|David: "The Four Seasons"
This is the final draft of the fourth essay of the course. You have not responded to previous draftings of this paper.
Students have already written a personal narrative, a thesis-support essay, and a comparison- contrast essay. The class has emphasized writing as a process and has worked on those composing strategies and features of discourse that you would typically emphasize in the first half of Freshman Composition.
You may assume that students have the option of rewriting, for a change in grade, one of their course papers by the end of the term.
Most of you are off at school and in a new place, away from the people and settings you have become accustomed to and attached to. Similarly, those of you who are from Tallahassee have likely not had the time or the opportunity to visit some of the old places that are special to you.
Choose some place, atmosphere, or situation that you miss from home – or, if you are at home, that you have not had the chance to experience for some time, and miss. Depict this scene, mood, or setting in a way that will allow your reader – someone who does not know about it – to see the significance it has for you.
Remember that because your aim is to give your reader a sense of place, you will do well to use specific details.
Donna: "The Right to Pray"
These three papers – Paper 2, "The Popularity of Disney World," an informative essay; Paper 3, "Choosing a College," an evaluative essay; and Paper 5, "The Right to Pray," a persuasive essay – have been submitted at the end of the term as the major portion of this student's final course portfolio. Through the semester, students have written (and handed in according to a common schedule) five essays in response to assignments that stipulate the aim of discourse but which give students freedom to choose their own subjects. Now, at the end of the course, they are handing in what they see as their three best efforts, to be reviewed for their final grade. Although you have already read and commented on earlier drafts of papers 2 and 3, you have not yet seen Paper 5, "The Right to Pray." It is the last paper of the course, submitted as a final draft.
In preparation for this persuasive essay, the class has been examining the basic principles of argumentative and persuasive writing, including logical appeal, emotional appeal, and appeal to the writer's character. A good deal oi time has been devoted to developing and supporting assertions. Some attention has also been given to the role of audience in argumentative and persuasive writing as well as to the structure of argumentative discourse.
Reflect on your experience and choose a controversial issue that is particularly interesting to you. Write a paper in which you attempt to convince your readers to accept your views on the topic. Be sure to target your essay for readers who are in need of some convincing on this matter.
The Four Seasons
I like Tallahassee very much. The heat and sunshine almost everyday makes each day very pleasant. I intend to spend my next four and one half years here, but I miss my other home, Syracuse, New York. One thing that I truly miss about Syracuse is the four seasons. Each season is distinct and clear in its own way. I will do my best to describe each season to you, but remember that my description cannot compare to experiencing each season for itself.
In the Spring the ground is soft from the melting snow. You can feel the moist ground wanting to seep into your shoes. As the ground begins to dry, the trees begin to blossom and the faint smell of pollen lingers in the air. The flowers work their way out of the ground and bloom for another year. The familiar sound of geese is heard overhead as you look into the sky and see a "V" formation, travelling north for the summer. A long winter's nap has ended for the bears, squirrels, rabbits and other hibernating animals. After they awake, their chattering conversations ramble through the forest.
Not only do the animals come out of their shelter, in the springtime, but also people. Many people have a tendency to "hole up" in the wintertime. All your neighbors, that you thought had died, open up their houses to allow the spring breeze to come along and carry away that musty air that built up during winter. You can hear voices and lawnmowers everywhere as people are outside doing their springtime yard work. Wives are planting new flowers while husbands are raking and mowing the lawn. Spring is the season of awakening where everything becomes refreshing.
Following Spring is the season that most people look forward to, that is Summer. Summer is the time of the year when kids are everywhere, because school has been let out. You can hear their voices and giggles fill the atmosphere. People are always outside in the summertime because the sun beats down onto the earth and warms everything up. There are enormous amounts of families going to the beach for the weekend or going on vacation for a week. As you look down the road, you can see heat waves resting on the pavement. The foliage is green and spirits are high. There is a feeling of warmth amongst neighbors, friends, and family.
Fall is my favorite season. I do not care for the way Fall strolls into Tallahassee, the way the leaves and flowers just shrivel away. In Syracuse you can tell when Fall has arrived, because the leaves turn rustic, auburn, garnet, and gold. They fall from the trees onto your lawn, where you spend hours raking the leaves into a pile. After the leaves are sitting neatly in a humongous pile, you may get this crazed feeling. This feeling might just cause you to run and dive into that neat pile. As you are sitting in a natural mattress an aroma of the dried leaves stimulates your olfactories. This aroma gives you a feeling that you are secure.
When you wake up on a typical fall morning you can look out the window and see the ground lightly dusted with frost. So when you get dressed you may put on a sweater. The fall weather is sometimes referred to as "sweater-weather", because you are able to wear a sweater and be perfectly comfortable. The sweater is just enough to keep the chill off of you. This is a sign that winter is just around the corner.
Winter is the last season of the year. It ranks a close second to Fall in my opinion. Many people complain about snow, but I love it. There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of taking a walk in the winter at night, when the sky is clear and everything is placid. The moon glistens off the snow. While you stroll along, you can hear the soft scrunching of that magical white carpet underneath your feet. You can "feel Jack Frost nipping at your nose" and the rosiness in your cheeks. Yet you stay warm, nestled underneath your winter garb. The atmosphere that surrounds you is serene. It is as though you could disrobe yourself and still stay warm.
After your walk, in the "winter wonderland", you return to the homestead. After hanging up your coat, hat, gloves, and scarf, you shake off the cold and sit by the fire. That burning wood, that has been seasoned since the summer, smells so wonderful and the heat it radiates could lull a person to sleep. Winter nights are great to cuddle up with that special person, by the fire, and listen to the wind blowing outside or watch the snow fall to the ground. That snow gives you a refreshing feeling.
These were my brief descriptions of the four seasons in Syracuse. Of course I only told of the good things about each season. I enjoy the changing seasons and when school is through, I intend to move back up north. The weather down here may be fine for some people, but it was not meant for me. The only real way to understand what I was trying to describe is to experience the four seasons for yourself.
Paper 5: Final Draft
The Right to Pray
It is nine o'clock a.m. seven years ago in a small classroom. A bell rings to signify the beginning of school. "Would everyone please stand for the flag salute and a moment of silence," blares over the intercom. Twenty-seven sixth graders noisily shift chairs and stand to their feet. After they salute the flag, the teacher asks, "Who would like to lead us in prayer today?" Every child raises a hand and shouts, "Me, me, ne!"
These days have been long lost. Prayer in schools has been abolished because it has been argued that it interfers with some of the children's religious preferences. But what about the other kids? They are being deprived of a religious freedom. To give both the religious preference and freedom the constitution grants, prayer should be present, but optional, in schools.
We believe the reason this country is in such a bad shape is because it has turned away from God. One example is taking prayer out of schools. With all of the trouble and evil in the world, we want our children to learn to ask for God's protection. Now more than ever protection in school is essential. Schools are now corupt with drugs, fights and murders, and they are getting worse as times passes. God is the only one able to protect kids while they attend school.
The people who oppose prayer in school say school is not the place for prayer. Schools are for learning. Anywhere can be the
place for prayer. The prayer does not have to be long and extensive. It can be a short simple prayer, like thanking God for watching me up this mourning and giving me strength to attend school, that will not interfer with time used for getting an education. The prayer does not even have to be aloud. God sees the heart. Silent prayers are just as effective. One prayer that I used to use in class went like this:
"Dear God, I want to thank you for my life,
health, and strength. I ask that you protect
me through the day. Amen."
Atheist are among the people who wanted prayer out of school. These people do not believe there is a God. Naturally, they pass it on to their children. They do not want their children exposed to religion in school. Some say the prayer was forced on the students. If prayer was optional in schools, the students would be given a choice.
Opposite of the atheist's beliefs, some parents believe in god and want Him in every aspect of their child's life. These are the people that suffer from the decision to take prayer out of school. They can not practice their religious beliefs and therefore they have no religious freedom. One of my friends told me, "I was really shocked when they [Congress] passed the law taking prayer out of schools. How could they do that? Religious freedom is given to us by the constitution. I felt so deprived!" How would the opposition feel if one of their inalienable rights, such as liberty, taken away from them? They would be very upset. Veil, this is how we feel. This is a grave injustice to some of the Americans.
In the 170D's and 1800's, thousands of people set out for this country. Many had suffered beatings and imprisonment in their home country because of their religious preferences. News had gotten to them that they would be able to practice their choice of religion in the New World. It was known to some as a religious haven. During the journey, which sometimes lasted for three months, many contracted diseases and some lost their lives. Now, some of their descendents are being deprived of that self-same freedom. No compromises were made when the decision was finalized to remove prayer from schools. These people have a right to practice their religious beliefs. Just as students are given the choice of saluting the flag, they should be given the choice to pray.