When I joined the AP English program three years ago, as a grade 10 with little experience and high hopes, I was terrified. When I returned last year, as a grade 11 with more worries and even more to live up to, I was nervous. Now, as a grade 12 with three years of experience, of hopes being met, of worries being squashed, of learning I only need to live up to myself, I am content.
It took time, more than I’d like to admit, to become confident in my abilities as a student, as a writer, as a leader. I had plenty of experience in comparing myself to others and little experience celebrating my own abilities. This program has, most definitely and most genuinely, changed me for the better, made me wiser and calmer and more thoughtful and more attentive. It has enhanced the skills I had possessed (that I did not know about) and created new ones that I never expected to gain (that I now know about). This final year, my grade 12 year, has truly been the one in which I’ve experienced the most change.
To represent that change, the piece below is something that has been evolving since December. It began as an examination and of the poem [anyone lived in a pretty how town] by e.e. cummings that my group decided to study for our Poetry Seminar. It turned into a short story that I am extremely proud of, so proud of in fact that I used it during my final exams. Below, is an excerpt of the final evolution of those two elements in the form of a play I am writing – a resolution, of sorts, to both this small project I have set out to complete and the large project that has been my journey in our classroom.
I’d like to thank the individuals that have taught me these past three years, Ms. Hunnisett and Ms. Wolinsky, for both allowing myself and others to grow and evolve as a writer, and allowing myself and others to recognize each other in these endeavours. I’d like to thank the numerous classmates I’ve had throughout the years, both the now-graduated and the soon-to-be-graduated. I would not be the same writer, leader, or person that I am today without the wonderful impact everyone has had on me.
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HIM: What if you forget?
HER: I won’t let myself forget. Please, you don’t need to—
HIM: I do. I do, because maybe you will forget and maybe I won’t and maybe you won’t forget and maybe I will and these, these are words that need to be remembered.
HER: P-please, I won’t forget…
HIM: You make me think of spring, and warmth, and the sun, and your hands are so warm, almost as warm as your eyes, and I am so, so afraid of forgetting and then… And then you, with your eyes of spring and your hands of warmth, you push this fear to the back of my mind and bring us to the front of it.
HER: I won’t forget…
HIM: I know, I know, you won’t. I might. I might, but you are important—
HER: So are you,
HIM: You are so, so important—
HER: So are you,
HIM: And you are spring, and I am—
HIM: I— I… what? N-no, I’m…
HER: You make me think of fall, and comfort, and here, and your hands are so strong, almost as strong as your gaze, and I—I am so, so, afraid of forgetting and then… And then you, with your beautiful gaze and strong hands, you push this fear to the back of my mind and bring us to the front of it.
(A beat. HIM and HER embrace, one or both holding back tears. They slowly, slowly separate.)
HIM: (Gazing at HER fondly.) … You copied me.
HER: (Hitting HIM on the arm, annoyed.) You ruined the nice mood.
(HE shrugs, and plants a kiss on her cheek, leaning back onto his haunches. SHE blushes, resumes packing, HE laughs at her embarrassment, and there is a sense of completeness between the two of them.)
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