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Dear Malcolm, As the semester is coming to a close and I am working on my final reflection, I begin to think about the semester

that I have had with you as my professor. I cannot lie, when I first walked into your class I did not expect to do anything challenging for myself in a writing sense. I had no idea what exactly the semester would bring and as it turned out, it challenged me as both a writer and a student. Through this letter I will walk you through my semester chronologically. Before I even arrived to class I read a letter from you, which described who you were, what you do, and your teaching style. I then had to return the favor by writing a letter about myself to you. This letter is featured in the portfolio and was the very first of many things that I wrote for your class. After going through a week of classes you brought up the topic proposal, which was my first major writing assignment. While getting prepared to write this, I first had to go through my inquiry process. I began to think about what exactly I wanted to write about. This part of the process was probably the most difficult for myself because what I chose to write about would carry through the semester. To begin I checked the wiki that was on Moodle, which listed several topics that I could potentially write about. This wiki helped me figure out that I wanted to write about celebrities in some capacity. Then you gave us the Interest Inventory assignment, which helped me establish that I definitely wanted to have my topic include social networking sites. So there I was with two ideas, social networking sites and celebrities. Now I just had to figure out how to relate them. Then came the actual formation of my Topic Proposal. At first I came up with the idea of celebrity obsession while watching television one day. So my initial topic was to analyze the effects of social networking on the obsession people have with celebrities. This seemed like a

good idea to me and I even wrote the entire Topic Proposal on it. Writing the proposal was not that difficult to me, it was actually the easiest formal assignment I did. I went through peer review and my peers said that I had a great topic. I thought I was set until I went to my one-onone with you, Malcolm. At the one-on-one we had right after we turned in our topic proposal we talked about where I stood. You told me that the topic might be a bit too broad and that I should think about narrowing it down. I suggested that I narrow it down to only Twitter and athletes, and you said it was a good start. Then you told me that it might be hard to support this topic. So there I was, after a ten-minute meeting stuck back at the drawing board thinking about what to write about. Then out of nowhere it just hit me, what if I wrote about how Twitter makes people feel as if they know their favorite athletes, a kind of form of obsession. At this point in the semester, you told us about the Annotated Bibliography that we would be writing, the second major assignment. I had to gather four different sources that I could use to help support my topic. I went to the library database, online, and searched different terms like “Twitter and athletes” in order to find credible sources. I came across the International Journal of Sports Communication, which gave me three of my main sources. I also located an online source from Sports Illustrated that completed my four sources. At first, doing my Annotated Bibliography was very difficult to me. This was mainly because it was hard for me to find something to put in the search bar. It wasn’t until we went to the library for the first time that I figured out exactly what to search. The librarian taught us how to narrow down our search terms, which allowed me to locate my sites a lot more quickly. Then, completing my assignment became a lot easier. I turned it in for peer review got my edits and then turned it into to you, Malcolm.

Finally, I entered into what I believed to be the most important piece that I would make in this class, the Extended Inquiry Project. To start things off, I did an informal writing assignment, the three intros one. I had to write three different, sample introductions to my EIP. This was my favorite informal writing assignment because it allowed me to get an idea of what to put in my actual introduction to my project. In turn it made what usually is the hardest part of a paper to write, to me, the easiest part. After that, doing my EIP was overall pretty easy because I just had to take my sources and ideas that I had been forming over the semester and put it into one single document. It turned out to be the piece that I was the most proud of and the one that I considered to be the most important. This is because it is something I worked on since day one either directly or indirectly and to see the final product was well worth it. It was really important to me because it allowed me to learn a little bit about myself because I follow athletes on Twitter and I wanted to see how I feel I know them more because of Twitter. It also is important because it is one of the only papers that I have ever written to relate to something that I do on a daily basis. The last assignment that we had to do is the one that I am working on as I am writing this letter, the E-Portfolio. In this assignment I had to reflect on everything that I had done over the semester, and since I have already done that with specific things, I think I should now do that in a broader sense. For one, my strengths and weaknesses from the beginning to the end of the semester have changed. At the beginning of the semester, my basic strengths included writing the body of the paper, good grammar and spelling, and getting started early. My weaknesses as a writer included writing an introduction, writing a conclusion, and sometimes not including enough detail. As the semester progressed, some of my strengths turned into weaknesses and vice versa. For example,

I had a hard time starting early on a paper as procrastination turned into a strength. This was not a good thing, as I had to work a lot harder on some of my assignments. But, a good thing that did come out of this semester is that writing an introduction became a lot easier for me. This is largely due to the class we spent on how to write a good introduction and greatly benefitted me as a writer and student. Moving forward I will take several things from this class. The first and most important thing that I will take is to just enjoy writing and find a way to connect to it. If I do this writing in the future will not nearly be as hard. Another thing I will take away is how important doing small informal assignments can be to the overall big picture. This included doing journal reflections and things like the margin outline that I will definitely be using in the future to see where I can add more detail and have paragraph breaks. Finally, I will take away the way that I overcame and dealt with challenges in your class. By just sitting down, thinking things out, breaking them down, and just enjoying the process I am sure I can overcome anything in not just a writing sense but a student sense as well. Finally, I just want to say that it has been a pleasure being in your class Malcolm. Thank you for being witty and funny even when nobody laughed. Thank you for being honest and fair with each and every one of us. Thank you for letting us earn our grades instead of you giving them to us. I will definitely miss having your class in future semesters.

Sincerely, Christopher Estrada