The Revised Journey: Essay #1

My Journey with Jellison

     Going into my senior year of high school, I was very excited about my English class. I was eligible to take the highest level English my school offered and I thought things were going to be great. I would finally be challenged by an English class! We would be doing more than just a report on Animal Farm! The class would be writing every day! Yes, I was thinking in exclamation points! The buzz I was feeling was a palpable thing as I waited that first day in first period AP English for the arrival of our instructor, a formidable character named Elizabeth Jellison. She was not only the legendarily tough teacher who still seemed to figure in the nightmares of many graduates of my school, she was also the head of the English Department. This woman, I felt, would know her shit.

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Zakaria’s Punking Me, Right?

So I’ve been pondering  ways of going about this required blog entry. It needs to be some kind of workout for our essay #2. We’re to put our ideas through some extreme cardio to knock the flab off of them. I’m actually outlining this essay, which is not always how I write. No, I am not going to put my outline up here. That would not be entertaining at all. In my opinion, blogs need to have some entertainment value as well as being “in conversation” with what we’re doing in class.

I already posted a couple of leads. I guess I could do that again to up the word count on this homework blog, but I won’t. So what should I make of this blog? I could vomit out a shitty rough draft. But my rough draft’s aren’t shitty, not when I do a proper outline. And I don’t want to write the paper twice so why post it as a blog?  Oh Lord Jesus, this blog comes at an inconvenient time! I’d rather write about things other than essay #2.
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Leads, leads, leads! Yeah!

So here’s one of my discarded leads for our essay #2. I’m not going to use it but I think it’s pretty funny…

Jasmine Cauliflower hates the U.S. government. She thinks the president is a tyrannical fascist with a socialist agenda. Ask her about congress and she’ll paint you a vivid picture of bloated fatcats and special interests running up the National Debt. How does J.C. feel about the American people? The majority of them are lazy good-for-nothings sucking her and other “good Americans” dry. So one day, Jasmine Cauliflower decides to run for the U.S. Senate as a Tea Party Republican. Her goal for when she wins? Do her part to gridlock the legislature so that none of the president’s evil agenda gets accomplished…or anything else.

Obviously,  the lovely Jasmine is a made-up character. But this kind of person does exist. There may actually  be millions of them. I’ll probably save her for a short story.

Here’s another lead, probably the one I’ll use for the essay…

Imagine a nation divided in two: about one-half of the population hates and distrusts their democratically elected government while the other half believes the government can still provide solutions.  With the nation divided in this way, an environment of hostility would naturally  be created. During any national crisis, people on the opposite sides of the divide would find it essentially impossible to get anything accomplished. It is precisely this situation, the divide of “big government” versus “small government” that America finds itself in today.

So there’s my leads, if anyone was wondering. I’m just posting them for fun. In no way should this post be mistaken for Blog #6.

 

Does size really matter?

So there’s a huge divide in America right now  between those who hate what they call “big government” and those who like a so-called “big government”. It seems at first glance to be a vague and non-specific topic, but I think at the heart of this question is the reason why politics has become so polarized. How can a government solve any problems when a large percentage of people, even politicians themselves, see the government as the cause of our problems?  In the Zakaria essay we’ve been bludgeoning ourselves with all week he alludes to this problem, but it has only gotten worse in the two years since he wrote his piece.

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My Journey with Jellison: The Essay Version

Going into my senior year of high school, I was very excited about my English class. I was eligible to take the highest level English my school offered and I thought things were going to be great. I would finally be challenged by an English class! We would be doing more than just a report on Animal Farm! The class would be writing every day! Yes, I was thinking in exclamation points! The buzz I was feeling was a palpable thing as I waited that first day in first period AP English for the arrival of our instructor, a formidable character named Elizabeth Jellison. She was not only the legendarily tough teacher who still seemed to figure in the nightmares of many graduates of my school, she was also the head of the English Department. This woman, I felt, would know her shit.

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My Journey with Jellison

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been inspired by the “Ms. What’s Her Face” essay to relate a similar story in my own life. Don’t expect a tidy moral because it didn’t end well, and I can’t tell you what I learned. For your consideration, I offer you Elizabeth Jellison. Yes, I remember her name. Too well.

Going into my senior year at my high school, I got to take advanced English. It was the best English course my school offered and I went into it very excited. We would be writing every day! Our best would be expected of us! I would finally be challenged by an English class! We would be getting real feedback on our writing, beyond just redmarks and grammar corrections! And in walked Mrs. Jellison. She looked pretty impressive. Picture the Queen of Hearts from  Alice in Wonderland, but with an intelligent face. Yeah, it’s a contradiction of sorts, but so was the Jellison.

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