Prompt: “The most important skill I developed in high school.”
The most important skill I’ve practiced in this curriculum is definitely writing. Writing has always been one of my favorite parts of school. It allows me to use my own words to describe what I’ve learned, and in this I find myself remembering what I’ve been taught far better than if I were given a test. I write in my day to day life, in my free time I usually use writing to practice character development and world building. But in this curriculum I’ve learned to write in a much more structured and organized way.
The regular writing that I do for this has really helped develop my ability, and I believe I’m a much better writer now than I was when I started this course. This will certainly come in handy in my life, as I plan to become a cartoonist. If I want to create my own cartoons the ability to write meaningfully, thoughtfully, and realistically will be a big part of developing my characters perspectives and motivations.
The free form structure of writing this curriculum has offered, under a prompt, has given me a chance to really work out my brain. I’ve learned how to address the prompt, state the facts, add in my own opinions, answer the prompts question, and wrap it all up with a proper conclusion. I’ve written more during my two years attending this curriculum than I did in the ten years I attended public school. That’s saying something.
I also find myself much less stressed writing than I did taking tests. I’m able to flush out the ideas and lessons myself, instead of choosing between someone else’s answers. Writing helps me digest what I’ve learned, and remember what I’ve learned. When I took tests I found myself memorizing everything I needed to know, barfing up all the information for the test, then immediately forgetting it all once the test was over. I can’t do that with writing. To write about a topic I need a very firm grasp of what I’m writing about, and that firm grasp of a lesson stays with me long after the essay is written.
My spelling and diction have also improved. The program I use to write doesn’t have an automatic spellcheck, so I find myself having to look up how to spell some of the larger words. This, though sometimes annoying, has lead to me learning how to spell many words that I previously didn’t know. It takes away the crutch that we often rely on, when the computer doesn’t correct my spelling for me I have to actually learn how to spell the words myself.
Its improved my patience. If I had a test that I wanted to get through quick I could guess on half the answers and be done. I can’t do that with writing. I have to not only know the answer, but take time to find the words to explain it. It’s like taking the time to catch a fish instead of buying one from a store. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes understanding. But in the end it’s much more satisfying.