As an incoming freshman, straight from highschool, I was an emotional wreck. I had never lived away from home and now I was on my own. It was nerve wracking to even think about college and the work load we were going to be receiving. I was uneasy with my living situations considering I had never met the girl I was supposed to be living with for an entire year, and the list goes on. I knew college was going to be a challenge, but I was up for the test. I felt that ECU was a great place for me to start creating my future. My first day of classes were not that bad. From the beginning I knew biology and algebra would be my most difficult subjects. I arrived to my English 1100 class with an open mind and a willing working hand.
English 1100 was definitely a learning experience for me. I was always good with writing in highschool as well as grade school, but college english was completely different. I had to create a blog and tend to it everyday. Compared to testing, quizzing, and grading all papers precisely, the blog set up seemed to be a great idea. I had never used a blog before and I was never great with technology, but with the help from my peers, I was able to have a successful learning opportunity.
When class started in August, I was pumped and ready. We started learning about peer responding and the types of projects and assignments we would be working on over the semester. Our first major project was our Community-based Research Project. For this project I chose to do my research on the Veterans of Vietnam. I originally wanted to strive for change in world peace, but since the topic was so broad and limitless I decided to narrow it down. Through the help of my peers, Joyner Library, the databases and our class periods, I was able to complete the assingment with a knowledgeable understanding of research and how to use the surrounding help to create a finished piece.
After the stress from completeing this first assignment left my body, I was able to relax a little and collect myself for the next project. Our This I Believe projects were actually really enjoyable. We had to create a presentation of some sort that met two of the three requirements; sound, visual, and audio. I chose to conduct a mini presentation about my little sister Claire and the impact she has had on me. “I believe that she is the reason I smile”, this was my topic and I was very pleased with the outcome. Not only did I learn how to operate windows media live, I also learned alot about plagiarism and how to give credit to the original owners of music and quotes. Along with all of my learning experiences I was also able to create a niche for writing. I enjoyed the quiet times of thinking of words to say and how to put together a descent paper.
Writing is a stress reliever, and it sure does help! I learned this with the next assingment in line. After creating our This I Believe visuals, we then wrote an essay on why we believe what we believe. This essay was the easiest for me because I was able to write about the love of my life, my baby sister. I enjoyed being able to share my belief with my peers because my little sister is such an inspiration to my friends and me and I was glad they could see a softer side of my personal life. My peers played a huge role in all of my writing assignments. They helped me revise my essays and projects, they gave me positive and instructive criticism, and they were there whenever I needed some guidance. I really liked the responding styles we were taught because they helped us all to become better writers.
With this being said, our assingment on finding our style of responding was next. We had to color code each response we had written. For example, all of the positive words of encouragement were yellow, relating to my peers was green, I statements were pink and so on. This helped us to grasp an understanding on the different styles of responding and it showed us what we needed to improve on or include in our responses to help out our peers. This assignment was very time consuming, but it was really helpful in the end.
Next, we had to conduct a Peer Essay. In this essay we were to talk about our writing styles. From here we learned about the different writing styles we needed to explore and even learned about the best way to respond. Alot of my peers fell under the same category as me, positve good will, encouragement and anything nice. Although most peers wanted to hear positive things, we were taught to include negative aspects. We needed to reach out of our comfort zone and give detailed, honest feedback strictly for the benefit of our grades.
Reaching the end of our English 1100 experience, I have learned alot. Reaching out of my comfort zone, responding to my peers, and writing were on the everyday agenda. Composing a blog was probably the most work I have done in an english class ever. I really enjoyed learning how to work on websites and becoming more comfortable with online researching. Using purdue owl and the joyner databases also assisted in my learning experience, they were both a huge help.
Overall English 1100 wasn’t too bad. I learned alot, gained alot, and was able to find myself in writing. Writing will always be a skill needed for future jobs, future education, and in everyday life. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet such great peers and experience my first college English the way I did. If there was anything I could change about this experience it would be the grading. Although I enjoy not having to worry about being graded on the qualtiy of a paper, it was hard to keep myself going. I lost myself in the midst of doing work for other classes but I found my way back on track in the end. Time is a huge committment for a college student, and making time for homework is a must. My favorite part of English 1100 was creating my blog. I used to write in a daily journal but I was always scared that someone was going to find it and read it! With the blog I have a password and it can either be private or shared. I enjoy writing and learning more about writing and creating this blog really opened my eyes to a whole new take on it all. I feel that I have become a successful writing student. I would like to thank Mrs. West-Puckett for her guidance and assitance through this journey, she has definitely had a major impact on my writing. I am glad I chose to be a Pirate here at ECU. My journey has just begun, but as of now I see a bright future for myself. Wish me luck!