ENG 1141: Intro to Creative Writing, Fall 2020


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  • Participation Activity, Session 22: Writing the Educational Autobiography
  • #69333

    Jennifer Sears

    Brainstorm the beginnings of your Educational Autobiography, using the instructions on the To-Do List:



    1.experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating

    From my earliest memory of attending school, I knew that my parents were serious about me graduating and focusing on school. I did have certain disabilities growing up with my speech and reading. So that took time for me to grow out of, but eventually, with help of teachers and extra time, I got better in my own speech and reading. Once I reached the end of 5th grade, I started to see how serious my mom was about going into public school and making sure I did my work. She was concerned about my math skills because she knew I was not the best in that subject. Therefore I would stay after school for extra help or have a sibling at home help me.

    My mother had gotten her bachelor’s degree from city tech and wanted me also to reach as far as she did or even higher. My father on the other hand only had a degree from high school. Not to mention, both of my parents saw how difficult things were with getting a stable job, of you did not have a degree to show for it. My father would advise that If college was not something we wanted to do long term, we could go to a trade school and learn a trade. Both wanted the best for me and still have high expectations for me and my siblings. This did put some mental pressure on me because they were nagging most times about it in high school. But when I reached college I still heard about it, but not as much because I think they saw my maturity and how responsible I was.



    As a first-generation American entering college was not only a big accomplishment for my family but a big one for me as well. Only a few have graduated college, the only difference is I would be the one out four other siblings to graduate college first. I remember my final years of high school having mixed emotions about what it would be like to start college I thought about how excited I was to leave and start adulthood but then my anxiety also triggered me to also fear failure. I made it my mission to prepare myself for college but only once entered college I realized that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I would be. I went from sitting in a class for 45 mins to sitting in a lecture that was two hours long a, having deadlines to meet every week to taking six courses for the semester because I became accustomed to the type of work I would be doing.
    During my first year, some classes were engaging others were boring and I found myself lost emotionally. Constantly getting emails for financial aid and studying for exams and finals I found it hard to find time for myself. My first year was the hardest for me because I spent most of my time stressing about school and passing with perfect grades. Two classes that I remember spending countless amount of hours in the tutoring room were statics and biology. I was not prepared for the emotional rollercoaster college that led me on. I spent times at home crying and telling my mom that I wanted to quit but she always reassured me that I would be okay and this would all be worth it in the end. I continue to work and push myself as much as I could. I always as questions, stayed for office hours and it did end up paying off because I received an A in both classes and later on made it to the dean’s list. I am proud that never gave up I grew to get used to college and understand the system of how the school works. I learn the importance of also taking care of myself because out of everything that I went through that is what really matters the most.



    2. Experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating

    As far as I can remember, I wasn’t the brightest tool in the shed. I was the kid with the potential to be greater, my parents saw that within me, but knowing how I was, I’ve held myself back by my own personal needs and slacked off. I was more self centered, found education more boring as it is and just wanted to have fun. As time went on however, and my parents saw my report card, I went through a punishment that was more… psychological and physical. My father taught me the hard way that I can’t mess around with school anymore, it was tough love and he didn’t raise a slacker. This is the real deal. This was elementary years.

    It made me afraid and I didn’t want to go through with that again. I knew what was at stake, and the expectations from my father got higher while my mother did the same. I had to do this by the book, no help from friends and family with homework. Just me, my mind and my bare hands to write. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, hell, even my whole family. The “physical lessons” stopped in middle school and my grades were less horrendous, but if it was mediocre, which they were at times, i get scolded every single time. No Cs or Ds, only Bs and As. They wanted more because to them, they think I haven’t broke out of my shell yet. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since. And then, my family praised me. I never left back once, I graduated every time, I was one of top students. I have earned their trust for my own future. they gave me the love and support that I wanted in some time. It hit me that they still love me and want me to succeed, even if it’s the hard way.


    Steven Bachoo

    – experiences that showed you how well-prepared or unprepared you were when you came to college and how you realized this

    One way how I was prepared for when it came down to college I started to go through a transition by getting everything I needed to start off. I came prepared with all the supplies that I needed to do my work. I listen to what I have to do and if I’m stuck on anything I would ask for help or work with a group to see if I’m on the right track or if I’m completely lost on the topic. I would also email my teacher or professor to meet with them one on one if I’m completely lost and need some guidance. That is the first thing I do when I’m having trouble with anything. The other thing is when I’m in class I take notes in the class so I can go back and review the material when I get lost on anything.

    I like to form groups because when I work with other people I get to hear their inputs on what they think. I also want to see what are some things that I missed and what I can improve on. It helps me get familiar and then understand the material more when I get confused with the work. I always like to come together with people to see what they know and what I forgot to do. The most important thing is to take notes and to ask questions about what you are confused on. It shows that you want more clarification about the work and what you have to do in order to get through the work. Also, if you’re stuck on your assignment the best thing to do is to not wait. Reach out to friends or the teacher or a professor if you don’t understand something. The longer you wait to get something finished the less time you have left.


    Hernan Marquez

    -experiences that showed you how well-prepared or unprepared you were when you came to college and how you realized this

    After graduating high school, I knew another chapter would begin once I enter college. I knew the circumstances and goals that had to be met. Some ways that helped me prepare for college were asking people questions. It is very difficult to get into something not knowing the purpose of it. Most of the time I felt lost in what major I was planning on taking. Thankfully I have friends that are older and have experience about college. Knowing a little about college before enrolling made me less anxious. If my friends were not always there to answer my questions, I would do research on google about what major and suits me well.

    On my first week of college I understood the the whole process and felt comfortable through out the experience. One of the important things to keep in mind is that all professors will not remind you about due dates. This helped me become responsible and more thoughtful about important things. I would always take notes for review and email my teachers for any advice for class or how to improve to receive an A. It helps me get familiar and understand the material more. I enjoy working in groups where I can relate and share my ideas, which prepares me to participate and build up courage. Lastly I became prepared by finishing assignments or homework on time. It is best to finish on time or a day in advance so you won’t have to worry about the rest on the same day which can build up stress.


    Serena Ngai

    -experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating

    From the earliest of my memories, I always knew that I was not my parent’s most prized child. That position would only belong to my brother. Ever since I was little, my brother always had my parent’s attention and they always gave the best of everything to him while I got the things he didn’t want. Even when doing school projects, they were always willing to help him while I had to do everything on my own. Of course, in my child’s self mind, I always thought, if I did well then maybe they would look at me as well. I went to the schools that they told me to attend since my brother had attended there as well and expected me to follow him. From there, I always worked my hardest to get good grades since that was the only way I knew for my parents to look at me. However, no matter how well I did, they would only take a look for one second and then ignore me. I kept vying for their attention until it one day dawned on me that no matter how hard I try, they would no longer look my way. I would always be second and no matter what I did, it would never be compared to my brother. I eventually gave up on them, their expectations of me, and focused on myself and what I wanted.

    However, things changed when my brother went to high school. He didn’t get into a specialized one and his grades in school weren’t as good as they used to be so they started to turn their attention to me. I have given up hoping for their attention long ago so their expectations towards me made me angry rather than happy. I thought that by going to the high school my brother went they would turn their attention back to him but then they started to pressure me with their hopes of me and wanted to control my future. I disregarded them as I focused on myself of course but it rather backfired when my awards and achievements that I had earned through my own hard work somehow became the effort of their teachings. It was really angering but I decided to ignore them as I graduated high school. They were really disappointed when I decided to attend city tech because they wanted me to go to a college like Hunter. It was true that with my GPA and regents grades that I may have been able to, however, it wasn’t what I wanted. As I went through freshmen year to sophomore, although they were disappointed in me in my choice of college and major, they finally decided to support me seeing how well I was doing and how happy I was. Family expectations were a burden to me for they made me feel trapped from what I wanted to do but it also made me realize how tireing they were to satisfy them.



    -experiences that showed you how well-prepared or unprepared you were when you came to college and how you realized this

    After I graduated from high school, I had no idea about what I was going to face in college. I didn’t know what major to choose and what courses to take. These questions, as well as what I really want to achieve in college, bothered me for a long time. All I did try to get out of the struggle was googling and asking my friends around about preparations.
    At the beginning of my college life, I thought it would be as easy and free as high school, but I was wrong. I needed to preview each course in advance, because my English couldn’t support me to understand every word of professors, and thus, I needed to spend twice as much time to finish the homework as others could do. Also, professors don’t remind students of assignments as high school teachers do, so I had to ask questions actively in order to make everything clear. The exams were hard and covered a lot, so I forced myself to collect powerpoints and take notes. These processes of forcing myself to overcome difficulties made me more self-disciplined. I then always try to put things in a good order. I will make a timeline for myself and write the deadlines and daily study plans table so that I will not forget what I need to do. And I learned that I need to communicate more with my classmate and engage more actively in class. I realized that the best way to solve a problem is to ask someone else for suggestions. This active attitude to solve problems makes me more confident when facing the similar question again. I believe this will help me a lot in my future study and career because I will encounter a lot of unknowns and difficulties again, but with this organizing methods and motivation to solve problems, I wouldn’t be bother by those difficulties so much again.



    -experiences that led you to choose your specific major

    Growing up I’ve always been fascinated in how things work. I remember purposely breaking my toys in order to see how their parts are put together and function. What sparked my interest the most I would say are computers. I would always watch my dad play video games on our computer. Sometimes he would let me play and overtime I became addicted and extremely interested in how certain things worked. From basic things like opening a folder, deleting files, and playing a music file. So, growing up I knew I wanted to study engineering in college.

    Since middle school, I’ve always wanted to major in Computer Engineering, but as I finally got to college, I ended up switching to Telecommunications Engineering. Since in high school I also got very interested in Networking and how the Internet and its systems work. I chose Telecommunications in the end since I felt that it would benefit me the most. Here at City Tech its program is a combination of Electrical, Computer, and Telecommunications Engineering. So, I get to experience and learn all the fields that I’m interested in.



    -experiences that showed you how well-prepared or unprepared you were when you came to college and how you realized this

    I have been living in the USA since 2016. I finished my high school diploma in my native country Bangladesh. So, it was a big challenge for me to continue my study here. Because here everything is different from my country. I faced a lot of difficulties when I started college. But I always worked hard, I know I have to reach my goal. January 27th, 2017 was my first day at college. Before went to college, I made sure that I took all of the supplies which may need during class. From the beginning of the class, I always tried to concentrate on the professor’s lecture and take notes from his/her lecture. Another best way I followed that to ask questions to the professor if I was confused about lectures. It helped me to understand more about topics. Communicating with professors at the end of the class or by email, also helped me to understand if I didn’t get anything.

    After a few days, I understood what I need to do to continue college studies with a good GPA. Regular attend in the class and submit homework on time another best way to improve the grade. It helped to become a punctual person.


    Oscar Ramirez

    -Experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating.

    My mother did went to college in her country and was a nurse for a moment, while my father left school at a young age to help provide for his parents and siblings. Ever since I was a little kid my parents have been trying to force the idea of college and education is the most important thing to have as a person. The reason for them saying that is because my parents are immigrant from a poor country and education wasn’t that important for they needed to work to survive. My parents came to America when they were in there late teens for the search of a better life and a way to help provide for their family back home, so all they did was work here in America and never gave education a try, so they try to teach me and my sibling to strive for that college degree and do better. I’m one of the few in the family that was good a school and mange to get good grades.

    My older brother was more of the working class man and not the educational man so after high school he went to work and my little sister is in third grade so its hard to know if she’s good at it yet. While I’m the middle child and was shown to be good at school with good grades, attendance, honors and etc. so my parents have high hopes of me reaching a degree and being successful. But its hard to reach that goal when I notice people around me having a more successful life without education. Most of my cousin or relative are immigrant to America but still mange to have money, houses, and/or become CEO of companies without having any educational background or even speaking English to that extent. But I know deep down that what I’m doing isn’t for nothing while it is making my parents proud to meet their expectation of me I also believe that all this hard work I’m doing is gonna pay off one way or another, I just know it.


    Andy Escobedo

    1.experiences that showed how your family upbringing and relationships formed your early years of school

    In my Highschool years, I was laid back letting Jesus take the wheel as I aimlessly come and go from Highschool. I didn’t really care about my future, but I know that my next step was seeking higher education this was set and stone. I was facing an identity crisis because I didn’t know what I really wanted to do and not having a father figure truly impacted me. My mother was raising 4 children alone and I was a legal citizen while my sisters being immigrants made it difficult for them to enter college. This brought a lot of pressure that I was the one to bring my family out of poverty.

    My oldest sister was truly a Genius the smartest person I’ve known. She graduated as valedictorian but seeing her potential come to an end put me in a sour mood. I remember I didn’t want to apply to any colleges, but my college counselor brought me to her office to decide this matter. In a small room, it was only us she asked why I didn’t apply to any colleges and I stayed silent. She closed the door and once again she repeated the question and I gave her my answer that I don’t deserve to go to college and that my Oldest sister she be the one with the opportunity I had. I couldn’t hold back my tears however my college counselor encourages me to apply which change my perspective on how I am. After Finding myself this formed my early years of college to be who I want to be and enjoy the things I love.


    Jason Liu

    2. experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating

    Ever since I graduated high school, I didn’t really have a plan on what I wanted to major in college. At first, I didn’t even think about going to college, because I really had no idea what I was interested in. I told my parents that I really don’t know what to do. Their response was, you’ll find something that you like to do while going to college. But in my mind, what I thought was that I already have been through so many years of school, and even through those high school years, I felt like school wasn’t fun. Sure, I was able to meet people, and make new friends, but I didn’t feel like what the teachers taught was important. And then the expectations happened. My mom would always compare me to her friend’s daughters and sons and saying how smart they are, how dedicated they are, meanwhile I didn’t have a real interest in anything. But I was still going to college and trying to figure out what could possibly interest me.

    I took a couple of the general classes, and two classes stood out to me. They were Philosophy and Psychology. Right now I’m majoring in Computer Information Systems, but if I could choose again, I would choose one of those two. This could apply for some people, but I feel as if there are some professors that teach and enjoy teaching. These professors are engaging and have a point of view that’s helpful in life. And there are some professors that teach, but they just read off powerpoints, or tell students to read chapters from the textbook and there will be a test next week. I really disliked these type of professors because it feels like they’re not trying to teach anything. And in both my Philosophy and Psychology classes, those two professors were without a doubt the realest and understanding professors I’ve ever met. And in both of these classes, I learned something very valuable. I learned that this is my life, and I should choose how I want to live my life. My parents have already lived their lives and I understand that what they tell me is important and helpful. But at a certain point in life, I will be the one to make decisions, and not them. My parents want me to graduate college, and I also want to graduate college. Their reason for wanting me to graduate college, is so that I can find a job, and earn money, and make them proud. My reason for graduating is almost similar. The only thing different is that I want to take the next step in my life.


    Alex Cheung

    – Experiences that led you to choose your specific major.

    I was always interested in computers when I was little. I always wanted to know how computers worked, how games, programs, and websites were made. It all started in middle school. That’s when I started my journey in web development making some simple websites with html and CSS. In my high school sophomore year, I decided to take a AP Java class. I enjoyed the class a lot. As my interest in java grew, I decided to combine my two favorite things java and Minecraft. With my knowledge and java, I was able to make plugins for Minecraft servers. This helped further my knowledge in java.

    I chose Computer Information Systems as my major because it is what interests me. Programming challenges me to try and find the most efficient way to do something other than just doing what’s the easiest. The reason I chose Computer Information Systems as my major is because I want to further my knowledge about programming and pursue a career as a web or software developer. Something about making something yourself just excites me and is what drove me to pursue my current major.



    November 16, 2020

    Kathy-Ann Valme

    Creative Writing

    Topic: Experiences that showed how your family upbringing and relationships formed your early years of school.
    The importance of a good education was instilled in me from the beginning of my early years by my dear mother and my beloved fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Clarke-Herman. They were very instrumental about me doing the work and getting good grades. As for my mother the circumstances she was brought up in did not favor her attending school regularly, hence she was adamant that as her only child she would do everything within her power to ensure that I took advantage of every opportunity afforded me. I was encouraged to enroll in extra curricular activities to help develop my leadership skills. This and other responsibilities helped to mold and shape my behavior from early and to set the standard for high school and later college.

    It was ingrained in my psyche from a tender age to reach for the stars by working hard and following instructions. With that being said my performance became competitive. I am from a Jamaican culture where there is no, “sparing the rod and spoiling the child,” so either you conform or face the consequences. I remember vividly my experience in the fourth grade of a new school I attended. My teacher went through each student’s notebook painstakingly with a fine tooth comb. My penmanship was sub par. The formation of my letters seemed to say that I was in a hurry to finish with little apathy for how I delivered. My teacher held up my book in front of the entire class so that everyone could see. She said to the class, “please inform the owner of this book that this kind of writing is unacceptable in this class.” She would give a big tick for a right answer and a big X almost the size of the page for the wrong answer. It would hurt to get things wrong but I quickly learned to do better and paid more attention to my work. . She was kind enough to take pains in steering me in the right direction. Her methods were grueling , but in a loving way. Also, her classroom was decorated with charts on every wall listing words and their meanings, vowels, constants and so on. It was a ritual each day to recite and memorize the information which became exciting as I mastered them. There were no excuses for failure and the educators and my mother were like drill sergeants. Needless to say, I attended extra lessons in the evenings, Saturdays and during summer holidays. Even though it seemed daunting at first I quickly grasped why it was necessary, as it was reinforced that having a good education was the vehicle for better things in life. That trend followed me into high school and later in college.
    In high school I was doing well but later became a high school dropout because of a pregnancy. I felt disdain and I suffered from low self esteem because I had let myself down and my family, especially my mother. With this kind of setback I had to coin a plan to move forward and redeem myself. Even though it was hard I was determined to win and with the help of friends I started evening classes to upgrade my skills and restore faith in myself. It was hard but I persevered. My recourse was to use the foundation that was already embedded in me to rise. I have always imagined that I would someday have a college education. Although it came at a later time in my life the experience has been a good one, not perfect but one to celebrate. My journey has not ended but I am progressing steadily. I am still learning patience. I celebrate my success whether it is being small or great. I am so thankful for having people who believed in my abilities but mostly me for believing in myself.

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