ALMOST . . . Finals in Comp I and Algebra still to go. Definitely not going to be the best week!
The assignment was to write a first person essay reflecting on the Composition I course I took this semester. I’m at an 89% (B+) going into this essay and my final exam. Here’s to hoping my wry sense of humor helps to tip the scale.
Wish me luck 😉
Looking back over the past semester, I realize the truth about the experience I had in my Composition I class was quite different than I had originally envisioned. I love both reading and writing, yet I struggled throughout the entire term. I can easily say it was a painful time for me. In hindsight, though, I can see that some of the frustration came from my lack of understanding of what I was getting into when I registered for this class. It’s a required course that teaches the basics of the English language. It’s not as exciting as someone who loves to read and write might think. Instead, I’ve come to realize that, while Composition I may not be a very interesting class, it was a very necessary one for me to take.
When it comes to writing styles, I can safely say I have one, but I don’t know what I’d call it. I’ve been a blogger for seven years now, basically because people read my writings and always say I should write more. I also wrote an illustrated children’s book when I was eleven. My classmates would beg the teacher to let me share my updates. When I discovered blogging, it reignited a passion born in my childhood, neglected largely due to the usual distractions of adult life.
The course material for this class stated that the types of essays we would learn to write would not be like writing for journalism or my usual online content. Until I wrote my first essay, I didn’t really comprehend that statement. I learned most from writing the third person essays. I’d say it’s probably the average person’s least used writing style. While writing in third person, I felt like I was writing a research paper or a chapter for a textbook. It was a very strange feeling to tackle this writing style but the effort showed me how necessary it was for me to learn the technique and to practice it. It has already improved my descriptive abilities. It will help me create better informative pieces for my activism work as well.
When I began this class, I had hoped to challenge my own writing ability and improve my wacky writing style. I have to admit I felt that hope fade quickly when the first paper I wrote did not receive a very graceful grade. I worked harder on the rest, making sure I stayed within the confines of each style we were working with. It felt dry, sterile, too neatly put together. As I wrote, I had to stay focused on a narrow subject. Each time, I began to veer off that subject, I had to bring myself back in line or I might face another dreaded bad grade. This didn’t feel challenging to me. I felt like the pieces I wrote were limited, very structured. I struggled. It was uncomfortable and I just wanted to be done with each one as soon as I began. We approached the end of the semester and my essay grades steadily improved. I found it humorous that while I felt I was writing drivel, my professor thought I was doing much better. I have to admit, it was then I began to reflect quite a bit on the irony of the whole situation.
As I reflected, I went about writing my essays and kept posting in my blogs. As I wrote my blog posts, I became more critical about staying focused. Each time I veered off topic, I found myself deleting whole sentences to bring the focus back where I had started. As I proofread using my new skills, I saw my information become more comprehendible for my followers. Because I had taken the time to reflect on my experience in Composition I while I was consistently writing different pieces, I came to realize that this course isn’t supposed to be challenging and exciting in the way I had hoped it would be. It’s not a class about creative writing.
Composition I is about the basics of the English language. Everyone should know more than most do about our native language. For me, I know much more than when I started this class. My writing will continue to improve with what I learned; and going forward, I will pay more attention to how I write, and not just what I write. As I close out this course and go back to my own style of writing, I still don’t know what to call it, but I can say it’s been positively affected by taking Composition I. I have to admit, while it can be challenging, it can also be rewarding to learn the boring parts of the English language. I have to thank my professor for that one.
I do know staying in the parameters of academic writing can be dry and stiffling especially to a creative writer. Unfortunately, academic writing is more of a formula base writing style with required citations. Though frustrating, you did do well throughout the semester adhering to these parameters. However, DO NOT lose your creative writing side. It can serve you well in the ‘real world’. Fyi…your original writing style is often called ‘Flow of Consciousness”. Nice job on the Reflection.
–After grading this essay, you currently have your A. While you may have doubted the possibility of this in the beginning, I did not! Good luck on the final exam.