return of the english diploma Part I

Okay. Warning. This could potentially be considered a very very very boring post so don't get excited to read it. This is strictly in response to a request for some people who have been asking to read my diploma essays. I couldn't decide if I wanted to post them.. because writing is kind of.. hard to share with people. Yes, I write a blog every day but this is different. I wasn't writing this essay with the intent of my peers and the blog world reading it, ya know? Just some crazy dedicated English teacher who volunteers to mark essays for the first week of their summer holidays... Anyway. Yes, I received 100% on both of my English 30-1 essays and requested to receive copies back because I just wanted to read them again. (Did you know you can get them back? Cool huh. Ask me how if you like to keep stuff like essays =) ) Yes, they are in my hand, and yes, I am going to type them on my blog. Today, just my Personal Response. I'm not exactly looking for critique.. because it has already been graded and I won't be using it for anything else in my life. If you have something nice to say,go for it.. annnnnd I guess if you are dying to say something negative, I can take it. I think. haha..

For people who didn't go to grade twelve in Alberta, we have to write a final at the end of the year that comes from the Government of Alberta and it is worth 50% of our final grade. It's kind of a big deal, and the tests are always really hard. Anyway, English is my favorite, so I spent most of my year preparing. Probably should have spent a little more time on math.. buuuuut oh well. :) For this exam in particular, we have exactly three hours to write a personal response to a text given, along with a critical/analytical essay in response to a text studied in the year. We don't get to take anything into the test with us except our brains. I will not be offended if you don't like it.., because whoever marked them in Edmonton.. well.... their opinion is more important to me than yours for this particular piece of writing... Sorry. =)

For my Personal Response essay I decided to write in a creative form instead of an essay form, and ended up writing a short story. I actually used somewhat of an outline from a practice essay I wrote earlier in the year that I received a good score on just written in class. Practice makes perfect or something, right? :) No, it's definitely not perfect. Anyway, It actually has the same title; however, it is an entirely different essay. The title was just based on the metaphor of the essay, which was similar to the previous essay I wrote. Make sense?.. probably not. A lot of people have actually read that practice essay, because it is now published in the WriTeen 2010 anthology from the Writers Guild of Alberta. ( I think that's what it's called?) and I gave copies of it to my family for Christmas along with my English teacher. Anyway. Here is my Personal Response essay from June 2010. I forget the topic, so if anyone who also wrote in June 2010 remembers, please remind me? Something about responsibility ..

OH. And even though this is a "personal response".. it's completely fictional. This didn't happen to me. hahaha. And yes, I know it is written very dramatically. I did that on purpose.

My Feature Presentation
Wrath. The bitterness that comes with the deep despair of defeat flares through the center of my soul. I feel as if I have been placed inside a movie: a drama-filled soap opera. Throughout the past three years, this tumult inside of me has only expanded. Enough discussion. Enough therapy. Enough fighting. My words echo endlessly throughout the hallway of what seems to be a set. Stage right. Stage left. Whether I enter from the front door or the back door, the results are the same. Lights. Spotlights. Directed on me. Camera. Everything is remembered and recorded. Everything is analyzed and inspected. Action. The disarray begins. I have no control. I'm eighteen. I'm old enough. Stop thinking of me as a little girl. You have to understand—I've grown up. No one understands. This is my best friend. This is the boy who has carried me through relentless misery. This is the boy who has shown me who I am. This is the boy I love. My parents have become only one thing to me: a cast of antagonists. Our conversations have turned into one thing to me: a script of sardonic words.

My mother married young; furthermore, she was incapable of holding onto that marriage. Her dogmatic beliefs suffocate me. For some reason, she believes I am incapable of experiencing love at my age. For some reason, she believes I am to follow in her footsteps and attend boarding school. Comical. I subconsciously turn up the background music. Louder. So loud I can no longer hear the shrill shrieking of my mother's insistence that I don't know what love is. I can no longer hear the haunting howls of my father forbidding me to see him. Don't know what love is? How can they think that? The relationship between my dear boy and myself far surpasses any sort of love I have ever been able to witness between my parents. They don't touch. They don't laugh or play. They don't know anything about love. Boarding school? Where has she come up with this idea? I am positive I have viewed a similar plot-line in every single movie that rests in our cabinet, yet she believes this is the answer. Amidst my wandering thoughts, I am taken back. The foggy flashback somewhat comforts me. I'll wait for you, you know? I love you, and that doesn't just go away. I'll come with you. I'll do whatever it takes. The words I was aching to hear poured out of his mouth like a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade on a summer's day, quenching a thirst that none other could. A soft melody surrounds me. Surreal. I listen closer—it's a love song. The camera drifts away to another blissful oblivion. It starts from a long shot, then slowly focuses in on the center of the meadow. I watch myself being lifted and spun in a circle. My knight is rescuing his damsel in distress from a fiery dragon. I smile as I remember my fear of frogs and how he so gallantly scared them away. My fairy-tale romantic childhood was idyllic, and it had transformed from an unforgettable friendship into an everlasting love.

Listen! Interruption. My memories are halted. Although replenished, I am not unable to cling to the bulletproof memories any longer, nor can I tune out the egregious echoes of power reverberating from the microphone, and then blasting from the speakers. The climax is imminent. The music changes into an ominous rumble. The antagonists threaten to conquer. Inhale or exhale? Which is it that I need to do? I am suffocating. The painfully pernicious commands from my parents enhance my plight. As I nearly accept defeat, I hear a narrator in the distance. I feel her beckoning me. Her consoling words allow for relief. You are an adult. You are capable of loving. Don't let them make decisions for you. Take responsibility for your life. The words so simply stated allow me to clear my thoughts. My skin is on fire. I feel certain that their opinions can't last forever. I can feel it in my bones. Inhale. That is what I need to do. The breath fills my lungs to their maximum capacity. I hold the air inside of me to the point of pain. As I exhale, I feel the oxygen return into my veins. I smile. I have won, for I am my own person. With the return of a soothing song, credits roll.

Well. If you stuck around this long as to read an essay... there you have it. And remember, completely fictional... My critical/analytical will make it's way up here one of these days when I feel like typing up another essay... so if you care, keep your eyes open. Oh, and grade twelves. Your welcome. haha I wish I could have read a graded essay before I wrote my diploma.


  1. WOW! You're amazing. I hope you're perusing this as a career?! I'm in grade 11 in BC, so I'll be writing our exam (worth 40%) next year. You've given me tons inspiration and lots of ideas. I'm not passionate about writing, and I'm really terrible at it so this has been a great help. :P

  2. Jane. I don't even know what to say.. you're such an incredible writer it almost makes me sick! I love you. I'm so proud of you!

  3. No wonder you got 100%! That was just as steph said... Incredible! You go girl :)

  4. I caught a week little bit of notebook in there. :) And heavens sakes chelsey janeen dittmann! I remember you telling me about what you wrote, Its amazing. Your amazing. I hope your already starting a book. And a autobiography. And while your at it start some childrens books too. Im seriously so proud of you. I wont lie, i sometimes brag about you.

  5. Janeen- This is amazing! Can you please be an author and write wonderful pieces of work like this! I seriously loved reading this. You are so talented!

  6. ummm okay everyone thanks.. wow! I don't know why I assumed I was gonna get only negative feedback. You guys are all so sweet! :)

    -- Victoria.. no I am not pursuing this as a career but I have always had the thought in mind that of whatever I do.. I will write on the side. I have every intention of keeping it up.. even though I don't even want to do it for money. I just enjoy it haha.. also.. I'm glad I could give you some ideas for next year! =)

    --Steephyj.. I think this is one of those things you can take and feel like you've accomplished. Like Michelle's modern dance? :)

    --Chelan.. you are faaarr too kind my dear. thanks.

    --Katey lee.. I wondered if anyone would catch the phrase from the notebook and mention it. You are rather astute :) and I am flattered that you brag about me. And no, I haven't started a book. haha not yet.

    --Shelby .. I have every intention of writing a book someday so I will let you know. It might not be for a loonnnngg time though :) Thanks so much!

  7. okay seriously this is absolutely inspiring. I love it and it is seriously so SO good. Every word in there I felt like was perfect and placed just in the right spot. SO GOOD! You have such a talent for writing and seriously i hope you do write a book one day, because you are that good. :)

  8. okay woman. that was amazing. you're amazing. holy. i love you :) haha.

  9. A good writer has to have a good mind to see things that aren't there, things that are different from his or her reality, but also able to convince the readers that those things are true or relatively true.


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