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keskiviikko 13. toukokuuta 2015

Composition - School essays from the eighties

The Beginning of Hope 

Once there was a small house in the middle of  the jungle. It was a very small with small windows, no curtains, no lamps and only an open place for a door. Everyone who wanted or was small enough to come in, was allowed to come in. In the house there lived a 50cm tall elf. His name was Rufy. Rufy was very wise and inventive. Inventive indeed. Every other day Rufy invented something funny, wise or sad. Although Rufy was wise, he didn't know one word. No one new it. It hadn't been invented yet. Rufy tried, he tried so hard to decide on another word for wishing, I mean a better word.

One day, Rufy went for a walk to the jungle. He saw a monkey hanging from a tree. Rufy decided to draw it. He liked drawing very much, and he was quite good in it. Rufy had a small notebook he had found in a human's house. He had also a pink led pencil. The drawing looked good. Rufy went on. In a while he was by the riverside. Water was very bright and good. Rufy drank his stomach full of that delicious water. Rufy stood up. He watched a fish going around and around in the water and jumping to the surface once in a while. That was another thing Rufy wanted to draw. He drew it beside the monkey. "Now that looks nie," Rufy thought.

He started to walk beside the river. Suddenly he fell into the river. The pencil and the notebook fell on the ground. Rufy didn't know how to swim so he cried, "Help!" A snake came along. He climbed to a tree and hung his tail over and helped Rufy to the ground. Rufy was so happy that he wanted to draw the snake hanging from the tree on the paper by the fish. So happy Rufy was that he thanked the snake five times. 

Rufy went home. He looked at the beautiful sun. He drew the sun and the bird and the branch of the tree that went on the way of the sun. Then he realised something. The first - the monkey - looked like a capital H. Fish was a small o, the snake was like a small p and the sun was like a small e! "It makes," he thought, "H-o-p-e. What could it be... A \həʊ-pi\? No, it sounds stupid. The e could be silent. That's it! 'Hope'! It could be... another word for wish!" All the animals began to sing and shout, "Rufy invented hope! A better word for wish!"

[Assignment was to write a story around a random word picked up from a basked. I got 'hope'. ]

By the Severn River

I sit by the river eating my lunch and dreaming. The sun burns my cheeks but I don't care, it is so warm and lovely. I put my sunglasses on and watch the ducks play in the water. I hear the guide say, "We will be going in a half an hour."

I chew the last bit of my bread and lie down on the soft grass. The waves' song makes me sleepy. After a few minutes the waves get larger and larger. Everyone is hurrying to the shelter. The river floods the town quickly. We get to the bus and try to drive away but we can't because the water is everywhere around us.

The water level gets higher and we try to shut the vent, but it is stuck. After a few tries, someone closes it. Some people have their vents open but they close them because the water tries to come in from there. It gets cold.

The bus floor is flooded with water. I forgot my shoes and socks on the shore. My toes get wet and air gets chillier all the time. I can't find my sweater. I have only my T-shirt. Suddenly our guide shouts, "Collect your things and go to your group leaders!" I wake up and sigh deeply. It was only a dream. I look around and see that everyone is safe.

I take my things and go to my group leader. We go to the bus following the red-blue-white umbrella of the guide. 

[A story from the England camp school diary]

Diary - December 20th, 1768

It's almost Christma and my family hasn't come yet. It was cold today when I went hunting with Attean and his dog. We got some turtles, but some of them were so small we had to let them go. Attean's dog's led is a little better now, so it could come with us, though it has to walk with only three legs and it's very slow. I was at the village today. I'm sure Sarah will like Marie, when my family comes, if they ever come.

Why hasn't my family come yet? I hope there's been no accudent in the mountains. It's cold in here. Attean was supposed to bring me some wood, because I don't have an ax with which to chop wood. For some reason Attean did not come and now I have only a little wood left. It's late. The sun has gone down already. I wonder what has happened to my family. Maybe they have all died and I am here all alone with the beavers. I'm glad Attean's grandmother changed her mind and trusts me now. I hope that I won't do anything wrong, at least not before family comes. Maybe they're just lost. No, that's not possible, my father knows the way very well. I'm here alone an my situation isn't the best possible. I think I should go to sleep now.

[I believe there was a background story for this assignment.]

Where to go

Susan was walking down 53rd Street. She turned on Woodstock Alley where she lived. Then she heard shouting behind her. Someone shouted, "Susan! Oh Susan!" It was her mother. "Susan, Millie wants to talk to you. I saw her in the shop. I promised to tell you," Susan's mother said when Susan had stopped. "Okay, I'll drop by when I leave to the school party today," Susan promised.

Two hours later Susan hurried downstairs. "How do I look?" Susan asked. "You look fabulous," her mother answered, "Now get going."

Susan stopped at Millie's house. "Oh, hello Susan. Do come in. Millie is waiting for you," Millie's mother said. Susan went to Millie's room. "Why aren't you coming to the school party?" She asked. "I can't come because I am too sad," Millie said. "Sad? How can you be sad? After three weeks our summer vacation will begin and then we will trave to Mars and...and...," Susan tried to get Millie to recover her nomal happiness. It was a good try, but Millie just said, "That's just the point. I can't come because my aunt has said that she will take me to Earth where our ancestors used to live but I don't want to go!" Millie almost shouted. "Though I could ask her not take me there with her," Millie said.

It was unusual for any girl to shout on Venus, but Millie shouted often. She was a very beautiful mouse and almost every boy in Montreau loved her. The same thing was with Susan. They were both fifteen years old ini mouse age. In reality they were five years old, but you can get the relative age by multiplying the real age by three. These mice were more developed than the mice we are used to. At least they walk on two feet and are bigger. After people became extinct, the mice got people's sense and they used it more wisely.

"Is susan here? Her mother said she might be," a voice said at the door. "Here I am! Just a second, Peter! Is Marc with you? Millie would like to talk to him," Susan replied. "Yes, I'm here. But what's the point? Aren't you going to celebrate yout coming trip to Mars?" "That's just the point! I'm not going to Mars," Millie said sadly. "Well, then I'm not going either to Mars or the party. Peter and Susan may travel alone," Marc said.

On Monday Millie hopped and danced all the way to school. She was very very happy. She shouted, "I can go to Mars! Ican go to Mars after all! My aunt can't go to Earth . Did you hear me, Susan? Peter? Marc? I can go to Mars in summer!"

Marilka 1986-88

Author's note
In school, these were the guidelines for my compositions:

1) A composition is a group of closely related sentences

2) It consists of three parts: 
  • Beginning sentence
  • Middle sentences
  • Ending sentence
3) A composition paragraph develops on topic selected from a broad subject. Example: 
  • subject: trees
  • topic: my favorite tree
4) The beginning sentece 
  • attracks attention
  • gives a clue
  • causes reader to be curious
5) The middle sentences follow the clue like a colored thread in a weaving. Middle sentences have order and are thought out well - writer outlines his thoughts on the topic. Active verbs and colorful adjectives and adverbs are used. The, it, are, was etc. show lazy writing. Sentences should begin in various and different words.

6) The ending sentence
  • gives a last detail
  • sums up the paragraph
  • gives a personal comment
The topic sentence (first sentence) has one or two words that give the clue - we should not use words that tell the reader what the paragraph is about.Example: "Last Friday I had a happy experience in a Philip's store".

In retrospect, these instructions have hugely affected all of my writing ever since. Right about at that time, on sixth-seventh grade, I cracked writing and started to create compositions that teachers praised, no matter which language I wrote in. These stories are some samples of those school compositions. Unfortunately I don't seem to have any of my Finnish compositions from that time. Maybe dad has kept some?

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