For our New Historical papers we were encouraged to go back and use apaper that we have already written and then add to them from a New Historical lense. This being said, I decided to go way back to a paper I wrote my senior year of high school and use it as the jumping off point for this paper. I have changed immensely since my time as a Galloping Ghost and it was rather obvious in revisiting this paper.
My senior year of high school I took a CAPP english class for college credit through UW Oshkosh. We read various novels and similar to this class wrote papers through specific literary lenses. I wrote about Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Edna’s identity. Through various editing mistakes (I repeated the same word twice more than once), choppy sentences, and stand alone quotes, I was able to see how much I have truly grown as a writer during my four years at St. Norbert College. I am quite embarrassed that I got such a good grade on the paper considering it was a class that I was taking for college credit. I even went and messaged my high school teacher and thanked him for all the terrible papers he has had to put up with over the years. His response is something that will stick with me as a future educator. He reminded me that the paper is not as bad as I think it is and that it is an important part of who I am as a writer as it shows my improvement. I am lucky enough to live in an age where I can go back and look at all of my papers from high school and college online in my google drive. I can look back and reflect on how far I have come and that is truly an amazing thing. I know I am not the best writer in the world but I have proof that I am better than I once was. I would hope that I can pass this onto my future students. I want to encourage them to keep their papers year after year, even if they just keep their papers from September and compare them to what they are writing in June. The physical proof that a writer can and will improve is inspiring.
After having this conversation with my former teacher, I went back and read through the paper from April of 2015 and was able to pick out some sentences of genius. While nowhere near perfect, there was something of value in this paper. For that very reason, I am able to take my research from 3.5 years ago and expand upon it. The proposal/outline I wrote for this paper was perhaps the easiest outline I have ever written. It is almost as if I am picking up the paper and revising years later. There is a lot of rearranging that needs to happen and even more topics to be added, but it all seems worth it and I am actually a little bit excited to begin writing this paper.
Post Malone poses the question “You probably think you are better now” and to that I respond with a resounding OF COURSE. We as human beings are always improving, always getting better. Even as a non-english major/minor I have improved immensely in my writing. If I can get better, anyone can.