Raina Colette (My very first college descriptive essay…)

Scripture reference;

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV

About a week ago I got back my very first descriptive essay that I wrote for my “Composition I” class.  I got a “B-“. I am a first semester freshman who still has much to learn. Perhaps my writing will become more beautiful in time, too. 🙂

We were taken out behind the library on our campus. It is a lovely campus. It is about 100 years old. The buildings are brick with beautiful columns like so much of the architecture in the South. Even the newer buildings were constructed in such a way that they would complement them. The grounds are so pretty…green grass and pretty trees…oaks, magnolias, and a few others.


Here is a picture of the rear entrance to the ATU Library and the crepe myrtle to which this essay is devoted.

Raina Colette

And here is a close-up photo of a Crepe Myrtle like Raina Colette:

close-up of a crepe myrtle limb

crepe myrtle limb


Our instructor told us to pick our own tree, give it a name, and use personification, and also to appeal to the five senses as much as possible. Below is my essay:

Raina Collette

A short distance from the rear entrance to the ATU Library there stood one of a number of young Crepe Myrtles that had been selected as a foundation planting. Although she looked much like the others when viewed from a distance, she possessed her own unique charm that was cordial, sanguine, and vivacious at closer inspection.  Her graceful, fountain-like shape assumed that of those southern belles one might encounter at a cotillion, while her soft pink plumes were reminiscent of the French lilac, whereas lacking the sweet, heady fragrance of the latter.  As the afternoon breeze sifted through her dark green leaves, she shivered with delight. She was no giant like many oaks, nor ostentatious like a magnolia in full bloom, but she managed to make her presence known in that way many young ladies with proper upbringing usually master by the arrival of summer.  Any thoughtful onlooker would be compelled to call her Raina Collette.

The five strong and sinewy branches that comprised her trunk reached upward and outward with confident anticipation like the graceful arms of a ballerina that had been poised for a pirouette. Each one had its own distinct contours and curves that might be appreciated as a natural piece of sculpture worthy of display. The tawny bark was smooth to the touch, as if it had been sanded to a fine-textured finish. Although Raina’s branches were slender, they were like the limbs of an accomplished dancer. They would never have been considered frail.

Raina’s leaves were shaped like a mouse’s ear, and at that time of the year were an attractive deep green with delicate veins, but they were not her focal point. However, they remained content to keep their humble place while Raina was in bloom, and waited their turn. Their time to show off would come later in autumn when they would make their debut in stunning shades of red and orange.  Still, they did manage to draw a little attention. They cheerfully sang the light notes of a chorus as the wind, their gentle maestro, conducted them.  Their song was a soft serenade that would soothe the minds of its small audience on their afternoon breaks outdoors. It could be heard just outside the door of the building, but took one far away from the stress and agitation that is sometimes found in the workplace.

It is true that Raina had a number of beautiful features, but all summer long her blooms were her glory that she wore like a crown.  Covered with an array of luscious blooms in a light shade of pink that was the color of strawberry frosting, she was a striking vision of loveliness. Each of her plumes was comprised of an abundance of tiny, delicate, and ruffled, blossoms that were crinkled like crepe paper.  Some might say that they had no fragrance, but if one were to inhale deeply at the right time of day, he/she might detect a light fragrance with just a hint of sweetness, but never overpowering. After all, Raina was a lady.

In my humble estimation, Raina Colette truly was all that her name implied.  From her head down to her toes she held all of those captivating qualities that never fail to entice, yet she still was a young lady of discretion and grace. She carried herself with a warm, gentle, and optimistic air. She had an ability to draw a person out of himself/herself without failing to share just enough to cause one to linger awhile under her enchanting spell. Time spent with Raina was time well spent. Her hospitality provided a pleasant afternoon respite that would surely re-energize, and even inspire anyone who might have been suffering from fatigue, boredom, or even frazzled nerves. I am, and forever will be both pleased and grateful to have made her acquaintance.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!


  1. Debbie said,

    October 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Thank you so much, wonderful woman of the Word, for sharing Raina with us. Now I am blessed by her too . . .and by you! It is okay to have much to learn . . .you are a willing student of His! You are doing amazing!!!!
    God bless you and yours, and keep you in His perfect peace!
    love and prayers!

    On my calendar for today:
    Be strong!
    Be courageous!
    Do not be afraid . . .
    For the Lord your God will be with you.
    He will neither fail you nor forsake you. (Deut. 31:6 TLB)

    • October 9, 2011 at 3:40 am

      Thank you so much Deb. I ‘m so tired Algebra can be so hard. 😦

      Pray for me that I will be able to do what I’m supposed to do tomorrow.


  2. Linda said,

    October 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

    I can’t believe that you came up with so much stuff to say about a tree! That is a really hard assignment and you did great!

    Maybe this is one of those really tough instructors who gives you a lower grade than you deserve because they want to push you to do better each time. I think it was worth alot more than a B-. Just the name alone really suits that “gal” you described.

    Good job, and thanks for sharing your essay with your friends.

    Hugs to you,Theresa, and keep up the good work. I told ya so! : )

    • October 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much Linda. I take that as a high complement coming from you. You write really well.


  3. Pastor Glenn said,

    October 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I haven’t checked in for a few weeks. Sounds like you’ve been very busy. May God grant you great wisdom in your time management for the days ahead. I enjoyed this essay and, like Linda, and surprised by the low grade. Such colorful descriptions!
    My family has just finished reading a lively, classic children’s book written 100 years ago that is filled with colorful descriptive sentences. You too might find it inspiring as my family did. The Wind in the Wiillows by Kenneth Grahame. I hope to write a short review of it in my blog sometime in then next few days.

    • October 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      “The Wind in the Willows”! I remember that book I liked the silly little toad that wrecked the cars. I love children’s stories. There are so many things that can make them appealing. I used to like the “Curious George” books…the way one thing always led to another, and the illustrations always captured my imagination. Have you ever read the “Little Critters” books when your children were small? I also liked books that had long chants like :

      “Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well!”

      That story had the the most hilarious introduction. Here is an excerpt:

      “Once upon a time, a long time ago, it was the custom in China to give firstborn sons great, long, important names. Second sons were given only little, short names.

      In a small village there lived a mother with two sons. The second son was called Chang, which means ‘little or nothing’. But the first son was called Tikki tikki tembo nosa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo, which means ‘the most wonderful boy in the whole world’.”

      Then there is one that I think all Christian Parents should read to their children and also to themselves…it’s about having a thankful heart and contentment. It is called “The Fisherman’s Wife” It has a chant, too. Here is an excerpt:

      “Once upon a time there were a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a filthy shack near the sea. Every day the fisherman went out fishing, and he fished, and he fished. Once he was sitting there fishing and looking into the clear water, and he sat, and he sat. Then his hook went to the bottom, deep down, and when he pulled it out, he had caught a large flounder.

      Then the flounder said to him, “Listen, fisherman, I beg you to let me live. I am not an ordinary flounder, but an enchanted prince. How will it help you to kill me? I would not taste good to you. Put me back into the water, and let me swim.”

      “Well,” said the man, “there’s no need to say more. I can certainly let a fish swim away who knows how to talk.”

      With that he put it back into the clear water, and the flounder disappeared to the bottom, leaving a long trail of blood behind him.

      Then the fisherman got up and went home to his wife in the filthy shack.

      “Husband,” said the woman, “didn’t you catch anything today?”

      “No,” said the man. “I caught a flounder, but he told me that he was an enchanted prince, so I let him swim away.”

      “Didn’t you ask for anything first?” said the woman.

      “No,” said the man. “What should I have asked for?”

      “Oh,” said the woman. “It is terrible living in this shack. It stinks and is filthy. You should have asked for a little cottage for us. Go back and call him. Tell him that we want to have a little cottage. He will surely give it to us.”

      “Oh,” said the man. “Why should I go back there?”

      “Look,” said the woman, “you did catch him, and then you let him swim away. He will surely do this for us. Go right now.”

      The man did not want to go, but neither did he want to oppose his wife, so he went back to the sea.

      When he arrived there it was no longer clear, but yellow and green. He stood there and said:

      Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
      Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
      My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
      Wants not, wants not, what I will…”

      The chant in my version is a little different. It goes:

      Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
      Fishy, fishy, in the sea!
      Ilsebill, my willful wife
      Won’t have my way of life!” 🙂

      This reply of mine ran way too long. I’m sorry. I just love kid’s stories…I’m an early childhood education major.

  4. August 13, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Reblogged this on Moore to Ponder and commented:
    “…Her graceful, fountain-like shape assumed that of those southern belles one might encounter at a cotillion, while her soft pink plumes were reminiscent of the French lilac, whereas lacking the sweet, heady fragrance of the latter…”

  5. Debbie said,

    August 14, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I enjoyed reading this again, Theresa! How you compared her to a dancer was marvelous! 🙂 Are you missing going back to school at all, Theresa, or is it a relief?
    love and prayers!

  6. Ann said,

    August 15, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Thanks for sharing, Theresa

    I missed this the first time around, but I am thrilled I had the opportunity to read it now 🙂

    Beautifully descriptive piece. I like it much! May Papa always allow you to see the beauty in all His wonderful creation.


    • August 15, 2013 at 5:28 am

      Thank you, Ann. Things are starting to look up for me where our recent circumstances are concerned. 🙂


  7. September 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I have no idea why I didn’t comment on this the first time I read it so long ago… it holds a whole new meaning now and I congratulate you on your heart to look into hearts with such love and grace. A true gift, this God sight. Blessings to you

  8. April 24, 2015 at 1:22 am

    What a fun assignment! You did a great job with this…

    • April 24, 2015 at 3:20 am

      Thank you, John! I really enjoyed college the short time I was there.

      My husband, my daughter, and I were all full-time students there that semester. Then my husband’s glaucoma got so bad that we both had to drop out of college.

      One of the things I love about blogging…I can write as much as I want here. 🙂


  9. March 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    […] Here is a link to a descriptive essay I wrote about a Crepe Myrtle named Raina Colette during my first semester:  https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/raina-colette-my-very-first-college-descriptive-essay&#8230; […]

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