Maxwell Waterson is a 9th grade student at Bridget Highschool. He struggled at school, but despite his struggling he had made it to the 4th term. Max hated school, his hatred for this odd building grew stronger and stronger throughout the year. He especially didn’t like Mr. Harris, his English teacher. Mr. Harris was an old, strict man. Someone you didn’t really feel happy around. He had dark mysterious blue eyes, and he had wrinkles on his forehead that appeared every time he laughed, which wasn’t often.
Max sat quietly at his desk, waiting for Mr. Harris to walk into the room.. While waiting, he scratched the words “I hate English class” with a sharp pencil onto the surface of his small wooden desk, while everyone was whispering and waiting for Mr. Harris to barge into the classroom. The classroom was filled with posters about writing, and the chalkboard was stained with white fog. The desks, although not many, were arranged in a huge square, with Mr. Harris’s desk in the back of the room. The classroom was fairly small but felt so big. Max was thinking about how this class would go, how boring it was going to be. He despised all of the figurative language, metaphors, and details he had to include in his writing. “What is the point of writing?” Max thought to himself, “You won’t use it in your life outside school anyway…” Just then, he heard footsteps, a teacher, then his thoughts cleared up as Mr. Harris walked into the classroom.
“Good afternoon class, today we will be talking about your final test in this class,” Mr. Harris paused, “You will be writing an essay about your favorite thing to do in your free time. This essay will have to be at least 5 pages, and that’s me being nice.” The class paused. Then Mr. Harris asked for any questions.
“What is the due date?” Some random kid asked.
“Good question Michael! This assignment is due next Friday, so a week from now.” Mr. Harris said, smiling.
When Max got home that day, instead of enjoying his Friday, he researched. Now, Max usually didn’t do this, he would never turn in his homework, and never do assignments. But this one, it was so important, he had a D in English, so this final essay meant a lot. The clock ticked for hours, getting louder and louder in Max’s head as time went by, and still, the paper that sat in front of Max was crisp, and blank. Wordless, and screaming to be written on. This blank sheet of paper disappointed him a lot, and he knew it would disappoint Mr. Harris.
The next day, Max went to school frustrated, and by the afternoon he was dreading English class. Today they would be revising and editing their papers, but what does he have to show? A fresh sheet of paper, that was never touched. When Max arrived at his English class, he was greeted by Mr. Harris. Mr. Harris looked disappointed, as if he already knew that Max didn’t complete his homework. His old face wrinkled, and his eyes drooped, as he sadly greeted his students.
“Good afternoon students, today we are going to be revising and editing our essays, hopefully you all are done drafting or almost done drafting.” Mr. Harris said, staring at Max. He seemed disappointed in the class, he knew not everyone finished. During that class period Max worked hard on his paper, although he really didn’t want too. His paper was filled by the end of class, each word meaning something to him. He was focused on his paper when a loud ring distracted him.
“Have a good afternoon class, make sure to finish those essays” Mr. Harris told the class. Finally the day was over, Max had to look forward to writing his paper that night, getting no rest. After awhile, Max just quit, he planned on turning in what he had.
The following day, the assignment was due and Max gloomily walked into class. He knew what was going to happen.
“Class, please turn in your essays right now if your haven’t already, this is a very important part of your grade.” Mr. Harris said.
“But why is this important? Writing is stupid and we will never use this in our life after school.” Max blurted. The class went silent, so silent that you could hear people talking in the other classrooms behind the plaster walls.
Mr. Harris finally replied, “Maxwell, please raise your hand next time, and you actually will use writing in your life after school.”
“But this essay isn’t even necessary, it’s stupid.” Max said.
“Please be quiet and let your classmates work, or you will be seeing the principle.” Mr. Harris said, trying to be calm. But Max didn’t stop, and barged out of the classroom, slamming the door so loud that every class in the hallway could hear it. His baggy blue-jeans brushed against each other as he walked in the hallway. Max sat in the dim-lit bathroom waiting for the bell to ring. It felt like hours of waiting there in silence, but the bell finally rang. He walked home thinking about what he did, surely he would be getting an email home for this.
That weekend, Max thought about giving writing a try, so he researched literature, and writing tips. He made a notebook for just plain free-writing. There was so much to learn, but for once he found it interesting. He wrote and wrote for what seemed like hours. How could the one thing that he hated so much now be his favorite thing to do?
That Monday before class, he wrote Mr. Harris an apology letter, he apologized for what he said and how he reacted. The bell rang for class and he decided to finally hand Mr. Harris the awkward letter. Mr. Harris read it but didn’t say anything. He handed Max back the ripped paper, and mumbled, “Thanks, but please don’t do that again.” Max was surprised and walked slowly back to his seat. He couldn’t stop thinking about what happened, the rest of the class was a blur.
Max continued writing, and found a hobby that he stuck with for as long as he could, he enjoyed writing. Was it the pen and paper he liked? Maybe how the words fit so nicely together, or maybe just how accomplished he felt when he finished a story. Something that he used to hate a lot, now became something that he loves too much.