Sometimes I think it's interesting to go back and look at how my writing has evolved. It generally involves a lot of cringing though.
I used to hate writing essays and such for school because my dad would help me proofread and fix everything to make it the best I could. I found it extremely frustrating to come back and see what I'd spent hours on was now all marked up and I would half to completely rewrite it.
I really appreciate the help now, even more than earlier. His feedback is actually extremely helpful and I've been able to start applying it before even coming to him. I've gotten perfects on all my drafts and final papers I've turned in this year and it's almost disappointing to not have anything else to change.
Here is an origin story from when I was in seventh grade (two years ago). I think I've definitely grown a lot between this and now, but I'll show you my most recent essay tomorrow and you can judge.
Lenny, a very young elephant, just got his first job. His parents didn’t think he could make it through the forest without getting hurt. Lenny was tired of his parents treating him like a baby elephant and was determined to prove them wrong. Very early one morning, he set out across the forest, so he could be sure to get to work with time to spare.
The forest was very dark that early in the morning and the trees cast large shadows on the forest floor, which didn’t help. Lenny started off by walking at a slow, steady pace, that is, until he heard the roar of a lion. Startled, he started running. He didn’t see two branches that were close together. He ran straight into them and got his nose wedged. Lenny pulled and pulled, as hard as he could, but he couldn’t get free. He knew this was not good.
In the darkness, Lenny could make out two eyes, and he knew he was in the presence of the lion that had frightened him. So he frantically tugged on his nose, but it just would not come free. Lenny was scared, and he started to cry. He pulled more and his nose stretched out to be as long as his body. Lenny knew his parents had been right. He was stuck, his nose was messed up, and there was a lion ready to kill him. Just as Lenny decided it was time to give up, the lion pounced, but missed, landed on the branches, and set Lenny free. Lenny ran all the way back home; he couldn’t risk staying in the dark.
As soon as he got home, his parents started yelling at him. They thought Lenny looked ridiculous! “What kind of an elephant has that long of a nose?” he had been asked. Then, Lenny realized how easy it was to eat with his new nose. All he had to do was pick up his food with his nose and stick it in his mouth. Usually, he had to crouch down to the same level as his food. When he shared this information with his parents, they were excited and decided they too wanted long noses. So, Lenny tied two twigs together and tugged on his mom’s nose so hard his eyes started to water. A tear dropped on to his mom’s nose and it grew with another tug!
Soon, elephants from all over Africa wanted long noses, to make eating easier, like Lenny. Lenny would just cry, let it drop on to their nose, and tug. In no time, he decided this would be his new job. He could do it from home, without risking anymore lion encounters. However, Lenny was still punished for not listening to his parents about how dangerous the forest can be. Now he always listens to them, even though he is no longer a baby.