Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mr. Johnson's

The following is what seems to be a letter of recommendation and a personal essay that I found sitting on the counter at the local Little Caesar's. As you can probably tell just by reading it, the letter of recommendation was not actually written by the teacher, Mr. Kawitzki. It seems, instead, to have been written by the student, Mr. Johnson, who is also the author of the personal essay. The original is written on loose leaf notebook paper with a pen, in all the same handwriting, and has dozens of crossed-out sections. I reproduced as much of it as possible, including the crossed-out sections and the portions that were added between words, which I included as super-scripts. There are a few parts that I couldn't really make out. I labeled those as "(illegible)". All of the spelling and grammatical mistakes are the author's own. I have changed nothing but the names of the boy and his teacher. So enjoy, and feel guilty for enjoying, the troubled life of Marcus:

Marquette University

My Name is Mr. Kawitzki and I was Mar Hearby writing a letter of Recomendation for Marcus Williams. I taught marcus During his junior year course of Chemistry. Although did not achieve the highest grades in my class, I felt that he made the biggest impact in the classroom. Marcus always took the leadership roles in and outside of my class. He was very smart, Respectful, and had as much potential as all of my students combined. Marcus was one of my best students that year, but there seemed to be something about I couldnt quite figure out. He always seemed so down as if something was troubling him to be hiding something inside. Being curious I pulled Marcus to the side one day and asked was had there been anything wrong troubling him and he begin to tell me about his situation at home. He told me how his mom was going through a very hard abusive relationship and that he hardly ever get time to sleep or study because there was always arguing going on or and fighting going on and he was worried (illegible) him mom (illegible) be attacked by her boyfriend for the well being and safety of his mom. this situation troubled Marcus but and he felt that all he could do is wait for a way out always hoped for a way out for him, his little sister and mom. The situation at hand was a continuing situation which lasted had been taking place all of high school thus far. AT the beginning of his senior year, he came to me very happy and egor to get an education. He told me that the his mom was finally able to get away from the abusive situation and they finally were happy. After years of torture and abuse Marcus was finally able to get out of focus on school work and his future; not having to worry about the well-being of his family. since then he has shown a remarkable improvement increase in grades; (illegible) and his (illegible) knowlege. his grades are increasing; he's getting time to sleep and now has time to study for the ACT which he didn't do good on the first time because of this. In concluding this letter of Recomendation, I feel that Marcus would make a good positive impact on your campus and anyone who gets to know him. After all, someone who has been through so much and still wants to go to college deserves a chance a promising future.

I feel that I would be an excellent attribute to your college campus because I am smart, responsible, respectful, and I love school. Although I don't have the best of grades one I have a world full of potential that makes up for it. Throughout my life thus far, For the last 4 years, I have experienced a great deal of hardships to overcome for almost 4 years. I have to witnessed live through my mother being abused and I having to worry about weather or not my family we would ever make it to the next day. Sometimes I wouldn't go to sleep at night because I was to afraid of what the would happen to my family and I overnight. The nights when I did get sleep I was always tossing and turning or I would have to get up because of all the arguing and fighting going on in the back ground. this hardship has tarnished my school records and cause me to do not so well in school. I never had time to study and hardly anytime to do homework because I either had to babysit my little sister or go to work; which I was forced to do to help provide for my family. When I did have free time, I tried to attend some of the many scholar pre-college programs that I was in to make up for loss study time. Although it helped it simply wasn't enough to catch up my grades. I was am currently still enrolled in the Educational Talent Search program which is a pre college program through UW-Milwauke and being involved in this program, I am always on the UW-Milwaukee campus which helps me to adapt to college life. In my free time I also try to do some give back to the community by volunteering. I have help the elderly rake leaves or shovel snow, I have helped out with donating clothes to the Easter Seals of Wisconsin which is, I helped Fox 6 hand out food to the less fortunate, and I help collect can-goods for the homeless. This helped me feel as if I was doing something good for those who have gone through complications in life as i had. Although I have struggled in high school my freshman, sophomore, and junior year, I am back on the right track as my family is finally Rid of the problem that has held us back for almost 4 yrs. I now have time to study, time for homework, and time to participate in school. This year I joined my schools (illegible) and chess team which helps keep me focused. My life is completely turned around and I am ready for a promising future and a college education. Afterall, someone who has endured as much as I have, deserves a second chance at life.

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