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Reflection Letter

Luis Ciriaco

Professor Morgen


6 May 2022

The Joys of Writing I Learned In A Semester

What always intrigued me about writing was the idea of writing with a purpose. An interesting aspect of writing is how influential words come together to form a sentence that can provide a powerful message, providing underlying tone or emotions that are not explicitly stated but the audience can note the expression through the words read or told, and or tell a story that could range from fiction or describing a certain point in time in the form of a story. Another key aspect of what makes the idea of writing unique are the many different forms of  writing that are applied to everyday scenarios. For example, one person can write an idea that can help project sales in a specific industry, or another person can write an informal piece to try to persuade the audience to side on an opinion. The many formalities and techniques on what brings writing alive reflect on the person who is writing whatever. What separates writing from many core subjects is the idea of learning something new as you progress as a writer. The idea of mastering writing is not that it is impossible, no, it is just that there is always something new that is being implemented to the craft. 

Before commencing my ENGRD 101 class, my ideas of writing were, in a sense, superficial, only grasping what made sense to me and what was accepted at a high school level. But, the more I participated in class discussion, the wide variety of graphic memoirs/comics read and interpreting them, and the assignments I worked on opened me to a wide variety of ideas and concepts I never knew existed with writing. The class made me realize one crucial concept that will linger with me through college and beyond: The joys I learned in writing throughout the semester.

When  I commenced my writing endeavors, I was just barely understanding the basics of writing: whether it was constructing sentences or different types of essays, I couldn’t fully grasp the main construct on why I was writing. In other words, I felt as if I was just writing to write in order to fulfill a general education requirement. I even believed that my writing had no room for improvement and what was left of my comprehension was what was gained. As I started to progress more as a writer throughout high school, however,  I started to gain more insight on writing. Being able to construct five paragraph essays analyzing specific text was just the beginning of improving my writing capabilities. It wasn’t until I had enrolled in my first-year writing class (ENGRD 101) that helped solidify my writing capabilities as well as acknowledge a shift in my writing craft.

In my first-year writing, the learning objectives were to improve and develop your writing, critical thinking, and communication skills, as well as go in depth with rhetorics and utilizing the idea of images and words to express a certain aspect of writing. One assignment that embodied all of the criteria was the Halfa Kucha. The idea of a Halfa Kucha derives from pecha Kucha, in which the spin is that my classmates and I perform a presentation that compares and contrasts two pieces of the text we read using 10 slides and each transition being 20 seconds. What was really intriguing about this assignment, at least in my perspective, was being able to generate ideas and topics to discuss all while trying to manage your time as efficiently as possible. Additionally, trying to think of other things to incorporate in your presentation, made me wonder the following: “Additionally, trying to think of nine central topics as well as the accompanying images took time and made me rethink many things such as ‘how could this topic shift to the next topic, and how are they related,’” (Reflection on Halfa Kucha). When reflecting on this aspect, I found it tedious as I wanted to cover different central ideas that support the prompt. Additionally, the transition from one slide to another had to be effective and smooth, allowing for the audience to grasp what you are saying. This part of the presentation put my creative abilities to the test, which I really enjoyed. When it came time to present, being able to voice out your analysis clearly and showcasing your thoughts and concepts to your peers under a time constraint required practice and efficiency. This presentation showcased the idea of getting your ideas across in a concise and presentable manner, and it made me understand better the fundamentals of this course: being able to spark your creativity and improving your analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. 

One of our prominent assignments was to write a literacy narrative on past experiences that shaped the way we interpret reading and writing. I decided to write about how a high school essay was able to evolve my sense of writing to what it was (key word “was”) today. I turned it in and received feedback: professor Morgen state that it was a well constructed narrative, but didn’t expound enough on the prompt as it was focusing more on the narrative rather than the reflection such as the ending point that was left off on the interest of writing in Hip-Hop/Rap. Receiving the feedback made me ponder on what was stated, and then it hit me: when writing, you have to be concise in your narrative and focus on the crucial aspects that will strengthen your narrative. I later worked on my second narrative, which was to expound more upon your fort narrative, and when writing I was able to express my purpose of writing more clearly. I was thinking about my audience and the prompt given and how these two concepts go hand and hand. Reflecting upon my first narrative and what could have been improved, I started to expound upon how Hip-Hop/Rap has indulged itself as a writing technique, as well as how my passion for writing grew: “writing has been a passionate hobby that has grown on me in a matter of years. Writing has allowed me to express myself through essays, emotions, and music,” (Luis Narrative II). Writing throughout my years has been an uphill going forward, with my craft slowly i porving, and learning new material and tactics to better my writing. Writing has been a key aspect throughout my life, and being able to incorporate it in college is something I look forward to. 

Another integral part of this class was the weekly Sunday Sketches we had to complete. These sketches range from different prompts but circulated around the same concept: creating your own piece. From recreating a movie scene, to resting a three panel comic, each Sunday Sketch provided an opportunity to open up your creative side and do what you want with your assignment all while following the guidelines provided. Additionally, a reflection detailing on how the process came to be for a certain Sunday Sketch as well as ideas behind your creative work. One of the assignments that stood out to me was using an everyday object of some sort to create a drawing. I was thinking of many things, and I noticed that my friend was using a right triangle tool and I thought of the idea of a race car … but in space ! I was able to draw it floating in outer space and reflecting upon the assignment it made me realize something: how your mind can perceive many things utilizing the shapes given around you. For example, the fact that I was able to see a race car through a right triangle tool used for architectural work is interesting. The fact I was able to visualize that helped me realize the creativity that was able to spark. It made me look at things at different angles, allowing me to interpret and analyze things through different lenses. Attached below is the image I drew: 

Throughout my first-year writing, I was able to experience the many virtues of writing. What I enjoyed about this course is how well I was able to express the class outcomes in each assignment that was given. Going back to my first narrative, there was room for improvement that could have been done. Going into the second narrative, I analyzed the feedback that was given to me and was able to sculpt a more in depth essay that answered the prompt. What I realized throughout the process of writing my second narrative was how much I improved from my first writing to my second: being able to explore how I came to enjoy writing, learning more about concession, and being able to express many ideas with an essay all came together in the construction of my second narrative. This narrative essay provided insight on how I was going to construct my analytical essay on two graphics that we read in class. Being able to implement techniques and other aspects of writings I learned in the beginning of the class allowed me to visualize how I will be able to implement them in future English classes. Furthermore, the creative and communication skills that were explored will allow me to present more future projects or assignments at a more concise and clear point. Being enrolled in this class made me realize how much I enjoyed reading and writing all over again. The idea of integrating comics to sharpen our skills all while making the class engaging helped pave the ebay of how I see things from different perspectives. What sets English apart from other core subjects is that there is always something that can be improved or learned, and that is how I started to understand the joy of learning.