First of all, I have to apologize to photographers for all the ignorance that I have about photography.
Another urgent issue came up and it should be dealt with now! That’s the degree of importance of yesterday’s counseling session with a student.
He was wondering what prevents him from writing an essay that gives him a passing score. This exam is very special and highly competitive. (It should be best avoided to talk more about the exam because it may help identify the student. That is not my intention.)
I read through some of his writings, but I felt like I was looking at a photo. I got the impression that other people would (and can) write like this because it is only a description of what he (and the rest of us) sees. Isn’t it hard to justify your opinion by pointing out some of the phenomena that we see? After all, the raters cannot use such a liberal amount of time to enjoy what they already know. They can enjoy what they do not know yet; your opinion and how you have reached the opinion, that is. Therefore it was my job to give him a small piece of advice to change the way it looks.
I said, “Your writing looks like a photo. Maybe your rivals would write this way. Do you know how many rivals you are competing with? Yes, lots. OK. And there is nothing that reflects who you are. You will regret it if you are judged by something that does not represent you.
“Instead,” I went on, “you will need to paint. It is always important to draw a picture of what you think you are seeing. Your perception is different from others’. And you must express your perception in your own skills and techniques. That way, your final product would be a picture that can communicate who you really are and what you really have in mind.”
Then I added many specific techniques to make it happen, but I will not share them here. Suffice it to say that in writing,too, your essay should be “picturesque.”