I have a love-hate relationship with the Writing CASA. Okay, hate is a pretty strong word, so I'll use dislike instead. I dislike the writing CASA because I failed it multiple times and had to re-take it. I had to do EXTRA work to prepare myself to pass it, as well as taking college courses and working. I started to realize that I was HORRIBLE with grammar, and writing is not my strong suit. The writing CASA made me ask myself, "How did I make it this far with schooling if I don't know how to write?!" Deep down inside, I felt defeated! How am I suppose to teach little kids grammar if I don't even get it??
I discussed my feelings with others, and each time they told me not to give up. Your writing is not that bad... I had one professor that decided to take her time throughout the day and help prepare me for the test. I would drive to school (an hour and a half away) a couple of days during the week for about an hour long tutoring session and a grammar class with her. When I started my tutoring sessions with her, I felt so "dumb." She would ask me specific questions about grammar, and I would answer with "Idk." I felt myself cringing when she asked me a question because I knew I would not know the answer. I would whisper it and hope it was correct. Deep down inside, I just wanted to be that grammar police professor that made college students cringe when she/he graded papers. As time went by, I made myself flash cards, cheat-cheats, and study materials. I did as much as I could to prepare me for the writing CASA. It just wasn't enough to pass the Writing CASA yet. I ended up taking the Writing CASA THREE times before successfully passing it.
A part of me is thankful that the Writing CASA showed me that I needed to re-learn grammar essentials and how to write a paper correctly. It allowed me to work with a fantastic tutor that I ended up loving because of all the help she gave me. Towards the end of the tutoring sessions and the grammar class, she made me feel that I accomplished so much. She would show me previous writing samples that I wrote before and writing samples that I just wrote. It showed me the progress that helped build my confidence. She is a tough professor, but in the long run, she helped me out tremendously. In no way am I where I want to be with understanding grammar and the writing process. It still haunts me till this day. I tell myself every time I get down on myself while writing something, "Look at all the progress you made! Your writing has improved!" Plus I have DATA to back it up (that's teacher talk, :)... It still is a struggle and makes me get down on myself, but I encourage myself daily to improve my writing skills. I will be taking another grammar class during the fall semester and studying the materials I received from my professor. If you want to REACH your DREAM, you will be determined to do ANYTHING to achieve that dream. Until next time...