Since I’ve barely survived my freshman college ENG 131, I’ve come to realize how important critical thinking and being a writer is in my everyday life. Before this class I’ve never taken writing a paper seriously, it was never in my conscious mind. As Douglas B. Reeves says “Writing term papers is a dying art, but those who do write them have a dramatic leg up in terms of critical thinking, argumentation and the sort of expression required not only in college, but in the job market”(Richtel 2). Also, the characters I’ve come to study about showed me some reflections of my own life. As I think about my future I now understand why this course has brought so much reality to my life.
In this course we had two plays to read and write about, we started out with the play Creature by Heidi Schreck and then the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder, I didn’t really understand what was going on in these play, until I had seen it with LR playmakers’ productions. Me not just trying to read them but physically seeing the characters act out really prepared me more to understand and comprehend the plays. Having the opportunity to relive and see the past of how both these plays brought back to life subjects that are hard for me to understand, really helped me know the meaning and main points of these plays.
Writing for an online audience beyond the classroom and presenting essays as blog posts really helped me feel more confident in my writing. Doing this helped me not only reach out to my classmates, but to anyone who was interesting in my writing. Posting it to canvas for my teacher to see it, grade it, and to wordpress for my classmates to comment, also made me spend more time on each of my writings. It made me not just a more confident writer but also placed me in position of becoming a “critical thinker”. I’m all about what people think, so when I would post I would make sure I’ve proofread it more than two times because anybody can comment their opinion on it.
As I’ve come to an end of my first semester with a little bit of experience of being a writer and critical thinker, I now know what it’s like to go above and beyond my writing skills from my high school days. Even though it can be somewhat challenging, in the end I feel like it is all worth it because you earn a good grade and know what it’s like to publish your writings for everyone to see. As Professor Lunsford says “The students often find their ideas much more crystallized after expressing them with new media, she says, and then most startling, they plead to revise their essays”(Richtel 4). I’ve also learned no matter how long your papers should be, you should always plan and draft before writing your final. I plan on taking what I’ve learned in this semester of writing and using it in the future.
Richtel, Matt. .” Blogs vs. Term Papers “, 20 Jan. 2012.
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, Sept. 2003.
In the insert The Falling Man by Tom Junod describes how he captures a picture around the time of 9/11. In great details he talks about the picture and the moment itself. A photographer is no stranger to history and what photographers capture when they witness something. A picture can change everything and to capture something you shouldn’t have to always take a picture.
Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004
Erik Larson’s book, The Devil in the White City, involves the true tales of One of the main characters Daniel H. Holmes, the architect behind the 1893 World’s Fair and Dr. H.H Holmes, the serial killer who captured his victims and killed them. In the times of 1800s, Holmes built a hotel at the Chicago World’s Fair to serve as a “Murder Castle” to bring in his victims.
Richtel, Matt. .” Blogs vs. Term Papers “, 20 Jan. 2012.
Blog vs. Term Papers by Matt Richtel goes into detail to explain how college students don’t know how to prepare themselves to right a term paper on a college level. High School these days don’t prepare them for college work. Students normally don’t take them seriously, and don’t really know how to fully write one. College professors are trying to figure out what to do to get students prepared like not just writing term papers but also getting their attention with blog post and other things students wouldn’t mind doing.
Schreck, Heidi. Creature. Samuel French, 2011.
The play Creature by Heidi Schreck was set in 1400 to 1401 in England. The play is mainly about a woman name Margery Kempe that manages a beer company and her father being the mayor. She wants to become a saint because she had a vision of Jesus Christ in purple robes. Visions are hard to believe even in the 1400’s. People around her didn’t know what to believe, because for more than half a year she was being pestered by devils or so she thought. As this plays setting sets a conflict, as to Margery’s visions being real or not. Author Schreck conjures a collision of contemporary and medieval imaginations, between the faith and it’s messengers.
Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”, Sept. 2017.
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation by Jean M. Twenge goes into talking about how this generation in today’s society is based around technology, we can’t do anything without our smartphones. People and not just teenagers spend too much time looking at a screen and little do they know how much damage they are doing to their brains. Everyone with smartphones, laptops, etc are becoming addictive to technology and people’s attitudes are changing, and also their behaviors. The question that has yet been answered “what do we do to fix this generation and the future?”
Whitehead, Colson. Underground Railroad. Sphere, 2017.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a fictional book based on a slave name Cora on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Back then life wasn’t easy for all the slaves, it was especially bad for Cora. Throughout this book she becomes an outcast and is entering womanhood. A man comes along names Cesar gives her a description of The Underground Railroad, they then decide to take risk and escape. They head north but during this process of them leaving everything doesn’t go as planned and they begin to get hunted.
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1983. Harper Perennial, 2003.
Our Town by Thornton Wilder was first published and produced in 1938. The entire play takes place in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. This play is mainly about a main character Emily Webb who lived in a small town Grover’s Corners. Emily falls in love with a hometown boy, gets married, has kids, and dies. In her death she is brought back to the past to reflect on how her human life was and through the everyday lives of its citizens. Donald Margulies writes in his foreword to the play that “It’s a Wonderful Life” owes a great deal to “Our Town” (xi). This film and this play both bring to life how important one’s life can be to others, and makes one value life more.