When asked to assess how I’ve grown as a writer in the last school year, I’m not even sure where to start. Frankly, It’s a struggle to figure out what I even want to talk about. How have I grown as a writer? I believe a friend of mine put it best when he told me, “Maybe an inch or two at most. I think I’m pretty much done growing for now, seeing as I’m seventeen” (Wint, Alex). Corny jokes aside, my skills as a writer have been a complicated, confusing mess in the past year, for better or for worse. Over the last year, I have discovered that the writers of literature are nutcases, I’m way too literal for my own good, and I couldn’t care less about dead people.
One may inquire, how are writers nutcases? Marriam Webster defines a nutcase as such, “A foolish, crazy, or eccentric person” (Merriam Webster). Face it, every writer fits into some category of the aforementioned nutcase. There were writers who believed that one must prance around in the woods with the animals to become enlightened, writers who believed that nothing actually meant what any educated human being would be led to think it means, and writers who believed that they could do nothing to control their future. Many of these writers seem certifiably off their rockers. Case in point – Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau, a transcendentalist writer, isolated himself from society in order to study society. Is that logical? No. Is it productive? Certainly not. Is it a good way to look like a basket case? Absolutely. To make things worse for the already doomed transcendentalists, Thoreau’s hippy-think-alike, Neil Perry from Dead Poet’s Society, who was already considerably eccentric, wound up feeling sorry for himself and proceeded to symbolically, and rather foolishly, prove a point by dawning a crown of thorns, and crucifying himself – with his father’s pistol. Fool! The poor sap didn’t even get the satisfaction of fulfilling his vengeance against his father! Through my encounters with these asinine authors, I have had the opportunity to delve deep into the farthest reaches of my soul and discover that I do not want to end up like a writer – neither dead nor bat-shit crazy.
Speaking of dead people, my English teacher, the famous and notorious M**** C***** (not dead), always advised me to “Find the dead people!” About halfway through the year, after facing felonious charges for grave robbery, I discovered the true meaning of what my sensei meant. He was trying to tell me to think beyond the black and white and find the metaphors. Good God, I had been living a lie. These so-called dead people were hiding behind the text all this time, and I had no idea! I learned that writers do in fact write metaphorical messages into their pieces. I once read a story about a little boy who visited the forest and climbed birch trees. He made a thrillride out of these trees, and bent the trees from the top and rode them to theground. And guess what – it was a metaphor for sex. I never knew that a passage that talked about climbing to the top of birch trees and riding them to the ground could be about sex. Hey! That’s pretty cool! I’m a seventeen-year-old guy, and I just so happen to like sex! I had discovered that these metaphor doodads were actually pretty legit. But would this first encounter lead to an impassioned love story?
Unfortunately, my relationship with dead people never came to fruition, and we never fell in love. To my dismay, I discovered that not all metaphors were sexual, and that was a disappointment to me seeing as I’m a huge fan of innuendos. On the upside, it turns out that I am not a necropheliac and I do not love dead people. Phew. Why, you ask? Well, apparently dead people are pretty damn good at hide and seek, because I could never find them. Sadly, I do not have the patience, nor the cognitive capacity to find metaphors embedded in an already dull piece of literature, assuming the metaphors are not innuendo-laden. Granted, I can now find metaphors, but sadly I’m not very good at finding them. I guess I don’t have a future in the PR department of dead people. Fortunately, M**** is a metaphor ninja, and we were able to teamwork our way to victory in the metaphor hide and seek game. I can now (somewhat) make friends with the dead people and analyze my metaphors, the Crouch way.
So, how have I grown as a writer? I suppose it’s more than an inch or two, and perhaps in the neighborhood of six or even seven inches (average human penis length). Before this year in my academic career, I could have never hoped to categorize literary pieces into time periods, or find metaphors. Thankfully, I can attribute my success as a writer to M**** C***** (still not dead). Thank you, M****.EndFragment