Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life As An Essay


To my AdvLit students of the graduating class of 2008:


There are many things I could have said, to be honest, words would have probably failed me. As you could all see I coudn't even say a simple Thank You; I was overwhelmed. Four years ago the graduating class was my dad's and mine's, two years ago it was my graduating class, and this year it was his. As a whole class, this year was more of his than mine, unfortunately, I didn't even know some of those in your class. Nevertheless, I knew the eight of you most.

I began writing an essay about 10 months ago, as ridiculous as it may sound, to read it at your graduation. Then, I figured it'd be unfair for me to stand in front of the whole graduating class and only speak to a handful of you... in English. I did get to write quite a lot of it, but, somehow, as the time passed it was hard to finish it.
Sorry
I know, incomplete is not acceptable.
But, I can hand it in late, right?

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"Life as an Essay"


"What's the importance of learning to write an essay?" I have answered this question for the past 6 years repeatedly. Each time I explained how it would help in your futures at college here or abroad. Yet, I never quite touched base on how learning to write a good essay could be beneficial for your lives. Therefore, it is my turn to teach you my last lesson concerning essays by just going over the basic rules of essay writing.

1- No Anacondas!!!

There are times when we write those extremely long sentences without ever pausing; commas, semicolons, and colons become our best friends. We shun the period. What ends up is a sentence so long that you don't know the beginning from the end, it seems like you lost your way somewhere. All because you wanted to say it all at the same time and finish it quickly. You never stopped, stepped back, and noticed you had strayed from what you originally wanted.

In life there are moments like this, moments where we need to pause. Life is precious, and I know, we want to enjoy it to the fullest, enjoy those beautiful moments for as long as possible, and step on the gas through those rough patches. Nevertheless, it is important to take a breather once in a while. If you head on full throttle you might lose your way at some point and, next thing you know, you lost your previously set path.

2- Transitions Are Important

Sometimes run-on sentences, or anacondas, end up taking over you so much that you even forget to add your transition words here and there. Without some nicely placed transitions you might end up with a choppy essay that lacks any flow, it just seems like a group of bunched up ideas that were casually placed together.

Life requires you to stop and check on yourself sometimes. Right now, since you graduated from High School you might have had to stop and think "What am I going to do now?" When you're done with the University you will need to ask yourself something similar. Don't just rush into life, life is plentiful. Take a break from time to time. Life is not just studying or just working. Learn to stop once in a while and observe your life, add those important transitions, don't get lost in the same thing and don't just abruptly change things without giving it prior thought.

3- Details are important

A well written essay require details to be added. The reader needs to be able to understand exactly what you are trying to convey, they need to feel what you feel, see what you see... Think of all the unusual details that could be used to explain your thoughts better, you want to stand out, you want to be read from the beginning to end.

Nothing in life is trivial. Details are important. In all aspects of your life the smallest details help mold and shape you into who you are. Details are what impress your partner, impress your boss, and those around you. It is the smallest things about you that people will love and remember. Nothing is not important, everything is worthy.

4- Pretend No One Knows What You're Talking About

Never expect your reader to know what you are talking about. Never expect the reader to have prior knowledge of your topic. Be proactive, be ready for it; let the reader know all the things necessary to fully understand you. Never leave loopholes open for your arguments, think things before truly putting them down on paper.

You need to know that in life people will not understand you from the get-go! In fact, they probably won't fully understand you for a while. You need to be aware of this! Be proactive, be aware that people don't always know what you mean. Be ready for it, be open to it. Think things through in relationships, friendships, college, and work.

5- Think Quality, Not Quantity

An essay will never be perfect. An essay should never have a certain number of paragraphs or pages. Writing the most does not mean you have written the best. You need to think of the quality of your work before you think about the quantity of it.

Life is precious. Some may say it is long, some may say it is too short. Enjoy it. Live it. Laugh it up. Love it. Enjoy what you do. Enjoy what you dedicate yourself to doing. Always think of the quality of your life, the basics of it, before you think of living a long one.

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So guys, that's basically it. These five rules I repeated so much that I think you hated them, but, to be honest, there is always more to it than you see at a first glance. I hope you remember these things as you continue of into your professional/college lives. It was my honor to have you in my classroom these past 7 years.


So, Guillermo, Mariela, Maribel, Maridalys, Alberto, Tuty, Luis, and Tibaldo,
"with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face I say: See you later guys!"

8 comments:

El-Guille said...

Dude, Seriously, i loved your class, i miss it more now that its over. On school...English was my Favorite Subject...

It was indeed a pleasure being a student of yours...and i really will cherish that time...jej...even now, from time to time we talk and say "Hey...Remember when Yorch Said..."

-Sometimes, the smallest things in life can bring the biggest joys. For me, those joys are memories...

Maribel said...

George, you are the most amazing literature teacher ever. I cherish you with my new friends: "no one better than Teacher George." English class was also my favorite subject.

I've always admired you. It's a privilege to say I was your student.

Its funny how Guille and me always mention something about your lessons or what we did...

I miss those days, and I'm always going to remember them.

Maribel said...

By the way, excellent essay!! Wow

Maribel said...

So I guess It's time for us to judge your essay.. well all i have to say for this is.. WOW.. damn Yorch.. I remember desde 5to..one of the best class and will always remember was yours and your fathers.. it's where we all learned lessons..
Lessons that we see more now in college without none of you guys.. Time passes by and sometimes we don't appreciate it enough..meantime now.. i would love to go back time and relive those moments..
How they say.. It was an honor to be your student.. :D!!!

Maribel said...

MARIELA:Sorry don't have gmail, so here i go:

So I guess It's time for us to judge your essay.. well all i have to say for this is.. WOW.. damn Yorch.. I remember desde 5to..one of the best class and will always remember was yours and your fathers.. it's where we all learned lessons..
Lessons that we see more now in college without none of you guys.. Time passes by and sometimes we don't appreciate it enough..meantime now.. i would love to go back time and relive those moments..
How they say.. It was an honor to be your student.. :D!!!

Maribel said...

JOHAIRA:

i just wanted to say that although you forgot about me, probably because i wasn't physically there, i was there in spirit. your lectures are forever with me..

PS: i was in your classroom too :(..

Lynn Marie said...

awwwwww!!
i wanna be ur student now...
(not a joke)

-Vampira's- said...

Yorch sorry for the delay... i really have to say i miss your class and i really thanks to u for all the thing u show me in the lasts years.. i dont have word to say how glad i am to be one of your students... with love and kisses i say `see you later!!`