This English Comp course I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge. When I originally signed up for college and saw my English courses, I thought that this would be my easiest class. In high school I excelled at English and Reading, it was going to be a breeze. I was wrong. By no means is the course difficult, I just came to the realization that I still had a lot to learn. Writing has always come easy to me; it seems I always have something to say. I am very opinionated and realize that just because I think a certain way, the rest of the world may not share my thoughts. This course has taught me to grow in my writing and explore other types of writing. Blogging has been my favorite! I enjoy being able to just let my thoughts and word flow onto the screen. The challenge for me has been our weekly papers. Citing at the end of each paper was the biggest learned item for me. I am sure that in high school we had to cite our papers, but my memory must have erased this part of class. I have greatly enjoyed learning the proper way to cite my sources, though I know I still have a lot to learn. The website was also a part of this course that appealed to me. I crave creativity, and being able to design my own site and personalize it to give my readers a glimpse into who I am, it worked for me. Though the course has come down to the final week, I hope to continue on with my website and even drop a blog or two along the way. I want to say a big THANK YOU to our instructor, Mrs. Cook for her constructive guidance along the way. I have learned a great deal from your course and will do my best to apply that knowledge to everything I do in the future!

 
 
. All my life I have searched for ways to use my knowledge and abilities to help others. My mom was always teasing me that I was born a generation too late, I should have been a peace loving hippie that wanted to change the world. I would just laugh. Looking back though, she was right. I am saddened by people suffering. The work that these two graduates are doing is comforting to me. They are taking their skills and helping people in a culture that struggles with daily situations. I love the fact that not only are they physically feeding the youths in a poverty stricken area, but they are also providing food for their minds. Teaching them about art, agriculture and technology. Another point of this story that I delight in, is the fact that they are not promoting their cause with glitz and glam. They realize that if the cause is worth it and doing what it is supposed to, then people will come for that reason, not because a fancy commercial or big shot celebrity said they should. With the recent storm that have hit our surrounding areas, a lot of folks have been wondering what it is that they can do to help those in need. This is a good thing. My own immediate response to the storm devastation was “what can I do?” What can I do…..? They are overwhelmed with supplies, though they can always use more. Clothes have been donated from all over. Businesses have volunteered to help clear debris. Money has been raised to aid in the rebuilding of lives. What else is there? The children. Mom and dad are stressed. Family members may have been injured or worse. They have a lot on their minds. The children need an outlet. I have pondered the situation and I feel like creating something for the children would make a difference. Raising money to provide day outings and playdates for the children while mom and dad are trying to piece things together. It is summertime, a time of fun in the sun. Ice cream, sprinklers, laughter. The children have endured the same pain as the adults, but in a different way, and having a way to feel like a kid again in these troubled times could make a world of difference.

 
 
This week’s reading topics really hit home for me. Throughout my entire life I have struggled with my self-image. Too short, to “fluffy”, as we say in our home. Growing up I watched television shows that for the most part portrayed people, particularly children my age, as they were. I don’t know if any of you may remember Punky Brewster, but I adored that girl. Mismatched socks and shoes, stripes with plaids and just about whatever hairstyle she could think of. I adored that girl. First and foremost because she was quirky, as I tended to be, but also because she went against the grain. She didn’t have to do things to gain the approval of others. She wore what made her happy and she was super comfortable with the way she looked. Television these days is scary for young kids. For some crazy reason, society has placed a gigantic factor on being thin, perfect hair, makeup and clothes. This makes absolutely no sense to me. I have a daughter, a very impressionable daughter, and yes she does watch Jessie and Wizards of Waverly when the opportunity comes around. I have heard her say she wishes she had longer hair, prettier eyes, was taller, thinner. It breaks my heart that the young people on television are so wrapped up in their self-images and that they are so looked up upon by children. I think every child should have that person on television that they would like to be a little bit more like, so why don’t the youth actors and actresses be who they really are, flaws and all??

M – I was happy to see an article finally posted showing the real side of celebrities. Often time’s celebrities are so painted up in ads and pictures that it is almost as if you aren’t looking at a person at all, but just a creation. I believe the author deserves a standing ovation for getting the reader to realize that “things aren’t always what they seem”.

A – I agreed with the whole article this week. As short as it was, it made a point. I was happy that the magazine put an untouched photo of Cate Blanchett on the cover. It was a true portrayal of what the everyday working mom really looks like. We all try to be beautiful, but sometimes we just have to be real.

N – Honestly there was nothing in this article that I disagreed with. I do wish that they would have included a response from Cate Blanchett on how she felt about the cover. It would have been beneficial to reader I believe to hear if she defended the magazines choice.

I – I found the last sentence and final words from the magazine to be the most interesting. “It’s a curious sign of the times that this has become something to shout about.” To me this statement gives hope that eventually we will find real beauty in real life. The mom that works all day and can’t wait to get home and get in sweats and her favorite t-shirt. The dad that may not have the six pack abs but has strong arms to protect his family, and the kids that want to still be kids and not grow up faster than they have to with negative influences.

C – The most confusing part of this article, again as short as it was, was the lack of conclusion. I would have enjoyed reading of more celebrities that have allowed themselves to be photographed or videoed in real life.

 
 
 Sometimes when I sit back and listen to my kids talk about how things are these days, I just shake my head and sign. If the average child does not have their own cellphone by age eleven or twelve, to hear them tell the story, it is the end of the world. “My parents are so mean!” Who is to blame for this attitude? I don’t want to point any fingers, but we all might want to share
the blame. We have become a world built around technology. I believe we are only hurting ourselves. We as adults are sending the message to the younger generations that communication, real communication is a thing of the past. Families already face so many struggles without the complications of technology. Work schedules, school schedules, extra-curricular activities, they all consume our time. Add tablets, laptops, social networks, email, and cell phones in the mix, it spells disaster. I think it is time we all got back to the basics and put down our electronics, step outside with our families, take a breath of fresh air and truly enjoy what we have.

 MANIC

M – The message that I got from reading this piece on technology is that it can consume your life. Very similar to alcohol or drug addiction, people are capable of becoming addicted to their electronic devices. Think of how many times you stop what you are doing to read that email or check that score for the big game. Think of how many times a text comes through and you are driving, but you just HAVE to see who it is from? And just like the author of the story, people do get moody or “edgy” when they haven’t had their electronic fix.


A – Honestly, I agreed with the author about the negativity of the effect of our technology. Throughout the years society has always wanted to be bigger and better. Just one step ahead of the pack. In becoming so advanced with our gadgets though, it seems to me that we have actually taken a major step BACK in time. People in today’s world rarely have face to face encounters anymore. Why waste the time and energy to talk to that friend you haven’t seen in years, maybe have a cup of coffee and catch up when you can just give them a friend request and “like” and “comment” all the items on their social networking page.


N – In the article, the author writes about the child whose grades suffer from his electronic device use, and the parents take the said electronics away as punishment. This sounds like a reasonable punishment, yet the parents, specifically dad, whose career is based around the internet, fails to reduce his electronic exposure, even though his family time is suffering. I believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Dad should be properly punished for neglecting his family, just as the child was punished for neglecting his schoolwork.


I – I found it interesting that withdrawals of our electronic devices can be compared to the withdrawals of drug and alcohol. That not getting to check our email a trillion times a day can have a negative effect on our moods. I have sat and watched people, honestly if I could make money doing this I would, and almost as if out of pure habit, the average person with unconsciously check their phones for messages numerous times a day. It is almost as if they are dependent on those 4G’s inside their pocket

C – The author makes the point in the article that technology is consuming our lives. All of us. Our schoolwork suffers, our jobs suffer and more specifically our families suffer. Yet the writer also brings attention to the man from Oklahoma that has made his career from all of this technology. I understand that this family is a good example of a technology infested family, but I think that by showing how successful this individual has become, by way of neglecting his family to a degree, we are only enforcing this  behavior.

 
 
     What makes me, me? This seems to be a question that I could probably spend hours answering. I think my personality is probably the number one thing that makes me, me. I am about as individualistic as they come. I am the last person to follow the crowd. I tend to make my own path. Those who choose to follow my path, well they are in for an interesting ride. So what is my personality? Where shall I begin? I am loud and obnoxious, yet I am caring and sensitive. I love to be in loud and lively situations, but when given the opportunity I am quite content with a glass of wine and some Claude Debussey playing on my stereo. I am the shy girl that keeps to herself until the moment arises that I will talk your ear off with my random thoughts that, to those who do not know me, may have some wondering if I am a loon. I also believe that my children make me, me. I never saw myself as the “soccer mom”, the “T-ball mom” or the mom that teaches her children to catch and clean fish, but guess what? That is who I am. I don’t regret a single minute of the person that they have made me. In fact I embrace the fact that my children are able to often times get me to live outside of my box. They have taught me to see the beauty in things and to always question what you don't understand. The biggest lesson they have taught me is to love and cherish every moment, not just the good. I believe my faith in God has also defined who I am. I know that every blessing and gift I have been given, as well as the struggles and hardships, they have all made me the strong, relentless individual that I am. So who among you is willing to join me on this crazy ride…?

 
 
     During the 6 weeks that we will be in this class, I plan on gaining more knowledge about writing. I have enjoyed writing for many years. Poetry, songs and short stories mostly. The poetry and songs always went over well for me, mostly because they were short in length and to the point. They didn't require a whole bunch of time and commitment. I did enjoy writing the short stories, but I always faced one incredibly HUGE hurdle. Completion. The crazy thing is, every story needs and ending and I could just never find the right way to do it. I have boxes of stories, good stories I might add, that are just collecting dust because I just don't know where to go with my writing to end them. Am I really that lacking in imagination that I can't finish them, or is it something more. Quite possibly I just don't like saying goodbye to my story lines. Either way, my goal for this class is to gain a better understanding of my writing and where I should be going with it next. Who knows? I may just finish every single story....

     That being said, this is my second semester for my online courses and I have to say that I really do enjoy them. Being a single Mom that is not only enrolled full time in college but also works full time, online is my saving grace. Traditional college would probably frown on me for asking to have classes between the hours of 9pm and 2am, but this is the time that I have to work with and it does work. I am going to school to pursue a career as an RN, so my basics are working out just perfect online and I will continue to take them as long as I am able. I know there will come a time when I will need to be a school physically more often than not, but I will face that hurdle when it comes. Who knows? I may just sell that box of finally finished short stories...

     
    
    
 

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    I tend to ramble on quite randomly...do not be afraid...just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

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