Last week, after we praised a student for a well-written essay, he looked surprised and said it was the first time anyone had complimented his writing. He did not know he could write such a gorgeous story about finishing a challenging hike in the mountains with a group of rugged teens while he was violently ill.
He did it. And the final draft was exceptional. The first few sentences drew us in:
I had hiked 45 miles in three days with a 60-pound pack, and I was physically exhausted. I woke up on the fourth morning, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it again. My shoulders were throbbing, like somebody was punching me repeatedly.
He went on to tell a heart-wrenching story with vivid details that showed determination and strong will. He didn’t give up; he made the best of a bad situation. What might a college admissions committee get out of it? This student takes risks, finishes what he starts, will get his work done no matter what – and without excuses. He is ready for college and will give it 100 percent.
Why did he think he couldn’t write? He knew what happened, and he knew why it mattered. He just didn’t know how to put all the pieces together. Our process taught him how.
We work with many high school seniors who claim they don’t like writing or who say they are not very good at it. We ask them, “Can you think?” They all say yes.
We tell them, “If you can think, you can write,” but we don’t leave it at that. We take our students through a tried-and-true process that teaches them – step by step – how to develop an idea, brainstorm, free write for details, revise, edit and add the “wow factor” so it can stand out from the crowd.
Like most of our students, the boy with the hiking story was ready for this writing task. He just needed a process to get it done. That’s what the Wow Method is all about. Most people can recognize a great story; we know how to help students tell those stories in their own voices and in their own words.
Ready to tell your story? Join us for a drop-in session this Sunday, October 9, 1-4 p.m., 30150 Telegraph Road, Suite 120 in Bingham Farms. Everyone is welcome.