The Importance of a Voice

Hello reader. I have recently been reading Wayne Booth’s essay titled “Boring From Within: The Art of the Freshman Essay”. ¬†Within it, I saw many aspects such as the importance of rhetorical purpose, general ideas, and the problems with assignments that have a purpose of correcting the problem of bad grammar. However, the aspect I would like to focus on in this post is the influence of the teacher on student thought and writing.

Think for a minute about a teacher who you think helped you grow the most in your thinking style. Did his or her teaching style encourage ideas? When giving an assignment, did it feel like his or her purpose was forced upon you or was it open to interpretation in your own special way?

Teachers can have a lasting influence on students in many different ways, positive or negative. ¬†Depending on how he or she teaches, it may feel like your opinions and thoughts will either be thrown out and disregarded or be received and acknowledged in a welcoming manner. The teacher’s opinion may either be forced on you, or you may be given your own space to develop your own thinking style in a way that is unique.

When the teacher gives you an assignment to write about a certain subject, based on how the teacher has taught the class, you may be wondering what to write about and whether it will be accepted by the teacher or not. While writing, remember that you have a voice that is solely yours and it holds many ideas that possibly no one else has thought of and a perspective that no one has possibly seen through.

Let your own unique voice come out, and you may even surprise the teacher with an idea he or she may not have seen before. Never underestimate the power your voice has.

-Kinya

 

Why Music?

Hello reader. I am a 16-year-old student who is in an AP Lang class. As you came to this site, you may have wondered, “Hm what an interesting blog title. I wonder why it’s called that.” Well, here’s a bit of background information to help unfold the mystery.

When I was about 7 years old, I first got involved in music. I went to a classical concert with my dad, and I really liked the instruments that were used and how they blended together to make a beautiful song. The instrument that I liked the most was the piano, because it’s notes were both soft and soothing, while it also could be intense and exciting. The piano was the defining instrument that made the whole concert come together for me and made me interested in the power of music.

Another defining moment for me would be when I first discovered jazz music when I was 10. My music teacher told me to look around the house for some jazz music and listen to it. My 10 year old brain thought, “Okay, let’s just get this over and done with so I can play some video games.” And so I looked around the house and stumbled upon an Ella Fitzgerald CD. I listened to it that night and it was like music heaven to my ears! The way Ella sang with the instruments sounded like a story being made with every word and note. I listened to her every night for the longest time and to this day, she is still my favorite jazz artist.

Now what does any of that have to do with writing? If you think about it, writing has many parallels with music. The introduction, an instrumental leading into the beginning of the song. The paragraphs are the singer’s lyrics to make the audience tap their feet to the music. The conclusion is the ending of the musical number. Depending on the performance, the artist may even get an encore.

Writing and music are two of the most powerful means of communication that have lasted to this day and remain intertwined to this day.

-Kinya