(7) Searching for an Essay Topic on Bobby Fischer: Society’s Unforgiving Pace

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Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Final Draft)

Link: Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Final Draft)

A powerful theme present in modern society that is actively conveyed in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer is that society forces children to grow up too fast. Factors that contribute to the problem are parental expectations, intensive teaching, and parental interference in the personal space of children. Joshua Waitzkin, a seven year-old chess prodigy, is a living testimony of how the world we live in today thrusts us out into the open, right into the path of adversities and challenges that we are not prepared for, and forces us to cling on and desperately try to keep up with its unforgiving pace.

Although the pressure that parents apply on their children may be well-intended and may even drive them to work harder, these good intentions may potentially backfire. Instead of guiding children in the right direction, the high hopes that parents place on their kids can easily spill over and spell disaster. Unable to cope with the tremendous amounts of pressure, children may buckle under the weight of expectations, and suffer from self-esteem issues as well as lose confidence in their own abilities. In the movie, when Josh was rated the top-ranked chess player in the state for his age group, he began to display his first signs of folding under pressure. The night before the competition, he conceded, “Maybe it’s better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it’s okay.”  This simple and innocent line reveals how in his own eyes, Josh’s love for the game of chess had suddenly transformed into a nightmare which he had to conquer again and again in order to earn his father’s affection and approval. As Josh’s mother accurately explained to her husband, “He’s not afraid of losing. He’s afraid of losing your love.” It is vital for parents to recognize the fragile mindset of young children, and to ensure that their children are not feeling stressed, pressured, or overworked. The development and mental state of children should be prioritized above all else. It is understandable and only natural for parents to be concerned and to want the best for their children. But when these good intentions get carried away and become more important to the parents than to the children themselves, then this is where the problem emerges.

The demand for maturity from children causes many to drop out and rebel against the system, and those who remain are forced to adapt quickly or risk falling behind. In the movie, Josh had to sit through hours and hours of one-on-one chess classes in order to master his craft. Even when he felt drained of energy, his teacher would still instruct him to sit up and to pay attention. Despite being only seven-years old, he was expected to understand strategies and concepts that numerous adults would never be able to grasp. Pandolfini even attempted to crush Josh’s childlike innocence and to instill a mindset of regarding others with contempt, so much so that you begin to believe that “they don’t deserve to be in the same room as you.” In Josh’s case, as well as for millions of children today, too much information and knowledge is being shoved down his throat, and it is extremely difficult for him to absorb and process it all at once. Though some may argue that this intensive style of teaching may reap positive results and increase the rate of improvement, it is actually very ineffective as children do not learn efficiently when they are rushed and not learning at their own pace.

Parents constantly intrude into their children’s lives, and do not grant their children enough personal space to operate. At such an early stage in their development, children are still feeling their way and finding their feet, and have yet to decide which interests or passions to pursue in life. By constantly trying to influence or shape the decisions of their children, parents are actually diminishing their children’s opportunity of discovering what they actually want to do with lives. Taking a step back and allowing their kids to face the world on their own will allow the children to better understand and realize what is out there. It is arguable that parental interference may be necessary to enforce the behavior of children, and to make sure they are on the right track and not being counterproductive. However, parents have to learn to trust their kids with the responsibility of independence, and to be willing to allow them room to figure matters out on their own. Instead of pushing them to commit to a particular area or subject, parents should not force their children to make any serious or crucial life decisions that may determine their future until their children have evaluated the choices and are absolutely certain that they are making the right one.

The bitter reality that parents have to come to terms with is that their eagerness to participate in their children’s lives may actually do more harm than good. The expectations, demanding education system, and the lack of personal space all add up to the problem. Instead of pressurizing and maintaining an iron grip on their children, parents should do everything within their power to ease their children’s burden. By offering comfort, encouragement, and emotional support, parents can reduce the stress that children may be experiencing, and possibly even take steps toward eliminating and solving the problem of society forcing kids to grow up too fast.

 

Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Reflection on Writing Process)

Link: Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Reflection on Writing Process)

1. What feedback was useful? Explain.

I found Kay’s feedback and suggestion for the organization of my essay very helpful. Not only did she point out the weakness in my essay, but also provided a suggestion and example of how I could change it in order to improve it. After looking over my essay again, I realized that her suggestion made sense and decided to make the change. By making the suggested correction, the outlining and introduction of my essay became clearer to the readers. I also found Lois’ suggestions really helpful. She helped me locate an area in my essay that was lacking fluency and suggested how I could change it to make the sentence flow better. Last of all, Karen’s feedback allowed me to spot a careless mistake in my mechanics, and once again offered advice on how I could make the correction. The feedback from Kay, Lois, and Karen praised the strengths in my essay, as well as offered instructions on how to improve upon my weaknesses. Overall, I found this peer-editing process to be extremely helpful.

2. What feedback is confusing and/or not useful? Explain.

To be honest, I found the compliments on my essay to be not helpful at all. These compliments simply recognized the strengths in my essay and didn’t contribute in making my essay any stronger. Personally, I prefer constructive criticism and suggestions on how to improve. I know that there is always room for improvement in my essay, but sometimes I simply don’t know which areas to work on.  I think that Kay, Lois, and Karen all did a brilliant job in providing me with clear and helpful feedback. The suggestions and advice were straight to the point and I was able to easily understand their intentions.

3. What primary changes or adjustments will you make for your final copy? Explain what you’re hoping to accomplish for the final?

I will take Kay’s suggestion and improve on the outlining of my points in my introductory paragraph. As Kay said, it wasn’t until she finished reading the paper that she realized that that sentence was an outline of the points to come. A simple restricting (Factors that contribute to the problem are parental expectations, intensive teaching, and parental influence etc.) will make the outlining of my points clearer to the readers. I will also take Lois’ suggestion by deleting a word (“the”) in the last sentence of my essay so that it will flow better. Lastly, I will take Karen’s advice and change “seven-year old” to “seven year-old.” By improving the mechanics in my essay, the mistakes and errors will no longer distract the reader from focusing on the content of the essay.

4. Mr. Nollan’s Feedback: Great thesis paragraph. I know exactly where your paper is headed. A few sentences could be reworded for better fluency, but for the most part you handle a fairly complex issue and make it sound straightforward. At the end you should write, “the lack of personal space contributes to the problem,” instead of “all add up to the problem,” but I know what you meant. A fine paper on a significant issue. Parenting well requires a fine balance between encouraging and pushing too hard.

Ideas/Content: 5/5
Organization: 5/5
Word Choice: 4/5
Sentence Fluency: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Mechanics: 5/5

 

Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Peer Edit)

Link: Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Peer Edit)

Kay: (Ideas/Content: 10/10) I like how you used quotes to support your point. Interesting arguments–especially the third one about how parents could be prematurely influencing their children’s interests or passions; it wasn’t something I would have considered when brainstorming arguments for this topic, but extremely true nonetheless. (Organization: 10/10) Paper is well-organized, and each paragraph presents a new argument while the opening and ending paragraphs effectively introduce and sum up the arguments respectively. I like how you outlined your three points in the first paragraph (“the pressure applied by parents… problem”) but it wasn’t until I finished reading the paper that I realized that that sentence was an outline of your points to come. I would suggest making this outlining a bit more obvious just to give readers an idea of what they’re going to be reading about in the following paragraphs (a simple restructuring will do: Factors that contribute to the problem are parents, intensive teaching, and parental influence etc etc) just a suggestion. Maybe you could change the outlining of the first point to “parental expectations” rather than just “parents” so it’s more clear that your point doesn’t overlap with the “parental interference” one.

A. Lois Orekoya: (Word Choice/Sentence Fluency: 10/10) It’s really well written. The flow is really good, I was so into it I didn’t even think of jotting things down and such. I thought the line where you wrote “spill over and spell disaster” was really excellent. My advice would be to add a little more argument from the other side while still holding your own. Especially for the first paragraph. Also your list sentence I’d suggest just writing “parents” rather than “the parents” but great job!

Karen: (Mechanics: 10/10) There were only a few mistakes here and there in the essay. None were major and did not distract the reader from the content of the essay. (e.g. “seven-year old” should be changed to “seven year-old”).

 

Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Rough Draft)

Link: Society’s Unforgiving Pace (Rough Draft)

A powerful theme present in modern society that is actively conveyed in the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer is that society forces children to grow up too fast. The pressure applied by parents, intensive teaching, and parental interference in the personal space of children are all factors that contribute to the problem. Joshua Waitzkin, a seven-year old chess prodigy, is a living testimony of how the world we live in today thrusts us out into the open, right into the path of adversities and challenges that we are not prepared for, and forces us to cling on and desperately try to keep up with its unforgiving pace.

Although the pressure that parents apply on their children may be well-intended and may even drive them to work harder, these good intentions may potentially backfire. Instead of guiding children in the right direction, the high hopes that parents place on their kids can easily spill over and spell disaster. Unable to cope with the tremendous amounts of pressure, children may buckle under the weight of expectations, and suffer from self-esteem issues as well as lose confidence in their own abilities. In the movie, when Josh was rated the top-ranked chess player in the state for his age group, he began to display his first signs of folding under pressure. The night before the competition, he conceded, “Maybe it’s better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it’s okay.”  This simple and innocent line reveals how in his own eyes, Josh’s love for the game of chess had suddenly transformed into a nightmare which he had to conquer again and again in order to earn his father’s affection and approval. As Josh’s mother accurately explained to her husband, “He’s not afraid of losing. He’s afraid of losing your love.” It is vital for parents to recognize the fragile mindset of young children, and to ensure that their children are not feeling stressed, pressured, or overworked. The development and mental state of children should be prioritized above all else. It is understandable and only natural for parents to be concerned and to want the best for their children. But when these good intentions get carried away and become more important to the parents than to the children themselves, then this is where the problem emerges.

The demand for maturity from children causes many to drop out and rebel against the system, and those who remain are forced to adapt quickly or risk falling behind. In the movie, Josh had to sit through hours and hours of one-on-one chess classes in order to master his craft. Even when he felt drained of energy, his teacher would still instruct him to sit up and to pay attention. Despite being only seven-years old, he was expected to understand strategies and concepts that numerous adults would never be able to grasp. Pandolfini even attempted to crush Josh’s childlike innocence and to instill a mindset of regarding others with contempt, so much so that you begin to believe that “they don’t deserve to be in the same room as you.” In Josh’s case, as well as for millions of children today, too much information and knowledge is being shoved down his throat, and it is extremely difficult for him to absorb and process it all at once. Though some may argue that this intensive style of teaching may reap positive results and increase the rate of improvement, it is actually very ineffective as children do not learn efficiently when they are rushed and not learning at their own pace.

Parents constantly intrude into their child’s lives, and do not grant their child enough personal space to operate. At such an early stage in their development, children are still feeling their way and finding their feet, and have yet to decide which interests or passions to pursue in life. By constantly trying to influence or shape the decisions of their children, parents are actually diminishing their children’s opportunity of discovering what they actually want to do with lives. Taking a step back and allowing their kids to face the world on their own will allow the children to better understand and realize what is out there. It is arguable that parental interference may be necessary to enforce the behavior of children, and to make sure they are on the right track and not being counterproductive. However, parents have to learn to trust their kids with the responsibility of independence, and to be willing to allow them room to figure matters out on their own. Instead of pushing them to commit to a particular area or subject, parents should not force their children to make any serious or crucial life decisions that may determine their future until their children have evaluated the choices and are absolutely certain that they are making the right one.

The bitter reality that parents have to come to terms with is that their eagerness to participate in their children’s lives may actually do more harm than good. The expectations, demanding education system, and the lack of personal space all add up to the problem. Instead of pressurizing and maintaining an iron grip on their children, parents should do everything within their power to ease their children’s burden. By offering comfort, encouragement, and emotional support, the parents can reduce the stress that children may be experiencing, and possibly even take steps toward eliminating and solving the problem of society forcing kids to grow up too fast.

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