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FINAL- Retrospective Assignment December 16, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Creative English with proper grammar and audience capturing are not key areas of focus for my Computer Science major.  As programmers, we are encouraged to be very protective and diligent with our program writings or “code” in the lingo which is private and read by other programmers only if the original developer allows it.  If someone else wants to know my work, they have to read and understand my superficial and technical explanations. I was very worried about taking an English writing class, because of my deficiency on grammar, sentence structure and connection with my audience.  I was reluctant about taking English 414, but now I am happy with the improvements and growth as a writer. My post, “Extreme Shooting Pain” written almost at the end of the semester when compared to “3 Blogs- Education, Fun and Boxing Granny” from the beginning shows great improvement in style, grammar, and connection with the reader.

I had not taken an English class for a very long time, so, for my initial posts grammar was a major problem .  Teacher’s and group’s comments together with the class grammar presentations and exercises helped me to improve my sentence structure.  Early on in the semester, I didn’t introduce my sources and links properly; I merely listed the links with un-explained facts such as, “This type of treatment is to help stop the replication of the HIV virus in a non-HIV person.  This treatment has to start within 72 hours of the exposure, and it is usually one pill per day for 28 days. The site, aids.gov, explain current statistics and treatment of HIV/Aids“.  I had no previous experience on blogging; consequently, the media I included was either irrelevant, over powering or nonexistent. Following the teacher’s suggestions and visiting blogs outside our class gave me a broader understanding on how to make my blog interesting and engaging.

On later posts I let go of my dried out Computer Science writing style and decided to connect with my readers on a more personal level.  I stayed focused to my blog topic, 3D Imaging Technology; however, I decided to introduce personal and family events and experiences to help the reader identify with me.  The enjoyment and fluidity of my posts increased as I started to include myself and others’ ideas and experiences and not just cold hard  facts on the subject of 3D.   Providing a greater range of details, such as “The snow was coming down hard, the streets were very slippery and impossible to drive, trees and branches were breaking and falling on the middle of the streets and on tops of cars breaking windows and windshields” gave my readers an almost live image of my ideas and surroundings.. This prompted students questions and discussions which I think improved our overall communication skills.  Later, posts included less media but with more relevance to my writing making it almost possible for the reader to understand my message based on the media alone.  Providing pictures and videos where people were being examined and were either happy or in distress, helped my audience to understand my exigence and be less confrontational with the points that I wanted to get across.  After learning from in-class exercises and lectures on how to identify the person of interests and their relevance or concern to my ideas and suggestions, I started to provide the “so what” and “who cares” within my texts.  Objectively editing our own posts was hard, but once I accomplished it I was able to edit this passage “it is Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) and …  Studies have shown that PCS affect a great number of children ages 8 to 16 and is less frequent on adults.  However, parents and adults in general should not take chest pain lightly because it could very well be a heart attack and die for not seeking medical attention”  which now included the “so what” and “who cares”.  The improvements and satisfaction from this class included much more than just better English writing.

Students were allowed to choose and present the class material which improved skills on analyzing, speech, public speaking, and group interaction.  Not only was I diligent on analyzing and posting my chosen essay, but also careful on my tone of voice, body posture, pronunciation, and my class engagement style when presenting in front of the class.  This is the first time I have enjoyed an English writing class and part of it was due to the incorporation of blogging. Even though publishing online added more pressure to writing properly, knowing that we were reaching a greater audience made it exciting and rewarding.  I feel much more confident now at posting my ideas on blogs and I am more likely to use blog references on future research.  On future blogs, I would try to be more diverse on my topics of interest in the aim to reach a wider audience but also keep true to the blog’s main purpose.  There is still room for improving on my grammar and discrimination of relevant information on my writings, but I feel much more confident after taking this class and practicing rhetorical analysis, sentence structure, commas, semicolons, transitions, etc.  Further, I was exposed to various writing styles and ideas without being forced to commit to one’s ideology or purpose, whether from the teacher or writer. The methods taught in class allowed or further enhanced creativity and objectivity on my own writings.  I am truly amazed and glad for the amount of my personal skills learned and improved durring this English class.  I will apply these enhanced skills while conducting online research for writing and presenting in future course work or perhaps the work place.