Friday, April 4, 2008

Reflective Essay

It was the first days of school when Biology had just ended. I walked slowly to English class, hoping to shave off as much time I spend in English class as possible. As I sauntered through the halls, memories of fear and anguish filled my mind with ghastly images of writing essays and poems. Growing up as an inexperienced writer, I developed distaste for English because I never understood what it took to be a good writer. I feared that I would not be able to do well in English because I never understood it well enough in the past. However, my initial viewpoints regarding proved to be wrong as my senior year in English class progressed.

The most inspiration piece of writing I wrote for class this year is the explication of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. In this assignment I had to learn to incorporate the feminist perspective in my writing. At the same time I learned the feminist perspective, I also learned the psychoanalytical perspective. These two perspectives taught me to look far beyond the text and search for a deeper meaning and connection within the text in regards to the real world. It also taught me that there are various approaches in perspectives to explicating a piece of literature. When I first read the guidelines for the assignment, I did not believe that I was capable of writing an eight-page explication of passages in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This lengthy assignment would not have been successful if not for the guidelines I had to follow. At first I wrote an explication on two passages referencing wine imagery. This task was complex because the book happened to be difficult to understand. It was also difficult to incorporate the symbolism of wine to the text. Finishing the explication was a great ordeal, but when I discovered that I had to build upon the explication by incorporating the feminist perspective, I felt overwhelmed. I initially believed that there was no way that I can improve my already detailed explication. This new writing assignment rendered my previous thesis on the wine explication useless. I had to create a new thesis, which would incorporate a connection to my previous wine explication and the feminist perspective. The thesis proved to be the trickiest part of the assignment. However, after my thesis was thought up, the assignment seemed to piece together, allowing me to meet the criteria of the assignment and complete the task. This explication taught me that writing can always be strengthened and improved into a more detailed and better piece.

Formerly a quiet and shy individual, I was afraid of sharing my ideas with the class during class discussions. Progression throughout the year helped me develop the courage to speak in front of an audience. Sharing ideas with an audience does not seem nerve-racking at all! When ideas were shared I saw things in a new light. This assisted me in pursuing a new way of thinking. The explication of page 170 in the Humument is the most creative piece of writing I did this year. Instead of explicating a passage in text, I was explicating poetry combined with various elements of color and images. Understanding poetry had always been difficult for me. Art was never my forte. The assignment called for and explication both art and poetry, creating one of the most challenging piece of writing this year. To my surprise, the assignment did not seem too difficult when I actually put my full concentration into writing the explication. The assignment, however, did require a lot of thinking. As I wrote the explication, I began to have fun thinking of the various ways of to interpreting the artistic poem. I believe that the freedom to write in any way I wished allowed me to enjoy writing a little although the work was also stressful. After finishing the assignment, I was deeply satisfied with my work. I cannot believe that I am capable of producing such work at times when I reflect on my past writing assignments in high school at time. This assignment showed me that I have experienced a great change in writing style since the first day I stepped into English class.

Progression throughout the English class of my senior year has been a great learning experience for me. Enduring the difficulties of the writing assignments allowed me to develop into a better writer. It has also influenced me to see English in a more positive view. I am now more confident in my writing skills thanks to the positive critiques about how to improve my writing. Thank you Mr. G!!! You’re the best, absolute best English teacher ever!