Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m cheating with this post.  I wrote the essay below as an example for my Advanced Composition class.  The requirements were to write a 500-word descriptive essay with good topic sentences that included a simile, metaphor, personification, and alliteration.  They also had to label four complex and compound sentences.  The kids did well with the idea, and the descriptions and reflections were solid, but they struggled with the grammar, as usual.

P.S. I wrote this post after the wreck.

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She sits in the bedroom corner like a well-trained dog, (simile) just waiting for her next foray outside. (CX)  That’s been her corner ever since we moved into our new house, and she seems happy there, smiling as only cold aluminum can. (CD)  Unlike her animate counterparts, however, she never whines or has to go out in the wee hours of the morning. (CX)  Plus, I never have to feed her.

Grey has never been my favorite color, but it looks good on her: a glossy sheen envelops her, and envious passers-by always remark on her mottled beauty. (CD-CX)  White marks those places along the top tube where the paint has been chipped away—a result of unforgiving rocks, bad spills, and a negligent owner. (CX)  Black oil smudges cling to her chain links and derailleur, and the soft brown of southern Colorado dirt dulls, ever so slightly, her sheen. (CD)

She holds geography and history in her crevices. (personification)  Woodchips from Angel Fire are permanently lodged in her gear-shifting case.  Flora from the trails of Cuchara pierce her pedals, and a blanket of Hovenweep’s lonely dirt covers her, protectively. (personification) (CD)  Even the chipped-away paint tells of some spill somewhere: (alliteration) along the trails of the Front Range, in the deserts of Utah, or in the cacti-ridden suburbs of Arizona.  Pain often returns as I recall those moments of lost concentration.

I remember the first time I saw her.  She was crowded in among a bunch of fancy, mass-produced Treks, showing off their deep blue and clean white. (CX) She was smaller than the other kids but bigger in stature. (CX) She was special; she’s a Yeti—that mystical figure always escaping the reporters of The World News and National Enquirer.  She’s a local kid, the product of the ingenuity born and bred in Golden, Colorado.  It was her breeding that made her stand out from the Treks.  I knew I had to have her, right away.  And her being last year’s model meant deep discounts; it was sale at first sight. (CD)

I took her out for a spin that day, fighting her lower-level components on the ascent.(CX)  The gearing was too slow, and the brakes too twitchy. (CD)  She would need upgrades.  And upgrade I have.  At the Veloswap in Denver that fall I gave her a makeover: top-of-the-line brakes, gears, and pedals–one thousand dollars worth of stuff for a couple hundred bucks.  Her new accessories were color-coordinated with the black and silver motif I found her in when I bought her.  Those in the bicycle know remark on her hodge-podge of components and invariably ask, “Did you build up that bike yourself?”  to which I proudly respond, “Yes.”

My Yeti is a good friend.  (metaphor)  She’s reliable when climbing and descending over rocks.  She doesn’t complain when I don’t have the time to pay attention to her.  She doesn’t interrupt me when I’m talking to her, and she keeps my company while I’m out exploring the world.