Sunday, May 3, 2009

Favorite Links

My favorite Links

English 111 Refections

Vera Norfleet
English 111-28
Challenging is the first word that comes to my mind when I look back on the last 15 months in English 111. I use the word challenging because writing has always been a bad word to me. I remember as far back as elementary school telling my mom that I did not like to write. My mother said that I got that I inherited that from her because she did not like to write also. So writing has always been a challenge to me.
I when remember my first day in English 111 when Mr. Gasparo advised the class that you would need to be computer literate in his class and if you were not you may want to consider transferring to another English 111 class. I was kind of thrown back when he said that because I thought that he only wanted computer geeks in his class. I decided to stay even though I knew I wasn’t any way near to being a computer wiz. After a few classes I understood what the concept of his class was about and that is to step outside of the box and experience new ways of writing.
Now when I write I try to use the rhetorical appeals, focus more on my audience and present a more clear argument about my chosen topic. These are all things that I would never have done in the past. When I first learn about the rhetorical appeals (logos,ethos,pathos) it was very challenging to have use each one twice in a writing assignment. I welcomed the challenge of each assignment and the more papers I write the more comfortable I become.
Writing a blog has been another experience that I would have never have done if I hadn’t been in Mr. Gasparo class. I asked fellow English 111 peers and no one I’ve talked too had to write a blog. I thought writing a blog would put me outside my comfort zone, but I’ve always encouraged my daughter to step outside her comfort zone and now it is my time. Writing the blog was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, my problem is that I have a problem sharing my feelings and thoughts with others.
I really enjoyed the different reading assignments that we had in the class especially the different songs that we had to analyze, listen and review in class; it was a different way to look at writing styles and revision. Another challenge that I appreciated was having my peers critique my assignment. This was challenging because I felt that my peers would know how bad my writing skills were and would judge me accordingly. What I did find out is that everyone has their own challenges and the reason that we all are in this class is because when need to learn or build upon whatever writing skill that that we have or don’t have.
In conclusion my overall experience in English 111 has been a good experience, even though I have had unexpected personal problems that caused to me to loose focus on some of my assignments, but with the encouragement from my instructor I was able to complete them taking one day at a time. I am now looking forward to my next English class which I will approach each challenge step by step and pledge to do my best on each assignment.

My reflections of English 111

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Be thankful for what you have

#1 Diagnostic
My favorite or most unforgettable vacation was a visit to Belize. I have always wanted to visit a poverty stricken country. I remember as a young adult watching many television shows of countries of where people actually lived in inhumane conditions. I always wondered was that the truth or just an exaggeration. To actually visit a poverty stricken country is an eye opening experience.

Many tourist visit Belize for it beautiful coral reefs. It was once was a very bountiful and prosperous country. My goal was to see how the majority of the Belize people live on a day today basis, outside of the tourist area. Looking outside the window of my tour vehicle where poor people wearing little to no clothing. There where ruined down buildings and frames of what looked like some type of structure. Children and adults were begging for food and money. What I saw first hand was the very things that I had seen on television. I was overwhelmed with empathy for these people, yet I felt helpless because there wasn’t anything that I could personally do to help these people. What was also insightful when touring the country was the mansions surrounded by gates where the wealthy people live among the poor people. I began to wonder among myself how could these wealthy people sleep at night knowing what was going on around them. I than became angry because I knew the answer was that they just didn’t care.

This vacation gave me a greater appreciation for what I have and not to take for granite the small things in life such as having food to eat on a daily basis, clothing to wear and water to drink. I wish that everyone could have opportunity to spend one day in a poverty stricken country were there is no opportunity to do better and hope they would come out with a better appreciation for the things that most of us take advantage of.

Vera Norfleet


Revised Diagnostic

Be thankful for what you have
I remember as a young child shedding tears as I watched television shows about people living in third world countries. I remember seeing little babies being blown by flies and children walking around with pot bellies because of a lack of food., some how, in my mind I could not believe that people could be living in such poverty. I always wonder if those people really existed.
When I got older I began to understand the reason for poverty and felt great pity for those that were experiencing it. I always had a desire to travel to a third world country and see first hand the state of condition. In 2004 I was given an opportunity to visit Belize in Central America. Most tourists go there to view and scuba dive in their beautiful coral reefs. My purpose was to find out how the natives lived and their outlook on life despite their state of poverty.
When I arrived in Belize I was greeted by friends who immediately gave me a tour of the inlands far away from the tourist area. I was over whelmed to see so much desolation, destroyed buildings, piles of rubbish, children playing in the streets with little or no clothing and people lying on the ground starving from malnutrition. I remember getting waved through a road that was guarded by men carrying guns. My heart skipped a beat when I saw that, it made me think about what I had seen on TV. At that moment even though I wanted to see more I wondered if my safety was at stake. I said a silent prayer and continued with my tour that ended at a museum that was just built and not open to the public yet. Inside the museum was a show case of the history of Belize from its rich culture in sugar cane to its demise of today.
To my surprise most of the people that I talked seemed optimistic. Despite the ruined down dwellings, lack of food, clothing and jobs most people wanted to talk about the past when the country was wealthy and there was plenty of food and jobs for everyone. My friend who is from Belize said ,that most of the natives have been in poverty for so long that it has become a way of life for them. They want change but they do not believe it will come in their life time. They encourage their children to go out of the country to seek work and education.
This vacation was one of the most educational and self satisfying experiences that I have had so far in my life. Not too many people get to experience a childhood dream and live to talk about it. Growing up my mother use to always told me to be thankful for what I have, and this trip to Belize has helped me to have a greater appreciation for just that.