Essay, Research Paper: Ernest Hemingway

Literature: Ernest Hemingway

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“Today on the five o’clock news a man goes on a rampage at the office
leaving five dead.” As I flip on the TV, I see another top story! A man has
killed others at his workplace and taken his own life. This is becoming very
old. I begin to think, “what could push this person to the point where they
feel that it is necessary to take the lives of innocent people?” Even more
disturbing, what could drive a person to the point that they believe it is
necessary to end their own life? What could drive a person to the point of no
longer having the desire to live? I believe that being prepared for life and the
difficulties that come along with it is part of the key. The world can be a very
difficult place, especially once out of high school. It is the high school’s
job to prepare us, as students, for the harshness of the real world.
Expectations are high for every single person in today’s world and some people
just can not live up to the expectations of other people. Trying to live up to
other people’s expectations creates competition. Competition is in everything
from getting into college to finding a job. I believe that is why some of the
most basic skills learned in high school are so valuable. The most basic and
important skills are used in school everyday: reading, writing, listening and
speaking. These are some of the most important skills needed to a get a good
job, a good education and essentially a happy and pleasing life. Reading is
extremely important when it comes to surviving in the real world today. Being
able to read opens up a variety of doors in life and opportunities. If you
can’t read, imagine what type of job you will be qualified for. Let’s see, a
minimum wage job at McDonalds! Wait, even to be able to work at McDonalds you
have to be able to read. What about reading the cash register or the orders off
of the computer? Even a minimum wage job making burgers requires the skill to
read. My reading skills were shown and improved upon in my English, Spanish,
Math, Keyboarding I and Football classes. One class that might question how I
learned or improved upon my reading skills is in my Football class. For football
class, we read different lifting magazines and pamphlets, that teach new
strategies to get a better lift. If we do not know how to read it, it is
difficult to fully understand the article, and therefore the proper and safe
lifting technique. In my portfolio I have placed a picture of me lifting. At the
beginning of the semester I would not have been able to even come close to the
weight I am lifting in the picture. This shows just how important reading has
been in my advanced football. So in my football class I believe I showed enough
skill in reading that I can qualify for a $5.75 an hour job flipping burgers. So
far so good. The second class in which I believe the skill of reading is
important and becomes improved is math. When I am about sick of math class and
we still have 15 minutes to go, I come to a very complicated word problem. My
mind is not completely in it. That is when reading comprehension comes into
play, so I can properly complete the problem and accomplish everything that was
asked for. If not for my skill of reading comprehension, I might not be able to
figure out each and every word problem. The math lab that I placed in my
portfolio would not have been possible if it were not for my skill of reading.
If I did not know what the book was asking of me, I would not have been able to
complete the lab. The lab asked me to graph and solve the equations using the
techniques we read earlier in the chapter, this is where reading comes into
play. Now I am not only able to read, but I am also able to comprehend. I have
also learned the technique of re-reading. If I do not understand something the
first time through, I have to take the time to re-read the problem. This
qualifies me to the next step up in the career field, now I can go from flipping
burgers, to another $5.75 an hour job working behind the register, because of my
reading skills. I also believe my skill of reading is shown and improved in my
Spanish class. I have to be able to read and comprehend in Spanish as well as
English. If I can’t even read in English how am I going to be able to read
anything in Spanish? I have placed a little book in my portfolio that I made in
Spanish. First, I read the requirements for the project. Then I had to read and
write certain things that I wanted to place in my book. I believe the book is a
quality product. This shows just how I used the skill of reading in my Spanish
class. Now due to my ability to read and comprehend, I can communicate fairly
well in Spanish. This also will look good on my college and job applications.
This will also open new doors to new chances and opportunities. Maybe if I could
get a job at a place that needs a person who is bilingual. If it were not for my
ability to read and comprehend, then I would not have even passed Spanish I, let
alone Spanish II. In my Keyboarding I class the skill of reading comes in when
we are reading over what we have to type and the different things it must
contain. We must read the instructions to each assignment so we know what style
the work is to be done in. In my portfolio I have placed an assignment ( R5-36)
that I completed nearly perfectly, thanks to my skill of reading. I read the
instructions in the book which told me the assignment in the style of
enumeration which we had read about earlier in the year. This is why reading is
so important in my keyboarding class. Then after completing the assignment, I
have to go through and make sure there are no mistakes and everything is spelled
correctly. Also, reading comes into play when we are learning new techniques to
key faster. The evidence which I have placed in my portfolio is a timing test,
showing just how I have improved in my time thanks to my reading and
comprehending. In the beginning of the year, I struggled just to key the ABC’s
twice in a minute. By the time I read and learned new techniques and completed
my portfolio assignment, I was up to about six to seven times through the
ABC’s in a minute. At this point in the semester, I can key the alphabet about
10-11 times in a minute. This proves just how my ability to read has helped me
in the keyboarding I class. My ability to key will also look good on my college
and job resume, especially considering I want to go into a field working with
computers. So far, in just four classes, I went from being qualified for not
even a minimum wage job, to starting on my way to a career in computers thanks
to my skill of reading. I also plan to keep reading and improve in my
Keyboarding class in both my typing skills and reading skills. In the R5-36
assignment I made one small error, partly because I did not read my paper over
thorough enough. So I plan to work on reading my papers over more thoroughly,
and maybe even use the technique of re-reading it incase I might have missed a
minor mistake. The fifth class that has helped to improve the skill of reading
is my English II Honors class. Reading is one of the most valuable skills in my
English class. When I get home from a long day of football practice and lots of
running, reading is the last thing I want to spend time doing. That is the last
thing I want to do, but I know I must is to make sure to completely comprehend
each word of the reading while I try to get it done as quickly as possible. I
have to admit, reading quickly is not the best thing when trying to read and
completely comprehend a novel. But I know that in class the next day we will be
quizzed on the reading from the night before and then have a class discussion.
If I did not read and comprehend what I read, I will do very poorly on the
quizzes and not be able to participate in the discussion. This can be a very bad
feeling, because you are left out and don’t know what the other students are
talking about (not like that has every happened to me). A technique that I have
learned to better help me understand and comprehend is to re-read. I do not
always fully understand everything I read the first time, so I have developed
the very helpful skill of re-reading. The summer reading essay in my portfolio
shows the skill of re-reading and comprehending. Sometimes I did not understand
things I read over the summer so in order to write a quality essay I had to
re-read certain things that I read over the summer. A good example of when
re-reading has helped me is when I read the book My Antonia. It was the summer
and my mind was not completely in the reading and sometimes I would not fully
comprehend parts. That is when I used the skill of re-reading to go back and
re-read the parts I did not completely comprehend. I found out that the more I
read, the quicker I become. Reading has also helped me extend my vocabulary. Our
teacher expects us to look up a word when we come to one in a reading that we do
not know. This has dramatically helped my vocabulary to expand to new lengths.
During my junior and senior year when I take the SAT test (two-thirds of which
has to do with English and vocabulary) I will do fairly well. The higher I
score, the better chance I have of getting into a better college. Then if I
finish college I will have a successful career. This is why reading is so
important in preparing me for a good future, the real world and the skills to
survive in such a competitive world. I believe my reading skills have improved
greatly, but I also realize there is much, more room for improvement. I must
“make” time to re-read things, even if it means making some sacrifices. It
will be hard but I need to take time away from the TV and radio and re-read
something I did not fully comprehend. Another sacrifice I might have to make is
to stay up a little late, I can always catch up on my sleep the next day by
going to bed early. It will only make me better and help me in class as well. It
is something I do not like but must do it in order to improve my skill of
reading. Writing is a very important part of countless career fields today.
There are some jobs in which the skill of writing is not a necessity, but with
most jobs it is very important. What is necessary to get into a good college or
get a good job? Well, you have to write a resume. I do not think, in fact I know
that they will not accept you if they can obviously see that you are weak when
it comes to writing. Sure, the fast food job is great at $5.75 an hour, but I do
not think it is sufficient when you are 34 and still working at McDonalds and
can barely afford the rent to your one room apartment. Resulting because you
never learned how to write so that you could go to college and have a good
career. This is when my English, Spanish and biology classes come in. In my
biology class, I have to be able to write and describe what I am observing. My
description has to be so detailed that some one else could read what I am
writing and know what I am describing. This is why descriptive writing is so
important in my biology class. The evidence I have provided in my portfolio is a
lab that I completed. This lab followed a strict format. We had to have certain
processes in different orders and have the proper structure to the lab write up.
An example of the process is if we placed the iodine on the slide before the
water the whole experiment would be ruined. We had to be very specific in our
descriptions, such as exactly what we used and then how we used it, etc. In my
Spanish class, writing is very important. Not only do we have to know how to
speak in Spanish, but we also have to know how to write in Spanish. We have to
know how to properly spell things and also know how to punctuate properly in
Spanish. We have to use the right process, which can be very different from
English. Many things in Spanish are backwards compared to the way we write in
English. There are some words that are spelled exactly the same way but mean two
totally different things, all because of an accent mark. This makes it very
difficult to write in the Spanish language. The evidence which I have provided
is a little book that we wrote in Spanish that shows all the proper writing
techniques that I have learned to use. The ability to be able to read and write
Spanish will give me many advantages and opportunities in the real world. I
believe English is the most important class when it comes to the development of
my writing skills. In my English class we write from almost every aspect
possible, which has brought me to a new level in both thinking and writing. We
have looked at other authors styles and imitated their style. We have made our
own styles and written in almost every style heard of. Using the proper writing
strategy is incredibly important. To be honest, the proper writing strategies
are a pain in the butt, but they are for my own good. The hard and correct work
pays off in the end when I am happy with the work that I have turned in. In
English, we have set guidelines that we must follow, and certain strategies that
are expected of us. Our teacher does not necessarily require a pre-write, it is
never collected. Yet it is expected that we do it anyways. I am glad I did it
though, when I sit down and write a quality essay the first time I write it. I
have a quality essay because I am prepared and organized and have both good
ideas and bad ones to distinguish what I want to use. Using the proper process
is also an important part of writing in English class. We do things, such as
have another peer edit our paper and give their opinion of what is good and what
is not good about our paper. Then we correct what is needed and do a self-edit,
where we carefully go through reading our own papers and critiquing them. Once
each process is done I have a paper that has been read by others and changed
some of the things they felt degraded the quality of the writing. By the time
the entire process is done, I have a paper that has been read and re-written
many times to become what I believe is the best quality paper I could have. An
excellent example of this process is the summer reading essay that I wrote quite
a few times and turned in what I believe to be a quality essay. Another
important part of writing in English is the different aspects of writing. We as
a class look at all different types of writing, such as a narrative style work
and romantic style works. My romantic literature evaluation is an excellent
example. In this portfolio piece I evaluated a piece of romantic literature and
discussed why it fit into the classification of a romantic literature. Then we
would use the same style to write an original piece using the proper writing
strategies and process. It is also very important to be very descriptive. One
thing we have really worked hard on this semester, is being concise. I know I
have to be concise and hammer the point home but not go on forever making
aimless arguments and being repetitive. I believe my skill of writing has vastly
improved thanks to these three classes and will become very important in the
future. As I mentioned before, the SAT is very important when applying for a
college and another big part of the test is writing skills. I realize I still
have at least two more years of English classes, and my writing now is not
nearly as good as it is going to be. There is always room for improvement,
especially in such a diverse subject as English. Listening is a very important
part in almost any learning or career environment. When you are in school,
regardless of what class it is, you will have to listen to an instructor and
apply what they tell you. I believe the skill of listening and speaking becomes
a large part in all six of my classes: English II honors, Keyboarding I, Spanish
III, IMC III, Biology and Advanced football. In football, it is very important
that we listen to Coach in the weight room, so that we learn the proper
techniques. That way we get the most out of our workouts and do not injure
ourselves. We have to apply the correct ways that we have been taught when we
are working out. Speaking is also especially important in advanced football.
When lifting, it is very important that we communicate, get a spotter, and let
them know when you can’t take any more and need help. It is very important,
because if we do not communicate we could very easily get injured. The second
class that shows the skill of Listening and speaking is Spanish II. It is
exceptionally important not only that we listen to “la profesora” (the
teacher), but that we also take notes. Note taking is a very important strategy
in Spanish II because when the teacher is explaining a new concept it will not
be memorized so it is very important that I listen and take notes to go back to
at a later date. In Spanish, we also have to present certain projects that we
do, and we are graded on how well we speak and comprehend the Spanish language.
The little book that I have placed in my portfolio from my Spanish class is an
excellent example of a presentation. When I completed the “libro” (book) I
had to go up in front of the class and present the book, speaking only Spanish.
That is when I had to apply all the concepts I had learned and use them to
speak. In math it is very vital that I listen to the instructor and take notes
about the concepts that are being taught. I have learned that listening is
incredibly valuable in math, because once someone becomes lost and does not
understand a concept they will not understand anything until they understand the
first concept. Math is like building blocks, in order to build higher there must
be a base. And in order to further knowledge in math you must first understand
everything before it. This is why the skill of listening is so important in my
IMC III class. The next class which I believe shows the skill of listening is
keyboarding I. In keyboarding, it is very important to listen to the teacher so
that you understand what is expected in certain assignments. It is also
important to listen during the timing test. The teacher very quickly reads of a
series of predetermined letters in no order, and as the student, I have to be
able to listen and type as quickly as possible and keep up. If I do not listen,
then I will become lost and completely fail the test. I have provided an example
of a typing test in my portfolio as the piece of work from my keyboarding class.
Biology is a very important class when it comes to using the skill of listening.
One of the most important reasons is safety. In a lab such as the one I have
placed in my portfolio, we deal with many things that could cause some dangerous
problems. When the teacher is explaining a specific way and order we are to do
something, it very important that we listen. When the teacher releases us to our
lab, it is obvious who was listening and who was not. When it comes time to
doing the lab and something has to be done in a certain order for it to work
those students who were listening can not properly apply what they heard. And
all the lab objectives are down the drain. Those students who were not listening
do not follow the right procedure and end up with some very negative results,
such as unnecessary injuries. I also realize that I am not the perfect student
but I always listen and apply myself so that way I don’t make any safety
mistakes. Listening and speaking are a very important parts of English, just as
reading and writing are. Taking notes is a big strategy that has been very
helpful in English. It is very important to listen in English so that I pick up
on everything that is being discussed. Listening and taking notes is really for
my own benefit, so that I learn from other people. It is also important to
listen when the teacher is explaining something new to me. It is once again to
my own benefit because I will end up applying that new strategy in one of my
papers down the road. It is also important to listen in the class discussions so
that I see other peoples view points and I am able to speak and express myself
to the rest of the class. The skill of speaking is shown by participating in
class discussions. I apply what I have learned and comprehended from my skill of
reading to express my view upon the literature. Speaking also comes into play in
English when we had to make a speech in front of the class about “America‘s
role for the next century.” While this evidence is not included in my
portfolio, it also shows the skill of writing, but now it is being put into
words in front of the whole class. My skills of listening and speaking have
shown much improvement this semester, but I feel that there is still improvement
to be made in both. I feel I need to put more effort in the speaking aspect. I
will do this by taking notes during the discussions and asking more questions. I
feel I need to become more involved in class discussions. The skill of listening
and speaking will always be needed, from college to a career to everyday life.
Listening and speaking are the basics to communication, which is very important
in the real world outside of school. On the job it is very important that you
are able to communicate with your boss and fellow employees. This can often be
difficult with some people, but it is necessary that you attempt to listen and
talk to them and apply what they tell you. It is also important to express your
problems and how you feel. I believe that to succeed in today’s world the
three skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are necessary. I
believe that the lack of these skills is what eventually drives people to do
some extreme things. It is because they are unhappy with their lives somewhere
something was missing. Without all three of these skills, it is very difficult
to go out into the real world that is filled with so much competition. Some
people just don’t cut it because they lack the education. Sure, there are
special cases, there are some people that can never be helped. But I feel with
the proper education, there are so many doors and opportunities that there is no
reason to feel that life is not worth living. I believe I am an excellent
example, for the skills I showed in this essay have already opened a world of
opportunities for me. I can now communicate with my grandma in Spanish, I can
turn in what I believe to be quality work and receive high grades, which will be
useful for my future. I believe the most basic and important skills are reading,
writing, listening and speaking. These are some of the most important skills in
order to a get a good job, a good education and essentially a happy and pleasing
life.
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