Final Self Assesment, May 08, 2012

My Development as A WISE Student: My Final Self Assessment

             My freshman year at Clark Atlanta University has been very enlightening and productive. I have met many people, gained knowledge from my professors and have learned more about myself. As I reflect upon my matriculation at this illustrious HBCU I say my overall experience has been good. I did not get out much; I was swamped with work and very concerned of my grades which did not leave a decent amount of room for fun and parties. I did not get to embrace my campus and school as much as thought I would, but I am ecstatic to say that I am ending off freshman year with excellent grades. I am working hard now so I will have time to enjoy myself later. Focusing specifically on my 106 English classes with Professor Peterson I would say that I was constantly reminded of high school. Her teaching style and habits reminded me of a very influential English teach I had for 3 years, my Advanced/AP teacher Mrs. T. Oliver which is a great thing. I felt that from there I was well prepared for many writings and projects that came forth during my freshman year. While I seemed mostly prepared I was also open to the comments I would receive on my writings, good and bad. I knew my writings were flawed and with each comment I was able to work off of that and attempt to redeem myself and my work. I did not always prove victorious with my final drafts, but writing is a process and I do not let any grade slow me down. Examining the many assignments written in 106 English I am choosing to highlight my prospectus final draft and midterm slave narrative research paper, my literary analysis, the commented and final draft, and the collaborative history research presentation and final history paper in CMS. These three major writings stood out to me in positive and negative ways. Some display my strengths while others show off my weakness and I am glad to present all and prove my progress through my freshman year. Along with my major assignments I have three minor assignments, blogs, which give insight into my life and joys. These writings are my first step into an ongoing process to becoming a better writer and to achieve my aspiration of being a journalist.

`           The first major writing assignment was our prospectus. I did an okay job on the first draft, but my final prospectus draft was horrible. I admit I did have to rush near the ending because I was short a few sources and my narrative proved to be somewhat difficult. The slave my group and I agreed on was not fully thought through because neither of us reviewed the slaves as instructed to. As we stumbled upon Andrew Jackson the first person that came to mind was the president, but we were wrong in our thoughts. None the less our slave’s narrative proved to be short and not as complexed leaving an opening for many questions and interpretations. Writing the prospectus paragraphs was not complicated. The confusion came from the narrative its self because I was unsure of what to focus on and concerned for what would give an abundant amount of information. The slave Andrew Jackson had only little details behind his life, the most reliable source was the narrative. I chose to focus on the complications of Negros narrating their stories while others wrote or produced it. This topic was not an easy one to find plentiful information. Many of my sources took me a few days to find, but I was able to come up with some reliable sources that helped me in my research progress. I believe the aspect that made my final draft horrible was myself. I did not pay close attention to the revisions needed and though I fixed my punctuation and grammar errors I did not pay attention to the required number of sources.  That, from what I believe, is what gave me a lower grade. I was more disappointed with myself. Through this first writing I learned that I must pay close attention to the requirements and specifications.

While writing my midterm slave narrative research paper I was sure that this paper would be a passing grade. I had put a lot of time and effort into my lave narrative and was sure of an ‘A’, maybe a ‘B’. Yet, I was wrong. My grade proved unsatisfying and showed that my paper was not fully developed and my thoughts were not executed throughout the paper. I know that my grammar and punctuation weigh me down heavily in every paper I write and I try to instill more attention to those areas, but with my focus put on one writing aspect I let other things disrupt my paper. I admit I was very frustrated with this paper. I had a difficult time finding a thesis and a hard time giving a full explanation of my supporting evidence. My ideas were thrown everywhere and my sources listed were not all used. If we were able to submit a final draft for the slave narrative I believe I would have been able to redeem myself. It seems that I was heading on the right path with my writing, I just made a few extra turns that brought up irrelevant points and I was not tying my specified points into the central meaning, thesis or title. My writing still has a lot of flaws needing to be fixed, but I was satisfied, for the most part of how I did on the slave narrative. My topic was hard and the resources were scarce, but I pulled through and presented a well enough paper.

I was excited to know that we were doing a literary analysis. I have had much work on doing this type of writing in high school and I thought that this would be an easy ‘A’ for me. I felt more at ease when I found out we had a choice between two poems or one essay. I enjoyed analyzing poems during high school because it was enlightening to break down and reveal what the writer was trying saying. I chose to do R. Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden,” a poem I have broken down before and knew much about and P.L. Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask,” a poem that seemed relevant to the first one I chose and was written in the same time period. In my literary analysis commented draft I had many errors, mostly dealing with grammatic and punctuation. I continue to attempt to avoid such errors, but I am not progressing as quickly as I would prefer. While analyzing I noticed that while I was planning on focusing on a formalist framework I incorporated a historical view as well. I did not purposely do so. The history part was only emphasized little because in the guidelines I misinterpreted what was asked. I thought that when it said to include the dates that meant giving some relevant background info. When given the chance to perfect my writing and post my literary analysis final draft  I went ahead without the comments from Professor Peterson and fixed my mistakes. I took out all the historical parts; besides the facts that I knew myself, and went back to make sure I was using TRI. I also rephrased and took out some things because it was irrelevant to my thesis. I made sure that every paragraph could be related to the thesis and title. I have not received my grade yet on my revision, but I feel that my proofing was efficient and that I should receive a grade high that the first.

My last major assignments were not as difficult because it focused on topics that I picked and that I was interested in. The history topic I chose to focus on were Geisha’s and the effects imperialism had upon them. I have always been interested in Japan and their culture and once hearing of the Geisha’s I became intrigued with their customs and who they actually were. My power point on The Tales of a Geisha history presentation and my final history paper in CMS gave me a better insight on the Geisha’s, answered many questions and informed me as well as others of the Geisha duties. I put a lot of time and effort into the research because I was also looking to answer many questions that came about when hearing of Geisha’s. My best source was the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. This movie gives in full detail the process and lives Geisha’s lived. I recommend for everyone to see this movie. The movie was based off of a book that is said to be based off of the life of one of the most famous Geisha’s in Kyoto, Japan. The hardest part when putting together my history presentation was figuring out the thesis. Once I was able to present I was glad to know I was headed on the right track. My thesis was fixed and all I had to worry about was the paper. While construction the paper I worried that I was reporting a paper instead of analyzing. Once turning it in and getting my response I saw that I could actually have given more information and historical dates. It seems that my biggest controversy when writing a historical paper is that I do not include as much historical data and time periods as needed. Though I still received an excellent grade and I was satisfied for the most I’ve learned from writing historical papers that I should not hold back on my writing due to the fear of reporting because if I would have continued to put more information into my work I could have possibly received a 100.

Focusing on my minor assignments I chose to highlight three blogs, the first one being about my Yorkie Sassy. On March 03, 2012 I said congrats Sassy for the birth of her six girl puppies. They are a mixture of Yorkie and Chihuahua, breed name Chorkies. I was not there to witness it, but my father kept me up to date with the entire event. Not long after I was finally able to meet the six puppies and it was a joy for me. We named the puppies, Foster, Ice Cream, Snicker, Little Foot, Enzo and Roxie. I did not pick out all of the names by myself, but it was evident that each name fit each puppy’s personality. I believe that this blog was one of my best because it dealt with real events and I was happy to be able to share it and the picture with all viewers. I saw no flaws in this blog because the birth of the six little puppies outshined everything else. My second blog gave readers a look into my dreams as I expressed my goals and aspirations of life and believe that if I continue with everything I am doing now I will be able to reach those dreams. I am an aspiring journalist and know the competitiveness of the field and the knowledge I’ll need to know. I am confident that my studies through school with help me towards greatness. This blog gives readers hope and lets them know that anything is attainable in life, set your goals and never take them down regardless of what happens and who says otherwise. My final blog was based off of Honda Battle of the Bands 2012 .Dancing is my passion and I have been dancing since the 4th grade. I have always seen myself being able to participate in Honda once I reached college, but sadly our school was not selected to go this year. I have danced in the Dome plenty times, but being able to dance on a collegiate level in front of many viewers was something I haven’t done. Even though I was not able to participate in Honda I was able to go and watch and see what the hype was all about. I also got to cheer on one of my former teammates from high school as she graced the field. The experience was great.

My time in 106 English with Professor Peterson is up and I will not be returning to Clark Atlanta University, fall 2012, but I will make sure to take what I have learned and apply it to my daily life and classes at Georgia State University. Being in Professor Peterson class has opened my eyes to even more flaws I possess, but has also helped me recognize what I must work on during the summer. My grammar is being worked on and my punctuations will take some time, but I am beginning to apply TRI in many of my essays that organizes it more than when I first started. My blogs are flawless because each express my live situations and dreams and I feel that there is no way to specifically tell other s how you feel and what is going on within your life that is deemed important. My writing is progressing one day at a time and though I wish is could have everything written down pack I am willing to wait and progress at my own speed because I know that I will be a great writer and editor. I know that I will always be able to reflect on the teachers that helped me get to where I am going and I am grateful for the help.

By jacquelynnichele Posted in English