by J. Jordon
A last look back at what is possibly the end of this semester.
The Final Reflection
Time, it does catch up with us doesn't it? At the very beginning of this semester I thought of myself as a very dull, rusty instrument. Sure, it may look okay, but I've needed time to really remove these rust flakes and then take a whetstone to my abilities. As a non-traditional student, I have had a lot of gaps in my educational development and unfortunately, I tend to slide back, losing ground so to speak when I am not actively pursuing education. Right now, while I am not the best I have seen gradual improvement in areas I once thought impossible. The Inquiry Project, no matter how I ended the writing, I was able to start, continue and finish. If anyone told me I would end up committing to such an undertaking at the beginning of the semester, I would have called them a liar and bet money on it, too. I am glad to see myself proved wrong though, it is a nice surprise, indeed. For me, this semester was about self-improvement, the peer reviews, and writing.
I do want to say, that I did not need this class. I came to this class because I didn't feel like I obtained or grew through the previous standard courses a freshman or sophomore takes. In fact, I'd like to recommend that this class in comparison to Composition and Argument-Based research ultimately becomes replaced with a writing based course as this. I was not sure what to expect when I enrolled and while I had some setbacks I am glad I was able to come through to the end. The obstacles in place took real work to overcome, one could not slide or duck the work by simply knowing the answers. Writing forces you to demonstrate what you know and it takes a real effort to even produce work. Unlike the movies and their impressive montage scenes of rapid skill improvement, real change is gradual. At the very beginning of this semester I was not sure of what I could accomplish here. By the mid-term, I was indeed having issues, problems, etc. relating to the material, but I was able to slog through and ultimately do the work, perhaps not with amazing results, but I got the job done and sometimes that's what counts.
Peer-to-peer. No, I'm not talking about file sharing but information exchange. It's very different from when I was last in school. Growing up, kids exchanged papers because the teacher, really didn't want to grade the papers, and so with the powers at their disposal they got us, the students, to do the job for them. However, college is different. There is real feedback and while not every student addresses the same issues, peer review has been one of the better group projects I have been a part of in a long time. Sometimes, I was able to see something in my own work that I missed when I viewed it while reading someone else's work. And seeing someone address the same topic in their own way, like the Literacy Sponsor paper, was a real treat since no two experiences are truly ever going to be the same for everyone nor will it be described the same way.
This is probably the last piece I will right for this class and I feel this needs to be said. In January, there was a time when I stared at the white screen waiting for the words to magically appear on the screen. But this class was able to bring them out of me, for better or for worse, I was finally able to write as much as I needed to and not procrastinate as much as I once did or perhaps not even commit to the task at all. For me, that worth more than all the good grades.
Finally, I'd like to thank you the reader. While it takes me hours to construct the rhetoric, you have to sit through this all and interpret what I am saying trying to make sense of it. And for that and all the time you spent here on my project, I must say thanks. Thanks for actually reading and giving real feedback. Even though many a talk-backs made me shake my head and ask myself... Why did I write that? Why did I say that in that manner? It's fine, because I never thought of those questions before until now. And that has left me with a positive semester's end outlook.