7th-Grade English Portfolio
My Portfolio Reflection
1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?
I would describe my writing as very youthful and tacky at the beginning of seventh grade. Now I feel that my writing is a lot more mature. My writing is now more fact filled and more grammatically correct.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.
I feel like my strengths are writing a hook and painting a picture. It is easy for me to tell a story and fill it with details. I am a story-lover myself so I know what catches people's attention in a story.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.
I would like to continue beefing up my grammar skills and factual context. I feel like I focus a little too much on the story aspect of writing and need to focus more on grammar.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.
I fell that my Hero's Journey Essay best captures my growth as a writer. This essay both includes a little story but still has many quotes and grammar parts.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.
I am most proud of my Final Holocaust Letter because it is a full on story. It allowed me to use imagination to form characters and stories.
Hero’s Journey Essay
Superheros are stereotypically adults with supernatural powers. But those movie characters do not really experience loss and sacrifice of a real hero. A social split creates a large rivalry in a small Ohio town. Greasers are constantly being jumped by Socs. One incident causes two friends to flee for safety. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a monomyth because Ponyboy follows the Hero’s Journey.
Ponyboy experiences The Separation from the Known when his friend, Johnny, kills a Soc, Bob, in a small fight and the two involuntarily run away. Ponyboy faces the fact the fact that Johnny has, “‘...really killed him...’” (57). In the Hero’s Journey, The Separation from the Known is when the hero is away from everyday life and outside of his or her comfort zone. In The Outsiders, Ponyboy involuntarily runs away with Johnny when he kills Bob, thus he is away from everyday life. This brings Ponyboy into a new world of an old church and the fear of discovery. This quote stands for the shock Ponyboy is in when he finds out about the situation and the need to run. He is thrown into an uncomfortable situation where he has to take actions that he does not want to do. This leads Ponyboy to want to justify this and return to everyday life.
In conclusion, S.E. Hinton has written a monomyth by leading the main character, Ponyboy, onto a Hero’s Journey in the book The Outsiders. Ponyboy lives though the different stages of the Hero’s Journey. After this journey, he has grown physically and psychologically and views life in a different way. Ponyboy learns about the sacrifice and loss of a real-world hero.
Letter # 6
I am so glad to have someone to share my feelings with. I am still so stunned of what has happened. It all still feels like a dream. I am also sad to crush your hopes, but Karla is… not able to write to you. I am Viktoria, her older step-sister. The events of the past year have been devastating.
Karla and I had been getting used to life in the Natzweiler concentration camp. Karla even met a boy. Garrick was his name. I approved of him. He was good-looking, bright and quite the gentleman. They were happy together, they were able to find the little joy left in the world and hold onto it. In about September of 1944, Karla and I were separated sent to different sub-camps. Natzweiler turned out to be a lot larger than I expected. It was only after two months that I was then transferred to the same camp as her. That’s when she told me what had happened to the sweet, caring boy.
“The boys and the girls were separated,” she had said. “Garrick refused to let go of me, it went so far that he had punched an officer in the face. Broke his nose maybe even. There was another man nearby, had a different uniform. I don’t know what he was but he had a gun. Before I knew it, Garrick fell to the ground, his warm grip still tight around my fingers. Blood was seeping through his shirt. All he could say was ‘I love you’ and...and…”
By now she was sobbing so hard I could barely hear her words. It truly broke my heart and anyone who was listening. Karla rarely said anything after that night. This lasted till March of this year, when quiet life was loudly disrupted. We told to evacuate immediately and start marching behind some SS trucks, and that’s exactly what we shouldn’t have done. Karla and I marched for days and weeks, I think it may have even been a whole month. There was so little food, the once strong and healthy Karla, had been decreased to a skeleton. We have been marching towards another concentration camp named Dachu. We had been there for only a week when we were forced on another “Death” march, as many people have named it.
There are no words to describe how terrible it was. I was so weak everyone was sure that I wouldn’t make it. I’m positive I wouldn’t have either if it weren’t for Karla. She started giving me large portions of her own food. I wouldn’t take it at first but she had threatened to throw it away if I didn’t eat it. So that’s what I did. I took my little sister’s food. I killed my little sister. I was so caught up in myself that I didn’t notice how weak she had become.
Later on in March, The Americans had caught up with us. By now the Nazi soldiers have left us, felt like the cowards they always were. We were finally free! Karla and I were so ecstatic that we started jumping up and down. That’s when she fell. She fell hard. That was also when I realized what I had done. Karla was so weak that she couldn’t even say her last words. She had hit her head on a rock, where a large blood stain still covers one side of it. I had stayed there, holding her cold body until dark when I was forced inside the tent the Americans had set up. They told me they were going to take care of her. I was still so stunned to say anything.
I was nursed back to health and when I was ready, they showed me Karla. They had fixed her up, made her the beautiful Karla everyone knew. They offered to bury her in the graveyard they had created but I said no. I wanted her to come back with me. Then they showed me her “Book of Memories”, that was hidden under her clothes. I didn’t read it. I wanted to share it with any surviving family or friends that I knew. A week later, I was on a train back to Luxembourg. Her casket was one of the many in the cargo, their weeping family scattered throughout the train. There was a smell of sadness and grief settling above us.
The first week back was not the most joyous. My family was still in hiding. They knew the war was over, they just didn’t have any where to go. Lukus wasn’t there either. He had typhus and nobody knew until he died. Mother was bedridden with grief over the loss of her only two children. I knew that she blamed me for Karla’s death but there was nothing I could do.
Yesterday was the worst of all. We had friends, and cake. But nothing about it was heart-warming at all. Everyone was silent for this one day. It would have been Karla’s sixteenth birthday.
Even though Karla wasn’t my biological sister, it was hard not to love her to bits and pieces. I understand that Eva and her had been really close. I am so sorry for her and for you. I do admit that I was skeptical to write to you, when I received your letter. I was afraid it was some kind of joke. But that soon changed. Why don’t you come to Luxembourg? Our family would gladly take you in as one of us. We really need to be cheered up and I’m sure you would do just that.
From the bottom of my heart,