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Final Words by Rachel

Walking into my Closet

If you really knew me personally. I mean really knew my
inner most thoughts and feelings, the last thing youd hear from
me are words talking about commas and sentence structure.
Words by Rachel should really consist of topics like cake, funky
sunglass, or shoes. What if we think of words by Rachel as a
designer closet? You and me, writer and reader, are taking a
journey into my dream closet. Ive never been one to love the
spotlight on me but I mean if the limelight happens to shine down
on me I dont mind basking in it for a second. And you cant climb
the ladder of success wearing rags. So, lets talk Visuals. If you
have a walk in closet with tons of options you want to see the
potential of the outfit. The white background is visual potential
and my colorful linguistics are the funky accessories, and shoes
Im providing you with. Linguistically, I am very colorful and
creative so please design whatever outfit you desire. In my
writing I talk a lot about personality and personification I want
you, as the reader, not to see white and think, simple, lazy, and

easy. I want you to think possibilities and potential and imagine

your own bracelets and rings where you see fit. Now, I like to
start from the bottom up so if we have our shoes picked out then
we need to focus on Aural. In my Narrative the description of
clogs clacking across the floor should be enough to take you to
the classroom setting in your mind. Now think, do those shoes
sound right when clicking across the runway? If you read my
words in all white with red shoes can you effectively strut to the
pace of my stories in those stilettos? Can you not only see my
classmates but hear their hushed conversations in my Narrative
Literacy Essay? I want you to hear the crowds applaud for you
when you step onto the scene in those Jimmy Choos. Can you
hear it? I sure hope so. Spatially, I want the crowds to flock to you
and beg to snap a picture so we dont want you to be overloaded
with unnecessary rings and necklaces. Just look at my tabs; short,
easy, simple, and even with my friends and our different color
lipsticks its still fun and fabulous plus potential for more.
Gesturally Im a simple person. I only want to see the world smile
and thats a constant throughout my blog; smiles. If youre
looking stunning in an all-white get up, with people begging for

you picture you cant be frowning. No one walks the red carpet
with tears of sadness. So Im going to need you to tear this closet
apart and give me supermodel. My words dont convey anything
but happy emotions. So I only want to see happiness in the faces
of the people in my blog. My blog doesnt consist of many pictures
I must admit but then again thats exactly what I want. I want my
readers to add their own images and have fun with it; add a
second bracelet if needed. Itll all tie together once the whole
ensemble is complete.
Words by Rachel: Under Construction
My blog has essays, blog post, and drafts from day one up
until now. Going through it all one might think that this blog was
typed by a professional, not at all. There were essays with littered
with comma splices and post with awful sentence structure. The
first three drafts of my Portrait essay might have the most
awkward and painful diction to read through but it was all
necessary to get to where I am today. This blog was under some
serious construction before being in the spotlight. Before I had the
chance to really think about my writing Id just dive right in with

no plan, no organization, and no safety net. Id just go and

whenever I finally said needed to be said that was I would go
back, spruce it up and turn it in. Ive learned to take my time and
accept that my first draft cant be my only draft anymore. In my
first literacy narrative. I had four different events mashed into one
piece. It was messy, unorganized, and Im sure it lacked much of
the sensory detail that the directions asked for. Writing for me no
longer means scribbling out my ideas until theyre all out of my
head and on paper, but going past that. It now means revising
and re-revising my ideas until they flow coherently into a piece of
writing meant for Maya Anglou. I was proud when time came to
look over my blog post and revise the questions I had in the
beginning and change them. Instead of a silly question about key
concepts I was able to further explain how they now enhance my
writing. Or I could go back to my literacy narrative and be able to
see where I could add more detail and explanation.
Pros of Workshops
Peer workshops not only make me think more critically as a
writer but as a reader as well. For example when I first got my

Portrait of a Writer assignment. My struggle was knowing what

the reader would want to know and how to address each step of
my writing process fluently as if he or she were there. During
workshops I got ideas from my peers writing as to what to add to
my writing and I even asked some questions of my own to find
more out about their writing process. When I sat down to get my
writing rituals out of the way I was able to see my entire paper in
my head. I had my ideas planned out, the points I wanted to
make, and even the questions I wanted to have answered for the
reader. Before I was about just getting out the ideas and now I can
make the ideas and come to life in my readers mind.
Sit back and Think
Ive always been told that somethings will just never go
away and because of that I just had to work at getting better at
them. Things like critical thinking. From the seventh grade I
always heard the saying but never really engaged in the act. Until
now. It was insane how in a few weeks I became better at thinking
critically in terms of my writing then I did in six years of
education. Like I said before, and Ill probably say again, I love

putting myself into my writing. If my reader can't meet me

personally then I want them to at least get a feel of who I am
through my writing. Critical thinking has played a big part in how
Ive managed to achieve that. Critical thinking has helped me
think of questions that I would have as a reader and anticipate
them for my reader so that I will already have answers in without
my reader having to struggle. I like to think critically for the sake
of my writing and the sake of others. As a reader I take in every
bit of information the writer gives me and try to piece it together
as I go along. If I feel I am missing a glimpse of the scene. I
acknowledge that gap in detail by constructing a question to
encourage more detail. This now makes a way for the writer to
make a more vivid description for me as a reader as well as a way
for the reader to feel a deeper connection towards the writer and
his/ her experience.
Making Connections
Making connections in my writing was something I took for
granted as a young writer. But after reading chapters on creating
ideas for writing topics, effective writing responses, and the

importance of understanding assignments to produce good

writing Ive learned to appreciate skill. Understanding the
importance of making connections between writing and reading
assignments or making connections within a piece of writing has
made my writing process much easier. By finding and making
connections within someone elses paper my job as a critical
reader became easier because I was able to see what points the
writer is missing when making their connections. Or I was just
able to help them see potential for a connection in their writing.
Learning how to make connections and be a critical thinker
was always something that I was told I had to do but never
something I was taught how to do, until now. Although I was
taught many helpful trades to improve my writing this semester
looking back I realize now that I was the one teaching myself. In
my Portrait of a Writer essay I wrote that I am an indecisive writer.
I am always going back to reword sentences or delete phrases. I
now know that was me trying to teach myself out of comma
splices and run on sentences. I am now teaching myself how to
think critically and make connections in writings to give myself

and other a clearer view of whatever ideals the writer is trying to

get across.
Reworking and Reviewing
I never knew how much it too to receive and provide good
feedback. I know Rome wasnt built in a day and neither was my
narrative essay but no one ever talked about how many people it
took to build Rome. I say that because it took about four people
not including myself to build up my essay. In this course I read at
least three to five different essays two to three different times. No
two papers were alike even the ones with the same purpose
written by the same writer. During peer workshops I let myself
become taken over by the writers words and try to really find
places where they can give me more. And I wanted the same in
return. After receiving my paper I am was anxious and a little bit
excited to know what my reader thought of my interpretation of
junior English. I expect to see a lot of grammatical error markings.
I wanted to know what my reader wanted to know more of
specifically instead of a simple Why Next to a sentence. I wanted
to see can you tell me more on the person whos punching trees

on the beach? When I think of creative questions that encourage

more detailed writing a specific reading chapter titled Dont Tell
Me What to Write comes to mind. After reading that chapter I
began strive for my reader to understand that concept without
ever reading the chapter themselves. I wanted to have readers
understand that I dont want or need to be told what to write
because I have more than enough creativity and imagination to
be able to think of my own ideas and produce effective writing.
Putting it all Together
I never thought that Id learn so much in a class where my
professor hardly taught me anything. Its crazy to think that I
learned to develop critical thinking, rhetorical awareness, and
growth and the maturity throughout my writing almost completely
on my own. In this class I was able to take responsibility for my
own learning on the first day. Starting with simple readings and
responsive letters to the class I posted on my blog. These
readings consisted of chapters about the importance of
understanding college writing, creating original ideas to write
about, and how to effectively revise and edit a paper. At first

these daily readings seemed like a tedious busy work when in fact
it was the exact opposite. After reading and typing up what ideas
stuck out to me and hearing about what stuck out to my peers the
assignments really made me understand how the little parts of
writing form together seamlessly.
Blog Post, Peer Review, and Portrait Essays Oh My!
The blog post got me more comfortable explaining and
expressing my ideas verbally. Which began to make a difference
when it came to essays. In my Portrait of a Writer essay I talked
about how I struggled with getting my thoughts out in a coherent
flow verbally and on paper. Now I am better at coherently
expressing ideas with confidence and perfect it by the third draft.
The peer workshops have really made a big difference on how I
view my writing. For our first writing, the literacy Narrative, I was
fairly surprised with the feedback I got. I was initially expecting
lots of marks and notes for grammatical errors but instead I found
more comments about how my peers actually enjoyed my details
and wanted more or found my evidence for an idea relatable
and funny. These comments gave me confidence in my writing

and helped me muster the energy to give them more. With their
comments I on my paper I read and reread their words trying to
anticipate any detail they might be missing, or questions they
may ask. It was an eye opening experience that got me a little
less stressed about my next writing assignments.
After receiving comments, questions, and praises I thought
that I could easily take on the portrait of a writer essay; I was
wrong. Painting a fictional scene or describing a past event is
something I am comfortable with but I did not expect attempting
to paint a portrait of myself as a writer to be so challenging. This
assignment turned my whole process upside down. First I had to
sit down and think about myself and what I liked and disliked as a
writer. My rituals and process had to be included, admirable
qualities in other writers, commas and periods, and many pages. I
saw this essay as a way to be partially vulnerable to my reader. I
could let them into my mind and give them the map that mimics
every step that I take to achieve decent writing. I hated it.
Looking back I can honestly say, although it may not be my best
writing it was my favorite. I was worried about exposing too much

of myself as a writer and a person in the wrong way but ended up

telling my reader about myself without talking about myself. My
essay explained the admirable traits of my favorite writer Maya
Anglou. Without even realizing it I had also told my reader about
myself as well. This essay made me look at my writing as less of
an assignment and more as a way to reflect on myself. Seeing
where I had come from in my writing and comparing it to the
growth and maturity of my writing now helped me realize the
better qualities of my writing.
Half Way There
Starting on my midterm wasnt nearly as stressful as I may
have imagined it to be in the beginning of the semester. In fact I
found that looking back to where I started in the beginning as
kind of humbling. I say this because before my writing was awful.
In my midterm I talked about what I thought about literacy, the
relationship between power and language, and key concepts.
Before I got to that half way point I was a very different writer. As
far as I was concerned literacy meant writing and I still hated it,
language mean you could yell mean words and feel powerful

towards the little guy, and I couldnt even remember more than
three of the key concepts let alone write about them. The
midterm helped me with seeing how far I had come as a whole.
Not just how much better I was with sensory detail specifically or
how much better I am at expressing personal thoughts about
myself. Looking at the questions I was able to see progress and
appreciate how much better I became at simple things. This
encouraged me to explore more challenging things, like sensory
detail. If I was putting up a facade before about the confidence I
had in my writing. I was certainly genuine after the midterm.
Light Turquoise and Teal
Looking over all the work Ive put into my essays, blogs, and
e-Portfolio. Factoring in all that late nights that I had trying to
finish up readings that couldnt be done in study hall. Subtracting
the time I was a little lazy in class. And acknowledging the lovely
work I produced, draft after draft. I would say I deserve an 80. I
dont like odd numbers but I dont feel like I deserve less than a B.
I mean, of course I know how much work I put into my work and I
dont want to fail but it would be crazy to ask for 99. Or would it? I

am only human and am very sure there is bound to be something

wrong with this blog. Like my bracelet is a light turquoise but my
earrings are teal. As much as Id like to justify that it is what it is. I
wont lie and say that I was on 100 percent all the time in class
but I can say I did give 100 percent on paper. Unfortunately all I
could find was light turquoise earrings to go with my teal bracelet.
As long as my effort is taken into consideration Ill keep on writing
at 100 percent when its asked of me.