Today I finished my first revision for my close reading paper. I read through the comments on my initial draft several times and then began my revision process. This revision process is not as daunting as I remember it being since my first papers in elementary school. I feel like I can do this.
A common theme throughout my paragraphs was the need for more concrete/critical topic sentences. I will admit that I originally did not see any issues with my topic sentences. I thought that they captured the attention of the reader. I still believe that they captured the attention of the reader, but they did not necessarily inform the reader what the paragraph would be about.
Another issue with my paper that I addressed is the progression of my paper. To attempt to solve this, I rearranged the order of my papers to flow from Edna’s most oppressed moments to her most free moments. Originally I had gone in sequential order, but I believe that my rearranged order better flows and helps the paper to progress as a whole.
The last problem that I addressed or attempted to address was that of further developing my thesis statement. I tend to go for a one sentence thesis, but have been told in this class and previous English classes that the thesis is more than just the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. I do not feel as if I did this very well, but I tried. There is always room for improvement.
Turning in this revision, I do not necessarily feel that the paper is finished yet. I can’t quite let go of this paper yet, so just like Avril Lavigne’s 2007 song I will “keep holding on” for just a little bit longer. I am looking forward to receiving more feedback and hope to revise at least one more time before letting it go.
Today we got back comments on our initial drafts of our close reading papers. All of the comments made sense and were not over my head in terms of being too difficult. Now I am trying to figure out how to adapt my writing to better fit the mold, taking the comments into consideration.
We were also assigned our next paper–a summary assignment. I am struggling to see how this assignment is relevant to me as a future educator. Since I am failing to find a purpose, this assignment is really hard to start. It feels as though this is just busy work, which I despise.
Overall I am frustrated with this class. I am growing more and more doubtful of how applicable this class is to my future, let alone my Elementary Education major and Spanish and ESL minors. I am taking this class as a substitution for my ESL minor, but I feel like I am learning nothing that connects to it. I feel like I am wasting my time and money with this class developing skills that do not need to be developed in my last semester of college classes. I am not an English major/minor (for a very good reason) and as an English class this is catered to such individuals. I definitely believe that whoever chooses what courses are needed for what majors/minors should reevaluate the inclusion of this class within the English as a Second Language minor.
In her 2008 song, So What, P!nk sings, “So what, I am a rockstar.” To this I respond : So what. I am an Ed Major.
I made the decision to start rereading The Awakening after being unable to formulate anything about The Turn of the Screw. This choice was definitely the right one as I am feeling a lot less stress about this paper now. I drove to a nearby coffee shop and and devoted my Saturday to the task of producing a rough first draft. The combination of the smell of coffee and a good book is one that would make anyone’s day. Upon reading one page, I started writing and was able to get a rough page of thoughts written down rather quickly. My day would be productive thanks to a readily available caffeine source and a sparked motivation from being reintroduced to such a novel and reading it through a new lense.
This is not my first time reading The Awakening, as I read it almost exactly four years ago in my CAPP English class in high school. I remember loving the book then and the feelings of endearment toward the book have quickly returned. It has been interesting reading the novel with a new set of eyes. I have grown in the past four years through college and experiences that have allowed me to read the book in a different way. It has been interesting looking at what things I had previously marked as “important” when I read the novel as a high school senior as to what I deem “important” now (interestingly enough I have marked almost all new passages). Rereading a novel at different points in one’s life provides an interesting perspective. One does not realize how much they have changed over the course of a few years until they are forced into reinterpreting a novel or piece of art.
Instead of dreading this assignment as I had previously when I tried to write about The Turn of the Screw, I am excited to read and write. I have found once again that the topic makes all the difference in whether or not the writing experience will be enjoyable or absolutely dreadful. I believe as a future educator, I need to take this into consideration when assigning writing for my students. Giving students the choice on which book to write about rather than requiring that everyone reads and writes about the same one could make all the difference in whether or not my students love writing time or despise it. I only wish I had made this realization earlier so I would have had more time to reread and formulate a better draft. Thankfully, writing is a process and I have plenty of time to revise and edit. This is not the one-and-done type of assignment that I am used to.
At this point in time, I have decided to write about the symbolism of the various birds throughout the novel and how they relate to Edna’s feelings of oppression and freedom. Part of me wants to write about the relation of the forty chapters to the forty weeks of pregnancy as there are signs that point to the potential of the novel chronicling Edna’s pregnancy, but I think at this current time the aforementioned topic could be a bit out there and I do not think I am prepared enough to write about such a complex topic. Perhaps in a later paper I can dissect this idea further.
In Disney’s 2010 movie, Tangled, Rapunzel sings a whole song about finally being able to see the lights and how the fog has lifted in regards to her relationship with one Eugene Fitzherbert. The aforementioned song is how I am feeling in this moment, not about a physical relationship, however, but rather about my current writing assignment. The fogginess of my brain that is writer’s block has lifted and I am finally able to see the light that inspiration in writing my close reading paper.
As the Plain White T’s famously sang in their 2006 hit song Hate (I Really Don’t Like You), “hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you.” The aforementioned lyrics encapsulate the essence of how I feel about prewriting. I really, really, really don’t care for the prewriting process. I find it tedious to outline a paper and honestly a waste of time. I know that prewriting is more than just outlines, but overall I just am angered by it. As a future elementary school teacher, I understand the importance of understanding prewriting and teaching it to my students as it may work for them, however I know it does not work for me as a writer.
This being said, I am having a hard time starting my close reading draft. I normally just start writing and put my thoughts down to the page as I go, but I can’t even manage to pick out thoughts about The Turn of the Screw. I am thinking about writing about the moments in which the apparitions appear, but I really do not know. I think I have a classic case of overthinking things, which is hindering my ability to write anything at all. I also think that part of the reason I am struggling so much to even begin this paper is that I did not enjoy the book. It was annoying and predictable and reminded me too much of another novel I despise, Wuthering Heights (which may just mean that I despise 19th century ghost stories). I know I am a picky reader which in turn affects my ability to write about novels, especially when I did not care for the book I am supposed to write the paper on.
My draft needs to be peer reviewed in less than three days and honestly I’m debating re-reading The Awakening quickly and just using that for my paper instead. This would not be the first time I changed my mind on what I am writing about, as I ended up writing about all three of the essays during my AP Literature test because I couldn’t make a darn decision on which two I could best write about.
In summary, I hate prewriting. I can’t figure out how to start writing. I am terrible at making decisions. This is going to be an interesting semester.