Throughout my whole life, I’ve always been a mathematic and science person who enjoyed doing hands-on experiments in which I think it’s one of the best ways to retain information. I’ve never had an interest in writing or reading because it would be challenging to understand certain excerpts which would lead to confusion. When writing something I’m passionate about, it makes it easier to make a connection to my life and the topic associated with the assignment. I’ve come to realize, I work better when I research, write, and read topics related to my experiences and challenges. This is the first semester where I learned that English isn’t boring but fascinating depending on the curriculum and most importantly the professor. I think it’s important to say I’ve gotten a lot of support and help to expand my writing and reading skills during office hours. Furthermore, I’ve improved my writing skills by reaching my fullest potential when expressing myself and being heavily influenced by my friends, family, and professor. Another thing I’ve accomplished during this semester is setting goals on what I wanted to gain from this course which was to express myself, learn new vocabulary words, and have better analyzation skills.
For the first project, I’ve learned to never give up on yourself when things are not going in the right direction. By taking the easy way out, I will never learn how to overcome things and there are just some things that cannot be avoided. I’ve acknowledged that learning doesn’t always happen in the classroom but as well as in the outside world when going to work, looking at social media, people and from other past experiences. An example of a quote I wrote back from project one is “I believe that people go through so many hardships in order to learn. No one learns if it’s not from experience. In my case, my difficulties have made me who I am today. I have managed to be independent and work hard for all that I desire” (Zumba, 2020). The most challenging part in Project #1 was deciding what part of my life was most significant. For example, it could’ve been my parents divorce, my depression, my new job, my difficulty coping with school and work, and even my dream career. I never physically and mentally had the opportunity to sit down and think to myself about what shaped me to become the person I am today. With the help of Professor Rosen, I was given the opportunity to connect my past experiences with my learning experiences. From this project, I was allowed to note the positive outcomes on how life took a good toll on me, and things were not as bad as I imagined. Just like in the Allegory of the Cave, the cavemen were afraid to see the real world. The cavemen were like stubborn prisoners who did not want to step out of the cave, meaning they were ignorant to face reality. This could relate to me because it made me realize stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks is important to my personal growth.
Project #2 taught me about a topic that I felt was underrated. However, at the end of it, I noticed how significant it can be in one’s life. For instance, reflecting comes in many ways, but while conducting my research I came to a realization that the best way for me was meditating. I learned that there are a variety of ways to retain information whether it be blog posts, news articles, podcasts, Ted Talks and YouTube videos. I never knew that YouTube videos can be useful in expressing such information like how architects cope with stress. Beforehand, I wouldn’t focus on all the genres there are to express information and its intended audience. I realized that Youtube videos and Ted Talks were an easier way to grab the audience’s attention since there are visual graphics which you can hear the person’s use of tone. Most people speak about topics they can relate to, which I think is the best part since they sound very enthusiastic. Most of all, it is a fascinating way to connect with the younger age groups. In the annotated bibliography, I stated “The author’s credentials are that he went to architecture school for 4 to 5 years so he’s experienced the frustration of a design not turning out the way it was planned. Of course he is a reliable source because he successfully has overcome the stages of depression, and shared how his meditation stories affected his mindset positively” (Zumba, 2020). My opinion was reflected how Drew Paul Bell experienced his hardships and overcame them, he would be more passionate to speak about them in order to help others cope with them. I learned how to analyze others thoughts, words, and reasons as to why they do what they do so I can be able to comprehend more.
Furthermore, Project #3 was just an addition to my ideas brought from Project #2. I started to recognize what was the best way to reach out to other students about the benefits of meditation and why it is important for them to do so. In this case, I found that a Ted Talk was the best way to reach out to my audience, which was not so difficult to choose. I learned that it is important to always take in consideration of the genre you want to portray so it can relate to your audience. In Project #3 I stated, “ I would express this information to my audience using a pessimistic tone in the beginning and ending it with an enthusiastic tone. When giving my speech I will use a formal tone, and not to be too technical so it can be understood by any community without prior knowledge” (Zumba, 2020). Not only did I pay attention to the choice of genre, but also to choice of tone and form of language. This project impacted me greatly because I was capable of realizing my preferences of genre for informing my audience in the future.
Overall, my point of view of writing has changed as a whole from boring to fascinating. During this semester, I have learned to break out of my shell and most importantly focus on genres, audiences, and analysis. Although there were some challenges along the way, I overcame them when I focused on breaking down each of the readings I’ve read for during my research and incorporating them into the projects. There were many perspectives I’ve come across which helped me look at other things into consideration. I expected for this class to be another regular English class where you are forced to read pages and pages of books and write tons of essays. However, it was quite unique and the complete opposite, I finished the semester with useful knowledge that I will carry through the rest of my college years. Working in a First Year Learning Community with Arch 1101 influenced my experience greatly because I was able to connect my passion for architecture in my assignments. Most of all, Project #2: Spaces for Reflection, helped to create my imagination on my final project for Arch, which was amazing!