For most people, fall of senior year is filled with stress. Most of your free time is spent working on your college applications, essays, or even visiting schools. Personally, my experience has been a little different. Yes, I have had to write essays and respond to short answer questions, but most of my writing was not going to be read by a college admissions officer. Instead, my questions and essays were being sent to congressional offices so that I may be considered for a nomination to a service academy. So, if you think that having an admissions officer read your writing is stressful, try having a senator or congressman read it.
Not only is there essays, but fitness and health tests are required as part of the application as well. This only added to the tension that was already overwhelming me. It seemed that the checklist of things I had to get completed was never ending. A doctor’s appointment this week, an eye exam next week, fitness test this weekend, my schedule had zero free time. I felt as if I was being suffocated by my future. Each task that I had yet to complete was a weight pressing on me, hindering me, leaving me feeling helpless. But with the support of my family, I took a deep breath and focused on one thing at a time. As I became more focused, I got items checked off of my list and the weight was slowly lifted from my shoulders. Needless to say, college application time can be very overwhelming and stressful. It is extremely important to not let this get to you. Sit down, take a deep breath, and work through one item at a time, it will get done.
Most people spend their high school years playing sports or joining clubs, ultimately trying to find their niche in the community. For me, sports are my niche. Looking back, it feels as if I have played every sport imaginable: lacrosse, soccer, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, I have done it all. Therefore, coming into high school I was expecting to play at least one, if not multiple. Freshman year, I was ecstatic for sports season to come around. I tried out for swimming in the winter and soccer in the spring. I was determined to make the most of my high school experience. After the season was over, I couldn’t wait until next year when I would be able to do it all over again. Unfortunately, this was shattered by the rules established by my club soccer team. After switching leagues, I was not longer permitted to play high school sports. I was devastated. I felt as if I was letting both the team and school down.
As a result, my memoir is a photograph of me playing high school soccer. It brings back the fondness and memories that I experienced in that single spring season. It brings back the happiness, but also the gloominess. For me, high school soccer was an opportunity to try new things and allow myself to break the barrier of my comfort zone. I was able to formulate friendships I otherwise would not have made on my own. The freedom I was given to express myself without worrying about the pressures of nationals or college recruitment was refreshing. Not only did I play a position completely opposite from that which I played in club, but I could play against different competition. On club, you play the same rotation of teams with the same players. There is almost no change. High school on the other hand brought new competition and a new environment for me to play in. A new challenge for me to take on. It is safe to say that I miss being able to play with my classmates and for my school, but I would not trade my freshman experience for anything.
What is a Yautia Malanga you may ask. Well to be quite honest with you, I am not sure. I have been writing about this strange object for over a week now and I have yet to understand what it is. The name leads one to believe that it is an exotic fruit or vegetable, in which you would be correct. Well, at least the label that the Wegmans produce department placed on it says so. Despite this, the name can be deceiving. You would expect an interesting shape or colorful exterior, but the yautia has neither of those qualities. Its outer layer resembles that of a potato, brown and porous. It is odorless, managing to conceal what is behind the boring and bland outside. As a result, I am left wondering if this strange-looking object is simply a foreign potato or if it is hiding away an exotic flavor or vibrant colored flesh?
Nevertheless, having only had the opportunity to focus on the outside of the vegetable, there left much to be debated about. Was the interior solid? Was it porous? Was it colorful? These things still remain a mystery. Even so, the exterior was exhibiting obvious signs of deterioration. As time passed, the yautia began slowly wearing itself away. Wispy, white spots intertwined with shades of green materialized on the surface of the vegetable. The boring, brown surface was now not so boring. The white and green mixed in with the brown creating pockets of color. This color was of course a result of the vegetable going rancid, but at least it brought something interesting to the table, something other than the perpetual blandless and monotony.
Reading both of these excerpts showed me the immense difference repetition can make in one’s writing. They not only showed the importance that pattern has in literature, but also gave insight into how higher level writers think about their works while in the writing process.
Nevertheless, in the “Repeat, repeat, repeat” passage, the first sentence struck me as fascinating. The sentence read, “Repetition works in writing, but only if you intend it”. Throughout many of my english classes, I have been tasked with analyzing text and in turn finding repetition of words, sounds, etc. I never could understand why some authors repeated these trivial words that had no significance to the piece as a whole. It seems as though they had no intention in their repetition. Further along in the same passage, there was another quote that stood out to me, “Repetition can be so powerful, in fact, that it can threaten to call attention to itself, overshadowing the message of the story.” This appeared to be the first time that either text pointed out the negatives that repetition may have on a piece of writing other than that of the trivial sort. This was an extremely important point as the repetition of words or sounds can often strip the message that the author wants the reader to take away from the work. Even so, both of these passages showed the importance of repetition in writing and how to use it efficiently and effectively.