Personal Growth and Discovery in English Class

Audrey '20
“Take out a sheet of paper and pencil.” 

English Department Teaching Fellow Mr. (Forrest) Brown stands at the back of the classroom. He divides us into groups, then points out a window. “Half of you will describe what you see from the perspective of someone who just got an “A” on their test,” he instructs. “The others will write from the perspective of someone who went through a break up.” For a second, everyone is still. I pick up my pencil, scribbling thoughts as they pop into my head. After establishing that blue skies are a mirage to cover the blackness of space, I make a new discovery: I had just found one of my favorite classes: “The Essay.”

As a junior at Lawrenceville, it’s easy to become caught up in the standardized testing and rigorous course load that pushes students to consistently perform at a high level. “The Essay” has provided a space for me to explore a more creative form of storytelling while still building practical writing skills. From essays about rocking on the guitar with my dad to an analysis of what communication means, “The Essay” has enabled me to explore new sides of myself crucial to my personal growth both at Lawrenceville and in general.

In addition, a large part of the course revolves around peer editing. I have enjoyed getting to read the stories of talented classmates and gain more insight into their life perspectives. The final project in the course is a capstone that revolves around a central question students choose. I have loved learning what interests my classmates from family to human motivations to identity. Furthermore, I have appreciated how I can gain feedback on my own writing and share my story with supportive peers.

I would like to thank Mr. Brown and B period class for this opportunity. 

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