Reading Papers You Wrote in High School

This just in: reading stuff you wrote in high school is so hot right now.

The other week I came across a folder deep chillin’ somwhere in the ‘burbs of my external hard-drive. This folder — ‘HS Jenkus’ — contained scrimps and scraps of papers and writings from high school. Going through that jenkus is a heckuhphanentertain’ way to spend thirty minutes or so time.

Please take a quick sec to indulge in some snippets of my flowery nonsense, circa 2004-2005:

The underlying theme of Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess,” that selfishness slaughters happiness, is revealed through the author’s characterization of the speaker.

Slaughters? Geez.  I make it sound like the Duke was an ax-murderer.

Fielding goes beyond merely relying on dialogue and action to characterize Allworthy and Wilkins; rather, his employment of point of view, diction, and symbolism effectively reveals the distinct natures and personalities of Mr. Allworthy and Mrs. Wilkins.

Employment? What — did these basic literary mechanisms send in their resume to Fielding’s HR Department?

Right to Die
This issue has been receiving a great deal of media attention recently with the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case. In situations like Schiavo’s I think that if the parents want to use their money to keep her on life support, they should be allowed to do so. If the husband cannot or does not want to devote the funds to keep her on life support, he should not have to do so; I think the husband should get over it, and just consider her dead. Let his in-laws spend their money how they want to.

From an issues paper written for AP Government. Not a particularly nuanced approach, but I guess I was shooting for an ‘everyone wins’ scenario.

Despite Eggers’ hyprebolic digression about he and Toph’s enviable qualities, he is exceedingly unfamiliar with the territory of child-rearing, and openly acknowledges his insecurities as a parent.

Yes, I wrote my senior research paper on A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. When I met Eggers in college, I told him that an he visibly shuddered. And then he wrote in the front of my copy, “With all necessary apologies, Dave Egger.” I think it’s about time I apologized to Mr. Eggers. Sorry, Dave.

The concrete details of this passage, characterized by bleak similes and adjectives, contribute to the depressing effect the passage had on the reader.

Translation: This passage is depressing; reading it makes me depressed.

Alrighty, that’s probably enough for now. But you really should dig into some of your own archives.

A picture of Tom Hanks that I took in High School. Going back and looking through pictures from High School is a fun activity too.