Personal Narrative: My Experience In College Prep Ii Writing

1768 words - 7 pages

For the entirety of my undergraduate career I had the distinct ability to successfully write research papers, critical essays and journal entries. On the whole I feel that my writing was successful due to the fact that I received excellent grades as well as glowing comments of support from my professors. Please understand that I am not boasting about my grade point average, class rank or even attempting to claim that I am a good writer. However, I do feel confident in my abilities to write papers that speak directly to the question at hand while simultaneously addressing, although not necessarily adhering to, the professor’s point of interest. I must credit much of my success as an undergraduate to Mr. M of the High School English Department. My outlook on academic writing was drastically altered during the fall of 1997 with the help of Mr. M and a writing course entitled College Prep II.

Any High School Senior who wishes to matriculate at a four-year college or university can enroll in College Prep II. The purpose of the course, as if it weren’t obvious from the title, is to adequately prepare outgoing seniors to write effective research papers and essays at the college level. Before I delve into the specifics of the course itself, I must briefly acquaint you with the quirky Irishman mentioned above. Mr. M came across as the type of wise old Irishman you might run into in a quaint pub and spend hours sipping Guinness, telling jokes and exchanging personal experiences with. Perhaps the reason why College Prep II became such a welcomed challenge for my classmates and I had something to do with the high level of respect Mr. M showed us. Although we were nothing more than scared, immature high school seniors, he talked to us as if we were levelheaded, confident college students. The majority of high school teachers adhere to the “department store” method of teaching, whereby they must actively advertise and promote their educational product on a daily basis. Conversely, Mr. M opted for the “Wholesale” approach to teaching, allowing us to determine the importance of his educational product on our own, rather than bombard us with lectures and speeches on why College Prep II of the utmost importance. This style of teaching allowed our class to feel as if we were in on a secret that held the key to our college careers. In effect, Mr. M created a scholarly atmosphere in opposition to the disciplinary doldrums found in most classrooms.

Socially speaking, Mr. M also viewed my classmates and I in a very realistic fashion, knowing full well that mistakes would be made in the tumultuous sea of teenage life. He became someone we could talk to if trouble arose outside of class; I sought his advice when I was kicked off the track team for underage drinking. In viewing Mr. M as an equal or peer, perhaps it was easy for us to surrender our fears of writing and seek out his expertise. Putting pen to paper is such an intimate extension of ones thoughts,...

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