t like poetry. My favorite part of reading is plot and how the plot develops. I never feel complete after reading a poem. However, my favorite assignment in English was definitely in eighth grade when I read the play about Helen Keller. I really learnt a lot about disabled people, as well as the fact that I loved the paper I wrote about that story.

I believe my weakness in English is definitely my writing. This year my main goal/expectation is to become a more fluid writer. Also I would like to become a more well-rounded reader by reading classics, such as Lord of the Flies, Great Expectations, and Animal Farm; I believe this is a very reasonable expectation. Of course I also expect to get an A in this class, but none of these goals/expectations can be accomplished without hard work. As a wise man by the name of Vince Lombardi once said, “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

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