The Turning Point Essay

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The Turning Point I am the product of a school system where mediocrity was accepted and failure was expected, where your diploma was given to you, not earned. It’s no wonder then, that with such past experiences, my success with writing in English 11 has come as such an unexpected surprise to me. From September to June, when I was young, school life was best described as traveling along a conveyor belt in a factory, on in the morning, off for lunch, and then back on till quitting time. The biggest help a teacher could give you was a passing grade to keep you moving along this frustrating, boring and tedious ride through the school system. Yet, I remember once when my imagination was briefly sparked with enthusiasm and I had a goal. When I was in the fifth grade, a fire inspector visited our school to lecture us on the importance of fire safety. To encourage our participation the fire department and the school sponsored a contest for the best essay written on “Fire Safety in Your Home.” Undaunted by past failures, I raced home and prepared myself to write what I thought would be the winning essay. With confidence, I placed the point of my pen to the paper. Truly, I must have thought this pen had magic powers, for I expected it to glide across the page and transform my impoverished writing skills into a wealth of valuable prose. My joy was short-lived. I struggled to write the essay but was pained by my inability to put to pen what I knew. Quickly my old negative feelings crept back. After I finished writing the essay, I read it over. At the tender age of then I may not have known what made a god essay, but I certainly knew a bad one when I read it, and this was awful. The painful memory of re-reading this essay lasted for years, to the point where I could barely bring myself to re-read anything I wrote. Then suddenly, years later, the spark to

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