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The Essay That Made The Teacher Cry

When the event happened, I was in eighth grade.

We had a fieldtrip for a WE Day (a charity that hosts a series stadium-sized events aimed at youth empowerment) for eighth grade students. However, only a few were able to attend because there were only twenty spots available. Each student who was willing to go on the field trip was asked to write a short essay explaining why they should attend.

Although English and Literature were my favorite subjects at the time I had not given much thought to the entire essay. It was only the night before the essay’s due date that I remembered. Just before going to bed, I hurried to my backpack to tear out a piece of paper from my paper notebook. I remembered it was a blue pencil, so I grabbed one and started writing.

After several attempts at finding the perfect title, I settled on “Why WE Day is important and inspirational for us as individuals”. The words might not have been the exact same, but they all conveyed the same message. I started writing without much thought.

I wrote about my own struggles as an immigrant and the poverty and struggle that still exists in the developing country where I grew up. I improved it into why WE Day was a great event that brought people together and gave back to those less fortunate. Later, I improvised this into why I should go on the trip.

A few days later, just before the class began, Mr. Benner came into my classroom and told me that I was a fantastic writer. My athleticism made me a popular athlete, so an academic complement was already a great boost to my confidence. But he didn’t stop there. He told me that he and two other teachers had read my essay, one of whom had cried.

This made it more memorable and I was inspired that I could have an emotional impact on peoples’ lives, even with a simple essay.

After two years, it’s hard to remember the exact details of what I wrote or how I structured my essay.

Maya Angelou: “I have learned that people forget what you say, they forget what you do, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”

This quote is so true in my opinion. He made me feel better about myself, and he was a great teacher. I’m sure he will never forget the tears he shed.

Later, I became curious and wondered what made the essay so important. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was so upset that I had to go home. It wasn’t the fact that there were no grammatical errors or that it looked professional. What could it have been, I kept asking myself? What could possibly have caused two adults to cry when they read my writing?

After a couple of hours, I reached a conclusion. It was a good one. It was because I wrote from my heart and mind.

In writing about poverty in a country where I lived from age 10 to 20, I wrote what I thought. I did not try and embellish the essay or make it sound good. I was simply writing what I thought, which is why I seemed to be unconcerned about it. The words and experiences were like a vase that was in my head. I needed to put them on paper. The story’s honesty and authenticity enhanced the reader’s emotional response.

It was only one page. In this case, quality was more important than quantity. A friend of mine wrote a 4-page essay at the time and was not allowed to go on this trip. I must admit that I felt sorry for her, but her words probably were very artificial.

This experience taught me that everyone can have a positive impact on others’ lives. We should be honest, do what we say, and not let stress get in the middle of great things.

There is no age limit to changing the world or making a positive impact on other people’s lives. You’re welcome.

Lastly, You may also read this post: Erging: The Ideal Exercise for Tech Bros and VCs

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