In elementary school, my favorite activity was creative writing. My imagination would run wild as I regularly gave personalities to the fish I caught with my dad. I enjoyed writing stories from the fish’s perspective; I would narrate their life story from their birth until their last glimpse of light as they were pulled onto my dad’s boat to become that night’s dinner. My imaginative nature facilitated creative writing as my first writing style. However, as time progressed, I began writing in different styles in school. The creative writing I was accustomed to was replaced by book analyses and five-paragraph essays.
My early writing style flowed with free spirit as young Kai focused on articulating the details of the fish’s experience – what it saw, the taste of its food, etc. In contrast, my writing transitioned to display data and correlations for a presentation instead, such as in my accounting assignment two weeks ago. I wrote the events in the order they occurred with an occasional anecdote rather than by the evidence’s strength and correlation to the central argument.
Following my introduction to this new writing style, my creative expression was compressed to conform to the template-based sentences my teachers appreciated. Therefore, my writing began to closely resemble this concise style my teachers preferred. I was frustrated as I constantly heard “less is more”, and the more words with less meaning I removed, the better.
In eighth grade, the focus in my english classes shifted from writing to reading. This experience was detrimental to my writing skills because I was not practicing my writing. We read frequently instead of completing written responses. Our analyses were discussion-based and we spent class time either reading together or discussing what we had read for homework. As a result, my writing skills were not being developed.
Three years later, I enrolled in AP Language and Composition. At this point in high school, I had come to terms with the fact that I was a more stem-leaning student. However, this teacher reignited my interest in writing. Through his focus on the technicals of writing, my teacher facilitated my viewing writing as an art form. In five-paragraph weekly essays, we analyzed the rhetoric developed through unique diction choices, syntax, and other literary devices. These types of assignments progressed my writing and grammar, but they did not develop my creative skills. Nevertheless, creative writing was not important to my current academic situation, and I was happy to be enjoying English class once more.
After successfully completing AP Language and Composition, I began AP Literature and Composition confidently. During the first semester, I enjoyed the class and was content with the amount I was learning. Then, unfortunately, COVID-19 began, and my AP Literature and Composition assignments ceased for the remaining three months of high school.
Following my AP Literature and Composition class, my next academic experience was at Emory. The next phase of my writing development occurred when I was applying for the Emory investment group. During this process, I completed a stock pitch and wrote my first business writing style assignment. Compared to the writing I practiced in high school, this style of writing was less structured and more concise. Additionally, it was more research-based and involved little to know creative thinking content-wise. Since I have chosen to pursue a career in business, this is the writing style that will be most relevant to my profession. Therefore, it is ideal that my writing has developed into this style and I am content with my writing progression towards concise, business writing.
While creating this literacy narrative, I began to recognize the importance of having both a free-spirited and concise writing style readily available and being able to switch between the two. As I think about my experience completing this assignment on my Macbook Pro, I can choose to say I typed on a black and silver keyboard with 78 individual keys if needed, or I can describe how the clacking sound brought by fiercely brewing ideas and relaying them onto the keyboard reminded me of diligently clicking each letter on my assigned Dell computer during typing practice in 5th grade computer class. The lost passions for my rara avis* writing style reemerged as I reminisced on my elementary school days, and made writing this narrative enjoyable. I would hope both writing styles showed themselves throughout this story.
*Rara Avis: Latin phrase for “rare bird”, used to describe a freely moving being.