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"Irrational Fears" by emily_fairy1432

I woke up and stared at the glowing stars stuck to my ceiling. Those glow in the dark sticker things were probably the best things to ever happen to me; they make me feel so safe and so at ease which is extremely important in my own home. The longer I laid in silence staring at the ceiling, the more and more frightened I got. I could faintly make out the shapes of the small Winnie the Pooh figures that were plastered on my bright yellow wall. Anyone who even took a small glance into my room could immediately tell I was a fan of the little yellow bear and his many friends. The stuffed animals of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore were scattered all over  my room and I got increasingly more and more mad at myself as I realized I hadn’t remembered to take any of them up to bed with  me that night. I had a loft bed with a ladder on one side to get up and a slide on the other side to get down, so I couldn’t just hop out of bed and look for them. Even if I could, I’d be too scared. I never t…

"SAT: Why was it so bad?" by John Doe

Standardized tests are always a thorn in the test taker’s side. They are another glorious moment in any student’s life, Though many tests are somewhat tame, the vast majority of standardized tests pale in comparison to the hellish experience that is the SAT: the mothership of tests.
Though the exam itself was not particularly difficult on its own, the anticipation was the deal breaker. The moments before each section were marked with an air of fear and anxiety, each participant gasping for air before plunging once more into the cold depths of the “A”s, “B”s, “C”s, “D”s, and “E”s of the Scantron sheets. My prior conceptions about the test clouded the information placed before me, the questions twisting into complicated patterns and perplexing figures of bleak statistics about some new scientific discovery.
At some point, your mind just goes blank. You get tired of answering questions, the massive weight of the world pressing down upon your pencil as you struggle to allot sufficient …

"'There is Still Fear and Insecurity that Hide in the Blank Sheet Paper': Reflections on How Tutoring and Writing Have Influenced My Architectural Design Process" by HWC Alum Emma Gallagher

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HWC Alum Emma Gallagher ('16) tutored in the HWC from 2013-2016. Emma wrote this essay for a class at Virginia Tech, where she now studies Architecture.


My three years as a tutor in the Herndon Writing Center have helped me more than I could imagine being an architecture major at Virginia Tech. In high school, I decided to take Advanced Compostion for many reasons: I wanted to help people; I’m (comparatively) good at writing; it would look good on a resume; I liked my classmates and my teachers. One reason that I wasn’t thinking of as I checked the box for Advanced Composition each year was that the skills I learned in this class would be applicable to my studies and life as an architect. I learned way more from just that one class than I ever thought that I would.
The writing process is one of the biggest focal points of the course. We spent the whole year not only reading about and experiencing the writing process, but teaching it to other students. In Advanced Composition we u…

"The Care in Carrying" by Betty Rizzo

On nights when my icecream sugar rush plummeted to a crash and the living room TV started to sound like a lullaby, one of my parents would find me curled up on the couch, fast asleep.  Mom or Dad would scoop me up with arms that were strong enough to hold me up yet so gentle that I wouldn't stir; I would only sink further into their embrace as they carried me off to bed.  Maybe there was a little moment of consciousness during the trip from the couch to my bed, though I never remembered the following morning.  Maybe when the stairs creaked under our combined weight, my sleepy eyes would flutter open to look up and see my mom or dad.  But just as fast as I opened them, the radiating warmth of my mother’s chest or the loud and steady beat of my father’s heart would have my eyelids heavy again as they pulled my bed covers up to my chin and kissed me on the forehead.   My dreams were always pleasant on nights like this.  I would wake up in the morning, well-rested but disoriented, won…

"In Cycles" by Hunter Vega

I could try to check myself right now, or I could stop letting them do this to me. Julie is telling me to sit down, she wants me to stop making a scene in front of Theo. She’s wanted to drop me for like the last month.  I’m almost sure she’s sleeping with him already. What does it matter. I’m done with her. She’s been having me watch Girls and keeping me on a leash. I mean, she’s practically had my balls in her hands since we’ve gotten together. And here she goes again, with the darting eyes and cocking head. She always puts on this act in front of people. She says “baby!’ a lot, swinging the second syllable up into screeching registers before letting the word melt into a weird kind of whimper and coaching her blushing face into a mask of saddened surprise. She’ll call me Michael, pretending she knew me before I was just Mike. Invoking my mother’s voice, like she can startle me into being agreeable. The whole thing is a gross display. I’m supposed to duck my head and slink back to her…

"Unheard and Unknown" by G.F.

She sits alone at an abnormally large table for a single person, yet no one ever notices. Sometimes she sits in the bathroom during lunch just to hear other people socialize, craving conversation yet at a loss for words. Her voice is hoarse and shaky, quiet and unheard. From lack of use. She's the girl you see head down, clutching a binder, hiding in the mass of students as she quickly scurries to class. She's the girl who once in a while someone will ask her “are you new?” Yet they've been in her class since elementary school and were lab partners in middle school science, but she still answers yes to distract from the sadness. Her name is useless to others, her teachers even forget she exists. Everyone assumes she's smart, only because she's the simple quiet girl in class always doing work, but sadly her work is drawings of her at school dances and parties, places she'll never get to see. She loves to sing, go out to dinner, play sports, go to the mall, but w…

"Racism" by Rose Gates

Life is not fair for everybody. From skin color to gender, someone always ends up getting hurt. Many people tend to harm themselves due to the words that are used upon them. Racism has been a major issue since history was recorded. Whether someone is female or male, people always have some negative insult to make against them.
Twitter is the only reason why I am still pulling through this year. Usually, the tweets the are made on twitter are mostly humorous and are intended to send a message, but recently that has not been happening. Over the past few months, people on twitter have made racial slurs and comments towards certain races. African-American women and men have been the main target. After the whole election, the media has been chaotic.
The tweets that are made use the word such as the “N” word or they make fun of their face or the way their body is shaped. I haven’t been able to look through my timeline recently because of how disgusted I feel to be living in such disrespectf…