Image By Sander van der Wel (CC BY-NC 2.0)
People often say that taking your first AP course is going to be the first time in which you do the most amount learning and growing. This might be every class but I believe that this statement holds the most true for AP English Language and Composition. By enrolling in this course, I found out that there is more to be learned and room for improvement and growing. As the last semester is about to end, I can confirm that this year, although different than what I expected, was a time of tremendous growth and success for myself.
The first assignment that I feel best represents my learning and growth this year is the description essay. I found this assignment very difficult at first because I didn’t want to get too personal about the people and events in my life. Compared to other essays, the descriptive essay requires me to write everything in such vivid detail that the reader can almost reach out and touch it. In addition, there were no hard facts that I could pull from any online sources. As I went through the revision process I did not become aware of the fact that I needed to get more in depth. While describing my old friend Kyle, I had to do more than just call him my friend. As seen in the last paragraph of my finalized descriptive essay,
He wasn’t just my friend, he was my everything. Kyle was the light to my world. There was something about him that I couldn’t bear to lose because I knew that wouldn’t find it in anyone else.
Photo by Me
Descriptive writing is something that has and will always plague my writing. I never know what to say or how to fix what I already wrote. Every time I am writing something, it just so happens that the question always pops up: How can I be more descriptive?
Improving my use of description, this assignment enabled me to dwell deeper into the life of my friend and it ultimately improved our friendship. As I learned more and more things about my friend Kyle, I was able to improve my descriptive writing and make the readers more emotionally connected to him.
The next assignment for this year that I also believe represents the learning and growth is the college portfolio project. For the writing portion of it all, I picked to answer the UC college essay questions and wrote 2 of the 4 actually required amount of essays. I found it quite challenging to put all your thoughts and compress into a 350-word essay. Although I didn’t think about using the description techniques I learned from the description essay, I can see how much of a positive impact it can have after rereading my essays.
Of the eight topics we could choose to write about, I chose to describe an example of my leadership experience. After finishing my first draft, I noticed how the word count was a little too much. It was hard deciding which phrases to leave off and which ones to keep so that the college admission officers are still impressed. The same process that I had used to write my descriptive essay was used in the college prompt, in which I wrote about my passion for the scouting community and how much of an effect it has had on my life. Although writing about another person wouldn’t get me qualified for college, the description of my friend Kyle shows how much I admire him and how much he means to me.
The last assignment that I personally feel is the best representative of the knowledge and growth I have gained this year is the zine. Although I felt like I wanted to kill myself, this zine project really helped me to become an effective communicator to help address the many problems in our society. Working in groups of four, I learned to persevere and effectively collaborate with others. A problem I kept on facing that I late implemented into my group’s zine was the short time we had. This time running out metaphor was most similar in Catcher in the Rye such that it was basically the innocence metaphor. In the novel, Holden basically struggles against growing up. Throughout the novel, the metaphor of innocence chases Holden. I found it surprising that the extended metaphor of time was maintained in my zine even in our final product.
Photo by Me
Overall, everything that I have done this year in my class for AP English Language and Composition can be described as a creation of sorts. From the morphemes to the zines to the college project, I expressed my creativity in many ways. Although I see some improvement with my narrative essay from the beginning of the year to my last essay, the college project, I feel as if there is much more to improve in my writing. I feel satisfied knowing that my writing has improved but it feels much better focusing on what I can do to improve my writing and carry it on for the rest of my life.