Kathryn Nickles

Steven Marx

Engl 134-20

 

A common graduation gift is the book, Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr.Seuss, to give young men and women inspiration.[SM1]   More important than the future in deciding who we are[SM2] , is the past and where we come from.  People arrive from different places and people love to hear about where we come from.  The most common question I have been asked since becoming a student is, “Where are you from?”  I most recently asked this question to Santino Lorenzo in my English 134 class.  He told me about the beautiful town of Grass Valley in northern California.

It is rare that a person’s favorite place in their town is their own home, although, most of us don’t live on a seventy acre ranch.  This is the case for Santino.  He described a large piece of land with miniature ponds, noisy creeks and shimmering hills.  If you can believe it, that isn’t even the best part. [SM3]  Santino told me about the beautiful view of the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which can be seen from the top of a hill on his property.  He explained how he can look west towards the glittering valley or east to the massive mountains towering over Grass Valley[SM4] . 

Grass Valley is a rural town that looks like it was taken right out of an old western movie.  Old brick buildings from the time it was an “old mining town” as Santino puts it, line the main road through town.  Since no large shopping plazas or even major stores are close, many local businesses and boutiques thrive.  Grass Valley is located at about two thousand feet and huddled in the foothills of the Sierra mountains.  The town is surrounded by pine forests which bring in a lot of wildlife.  It is not unusual to see a deer on the road, a coyote in your yard, or a mountain lion up the street.  It gets hot in the summer, and in the winter the town gets lots of rain.  However, they receive some snow from the storms passing through to the mountains. 

Grass Valley started out like most of the small towns in the foothills, immigrants [SM5] traveling west.  When travelers would come over the mountains, they would stop in the meadows to feed their horses and cattle. They referred to it as “the grassy valley”  and after being named many times, came [SM6] to be Grass Valley.  It became most famous and populated when the Gold Rush kicked off.  According to the Nevada County Gold, a local website, it says a man was chasing his cow and stubbed his toe on some gold, thus the Empire Mine was discovered.  This famous mine pumped out huge quantities of gold up until World War II.  The Empire Mine brought miners from all over, even as far as Ireland[SM7] .   

Grass Valley has a great location because it is close to many quality vacation spots.  If one wishes to head to the city for shopping or a concert, Sacramento is only an hour away.  Similarly, if one wants to go skiing or snowboarding, Lake Tahoe is nearby and well equipped with many different ski resorts.  However, one does not need to leave Grass Valley in order to have a good time[SM8] .  The small town offers many recreational activities.  All year round you can lose yourself on one of the many enchanting horse riding trails.  Also, many water sports are availible to participate in, such as, waterskiing, tubing, and kayaking.  For those who are not so fearless, camping grounds and golf courses are nearby[SM9] .

What really makes a town home is not the location, but the people in it. Santino told me about the supportive community in Grass Valley[SM10] .  I was shocked when he explained his high school football games.  He said that for a Friday night game, ten thousand people would turn up to cheer on the team.  During playoff games, there would be more than fifteen thousand people on the squeaky bleachers[SM11] .  Everything in Grass Valley is not as pleasant as a high school football game. Drugs such as methamphetamine and marijuana are a major problem.  Also, there is some inter-town fighting between Grass Valley and the neighboring residence[SM12]  of Nevada City.  Nothing too serious, just kids quarrelling over which town is better.

Santino is an Agriculture Business major, and he believes that living in Grass Valley has shaped his decision.  He says that he has always been an outdoors person, shooting clay pigeons, riding horses, and water skiing. Grass Valley is a place that he would most certainly like to return to.  Grass Valley is charming because of its great location and the natives.  No matter where we travel or who we become, everyone has something in common; we all come from a place that we call home and in some way [SM13] has become a part of us.  So from the book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose”.[SM14] 

 


Page: 1
 [SM1]Sentence word order

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 [SM2]unclear

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 [SM3]better left out

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 [SM4]nice revisions which succeed in convincing us this is  a  desireable  place

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 [SM5]something missing

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 [SM6]ditto

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 [SM7]appropriate research

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 [SM8]nice transition

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 [SM9]nice writing

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 [SM10]another fine transition

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 [SM11]lovely detail

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 [SM12]residents

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 [SM13]proofread

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 [SM14]punctuation

Kate—this is a thorough and fruitful revision making for an essay that’s a pleasure to read—in most places.  You seem to be hung up on the Dr. Seuss reference which still seems forced at beginning and end.    B+