“I hear the conversations going on around me and I feel the stares I’m sure cannot all be my imagination. People speak of their summer vacations and feign interest in their friend’s activities. Fake smiles fill their faces as they wait for their turn to speak. Though it may be only a cursory glance, a stranger’s stare makes me feel naked. Like they can see right through my facade and all my insecurities. Instead of the door, I opt to find the wall in the back of the room, farthest from the door and assume that I am safe. I lean against the wall and take another look around. It must be my imagination, but it feels like the stares are getting longer and more intense. You have not looked in my direction….
Throughout my life, I have been exposed to many different types of people. From extroverted to introverted, from dedicated to calm and “go-with-the-flow.” Whether they were in a book or one of my friends. I’ve tried to imitate at least half of them, because I like them better than myself. It took me a long time to realize that I need to stop imitating these other people, and that I need to have my own ideas, speak my own opinions, and create my own life. That realization came two years ago, and I’m still working on figuring out who I actually am. I have lived through others for so long that I lost the ability to separate my own opinion from opinions I stole. I can’t tell if I am speaking about my ideas or I am talking about an idea someone told me.” – Leah
A few weeks ago, my English class had an assignment due. We needed to find a moment in time when we experienced an emotion that overwhelmed us. It didn’t have to be a “good” memory. It didn’t even have to be a life-changing memory. All we had to was think of a moment in our short lives that was memorable.
For myself I chose my first day of high school. It stuck out in my mind as a day full of strong emotions. The first emotion I felt was shy and uncomfortable in the large class setting filled with people I don’t know. As I wrote about this, I found myself spilling all the words onto the paper of how I felt without really thinking about what order they went in or how they sounded. This was what I called my zero draft.
I then went to the computer to type it up and to formulate my thoughts into coherent sentences. For the peer editing, I printed out three copies of my essay, which turned out to be too few. Through peer editing, I learned that I needed to add more setting to my essay. My reader was unsure of where they were when reading my story. Mr. Ziebarth, my English teacher, advised me to add setting that I wouldn’t even think of originally but that it would help.
By the end of my time writing my essay, I had gone through two rounds of peer editing and I had gone to Mr. Ziebarth once to have him help me one-on-one.
I believe that these rounds of editing helped to build my essay in its plotline and setting.