New York City College of Technology
Professor S Schmerler
English 1121- E115
May 21, 2019
As the end of this semester approaches, I find myself with ever growing willpower and courage to finish this semester strong. I used to have a history of not finishing what I started (academically). My priorities would get wrapped up in real world problems like paying bills, having a social life, and maintaining family relations. I would take the experience of being in a class learning for granted. I didn’t care.
I found this English 2 composition class to be encouraging. Unlike the other (three) English 1121 classes I have taken. One of the main takeaways I learned from Professor Schmerler’s class is: Permission. In this class its about giving yourself the permission to write. Everything is writing. The poetry I wrote in a notebook somewhere about stationary pens is writing. So, am I a writer? Yes. I am a writer. Am I a “good” one? I don’t know. But I know there is always room for improvement. Even though this semester is over, this year is not. Perhaps this will inspire me to write more “pen poems”. Maybe on the train. Or on a plane. Taking the bus. Wherever it is, I know I must (write).
This class helped me with my, not phobia nor fear but, caution of writing. I feel myself growing the confidence to write just for the act of writing. I know that to grow as a writer I must detach myself from the words. Detach from the idea that anything and everything I write must be “good”. The purpose of writing should be for authenticity.
Each unit in our curriculum taught me more about myself as a writer.
Unit 1 started off the semester with constrained in-class writing assignments. Those assignments helped me realize how I should continuously strive to expand my vocabulary. By removing certain letters or words from my writing I had to find new ways to express myself
Unit 2 helped me get out of my comfort zone. I had to take a specific form of writing and transfer the content into another form. This assignment helped me notice the different genres we see in our day-to-day life. Everything is a genre. This unit also reinforced my skills on how to translate information in order to transfer it to another format (and possibly another platform).
Even though Units 3 and 4 were short units, I felt that the skills I used in the previous units helped me get through these last units. The skill of adapting and transferring information from Unit 2 helped me visualize a media format for the multimodal project.
Professor Schmerler – Thank you for a great semester 🙂
To make a 20oz Tropical Kick you will need:
English 1121 – E115
Professor S Schmerler
March 4, 2019
Permission, Program, Pearl
Freedom is many different things to different people. It’s about being at ease to do and reach your own potential without any of life’s day to day hindrances. To some it is liberating or a second chance. To others it is overwhelming, an endless choice of options too vast to explore or to begin to comprehend. Some believe that freedom is more of a chaotic good and that constraint pertains to the mind and spirit rather than the physical state. Malcolm X’s autobiographical excerpt recounts that his experience of being in a physical constraint [prison] never made him feel less free. If anything, being confined helped him find his way into books and knowledge, his route to freedom. Freedom is permission to live without self-restraint regardless of constraint.
In my experience, finding freedom is a continuous challenge. Following high school and going into the “real world” , I find freedom to be exasperating. What I refer to is that the lack of regime leaves me with many possibilities. As children we are conditioned into our young adulthood when to do things and how-to act of a certain manner. No longer having everything laid out but now with full rein of my own decisions and time. In my adulthood there is the recurring theme of time management. The eternal quest to finding the time to go to school, work a full time job, have an active social life.
The necessary chore of taking classes, graduating and obtains a degree or two or three. If and when I have the time to take them in addition to the time of following through with the corresponding assignments. In high school I had a lot of structure to work with. Now it does not exist. I have noticed that this new freedom makes me feel wary. I feel cautious with lack of structure or guidance and it makes me doubt if my writing is “right”. As grade school students we are programed to write for an objective grade. Therefore structures and rules were something I leaned onto for grading survival. Without this, freedom is a new concept I must accustom to in this brave new world of written word.
In my personal life its creating the right sort of balance that agrees with my social relationships . The one most important being the relationship with myself. Finding freedom in means of peace of mind is a difficult thing I’ve challenged myself continually to accomplish. I suffer from what may be an acute form of depression that, redundantly, creeps up and strikes in passing moments. My denial to be properly diagnosed is possibly the very reason I state this. With all the light mental illness has received in the past years it is common to say , or rather ask: “Who hasn’t experienced the swinging motions of depression? Or battled with the inner voice we hear inside our head that beats a negative tone to which we carry out our day”. Anxiety. That which I have grown to call it and give it a name. To name it is to give it a space and recognize its existence. Once we do that, we can find a way to analyze an issue, a problem, and ultimately treat it. Freedom is acknowledging all of the above and figuring out the next step to becoming a better , happier you. In light of this, I’ve recently made changes to my home environment in hopes to better my overall mental wellbeing. I decided out with the dulled out seafoam green color that’s covered my walls for the past decade. In its place appears a serene polished pearl cream color that welcomes tranquility. They say that sight and smell are our two strongest senses. With the visual appearance of my room changed I went ahead and bought aromatherapy candles to appease the other sense. Lavender and cedarwood. Freedom of the mind is the soul seeking solace…. to the scents of Bath and Body Works.
Something that I have had to teach myself to do is to accept help. To take the weight off of myself and let another assist me when I’m drowning in the pressure. To let myself be taught. As well as accept that I don’t know everything and admit I am only human. That’s it okay to let someone in and help you unwind yourself from this tight coil of anxiety. This concept of finding freedom is a continual endeavor I aspire to achieve. I see it as the state of fully having a grasp of your surroundings so that it all works together effortlessly.
The Fear (without descending letters)
An event that I fear the most on a constant basis is the finite life of this wonderful elixir I have in front of me. This coffee bean immersion , a caramel concoction , a “just-add water” fix. Without this drink I’m not sure how I survive the 24 hour rotation around the sun. I fear it’s end such a drink is the motivator at the start of the clock and the vital shot of animation that I need in the late hours of the dark. This caramel latte of mine is the current love of mine’s life. To lose it would be a heartbreak immensible… Also , coffee isn’t free.
The Cure (attempted without using ascending letters)
My relief, a cure to finite coffee is more than a caffeine switch, rather the solution to a problem? Why do I need coffee ? Why? The cure is in the problem. Or perhaps a substitution Coping with loss. Loss of people’s presence , loss in affection. Coffee supplies dopamine. He provided some of that. Time for another vice? Or rather another view. Be your own vice. Put your wants in perspective. Stop chasing small highs. Go for the continual growing ones. Invest in your growth. Paint your cursed room. Buy that Ikea bookcase. Get those prada glasses you’ll only wear once. Splurge yourself. You were more than a bitter job, find another. Be productive in yourself. South Korea is 16 hours away from your mental health. Too young to focus on anyone but yourself.