1 Barber Cassie Barber Professor Jan Rieman English 1101X October 6, 2009

College Writing, Here I Come. In the first week of school, my English class required a personal opinion on what I expected of the class. I wrote “I feel I am going to enjoy English 1101X” and “I feel I will be very strong working with other students.” So far, my class and Dr. Rieman have made both of these statements true. I have already experienced new ways of critiquing, analyzing, and really pulling apart an essay for everything it is worth. Recently, our class has been working continuously on an essay by Jean Anyon entitled “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.” The essay is Anyon’s view on social class in schools. The class has written essays and completed numerous assignments relating to Anyon’s essay. It has been hard to really focus and learn new things about her writing every time I read it. However, I find myself completing my work in my room at my desk. It seems I cannot fully focus unless I am in a quiet place where I can give all of my attention to my work. I tend to do my work the night before it is due. Still, I finish and usually at a decent hour. I like to almost procrastinate a little bit because then I am stressed to finish and do a good job. I feel like the

2 Barber methods I am taking and the new strategies I am learning in class are truly leading me to my success as a writer. I get help from my classmates in peer workshops and personal critiquing from Dr. Rieman. Though these techniques are all fairly new to me, I feel I am doing well with them. Sometimes myself, and my classmates, are confused on our instructions because we are not used to this type of work. However, Dr. Rieman is patient with the class and explains our tasks so we can better understand them. One of my favorite things we have done with the Anyon essay was the Critical Inquiry. I felt really comfortable writing my draft then having my classmates “peer edit” it. I was then able to come back to my desk and improve my weak areas. I also enjoyed writing the essay in general. We were allowed to give our opinions and even add a catchy title. New ways of writing, analyzing, or even reading an essay are always interesting to me. Because I am not used to these techniques, I am still being challenged in my work. The most difficult thing for me has been finding the “Multiple Perspectives” of the Anyon essay. Dr. Rieman assigned the class an essay in which we find the different viewpoints in Anyon’s essay. Since we had been reading this essay for a while, I had gathered my own opinion and stuck with it. However, now she was asking us to generate a new attitude or see Anyon’s ideas from a different angle. Even though the work was challenging, it was good for us to expand on our ideas and maybe even change our own opinions.

3 Barber In the beginning of the course I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I knew there would be intensive writing and a lot of hard work that wasn’t required in high school. I was right. The writing has been challenging, but is only helping me grow as a college writer. I wouldn’t be learning anything if I wasn’t expanding my knowledge and maturing in my writing. I really enjoy having my classmates help me through my journey in my work and in the class. The classroom culture document states “We agree that we will use writing partners to brainstorm ideas and share and receive respectful criticism.” I am really glad that helping each other is such a large part of our class. We learn positive and negative attributes in our work from other students that we would have never noticed. I feel I am slowly but surely reaching my goal as a college writer. I have already grown in my work and in my writing and I look forward to the rest of the semester. I am sure I will only continue to grow and expand in my knowledge of college writing.

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