During this course we have created different pieces of writing that were Free Write, which in my opinion helped developed our minds and use of words. Through this exercises we were able to put into words our ideas either from random topics or related to our readings, it helped me improved my writing by receiving comments by my peers on my writings. Also, in this semester, analyzing in groups, and later as a whole class, our readings really helped me see the same scene or section of a reading in several different views, because we would share our ideas with each other and compare what similarities there were between our writings and what we hadn’t noticed. In this reflective essay about this semester, I broke down into different sections what the course was about, and expressed with more details my experience.
Area 1: Self as a Reader
At the start of this class, reading, I always had hard times analyzing what we are reading, because what I think is important is sometimes not even mentioned in class, and what results to be important, I completely overlooked while reading. Everybody has different perceptions of words, and in comics the relation between words and pictures, but it was surprising how much you can miss by focusing only on one part of the text. Different texts have different issues that they talk about and develop, and to me it is easier to stick with one issue and fully develop it, rather than state all the issues presented in one single text, and not going in deep with them. In class, we always had conversations that fed my knowledge and my understanding of the texts, because everyone always had a different small part that I had miss, and I also had small additions to the discussion that no one else had mentioned. By sharing your ideas and analysis, first in small groups and then expanding those groups, helps you find similitudes and contradictions to your own ideas and opinions, and helps you (or at least helped me) develop my analysis skills. I was then looking for more than just what was presented to me and tried seeing further than the surface of the words. It is easy to be carried out by the words, and not look deeper into their meaning. But seeing someone else’s perspective helps develop my own as a reader.
Area 2: Writing Situations
While writing something you are basically documenting your thoughts. Throughout this semester developing my thinking and choosing the correct words to develop my ideas has been a challenge to me, to put my sentences in an order that would make sense to somebody else, and correctly project what I intended with said sentence. “There are several different factors that play a role in the shaping of their identities, and societal expectations is one. Society’s norms have been a way to determine what is right and wrong, and certain aspects that are expected from people and their lives. These expectations complicate the shaping of their identity and the views they have on themselves and their bodies.” This is an excerpt from my first draft from my research paper. I started talking about experiences that might be relatable to many different people, but as I developed it, my own experiences came to my mind and I tried to project it so it would seem more real or relatable. My own perspective, to me, I feel is important because it gives a real voice and an honest advocacy to the topic that I want to present. It is easy to be driven into your own writing, but I think this is as important as the evidence, because your words can have the power to move somebody else, and to have an impact on other people’s lives. What developed from what I documented on these sentences is my opinion that taking part in what you are discussing and asking it personal can have a better effect than to just simply show it.
Area 3: Language and Identity
Language is the basic part of communication. With it you define who you are addressing, for which purpose, and it reveals who you are. According to James Baldwin, language is an experience, and I agree to that. Just as different people of a same country might speak differently, it is all based on their experiences. Throughout this course the language that I have used and the ways my vocabulary as well has changed, has helped me to connect with the world. What we have read in class has only served to expand my view of the world, and it has given me the ability to see beyond the acts that are presented to me. Writing and reading has shaped my knowledge by opening new conversations in me and giving a place to stand in certain discussions that are being had. Now in response to Baldwin’s quote, I agree with him, language is one of the most important parts of a person’s identity, and it often reveals more about a person than any personal information about them. Language is formed by different aspects of a person’s life, their family, where they are, who they are friends with, and where they want to go. Language is an important factor that builds identity, and that also helps to either open or close relations and places of a person in the world.