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Letter of Reflection

Alex Torio

Letter of Reflection

UW20:57 Science and Media

Dear Professor Myers and Classmates,

Wow! Is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think in hindsight about this course.  As a foreign writer, imagine how different and bizarre must have been to adapt to this writing process.  During my previous education in the American School of Madrid, I was bombarded with writing methods that were completely different to what Prof. Myers expected from us.   This methods and strategies followed completely different and more standard guidelines and I was mind blown when I realized I had to figure out how to change and adapt quickly if I wanted to survive.  Essay 1 is a good example of the required modifications that I was doomed to undergo.  Whereas in high school I had a much more structured and specific outline to follow, this piece of work required me to utilize different techniques; Prof. Myers was looking for a writing skill that I hadn’t had the chance to develop previously.  Even though this skill maintained the organization and structure, it demanded a creative description that I wasn’t prepared to perform, making the task even more challenging.

In addition, Prof. Myers introduced a system of revisions that I wasn’t familiar with.  As of in high school, I used much more simple revisions that, as a result, didn’t produce a final outcome as clear and detailed as the papers we are required to revise in UW.   So I would say that this is an acquired habit for the better.  I also came to the realization that thoroughly revised papers are the only papers that have had the chance to become what they really are.  A superficial revision reduces the potential strength of the piece of work.  Believe it or not, this revising skill is something that I saw myself forced to use throughout the semester, and that probably will stay with me for the rest of my college career.  At first, I did not have the intention of developing this set of writing skills; I believed that UW was going to be about scholar writing but not about creative scholar writing.

This brings us to the “scholarly” influence in writing that we have had the chance to experience throughout the course.  I had a completely different perception of this term at the beginning of the year than now.  After having done several research projects that introduce scholarly questions to the writing process, I think that I have realized that scholar engagement really means to be able to drain the largest amount of relevant and didactic information possible from a specific source.  We have been analyzing argument and expository sources rather than other type of sources.  Hence, discussing scholar topics is very appropriate within these types of sources.  In the exposition sources, the scholar questions is usually more clear and organized; however, in argument sources, where the purpose is to add value to the original content, the scholar question is harder to identify but more useful at the time of drawing conclusions.

As my peers have mentioned in their letters of reflection too, I was very pleased with the result of the “quiz strategy.”  When Prof. Myers gave us the first quiz, I was very confused because I couldn’t figure out the purpose of it; but after taking the second one, I though it was a very clever idea.  It not only shows us, as students, how we have changed and gained knowledge of information we didn’t know previously throughout the course, but it also demonstrates us our capacity to adapt (hoping in a successful way) to the college experience.

Overall, the course was a learning experience that I wish I had grasped more quickly at the beginning.  But to me, it seemed as if I was playing the game with an obvious disadvantage, which is the language barrier and the fact that I am not native.  It was a little stressful to see everyone embrace the change at an earlier stage than me.

Sincerely, Alex

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