Final Reflection

In my time before college I wasn’t very satisfied with my performance in writing. I always knew that I was a creative writer but I also knew my efforts wouldn’t be enough for college papers. Knowing that this class is very focused on writing I had a feeling that it would be a great start to my college career. Throughout this class I have learned some important tips and tricks to writing that I didn’t have beforehand. We also were able to receive valuable feedback from the professor and out peers that I will discuss in this essay. I believe that in this semester I’ve improved but not enough to be an effective college writer.

I have heard from some cousins that college papers are on difficult topics and have a very high standard. It was kind of intimidating knowing that I would be coming to Washington College were the emphasis is writing. Essays in high school were very straight forward and didn’t require much work. They were about easy topics that weren’t very hard to research. I thought that in college I was going to be on my own writing essays feeling helpless and unsure constantly. Now in college I know that everything is going to be complicated conceptually and are actually going to require a good amount of time to get done. But at the same time there are great load of different ways to get assistance writing my essays. I received a lot of help from the professor as well as many peers through our peer review system. I like the fact that there is a writing center to give us assistance whenever we need it like if we need help starting an essay or we just need our work proofread. The differences between what I imagined college writing would be like and what it’s really have been relieving to me.

My first impression at the very beginning of this class weren’t very great as I imagined that everyone in the class were already experienced expert writers and I wasn’t going to fit in to a school like that. I didn’t understand the significance of the books or the readings we were assigned to read. They didn’t seem to connect to the writing theme of this class. Turns out I was wrong with most of that because the books did have a connection to help us advance in our writing and not many people in the class were experienced expert writers and many were actually just like me to my surprise. Again I am very grateful for the practice we were able to get in this class because although this semester wasn’t very heavy at all on the writing assignments, I know for a fact that next semester is going to be full of it.

The part of the class that helped me develop the most were obviously the writing projects. They helped me practice getting through difficult subjects and topics by digging deep then pushing through. I also learned very early on that procrastinating is not a very wise thing to do in college. Its and awful idea because due dates fly by and work piles up very quickly. In the three projects we did I learned to write way more efficiently to get the most out of my time. I learned that paragraph organization is very important to the structure of an essay and it is something I am more cautious of now than ever. Even though I did get all the essays done and received a respectable grade I still struggled mightily with all of them. I often found myself trying to pull things out of nothing and struggling heavily on starting the essays. I guess that’s just something that will just come to me the more that I work on it.

I’m sure that once I move on from these classes and then come into future classes I will have greatly benefited from the strategies I picked up in this class. With just having math and science classes this semester I haven’t had to do any writing at all between them. I know for a fact that just about every other class in this college are going to require a great deal of writing essays. Every little bit of practice I can get will be very useful in the long run and will help me as I move on to other classes. I think being a creative writer also takes a lot of passion for writing which is something I have been lacking. Although now I do see everything differently and I can see that writing is a great way to express yourself now that I’ve done it more.

I can say now with certainty that I am lightyears ahead of where I was 5 years ago as a freshman in high school. Most of that leap has definitely happened this year with all the practice that we have been doing. I have found the blog posts to actually be more helpful than anything else because we regularly had to have something to write about and had to get over those same struggles that I have talked about. I believe that most of my shortcomings still lie in my overall organization and structure. I feel like I don’t know how to write a more formal paper as most of the essays I have written have been in the same style that this one is in. I know that this class might end up being the most useful throughout my entire college career because most people say that you never use most of what you learn in college. The possibility of taking another creative writing course is for sure more intriguing now than ever but we’ll just have to see how it fits in with the rest of my schedule. So this is surely not the end of my writing days but for now I’m just ready to move on to my next semester.

Writing Project 3

We were tasked of writing an essay on The Bluest Eye based on the Forward. At first it was very difficult for me to commence the writing project because of me being unsure exactly what the task exactly was. With all that’s been going on at Washington College the past two weeks it has been difficult getting much help on the project. Eventually I had to get it done so I wrote a raw copy off of one of the quotes Prof. Boyd had recommended to us and I knew that many changes would be necessary. After I got my feedback it was hard to find time to write my final copy because these past few weeks have been kinda crazy. I finally did end up getting it finished but it took a lot of time to think over exactly what I would say. Looking back at what my final product was I was able to make many points of things that have been on my mind for many weeks now since we read the book. I somewhat do wish that I could elaborate more on the lessons I’ve learned from living in another country or observations that I have seen but that would take up a couple of more essays and would completely run off topic. Overall Im glad that I was able to open up on what I really thought of the book while on the other hand I wish I was better at translating everything that I have on my mind to the paper.

Response to the Forward of The Bluest Eye

The forward in the book was mainly a way for the author to give us some words about the main conflict in her own words rather than in the perspective of the characters. She also uses the forward to show the reader some of the main reasons as to why there were problems in her part in having the reader fully understand the extent of the situation she is alluding at. It gives the reader a firmer background as to why the book was written and a little bit of foreshadowing of what is to come later on in the book.

The problems she identifies are barriers and limits in having such a message understood broadly among all readers even if not everyone can relate to this problem in their life. One problem she mentions in the forward is centering the weight of the characters. She didn’t want to make it seem to hard on a character causing the reader to pity the character, instead she wants the reader to look inside themselves. She solved the problem by splitting the narrative so the reader could make the connection themselves. In my opinion I think that the split narrative can make things somewhat complicated to follow or understand. Another problem she ran into was the language selection. She new that it would be much easier for the reader to follow if she used common language but at the same time she would shape the black american culture in the book. The language did seem very well chosen and clear to me while at the same time I am understanding the cultural aspect of this book.

Reflection on Second Writing Project

Writing this essay was definitely more difficult than the last essay not because of the added length but because of the topic. The topic I chose was self-driving cars, it wasn’t that i’m unfamiliar with the topic but it was that I had trouble choosing a side to argue for. On the one hand I feel that the cars would really help society while at the same time I know that so many people including myself wouldn’t like the idea of having a computer drive for us. After I got through my dilemma of choosing a side the approach of the assignment proved to be my next obstacle. What troubled me about the approach was that this essay was more to be written based off of arguments and quotes rather than just written and then adding in the arguments and quotes. All in all I worked through it and I learned quite a few things about the topic and how it can go wrong if everything isn’t well thought out. Sure eventually when the cars are ready to be released the manufacturers will have already worked through these problems but they are still worth bringing up since there isn’t an answer for the questions I bring forth.

Self-Driving Cars

Self driving cars have always been a thing of futuristic movies or books but we are closer to having the capabilities of doing such a thing than many people might think. Google is very close to selling its first self driving production car as soon as 2017. But is this truly the way to go or could self driving cars just be another headache? We will look at some of the key arguments being made for and against self-driving cars.

The biggest argument for self-driving cars are that car accidents will go down drastically since a large percentage of car accidents are caused by human error. Every year millions of people are involved in car accidents and many die as a result, with all the human error gone going out and driving won’t be risky almost at all. A major argument against the cars are that when on an occasion that there would be an accident the question would be who is held responsible? How much of a market would such a car have since a car of this sort would be very pricey at somewhere near $100,000? It seems as if there are too many uncertainties at this point that make the self-driving cars a not very realistic at the moment.

As soon as we can get over the obstacles that come with self driving cars they can be very helpful to society. Elderly people wouldn’t have to lose their ability to drive as their conditions deteriorate. Drivers driving under the influence wouldn’t be such a hazard to other drivers since a designated driver won’t be necessary for those going out to drink. Hopefully someday we will see self-driving cars being implemented on the roads so that transportation will become a much safer activity.

Final Thoughts on The Things They Carried

The book The Things They Carried was a very interesting story  portraying the life of an American soldier in the Vietnam War. In the book I personally think that the most effective aspect of it is the inclusion of little details. There were many little details in the book that at the point of reading the reader might feel is completely unimportant. Those little details help set the tone of what their life really looked like. For example the part where they kill the young water buffalo seems somewhat unnecessary or just information that we didn’t necessarily want to hear but that moment shoes just how mentally affected these men were after their fellow soldier died. O’Brien also tends to repeat some stories over and over, that shows just how much these men were dwelling on events of the past and just how repetitive life can be in a war like that. Little strategies like those help show the public a different picture of what war is really like rather than the common misconception.

Response to Writing Assignment #1

My first English writing assignment was turned in last Friday. I don’t think the assignment was as overly difficult or stressful as I imagined it to be. It was very similar to other essays I have written before in High School in the sense of the topic. Because of that I already had a general idea of what I would be including in this essay. It didn’t take as much time as I anticipated it would. The majority of my time was spent trying to figure out how to structure the essay as best I could.

I think that my current draft is far better than the rough draft I posted last week. I fixed most of the little errors that were very obvious and I also did do a little bit of rearranging certain details to make the essay more presentable. I think that my essay did a good job in terms of the content I gave and the stories I was able to tell. The biggest weakness in my final draft would still have to be the presentation itself. I still think it can use a little bit of work structurally and although I did change the intro and conclusion it still can be made better. Overall I like what I was able to do with this assignment and I hope whoever reads it sees clearly the points I try to get across.