SPRING 2021 ENG 1141-OL07: Introduction to Creative Writing

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    Janrobert Paulino
    Participant

    My educational experience was rough. I was always expected to do perfect and I would always got compared to my cousin. Even when I had thought I did great and done my best. My parents would say you could always do better. I was always the shy kid in the back, never really talked to anyone and if I ever got called on I would freak out. I wanted to just coast by unnoticed. Highschool was a big shift in the way I handled school because I got put into a program called Avid. It was supposed to be a four year program, from freshman to senior year, that helped you prepare for college. The main goal was to improve your note taking skills by writing on this special paper the that had a format. on the middle of the page you would take your notes but then on the side you would write questions to yourself about the lesson. Then in the end you would have to summarize what you learned in the day. There would be monthly binder checkins to see if you were taking notes this way. Everybody would dread the day binders would be checked because not only would the notes be checked, the binder as a whole would be checked too. If pages were flying out or if the rings were messed up, you would lose points. Organization was another key point that the teacher wanted to focus on . Which would result in a evaluation of your book bag and folders. The teacher did not like seeing random pages at the bottom of the bag and would grade very seriously on this matter. I think Junior and Senior year is when the program really helped out the most. We were practicing how to write resume’s. How to do well in an interview. I remember she graded strictly on that project. From the way you walked up to her, to the handshake. If you were fidgeting as well. The class was a lot to take in because for the first time I couldn’t just hide away in the back anymore. This really challenged my social anxiety and it did bring a lot of stress. Then came senior year which had a major project that every former avid student had warned my class about. Which was the 25 page paper. I’m going to be honest and I’m going to say that I did not complete all 25 pages. I think mine was 18 if I remember correctly. If I had chosen a better topic maybe I could have written more, but it’s because of the skills the teacher taught me that year I was able to write so much. I remember specifically as well towards the end of the year we had one final celebration before graduating and she was thanking everyone for the four year journey and I remember her specifically calling on me and giving me a hug. I don’t remember what exactly cause this to happened but it was the first time that I ever felt seen and understood by a teacher. I was with this teacher for four years and I guess my growth from freshman to senior year really impacted her. She reassured me that I was smart and wonderful and told me to always stay true to who I was no matter what anyone said. So yeah I may have not been the best Student that my parents wanted me to be, but I was able to be the best version of myself. Now that I am in college I feel like my growth has only just begun.

    #72163

    Sobia Bashir
    Participant

    Experiences with family expectations for attending school and/or graduating

    My family’s expectations for me attending school AND graduating are very high. Coming from a Pakistani household, there are many struggles that one has to deal with. Parents want their kids to be the top of everything. If you get a 90 is some exam, they will expect you to get 100. Once you get the 100, they will say you should get higher, do some extra credit. They aren’t satisfied, and will keep expecting more from you. In my family, my eldest sister and two older brothers did not graduate from college. One of my brothers went for a year or two and dropped out because he couldn’t do it. So it was expected from my other sister and me to make our parents proud and happy.

    When I was in middle school, my relatives started to ask me what I want to be when I grow up. I didn’t know, so I would always say a teacher. They would say that I should be a doctor or engineer because they make a lot of money. At that time, I also thought about money, so I said maybe, we’ll see. But from my experience, not everything is about money, it’s what makes you happy as well.

    Then in high school, I was asked again and I said doctor. In my final year of college, one of the assistant principals I used to monitor for told me that I should go in the engineering field because I was good at math and I could do it. So when I went to register for my first semester classes, I said I want to do something in engineering. And I chose computer engineering. Once I started college, my relatives would question my parents and say things like “is she going to drop out as well, or continue.” As time went by, they would then ask about my grades and how I was doing, and talk about their children’s and their grades. That is Pakistani mentality; always comparing kids and grades and trying to show that one is better than the other, when in reality no one is better. I couldn’t let my parents down, so no matter what happened, I had to complete my education.

    #72164

    Michael Vanunu
    Participant

    Experiences that led me to pick the college I did at first was due to me dropping out of high school and not taking the SAT or ACT. I went to Kingsborough community college first because of these reasons and one more being that it was cheaper. Since I dropped out of high school (During my senior year), I had to take the GED before entering and I didn’t do that great on it, but I did pass all the subjects by just barely. Even though I was about one to two years out of school before going to Kingsborough, I only really had one or two objects in my way through the time I’ve been there. I’ve had to take one remedial class in English, and I failed one math class. I ended up finishing my time in Kingsborough community college with about a 3.3-3.4 GPA, which I was really proud of.
    I decided to go for my bachelors for information systems, to become a programmer. I got accepted to both Brooklyn college and City Tech. I decided because of my major my better path would be going to City Tech for my information systems degree. Right now, I’m in my second semester and I’m starting to struggle a bit with my classes, but I don’t regret my choice for coming here, to City Tech and am happy with my choice. I’m looking to graduate from this school with a bachelor’s degree.

    #72166

    Asalah Alhababi
    Participant

    When I came to the United States from Yemen, I was studying in high school. Therefore, I continued my education and I was a junior high school student. The problem I faced is that because Arabic is my native language, I struggled learning the English language. Arabic is different than English, Arabic has 28 alphabets. In Arabic you write from right to left and the words are written in a cursive script. Also, I learned Scince and Math in Arabic language, so it was hard for me to learn and comprehend these two subjects in English. Not only that I struggled understanding the US History. Even though, I learned English language in my school, and I went to English programs, it was not enough for me to learn the basic things about English.
    Nevertheless, all these obstacles didn’t stop me from going to school instead it gave me the strength and passion to achieve my dreams. In addition, my father was always beside me, and he supports me when I need him. I want to Fort Hamilton High School. I remembered going to every class holding my dictionary to translate the words I didn’t know because when you enter the building you loss the service connection of your phone, for that I could not use my translation app from my phone. The class that interested me in the high school was the math. In math class there was a great teacher named Mr. Chap who was a brilliante and respectful teacher. Mr. Chap was a nice teacher, and I always got a high score in his class. Mr. Chap liked to encourage his student no matter who they are or where they come from. He also gave his free time to help students and even after school he stayed in school for long time to help students. One day Mr. Chap asked me if I need any help with any other subject other than math and I told him that I’m having a tough time to pass the U.S History regents, so he told me that he is good in U.S history, and he told me when I have break. Luckily, my break time was during his break time, so he helped me in teachers’ room. I was thrilled for this opportunity, and I did accept it. He gave to me the last four years practice regents to help me. However, I faced discrimination, one day I came to the teacher’s room, and I didn’t find Mr. Chap, there was another teacher who came to me and asked me “Why I’m here every day” I told him that I’m getting some assistance in U.S History from my math teacher. Then, he said I shouldn’t be there, Mr. Chap is a math teacher not a history teacher, and the most words that hurt my feeling when he said, “You are Arabic and Arabic people can’t understand for that you will not be able to learn History or anything” I felt really bad because in my country I raised up learning to respect every teacher and I didn’t do anything. I just felt sad, and I want to cry. A few minutes later when Mr. Chap came, he saw me want to cry and he asked me about what happened I told him everything and he said to me please don’t worry about it I will talk to him, and you just must focus on your goal. He advised me the most inspired advice I ever heard, and he said to me, “Asalah you have to be strong and don’t let anything to stop you from accomplishing your dream, you will face people who want to help you and people who don’t, so you just need to believe in yourself and never give up.” His words really changed me in many ways It gives me the power to believe in myself and never think about negative people. For that, I passed the history regents because of God and his help. Thank you, Mr. Chap and I will use his advice throughout my education journey.

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