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Final Reflective Letter

Final Reflective Letter

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Published by Mitchell J Stokes

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Published by: Mitchell J Stokes on Dec 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Final Reflective Letter
Stokes 1Dear Mr. Campbell,Looking back on this past semester of Honors English 1103, I am really surprised to see howmuch writing that we actually did. During that period, it really did not feel like I wrote that much but asI look through the plethora of writings that I have to upload to my e-portfolio, I stand corrected. Puttingtogether the e-portfolio has been an interesting process. I have never been the type of person to just dothe minimum to get by, or to do the same old thing that everyone else is doing. It was for those reasonsthat I decided to set a theme to my portfolio. That presented a whole new set of challenges for me. The biggest of them being that my theme must present itself through all facets of my portfolio. It must flownicely and actually make sense with what I was trying to show through my writings and my own personal journey. However, that was not an easy task and now I still sit here hoping that I accomplishedthose goals. To be honest, I do not know how some of my uploaded assignments relate to my theme, because I did not write many daybook entries on it. I just have to hope that they help example how Igrew as a writer, student, and human being in my studies and life throughout this semester.Personally, I feel completely different from the person that I was when I first started college.Just from being in college I am learning independence, life-skills, and a lot about music. I also amlearning a lot about myself and I can see a lot of changes in just a few short months. Specifically, I amlearning what my morals/values are, what it means to be me, and who exactly I am. I can attribute mygrowth to three main factors: my church, my friends, and this Honors English 1103 class. Specific tohow this class, it has facilitated a lot changes in my interests, passions, and views on life. Because of the assignments in this class, especially the Extended Inquiry Project, I am considering changing mymajor to something that will let me help children with special needs and/or autism. That is a hugechange for someone who has said they were going to be a music major for the past six years. Thefreedom that was allowed in the projects we did this semester really made me realize where my true passions lied, and that is with helping people (specifically children with special needs).
Final Reflective Letter
Stokes 2I first started to notice this change, I would like to call it a growth of personality, the first daythat the Extended Inquiry Project was mentioned. Coming off of the summer that I had working withchildren with special needs, my brain was already churning out ideas left and right. That is what beganthe inquiry process for me. I was hooked on every aspect of the process after that first day. Of the initial process, I liked formulating my Interest Inventory the most. It was a great way for me to organize myideas and it helped me create a definitive path for me to follow with the accompanying projects. After Ifinished my inventory, I knew exactly what general direction I wanted to go in. The choice was so clear to me, I had to follow my passion for children with special needs.That led towards the topic proposal where I got to put all of my ideas onto paper for the firsttime. I was so excited about it because everything was going to fall into place and it was going to beamazing... wrong! Although it did end up helping me a lot in the end, the topic proposal caused me a lotof stress. My topic proved to be too broad, too emotional, and I honestly did not know where I wantedto go after I completed the proposal. I did a daybook entry in which I stated “I love the feelings it givesme and the curiosity that it inspires within me. However, on the other hand, I feel like even though Ihave restricted myself too this one debate that it is still to broad and not what I really want to focus on.”I truly was conflicted for a time, and I ended up taking a risk in my uncertainty by following myoriginal gut feelings, something I do not regret in the slightest. One thing that helped me get throughthose uneasy feelings was the use of the teacher-peer conference that I had with you where we wentover my topic proposal and talked about its strengths and weaknesses. That validated what I was goingfor and wanted to achieve.My validation was further backed up once I started working on my annotated bibliography.However, that was not because I enjoyed the assignment. In fact, that was my least favorite assignmentof the entire semester. It was difficult, long, and tedious... but I am very glad that I had to do it. Ilearned so many things from doing that assignment. It made me begin to think and start preparing for 
Final Reflective Letter
Stokes 3my extended inquiry project in regards to how I was gonna write it and how I would present it. It was avery helpful assignment when it came to finding good, quality sources because every source I had inmy annotated bibliography, made its way into my EIP. In the end, this assignment calmed any waveringthoughts I still had about my topic, and I think that it changed my perspective of what I wanted my project to be, which was a huge surprise to me.By the time I arrived at the Extended Inquiry Project, I was so pumped. Because of the freereign I was given in topic choice and where I could take it, for the first time I was actually excited towrite a paper. Throughout writing the paper, I noticed how easy is was for me to get into a writing mindframe, something that usually does not happen. I attribute that to my interest in the subject that I waswriting about. I just wished that I would have had more time to work on the assignment. This comes tono fault of you, Mr. Campbell, I was just put on a time budget for the first draft because I was going outof town and would have no internet connection. However, in the end this project turned out to beeverything that I wanted it to be and more. It really helped shape and focus my first semester in college,and it is still affecting my life after it has concluded.Consequently, I feel that the extended inquiry project was the most important work that I did inthis class. Not only because it has affected me personally, but it has led me to action in educating othersabout my topic of the possible link between autism and vaccines, but more specifically about autism.Firstly, like I said before, this project has really made me reconsider my passions and my major. I amnot sure anymore if music is what I want to do with my life because I feel called to do something withchildren who have special needs, and educating those who do not. To be honest, I welcome the changeof thought. It is a bit scary but I know that I will be taken care of. Secondly, I have started taking actionto educate some of my friends on children who have special needs. Through my church, I have helpedset up volunteer opportunities to work with kids who have special needs. The outpour of support andchange that I have seen in my friends since we did that first volunteer session has been amazing. The

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