For most of my life as a student, I have written papers using technology. I have sent emails, text messages, and school work digitally. Sometimes, very rarely I would be able to sit down and write with pen and paper. This semester I am taking an English 111 course on how to read and write. It was not until this class that I learned how important writing with pen and paper is. In this class, we have started all our papers by writing longhand, and we have learned about writing snail mail/letters.
Writing a rough draft by hand has never been something I have thought of, until this class. We were introduced to writing by hand within the first couple of weeks. I have always struggled with writing and getting my words to flow. Since I started writing my rough drafts longhand first my words flow much better. It is an intimate process and I feel a lot more connected to my work as the writer. The papers I write first sound much better than the ones I type first. I am able to make a connection to my paper. I experience a great deal less of writer’s block than I did previously. Turning away from the screen for a while and writing longhand is refreshing. It has also become very important to me over the last few months. I hope that if you have never experienced writing longhand that you will soon.
Snail mail is another way I have learned to step away from the screen and write longhand. Snail mail has been something that I haven’t really thought much about, until this class. I never understood the importance of snail mail or what it could mean to somebody. The first time we had to write a letter to someone for class, I did not understand the importance of it. I began to understand the importance of snail mail, once I received a letter from one of my classmates. When I got home that day, my parents told me that I had received a letter in the mail. I was immediately overwhelmed with joy and happiness. I had thought to myself, someone took the time out of their day to write a letter to me. I will never forget that feeling of pure joy I experienced. In Susan Shain’s article, “We Could All Use a Little Snail Mail Right Now,” she writes, “If you want to show you care, snail mail is an effective method. Think about the last time you received a hand-addressed missive — didn’t it make you smile” (13)? I think this is how most things work, you never truly understand how important something is until you experience it yourself. After receiving the letter, I was excited to write my next letter, and I was inspired. I wanted to make someone feel the same way I did when I received my letter. The next letter I wrote, I put a lot of effort into, and I was excited for the person to receive it. Now writing snail mail is something I enjoy and is something I find very important.
Writing longhand and snail mail has now become an important part of my life. Learning how to properly do both has dramatically changed the way I write and the way I view writing. I am able to write more fluently and effectively. I am also able to understand the benefits that writing can have on the reader. Writing longhand and snail mail are the things that I will remember the most from English 111 and two of the many things that will stick with me for many years to come.
Lenoir-Rhyne is a private institution in Hickory, North Carolina. The school is known for its academics and southern charm. One specific advertisement showcases Lenoir-Rhyne and what they are known for. This advertisement for Lenoir-Rhyne University was showcased in Our State magazine in August 2015. The advertisement offers a beautiful background of the school campus and a diverse group of students. The advertisement also shows their school mascot and offers a conveying description pertaining to their school. Colleges are notorious for their conveying advertisements. Often colleges put their best ideas and views from campus on advertisements so students will want to apply to their school. Lenoir-Rhyne University advertisement is a prime example of this.
The idea that Lenoir Rhyne University is trying to portray to the reader is that “higher education has never been so dapper”(1). The background of the advertisement consists of flourishing green trees and a bright blue sky. It looks like a warm spring day. A statue of the bear, which is their mascot is in the background. The college looks very fancy and expensive. Brick school buildings are off in the distance and five diverse students are standing and sitting along a short brick wall. The buildings have multiple windows and they are large in size. The five students are all wearing varying shades of blue. There are two males and three females. The male sitting on the wall is wearing a long sleeve, bright blue button-up with khakis and a bow tie. The male that is leaning against the wall is wearing a long sleeve, pastel blue button up with the sleeves rolled up and bright blue shorts. All three females are standing and wearing pastel blue dresses. Two of the females are wearing sunglasses to indicate that it is a sunny day. In the advertisement, the viewer can notice that the student’s hair is blowing in the wind, thus noting that the weather is good. The clothing they are wearing portrays a preppy look. They are all dresses unusually nice for normal college students on a normal day of class. The students each look like they are having a conversation and they are all interacting with other students. Each student looks relaxed and like they are having a good time. The advertisement says, “Our campus welcomes students to a close knit community of people where leaders of tomorrow have emerged for over a century” (1). The advertisement does a good job in portraying what it says.
The Lenoir Rhyne advertisement shows all of the good aspects of Lenoir Rhyne. The text shows overdressed, preppy college students. It emphasizes the southern charm and academic quality of the school. The goal of the advertisement is to convey future students to go to college at Lenoir Rhyne University. The advertisement compares the way the students are dressed to the level of education they will receive. The advertisement showcases the great aspects Lenoir Rhyne is and how beautiful it is. It shows how diverse the students are and how great of an education students will receive if they choose to go there. Lenoir Rhyne University does a great job in putting their best ideas and views into their advertisement to try to convey students to go to school there.
Back in the fourth and fifth grade, in my old elementary school building is where most of my love for reading experiences happened. I have always loved to read, and it all started back in kindergarten. Every week my teacher would take us to pick out a new book at the library. I remember as a little kid thinking that the library was enormous. There was a smaller section with picture books and short stories for us. There was a small duct tape line on the carpet of the library floor that you could only cross if your reading level was high enough. Behind the line were thousands of chapter books and I remember getting to cross this line at a very young age. Some days I would check out two Junie B. Jones books and read them both that same night.
Fast forward to about fourth and fifth grade when my reading began to really take off. My small elementary school had one hallway that the fourth and the fifth graders shared. In fourth grade, the librarian started asking us if we wanted to join Battle of the Books, also known as B.O.B. Battle of the Books involves groups of fourth and fifth graders who read and complete questions based on what they read. At the end of the year, they would go compete against other schools, so of course, I joined. You had to read almost twenty books and our team would meet and answer questions on the books. At the end of the school year, we went to the competition. At the competition, there were six other teams. We all met in an old brick school building and we would go against each team one by one. The man over it would ask each team questions about the books and the team with the most points won. We worked as a team and we would talk together before one person gave an answer. Sometimes the questions asked about a specific book and you would have to give the answer referring to that book. Other times, the questions were about a book and you would have to give the book title and if you could give the authors name too, you would get an extra point. We did not win, but I went back and joined the team again my fifth grade year.
My love for reading has grown and shrunk over the years after that. Some days I can read forever and other days I don’t even want to pick up a book. Reading is very important to me though. During Battle of the Books, I found one of my favorite books called Runaway Twin, by Peg Kehret. I remember picking up this book and not wanting to put it down till I was finished. When you read, you can just escape the world around you. Sometimes just for a second it feels good just to escape. Books can influence the way you feel or think about something. Books can make you feel so many emotions all at once. Books can also just tell a great story. I am very passionate about reading.
In 9th grade, I started playing tennis for the first time. I tried out for my local high school tennis team and I made it. Tennis was an amazing experience and a great way to start out my first semester in high school. I made so many friends and everyone was so close. We had practice after school and it was a great way to end the school day and relieve stress. Tennis became very important to me and became one of my favorite sports. My 9th grade year I was not the best at tennis, but I enjoyed practice and I was getting better.
In 10th grade, I played tennis again for my local high school. The summer before my 10th grade year I took private lessons. I moved up four spots on the team. I really enjoy tennis and I plan on continuing my Tennis journey as long as I can.