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Style

I have no idea how to “write” for college. I write how I write, from how I feel.

I realize there may be some formats that I will have to follow specifically, but as of this moment none of my instructors has said much besides “double spaced” or “on college ruled paper”.

My first assignement in ENG 111 included the following questions and my answers:

II. Finish the sentences below:

1. My most memorable positive writing experience is … being published. I wrote true life article about a suicide call I received while working the night shift at a drug and alcohol treatment center. The story was a positive story about hope, help and reaching out to those in need. I was proud of the work and the article has been framed.

2. My most memorable negative writing experience is … censorship. While I’m not sure that’s the term I want to use, that’s what it seemed like to me. I had been writing a weekly newsletter for my department for a couple of months, I had not gotten and bad reviews nor had there been any editorial control besides my own. However, one day my boss pulled me into her office to say someone had complained to her boss’s boss about one of the jokes. The truly frustrating thing for me was that person didn’t feel comfortable coming to me directly to talk about the issue, nor to my boss. I was asked to tone down the content of my newsletter and to be more considerate of others. So, for a while there was a censored version of the newsletter and an uncensored one. The uncensored version was sent to those people with a little tougher skin. News quickly spread however; soon people were begging to be added to the un-censored list, and soon the censorship it self just disappeared.

3. A person or place I’ve always wanted to write about is … Superman. I became interested in reading and writing by following the adventures of Superman in comics and television. In my early 20’s I even wrote my own comic for a while. Looking back on that I’d say it was more of an epic story, but at the time I envisioned it as a comic.

4. What do you know about that might be interesting for readers to read about. … Computers. I know a computer inside and out and I know how to make it do exactly what you need it to do with minimal headaches involved. I make working with your computer a fun experience.

5. What life experience, type of work or travel could be important to your writing? I think being a recovered alcoholic/drug addict gives me a unique perspective in what I see and do. I know what it feels like to be hopeless, and I know a path or two to recover from that.

6. What do you read that could inform your writing? Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code gave me a feel for capturing the full attention of the reader. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series shows me the importance of details. Reading comics shows me that while a picture may be worth a thousand words, a “POW!” placed strategically can have just as much impact.

3 thoughts on “Style

  1. Wow. Memory lane. Time for Brian to ramble. If you’re looking for any cohesion here, you’ll be disappointed. 🙂In looking back on my college experience, there are a few classes that stand out as my favourites. English 201 — “Advanced Composition”, “Advanced Essays”, or whatever it was called — is one of them. It took me by surprise. What was seemingly just an excercise in reading some crap and pushing keys on the computer in response actually turned out to be a chance to do a lot of personal reflection and exploration, and a great chance to develop my skills as a writer.I was just back from a seven-year “sabbatical”, during which I mostly researched the lows of human existance: struggles with alchoholism, depression, failed attempts at suicide, desolation, destitution, and, finally, the struggle to recover.There I was miles from home in the winter wasteland of northern Wisconsin. In that time I struggling <>hard<> to get by without chemical assistance. For some reason or another, I poured myself into that class. I decided to take each essay as a chance to explore. In once case, it provided an excuse for me get contact family family to whom I’d long been a stranger and a lost soul, and find myself welcomed. In another, it gave me a chance to delve into some long-held beliefs and determine that I was (gasp!) full of crap and needed to change. In yet another, it looked at my very identity and stuggles just to get to the point where I was.It turned out to be some very good therapy.Not bad for some English class that for most people was something to be suffered.(I have to add though, that after that point I discovered other means of “therapy” that, when applied, are SO much more effective. Thank GOD I have that in my life today. There is no amount of writing that I could do that would equal that. Being the next Charles Brukowski would NOT be worth it.)

  2. Hey Jamez-Just popped in to check on you and see what you have been writing about. As usual your post about “Style” is awesome. As I read it I could hear your voice saying it. I know you will be just fine! I say a little prayer for you each morning…just for God to be with you…protecting you and guiding you. Stay sweet and funny!!Love ya!

  3. Oh yeah… the original posting was about style. I got lost in my own nostalgia and completely forgot the original point.If you want to see the pinnacle of style in The Essay, check out — of all people!!! — the works of William F. Buckley.We may think that his thinking is wrong… but damn…. I never knew that political essays could be so pretty.

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