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Midterm Reflection Final

Midterm Reflection Final

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Published by: estrohmi on Apr 28, 2010
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Elizabeth Strohminger Professor Jan RiemanEnglish 1101xMarch 3, 2010Consequential Changes: A study through reflection on the changes of a kid in collegeIf I had to pick a general goal for myself in a college writing course, I would have to sayit would be to study how environmental changes can lead to personality changes in my writing.I¶ve always felt that you are a product of your surroundings. Because of this, I¶ve never reflectedon myself in any other setting than my status quo. Growing up in a fairly well off family²both parents highly educated, decently paying jobs, high-end middle class community- I¶ve never hadthe opportunity to expand on who I am. This all changed when I came to college.I¶ve found college to be a completely new experience. People from all walks of life cometo the same community to learn in a fairly self-contained environment. University life happenssomewhat outside the realm of the rest of the world. A new environment leads to new perceptions which lead to an altered personality. I¶ve seen this in the changes of my speech patterns, but I¶ve never thought about how this would affect my writing up until now.I generally speak in a different voice when writing things for classes than I do in a socialsituation²I tend to use more elevated speech and higher diction in order to come off as aneducated person. So to first view the changes I¶ve made since coming to college, I can reflect onmy ³Day Book´ entries. The first class, I was still stuck on writing things very formally, in that Iwas writing for someone other than myself. But as the weeks went by, I can see a significant
 
shift in the formality of my writing; basically, it¶s no longer formal. My day book entries have become much more personal, some aren¶t even full sentences, just bulleted thoughts throwntogether in a rush to get everything on paper before the time runs out. The dynamic shift frommy formal writing to this new personal writing has had an effect on me as well. I especiallyenjoy the day book entries that are written at the end of class, because it allows me to get all mythoughts about the happenings of the class down on paper. This is a very liberating feeling,knowing that I can write, uninhibited about what I think about things.This shift can be seen in other parts of my work as well. We had an assignment where wehad to reflect on an essay about students in different social classes and how this affected their education. The essay was very difficult for me to write, because part of the parameters were toinclude personal experiences and I was always taught that this was incredibly inappropriate in anacademic essay. Because of this, the writing was very stiff; it was hard for me to break out of my box in order to better my writing.Luckily, we had peer workshop. Normally, I¶m not a person who enjoys peer editing.Editing, in my mind, has always been synonymous with revising. The design of this courseshows that they¶re not the same. One refers to changing a paper through simple mistakes whilethe other is a suggestive method that points out areas of lesser quality. Because I write with suchan elevated diction I get the response of ³oh, that was really good, but I couldn¶t reallyunderstand some of it.´ Needless to say, that isn¶t very helpful when I need to edit a paper. Sogoing into the workshop day, I was not in a very optimistic mood. Even in this essay, I can seemy negative thoughts about peer workshop. I¶ve always referred to it as editing, which in thiscase it¶s not. Part of the specific guidelines of peer workshop is to be helpful and makesuggestions without necessarily editing someone else¶s paper (i.e. - revising). But I was
 
 pleasantly surprised. I don¶t know if it was because I was with a group that happened to be areally good fit for me or if it was simply the design of the course, but my group was incrediblyhelpful.Even the simpler of assignments have led me to reflect on how I think as a writer andreader. There was an early assignment where we had to read an essay and take notes and Irealized that I don¶t pay the closest of attention to the text unless there is something specific for which I need to look. For example, I¶m very good at skimming in order to find a single piece of information, but to gather a general knowledge of a long section of work, that I find fairlydifficult and time consuming. So when I had to simply read and take notes on the material, Ireverted back to my old self. I skimmed the text for what looked like the key ideas and wrotethem down. Going back to what I wrote, it was hard for me to reconstruct the essay because Ididn¶t really read it during note taking. I read it more completely later, because it¶s the sameessay as the one mentioned above, but this basically defeats the purpose of taking notes. If I haveto go back and reread text after I take time to reflect on what I¶ve read, then obviously I wasn¶tvery skilled at that. This is definitely something I need to work on in the future- reading for complete understand, not just skimming for key ideas.Something that I¶ve never done before in any other English class was our ³ClassroomCulture´ assignment. Frankly, I don¶t think any other teacher has really cared enough about thestudents¶ opinions to do this. There¶s always been a class rule about respecting others¶ opinions, but it was never to the extent of three class days worth of work. When we first did this, I wasamused and slightly confused on how it could take this much time to write a simple list of rules.But I realized after we had the full document in hand, that it was more than this. The reason for the time-consuming assignment was to get to know each other. This particular English class

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