As I reviewed the old versions of the last two threads, looking for last year's Wall of Famers (and realizing I need to edit/rewrite/expand both threads!), I got the urge to take a look back at the first blogs of the 2011-12 school year. Specifically, I wanted to see how the first pieces from the Alton/David/Tiffany/Vanessa/Stephanie/Valerie/full-year student set stacked up against their pieces from the current blog, or even their previous one. I wanted to see if they'd improved or changed their approaches to the degree I'd believed. I wanted to see whether, in retrospect, I could see hints, pieces, or full-on snapshots of the writers they'd become. (Keep this in mind for next week's blog, which is called Picking Up Pieces for a reason.)
Perma-students: you may find the results...somewhat interesting.
Take a look back, and, like kids examining the pencil scratches on the pantry door that mark their height each year, see how much you've grown.
Double bonus: links to the first English 9 blog, where tiny versions of Wendy Wang, Kevin Tran, Keemlin Nguyen, Tiffany Shar, Nick Slemp, Priscilla Cheung, Meliza Reyes, Tiffany Wu, April Davis, Gabo Aristizabal, Andrew Xie, Mio Chen, Brandon Mion, Johnny Wang, Anthony Pidlaoan, Rakan Abu-Saleh, Shaker Saad, Audrey Lanskie, and Kevin Giammalva once wrote. It's like stumbling on the dust-covered demos of your favorite band years after it polishes its sound and hits it big, especially since the links to your future senior-year curriculum will seem blatantly obvious to you in hindsight.
To be fair, at the time, it probably didn't feel like I was setting you up for anything. You couldn't have known The End of the Line would lead directly into Great Expectations two years later, and since I was busy being laid off at the time, you couldn't exactly expect to take a class from me again. Heck, I'd all but abandoned hope that I'd get to teach you again someday - notice the sharp drop-off in blog entries during the second semester. But that was always the hope - that I'd get to finish you up after getting you started. You can ask anyone. I held that hope in order to cope with being assigned English 9 after listing it as one of the two courses you can explicitly request to avoid teaching.
I didn't want to teach you then. I'm glad Mr. Sylvia ignored me.
And I'm glad you and I got to know each other back then, when we were all very, very different people.