I've run this work through Edit Minion (www.editminion.com) and have editied myself but I was wondering what you guys felt. It's supposed to be a how-to/process essay for my Essay Writing class, and I'd like to know which sentences you think are run-ons, how to fix them, and if I go over the process of how to smile well enough for this to qualify as a how-to/process essay. Any other pointers or tips are greatly appreciated, too!
How to Smile
Smiling shows happiness and I learned how to truly show my happiness in Spring, 2009. That year, my parents decided to restart the old tradition of going to Bonaire, a small coral island in the Caribbean Sea. While there, my sister Kesli and I snorkeled around the beautiful coral reefs with our parents and swam every day in the pool behind our condo. The most impactful activity that I participated in while at Bonaire was windsurfing. My parents love to windsurf, but they had no idea how to teach Kesli and me, so they hired a tutor for us. Caesar Finies was a world-class windsurfer and also our chosen tutor. He was a guy that was always smiling, whether he was walking along the beach, or spinning his sail around in the air in the middle of Lac Bay. Windsurfing did not directly teach me how to smile; it was Caesar.
Caesar taught me to smile while I enjoyed myself. Before, I was like any other person moping through the world without smiling at the little things. After my windsurfing lessons, though, I found myself to be the girl who would laugh and smile at everyone and everything. What would happen was that while I was wholly concentrated on windsurfing, I would have all my sails in the right place to catch the wind, my feet were positioned correctly, and I was almost skimming over the water, Caesar would ask, “Are you happy? Smile!” Immediately, I would lose my concentration and my sail would slap into the water. Every time. But I was never angry; Caesar would always tell me afterwards that if I actually wanted to be happy, I needed to show the world when I was. So after a week of lessons every day with my concentration always breaking when Caesar caught me not smiling, I learned how to show my happiness.
Learning how to smile was not difficult, I just had to remember all the steps at the right time. First, I would lift up the corners of my mouth in a tentative smile before I even had the wind in my sail. Second, once I was truly windsurfing (but before I was skimming over the surface of the water) I would widen my small smile into a full-out grin. And then, lastly, once I was skimming speedily over the water, my grin would be in place and Caesar was unable to break my concentration by asking me if I was enjoying myself. Once I mastered this trick of automatically smiling, I slowly transformed my mechanical smile into a legitimate grin. At the end of my windsurfing lessons and stay in Bonaire, my smile was big and true on my face whenever I skimmed across the water in Lac Bay.
Along with smiling while I windsurf, I apply this skill to other activities as well. Whenever I meet someone new, I smile genuinely at them. When I see one of my friends or someone I know in the school hallway, I will grin at them, too. The biggest impact learning how to smile has made on me, however, is when I sprint. Apparently, when I sprint the hundred meter stretch at the track and am in front of all my opponents, I have a huge grin on my face. My friends and family have taken pictures of me smiling as I pull ahead of a competitor or cross the finish line. People say it is a characteristic of mine when I run; smiling with pure happiness while I win a race.
Smiling is not hard – it makes it easy to help someone feel more comfortable around you, or to show people you are enjoying yourself. All it takes is lifting up the corners of your mouth, and then showing your teeth if you want to create a full-out grin. A genuine smile only takes a little crinkling of the corners of your eyes and a feeling of happiness inside of you. I learned how to smile while also learning how to windsurf, but now I apply the knowledge of smiling to everyday activities. Smiling has also let people remember me from every race I win by the way I grin when I am in front of my competitors. Smiling not only shows others if you are happy, it also brings you happiness while you show the world how much you are enjoying yourself. Smiling brings happiness to both you and the people around you.