A short paper I've prepared for my English class.

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    Feb 10, 2009 4:38 AM GMT
    So, I'm taking this freshman composition course that I never took. icon_surprised.gif oops.

    We're having to write about a personal experience where we learned something, or had a revelation, etc. I chose to write about my accident at work, and how it helped me decide to go back to school. I know I'm throwing myself to the dogs here, but let's all sit back and enjoy.
    I know it's quite short, but she wants double spacing and such and such and evidently all these kids straight out of high school can't be expected to write anything of substance.
    ( I don't know why I wrote "sustenance" earlier. It doesn't even SOUND right)




    When the Going Gets Tough:
    In Late December of 2008, I was working as an EMT in Pasadena, Texas. I came in for a shift early one morning and received a call to respond for a possible suicide. Little did I know that this call would be the most important response of my fledgling career. Having this traumatic experience working as an EMT helped me realize that I wanted to go back to school.
    As my partner and I arrived, nothing about the scene bode well. The police officers who had arrived beforehand casually walked out and waved at us, signaling that we were at the correct address. We began to walk towards the back of the house. I surveyed the scene; keeping my head on a swivel. Unopened Christmas presents lay on the floor in front of the family's still fully decorated tree, and a half-cooked breakfast for that morning lay strewn about the kitchen,interrupted by something no member of that family would have imagined and filling the house with a deceiving sweet aroma. At the end of a hallway in the rear of the house, an officer opened up a door for us. There she lay, a 17 year old girl who decided that everything going on in her life was just too much for her to take. By this time she was already showing dependent lividity; where the blood in your body pools after the heart stops pumping, and had become stiff. I knew at the exact moment that I saw her that she was dead. She was dead and neither I nor my partner could help. In a profession where paramedics are called upon to help the helpless and maintain composure when others are losing their minds; I almost lost mine at that exact moment. My partner; the senior medic, gave me the duty of going back to the ambulance to get the paperwork. I left the house with a mixture of numbness and sickness. I kept my head low, as the whole neighborhood began to gather around the exterior of this house. The scene was surreal; almost as if a troupe of actors had been plucked off of the stage and dropped into my lap. I thought to myself, “Is this worth seven dollars an hour?” “Is it worth driving around with patients in the back of the ambulance when I am overworked and underpaid?” "Do I really think that I'm cut out for life on the street?" I began to realize that maybe; I was not.
    The hectic schedule wasn’t the worst part. Working at all times of the day, no matter what the circumstances. Yes, I enjoyed helping people, but such a thing can be done in many environments. I did not enjoy having to put my own life at risk at just about every call, and I made more money when I worked delivering food. Working on the ambulance was not my calling. 911 was not my destiny. I had fallen in love with her as a young man searching for a way to help people while feeling the amazing adrenaline rush so many others search for. Some people jump off of buildings. I jumped into the back of the ambulance. I had always planned to work as a paramedic for a few years after I got certified, but this incident lit a fire under me. I realized that I could go back to school and join the Nursing program with little or no extra work on my part. My parents were willing to support me as long as I was in school. I would not have to work, which would allow me to focus on grades. The more I thought about going back to school, the more I liked the idea. By the time I finished nursing school, I would be twenty-two years old, and my long term girlfriend would be finishing up her double major at Sam Houston State University. I would be able to work in a hospital setting where I could eventually attempt to become a CRNA and receive better pay and most of all; I would not be taking the risks necessary for 911 response. This was something that I wanted to achieve, and now it was completely up to me. I just wish the circumstances had been different.


    Let's just try to keep the peanut gallery quiet on this one.
    statler-waldorf-muppet-critics.JPG
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 10, 2009 10:52 AM GMT
    Congratulations. You may be the first RJ poster to start a thread so incredibly boring that it gets no responses.
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    Feb 10, 2009 10:54 AM GMT
    MuscleToronto saidCongratulations. You may be the first RJ poster to start a thread so incredibly boring that it gets no responses.


    Epic fail.
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    Feb 10, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
    Good idea, but weak execution. The semi-colon is an archaic punctuation mark, and you've used it incorrectly 2 out of 7 times. Liven it up with concrete details. As a former paramedic, I know how much that can haunt you. Good luck on the revision.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Feb 10, 2009 12:28 PM GMT
    A few comments:
    • Your three-paragraph structure doesn't work well. I recommend going for the basic five-paragraph structure (an introduction, three bodies [each taking on a separate idea/concept within your story], and a conclusion).
    • Your three complaints, as I see them, are that the EMT job paid too low, had bad hours, and subjected you to horrible aspects of life you'd rather not face. Unfortunately, your presentation of the horror and the wage problem in a single paragraph buries your horror toward the girl's suicide in wage consideration (regardless of your emphasis on the former).
    • In your introduction, you should summarize the EMT job in terms of activities and responsbilities. You should also spell EMT out (Emergency Medical Technician) when you first use the term so that you're clear to your reader on what you're referring to. He or she may not know the term or have a different association.
    • Your current paragraphs are unnecessarily long and kill your reader's interest. Shorten them.
    • Some of your sentences suffer from the same problem. Please think of each sentence as reflecting one idea, one aspect of the paragraph it is in and reduce it to that idea/aspect.
    • Your phrase, "still fully decorated Christmas tree," (my emphasis) begs the question: why would the Christmas tree not be decorated in late December? I apologize for my crassness, but her suicide would unlikely cause her family to immediately take down the decorations (even as an spontaneous, emotional response).
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 10, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    I think the worst part of the whole thing is that you start off focusing readers to the suicide and then you abruptly change the topic to your own woes unrelated to the suicide. It really makes you seem cold and shallow and turns off the reader.
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    Feb 10, 2009 12:41 PM GMT
    I'm appalled at all the criticism of the grammar when you just poured your heart out about a really, really tough day at work. Welcome to RJ, I guess. I hope you have better days in your job, whatever it ends up being.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 10, 2009 12:43 PM GMT
    Maverick75 said, "I'm appalled at all the criticism of the grammar when you just poured your heart out about a really, really tough day at work. Welcome to RJ, I guess. I hope you have better days in your job, whatever it ends up being."



    IT'S AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION ASSIGNMENT OPEN FOR CORRECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_twisted.gif
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    Feb 10, 2009 12:46 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidMaverick75 said, "I'm appalled at all the criticism of the grammar when you just poured your heart out about a really, really tough day at work. Welcome to RJ, I guess. I hope you have better days in your job, whatever it ends up being."



    IT'S AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION ASSIGNMENT OPEN FOR CORRECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_twisted.gif
    I didn't see any grammar/content correction requests. icon_biggrin.gif
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 10, 2009 12:49 PM GMT
    Well, I'm surely not the only one on here that THOUGHT that this was a request for corrections. Ambiguity is a bitch!
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    Feb 10, 2009 12:50 PM GMT
    LOL

    The first responder was just being a jerk.
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    Feb 10, 2009 2:26 PM GMT
    I know the paper itself is weak, but the professor enjoyed it.

    the three paragraph format is what she wanted; and I had to stick to a certain form. the first paragraph holds the thesis sentence, the second is about the first half of the thesis sentence, and the third covers the back half.

    it's a weird format and doesn't leave much wiggle room.
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    Feb 10, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    I did one of those courses in Spanish, though I won´t post the results as I plan to publish them icon_rolleyes.gif

    icon_eek.gif

    icon_lol.gif

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    Feb 10, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    Except for the mandatory style of paragraphing, I liked this a lot. Good writing takes you by surprise and I liked the way you linked your situation to the girl's suicide.

    I also thought you did a good job with descriptive detail.
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    Feb 10, 2009 2:42 PM GMT

    Hey Funkapottamous,

    I enjoyed your writing. Your first paragraph is a good intro that that tells me what your composition's intent is. The second paragraph is interesting and I think you wrote about that young girl very well, and explained your very human reaction in an honest up-front manner that appealed to me. The third paragraph explains what the last line of the first paragraph was all about.

    Nicely done.


    Thanks and tip o' the hat to MuscleToronto, who by posting gave this topic the ensuing attention it deserves.


    -Doug
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    Feb 10, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    Well, I liked it. It's a good start at writing. By the end of the class you'll have learned a lot
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    Feb 10, 2009 2:58 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Hey Funkapottamous,

    I enjoyed your writing. Your first paragraph is a good intro that that tells me what your composition's intent is. The second paragraph is interesting and I think you wrote about that young girl very well, and explained your very human reaction in an honest up-front manner that appealed to me. The third paragraph explains what the last line of the first paragraph was all about.

    Nicely done.


    Thanks and tip o' the hat to MuscleToronto, who by posting gave this topic the ensuing attention it deserves.


    -Doug



    I seem to have skipped over his post; but upon returning I see what you were talking about.

    MuscleToronto saidCongratulations. I'm dumb and need to shut the hell up.