Quick Thought

Some days, I feel like nothing works out.

Some days, I am on cloud 9.

And other days, I know that things will be just fine –just trust the people you love.

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Hon. English 12

I used to hate English class. From the reading, to discussing, to writing, and absolutely dreading getting back my graded papers. I wasn’t terrible at writing, but I wasn’t good either. I remember very clearly sitting at the cafeteria at lunch with some of my fellow science nerds and complaining how having English as a requirement for all four years of high school was a complete and utter waste of time. “You don’t need to know how to write an essay or analyze literature in the real world” I said with such condescending naiveté that I find so irritating in retrospect. I was a know-it-all. In my mind, there are the important subjects –sciences and math– and the less important subjects –English and other liberal arts. But that changed.

I remember my first encounter with Ms. Noel. She proctored my first PSAT in 10th grade. I could not stand her that day. Transference of feelings, my friends –it was just that. I hated the testing and dreaded that day and blamed it on innocent Ms. Noel, who, very likely, did not enjoy testing day either.

Fast forward almost two years later. “HON ENGLISH 12  NOEL” it said on my class schedule. I walked into class and was annoyed. I did not want to have Ms. Noel for that class. But a few days later, my view was changed. Ms. Noel changed my whole perspective of English class. She was smart and approachable and steered us away from generic writing in the five paragraph format. She encouraged me to find my voice and passion in my writing, and with her help, I did just that. Slowly but surely, I was making strides not only in my writing capabilities, but also in my thinking skills. It was a side of the subject that I have not seen before.

For my final research paper, the last paper that I wrote in high school, I picked the book Lolita. It was a challenge, but I excelled. I found passion in the book. I understood what the process meant! It was the lightbulb moment that I missed all along. I dug through the book, I found it’s meaning of the character, I saw how it worked in the grander scheme of things. I fought for Lo! I put so much into that project and it showed. From that point on, writing was no longer scary or dreadful. It was fun, evocative; a creative practice in critical thinking.

I regret not doing more with language and writing, as now I see it as much more of a passion to me that sciences. However, I am determined to keep pushing in that direction, because even though it may seem like it sometimes, I still have time to get things done.

Thank you, Ms. Noel.