The Turnaround in my English Class Performance
Getting admitted for a degree course in journalism at the university made me feel confident that I would soon be armed with all the skills that one needed to gather and disseminate information professionally. The confidence was much stronger with regard to broadcast journalism assignments. Towards my quest, I was aware performing well in my English classes was a must. Nonetheless, I found myself posting quite poor results in my classes which was a huge concern both to me at to my tutors. I tried all I could but still failed in most of my English class assignment to a point where I almost gave up on my dreams. However, fate has a sly tendency of placing people where they least expect to find themselves. Hence, I found myself placed in a writing competition for a newspaper station that my parents advised me to enter with the view that the challenge would be a stepping point towards improving in the English course. I was assigned to start a story from scratch and deliver it within five days. It was a feature story and I did not know where to start. I only accomplished my goal after encountering one Osman whose influence proved priceless to my writing outlook- soon I was one of the best performers in the English class.
Osman came by my desk two hours after the assigning editor had issued instructions to each of the competitors in the newsroom. “What is wrong with you?” He enquired.
“Sincerely, I have never written a feature story, and I have always being weak in English.” I answered in a rather resigned tone. He looked at me and smiled reassuringly.
“You need not worry. There is always a start for everything.” He said as he scribbled a website address and a password on my notebook. “Have a look at those articles. I wrote them in my first days in this newsroom. They should be of help.” He said as he left.
Immediately, I logged into the site and started reading through the articles. The first article I flawed seamlessly. Every capital letter was at its right place, every punctuation mark fell in its right place and the coherence of the entire article made my eyes pope out in amazement. I wished I could write like him one day. However, I realized that I only had four full days remaining to deliver my article and abide by the international standard of the newspaper if I was to be recognized for good records in the competition.
As I was reading the second article, Osman came and whispered on my ears. “Everything flows when you shun the fear to start.”
“You begin with gathering all the facts about the topic and then begin packaging the facts in a manner that makes sense to the reader.” He concluded as he left.
Right then, I left the newsroom to the location where I could get the firsthand information that I needed to complete my assignment. The issue at hand involved a group of residents who had turned a public land into garbage site. I was supposed to highlight how the act was a menace to the environment and the risks it posed to their health and that of the neighboring community. Soon, I was ready with all the relevant information. However, the task that lay ahead of me was still a big challenge.
On arrival at my desk on the third day, I tried to figure out what the first word that I would type on the keyboard would be. Several hours passed but I still could not get a word to start my story with. I went for lunch having not composed the first sentence that would see me begin my story. After lunch I went back to reading Osman’s story. Below the last sentence of one of the stories, Osman wrote that ‘writers block’ had taken its toll on him while he tried to come up with the story but he had overcome it by beginning in the middle thus holding himself in curiosity of what he wanted to unveil to the readers. Right then I began typing the details that would probably appear in the middle of my story. Every sentence I wrote posed a question in my mind. Before I noticed, I had written several paragraphs and the yearning to keep writing was reigning. After I had put down all the critical points, I went back to Osman’s stories to ensure that the story flowed smoothly without sounding jumpy.
When I was through with the story on the fourth day, I called Osman to go through it before I submitted it to the editor. He commented on several mistakes and asked me to correct them. Afterwards he read the story and asked me to submit it.
I was anxious after submitting the story. I suspected that I might have been ranked the worst journalist in the newsroom.
“Are you Smith?” The Chief Editor asked.
“Yes!” I answered with a trembling voice.
“Your story on environmental degradation is so captivating that I had to read it several times as I was amazed that it was done by a student.” He said as I stared at him in surprise. “If you keep up the classic writing style, I am confident that you have a bright future in journalism.” He promised as he shook my hand.
That success marked the beginning of my immaculate writing and excellent performance in my English class. The confidence I build has been the wheels propelling me to heights I never thought possible. Today I am an encouragements to other classmates struggling with the English course. I owe all credit to Osman for his encouragement, lessons and great writing style from which I learned how to write effectively.