It was August 16, 2014, my first day of my English 28 course. I walked in the door expecting this class to be the most dreadful unappealing course ever. In previous classes I would stare at the clock, watching each second pass by wondering when class was finally going to be over. I walked in and was a little timid because there were so many people in the class. I sat down and immediately all these people started to converse with me. At that moment I felt like maybe this class won’t be too bad after all. I was still a little skeptical because each course provides a unique experience with various ways of teaching. The professor is key to your learning experience in class. There are some professors who do not care about their students, and then there are some who strive to see their students succeed. I would always put off taking English because I was afraid of not doing well. But to my surprise I was completely wrong.
The students were so welcoming and easy going, which makes the class a better learning experience. As a lot of students do, I came in thinking I was an excellent writer and knew grammar and mechanics very well. Boy was I wrong! I found out that I wasn’t the best writer and needed to work on it a little more than expected. Throughout each paper my writing progressed. I learned how to write better each time accomplishing the goal I was trying to reach. I have become a better writer, at least in my eyes. I feel that through my experience of this course, I have gained the knowledge and confidence it takes proceed to the English 101 course. My first impression of Dr. Duffy was that he was a snazzy dresser and seemed pretty laid back. Throughout the duration of the course he engaged his students with his lectures with things that were relatable. From time to time, I would dread going to school, but coming to English 28 was always fun and entertaining.
The classroom is full of different personalities, but we all get along so well. I have had a big support with all of my classmates due to some unfortunate turn of events. I never felt I was going to fall behind because I had my professor and classmates support. Professor Duffy made learning and writing paragraphs fun, and that is the biggest gift of all. I know not many students can say that during their English classes. Throughout my academic life, I always thought writing was directly related to an English class however, the most important thing I learned was that the skills you acquire in English courses, will be extremely beneficial to you in the long run. Whether it is writing a resume, a business letter, an essay in another class, or as part of your job description, knowing how to write, is always a must. The first thing I learned was the writing process or as known as PODRE. William J. Kelly in “Simple, Clear, And Correct Paragraphs”, states “A paragraph is also the result of working through stages of the writing process.
These stages, prewriting, composing, and revising are explained in Chapters 2-4.”(3) These techniques tremendously helped me in all the essays and paragraphs I had to write this semester. I had a hard time starting my essays off and always ended up with writer’s block. Normally I composed essays and paragraphs by simply beginning to write and continuing on until the end. I didn’t usually use any specific format. But with this class, I’ve really learned how helpful a format can be. It can make paragraphs and essays much more organized. Towards mid-semester I was able to successfully compose an essay with no stress involved. Before I took English 28, I did not know there were such things as different types of paragraphs. In this class I learned 5 different types, the description, narrative, example, process, and the argument paragraph.
I found this to be very helpful because it really helps you distinguish what your goal of what the paragraph is going to be. In some cases, you are trying to persuade someone, or inform someone, or teach someone to do something. The one I enjoyed the most was the descriptive paragraph. William J Kelly describes that this paragraph is like the camera lens of language. (65) To me, William J Kelly meant the descriptive paragraph is used to describe a certain picture or scene to your audience. This is where my creativity comes into play. I love describing scenery, it’s almost therapeutic for me. So whenever I get the chance for my free time I’ll describe the sky, landscaping, or an abstract piece of furniture. Autism was one of the major topics we discussed and learned about in this course. We read two novels in this class related to autism.
The book that caught my attention most was “ The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time” by Mark Haddon. This book depicts a kid with autism really well. It displayed some normal behaviors that this kid portrayed with autism, which taught me a lot more about autism. “I rolled back onto the lawn and pressed my forehead to the ground again and made the noise father calls groaning. “(p.8) This taught me that most people with autism can not function normally when a stressor comes along so they react in ways such as groaning and getting into a ball to calm themselves down.
This course has really helped me grow as a person. I have met some really cool new people. My confidence in writing is off the charts, and I actually enjoy writing! I can now use all the information I have attained this semester, and put it to everyday use. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it weren’t for my lovely classmates, my attentive professor, and William J Kelly.