Ok, I stink at English. I flunked it the first time I took it 8 years ago. I can not write. Apparently, my sentences don't form full ideas.... or something like that.

So, this paper only has to be 2-3 pages long (double spaced) and it's a narrative, something that happened to us that changed us, some event that affected us somehow. This one is tough for me because I have a HORRIBLE memory. I don't remember anything that's happened to me. Except the birth of my children... and she said not to write about that because every birth is basically the same (she's probably sick of reading birth stories).

I wonder if she might make an exception for mine though. My baby died an hour after birth. I kinda wrote a little bit, to get it started but... it stinks. I have a paragraph and can't figure out where to go from there. I was kinda getting into religion and how I had to give up my control to God. Immediately after she died I felt like it was supposed to happen, like there was reason to her death. I grieved her, of course, but what I think is odd is that I did not go into a depression. I have a history of depression. When I was 15 my first boyfriend dumped me for my best friend. I went into a depression and tried to commit suicide. I spent my 16th birthday in a mental health institute. But when my baby died I didn't even get depressed. What's the difference? The presence of God in my life.

So, well, here's what I have so far. If you have any suggestions please help!

English Comp 1A

Wednesday 6:30-9:30

Patricia Grace Henry (“Gracie”) was born at Victory Memorial Hospital in Waukegan, IL on October 23rd, 2003 at 7:03pm. At 8:35pm her heart stopped beating.

Dictionary.com defines control as a verb (used with an object) to exercise restraint of direction over; dominate; command. I have spent most of my life seeking control. Sure, I wanted to control other people, like family members and friends, but mostly I needed control over my own life. Prior to that fateful day I thought I had finally found that control. I had a house, a good job, a good husband and a child on the way: everything I had ever wanted. I thought I had command, that I had made all those things happen. I was wrong. On October 23rd, 2003 God showed me how wrong I was.

Then I was thinking about writing in a little about  2 Kings 5:1 and how when Naaman (or whatever his name was) let go of his control God healed him.

I thought about throwing in a little from this book I read a couple weeks ago Secrets of The Vine. It talks about how God disciplines us. But it also says that God does not discipline us by harming someone else. God did use my daughter to teach me, but was it discipline? I kinda think so. Suppose it's ok to disagree with the author on that one?

Ugh. I hate writing. Is this totally the wrong direction? I don't know.

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 12:51 AM

It sounds pretty good, I would just move the first line down a bit so you aren't opening with "another birth story".  I would move it to the beginning of the second paragraph.  Good luck!

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 1:22 AM

My English teachers usually encouraged us to disagree with an author - practice debate and all that. If you could pick a specific point or two of the author's, briefly explain them and then explain why you disagree, that could be a complete paper.

I also like mamapotter's suggestion about moving the opening line.

More good luck wishes!

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 10:27 AM

You could talk about how you went through fertility treatments and had made it happen that way.  Just make sure everything ties in together.  I can help you later, too.   It's also about power, too.  You had the power to make these things happen in life, but then you realized it was the Lord's power. 

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 1:21 PM

I don't think you would have to disagree with the author. I am not Christian, but I would see it as God's plan from the start was to limit Gracie's life. He didn't harm her. She lived the extent that she was supposed to. That was a way to teach you the limit of your control. You couldn't control what his plan for her life was. Does that make sense?

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 4:59 PM

I agree with Leigh and you Trish. I don't think you're disagreeing with the author. God has numbered every living person's days. He knows exactly how many days that person will live. He also knew the state of your heart. He did not allow Gracie to die "just" to show you something. He knew how many days she was to live and perhaps he allowed her to be born during that time period to help show you who was in control--instead of being born maybe a year or two later?? Make sense? I think we're all agreeing here. Gracie lived her full life in the hours or the day(s) that she lived. That's an amazing thing to me to think about. Anyway, another subject for later.

I agree with the other post-er, too, that you shouldn't start it with the birth of Gracie. If the teacher specifically said no, then don't start out with that. That may throw her off before she even gets into reading it. You know? If you are wanting the theme to be control, then start out by defining it. Webster's (or .com) and then maybe your definition. Continue with some things that you had control of in your life. Then, move on to the one thing that changed that for you..turned that around. Focus on the control part rather than the birthing part. For instance, if you did fertility treatments, that's a control thing. List and describe everything you did to try to control this (okay maybe not everything.) but you get my point. Then, you get to the part where she's early. She can't be early...that's something you didn't have control of. You can list perhaps the feelings you were experiencing. Did you still feel in control? If so, then describe those feelings. Then start describing the feelings when you started to feel the control slipping. Even if it's the nurses telling you you can't eat. Describe the feelings and emotions of the control. It can be about the birth, but if you're theme is control, then make "control" the focus and have the birth be in the background of the paper, so to speak. We can get together in person if you'd like and I can help you. It's better for me to sit down in person. But, I think if this makes sense to you, then run with it!

Let me know how it goes.

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Aug. 30, 2008 at 5:23 PM

I was thinking too, that if it has to be an event that changed you at the end of your paper you should re-affirm that this event in your life changed the way that you look at things or what you know to be true. Tie it up at the end with this one event. Your description of the paper said it needs to be how an event effected your life. Well, control isn't hardly an event, but I think that you can describe how control effected your life and how this one event (the birth) changed the need for control. Make sense?


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Aug. 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Okay, maybe I should just email you, otherwise I'll have probably 10 entries on here! lol.

Anyway, I think the theme of your paper or the event you should describe is the event when you came to know Christ as your Saviour. You can use the power and control to describe life before and life after knowing Christ. You can use Gracie's birth and death as the event that allowed YOU to SEE and EXPERIENCE that you had changed. You can talk about the depression and control before knowing Jesus (as you stated with your first boyfriend) and then you can use Gracie's story to explain how you looked at life differently. But, focus it on Christ. Not because I'm a christian and that would be my focus, but b/c power and control really isn't an event (and you may get docked for that) and she said no birth stories so don't make the focus that. But, what I heard you saying is the difference was made when you knew God or not. Make that the event and use the others as examples.



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Aug. 30, 2008 at 5:55 PM

and if she encourages to use examples of others in your stories to back up what you say...then use saul/paul conversion.


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Sep. 4, 2008 at 9:39 PM

I am curious as to what you ended up doing with your paper!

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Sep. 12, 2008 at 3:53 AM

I think I'm finished but check it out and help me make the final adjustments - http://www.cafemom.com/journals/read/1205261/English_paper_with_christian_topic_finished

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