Writing is a kind of special creativity. It is in the state of nature. It tells the stories, emotions, or ideas that lurk in the deep heart. It comforts oneself, enlightens the others.
In order to encourage student creativity, as well as academic development and competitive spirit, the Literature Department’s personal essay competition was introduced in May. This school-wide competition gave students a chance to make use of their talents while competing for some great prizes. The personal essay competition provided a brand new creative and academic outlet for our brightest students and pushed them to explore and understand the nuances of English writing.
燎原首届文学写作比赛赛事组老师们为学生们准备了丰厚的奖品。通过老师们的“盲审”，诞生了三位燎原的新秀小“作家”。获得三等奖和二等奖的同学分为是Ramsey Zhou和Raymond Gao，他们的奖励是网络购书券，希望他们能够遨游在书海中获真知。一等奖的殊荣则由Eric Ren摘得，他的奖品对于爱书爱知识的“文生”来说简直是羡煞旁人，一个现代的方便的电纸书阅读器！这下Eric可以随时随地拿着这个便携的书本畅读群书了。
As well as this, the competition also offered some amazing prizes! After blind selection by the literature teachers, Third and Second Prize winners Ramsey Zhou and Raymond Gao received Amazon vouchers, and our incredible First Prize winner, Eric Ren, won a Kindle.
Writing is to record those interesting things that pops out in daily life. They fully occupied our lives, such as a stray kitten and doggie, a memorable movie clips, even all sorts of strange sounds in the cold wind is worth to capture and write.
The reason why our three winners won prizes is their delicate mind. They use language to record their daily life, show their love in the heart, and calmly communicate with themselves in the bottom of the heart. They discover topics in real life.
Ramsey Zhou 燎原首届文学作文比赛季军
“这是一个充满挑战的创意比拼，作为即将要毕业的11年级生，我非常乐于在毕业之前再参加一次这样的活动。在短暂思考之后，我决定写一篇有关于指环王（“The Lord of the Rings”）这个经典故事的作文。我之所以做出这样的决定是因为自己从小就喜欢指环王，在作文比赛中急不可待地着重表达了自己喜爱指环王的原因，我实在太沉浸于中土世界的种种冒险的想象中了!”
Third Prize Winner: Ramsey Zhou
“This is a challenging creative competition. As a G11 student, I am very happy to participate in this activity before my graduation. After a brief thought, I decided to write an essay about the classic story of The Lord of The Rings. I love of The Lord of the Rings since my childhood so that I’ m so eager to show my passion of it in the composition contest. I was so immersed in the adventures of middle-earth imagination!”
Third prize winner: Ramsey Zhou
Reasons for my fascination with ‘The Lord of the Rings’
Fantasies are popular for the infinite possibilities one can discover in those imaginary worlds. In Lord J.R.R Tolkien’s masterpiece ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the protagonist Frodo, his friends, and his allies start a legendary journey from his homeland Shire to their enemies’ territory Mordor to destroy a powerful ring and save the world. The perfect balance between fantasy and reality, carefully constructed details in every aspect, and captivating personality of each character all contribute to my obsession with this story.The fabled world contains ideal traits that greatly satisfy my like.
To start with, fantasy and reality are combined evenly and stay in balance. The story of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ takes place in an imaginary world called the Middle-earth. Diverse creatures inhabit there and many of which cannot be found in our life. This story, for instance, include characters whom are dwarves, elves, orcs, and wizards. Personally, if a fantasy story only emphasizes made up events but ignore the importance of the plot or linkage between the reality, it will hardly be a story that worth reading. ‘The Lord of the Rings’, however, avoids this problem successfully.One thing that makes thisfantasy extraordinary is relating things which we can experience in the reality to those imaginative characters and events. As proof, friendship, brotherhood, love, and bravery all are major themes of this story. These sentiments and qualities are significant in our daily life;yet, we can clearly see these traits appear in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as well. Concentrating on these points while writing the story makes the characters not only limited in novel figures, but lives with humanity. As a viewer, I feel no barrier between me and them. It makes it possible for us to enjoy the fantasy and learn helpful values from it at the same time. Furthermore, the friendship between Frodo and his companion Sam reminds me of me and my friends. Sam and Frodo suffer on the way to Mordor, but they never give up. Frodo’s life is in risk for several times, and each time Sam tries everything to rescue him. Similarly, me and my friends encourage each other and solve problems as a team. Each of us contribute something to preserve our precious friendship. In ‘The Lord of the Rings’, I see ourselves reflected from Frodo and Sam’s legend. The plot balances with the reality well, and the details in the plot are carefully created.
J.R.R Tolkien elaboratively constructs his fantasy with great details. As a linguistician as well as an expert in mythology, Tolkien creates unique language systemsand myth-based characters for this story only. The creations require years of researches and plans, but successfully bring readers a sense of mystery and reliability.As example, Quenya, the language spoken by elves, has its own alphabet, grammar, and pronunciation. As a well-developed language system, anyone is able to use it. I learnt how to use Quenya letters to write my name once and I carved it onto an eraser as a seal. The creatures that speak Quenya, the elves for instance, grabs my attention the first time when I know them. Elf is not figment which comes from nowhere, but creatures originating from North Europe mythology. In ‘The Lord of the Rings’, elves are elegant phyle with advanced knowledges in smithing and medication. They are also brave warriors whom combating fiercely in battlefields. One of my favorite character in this story is named Legolas, the elf prince from Mirkwood who masters archery and combating skills. He’s a wise man with bravery, and I never get tired with such a charming character. The details in this story are established after years of conception, as well as the characteristics of each role.
The personality of each character attracts me deeply. I was surprised by the diversity in the personalities of characters in such a complex story when I first read it. Though some of them share similar traits, most of the individuals hold distinctive temperament from one another. To demonstrate, one of the major characters, Aragorn, is a steady hero with leadership talent. As the only successor of human king, he commands all the justice forces to fight against their enemies and stands firmly on their last ramparts. He fears nothing, and he can bring his people with faith to survive and hope of winning the war at any time, even in the time of desperation. He then saves time for Frodo to destroy the powerful ring and finally crowned at his own kingdom. Aragon is determined to be a great leader due to his personality, and his position in this story is irreplaceable. I truly respect him. In addition, the main characters treasure their friendship and being loyal to each other regardless oftheir races. To explain, elf and dwarf do not share a good relationship with one another due to historical reasons. Generally, they look down and never assisting each other. In the story, however, the elf prince Legolas and the dwarf warrior Gimli choose to abandon the estrangement between their races, but form a firm ally, and gradually become close friends. People should not be judged by where they are from. Instead, every individual should be treated equally and enjoy the right of making friend with anyone. This is another lesson that I learn from this fantasy.
In summary, the traits contained in this imaginary world greatly meet my like. The opportune balance between imagination and real world, detailed creations that are set in every aspect, and captivating temperamentspresented by the characters all lead to my fascination with this fantasy.Picking a well-written fantasy piece can always fill one’s imagination, as well as amusing him in his life.
Raymond Gao 燎原首届文学作文比赛亚军
Second Prize Winner: Raymond Gao
The title is – Moments That Touches Me. Today's society needs lots of moment to touch and inspire everyone's heart. When I took the subway on a certain day last summer, what a small boy acted on a peasant worker whom everyone rejected and gave me a deep touch in that moment. I hope this article will evoke the most essential respect, equality and harmony between people.”
Second prize winner: Raymond Gao
A Moment That Touched Me
What can make people moved? Is it a kind of smile or a loving assistance? Or even a moment of a sudden touch? There is a certain kind of people in Shanghai, who leave their hometowns in order to support the whole families. Many people in their hometowns have heard that Shanghai was covered in gold. When they move to Shanghai, most of them live at the bottom of the society. However, they play an important role in the urban construction. They are called “Migrant workers”.
On a hot summer day last year, the subway took slow down into the station. A shabby dressed migrant worker carrying a few pieces of heavy luggage with his crooked back, managed to get on the carriage. He has grey hair, and his aged face was full of wrinkle. Because of the hot weather, his dusted clothes were almost wet and created some unpleasant smell. He was so tired and when he saw an empty seat opposite me, he walked towards it and was about to take the seat. Suddenly, a middle-aged woman nearby started to complain, “Go away, you dirty old man! How can other people have a seat, when you sit at this place?” From his eyes, I found he felt innocent and walked to another seat next to a man. The man reacted like the middle-aged woman, covering his nose immediately and shook his arms to let the old man go away. The helpless worker apologized over and over. He felt embarrassed and moved to a corner even though there were still a few seats available nearby.
I couldn’t stand any longer and was going to let him sit on my seat. At that time, however, a young kid walked towards the old worker and tugged his cuff. He looked up at him and said, “Grandpa, you can sit next to me if you are tired.” On hearing that, the old worker was touched by the kid’s innocent and kind behavior. It was just like a sunshine warming his heart. The worker used his rough hands to stroke the boy’s head. “Thank you, little boy,” said he.
The word “Thank you!” was full of the worker’s appreciation and touched me. Besides, it can also been regarded as the contempt of those two arrogant and snobbish passengers.
The things being able to touch people, do not need beautiful words and phrases to decorate. Instead, just a simple sincerity is enough to shock people’s soul. That moment, pure and tender, touched me deeply.
Eric Ren 燎原首届文学作文比赛冠军
First Prize Winner: Eric Ren
“I chose the topic "how much does where you are from define who you are"I instantly knew what I wanted to write about when I first saw this topic，purely because I had got plenty to say from my personal experience. During writing, I drew real story from my past and weave my own opinions into it, words flew like water from my mind down to paper. ”
First prize winner: Eric Ren
Live on with "Who You Are"
"Hah Hah! It's that Chinese boy with his funny accent again!" Laughed one of my classmates after I tentatively spoke a new word I learned in English. This type of embarrassing little incidents happened almost every day, which was extremely discouraging to me when I was in the first year of my overseas study. Under the circumstance, I could have isolated myself from the outside society and dwelled on my past or picked myself up off the floor by accepting who I am then moved on with it. The latter is clearly the correct one, but I was unable to do it at first due to all the pressure I received.
Life is harsh if a young boy like I was has to move out of his country to live in a completely different place on the other side of the planet.
I was met with various types of problems just like many other students studying abroad: the constant feeling of homesickness, disfluency in the host country's first language, conspicuous skin color among an overwhelming majority of blacks and browns etc. To make the situation worse, my classmates in the local Christian school I was studying did not seem to be generous enough to open their little groups and let me in. At school, I was the one to be made fun of, to be laughed at for my strange accent, yellowish skin color, and fidgety reaction when the teacher called my name during class. My mental state was on the brink of an abyss, an abyss I would never climb out of if I ever fall into it. The situation maintained this way until the two-month long vacation before I went up to eighth grade. I realized that I had to make a change because I have learned absolutely nothing during the year because of all the unpleasant experiences with my classmates. After a few sleepless nights, I made up my mind and told my parents my decision – change to another Canadian International School in the country.
I was off to a new start and this time I was determined to grasp any opportunity to study and adapt to their way of thinking, habits, and language. In order to do so, I had to confront the problems that have troubled me in my previous school, such as the difference in skin color and culture and most importantly, language barrier. This time, instead of avoiding social intercourses, I chose to start conversations voluntarily with my teachers and classmates. It did not start out well as neither side was unable to understand each other. Fortunately, this time my teachers and classmates were patient and supportive, and willing to help me out of my plight: every time I pronounced a word wrong, they would give me a friendly reminder; every time I found it difficult to express my thoughts, they would suggest different phrases until I get the right one; and every time I feel ashamed of my skin color, they would tell me it is what makes me, me.
Later on, as I became more used to western ideas and proficient in English, my self-esteem gradually built up as well. I even had the nerve to joke around with them about some sensitive topics like skin colors, accents and cultures. Now, I still clearly remember that one time when I was with my friends having a party near one of the swimming pool of Marriott hotel. In the exhilarating ambiance, I casually said to one of my friend sitting across from me (who is black): "Damn, dude. Your skin so dark, I cannot even recognize you at night." Then we both laughed it off and he made fun of my race in return, there were no dramatic overreactions. Eventually, I had come to the realization that I need not feel the sense of inferiority for things like where I am from and how I look and think, as they make me, me.
Admittedly, a considerable part of who we are is predestined and unchangeable from the beginning of our lives, where we are from, for example. However, I believe there is still a huge portion of it left, just waiting to be explored, formed and led somewhere great. All in all, my point is that inherent factors such as race, gender and ethnicity merely make up part of our identities, the fate of the rest is up to us to decide.
When is about to graduate, Liaoyuan Bilingual School, as Alma Mater is mean to enable students who are about to enter the university’s small society to understand the rules of “beginning with thinking, showing in paper, doing in communication, and becoming in practice”. The virtual network is not the entire world. We still have the deep heart to discover and the world to explore. Improving your literary capacity is indeed an essential life practice in the future whether it is life or work.