Sonia Tinoco

photo of SoniaDear Eighth Grade Student,

Throughout your schooling experience, you have been judged as right or wrong. You have been given a grade that “defines” who you are. You have become frustrated with school. You believe that you are never going to use any of this in real life. You, my friend, are wrong. You will use the material you are learning right now in the real world. The real world is made up of resumes, cover letters, proposals, letters, and many other forms of communication for which you will need good writing skills. But do not worry, your test sores will not define who you are. If my intelligence were solely based upon results, I would have been kicked out of school (and the real world) a long time ago. Trust me: just because I am a college student does not mean I have it all figured out. However, I have figured out the importance of writing.

As dramatic as it may sound, writing is what is keeping me going. I recall my 9th grade English teacher, Mr. Chaney, telling me, “Science and math might get you into college, but writing will keep you there.” As a fourteen-year-old at the time, I thought this comment was cheesy. Now I see that it is through writing that I am able to demonstrate my ability to understand complex material. We constantly use writing as a form of self-expression to convey powerful messages.

Within a generation growing up with technology, you hold all the intelligence in the world on your handheld device. Either you or someone you know owns a smartphone, iPod, tablet, laptop, or any other form of device with a screen on it. Daily you use your technology to write a Facebook post, tweet on twitter, post a clever snapchat, or simply text a friend. Without even realizing it, you are using your writing skills. The funny thing is that you complain about a simple writing assignment for your English class, yet you are ready to “roast” someone online by making a clever remark. Every time you write an email, a tweet, a Facebook post, to anyone, you will sound uneducated if you simply use the wrong tense or grammar form. If you believe that writing and English will not follow you for the rest of your life, you will never succeed.

Take a moment to hear me out. I am not here to judge your writing skills. I am here as someone who has been there. Growing up, I had a difficult time with writing. I would get mad at myself because my writing did not look or sound the same as everybody else’s since English is my second language. However, when I finally found out my own writing style, I held the key to success. When you learn how to express yourself through writing, your voice will be heard! The power of writing lies within the messages it conveys. Language is one of the few systematic and significant tools for spreading a powerful message. For me, writing allows me to be free of all constraints. I can only imagine the opportunities my writing has in store for me.

So, what will writing do for you?

Sincerely,

Sonia Tinoco