||05-03-2006 09:47 AM
I actually just finished an essay for part of my english final (1/9th of it :(), and I'm pleased with the way it came out. I had fun writing it, haha. It's being reviewed by a whole board of professors from the english department of my university. Whatcha think?
I consider myself a very good writer—or should I say, I write very well—or should I say, my penmanship comes off quite pedantic and scholarly when juxtaposed to the typical abilities of discourse in a public school system. But I digress. I have always enjoyed the art of taming the pen (read: keyboard) and this year I believe I have stepped up to the next level in my writing from a rather unusual raison d'être… non-convention.
My entire school life thus far has been built on rules… structured frameworks of educational force-feeding drawn up by detached administrators paid to spend their days listening to whining mothers. Okay, that may be a bit harsh and overstepping, considering the judges who are evaluating this essay, however this semester I have felt more creative and more writing freedom than I ever have before. Our literary creations in this course have been guided, but not bounded. I was encouraged to write satire on a traditionally dry topic; I was allowed to approach a subject from the less socially sane of angles; I was even given a pen and paper one class period, and told to go outside and just write, with no structure, form, limitations, or boundaries. Granted all of these writing endeavors have been guided with broad topics and suggestions, however the resulting masterpiece is your intellectual creativity… not an Ad-Lib style, form-field-filling, template-based, preconceived, marginally-flexible assignment like I was given all throughout high school.
Even better than supporting our First Amendment is English 1101 in the content of historical philosophy. When I first registered for this class, I was dreading it. I assumed it would be another cookie-cutter textbook lesson on dry and tedious concepts. Nevertheless, it was a required class, and now I think it was the best choice I never had. Discussing topics from Plato (not the toddler kind) to Pi (not the apple kind), I think I have learned more non-English related material these past few months in my English class than I have in any other subject I’m currently taking. Professor Denker has a wickedly devilish method of touching on a subject just enough to entice your interest, but lacking the substance to complete your assignment without additional out-of-class research. As a result of a lecture, one evening I found myself looking up and reading “A Modest Proposal,” when it was not assigned, and had absolutely nothing to do with my current essay. In addition to further expanding my English and writing abilities, I am taking a lot of other knowledge with me from this class.
I chose to revise the two essays in my portfolio not because they were my worst and needed it, but rather because I enjoyed writing then and wouldn’t mind the extra bonding time. No essay is ever complete. The grammar can be flawless and the diction outstanding, but it can always be rewritten and reorganized to better convey the message, as I tried to do with these two essays. Voltaire, my first choice, has always been incredibly fascinating to me, and I consciously try not to hold his French heritage against him. Candide is a beautifully composed story with infinitely deep roots, giving me plenty to oppress my opinionated analysis upon. My second essay choice discussed neuroscience’s impact on 21st century culture. Now most of neuroscience makes me neurologically numb, however one aspect of it’s definition yanked me to attention… artificial intelligence. I’m very focused on computer science and business, and if computer scientists can make a machine think, that would have a colossal impact on business, and in turn, society. Beyond that, there are also splashes of religious implications in unlocking the secrets and further understanding the brain. With those two aspects alone highlighted, I could not turn down this essay. My associations in the paper drifted from McDonalds drive-throughs to pop-culture movies, however with my portfolio revision, I attempted to tie up some of those loose, straggling correlations.
My wildcard essay had deeper motivation than simply being a story. I intended to demonstrate my literary abilities of narrative imagery, as well as a strong pathos rhetorical form, appealing to the reader’s emotion. If a person had experienced a similar event in the past, I aimed to dig that memory up into the forefront of their mind, and bleed all their emotions into enhancing my anecdote. If they had not previously experienced a similar account, I also designed my essay to lure sympathy through meticulous description and imagery. It demonstrated a literary side of me not revealed through the other essays.
Throughout my portfolio I intended to show a sampling of my different writing styles, from serious to fun. I set out to exploit my freedom of creativity this semester, and experiment with different writing techniques. What’s the conclusion? I think my verdict for personal favorite is the style of this essay. Slightly more casual with a sarcastic undertone and meaningful content. I think it’s the best depiction of myself that can be conveyed with a pen—erm, keyboard.