Author: Bilal

My journey

Student: Bilal Javed

Professor: Sarah Schmerler

English 1121-E115


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 My Journey

Dear professor:

            My journey in English class started just as any other class. I was scared at my first day. I have never been good with English. Also, I never understood purpose of standard English essay. I was scared that I might get some professor who is really strict. On my first day I got surprised when I saw class formation as a circle. There was fire chimney video in the back with slightly soothing music in the background. It kind of calmed me down. I lacked confidence. In past classes I would just sit in the back without participating. I used to have fear what if I say something wrong and get criticized. But professor Schmerler sat in the circle with us. Seeing professor sitting with us calmed me down somehow. Our first assignment was to write without using word “the”. At first I thought it would be hard. But, when I got into it; I realized that I was thinking outside the box in writing. It felt good. Being tri-lingual, I have always had trouble with my vocabulary. I had 2 more assignments with restraints of ascending and descending respectively. For some reason these assignment of restraints made me feel confident about my vocabulary. Best thing about class was we all got to share our work with each other willingly and positive comments were encouraging too. This gave me confidence in speaking in all.

Dear professor, our first assignment was traditional essay on freedom. To be honest I have never liked traditional essays. Restraint assignments helped me write a better essay. Then we had to write a reflection. Which was new thing to me. But I liked that too. But professor Schmerler helped us through that too. I slacked off on this point and started to give up on English because of stress in other classes. I thought oh this class was going to be same as any English class. But my assumptions were clearly wrong. I am glad that I followed through.

Unit two of our class was about genres. Our first assignment was to write something that we love but as a recipe. I would be completely honest in the beginning; I was like whatttt! That does not make any sense. After I was done I became really happy. I felt like I had achieved a really high score in a video game. My skill was hiking. Not only I got to share that also, I had done it in a way that I have never done before. This was easy, but what followed it was a little challenging. I had to write it in any other genre. It was the most interesting assignment I had done for English. I wrote my skill as a flow chart. It took me a few tries to perfect that flowchart. Still this assignment was so interesting that I did it with my heart. Professor schmerler and samples from helped during this time. By the time I was done I felt that I can write anything into any genre or form as long as I have knowledge about that genre. This assignment felt most useful to me. I am a nursing student being able to write comfortable in charts in necessary skill for me.

Third phase of this class was inquiry based paper; Otherwise known as research paper. I have never liked English research papers. I feel like we have to cruise through some irrelevant books to find just the type of information that our instructor requires. I have never been able to quiet grasp the point of that. I was scared to write research paper. This has been the only reason that I dropped my English 1121 class before. But professor Schmerler explained it in a way that made sense to me. she gave us to write a research paper on your skill but this time put forth concerns of someone else who is professional on your skill. What made it interesting was that it was my skill that I had to use in life. But what hard was reading the arguments of other people on skill I think I am best at. Then, professor Schmerler explained the importance of reading. She said we underestimate power of reading. Sure enough, she was right. As I looked through articles about hiking and its impacts and precautions. I got to learn a lot of new things. For instance, I had no idea that there is a register at beginning of hikes that we had to log in before hiking. In this assignment Jelani, Muaz and professor Schmerler’s work sheet helped a lot.

4th phase of this class was really interesting. When I got this assignment, I was so glad that I become part of this experimental class. For the first time I was interested to be in English class. We had to transform our research into a 21st century technological way. Me, Muaz and Jelani choose to do a news cast. Which took a few tries to make. But the skills we had acquired through unit 2 of this class helped through it. Overall my journey in this class was most interesting. This helped me to actually gain some knowledge that was useful in everyday life as well as professional life. I hope they continue this way of teaching. So, other students can get to learn what I have learned. I would recommend professor Schmerler to everyone. She is best English professor that I have come across.

Freedom is state of mind

Bilal Javed 

English 1102 E115 

Professor: Sarah Schmerler 

Freedom is a state of mind 

Freedom is birth right to every person in my opinion. What is freedom? One might ask this question throughout different times in their life.Once I read somewhere, saying freedom is a state of mind. There was picture of bird in an open cage next it. That got me thinking that we define our own happiness and freedom. Moreover, it differs from scenarios.  We can control it just by putting restraints on our life. Sometimes restraints are the reason that bring out a passion of learning in people. So, one can argue that freedom is self-defined.  I would give certain examples from my personal and professional life experience that will explain how freedom or restraints are self-defined by a person.  

Freedom is knowledge and being able to do my own stuff to me. As I will explain as follow.4 years and 8 months ago, I was back home in Pakistan. I grew up in a small city called Wazirabad. You could drive around that city in 20 minutes on a motorcycle. There was not much to do. Yet I was not allowed to leave my city. I was 17 years old. All of my friends would visit bigger cities close by and do fun things. I felt envious of them because my parents were over protective. There were some good perspectives to it. But to me It felt like I was in prison. I had to find a way to channel my spare time. I spent most of my time using computer for gaming. As it turned out because of games. I had acquired a new skill of typing, computer hardware and software. I did not realize that up until I was required to perform a task required typing in my class. On that way when I was standing in my class only one with knowledge of technology. I had a strange feeling. This was a feeling of self-accomplishment. This was the feeling of freedom. Because I did not have to rely on someone to my task for money. I did not have to wait. all along I was looking for a feeling of being allowed to travel as a freedom. But as it turned out real freedom was being able to do my stuff on my own. 

Freedom is getting granted my rights. When I got to US, I was 17 years old. I had to support my family. Yet I was not legally allowed to work at that age. So, I took the first job I found on cash. I had to work on $50 a day for 11 hours every day. My job description included dealing with boxes that were heavy.  making space in a packed basement. And sometimes I had to take care of store owner’s home furniture jobs. Which were not part of job. I was supposed to be sales associate. I knew it was not legally right the way he was treating us. Sometimes he would make us stay 2 hours extra. There was no pay raise either. I felt trapped at that point. I wanted to leave but I had nowhere else to go. Also, I had to provide my family with financial support. As soon as I turned 18 I left that job for a job. That day I felt more free than ever. 

Freedom is being able to keep what I want to keep in my life. In my culture premarital dating in young age is seen as taboo. So, most people around their adolescence years consider freedom as being in a relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. Here is one such case of my friend. Thinking so he fell in love with this girl Samantha. He was happy in beginning. Thinking he is all free. He can do whatever he wants. But turned out the reality was different. His girlfriend was jealous type. She made him give up all his female friends at first. At this point he started to have a conflict with himself. Little did he know his feelings had become a prison for him. He was trapped in what he once thought was independence. He bared through this pain for a year. One day, she demanded of him to be disrespect his family and mother. At that moment his perspective changed, and he choose a freedom from that relationship. 

The point of these three events is to show that a person defines his/her own independence. Also, the case of relationship shows that person’s definition of freedom is changeable according to his/her life experiences. Yet I know some people who would find happiness; in scenarios where I felt imprisoned. In short, the meaning of freedom has changed a lot to me. However, at this moment, freedom is knowledge and independence of others to me. 


my fear and cure

My fear without descending letters:

I was 13 or 14 at the time. i had severe case of excessive water loss. doctor order an IV for the condition. the assistant entered a needle for IV in the left hand.  i don’t know if it was fear or what it was. i was not able to see. i was terrified. fortunate for me, i had a fine vision in 2 minutes after hand rub. but till this moment i fear blindness.

My cure  without ascending letters:

caring for my eyes, organs is a cure in my opinion. moreover, courage is necessary in over coming any anxiety.