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Final ReIlection
This past semester is responsible Ior the way I currently Iorm my ideas; I now look
deeper. No longer do I take the shallow approach in terms oI literacy, I look beyond the Iamiliar
and try to see passed what is presented to me. In this essay I will explain why I think oI things in
a new perspective by describing the skills that I acquired while in this course. Instead oI
highlighting the things that did not have a long term eIIect on me as a writer and reader, I will
instead discuss the things that did. I will not Iocus on the things that slipped my grasps, but
rather, the things that inIluenced my manner iI thinking.
The multi-modal literacy project was the Iirst major assignment oI the semester; it was
here that my experiences with literacy began to change, in my opinion Ior the better. The Iirst
assignment oI impact was the 'ProIile oI a Writer essay. Looking back and reading over this
essay, I can hear the bitterness in my voice. I walked into this class with a personal vendetta
against literacy with close to no reason why. I was stuck in the past with no motivation to move
Iorward. Honestly, I did simply not believe in myselI. I remember being in class wondering why
I got those grades on my assignments, not once stopping to think that I got them because I
earned them rather than just luck; but this was just the Iirst assignment that brought me to this
realization. Doing the praxis logs I clearly saw that I went into every assignment with a negative
disposition. I didn`t see it then, but it seems like I almost anticipated the agony oI writing so
much than I made it worse than it had to be. In every single praxis log I began the assignment
apprehensive or anxious and came out relieved. It was me that was holding me back, not the
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assignment, and that goes Ior every other assignment in this class as well. I did well when I
wanted to do well, and I Iailed when I Iailed myselI; my deIense brought me to this conclusion.
AIter choosing to do a comic book Ior as a genre Ior the multi-modal literacy project, we had to
deIend our purpose oI doing so in a deIense essay.
The deIense opened my eyes to what I was doing to myselI. AIter reading it aIter I turned
it in, I realized that I was the culprit. I am capable oI reading and comprehension; I was just not
letting myselI believe that. The whole essay was geared toward blaming literature Ior my
personal misIortune instead oI looking to gain personally Irom it. Each paragraph was supposed
to be explaining why I chose to do a comic book, but instead it ended up being a rant against all
things written; it`s amazing how I did that subconsciously. This is why I chose to revise this
particular piece. I wanted to learn Irom my experience, instead oI suppress any change oI
knowledge. When I revised my piece, I uncovered the origins oI my intense dislike toward it. I
Iound that I did not enjoy reading, honestly, I still don`t, but there are things that I do like about
it. I like the element oI storytelling, and the prestige oI passing down tradition through texts. I
like when the author implements plot twist and uses the element oI surprise to stimulate your
mind and Iorce you to think outside oI the box. Reading isn`t hard, it just makes you think. True,
simpler texts are easier to comprehend, but no one wants something that comes that easy. I want
to work Ior it, so that when I do grasp it, it is much more rewarding. In my deIense I compared
reading novels to listening to music. I Iind that they are very similar in structure. I do like simple
tunes like Bobby McFerrin`s 'Don`t Worry, be Happy, but I am a lush Ior a complex lyric like
Coldplay`s 'Fix You. I think that iI I had that state oI my back when I was in grade school I
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would have liked being in English class, just to read the books and Iigure out what hidden
meaning that the author has tucked into the pages. Revising my deIense was a major eye opener.
AIter grasping the act that I was capable oI being a dedicated successIul English student, the
auto-ethnography project was presented. The work, then, seem extremely pointless. We had to
record ourselves during our writing process, but it was not until we did that assignment that I saw
that I was being counterproductive in my writing. That epiphany did not come until the 'Bob
method was introduced. Bob was such a corny guy. He did not try to do any pre-writing, he set
this ridiculous ambiance to work in, and he just sat down and wrote. As absurd as he looked and
sounded to me, it was brought to my attention that Bob was just like me. I didn`t pre-write,
brainstorm, analyze, or revise any oI my work. I literally just sat down and wrote my essay and
did not realize that that was what had been going wrong in my writing. I had no idea that that`s
how arrogant my writing style was. We would be in class and instead oI writing a well versed
rough draIt to get help Irom my peers, I would write a two sentence overview oI what I might do
Ior my Iinal project. It goes to show how unaware I was oI my potential. It wasn`t that I was
doing these things intentionally; I was just being too lazy to put Iorth any eIIort, when in reality
the little eIIort that it took to pre-write, brainstorm, and write a decent rough draIt would have
actually helped me in the end.
AIter I got my act together I wrote my best essay that I`ve ever composed in my liIe. I
took my time and planned to my essay according to what I had to say, and I sat down and wrote
my essay with a clear mind and no distractions. I made it my business to improve my writing
technique, because Iairly, it is not hard to do. I understand now that all I had to do was apply
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myselI and the rest was a cake walk. I Ielt so proud oI myselI when I got Ieedback on that
assignment. The grade didn`t even matter to be, it was the commentary that I got that gave me
gratiIication. I still have some places that I could use a lot oI improvement in, but it is just the
Iace that I know what I can do that gives me the motivation. I will not say that I now love to
write and that you should look out Ior my new novel, because I still don`t necessarily enjoy
writing. I have developed an appreciation Ior it, and I have gained skills that I needed to prosper
in the Iuture.
Last but not least, the ethnography project is my Iavorite that we have done all semester.
It made me want to pull my hair out and cry in the corner, but I learned so much Irom it. The
purpose oI the project was to Iind out the ways in which a subculture oI your choice used
reading, writing, and literature to communicate and identiIy with one another. We were to Iind
out what made a subculture attract new members, and what it meant to be member. All oI the
research combined answered all oI those questions, but what I Iound is that I incorporated all the
skills that I had learned in this class all semester and apply it to this assignment. I Ielt so
liberated and knowledgeable. It was with this project that I Iound that all oI the stresses oI this
course had not gone in vein; I actually retained some knowledge. In this assignment I Iound that
everything does actually use text and literature, and not in that airy philosophical manner that I
had originally imagined. I thought that I was going to have to make up some Ioolishness and
somehow tie it back to the topic like I used to do back in high school. This project oIIered me an
opportunity oI experience.
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During the process I got to actually be a part oI a poetry jam session where I tried
my luck at poetry. I`m not good at it by any means, but it still oIIered me the experience that I
would not have otherwise had. I got to see Iirst-hand what it is like to be a poet instead oI
reading about it in a text book. I Iound that my observations were analytical; I asked question
wondering why and I made it my prerogative to Iigure it out. I didn`t just take the obvious
answer and run with it like I had previously done; I looked deeper and realized that there was so
much more below the surIace. I learned that by perIorming the poetry live in Iront oI an
audience the perIormer is 7eading the crowd Ior Ieedback looking Ior body language or evoking
emotions. They communicate by writing an entry their verbal diary every time they perIorm. It
was not until I utilized my critical thinking skills that I understood these things.
English 1101 was a truly an experience that I will not soon Iorget. Sure, there was a lot oI
Irustration and sleepless nights involved, but there were lessons to be learned and I would be a
Iool not the appreciate it. This course has taught me to appreciate literacy and all oI its elements,
and not in the literal way. Literacy is all over the place, even when it is hidden in behind a
subculture, or in a video oI strange people acting out their Iavorite video games. I learned to
stray away Irom the one track mind and open my horizons to a new way to think. I no longer
dread the thought oI reading, writing, and literature. It is how we communicate, how we thrive,
and most importantly how we survive.nice touch, huh?