Dr. Carrie Hall
Me As A Writer
What is a writer? Sometimes I ask myself this question when I’m making up stories in my mind. I have had this thinking ever since I was little that every time I was extremely free, I thought up stories, putting myself in some heroic situations because even though I have no qualities as a hero or anyone responsible, I just like the thrill of a climax or unexpected turnaround. Even though I can think of fictions, this does not prove that I am a writer.
When I started this semester, I didn’t care much about writing. To say the truth, I still don’t but one thing has changed. I think just me getting encouraged was enough for me to enjoy what I write. One thing I learned in the beginning of the semester was that I really need to check my vocabulary. Before this I always thought that I know a lot of things and if I need, I will just end up getting some idea of what words I had to use and end up using them and they will be correct. The obvious problem was, I was wrong. To some extent I believe that my vocabulary was missing because I lived my life in Pakistan and I didn’t know what some words meant if I had to convert them and make people understand what I did or what I went through.
In my first essay the students had to share one part of our life where we could say that we learned something. As I said before, I lived my life in Pakistan and we had a different high school system there. In my essay I told a story when I failed my exams. Normally, they would be considered my high school years, but I didn’t know that. I thought that what I did gave me GED because at the end of the year when we finished our two years we got something called a General Certificate of Education or GCE, and I confused that. When professor read my story, she was totally confused because it made no sense that I did high school and got a GED? Professor Hall told me to come to her office. There the professor told me how much of confusing essay I had written. Luckily Professor Hall gave me a second chance, told me my mistakes. As it turns out, this feedback was just the thing I needed because I added everything that was missing to the essay.
I always thought that my less knowledge of the United States limited my capabilities because I had no memories of things other students thought as daily routines because I have not been here for as long as they have. I was reminded of this fact in the second essay when we had to choose a pop-culture artifact and write an essay on it or make something artistic with it. Since the artifact also needed to be something that had a message related to community. Everyone had something in their minds starting from songs of Rihanna to x-men movies. A friend of mine also chose a book on Malala Yousafzai who is from Pakistan and she wrote a book on her journey of how she fought her way for her studies. When my friend told me that she had picked that book as her artifact, I thought to myself, why didn’t I think of that but then I realized, even if I did I couldn’t have written anything on that because I hardly ever read any book. The professor gave us two days to think about what we wanted to write. After those two days, the only thing I managed to come up with was a Pakistani song that spoke about the problems the public cause for themselves. I wasn’t sure of this and was very confused until the professor told me that se would love to see that because that was something totally new. I listened to the professor because at first this motivated me, and another thing was I knew everything about this so making something with this was not impossible. I am somewhat good with art, so I decided that I am going to make a comic page showing the message that the song highlighted. When I first wrote and drew the piece, the professor told me that I had taken the instructions for the unit the wrong way because we had to write our opinion on the piece and I had written what the song told. The professor again gave me another chance and I wrote what I felt about that piece. Until a few days ago, I had forgotten about what I wrote until I saw the professor’s comment about how much she liked the piece because it highlighted what I truly felt about the song. I think I am getting overconfident while I write this but at this point I think it is okay.
So, what did I get out of this? How did I grow? I think, a way I grew in was that I learned seeing my mistakes and correcting them as we read about in an essay too that when a writer is writing a story, he must revise his work tirelessly and be open to his own mistakes. Accept them and find a solution to that. Professor Hall provided me with that chance to correct myself again and again and I am very thankful for that.