After a long semester of English 122 with Professor Drown, I am able to say that I have learned more about the way I learn then in any class I have ever taken before. From the first week of class, Professor Drown has tasked us with challenging our own thought processes. Along with this, he wanted us to accept that the way we learned and processed information may have been wrong before, and that it could be fixed. We began the semester reading smaller articles and focusing on certain skills within the annotation process. After learning the proper way to highlight a text when not having any prior knowledge of the subject, and circling words that I did not understand or might have forgotten the meaning to, we were able to focus on the most important strategy when wanting to become a good reader. This strategy is known as active reading. Active reading is a rather simple tool that allows teenagers across the world to further understand complicated texts. Active reading breaks down the text or passage into chunks and forces the reader to dissect each sentence. When doing this, it is important to highlight important information and circle any words that are unknown to the reader. The next time I read an article with the length and complexity like in the Kahneman article, I will be sure to use the tools that I have gained since becoming an active reader. I will separate the story into chucks, recognizing a change in setting. Along with this I will highlight, underline and circle any information that is vital to the story or may be confusing to me as the reader. I believe that over time, my active reading skills have significantly improved with constant practice and support from Mr. Drown. I am now able to dissect a piece of text, annotate it, find direct quotes, and make a connection to real life events. During my time in English 122, Mr. Drown has stressed the importance of pre-writing and how a good rough draft will lead to success on the final paper. In class so far, my best piece of pre- writing was:
As a teenager, poor judgement is something that haunts the minds of kids our age all around the world. Historically, poor decision making leads to a negative outcome, and that is something that all teenagers can relate to. Whether it’s going to a party instead of studying for an exam or being associated with the wrong people, poor judgement is a negative action. Although poor judgement skills are usually seen to be lacking during the teenage years, I can recall many instances where poor judgement affected me as a child. Growing up, I was never a motivated student. I would do anything possible to avoid doing my school work, and hated every second of the school day. Instead of studying and learning the basics of every subject, I was focused on my athletic performance and hanging out with my friends as I believed that was much more important. During the summer, I pretended as if school did not exist and did my best to not do summer work because school was simply not in session. Due to this lack of judgement, I began to fall behind in school. As I got older, the school work became harder, and my lack of practice and experience made me look dumb in the eyes of my peers. I was forced to begin working with a tutor in order to gain progress in the classroom, especially in math. My lack of judgement led to a negative outcome in the classroom. As I grew older, I became more mature but would still find myself struggling to make smart decisions. As a high school student, having the ability to have a sense of judgement is vital. This will allow students to focus on their studies, while having a social presence and being a successful athlete. When I was in high school, some would compare me to a social butterfly, as well as a kid with little to no care about the responsibilities that would affect my future, I just had no idea at the time. During football season of my senior year, I was completely focused on my performance on the field instead of my performance in the classroom. In my statistics class, I took advantage of the freedom we had to watch film and prepare for the next opponent. I then continued to wait until the last minute to complete major assignments, and found myself continuously asking my friends to send me the answers to homework assignments. This lack of judgement and motivation was my Achilles heel, and for the first time ever I almost failed a class because I was simply not invested in my work.
This piece of pre-writing was completed in a 50 minute class with Mr. Drown. Although it is not the final copy of the paper, it allowed me to relate to the Kahneman article easier so that the process of writing the final draft was smooth. I was able to use real life experiences and relate them to the events in the Kahneman article. Although I have improved significantly in English 122, I am going to have to make a lot of changes for next semester. In order to succeed in English 123, I am going to have to be consistent and prioritize my English work. Although my reading skills are proficient, I believe that I could still use some practice so that the topics of active reading and other skills used in Mr. Drowns class stay fresh in my mind. Finally, with the assistance of Mr. Drown, I wish to become a better student in general, with goals in mind that will allow me to find success in the classroom.