Long Term Growth

self assessment

In a world in which we consume so many different things from many different sources we all start from somewhere. My journey started poorly. I had only ever skim read through any text handed to me. I would skip over paragraphs and entire pages. I would race my eyes through the entire page and expected to retain the information given to me. However, over this semester I have honed the ability to scan through sources carefully, going from faintly understanding texts and transcending to an open experience of easily gained knowledge. Which in return, benefited my experience in research.

It all started right off the bat on the first day of class where we had been given a scripture made by Fredrick Douglass. 

With the time given we all had to read independently and figure out how to present and speak about the ideas presented in the writing. I’ll be honest, when I first read it I had zero clue what the text was trying to convey. Why was that? It was because I did a horrendous job at “skim reading”.  I sat waiting for everyone to finish and explain what was sitting in front of me. Little did I know how much that would help me. My classmate Mia had done a wonderful job explaining the language written on the page. As the conversation within the class went on I had realized key points I should look out for when reading. I found what type of sentences to focus my attention on when skim reading. Instead of just moving through the whole passage I learned to do that initially and then zoom in on parts that seem important. This soon led into our first homework assignment. Yet another passage that we had to analyze from Fredrick Douglass. “Theme for English B”. However, this time, I knew exactly what to do to benefit myself.  From my classmate Mia I realized that I should dive deeper into the text. Especially in poems I which authors love to put such rich descriptive writing. So I wrote this,

Here we already see improvement. I’ll tell you now, I would have never done this if it wasn’t for this class. In this paragraph I could see myself starting to grasp the story little by little. Was it the best paragraph i’ve ever written? No, but it was a nice beginning that sprouted to be bigger and bigger. For example, I had written a description for another piece of literature we read in class. Mother Tongue by Amy Tan.

Again, you can see improvement! Here we see my skills being sharpened. My writing had become more descriptive and in this you can really tell that I understood the text well

This soon led to the more important assignments in our class. Like the research essay. All these reading composition paragraphs had led me to an easier time with the research essay. Without the information that I’ve gained and honed this assignment would have seemed to be near impossible. I’ll be honest, there would have been a 99% chance I would have given up on the assignment completely if i had’nt honed my abilities prior to this. To begin and/or practice this research essay we had to analyze a writing we had read together in class. I had chosen to analyze “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. A piece of work that I previously analyzed. With my new and improved understanding I was able to participate in the conversation in class. I was able to add new opinions and views that actually made sense. With this I was also able to comprehend the conversations other students brought up in class. Progress! This work had also led me to easily and effectively read through my own research about a fiction book called ‘Saving Fish from Drowning’ by Amy Tan. I was able to fill out the few worksheets that were given to the class correlating to the research. 

All this work made reading and searching a fruitful experience. 

Being able to analyze texts better truly helped during my research essay and is sure to help me beyond that. For the research essay we had to check our sites fro credibility and if they even correlated to our topic at all or if they were biased. Thankfully, this was fairly easy to do. Dare I say that it was one of the best parts of writing the essay.

All in all, throughout this semester I’ve retained a very powerful skill set that I could use in my education throughout all classes. I saw progression throughout all my assignments and I felt the weight slowly but surely being taken off when I finally sat down to complete said assignments. This refining of my processing skills not only elevated the capacity at which I analyze but also taught me the importance of engagement in class.  Throughout my efforts I have approached a way of learning that shall benefit me in my essays that are soon to come. Especially research based ones.