reflection paper

The writing process: through the eyes of a first year writer

Before I started WRD 103 last quarter, I was extremely nervous. I was not sure how a college course dedicated to writing was going to be. The description of the course was very intimating. My personal writing has always be a vague concept to me because teachers in high school rarely gave me similar feedback. I excelled in my honors English classes freshman and junior year. But sophomore and senior year were slightly difficult. I began to think that teachers look for different details in a paper and that good writing is a bit opinionated.

Many times I have written a paper that seemed only average to me but was exceptional to my teachers, but in my advanced writing course in high school, the work I personally thought was my best was deemed good enough for only a C-average. WRD 103 did not boost my confidence in my writing, nor did it lower it. My professor was unorganized and never gave direct feedback with our papers so I was always unsure if I was on the right track or not. The four essays we completed within the quarter were based on topics we read and discussed in class and I found that a bit dull. WRD 104 was a completely different experience. Class discussion was based on the students input on whatever the topic was and the interaction between the professor and the students made writing interesting and even a joy to do. Having options such as analyzing the Girl with the Green Face painting or Tupac’s tattoo, and choosing our research topic are a few of the aspects of class I enjoyed the most. Writing on subjects that do not have a distinct right or wrong answer allow more flexibility as well as creativity in one’s writing.

An important topic we discussed throughout the quarter is being your own filter, which is deciding which sources are credible enough to be used for accurate information. Filtering was a bit difficult to me when I had to actually think about filtering every time I researched something because I was used to going to specific websites or simply being handed an article for my information. The only filtering rule we had in high school was that Wikipedia was not a credible source but everything else was accepted as long as it was cited. It becomes a very difficult task when someone has to ignore information they are reading even if they know it doesn’t seem the slightest bit credible because we either want to hurry up and finish the assignment or because we are accustomed to just believing what we see and hear and going along with it. I know that the majority of the knowledge I know of today is based on what I had been taught, not what I have learned through personal experience. I have not conquered the art of filtering yet, however, I learned some ways in which I can delete non credible sources from the get-go. I now look at who made the website to see whether the person is educated and whether their degree related to what their even talking about, and I also learned how to remove sources that has a lot of information but nothing worthy of reading. Some websites seem like they are full of vital information but if someone takes their time to read, a lot of the information is repetitive or incomprehensible. Learning how to filter was one of the most useful workshops in the class because I know that I will need to utilize my filtering skills throughout the rest of my college years.

I believe that this course will benefit me in my college endeavors in many ways. This most certainly will not be the last time I have to write paper so acquiring as many writing skills and tips as I can will help me in the long run. Although WRD 103 was one of my worst classes here at DePaul, WRD 104 reignited the spark of passion I have for writing. Professors definitely make or break someone’s experience in the course and I have gained a lot more confident in my writing abilities and ideas. Our professor encouraged open discussions and brutally honest questions to the various talks we participated in. When I doubted stating certain points in my paper, Professor would always encourage me to take a chance and write out everything I thought or believed and to leave editing for later. This advice will hopefully help me be a more open and honest writer who takes risks because my best writing seems to be my writing that has little to no restrictions on what u can discuss and how u can say it.

Overall, I would say that my first year writing course was a success. I learned a few tips that will help me get through the many writing assignments I will have during the time I am a student. Writing what you feel versus what you think the audience believes or feels is in my opinion the most important property a good writer can have. Writing to me is very personal so despite having people who may disagree with you, at least you are being true yourself and your thoughts. Besides, people love controversy so why not volunteer it right?

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Add a comment June 7, 2010

Contexual Analysis-Final Draft

What is college for: Through the racial lens

People go to college for many reasons; because their parents went, because it is simply the next level after high school, and because they have been told it is the right thing to do. But one question many people find difficult answering is “what is college for?” This question is a bit ambiguous and subjective because college attendance differs for different people. Therefore, the purpose for college is not for one specific reason, but for various reasons that all depends on the individual’s goals.

 For me, college was never thought of as an option. It was simply the next step in my educational journey. I was always told ever since I can remember that I cannot be a successful black woman in this country without a college education. My family always said that because of the prolonged racism that still exists in this nation, lacking an education would give white people yet another reason to turn me down in the job market. While I do not agree that race is the main factor pushing me to seek out an education, I have used the facts that exist within the educational system in regards to African Americans to convince me further that an education is a crucial key to my own success.

For African Americans, the educational statistics may be an incentive for them to pursue higher education.  “Blacks constitute about 9 percent of college enrollments”, which is not a large percentage by the least bit (Thomas, 1981). Other students may go to college simply to learn a skill that interests them even though receiving a degree may not be their only resort. For a large amount of students, however, college is the only way for them to advance in society. Personally, taking a year off to travel the world would have been the ideal plan. However, I could not afford to pass up my academic scholarship college offered me. College students often wonder “Am I studying what is right for me? “Am I handling my life away from home the right way?” “Am I pursuing my hopes and dreams or what will make me the most money?”(1981). Perhaps there is not a right or wrong answer to these questions, and maybe college is in actuality whatever one gets out of it, individually.

Addressing what college is for without looking at the issue through a racial lens would be somewhat difficult. I cannot help but connect education with the differences that exist from race to race because the problems are so prominent. For a white person in this nation, the importance of a college education probably differs in ways people never even think about. Despite his or her educational background, a white person in America will always have more job opportunities available to them. Whether the job is janitorial work or a CEO of a business, being white gives one a leg up in the work force. The irony is this matter, is that just about every race other than white is more apt to realize this fact. Why do you think this is one may ask? This problem relates to almost any situation if one looks closely. When Hurricane Katrina hit, there were many citizens of this country who were not emotionally affected by such a catastrophic event because it had not directly affected their lives. It is easy to overlook an issue that one has not personally experienced.  The victims of this sad reality, are often reluctant to even bring up the issue of racial inequality in the educational system because according to Bell Hooks, “Black folks/people of color who talk too much about race are often represented by the racist mindset as “playing the race card”, or as simply insane” (2003). Hooks writes about the struggle to end white supremacy and racism in society so she is well aware of the racial issue within the educational system.

Many African Americans including myself are apprehensive about making an issue racial because it often appears as an excuse rather than a problem. However, if people look at the facts then they will realize and possibly understand what an education means to an African American. Family status plays a large factor in the quality of the early education a child receives. “Upper-middle class children average approximately four more years of schooling than children from lower status family backgrounds” (Jencks, 1972).  This statistic is attributed to the fact that wealthier parents have the means to provide their child with a good school and strong school values. Many African American families who live in poverty lack the ability to receive a strong enough education that will lead to college. However, many African Americans from low income communities have made it to college despite these factors. Institutions have created many ways to help African Americans succeed throughout their college career. Black universities are institutions that were created in the hopes of making African Americans feel comfortable in a learning environment surrounded by people with their similar backgrounds. However, these institutions may not be the best choice for African Americans. Ironically, “in 1976-77, blacks attending black institutions received an average of $1,851, per student, in aid whereas blacks attending white universities received $3,116, per student” (Thomas, 1981). Many people believe that these institutions are a great way for African Americans to get a “well rounded” education, but I find that belief rather contradicting. An environment that has a dominant race would not be considered a place where people become well rounded, but rather isolated. Perhaps one of the many purposes for black colleges is to an extent to avoid the racial discrimination black people may face at a white institution, however, racial discrimination exists outside the classroom. Therefore, these institutions are merely masking the sad reality that is racism that will inevitably affect these black students who are being educated at these schools.

The simple fact that black universities even exist proves that education is obviously being emphasized in the black community. In an interview I had with an African American student named Hillary Wright, she expressed her feelings towards the purpose of college. Hillary agreed that college is specifically important for black people, especially black women in this society because in the business world, men already have the power, and that society depicts the ideal successful person as a white male. When asked why she went to college, Hillary quotes “I wanted to take a year off but my mom wouldn’t let me. She didn’t think I’d want to go later” (Wright). Hillary also admitted, however, that she does not think she can be successful without a degree because black people are already looked down upon, heaven forbid they lack an education. The different perspectives blacks and non blacks have on the importance of education is very intriguing. In another interview I conducted with a half White half Korean male named Tim, he noted that his parents were the ones who suggested he take a year off before going to college. As opposed to the African American mother who refused to allow her daughter to temporarily stop her educational journey, Tim’s parents were comfortable with him not continuing his schooling immediately. Tim also admitted that “I considered not coming to college many times, and although I don’t think I could be as successful without college, I still think I could be somewhat successful because of my race” (Schlotzhauer). It is evident that Tim’s parents whether it was a conscious thought or not, felt that college was not a necessity for his future. However, Hillary’s parents felt that college was her only option for a solid future.

People go to college for various reasons.  Despite my passion for knowledge, I cannot ignore the fact that my race is a factor that pushes me to pursue it as strongly as I do. If I was not an African American, I am not sure if college would be as important as it is to me now. Because society still has ignorant beings living in it that do not see people as equal, education is a sort of weapon that I can use to fight the stereotypes that exists regarding black people and our capabilities. In general, college is for people to pursue their interests on a deeper and more thorough level, so that they can live the life they aspire to live. If one asks an African American what college is for however, I think many would say that college is for them to receive at least half of the opportunities that everyone else is given for free.

References

Jencks, C. (1972) Inequality. New York: Harper Books.

Schlotzhauer, Timothy. Personal Interview. 19 May. 2010

Thomas, Gail E. Black Students in Higher Education: Conditions and Experiences in the 1970s. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1981. Print.

Wright, Hillary. Personal Interview. 19 May 2010

Add a comment June 1, 2010

Contexual Analysis Draft

People go to college for many reasons; because their parents went, because it is simply the next level after high school, and because they have been told it is the right thing to do. But the question many people find difficulty answering is “what is college for?” This question is a bit ambiguous and subjective because college could be used differently for different people. Therefore, the purpose for college is not for one specific reason, but for various reasons that all depends on the individual’s goals.

For me, college was never thought of as an option. It was simply the next step in my educational journey. I was always told ever since I can remember that I cannot be a successful black woman in this country without a college education. I was told that because of the prolonged racism that still exists in this nation, lacking an education would give white people yet another reason to turn me down in the job market. While I do not agree that race is the main factor pushing me to seek out an education, I have used the facts that exist within the educational system in regards to African Americans to convince me further that an education is a crucial key in my own success.

For African Americans, the educational statistics may be an incentive for them to pursue higher education.  “Blacks constitute about 9 percent of college enrollments”, which is not a large percentage by the least bit (Astin and Cross, 1979). Other students may go to college to simply learn a skill that interests them even though receiving a degree may not be their only resort. For a large amount of students, however, college is the only way for them to advance in society. Personally, taking a year off to travel the world would have been the ideal plan. However, I could not afford to pass up my academic scholarship college offered me. College students often wonder “Am I studying what is right for me? “Am I handling my life away from home the right way?” “Am I pursuing my hopes and dreams or what will make me the most money?”(Nash, Murray, Parks, 6). Perhaps there is not a right or wrong answer to these questions, and perhaps college is in actuality whatever one gets out of it, individually.

Addressing what college is for without looking at the issue through a racial lens would be somewhat difficult. I cannot help but connect education with the differences that exist from race to race because the problems are so prominent. For a white person in this nation, the importance of a college education probably differs in ways people never even think about. Despite his or her educational background, a white person in America will always have more job opportunities available to them. Whether the job is janitorial work or a CEO of a business, being white gives one a leg up in the work force. The irony is this matter, is that just about every race other than white is more apt to realize this fact. Why do you think this is one may ask? This problem relates to almost any situation if one looks closely. When Hurricane Katrina hit, there were many citizens of this country who were not emotionally affected by such a catastrophic event because it had not directly affected their lives. It is easy to overlook an issue that one has not personally experienced.  The victims of this sad reality, are often reluctant to even bring up the issue of racial inequality in the educational system because according to Bell Hooks, “Black folks/people of color who talk too much about race are often represented by the racist mindset as “playing the race card”, or as simply insane” (27). Hooks writes about the struggle to end white supremacy and racism in society so she is well aware of the racial issue within the educational system.

Add a comment May 17, 2010

Research Paper Rough Draft

Have you ever had an academic interest that simply intrigued you in every aspect? If you answered yes, then perhaps the idea of my passion for psychology will not sound entirely strange. Many people are weary of the study of psychology because the field itself often brings up some negative stereotypes. The most popular claims attributed with psychology are people who are always over analyzing people, “shrinks”, or doctors who deal with the mentally insane. Though many of these stereotypes are somewhat factual, the field of psychology has a lot more to offer than many people realize. Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. Because this definition has such a broad meaning in terms of what exactly psychologists do, it also infers that studying psychology allows flexibility in the workforce. Psychology careers are broken in numerous categories that deal with different aspects of the field so that almost anyone can find a career they enjoy.

For anyone who is curious as to what specific careers are available in psychology, one might be thrilled in finding that various careers are available. The beauty of psychology is that every field is aimed toward helping people in some way. Some of the subfields include clinical, counseling and educational psychologists. These fields provide different services that aid people in completely different, but very effective ways. For instance, someone interested in helping people with mental and physical issues, they would probably seek clinical psychology. For people who want to find out why these problems exists and what caused them, perhaps counseling psychology would be more appropriate.

I have heard on numerous occasions that it is difficult to find a career in psychology with only a bachelor’s degree. However, this is not the case. (this is when i am going to go in depth about careers using my book sources)

Add a comment May 5, 2010

Proposal

My research question is what careers are available with a psychology degree? Originally, my research question was what careers are available with a masters degree in psychology. I realized that this question was too narrow because not many sources were available. I brainstormed for topics before choosing my topic and I knew that I wanted to research a topic that I could use in my life.

Since my major is psychology, it is obvious that my research question is relevant to my life. I am interested in the various fields of psychology that I can work in and the different work environments I can possibly be a part of. This research paper will allow me to explore career opportunities that I may not even be aware exist in my field of interest.

My topic is relevant to many people. College graduates with a degree in Psychology would find this information helpful if they are still unsure what career path they want. Students who have an interest in psychology could use this research to help them decide whether the careers in psychology sound appealing to them. Also, people who are seeking a career change could use this information to help them decide if a career in psychology is something they would want to pursue.

Super, Charles M., and Donald E. Super. Opportunities in Psychology Careers. Lincolnwood, Ill., USA: VGM Career Horizons, 1994. Print.

In this book, Super suggests that psychology is a profession as well as a science. Super provides examples of ways in which psychology can be used in various careers or many different purposes. Because psychology has such a flexibility in terms of career paths, Super divides psychology into different careers fields in order to organize the type of work psychology can provide to someone. Psychology careers includes the levels of education needed for specific careers in psychology and is aimed toward an audience of educated individuals with an interest in psychology.

Kuther, Tara L., and Robert D. Morgan. Careers in Psychology: Opportunities in a Changing World. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cenage Learning, 2010. Print.

In this book, Kuther and Morgan urge students to research the field  of psychology that interests them the most. Kuther and Morgan explain the levels of education one needs for different careers. This book discusses the opportunities open with specific degrees in order to guide psychology majors into the appropriate degree. “Opportunities in a Changing World” thoroughly explains how to start a career in psychology and is aimed toward anyone who aspires to work in the field of psychology.

DeGalan, Julie, and Stephen E. Lambert. Great Jobs for Psychology Majors. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006. Print.

In this book, Degalan and Lambert emphasize assessing ones skills and interests. The book explains each field of psychology and the careers one can obtain in a particular field.  An assessment is needed in order to identify the kind of work one would do well in because there are so many fields of psychology. Because the book breaks down the journey of obtaining a psychology career, the intended audience would include graduate students and other academic individuals with a background in psychology.

Add a comment April 26, 2010

Research question

What career opportunities are available with a masters degree in psychology?

Add a comment April 20, 2010

Painting Analysis

The Abbot Jouveau, Curate of Coubron, 1875, by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies © 2000 The Art Institute of Chicago. http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy1.lib.depaul.edu/stable/4104438?&Search=yes&term=reading&term=corot&term=interrupted&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dcorot%2Binterrupted%2Breading%26gw%3Djtx%26prq%3D%2528interrupted%2Breading%2Bcorot%2529%26hp%3D25%26wc%3Don&item=2&ttl=77&returnArticleService=showArticle

Jean Baptiste Camille Corot was known as the father of modern landscape painting. He preferred to keep most of his portraits private and therefore many of them were not revealed until Corot’s death. Interrupted Reading has been thought to evoke contemplative and melancholic moods. After his landscapes were criticized for being formulaic, Corot created art of women meant to be bold and modern. In my opinion, Interrupted Reading appears melancholic and a bit boring. the colors Corot used do not seem bold in any way. In fact, the painting seems dull and for the most part unexpressive. The melancholy I sense from the painting is because of the facial expression the woman has in the painting but the expression also reminds me of a sense of boredom. The woman’s outfit and stlye seem very 18th century, not modern in any way. Before knowing the title of the painting the woman appeared bored of her reading and was daydreaming about the fun she could be having if she was not forced to read the book. The title “Interrupted Reading” however, makes me think that someone called the woman’s name and she looked up briefly from her book and the painter caught that moment in action as if it was a picture taken from a camera.

Add a comment April 5, 2010

My Precis

<a href=”http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Corot,+Jean-Baptiste+Camille”>Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille</a>

In this article, encyclopedia.com provides a brief summary of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot’s painting career. The writer develops the article by elaborating on his earlier works prior to public recognition. The article explains the types of paintings Corot created in order for reader’s to better understand his work and to categorize his paintings. This article describes the artist’s career briefly and is intended for people who appreciate art at perhaps a beginners level.

http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/Opra/BRUE-7Z4Q8T

In this article, wahooart.com reflects on the life and career of Jean Baptiste Corot and how he became a painter. The article  provides the kind of art Corot was interested in and the type of art he studied for inspiration.  Because art can easily be misinterpreted, the article includes the painters Corot aspired from so that his paintings could possibly be more understandable in terms of theme and meaning. The intended audience for this article is for art lovers and asrpiration artists.

http://www.bookrags.com/biography/jean-baptiste-camille-corot/

This biography of Jean Baptiste Corot exemplifies Corots development of landscape panting in the 19th century. The biography notes Corot’s slow progress in receiving any credible reputation for his art  until his painting Souvenir of Marcoussis was purchased by the emperor. The biography notes the characteristics of Corots art in order for readers to appreciate every aspect of his art and to learn more about the background of his works and the inspiration behind it. The  biography of Jean Baptist Corot was written for an audience who enjoys learning the life of artist and how they came to be part of history.

Add a comment April 5, 2010

I chose this painting The girl with the green face by Alexej von Jawlensky as my primary source.

My secondary source is an article found on: http://ezinearticles.com/?Ace-Expressionist-and-Meditative-Artist—Alexei-Von-Jawlensky&id=1876371 about the artist of this painting. The article states that one of Jawlensky’s passions was portraits and still life and that he believed in showing emotion and personal experiences into his work. The girl with the Green face perhaps depicts a time in Jawlensky’s life when he felt alone or sad because the girl’s facial expression appears upset.

I found my tertiary source on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexej_von_Jawlensky. Wikipedia states that around the time Jawlensky painted The Girl with the Green face, he had moved to Munich and that his work at this time was lush and richly colored. The Girl with the Green face is definitely rich in color and full of vibrant life. Later in his life however, his paintings became more simple and abstract. I think the painting represents loneliness because the girl looks likes shes in deep thought about someone she misses. I also think the darker colors were used to evoke cold climate and cold feelings.

Add a comment March 31, 2010

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