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Catherine Clark
9/5 Discussion
Fri Sep 5, 2014 12:59pm
150.216.254.206

English has never been one of my strongest subjects. In high school, I could slide by with a B, maybe. I always tried my hardest of course but still found it challenging to write a decent essay.

Up until my sophomore year of high school, I was homeschooled. My “teachers” were on DVDs of a classroom in Pensacola, Florida, and then there was my mother, who helped out when possible. Although homeschooling was fun, I didn’t have anyone to really help me with my writing. Most of the teachers on the DVDs focused on grammar, punctuation, or formatting a research paper. Therefore, I never built a good foundation of useful writing skills.

When I was 14, I went to public school for the first time since kindergarten. My very first class just happened to be English, with my Bosnian teacher, Mrs. Brecher (I still find it ironic that she teaches English and she can barely pronounce most English words right). From the very beginning, she had us writing essays on all sorts of different topics, through all sorts of different methods. It was all so new (and also a bit terrifying) to me. One thing that she used to always remind me was to use specific examples when writing any kind of paper, which, I suppose, is very helpful. Unfortunately that is one of the only things I can remember her teaching me.

Junior year I had Mrs. Petersen, who just happens to be one of the best writers I have ever met. She definitely helped me improve my writing. “Claim, Evidence, Commentary,” are the words that came out of her mouth almost daily to remind us the steps in writing a successfully persuasive essay. I was lucky enough to get her for another year, too. My senior year was filled with opportunities for Mrs. P to come to my rescue. She helped me with essays for Governor’s School, college applications, scholarships, AP exams and more. She always knew exactly what to say when writing: the perfect phrasing, which words to change, which words to omit, fantastic diction, incredible syntax, organization, etc.

Now that I’m here at ECU, I am hoping that the all practice and instruction I have had in the past has prepared me for the many papers that are to come. And I’m also hoping that if my papers absolutely suck, you won’t laugh too terribly hard.

Word count: 400

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