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Through the process of writing, a person may undergo a

transformation, especially if they are open to feedback

and suggestions for ways of improving and
experimenting with their writing. It is through the
process of writing that a student may push his/her own
thinking (Shaped by Writing Video).

According to Bartholome, Petrotsky, and Waite, a

person should use writing as a way to study a topic in a

deeper way. Through the process of writing, one may

learn more about the topic that he/she is studying.

It is important to have growth mindset when
approaching learning. A person with growth mindset
believes that if he/she works hard enough, he/she can
achieve a level of success that he/she sets for
him/herself. However, a person with a fixed mindset
may fear that a new challenge may only show the

inadequacies that he/she possesses, and thus, may

avoid the challenge altogether (Carol S. Dweck).

According to Geoffrey Colvin, a person who wants to
achieve greatness must work hard, and engage in
consistent, deliberate practice that is meant to improve
his/her performance. He explains that talent is not
necessarily linked to success, and that a everyone has
access to greatness if they have the mindset necessary
to achieve it.

According to Richard Rodriguezs Achievement of

Desire, one may achieve the end of education

when he/she is able to think for him/herself,
rather than be taught what to think by others. It is
through the process of engaging with reading and
writing that he is able to deeply and critically think
about his experiences.

Richard E. Miller attempts to find a purpose and
importance for the literate arts. The literate arts
include philosophy, art, literature, and history.
Miller seems to suggest that the literate arts are
important because they provide a platform for
self-examination, and they allow people to
understand themselves more through the stories
of others around them.

Paulo Freire in his, The Banking Concept of
Education, warns against treating students and
the human mind as a bank in which information
is deposited. Instead, he suggests that education
should allow for freedom and include a problemposing method that allows people to grapple with
concepts or ideas that help him/her better
understand his/her reality.

Unit 3 focused on Kwame Anthony Appiahs Racial

Identities. This chapter, which included many
subsections, focused on race and identity.
Overgeneralization occurs when one group is labeled
based on a shared essence. This overgeneralization
can be detrimental and can have negative effects on
people, both socially and psychologically, as people
dont necessarily have a say in when the label is applied
to them and what the label refers to.

When a label is applied, a person may sometimes
behave in accordance with how the label asks him/her to
behave. In other words, a person may act in accordance
with the role of the label, despite the fact that how
one label behaves may be based on arbitrary ideas
created by society.

Appiah concludes that there is a persons identity is
comprised of two dimensions: the collective dimension,
which is the intersection of her collective identities;
and the personal dimension, which is the other socially
or morally important features of the person
intelligence, charm, wit, cupidity that are not
themselves the basis of collective identity (Appiah 55).
Appiah indicates that the way in which we talk about
identity and authenticity, using large concepts such as
culture and race, make it difficult for people to treat
their bodies and skin as dimensions of the self. He
suggests five proposals for engaging with ones identity:
live with fractured identities; engage in identity play;
find solidarity [] but recognize contingency, and above
all, practice irony (62).




As a result of unit one, I learned that it is important to

use writing as another means of deepening my
understanding of various topics. I learned that the more
that I grapple with texts, the more that I will be able to
extend my thinking, which will teach me more about
the topics that the text may deal with, and it will teach
me more about myself. I also learned that in order to
achieve success, it is important to have a growth
mindset. This is important because if a person sees
something as a challenge and is afraid of facing it
because he/she may fail, he/she may miss out on an
opportunity to learn more, both, about the topic and
about his/her self-will and ability to achieve success. I
also learned that in order to achieve success, it is very
important to put in the time and the effort necessary to
do so. Just because a person may be talented in
something, it does not mean that he/she will achieve
success in that area. Instead, it is important that a
person work hard in order to achieve his/her goals. It is
important that a person puts in the effort and practice
that is necessary, and it is essential that the practice
that a person engages in is deliberate in that it is
specifically meant to improve something. Essentially,
without a growth mindset and without hard work, a
person may never be able to achieve the success that
he/she hopes to achieve. This translates to writing and
reading because if a person is afraid that a text may be
too challenging, he/she may miss out on something
that might teach him/her more about his/her world,
and the world itself.

By grappling with the assigned readings for Unit 2,

I learned a lot about the importance of reading
and writing, and the literate arts as a whole. For
instance, I learned that it is more important to
know how to think rather than what to think. It is
through the process of engaging in reading and
writing, and through genuinely grappling with the
texts at hand, that a person is able to learn how to
think. Additionally, I learned that school, as I have
experienced it, has employed the banking
concept that Freire warns against. As I reflected
on my formal schooling, I realized that the
teachers in my life, including the ones that I
thought were great, were using the banking
system because they were not allowing us to
struggle with topics and problems, but they told
us what to think about said topics and problems.
Additionally, I learned that the literate arts is very
important because it is the only field that allows
people to think about their experiences in relation
to the experiences of others, and it is the only
field that allows people to better understand

Unit 3 exposed me to different ways of thinking about

race, culture, ethnicity, and identity. I never really
understood the implications of labeling people until I
read Appiahs text. For instance, I have always identified
with being Albanian, but I never realized exactly what
comes with accepting the label of being Albanian.
Something that I now think about when I think about
this label is the unequal treatment of gender, an idea
that masculinity is extremely important. As a result of
reading Appiahs text, I realized that I dont necessarily
accept the role that comes with being an Albanian
man. I also realized that I engage in the five proposals
that Appiah listed. For instance, I continuously live with
fractured identities, as I constantly play different roles
based on the social settings that Im in. Additionally,
now, I find solidarity with my Albanian friends and family
members, but I also understand that I dont necessarily
accept all that comes with this label.

More than anything, Appiahs text has taught me a great

deal about race. I could not help but think about white
privilege when I read Appiahs text, because so much of
his text emphasized that a person does not necessarily
choose what label he/she is given. However, he indicates
More importantly, as a result of this unit, I learned that a person may choose how large of a role the label
a lot about myself as a student. The texts that we plays in his/her life. This stood out to me because I
read for this unit were extremely difficult for me. thought, Yes, this is true, especially since I am a white
Every time I sat down to read for this unit, I put a man. I can choose how much I plan my life around being
dictionary on the side so that I could look up
a white man. However, the more that I thought about
words that I did not know. I also had to spend
it, and the more that I see stories in the news about
hours reading a text. Doing this taught me that I
police brutality and injustice in the world, the more that
do have the will to understand difficult texts,
I cant help but think that it is not so easy to choose
especially if I dont give up.
how large of a role a label plays, especially when living in
a society that seems to promote white privilege.


The texts that we read for this class were some of the most difficult texts that I have had to read yet! I had to spend hours reading and
rereading the same passage so that I could have a solid understanding of it. Often, I found myself spending hours reading a text only to no
understanding of it whatsoever. There were many times when I thought that I could not do it and that I did not have the skills necessary for
understanding these texts. However, every time I thought this, I reminded myself about growth mindset. I had to tell myself that I was not
a fixed mindset person and that I had to continue to try and to work hard. I had to remind myself that I would be able to understand what
I was reading if only I continued to work on it. As aforementioned, every time I read the texts assigned, I used a dictionary. Eventually, after
hours each night, I was able to understand what I was reading. Doing this taught me about my will as a student. It taught me to not give up,
and actually walking away from a text with a solid understanding of what it meant taught me that I would be able to face any challenge in
front of me, despite its difficulty.
The content covered in this class also taught me that I have a lot of self-exploring to do. I havent begun to make sense of my experiences
because I never had the platform to do so. I experienced a war, and I never really thought about how to better understand it. It is as a result
of this class that I now feel I can better understand what I went through, how my experiences are similar to and differ from the experiences
of others, and how I can make sense of my experiences. Reading Millers text also taught me a lot about how I might use the literate arts as a
healing process. Two years ago, my mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. Then, one year later, my father died of a heart
attack. The Miller reading resonated with me so much because it made me realize that I had bottled up many of my emotions and I had not
necessarily taken the time to process them. As I read and reread Millers text, and as I considered the Shaped by Writing video, I realized
that I needed to start digging deep within myself in order to better understand my experiences and how they have shaped me into who I am
today. In other words, I plan to use the literate arts in a way that I never have before: as a method of self-exploration.
Finally, the content in this class taught me about my responsibility in the world. I learned that there are things that I take for granted. As a
result of reading Appiahs text, I learned that when a person has physical attributes that differentiates him/her from the majority or
dominant culture, it is not so easy for him/her to choose how much he/she plans his/her life around a label, as society may make the
choice for him/her. For instance, when a black male is shot by a white police officer, despite the fact that the black male may not have done
anything to deserve being shot, a society that promotes white privilege has made the choice for the black male. This was a difficult reality
for me to face, and this realization has made me want to take action in order to better understand the role that white privilege, race, and
identity, plays in my life, and how to become a citizen who fights against injustice, even if I do so on a small scale.