Dear Jan, I’m really enjoying college so far.

I like where I live and my roommat e, I like how I’ve made a lot of new friends, and I like my classes. I’ve noticed th at I read a lot more now in college than I ever read in high school. I even writ e more than I did then, too. I spend four hours every day reading for my classes so I can stay caught up in my classes. Most of the writing I do is for English because of the WTEs, reading responses, and papers. I actually enjoy writing now . I’ve gotten used to it and it’s not so bad anymore. I hated writing papers in high school because they were boring and I was uninterested in the topics. But now I feel like writing is easier and more fun because I spend a lot of time writing about me, my beliefs, my history, and my goals. I enjoy writing about this becau se I’m learning more about myself now than I did before. There have been a few ass ignments where I have to write about something specific, like the French Revolut ion, but even that paper wasn’t too difficult. Since college started, I enjoy messaging and texting the most becaus e it allows me to keep in touch with my friends and family. Before this semester started, I didn’t like texting friends because I saw them all the time. But after being here, I’ve started to enjoy it more because I can keep in-touch easily with those I care about. I also like writing for English because I feel creative and I can use my personal experiences to answer questions and write. The Writing to Explore pieces are fun for me because I can think about things differently and get ideas for what I want to write for the topic. When I was writing my literacy memoir, I had many ideas popping into my head, one being how I should write it. Should I write it in chronological order or just go from thought to thought? Wh en I started writing, I was just putting down memories and reflecting on them. T hen I started thinking about how I should organize them and put them in to the p aper. That’s when I got the idea for going in order so I could see how each even a ffected me throughout my life. It was really interesting for me because as I was writing this idea just popped into my head. Out of all the writing I’ve done this semester, I am most proud of my literacy memoir because I worked really hard on that and I spent a lot of time t hinking about my literary history. “When I first thought about my literary history, nothing really came t o mind. I just couldn’t think of anything that discouraged or encouraged me. But w hen I finally thought of one event, I started remembering all these significant moments of my literary history. All these incidents in my life have shaped my wr iting to what it is today. Those events even led me to the beliefs I have about reading and writing. For example, I believe that it’s boring because I mostly writ e for school. As we grow up, we never really think about how these events will a ffects us in the future. But when the future is actually here, that’s when we real ize that those events have affected us and shaped us to what we are today.” I really enjoyed writing it because I was able to see how all those events from my past affected me and how they made me grow as a reader and writer. While wri ting the memoir, there were so many other memories popping into my head, includi ng friendships I had with my classmates and even fun group reading and writing p rojects that I did in elementary school. I didn’t include those, but I thought it was neat how one memory triggered so many others back into my mind. There is one paper that I’m the least proud of. It is a rough draft fo r my Intro to Business class. We had to write a paper on our ‘perfect dream job.’ It sounded pretty easy, but as I wrote it became difficult. I waited to start the paper two days before it was due so I hastily put something together. When I rea d over it, it sounded pretty good, but I was also half-asleep. When I get my rou gh draft back, the grade I would have received was a 75. I reread my paper with my graduate assistant, and I had to laugh at myself because the paper was terrib

le. I was overly repetitive and I had no clue what I was talking about. It was r eally funny. But now I’m in the process of rewriting it and making sound much bett er. Here is a small piece of the paper: “This dream job would be located in the United States, preferably in Charlotte, bu t would do business outside of the States. I want to work in an international bu siness because I want to travel around the world to meet other business leaders and work with them. […]I think I want a job in a retail business that does busines s in other countries besides just in America. […] Then I could work with people fr om other companies and expand the line of products or create more businesses in that country.” I talked about working for an international business multiple times. “I want a jo b in a retail business that does business in other countries besides just in Ame rica.” I laughed when the graduate assistant read that out loud because in my head I was thinking “How could I be that dumb to write something like that?” Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy with the paper, but it’s only a rough draft- I’m still fixin g it and making it better.

Some questions I have a bout reading and writing: How do people write 20+ pages on one topic, like the SRTOL essay? The topic just seems so uninteresting to me that I can’t even imagine write an essay that lo ng about that. Why can’t I force myself to sit down and read something for school? Most other students can, but I just can’t. It’s hard for me to read, especially for my busines s class. How do people find the information for History textbooks? I mean that sounds dumb to ask, but that must take so much work and research. Even books about his tory, it just seems so boring. People make writing look so easy, even poetry. I used to love writing it, bu t now I can’t seem to get back into it and I always ask myself, “Why not?”

Three things I want to work on: I want to be able to read more for all my classes. What I mean by this is th at I want to be able to sit down and do my assignments without being distracted. And I want to give my full attention to my readings. I want to stop procrastinating on my readings for English and the responses. For the past few reading responses I’ve been waiting until the day they’re due to s tart them. I want to change that so I don’t have to rush and so that I can put mor e thought and effort into them. I want to work on writing outlines for papers. I hate them, but when I do wr ite outlines and brainstorm a little, it makes writing papers easier for me.

I really like this semester so far, and it’s nice to take a moment and reflect on it. This helps me gather my thoughts and decide what I’m doing well on, what I’m doi ng bad on, and what I need to work on.