Hard Work Pays Off Eventually

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Yesterday I received my final analysis back from my English T.A. and for some strange reason I went back to my room without even looking at it, and then forgot it existed until this morning before I went to write a test for another class. I picked it up and said, “I’m not going to look just yet…I’ll wait till after class so that this doesn’t mess up my mojo.”

When I returned with breakfast, my bag and cellphone in hand I remembered that I wanted to see what I got on my analysis. I put everything down, finished texting back my dad (we talk everyday), and searched for my analysis, which I placed on my tiny bookshelf.

I looked at each page. There were no comments, simply pink checkmarks every couple of lines. I wasn’t sure if I should feel excited, or nervous. I started to briefly read over what it was I had written, but it made me feel uneasy.

Finally I reached the last page. Following a series of check marks was a pink 80. I was beaming. I texted my dad to tell him the news. I shared it with those I loved. I was proud. I am proud.

For years, I had struggled with writing more academic pieces, such as essays (especially the dreadful five paragraph ones). In the 11th grade I decided that I was going to get better at this for of writing. I no longer wanted to get between 65% and 70% on my English assignments. I wanted to get 80% and above. By grade 12 I was getting 84% on some of my assignments and I started of my Creative Writing course with 96%. I felt amazing. I’d reached my goal. Suddenly before second semester, my parents and school counsellor recommended that I retake the grade 12 English that I had done in summer school (I liked to take a course ahead of time in order to not end up with English, Math and Science all at once…it always happened to me in grades 9 and 10). in order to be more competitive for university. I was reluctant but I did.

My teacher was great, he ran our schools writing club, which I was apart of and he also taught my younger sister earlier on in the year. He was the toughest teacher in the English department, and the scariest…but I didn’t think so. He was actually very nice, and he helped me improve on many things throughout the year. Unfortunately, though I had started his class getting 80%, my marks became 60%. I was heartbroken. For the first time in that year I was so frustrated and disappointed with my marks that I had to fight back tears in class. I nearly thought about leaving. I’d gotten 3 assignments back in a row, all 65% or lower. It made me feel like throwing up. I felt hopeless. I wasted my time retaking a course that I didn’t need to redo and I was doing worse than before. I finished the class off with 70%, which was lower than the mark I’d gotten in summer school. I was so angry that I wasn’t sure of what I should do. I never wanted to go through that again but I learned that sometimes when we work hard, we don’t always get the results we want but what doing well in university English has taught me, is that my teacher from high school pushed us so that we would be ready for university English assignments and that if we try hard and it doesn’t work the first time, you just need to try something different.

Each assignment I do, if my professors or T.A’s make any comments I will take them and improve upon what they said for future assigned work.

I really wanted to share this with you all because though I have always loved reading and writing, and though English is my favourite class, throughout my elementary and high school careers, my teachers had discouraged me from pursuing English entirely. One teacher even wrote that they didn’t believe I had any interest in the subject of English, while my parents and I knew that I had been writing novels and stories for years and had been assisting my friends with their English homework. I proved that teacher wrong a year later when I was again put into their English class. I think maybe they just didn’t like me because I also had them for Art and I’m always getting 84% to like 90% in Art and this teacher gave me a 60%. Plus when I proved them wrong about the English thing, they gave me a 65% and wrote on a book mark they made me, “Your love for storytelling brings a unique (something or other) to your writing.”

I try to be optimistic so when people try to discourage me I end up trying harder.

The bad experiences that I had with my teachers in the past has also showed me what not to do when I myself become a teacher. I want to be an encourager of talent, a trusted person that my students can go to when they need someone to listen, and someone who allows them to let their dreams take flight.

Well….to those with exams I wish you all the best!

–Orion.

Orion is Hyper

Just a warning to everyone who I follow or who follows me or who just happened to come across this blog randomly today…I am hyper and therefore that means I will write really random things and type a lot because when I’m hyper I like talk a lot and my parents think its really bad because I could be having like one sip of mountain dew and then BAM I’m like motormouth crazy kid jumping off the walls and stuff. I seriously don’t know why. No one else in my family seems to have this problem…other than my 2 year old niece.

I deleted the rest of this post because it was long and I was like “You guys will think I’m crazy!” but now I regret it because I’m sure whatever I was saying was pretty funny.

Catching Kayla

I just watched this video titled, Catching Kayla and it was just awesome.

A woman who worked at a music school I attended a while back was also suffering from MS, like this girl, and a boy I knew from 4th grade, his father ended up getting the disease as well. I just…thought I’d share this because well it was…I don’t even know what to say. Just click the link alright? You’ll understand when you watch it.

Procrastination

I’ve been dealing with procrastination for years, and in my final year of high school I thought that I’d finally broken away from it. I hadn’t everything in on time, and was always getting my homework done right away so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it later on. Unfortunately, this being my first year at university, it seems that I’ve been procrastinating the start of my assignments. I was aware of this essay weeks ago, it’s due next week and all I’ve done is decide on what it is I’m going to discuss. Essay’s haven’t really been my strong point…especially those awful five paragraph ones. I didn’t get the hang of essay writing until I was in the 12th grade. No one really took the time to teach me in elementary school, so when I got to high school I sort of pretended I knew how to do it and figured it out…well…sort of. At least I was getting B’s on my work rather than C’s.

So I’ve been here since 11 am trying to start an essay. I’ve got my notes nicely laid out, a couple scribbles about what it is I want to say. I reread one of the texts I want to discuss and then I thought “I’m going to watch something” however the show not only irritated me but it infuriated me. It is one of my favourite shows and I just got annoyed with the way that the writers have been reusing scenarios over and over again throughout the series and just changing the characters in each. I understand that it isn’t always easy to come up with new ideas, but I also feel like writers are wasting their talent when they do things like that. Here I am, trying to think of a good thesis for my essay and these guys are just reusing the same scenes? Seriously?

I understand that that sort of thing pays the bills, but I strongly believe that you should be writing for yourself with an audience in mind not writing for an audience and putting all of your ideas to the side. Sure getting feed back from your audience worked for Charles Dickens (whose novels I enjoy reading in my spare time) but will you actually be happy with the final product?

Many writers who were pressured into going with one ending, or removing scenes are chapters were unsatisfied with the way their stories were presented in the end. A lot of them republished their novels and plays with “new” endings, putting back what was originally there in order to stop torturing themselves.

I know that I myself would not be happy handing in this essay for example, if I knew that it was not my best work. If it doesn’t satisfy what I believe to be good, than it cannot satisfy anyone else.

As I write this I continue to put off the creation of my thesis, however I’m writing something and that will put me in a writing mood (hopefully). I even cleaned my room so that I could have clear thoughts while studying for my exams. The sooner I finish this essay, the sooner I can begin preparing for my exams.

I’ve procrastinated everything that wasn’t for marks it seems. I will defeat this monster…I will. I just need to remember what got me to fight against procrastination the first time. I don’t think it was just having a spare period to work on assignments. Maybe it was because the people that I was surrounding myself with were working hard as well? I’m not too sure.

Anyone out there have the same problem? I seriously need help…I don’t want to procrastinate studying (I usually don’t but my parents aren’t around to nag me).

Well…I’ve got about 20 minutes to come up with a thesis. I sort of have one now…. Ha I’ll use this. It sucks now but I’ll fix it up later. I just wanna get this thing started.

Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far!

— O. Ryder

National Novel Writing Month: Quick Writing Tip

I didn’t know that there was a website for National Novel Writing Month…so when I found out I thought, well why not join it and check it out. I’ll be sure to give it a review later once I’ve explored it. I think a community where writers are able to support one another is absolutely fantastic. Actually, I was invited to join a writing community at my school…I just haven’t attended any of the meetings yet…as I don’t know where it is exactly and I’m weird about sharing my novels with people.

I was given a word of advice from a Canadian author last year at a workshop I attended (my first workshop actually), and she told us, “Never let anyone read your rough draft before it’s complete.”

When she said that I was kind of shocked. I thought to myself, “But I used to do that all the time?” at that point I limited sharing my novels to my younger sister.

She then continued to say, “When people give you feedback before it’s complete you start writing for them, and stop writing for yourself.”

I knew at that moment that she was right. Whenever I had written things in the past and had gotten feedback from people, I took their suggestions. My novel wasn’t complete yet…and when it was things got even more complex because I was unable to satisfy all these people’s suggestions. I was no longer happy with my work. That’s why it took my nearly 7 years to say, “Okay…we’re moving on to something new.”

I was trying to edit the official version of that said novel…but I was working on other ones as well including sequels to the novel. There are…what, 6 books? I had so much free time as a kid. I mean I guess I’m still a “kid,” but I’m a busier kid now that I’m in university.

Well just thought I’d share this link…didn’t think I’d end up writing this much.

Who else is excited for the weekend?

http://nanowrimo.org/