Picture of Colleen Yahyaoui
He Had Blue Eyes
by Colleen Yahyaoui - Friday, October 21, 2005, 3:08 AM
I was stunned at reading this account of a girl and her relationship with a past boyfriend. While I was cringing at the topic and wondering how someone as young as a 12th grader could describe something sexual so well, I was amazed at how she used vocabulary and her feelings to put me in the same room she was in. I could feel her agony and what she was going through. The subject was uncomfortable but her writing was articulate and thoughtful and thought provoking. Colleen@Syria
Picture of James Reichenberger
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by James Reichenberger - Friday, October 21, 2005, 10:46 AM

Hi Colleen, classmate james here. What score did you give it? I gave it a 3. I guess I was a lttle critical of the author saying she recalled the sensory impressions of the airfoce base, the sights and smells, but did not try to explain them. "The oily smell and greasy atmosphere of the airforce base made me feel all the more **ty" something like that. I don't know, maybe gender difference in impression? What do you think?

Ok, I went back and reread. I was a tad harsh on the girl. The last two paragraphs are quite rich in tone and flavor. 4.5


Picture of Liberty Usera
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Liberty Usera - Saturday, October 22, 2005, 9:38 PM

On the first read I gave this paper a 4.  Maybe it might be my teaching experience, but I've become quite good at not being "shocked" by the topic a student chooses otherwise I'll be subjective when scoring.  In addition, I want the student to write honestly--even if it's a mature theme. 

This paper is a 4 because, just as James pointed out, the Air Force Base (place) and some other emotions or sensory details where mentioned but not elaborated.  So the minor generalities are outweighed by the more Voice-trait strengths of exposing the author's personal experience in detail in order to bring the reader into the author's world.

Picture of Jane Henschler
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Jane Henschler - Sunday, October 23, 2005, 11:28 PM

I, too, was a bit harsh on my evaluation at a 3 - I "think" because I was thrown off by the back and forth nature of the relationship/rain/suicide/etc.  But, in re-reading it I could see it is lyrical and poetic in nature with that structure.  I won't say that I wasn't shocked by the timeframe - 18 now and she hadn't seen him in 4 years (if I understood that correctly)?!  However, I should have given the essay at least a four.
I enjoyed your insights -
Thank you,

Picture of Crystal Conklin
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Crystal Conklin - Saturday, February 11, 2006, 9:12 PM
I gave it a five.  Although I recognize she could have went more into her emotional pain and such, I felt that would actually have detracted from her defensive anger she conveyed so well.  I thought her matter-of-factness in areas that would have lead us away from her current state of mind into the other states she could waver between was quite artful; it let me see how AT THAT EXACT MOMENT she was using anger to cover for the other issues (like suicidality).  If she would have talked about the other issues more, I wouldn't have seen her anger as a defense but it would have been just another of many states she could move between.  It would've seemed less real to me, more reflective than being currently lived, less powerful.
Picture of Barbara Palmer
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Barbara Palmer - Saturday, June 28, 2008, 7:20 PM
You hit the nail right on the head ~ AT THAT EXACT MOMENT. I was sitting on the edge of my kitchen stool wanting to read faster to know what happened. I was amazed that such a young writer could make the reader feel her defensive anger. I found myself sitting next to hear listening to every word that was coming out of her mouth. I thought it was great and gave her a 5.

Picture of Kimberly Ledoux
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Kimberly Ledoux - Saturday, February 21, 2009, 3:29 PM

I like being able to focus on individual traits because I can convey that this paper definitely has strengths. Even though conventions and such are not perfect, the writer's voice makes it so anyone who starts reading it has to finish.
Picture of Trisha Krusemark
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Trisha Krusemark - Friday, October 12, 2007, 1:00 PM

Colleen, I was with you. I was thinking the same thing about how a 12th grader could know so much, but I could not quit reading. Her details kept me very into the story. I gave this a 5!!!!

Trisha Krusemark

Evansdale, Iowa

Picture of Margaret Ishikawa
Re: He Had Blue Eyes
by Margaret Ishikawa - Sunday, October 14, 2007, 8:54 AM
Initially, I too was repulsed by the subject matter and how graphic she was, but I was drawn into her writing.   The part about wanting to be depressed or moody and what went along with that, made me think about my highschool days too - she captured my life in that sense only.