Saturday, July 14, 2012
My Struggle With Writing and How I managed to overcome this weakness
I remember struggling with writing during my first year at San Jose State University. Prior to entering college, all incoming freshmens are required to take both the math and writing placement tests to determine their place in college. I passed the math test without any worries but unfortunately, failed the writing test. I remember that I was really frustrated on the day of the test because my mind was blank and I just could not put anything down into words so I just bullsh*ted the whole essay, thinking that I’ll do just fine. However, when I realized that I have failed the writing test, I felt like I wasn’t quite ready for college yet. I would say my writing skills at that time were middle school level. I envy those who have passed the test and officially moved on to take college-leveled English classes. According to my writing test results, I was placed in the lowest level of remedial classes. I started with remedial Level 1 during my 1st semester of freshmen year in college and then advanced to level 2 in 2nd semester. During the 2nd semester of remedial English class, I am beginning to see a slight improvement in my writing but I was still struggling with how to develop the content of an essay. Due to this problem, I failed the final exam in Level 2 but was given another chance to retake the class. At that time, it was risky because I was given the final chance to remain at San Jose State University. It was a 50/50 chance. If I failed, I was to be withdrawn from SJSU. If I passed, then I can still remain at SJSU and be able to advance to College Level English courses. Because I didn’t want to be kicked out just because of my weak writing skills, I studied really hard for the Level 2 final exam. During that period, I was practicing intensively on writing essays and also checking out books at the library to see how writers develop their writing. All my efforts paid off when I finally passed the final exam. After 3 semesters of remedial English torture, I was officially enrolled in college-leveled English! Therefore, I had to pat myself in the back for being a hard worker. What followed was 2 more years of college leveled English which required a lot of writing but I have managed to pass both classes as well. The final level in college was ENGL 100W which all students regardless of major are required to take. Prior to enrolling in 100W, students need to take and pass the WST (Writing Skills Test) which I have also passed and had to give myself another pat on the back . After taking the WST, I felt like my writing has improved a lot after taking remedial classes. I am actually still struggling a bit with writing but not as much as in the past. Now, I am spending more of my leisure time writing and reading rather than watching TV or going online. To be honest, I used to despise writing but the more I write, the more I learn to enjoy it.
In the last few weeks, I have been purchasing many books off Amazon as well as at the bookstore to satisfy my desire to improve my writing. A few days ago, I was at Barnes & Noble and bought many hardcover books that were on sale. I wish I can read all the books there is in the store but it would be too much for me. Here are some of the books I purchased that day: