Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Freshman English...Not the Death of Me After All!!!

Before I begin, lets have a round of applause for Ms. Tanya Sasser! For this being my first English class at JSU that I thought I would completely dread, I actually ended up LOVING it.  I was expecting this hybrid class to be completely ridiculous, but Ms. Sasser definitely made it meaningful and worthwhile. She incorporated different methods of teaching that, overall, made learning much more effective. She also didn’t do the typical “outline,” “rough draft,” “essay” type of English class. She used blogging as an alternative which, might I say, was very effective for me personally. Because of her, my writing skills have made a drastic improvement. Let’s take a look at my progress over the past couple of months:
In my third post, COLLEGE: The Good Of It In a Nutshell, you can see where I expressed my opinion more and began to lengthen my work compared to my two previous blog posts. I went from about 260 words to nearly 700.  I also began incorporating quotes, links, and graphics from a variety of sources. And let’s not forget photo pin! I can honestly state that I was one of those people who copied and pasted images from Google onto my own work, thinking it was legal. Boy was I wrong! I learned so much about how to do things the right way instead of the “doing it just to get it done” way.
My fourth post, “You can have more degrees than a thermometer, but is college really enough?” emphasizes the fact that simply going to college and retrieving a degree is not enough to make you a successful human being. Being successful requires motivation, determination, courage, sacrifice, and a strong desire to be the best at EVERYTHING you do in life. Throughout my post I added multiple sources to support my thesis. I spoke about how the sources contributed to my claim and I even made it relatable so that people reading my post would better understand what I was saying.
                        In the article, The Case Against College Education, the dominating opinion is that college is not always enough to guarantee success now or in the future, nor does it always do the job in preparing an individual for their chosen career field.

“It is absurd that people have to get college degrees to be considered for good jobs in hotel management or accounting — or journalism. It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs. The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it.”
Throughout my fifth post, I took a more personal approach by focusing on intergeneration collaboration. I seemingly managed to connect with the audience, especially my own generation. I included vivid language and posed questions to keep the reader’s attention.
                        While reading an excerpt from the book “Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis,” I came across one particular passage that stuck out so vividly to me. It told the story of a girl who was living in the BIG, BOLD state of New York on a $25 per week stipend from volunteering with $60,000 in debt from student loans. (Now you and I both know that this is a rare occurrence. C’mon, whom do you know that would volunteer for ONLY $25 per week? Especially in New York!) She spoke about how “society has already forcibly stamped “Generation Y” on [her] forehead, at the sight of which older generations stop and scour the floor in search of [her] pacifier.” (Is this not true? Do older generations not think of us as “innovative, but impatient,” and “smart, but selfish?” And is it also not true that we “youngsters” think of adults as incapable of even coming close to knowing how the technological world operates? Think about that for a moment………)
            …OK, moment over.

I think that my approach on making the audience feel as if they had read the book for themselves was a success.Overall, I believe that I have radically improved as a writer. My posts show for themselves that at the beginning, my writing style was more timid and non-exuberant. Now however, I have found and accepted my writing style and continue to thrive to get better throughout my English career at JSU!
photo credit: whatmattdoes via photopin cc
 photo credit: Ken Whytock via photopin cc
photo credit: adinasullivan via photopin cc

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What'd You Ask? Why College? (Revised Edition!)

Why College, huh?  Well, to me, college equals FREEDOM. Now when I say freedom, I don’t mean the typical teenage freedom: partying, drinking, staying out all night, or doing things I wouldn’t do if I were at home. I mean freedom to be the best I can be without any circumstances holding me back, freedom to take charge of my life, freedom to seclude myself from my family’s horrible tradition of not putting their best foot forward and not setting strong examples for my generation. I know I’m throwing a lot at you and you probably feel like your missing a bit of information from my life, right? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my past:
 When I was a kid, I could never come to terms and figure out why the majority of my family was always struggling and burdened by things that I was so unaware of at the time. Every time we came together, there would always be at least one person that was under the weather or in dyer need of support, financially and emotionally. Whenever my elders would begin to talk about things that “weren’t for kids ears,” they would always shoo the kids out of the room, all of them except for me. They didn’t want us to see or hear their struggle. But me being the youngest at the time, I was considered the special one or the “favorite.” It was ok for me to be in the room because of course a little na├»ve kid like me wouldn’t know how to piece together what they were saying or comprehend the strong discouraging emotion that was reflecting on each and every one of their faces. Little did they know, I was very observant and had what some would call an overly active memory.
So as I grew older and began to notice more and more, things started to become clear to me. In my school system, we were introduced to the idea of college at a very early age. By the time second grade rolled around, I was convinced that college “makes people happy” and “gives people money” and “makes life easy” and will one day help me become the “doctor” or “scientist” that every little kid wanted to be. And then it hit me… “Why hadn’t the majority of my family gone to college? Why would they do such a thing? Is this why they are always so unhappy? It has to be! They didn’t go to college, so they didn’t have a good chance at becoming successful, so they don’t have that much money so life is hard for them.” I noticed that with the exception of my mom and one out of 10 of my aunts, no one in my family had achieved any form of higher education outside of high school. It all started to make sense to me. Watching some of my cousins being taken away from the family because their parents couldn't provide a suitable living place for them because of their lack of education and money, and also seeing some of the things my family members were doing to try to survive quickly made me realize that I did NOT want to follow in their footsteps and live my life like they were living theirs. I had to find a way to become more than what I was surrounded by. So, for me, college was my way out. I chose to go to college because I figured that if I kept pushing myself, and kept striving to be better than my best, then I would get to a point in life where I could live FREELY, without burden, and could eventually help my family build themselves up. I’ve always strongly believed that knowledge is power, and if I were to ever come to a point in life where I lost all my possessions, I would still have my knowledge, and with it I can create a better world for myself and even others at any time.  

 photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc
photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc