Author Archives: cwb316

What’s on My Mind – finale

It is actually quite unusual to think about having a “free write” assignment, and often times they are used as methods of revealing oneself.  This sort of activity works well when getting to know someone, but for someone like me, they frequently are some of the most difficult tasks.  This is an opportunity for one to express any feeling or thought stewing in their mind, and for readers to attempt to break down the brain of the writer.  There is a whirlwind of reflection and ideas buzzing around in my head, but which one will interest the reader?  Which thought is worth putting into ink?  Or what might be intelligent and get the grade?

            For any piece of writing that is worth reading, there has to be a purpose or a goal from the writer.  Often times I feel that I do not live up to the standard set for me by others, and I am letting people down, especially loved ones.  I was raised to be a champion in everything I do, but lately I fail more than I succeed.  The question is: Does this define my success? Or lack of success.  There are multiple definitions and explanations for success, but who knows which definition is really accurate.  Some say winning defines success, others say getting a good grade, others say money, and some other people might say finding joy is success.  The point is, that there are many opinions when it comes to who is truly successful and what it means to have success.

            I believe that everybody has to find their own meaning to success.  They have to personalize a definition, and maybe after some time passes, they will tweak their explanation to better fit their goals.  With myself, success was always pleasing others, and making the people around me pleased with my accomplishments.  Winning a state championship that I promised my parents in high school was success, because I fulfilled the promise and they were happy with my feat.  Earning a scholarship at a division one college was considered successful to me because my parents, siblings, coaches, and teammates wanted it for me.  They were all satisfied with my scholarship, which meant success for me.  Now, I realized that none of those things were really for myself, and I never really felt successful from those triumphs.  Therefore, I had to find my own definition to live by, so that I can strive for personal success each and every day.

            With an accumulation of what I had learned from people telling me how to be successful, I modified my own personal way to set and achieve goals.  Success comes from the chance when preparedness and opportunity meet, so I must always be prepared for an opportunity.  Success is not pleasing other people or an accumulation of awards and accomplishments, but it is finding a level of peace and satisfaction, knowing I did everything I could and gave 100 % effort in the task at hand.  When I find inner peace and know that I gave it all I had to give, whether I achieved the goal I personally set for myself or not, I know that I succeeded.  I no longer worry about other people’s aspirations for me, but try to be prepared to achieve my own.


Too Far with Technology

On the Caravanserai webpage I found myself browsing for a few minutes, just scrolling up and down the page looking to read other college level students express themselves.  Before long I looked at the clock and found forty – five minutes quickly lost, due to the interesting pieces of information and opinions plastered all over the cite.

            One area that particularly drew me in was the post of the robot youtube video which received many comments.  I wanted to pull away from reading all the comments and posts this video caused but I truly was not able to stop reading.  Every single conversation between cleverbot and my fellow student classmates, which was left as a comment, was read by me.  Each one caught my curiosity, with our classmates taking stabs and coming up with witty responses for the AI system, and with the cleverbot creating no sensible replies to frustrate the real humans talking to it.  The whole situation constructed through this interactive system was quite amusing and entertaining.  On a few instances, I found myself literally laughing out loud, but that was just one interesting piece that caught my eye.

            Another fixation from the website that really forced me to start thinking is how we can have a completely technology based curriculum in a college setting.  Personally, I am not fond of the idea altogether, but assignments are addressed and posted through a website and there is little human interaction at all.  The robotic system talking to us students is too farfetched to think about, while being at a university practically taking an entire course online, but still being required to attend a classroom setting.


Reflection: What I Learned in 104

With English classes come many papers, which usually cause me to feel uneasy because I struggle with these.  This class was no exception to my feeling of discomfort, and it became instantly worse once we found out how the class would layout.  The course was going to be based online and all of our assignment would need to be submitted through the internet.  I did not like the sound of this.  We would be blogging, posting, and commenting to a webpage for assignments and activities.  From the start, I felt frustrated trying to figure out the steps to be taken to succeed in this course.  Everything was online, ranging from our announcements, to assignments, to simple discussions students were blogging and commenting about to each other.  Locating information took a while for me to figure out, but finally when I did, the situation became slightly less stressful.

            There was a lot of responsibility on the individual students to know their own assignments, when to post it, and the due dates.  The students were expected to venture out into the world wide webpage of our English 104 class to find the work they needed to complete and the information needed to accurately do this.  In class, there was time to explore the new website with our teacher and get assistance, but most of the exploring was to be done on our own time.  In downtime you could check out all the links and posts from our classmates, and there was actually a lot of interesting information to come across.  Unless the student did a lot of browsing on their own time or took full advantage of class time to know and understand the online portion of the course, they might find themselves a bit lost in class discussions and conversations.  In the classroom, our teacher would usually refer back to the online information while presenting a lecture, and the students who were familiar with what she was talking about were the ones who studied the web.  About once or twice a week, on average, readings would be posted online and expected to have been read, outlined, and printed off to be brought into class.  During a lecture, we would go over them and discuss the reading as a class, then have a journal to find what was learned from the reading.  The students who were not familiar with the internet readings, often found themselves lost in the classroom.  It was beneficial to take extra time to recognize oneself with the website which the class is based on.

            Not only was the class based through posting and blogging on a website, but even the textbook for the course was completely internet based.  This alone could cause for a mental breakdown from a student who is not exactly technology savvy, but we had to get through it.  I, myself, would much rather a physical textbook in which I could flip through the pages and look of content and information.  Unfortunately, that would not be possible as a part of this course.  We had to register online and search through a virtual textbook.  For others this may have been easier, but for me it just caused more stress.  In the end, I began to come around though to all the new customs of learning, and I greatly grew as a student from this course.  I am much better-rounded because this was the first time I had been involved in the style of teaching and learning.

            There are a few key pieces of information that I am able to take away from this course that I have learned and corrected from my writing.  Usually when writing it was not for a purpose other than a grade, which is still usually going to be the case, but this class broke down writing for the little sections and explained them.  I had actually been using some of the intricate parts of writing before, but had not known their purpose or meaning.  Pathos, Ethos, and logos are important parts to writing any piece and I had never heard of those terms before this class, and probably did not use them accurately in most of my writing. Another big part of this class I will be able to use in the future is the correct ways of citing sources from an essay, and especially not plagiarizing other peoples work.  Often times, I noticed from this course, that in the past I had done this on accident, but now I have the correct information to cite multiple different sources.   The course also taught me a lot about responsibility, in how my grade is represented by me and only myself.  One needs to do the extra work, or research, or just browsing the class webpage to familiarize themselves, and success will be definite.


Artifact 2: The Silent Language

Growing up one acquires their own sense of language and determines the importance of it for themselves.  Some view it differently than I do and I know this from the start.  People who speak the same language have their own slurs, and accents, and lingos which they either make up with the people around them or learned from the people they spend time with.  For myself, a verbal language is not always the most important way of expressing myself. Growing up in a large family, my siblings usually had the higher ranks or speaking rights.  If I did speak, then I took the risk of saying something incorrect and being the subject of ridicule, so much of the time I spent watching and listening to my family.  They knew whether or not I was pleased by my expressions and actions, therefore I did not always need to speak to communicate with them.  Communicating with others is the  most valuable form of language, and does not always need to be spoken.  There are several ways of communicating without doing it verbally and I still consider this language because after all one can still get their feelings across without speaking, and I know this from firsthand experience. 

            Language is the general form of communication in all states, countries, and continents around the world.  Obviously there are many variations and there is no universal verbal communication for humans, but there are many deeper levels of understanding one another.  Communication cannot be based on language alone because there are multiple ways to find meaning in one’s actions.  Not everyone speaks the same language; therefore there are social Q’s, gestures, expressions, and even vibes people use to help determine what is trying to be said.  Although people from different parts of the world use different gestures, for example, in Egypt giving someone a thumbs up is the equivalent of giving them the middle finger here in the United States which is clearly an insult.  Ways to clarify these sorts of disputes without knowing the same verbal language is by using facial expressions which are universal, or even the tone of one’s voice has a lot of meaning.  If the voice tails off high pitched then it is usually a questioning tone, or an angry shouting tone is obvious, or a pleasant tone entails one is simply attempting to communicate. 

            Ursula K. Le Guin talks about something she calls the “father tongue” in her essay of the “Bryn Mawr Commencement Address (1986).”  This is basically explained as grouping everything about communicating together; because in the English language alone there are many different ways of speaking, gesturing, and communicating.  She explains how a politician has a very dissimilar way of speaking because they are always being watched, and have to be careful about trying to please everyone; on the other hand, when speaking to a friend it is very casual and grammar is not of the essence.  This is all grouped together when Le Guin is explaining the idea of father tongue.  It also includes sign language, or a teacher lecturing and student giving a speech, in comparison to the students in the classroom whispering amongst themselves.  When giving a speech in front of the classroom their dialect will be much different from the audience trying to whisper.  The chatting audience will use brief sentence fragments, while the speech giver will use full intelligent sentences connecting thoughts and ideas with proper grammar.  These are the ideas she is referring to when she speaks of a father tongue; she wants to address the fact that communicating can be done with various behaviors.  A person learns all these different ways of speaking, and when to use them socially over time in their life.  They learn by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or experiences other people using proper speech in certain situations and occasions.  The father tongue is not just the regular A, B, C’s that children learn in school, or proper grammar, or other types of speech one learns in their school years, even though this is included.  Le Guin wants the reader to understand that this “father tongue” is not just learned through education in schooling, but throughout all the experiences of one’s life.

 

 

Works Cited

Le Guin, Ursula K. “Bryn Mawr commencement Address(1986).” Serendip. Web.


Artifact 1: Edward O. Wilson

In the short article “Apocalypse Now” written by Edward O. Wilson, he attempts to gain the reader’s trust from the beginning of his letter formatted piece.  The article is written as if it were a letter and addressed “Dear Pastor,” although it is not even actually sent to any pastor.  This allows the reader to feel more comfortable from the start, and it personalizes the entire article to connect with anyone reading.  By doing this, Wilson is one step closer to achieving his first goal of forming a common ground between himself and the reader, or Christians (pastor), or other religious groups and descent.  He proclaims to have similar beliefs to the pastor. Wilson knows and understands that “religion and science are the two most powerful forces in the world today, and especially in the United States.”  After the author forms a rapport with the reader, he feels they will respect his ideas as a writer even though they have a different belief of origin and faith.  Once Wilson has successfully done this, he wants to sell his arguments on environmental issues which he believes to be very important addressing points.  He is a biologist who clearly has a very different view than Christian pastor, but Wilson realized that the United States along with the majority of the world are followers of Christ.  If he aims to achieve any goals on an issue such as saving the environment, he will need to “form an alliance between science and religion” to make a difference.  Wilson fears humans are the cause of the deaths of many different plants and animals, and if the race is not careful then they will wipe of many species altogether.  Ultimately the extinction of these natural species will be the effect of human carelessness for mother earth.  Referring back to the common ground throughout the beginning, middle, and end of the essay, Wilson keeps the reader engaged and on his side with the issues at hand.  The writer’s most important point and goal is to unite religion and Christian followers with science to make a difference with an attempted movement on environmental issues.  He shares a common appreciation for mother earth and creation; he just wants actions to be taken to preserve the place humans reside and use as a temporary home.

            The main goal of the article is to make a difference on environmental issues.  Wilson wants to save creation, but this is not an easy task.  Obviously the support of religious backgrounds will need to be gained to make a change, and a good way to go about it is through the political process.  Doing so, a change will be enforced throughout the United States which could start a trend and set an example for other powerhouse countries around the world destroying the promise land.  The next step is to preserve and accumulate the natural environment, and the way to accumulate mother earth is to save it, clean it, and build back up the natural beauty which has been damaged.  When using all of the resources ( religion combined with science combined with politics) Wilson intends on creating a big chance in the environment and conservations of it.

            Clearly, the intention of the piece is for Christians and/or religious practicing people as the main audience, but is does not just end there because anyone can read the article.  Obviously, they will initially notice the letter format and addressing label to the southern, Christian pastor and make an automatic connection with the writer.  The secularists (Wilson and science followers) are in dire need of help and are calling out to the Christians for assistance on their major movement. “The United States is an intensely religious nation. It is overwhelmingly Judeo-Christian, with a powerful undercurrent of evangelism. We secularists must face reality.” This is how Wilson explains the immense power of Christian influence here in America, and directs his writing toward them.

            The article by Wilson is basically an attempt to make a change in the current actions of humanity which is just taking advantage of the environment around him.  He is trying to form a movement with those who truly cherish and have a strong appreciation, whether you believe God created it as a gift with his ultimate power and wisdom, or you believe in another theory.  It is all very well the same to him as long as action will be taken.  This relates well to Gladwell’s short essay called “Small Change” because she writes of a widespread movement for civil rights and equality.  In “Apocalypse Now” it is a different movement as in saving the environment, but nonetheless, it is an attempt to make a change just like in the article by Gladwell.  He hopes for a big change, but it all starts with something little, “four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina.” is how the movement for equality began. Shortly after the initial sit down it grew in great distance across the country “By the end of the month, there were sit-ins throughout the South, as far west as Texas.”  The number also rose rapidly and by the end “some seventy thousand student eventually took part.”  A change can be made, there just needs to be the support of people by the numbers, and that is exactly what Wilson is addressing in his article by joining the religious and science following forces.

 

Works Cited

Wilson, Edward O. “Apocalypse Now.” The New Republic. Book

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change.” Articles from the New Yorker. Newspaper.


The Silent Language

The Silent Language

            Growing up one acquires their own sense of language and determines the importance of it for themselves.  Some view it differently than I do and I know this from the start.  People who speak the same language have their own slurs, and accents, and lingos which they either make up with the people around them or learned from the people they spend time with.  For myself, a verbal language is not always the most important way of expressing myself. Growing up in a large family, my siblings usually had the higher ranks or speaking rights.  If I did speak, then I took the risk of saying something incorrect and being the subject of ridicule, so much of the time I spent watching and listening to my family.  They knew whether or not I was pleased by my expressions and actions, therefore I did not always need to speak to communicate with them.  Communicating with others is the  most valuable form of language, and does not always need to be spoken.  There are several ways of communicating without doing it verbally and I still consider this language because after all one can still get their feelings across without speaking, and I know this from firsthand experience.  

            Language is the general form of communication in all states, countries, and continents around the world.  Obviously there are many variations and there is no universal verbal communication for humans, but there are many deeper levels of understanding one another.  Communication cannot be based on language alone because there are multiple ways to find meaning in one’s actions.  Not everyone speaks the same language; therefore there are social Q’s, gestures, expressions, and even vibes people use to help determine what is trying to be said.  Although people from different parts of the world use different gestures, for example, in Egypt giving someone a thumbs up is the equivalent of giving them the middle finger here in the United States which is clearly an insult.  Ways to clarify these sorts of disputes without knowing the same verbal language is by using facial expressions which are universal, or even the tone of one’s voice has a lot of meaning.  If the voice tails off high pitched then it is usually a questioning tone, or an angry shouting tone is obvious, or a pleasant tone entails one is simply attempting to communicate. 

            Ursula K. Le Guin talks about something she calls the “father tongue” in her essay of the “Bryn Mawr Commencement Address (1986).”  This is basically explained as grouping everything about communicating together; because in the English language alone there are many different ways of speaking, gesturing, and communicating.  She explains how a politician has a very dissimilar way of speaking because they are always being watched, and have to be careful about trying to please everyone; on the other hand, when speaking to a friend it is very casual and grammar is not of the essence.  This is all grouped together when Le Guin is explaining the idea of father tongue.  It also includes sign language, or a teacher lecturing and student giving a speech, in comparison to the students in the classroom whispering amongst themselves.  When giving a speech in front of the classroom their dialect will be much different from the audience trying to whisper.  The chatting audience will use brief sentence fragments, while the speech giver will use full intelligent sentences connecting thoughts and ideas with proper grammar.  These are the ideas she is referring to when she speaks of a father tongue; she wants to address the fact that communicating can be done with various behaviors.  A person learns all these different ways of speaking, and when to use them socially over time in their life.  They learn by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or experiences other people using proper speech in certain situations and occasions.  The father tongue is not just the regular A, B, C’s that children learn in school, or proper grammar, or other types of speech one learns in their school years, even though this is included.  Le Guin wants the reader to understand that this “father tongue” is not just learned through education in schooling, but throughout all the experiences of one’s life.

Works Cited

Le Guin, Ursula K. “Bryn Mawr commencement Address(1986).” Serendip. Web.


Blogging on the Rise

When this English class started off I felt a little bit nervous about all the use of technology. The entire class is based on using the computer, internet, and this blogging site which can get pretty frustrating. Then I remembered my prior knowledge and experience with blogging, and that turned out well for me because when I was in high school, I took a class where we students actually got to intern as teacher trainees in an elementary classroom setting throughout our school district. This turned out to be a real job for us, and was a great experience. With my class trainees we discussed the rise of internet blogging and its effectiveness. We started a blogging site for our group using a site named edublogs.com, and we were required to post a blog at least once a week and comment on classmate’s posts. I expanded my knowledge in the field of blogging through this experience of posting, blogging, and commenting with my employees on the edublogs site. After getting used to the program we began posting questions on the site that everyone would have to blog about how they felt. We used this to gain experience, knowing blogging would soon come back in the future with its growing popularity and we could use the familiarity we earned from our personal blog.

            At first I was very against the idea of blogging and sharing my personal feelings online, but now I realize it is a great way for people to express themselves. It is a great way of communicating with each other, like in the teacher setting, an entire school district could link together to share teaching techniques and important information with each other. Now I can put my prior knowledge of blogging to good use with our English 104 class, and hopefully my high school experience will help me along the way.


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