Karissa Smith Final Reflection I have always considered myself to be a decent writer because I am able to, was able to, write a paper in a jam and end up with a decent grade. This semester I realized I need to allow myself more time to complete assignments because previously I would hand in works that I knew I could do more with. This is another thing I learned about myself outside of English composition. What is the point of doing something if you aren’t trying your best? You don’t grow, or learn anything that way. I’ve been stuck in a comfort funk for quite some time. As a writer I believe I’m able to write fairly well with little time. That was something my friends had always given me a hard time about. My first college paper in History was due at 3pm on a Monday and I woke up at 11:00am, wrote the seven pages, and also got the highest grade in the class. However, I’m so used to writing this way that I haven’t really improved. The motivation department within me is lacking slightly; and so I just do what I know, and I don’t attempt to make anything I do perfect, just acceptable. This course made me realize that I’m being a fool. Everyone has insurmountable amounts of potential in life, not just in regards to writing. If I would just accept that it is real, maybe I could also accept happiness, and acceptance- Slightly unrelated, but I’m sorting through a lot mentally, and this prompt has aided that process. Back to the point: this class did impact my education as a whole, and my being as well. This class also taught me the technicalities of writing that everyone understands but cannot, and doesn’t care to label- like ethos, pathos, logos. Never in my life have a written a paper that was more than ten pages either, so this class taught me how to deal with that challenge. The issue I had with this paper, and every other project this semester because of this funk, was anxiety to start and finish anything. However, I really aggravated my stress levels by waiting until the last possible second to do everything. This class, and this paper especially has taught me why procrastinating really is a problem when it is so extreme. I’m not sure if my communication skills have improved at all, honestly; that goes for my actual writing as well. As I said, every class I’ve
taken has allowed me to write the way I’ve always written, and hasn’t really challenged my comfort zone. That being said, I want to take some sort of creative writing courses next year, some kind of writing course at least. This class and portfolio have made me realized that I have been so stuck in “staying sane” that I haven’t been improving much in any way. Although, it is possible the previous sentence in itself has contradicted its point. At this time, I feel I will be more adequately equipped to compose a paper, regardless of length. Project three made me flip the **** out. I realized that going into panic mode certainly doesn’t help the paper come to life. I still fear pretty much everythingespecially citing. I have not to this day created a works cited without the aid of a computer program asking only of me to plug in a few fragments derived via copy and paste. You need to stop being so chill in your grading, and accepting of projects past their due date. I super took advantage of that. Well, you don’t need to do anything … we are in college so I should probably be self-motivated by now. Just a thought, sorry. The first selection on my portfolio page is the Google map. It’s first because it was first and not too much else. I’m not sure whether or not I prefer this project to my audiophile. I really liked my Google maps because I feel like I was able to use expressive language; I tried to use a lot of imagery with thick description. I’m mildly proud of my Cadillac Mountain description, as well as my Carriage Roads description. In my opinion, there are a lot of emotions tied into those two passages. It is hard to tell however, because I am emotionally tied to those places. My intro, intro is also pretty catchy, I think. “When a family asks, “where do you want to go on vacation this summer?” most probably don’t think of Maine- even less know of Mt. Desert Island”… Don’t tell me otherwise. The boy in the glasses to my left in class also said he appreciated it via peer review. For the editing of this actual piece I just re opened the map, read all that I wrote, and revised everything that didn’t sound so good. I have an issue with sentence structure, it seems. I write how I talk, for the most part, although I do try to use bigger words to make my sub adequate writing seem more intelligible- see? Anyway, so I fixed the Carriage Roads
piece more so than any other piece. I’m still not totally satisfied but I think it flows more smoothly now. I tend to chop sentences up with a ton of commas and “ands”, and I think that passage was a victim of that bad habit. It’s a bit better now, the passage, not my writing. I don’t know how I would revise them if I revisited them, because I just revised them and they seem pretty okay to me. In regards to ethos, logos and pathos, I believe that a balance of the three is stronger than an extreme of any. Unless of course you’re some scientific dude whose job it is to write solely in logos. If you were a writer for instruction manuals you would obviously need ethos, and if you wrote for children pathos would probably be most important. However, with our prompts in this class, we had to appeal to people like ourselves, and for me personally, I believe it is necessary to have good punctuation and grammar, as well as facts while avoiding putting people to sleep. For my audiophile project I feel as though there should have been more information. Actually, I think that had the project been very clean and understandable it would have been effective in the initial opening of one’s eyes, which is important. However, I had wanted to be a bit more specific, while also supplementing the information with facts about the FDA because people don’t think about things like that. People just “get sick” and go to the doctor and get medication and take it and get better, supposedly. Because that’s all they know, and it drives me crazy! That is the issue with religion too, and really, anything else that has been so engrained into the minds of society that it is no longer thought about, just followed. Anything that gives someone an excuse to live that way is problematic, and scary. Point being, I really had wanted to expose the FDA for what it is; I don’t believe that every being in the FDA is sadistic and profit hungry while lacking conscious, however, I do think that there are many people who are that way and many don’t realize this because most of us are very sheltered. Comfy. So, if I could redo this project, and had I not waiting until the last minute, and had this project been slightly different in its point, I would have chosen more detail. Throughout my file however I just commented on the different flaws that I didn’t realize before I handed it in for a grade. Most were very simple things like
stuttering and bad sound clips. I tried to go super pathos and logos with this one, so that I could scare people, and give them legitimate reasons to be afraid, while supplementing with solutions. Project three is fine. I don’t even want to think about this paper anymore. I uploaded them as PDF files (I’ve never done that before) and so they’re super organized and obtainable; you’re welcome. I think my paper was pretty good… I also think had I not fooled around and actually tried to get it done within a reasonable time it could have been better. I freaked out a bit and now, it’s labeled as hell on my portfolio- I’m not sure if it’s appropriate but it makes sense, and the world is warming… hell… warm. It makes sense. For this paper I really liked my introduction, although it was super corny and possibly childish in my attempt at humor, I feel like it’s enough for everyone who reads it to understand and relate to, while also displaying the seriousness of it all. This is the first time you will be seeing this paper, so I couldn’t really revise it before I put it onto the website, however I worked on this paper almost every day for a week and each time I went back to it I re read and changed as I went along. From what I’ve realized while writing this paper and throughout the course as well, I need to stop making sentences so long and packed. I need to stop writing like a talk, and I need to stop saying “and” and starting sentences with “I”. I need to take more time to work on projects and assignments, and I need to care, a lot more. I just need to figure out why.