SPRING 2021 ENG 1141-OL07: Introduction to Creative Writing

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  • Participation Activity, Session 23: Writing My Educational Autobiography
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    Jennifer Sears

    Participate in the discussion board below by following the directions in the Session 23 To-Do List:



    Kyle Holston

    In my educational experience one thing that stands out is my experience with my teacher in high school. The high school was St.John’s prep, the classes I was in for his class were a history class and a class about New York City only. I called him Mr.Mathews, he wasn’t that tall probably about five nine and he was bald. His class was filled with different stuff, he had a lot of pictures of him with students standing somewhere in the school building. he had a poster of him in NASA space suit and he had a whole classroom filled with books scattered around at different spots in the classroom. When he seen you pass by he would say hi to you by saying your name or saying something related to your name. Like my last name is Holston and he would say hi and say a place from Sweden that had a similar name to my last name. He would always say hi to you no matter what day it is, if there was a quiz that day he would ask one question about the reading material for that quiz.

    Before him I would do my work in high school, but I would hate doing it. I would do it reluctantly, I would never feel like doing the work because it took too much of my day i felt like even if it didn’t. I would read when I have to for a class but I wouldn’t give a one hundred percent effort into reading the work, I would read fast through it and if I got something from it then that’s what I would remember and if I didn’t then I would move on. When the homework asked a question I would have to skim through the work to find the answer instead of reading it thoroughly and answering it from memory. But this teacher Mr.Matthews inspired me to read more, inspired me to take my classwork and homework more seriously, inspired me to try to do the work happily, inspired me to actually like doing the classwork and homework I have for school. So now when I have work to be done, I will take my time more I feel more than happy to complete the work.



    In my educational experience throughout highschool I never had a GPA that was above 85%, but I still had 80’s in almost all my classes so that’s pretty good.The highschool that I went to is called Esperanza Prepatory Academy. In my junior and senior year of highschool I took an AP art class. The teacher that I had was old, tall and lanky. I think he was about 6’2 and he was Uruguayan and in his late 40’s. He taught an AP art class everyday at the end of the day right before lunch. He didn’t have a nickname so me and everyone else in my class just called him Sburlati. He had straight blonde hair and he had always worn dress pants and shoes. He has a wife and two daughters. He started teaching at my school the year that I entered, but he’s been teaching for years and was even a professor at some point in his life. He was a really good teacher and was always really fun. He never really taught the students in AP art but he encouraged us to do our work. Also helped us with anything if we had any questions, and showed us how to do certain things. And just overall, he let us do our work alone.

    During the two years that I took his AP art class my GPA improved tremendously. I had gotten close to a 90% GPA in my junior year of highschool even though I failed one class. And in my senior year I had gotten a 95% GPA. If it wasn’t for his class I would’ve had like a 90% GPA. Taking AP art during my last two years of highschool was probably the best thing that I could’ve done. That class really motivated me to do all my work in every class throughout the day. And I looked forward to the class because my friends were also there. Although I’m not a good artist I did pass the AP art exams both years with a 3.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by David.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by David.

    Pratima Roy

    I love my mom! She is my role model and Mother’s day is coming up. Who I am as a person and in my educational experience is all because of God, mom, and my sister. I really love my mom’s cheeks and I love how she raised us strong and independent. She didn’t have the opportunity to be what she wanted when my mom was young. But she made that happen for us. I remember my mom telling me one time that her mom asked her how come you have girls it would have been better if you had boys? My mom replied saying that thank God I love girls and I wanted girls. She said it’s all God’s faith and that girls born are meant to be Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth) or luxurious. I really truly believe that! In my educational experience, I remember when certain people said that I am not fit to do this or STEM is not for women like me. And I ignored those people that are so not worth my future. I still can’t believe I am almost making it to graduation with God’s blessing and my family’s support. I still to this day can’t believe I am studying engineering and that I am interning at NASA. I used to be a bad kid who didn’t focus on school, but my mom’s guidance and everything she has done for me made me successful. She told me to pursue what I want not what others are telling me. I really get why girls are Lakshmi. Because of my mom, she is a Lakshmi who fulfilled my dreams and my education experience is wonderful. Because of her I am almost there to graduating, secured 2 amazing internships, and joined many extracurricular activities. I remember my resume was so ugly and it had nothing. But now it’s beautiful because I have something to put in my life. I still can’t believe I got into NASA and learning a lot there and in college. I am so proud of my accomplishment. I remember I struggled a lot academically and mentally, but it all came through.


    Lauriann Frederick


    I finally chose the field of human services as my major because I was struggling to get a good grade in mathematics which would have gotten me into the Citytech Nursing Program. Semester after semester I was failing maths, only barely passing to get another level with a grade of “C”. Although I was passing all my other classes, math was the thorn in my flesh. I was persistent, I worked hard at the subject, I even paid for tutoring on a Saturday, but still, I was not doing well in the subject. I brought every math learning aid along with Apps that I was told could help, still, I was not getting to where I needed to be mastering the subject. I even passed my Teas Test Exams for the entrance into the program but not math 1275. I was devasted. I did not know what to do. My GPA which was one point 3.67 has dropped to 2.02, but I was not giving up just yet. One midnight I decided to pray about the matter. I earnestly prayed to God, asking Him if Nursing is the career path for me. I can remember in the stillness of the early morning hearing in my mind a thought that said, “There are other career paths by which you can help others besides nursing.” I woke up the next morning, racking my brains trying to think about other career paths I can choose to fulfill my passion of caring for others. It was during my readmission to the college it became clear to me, that the field of human services was the right fit for me. All this time I never thought about the field of human services. I cannot remember exploring the possibilities in that field during my previous semesters. subsequently, I had to take a forced personal break from school for a semester.

    Returning to Citytech, just before class resumed for the Spring semester; I was at the Admission office when one of the ladies attending to me asked, “What is your major.” I told her I was on the waiting list to get into the nursing program. She then said to me, “Honey, not to discourage you, but because of your present GPA and the competitiveness of getting into nursing, I would encourage you to look into another major.” How can I do that, I asked her? “Change your curriculum she suggested.” Can I change it to human services I asked. “You would have to go to the department to find out what is the requirements and whether you can get in next semester, she advised me. I went to the department, got all the relevant information, did all the necessary paperwork, and signed up for all introductory classes for the program. Throughout the semester I started budding like an orchid (my favorite flowers) in all my human services classes. I felt like I have arrived at my true calling. I was excited and passionate about everything I was learning about the field of human services. The light was finally shining along my path, guiding my every move towards becoming a human service professional. All my professors were amazing, and encouraging, even those whom some of my classmates thought were unreasonable. I am exceeding in both my coursework and my internship. In the Fall Semester of 2021, I will be achieving my bachelor’s degree in human services. Thanks to the lady at the Admission Office who took the moment to suggest that I change my major as well as the department where I should go to get it done. It was my failure to get into the nursing program and the chance conversation at the Admission Office which led me to choose my specific major as a human service professional.



    Coming from an Asain household. Education is very important and always has high expectations. I went to a very competitive elementary and middle school in my educational experience. It was really tough for me because everybody is so smart and I felt like I didn’t belong there. Teachers kept complaining that I wasn’t catching up with the materials. I always would have to go to Saturday school throughout my elementary and middle school, and sometimes even Sunday school. In 8th grade, when everybody was applying for high school everyone wanted to go to the top three high schools like Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, and Bronx Science. In order to get into those schools, people have to take the SHSAT. Everyone in my middle school took the test.
    After a couple of months, everybody would get their results to see what high schools they got into. The guidance counselor would pass it out. Everybody was anxious to open it. You hear people from crying to cheering. Some people were disappointed with their results which was me. I didn’t get into the high school that I wanted to. I was sad for a couple of days. I felt like a disappointment to my family. But as I grew older I realized that getting into a good high school does not mean anything and I enjoyed my high school experience meeting some amazing people.


    Mosqan Naseem

    Experiences That formed my academic weakness and/or strength
    Coming from a bilingual household, I struggled with reading and writing. I was born in the United States and moved to Pakistan when I was 3 years old, but visited the US every summer with my mother. At home, my family speaks Urdu and English but being a small girl, I emerged from these languages together. My mother can understand English but unable to communicate. Whenever we would go to the store for shopping, the workers would ask my mother, “Ma’am, do you need help?”, My mother would reply “NO”, knowing that she can not respond in English. As I grew, I would see my mother suffering from a lack of confidence in herself. As I started school in Pakistan, English was considered an insignificant language. The focused language was Urdu, which has 37 alphabets and is hard to grasp. Every time I would look at them and my brain sees them as, “They are little insects, hard to catch”. The teacher would ask me to write words in Urdu but I was unable to put them on paper As I started getting failing grades, my teachers thought that I am not interested in learning and did not care about studying. With my family, I still had difficulty expressing my thoughts, not knowing the immense amount of vocabulary of Urdu. The use of words that they speak was unfamiliar to me and I felt embarrassed of not knowing my native language. Being bilingual, it’s easy to merge different words from diverse languages, which makes you unable to grasp the complete literacy, grammar, and vocabulary of one language.
    I learned that I should try to strengthen my weaknesses which are Urdu and English. Learning both of the languages built confidence in myself and I was able to put my thoughts in words, fluently. Today, the experience of both languages shaped me to try to improve my learning skills and never give up without trying. Looking back now, I feel the Urdu language is a language that will help connect and express my thoughts with my loved ones. Now, I started learning Urdu from my sister to be able to have a conversation with my family. After improving and enhancing, I focus to adapt to a strong vocabulary, open to changes, have a passion to read, clarity in my writing, and approach to disciplined writing.


    Zeneida Hernandez

    My Educational Experience
    When I was six years old I saw all my older siblings going off to school, there’s nothing that I wanted more than to also attend, but I was too young to enroll. Seeing how I was so eager to start learning, my grandmother sent me to school as a listener. I remember the first day when the teacher was calling on all students through the attendance list, and of course I wasn’t enrolled so she didn’t say my name. It made me feel so bad, so I asked her if she could still call on me although I wasn’t enrolled. All I wanted was to be a part of the class, like all the other students. She said she wasn’t allowed to call on me, and although I was sad this didn’t discourage me because in the end all I wanted was to learn. At the end of the year although I wasn’t technically a student they promoted me to the next grade. Since then, my adventures in education began. The years that followed weren’t as easy as I thought. Not only did I have to attend school and do good, but I also had to worry about everything going on at home. I was the youngest and I still had to take care of all my siblings; I had to clean the house, cook for them and help with laundry. During my high school years, I remember my grandma telling me that as soon as I finished high school I had to immediately get a job because she couldn’t afford to send me to college.
    As soon as I graduated high school I got married, and my life changed drastically. Soon after I became pregnant, and my priorities changed. I could no longer focus on myself, and on going to college, my new focus was raising my children. After they were old enough to be left with a nanny, I decided to go to college. That didn’t work out for too long because I had to move from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. I had to start over, surrounded by a new environment, new people and new troubles. But my dreams were still intact, I still wanted to finish college.
    In Puerto Rico I was a housewife, so when my kids went to school I decided to use the time to also attend college, so I enrolled in Tourism School. Everything was going great for about two years, I felt like my life was taking its course, and all of a sudden I had to go back to the Dominican Republic. After going back to DR because of personal situations my marriage ended and again I felt like I had to start all over. Now being a single mother I couldn’t just continue going to college, there were new things that I had to worry about.
    For the next five years I focused on my kids and providing for them. The economic situation of DR was not one that I wanted for my kids or myself so we decided to move to the United States to look for a better life and better opportunities. Once again I decided to go back to school. Although this had always been my dream the thing that motivated me to go back were my kids. I always told them growing up how important education was, so I wanted to be an example for them. I wanted my kids to look at me and feel proud of their mother.
    I looked into getting all my credits transferred from the colleges that I had attended all those years back. After a long process I finally got accepted and began a wild adventure. Not only was I doing all of this in my second language, which was a new way of learning for me, but I also had to do it while working a full time job. My day consisted of waking up at 2 in the morning to work my 4am-12pm job, after that I quickly had to go home and change to then have a full day of classes, there were days that I only got three hours of sleep. It has been a long journey, lots of sacrifices and challenges but I’m almost at the finish line. I’m graduation in June and I feel very satisfied with all my accomplishments. The thing that makes me the happiest is knowing how proud my kids are of me and knowing that I instilled in them that dream that I had as a little kid of getting an education.



    I’ve never enjoyed school. When I was a kid, it was rare for me to understand what was going on in class. I remember a time in which a teacher asked me what 2+2 was, and I was only able to answer 4 because I copied another girl ahead of me who was asked the same question. I couldn’t understand how coins represented money, nor could I add a dime to a nickle. I didn’t get the difference between left and right until I was in middle school, and when I was shown how to do something with my hands like making a bracelet my brain would freeze and the teacher’s words would never stick. My version of homework help, if I was lucky enough to receive it, was being called stupid and told I had no future because I was always confused and struggled to pay attention. Otherwise, I would sit in a noisy living room occupied by my family and scribble on my homework random digits and words for the sake of it being complete. The expectation was that I would pass the grade each year and never get held back. And into my brain was pumped the dream of becoming a doctor, because I was a sick kid and who wouldn’t go ‘awe’ at a story about a sick kid who eventually became a health care provider. This expectation stuck even when I would miss a week or more of school because I was hospitalized, and when I went onto to middle school and was behind in every single class– including gym, in which an overweight me couldn’t handle the huffing and puffing induced by trying to catch up to everyone else. This expectation even clung tightly onto me when I was in High School, when I couldn’t sit still or think straight, and daydreamed all the time. I was reminded of this expectation while I sat by smart girls whose parents had sent them to private schools all their lives and invested nearly all their income in hiring them tutors. That expectation itched at me when I had to go back to school with flashbacks of nearly bleeding out after a procedure-gone-wrong, and that time when I was sent to school with chest pain that made it painful to even move. When I took my last nursing final, I sighed. I sighed because I survived.


    Anthony L

    Experiences that formed both my strengths and weaknesses trace all the way back from when I started preschool. In preschool, I was taught to share with others and trust your classmates. I consider this to be my first learned weakness, as not everyone is trustworthy and will sometimes set you up for failure. This was a lesson that I learned later on when I entered middle school, my first strength, you can’t trust anyone and you must be wary of betrayal. My class in my catholic middle school was labeled as the “Class from hell” as none of the children were respectable to any degree, only an handful of the girls and 3 boys were the only ones that you could count on being decent students. Another one of my “strengths” that I gained was being able to judge someone for having good enough character. Seeing how the students acted in and outside of class I was able to pick out the ones who were okay to be around and trust to a certain degree. I always tried to get assigned group projects with them because I knew that they would actually get their half done instead of leaving all the work for me to do. Speaking of which, for the group projects we always had to present which led me to identify a hidden strength of mine. For a few of the final projects that were assigned by the principle herself, we had to complete a set criteria in order to pass, half the criteria was based on the way you presented. “You must keep eye contact with the crowd and make your project sound ‘eye catching’ as you explain and know exactly what it was about without the need of looking at your note cards”. So while my other group members were explaining about (I think it was a theme park) it was soon to be my turn to present my part of the project. By the time we were switching out for speaker, I threw my note cards in the trash, put on the most excited voice I could muster and improvised the next thing I was going to say off the top of my head. Pointing to each thing on every slide and explaining it with any improvised detail I could remember. That’s right, improvising from memory was the strength I was alluding to this entire time. Later that day I was called down to the principle’s office and was offered the position to be the person who reads out some encouraging speech and the names of people who gained awards for graduation. I turned it down, but later on when I was in high school I kept expanding on this strength by using any and all information I gained to train my memory and make it sound as if I knew exactly what I was talking about. Throughout high school, my main focus was on training myself to retain facts and keep them active somewhere in my mind. I expanded this into it’s own category of strength that I affectionately refer to as my mental hard drive. My memory isn’t photographic, but I can pull out necessary facts I would need by slightly jogging my memory with little refreshers. For example I would point to a specific part of my body and remember what’s the name of the bone I’m pointing at. By the time I reached college, a very specific English teacher had a hand in giving me my last strength. He gave me the advice of “If you get stuck and don’t know how to start an assignment, just start writing and see where it takes you, and once you’re done you should revise it until it looks amazing” I learned that eventually any nonsense that you’ve written down can eventually fit the criteria if you try hard enough when revising it. Some writing assignments feel so difficult because you have no idea what to do when you haven’t written anything yet, but once you have something written, the problem of how to make it fit the criteria becomes so much smaller and easier to mold into completion. Like a making a key for a specific lock, If you start with a wood block and keep shaving away at it, eventually you’ll make a wooden key to open it. If you keep revising your work after it’s written, you’ll eventually complete your assignment. My entire academic life story didn’t have too many weaknesses, but that’s because it’s hard to trust others in a world like this. I find the best way to get rid of a weakness like this is to learn from it and turn it into your strength. Don’t be too trusting of others, pick and choose your friends wisely, and be wary.


    Jennifer Sears

    Hi Everyone,

    These educational memoirs are really powerful. We’ll look at some of these in class, but please take time to read your peers’ writing on your own. If you have not submitted yet the board is still open for a couple of hours. Get your work in for the Participation Credit!



    My educational experience is not much smooth. I saw many up and downs during my studies. I am an average student who doesn’t like to study all time. i just read once or listen in class carefully, which is enough for me to understand the concept and methods. i used to get good grades when i was in my primary, secondary schools. My grandmother who got no opportunity to go to school knew the importance of education . She is my source of inspiration, she used to make me wake up early and do my home works and do some study during exams. That time i used to get angry why is she doing this, but now i know the reason. To succeed in life, education is very important and she wanted me to study as more as i can and succeed in life.

    I did my +2 in major science with math and biology because i wanted to be either doctor or an engineer. I passed my +2 and started to work because of some problems. After, few years i came to USA, and wanted to continue my study back but the place was very new for me and i had no body to guide me in a proper way. So, i kept doing work for few years and remembered my grandmother’s saying. After many problems, i joined City Tech college to pursue my bachelors degree to be a successful person in life. What i realized from my educational experience is that if we have somebody to guide in a proper track our journey will be smooth and easy if not we will waste times in confusion.


    Stephanie Hernandez

    I finally decided to return to school it was because at that point in my relationship I realized I needed to be my own person , I had spent the past nine years thinking of everyone but me, However, during the time I had been out of school I was working in a school as an assistant teacher. During that time I got to see education in a different perspective but also how it had evolved from the time I had went and this truly had a big impact, When beginning to work at my job I saw how different kids were and how schools now make sure to make every student feels included by accommodating their needs, well at least I can say it is something the teachers do for the students at our school. This has one made me see me and how I learn in a different light, and two has made me find a new desire and eagerness to grow and learn as well as one day hopefully inspire others to want to learn.
    My son is the first person I have tried helping by sharing my experiences and struggles, he and I are one in the same. He has so many ideas and loves to do different things and build but also really dislikes certain subjects and struggles in certain areas. I try to guide and advise him through them but of course sometimes one’s age and understanding isn’t where it needs to be yet. I know he will get there because he is farther in his growth and education than I was when I was his age and I know he will have a better and brighter future, he will just get there on a different day and a different way.


    Genesis Hiciano

    The story ” Getting to here from There: One Woman’s Journey from the South Bronx to the Academy” was very relatable to me. I lived in the same situation that Yolanda Sealey – Ruiz lived in and hope that anyone who is in this situation can rise up. In my educational biography I will reflect on my experience with family expectations for attending school and graduating. I have two aunts that have officially graduated from college . One of them is starting her own business and the other one is applying to begin her master. In majority of the conversations I have with them, 90% of it is about the importance of education. This has placed a pressure on me to graduate from college and continue seeking a higher level of education to meet their expectations of me. They do not verbally say it , but I know that these conversations we have are them saying to me that I have to graduate from college and keep advancing in my educational career.


    Arianna Betancourt

    My favorite subject I had in all my years has to be my culinary class in high school. I went through tremendous stress while progressing through my culinary classes in high school. My culinary classes in high school were just like any professional culinary class. You had to start from the basic of sanitation, to learning equipment, learning to convert recipes, and finally you’re allowed to be in a kitchen with a knife. Chef Brickel was absolutely terrible. he had no room for errors or nonsense. It was my dream to get into these culinary classes, to actually be in a professional kitchen. Within the week, I was questioning what in the hell kind of decision I made. I am an A+ student and barely passed the damn cooking class. I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t know. How slow I was; how much knowledge I had to obtain in such a small amount of time. The stress I endured throughout the freshman year of high school was intense. My chef showed me how miserable life can be, and how unfair it is. His class was the first class that opened the doors of life. How the real world functioned. As I progressed through the class, I obtained a full scholarship to International Culinary Center. Chef Brickel was a tough teacher, but he had all the right intentions for his students. He spoke the truth and told you how it was. His class was hard, but life is harder. He was just trying to prepare us for the next journey ahead.
    The next journey for me was Culinary school which I had completed back in 2020. After, I planned on continuing my studies at City Tech. At the beginning, City Tech thought it was okay. However, I never realized how unprepared I still was for what was ahead. Some classes I’ve had were extremely difficult. While juggling my two part-time jobs just to keep some cash in my pockets. I was behind in math tremendously; everyone was understanding concepts at a faster rate and I barely could keep up. Some professors don’t care for the reason for extension, if the work isn’t done- it’s not accounted for. Plan your time around your inconsistent jobs schedule with your five classes. Going to college online has shown me how lazy students can be while doing classes. How many also don’t understand this event is just the thin lining. It gets harder, and your skin needs to get thicker. From every experience I’ve had starting with my Chef, I grow just a little more with the stress that comes with it. I am not the same person I was a year ago, or two years ago. You learn how to thrive under pressure and will seek ways to better yourself. The tunnel does look dark sometimes when stress is overwhelming. Just remember you’re never alone in that tunnel.

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