This first semester in college has been very interesting. There have been many times where there is stress and other times where you feel excitement for a class and the work. For the most part, this english class has been exciting. Each week I felt that there was a really interesting topic for our discussions. These discussions allowed you to really think deeply and interact with your peers to get others’ Point Of View on the topic.I feel as if these discussions and actual writing assignments, like projects, also helped develop my skills as a reader as well as a writer. I feel as if these skills can definitely be helpful in the future as well, with future English classes or even in my development as a Architecture student. 

I have definitely learned a lot as a reader, writer and researcher this term. In addition, I have even learned how these skills play roles with one another. One of the most memorable lessons and actually the earliest lesson, we learned about reading like a writer. Going back to one of those first readings, How to read like a writer, by Mike Bunn, he mentioned something that is really important, “When you Read Like a Writer (RLW) you work to identify some of the choices the author made so that you can better understand how such choices might arise in your own writing”. This definitely helped me throughout my reading and writing process throughout the semester. This allowed me to read even more deep and understand the choices the author was making. I was able to see what was effective in their writing style and what wasn’t. These techniques from the author allowed me to develop sort of my own technique when writing. Before, in highschool, I would just read and memorize what was being said in the text and proceed with my assignment. However after this lesson I now try to analyse the text more thoroughly and pick up techniques that I may use in my own writing. Another notable lesson from earlier on in the semester is when we read Jose Olivarez, Maybe I can save myself by writing. When I read this I definitely began to read it as a writer. He spoke about his own personal experiences, specifically on the negative and how he was able to resolve any problems he was having. This helped me on project 1, Education Narrative, as I was able to use the same technique of writing about my own negative experiences and how I was able to resolve them. 

Working on assignments for project number one can definitely help me in the future as well. One of the assignments for Project 1, was to read the Allegory of the Cave, by Plato. One of the questions that stood out was to analyse the metaphors Plato used to describe education and knowledge. Reading this as a writer allowed me to think of how metaphors are effective towards the reader. Metaphors are similar to parables and their purpose is for better and easier understanding. Knowing this, I can now take this knowledge and transfer it to future writing tasks and assignments. Providing metaphors in my writing can help the reader understand better and also help pick up that technique as they learn how to read like writers. Project number two allowed me to read a lot, as well as do deeper research into reflection. Knowing now what I learned through this project will help me create spaces for reflection in the future. If I ever move out of the apartment I currently live in and obtain my own room, I can use this information and create a room of comfort and reflection. In addition when I obtain my own house I can create a room dedicated only for reflection. This can take the form of my room or work office. A work office can be considered a space for reflection as you will need to come up with ideas, whether it be solutions, designs, prototypes, etc. One of my favorite quotes I heard from one of the sources was, “The ideas we fashion are framed by the places we inhabit, we shape our buildings, and then they shape us.” Adam Price quoted this phrase from Winston Churchill in his TEDx Talk. This quote relates to what I had previously said on work offices being spaces for reflection, as you create this space which leads to this space inspiring you and helping you reflect on your personal work. I could even build a space for reflection in the exterior of my home if I have the space. Now that I have a better sense of reflection, as a future architect I can incorporate my knowledge on that topic and incorporate it into my designs. My designs might not be centered specifically on reflection but there are a few factors I can incorporate. Project number three allowed me to think about what really captures the attention of my audience, in this case young adults around the same age as me, 18. The genre I chose as being the most useful was Youtube videos. In the project we explained our plan on how we would communicate the most important information we learned. This knowledge can be used and transferred in future projects to help communicate this information. These future projects would be youtube videos of course. In these videos I would explain how to set up your own personal space, and how effective these spaces can be towards your work ethic. Showing examples is always great as people can be inspired by you or create their own space designs through your work. These videos would definitely have to be joyful to capture the audience’s attention. There’s been many instances where I watch a video and my interest is quickly lost as the person I’m watching isn’t enthusiastic. Using hashtags in my videos, as we have done in our posts and projects on open lab, would also be useful as these videos would reach a wider audience. Overall Project 3 would actually be helpful in the future as I could use the plan I explained there and actually execute it to teach others. 

English has been really helpful in my first semester. Picking up skills is always a plus and English allowed me to learn new skills I can definitely use in the future. Each discussion, assignment and project were unique in their own way and each one taught me different things. Of course there were a few challenges in the way but those challenges also allowed me to learn and develop as a student.