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Take out frustrations on this article

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by mattklar, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. mattklar

    mattklar New Member

    Dear Sportsjournalists.com,

    You now have permission to read this article with an extremely critical eye. Take out all frustrations, notice any glitch and tell me. DONT hold back. Steve Rushin wrote on the same topic last year, but mines is slightly different. Oh, and also, I'd love to hear any advice on how to improve It, and for god's sake, i need a last line.

    *It's for a high school newspaper. Some of the lines, and terms you might not uderstand. You would have to be student at my shcool in my neigborhood

    Can’t Catch a Break!

    Turn back your clocks. Not to last period, not to last week, not to last semester. Turn them way back. Back to when Brittany was cute, Green Day was badass, and Lululemon headbands were fastened to the ponytails of every Teenage girl in the city. Back then Thornhillians, we all shared one thing in common. For 20 minutes, twice a day, we had recess. Our notebooks closed, our lockers slammed shut, and Teachers policed the backyards of our elementary schools in neon Crossing guard vests. In the deserts of green, that was our fields, and on the slides that sizzled in the hot summer days, like a fajita skillet, we played. We were kids.

    Kids grow up, and we were no exception. After an eternity of Foot Hockey, monkey bars, duck duck goose, and hopscotch, the games that reigned over our childhood disappeared faster than butterscotch crumpets at Queen Latifa’s birthday party, and for one deeply depressing reason: recess is over.

    So many of us find our minds wander during the day. Before we know it, our binders, papers, desks, and bodies are drowning in meaningless doodles. Our eyes look everywhere they shouldn’t, and never where they should, while are feet tap at a bothersome pace. But these are symptoms that won’t be fixed with DEAR, not to mention shorter lunches. There’s only one phenomenon that can tackle a load this heavy. That’s right TSS: recess must be rescued. Breaking up classroom time, maximizes learning for so many students. For me, focusing in class always came easier after recess. It offers students a chance to recharge their batteries, blow off steam, and especially learn to interact with others, and addressing those needs is as beneficial as any trigonometry, or Shakespearian tale. Experts agree that playtime can be just as vital as classroom time to a child’s social, emotional and educational development. Imagine looking out of your classroom window and seeing a four- square game painted on the cement. Imagine seeing a swing set and tetherball poles. Now that’s a sight for sore eyes.

    But could recess in Secondary schools really work? “I’ve been in high schools where there have been 10, and 15 minutes breaks,” said Principal Berman. “But organizing, and restructuring the timetable would be a big effort.” In addition to schedule arrangements, injury concern plays a major role in this recess recession. Many recesses, end like the last round of a prize fight. The bell sounds, cuts and bruises are looked after, and both parties are forced to sit in the corner. And although I was schooled at the intersection of Hilda and Clarke, not exactly South Central L.A., you could fill a doctor’s office with all my battle wounds. No holds barred playground tactics left their mark on me as a child, sometimes literally. Like most of my classmates, I endured in lifetime of noogies, wedgies, Charlie-horses, purple nurples, wet willies, pink bellies, and my personal favorite; the Chinese sunburn. Why do you think they call it a Jungle Gym?

    I remember recess like it was yesterday. At Yorkhill Elementary School, 10:15 meant morning recess, where you would get in a fight with a peer over A.) Unfair teams in soccer-baseball, B.) Whose sweatshirt to use as a goalpost, or C.) Spilling a secret. Then of course, for the next four and half hours or so, you would reflect on the recess ruckus of the day, and kiss and make up during 2:20 recess. Recesses may have been repetitive but they never got boring. That is why my last recess ever was a teary eyed one, to say the least. We all hugged, swapped memories, signed yearbooks and bid adieu to recess forever. But nowadays, it’s not only high schools that are going though withdrawal. According to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association), nearly 40 percent of American elementary schools have either “eliminated or are considering eliminating recess”, and 32 percent of those who do get recess, “have less than 15 minutes a day”. Prison inmates get more time in the yard.

    Recess, plain and simple is a lost cause. Four-square? Try square roots. Want a playground seesaw? You’ll have to settle for sea breezes and jackdaws. One day, we’ll all move on. We’ll be lawyers, and doctors, athletes, and teachers, and we’ll have plenty of time for number crunching and studying. But one thing we won’t stop doing is taking breaks. All of us will one day get up from our desks, lock up the office and leave for the weekend. We’ll watch our son score is very first little league goal. We’ll watch the look on are daughter’s face when she rides her bike for the first time. And in that moment, we will realize that importance of play. We’ll remember every dog-pile, jump rope, and kickball game we took part in. And, so what? So were older now. Who cares? It’s been twenty months since my last recess. – I CANT THINK OF A LAST LINE
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I cringed when I read the misspelled names of "Brittany" and "Latifa," and the random capitalizations of "Teacher," "Crossing," "Teenage," "Secondary," "Jungle Gym," etc. Doesn't matter if it's for a high school paper or not; misspelled words are never excusable. And only someone like HST can get away with the random capitalizations; learn the rules before you break the rules.

    You're on the right track, don't get me wrong. Your descriptive abilities are very sharp and you seem like you have something to say.

    But the grammar is pretty raw (I'm not a fan of "writing the way you talk;" I think smart writing should be a step up from the shortcuts we take when we converse), and you would do well to learn how to effectively construct a persuasive argument (put forth your arguments with passion but with clarity, and back them up with substance.)

    You put forth an interesting question -- and one that I bet you could find some serious research on, if you did some (pardon the pun) homework on it. That would make your argument even stronger. Trust me, learning how to make a strong argument and then defend it is a skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life. I had a great high school teacher/mentor who pushed me to do that, and it's served me well ever since.
  3. mattklar

    mattklar New Member

  4. buckweaver has already said a lot. As a suggestion, Google can be a good resource to make sure you are spelling famous people's names right. Do a search for "Brittany Spears" and you will get the message at the top that says "Do you mean Britney Spears?"

    To use a cliche, when it comes to writing, you have to learn walk before you can run. Get rid of the fragments. In a few years you might be able to get away with breaking grammar rules for style, but you can't yet.
  5. mattklar

    mattklar New Member

    Thanks No Talent

    Any tips or ideas for a better first couple sentences / last couple sentences anyone??
  6. Off the tp of my head...take it for what it is worth.

    "And, so what? So were older now. Who cares? It’s been twenty months since my last good game of foot hockey.

    Let's do it. I'll even let you pick first."

    And, as an aside, why is foot hockey called foot hockey when what it is is a bunch of kids playing soccer with a tennis ball?
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