November 27, 2018
When I first thought about college reading and writing my first thought that came to mind was, “The professor is going to be fast pace and assign an unmanageable amount of hw”. That is just not the case, my initial thought was all wrong the professor didn’t assign an unmanageable amount of homework but assigned a manageable amount of reading and writing that was well balanced and worked well with my other workloads to help not feel overwhelmed. The habits I used in high school have worked moderately well but haven’t been working 100% as they did in high school. In other classes my old habits haven’t been working as well as they did in high school, for example, working on assignments the last min is a common one as well as underestimating the amount of work I actually have to do and not giving myself enough time to complete the assignment with the quality the professor is looking for.
When it first came to reading and writing on the college level I didn’t have much knowledge about college reading and writing, so, for the most part, I came into college with a clean slate for whatever my professors want to teach me about reading and writing. I did keep some of the old rules about writing that I have tried to escape but kept getting roped back in, those rules originate from the five-paragraph essay. The rules of the five-paragraph essay are, you have a thesis and then you find three supporting arguments and have an intro and conclusion. In some ways the wringing I have been doing for ENG 122 are similar, we have an intro and conclusion, but we ditched the thesis and three supporting arguments. What we do is we have an essential question which the thesis would be, but instead of having three supporting arguments we have an assortment of sub-questions that help answer the essential question.
The experience of having to leave what I have learned in high school wasn’t too disheartening or difficult, having to leave the old way of writing wasn’t too hard for me because I didn’t always follow the standard five-paragraph essay format, I usually did something similar to what we have been doing this semester but I always answered the thesis statement and included my three supporting facts while writing my own way, that is part of the reason I didn’t do well on some papers because I didn’t follow the standard curriculum for writing a high school essay. The experience of developing the new 7 habits of a creative mind has been an experience, some of the habits I already had developed before coming to college such as Openness to new ideas and persistence. Throughout this semester I have exemplified the action of an open-minded learner by for example I was open-minded when the professor told the class to go and find a conversational topic that has two sides. This was in response to a reading on “Joining the conversation” that starts on page 21 of habits of a creative mind. The conversational topic I chose was Gas v. Electric cars, I created a pro and cons outline of this conversation topic looking at both side and see what people had to say about Gas v. Electric vehicles. I never looked at something like this before this was a new way of thinking that I was willing to give a try and really enjoyed using this new way of thinking to look at both sides of the argument and see what everyone has to say.
Another habit I already had developed before coming to college was persistence. I always persisted through assignment even though they might have been boring or may not be related to my field of study. In ENG 122 the way I exhibited persistence in class wasn’t out in the open where everyone could see it was in the comfort of my bed with all my papers and a pen. This is where I persisted through all my work as well as get it done in a timely manner while also keeping up with quality.
At the beginning of the semester, the class was assigned an article to read and annotate, we were directed to find a topic in the article that interested us as well as ask questions about the topic of interest. We also were supposed to ask a BIG question to base the upcoming paper around, so we could use the questions we asked to answer the BIG essential question. Some challenges I ran into during this assignment were trying to find a topic that was interesting to me in the article that was assigned, this was the first assignment where the professor asked us to do this activity so I was a little confused at first but after a class or two I started to understand the assignment and started to get on track.
Another issue I ran into while working on the first creative writing assignment trying to find something that interested me enough to ask decent questions. This was difficult at first because at the beginning of the article nothing really caught my eye, but once I got to the middle of the article things started to get interesting. What I found interesting was found on page twenty of an Animals Place written by a man named Micheal Pollan, he wrote an article about his reading an article by another man named Peter Singer. Peter Singer wrote an article about farm animals being abused in the food industry and is trying to tell people to go vegan or racist. Pollan is reading this article while eating a stake open to what Singer has to say about the meat industry. What I found interesting was when Singer started talking about how animals have feelings and can feel pain and suffering like humans but then Pollan mentions a man he talked to named “Daniel C. Dennet a philosopher, He believes animals contain the ability to feel pain but not all contain the ability to suffer.” If I am remembering correctly my essential question was so complex I wasn’t able to answer it, so I had to reword to make it easier to answer. Once I found what interested me the assignment went a lot quicker and was a lot easier to complete.
Some of the issues I ran into while writing about “Why are we so fat” was trying to figure out whether obesity in America was caused by people’s inability to control their cravings or if it was caused by genetics. My question was “If “fast food” is so unhealthy for people to consume, why doesn’t the Food and Drug Administration as well as the C.D.C intervein, and come up with national nutritional standards for fast food and other food companies to follow?” I had a hard time answering this question because it was very complicated I tried my best to answer this question by asking a bunch of sub-questions leading up to this question, I didn’t give a good answer for the essential question for why are we so fat, it wasn’t because the article wasn’t interesting I actually found this article very interesting I just had a hard time creating an answer to my question.
For the Final article, I chose to read “The case against civilization” and the idea the article gave me was to compare nomadic societies’ and how they compared to modern societies’. I had a lot of difficulties trying to find something that interested me while reading this article the beginning of the article wasn’t very interesting but once I got past the middle and got towards the end the author of “The case Against Civilization” by John Lanchester he started talking about societies that haven’t modernized and how the modern societies almost force the tribes to become part of their society or they will be pushed out of their territory. Once I found this topic of interest it started to get easier to find questions to ask as I got deeper into my google searches.
During this writing class, it is hard to tell everything I have learned since I have learned so much. I will only explain a few of the mistakes I have learned from, the first mistake I learned from in English 122 is to pay attention to my formatting and make sure my paper doesn’t reflect a five-paragraph essay unless my professor says otherwise. The second mistake I learned from in this class was to always do the reading and to try and take as much info from the reading as possible, at first, I wasn’t doing the reading in as much depth as I am now, and it makes a huge difference in the level of attention you give an assignment. One of the writing habits I will need to work on is my connecting, in my papers I haven’t been connecting my ideas to where I got them from, for example in my Why are we so fat essay I didn’t connect much of what I was writing about to the actual article. In my pollen essay, I did the most connecting, I think that happened because my essay was based a lot around the article and I need details from the article to make my arguments clearer. Procrastination is something I do and I try my best to stay on task but sometimes it just happens, usually, if I find a YouTube video or something more interesting I will watch the video first and then move into finishing my assignment. Moving onto to my reading habits, I definitely need to work on my speed, I am a slowish reader and I would love to be able to read much faster. Over winter break I do plan on reading a book or two to work on my reading level.