Marissa's ePortfolio: A Reflection of My Academic Journey


Academic Lows
Academic Highs: Selected Works


When it came to writing essays in high school, I always hated it.  Not only were we forced to read way-too-long books at ridiculous speeds, but then we had to write five-paragraph essays analyzing the book.  It was pure torture for me.  Luckily, I didn't keep those kinds of essays because my lack of enthusiasm in the subject always reflected in my grade.  I almost began to hate writing in general; if I wasn't ever going to be given a chance to write about a topic that I had somewhat of an interest in, then I figured, why write at all?
But before long, my wish came true sophomore year.  My Murderous Traits essay didn't give me the best grade (but not the worst either), but I actually had so much interest and enthusiasm in researching the subject of why people commit murder.  I'd always procrastinate in turning in my first draft essay with other essays, but with this one, I actually stayed on top of it throughout the writing process.  Even though I wasn't exactly 100% proud of the writing, I was extremely proud of the research, time, and effort that I had put into the paper than I ever had before.
While I was maybe not so overwhelmed with joy over my writing in my first example, I was pleased with the writing in my second example, my poem Beaners Don't Like Beans.  I always was reserved in class and never dare wrote about anything that was less than politically correct.  It's like I finally just gave up and let all my feelings out on paper-something that I had never done before.  Here I was, transforming from a mundane, less-than-controversial writer to suddenly exploding with almost every derogatory term towards Mexicans out there.
he response from my class also established a comfort level in my writing; I had always written about other authors, other books, what other books meant, etc.  I wrote something really personal and connected that to other writings that I would write for school.  I always distanced myself from my writing for school and I think I took a step closer to a comfort level that had been totally foreign to me before.
I really feel as if I was only given one chance to write about a topic that I actually enjoyed (Muderous Traits essay), but finally, in my senior year of high school, I took a film class and my previous self-doubts on my writing were lifted.  The essay that I posted in this ePortfolio, The Lesser Female Presence, was the first one that I wrote in the class and my first A on any paper I had ever written before.  In fact, for all 3 essays that I wrote in that class, I received A's on all of them.  I had always doubted myself as a writer, but this class and the essays that I wrote for it reaffirmed my belief that I can be a really good writer.
Since I hadn't really been given a lot of confidence boosters before, I think the essays that I wrote for the film class changed my perception on writing for future classes.  I always tended to blame the subject if I got a bad grade on a paper and not my slacking off.  And while the subject of film did interest me more than the writing topics for my English classes, I would tend up to put up this wall, this stubbornness as soon as I found out I had to write an essay about the book we just read in class.
I don't think that I put up such a wall now in my college years.  I think I've learned greatly from my high school years that I can write good when I put my heart into it-whether I understand the topic completely or not.  I have more confidence in my writing than I did before; even though I enjoyed researching my Murderous Traits essay, I wasn't exactly confident with how I wrote it.
I can imagine more is going to change as I enter the next realm of school: college.  And I'm sure it'll be every much as a learning experience as high school was.

"It's not what happens
It's how you handle it"

"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet."  --Aristotle