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Mansoor Farooq Professor Lynda Haas Writing 37 7 December 2013 Writing 37 has been a challenge for me in the first quarter of my college career. Coming into the University of California Irvine, I was not a great writer. I mainly blame it on my lack of interest in reading and writing and because of that I did not read as often as I should have. Although I did this, I realized it was important for me to start reading to improve my grammar because I came into college with a mindset that I was going to succeed in all of my goals. In the beginning of the quarter, I wrote a poem that mainly said that I was going to conquer writing 37 even though I was not a proficient writer. Although I can do better, I have tried my best at all the essays and the presentations we did for the class. For Writing 37, we had to write two essays and do several presentations. The first essay was on the movie Shaun of the Dead and the second one was about the novel World War Z. The main part of the course was the two essays for the class and presenting in a seminar with another Writing 37 class. The class was based on a zombie theme and so the first essay my group wrote about was analyzing the zombie genre through watching the movie Shaun of the Dead. The second essay was about analyzing how the zombie apocalypse relates to the cultural anxiety by reading the book World war z. In the seminar, we put together and revised the presentations that we had done in class and presented those. It was a new and interesting way of learning for me. The first essay on Shaun of the Dead that I wrote was the rough draft for the genre essay. As the week progressed, I had been working on my Genre essay and although I thought I did a pretty good job on it, I barely did anything. Even though I put several hours in to making the first

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draft of my essay, I needed to put many more because I learned that I only touched the surface of what I needed to talk about. As group members told me in the class edit part, I need to dig deeper into the meaning of the definition of horror and then explain it through the kind of genre conventions that are there. I also learned that everybody picks the obvious genre conventions and that we should have a deeper level of thinking when writing the essay. We all wrote a revision strategy for the new draft of the essay. In my genre essay I needed to add more to the definition of horror. The thing I needed to add is the definition because I just talked about how zombie genre is horror and did not explain what horror is. I wrote about how I will be focusing on the zombie and zomcom genres in my essay. The thing I changed though was the conventions because the ones I have right now are too shallow and are not very detailed. The conventions I used are how the zombies gather around the humans in many parts of the scene and walk in masses. Also I planned to give examples from different scenes and how zombies in other movies do the same. I had not decided on what I wanted to use as a unique convention. I also had to use new film terminology from the Yale analysis film guide. One habit of mind I picked up that week was openness, the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world. One mind can think something is great, however, another can think it is truly awful. I am not saying my paper was the best or worst, just that people have opinions. Also I was very uncomfortable with everybody in the group reading my paper and giving back all these harsh comments. I learned that it gives you a different perspective. I believe that my strength on the final draft is that I can explain the piece well. My weakness on the other hand, I do not have very great points that standout. The thing I would spend extra time on is my deeper level of thinking so I can understand the piece in several different ways. Getting peer advice helped me however

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by learning how other people think and learn. I can use this when studying for a test exam by studying in a group. I also used this on the second essay that I wrote. World War Z, written by Max brooks, was what I wrote the second essay about. I had to analyze a specific character in the novel and then relate it to the cultural context of the world. I wrote my analysis on a character named Saladin Kader who was from Palestine. His story related to the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews. There conflict is how the Jews have conquered Israel and are basically taking over the country by kicking the Palestinians out. The problem still continues to this day. Once I submitted my first draft, I received the comments from my teacher and they were not that great. I realized that I still need to do a better job on analyzing my piece instead of just summarizing. We then wrote a revision strategy for the second draft. For the introduction I had to write about who the audience is along with the author and critics and put some critical thinking into the thesis. I also had to elaborate more in the rhetorical situation. In my body paragraphs, I had to use quotations from the chapter of Saladin Kader in the book, summarize less and give my opinion on the topic. I had to write about where the article is from and use other sources to back up the information also. I needed to rearrange the topic by using the elements, talk about a before and after; before he was prejudice toward the Jews then a Jew risked his life to save his family and then he learned to set aside his racism . For the conclusion, I also included how WWZ relates to the real world today and the moral of the story would be that the apocalypse creates a situation where Saladin learns to set aside his racism and realizes that not all Jews are the same. I used two habits of mind that week. The first one was curiosity because during my presentation for the class, I presented on Saladin Kader. I did not know about this tension or what was happening in detail which made me curious to learn about what was going on. I researched about this conflict and found much information. The second

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habit of mind that applies to me is persistence. When we had to get our presentation done, we were limited on time so I had to research all the material that I knew in a short amount of time. Although it was pressure from the teacher and my group, I got the job done. Since my group had four people to present, we just decided that we would research one person each and then put all of the information together. My greatest strength for my final draft is, I do not have a lot of grammatical errors and can get to the point however, one weakness is I still cannot analyze as well. If I had more time to work on my final draft, I would work on learning better ways to analyze the piece. As the seminar drew closer, my group was practicing in and out of the classroom. We would meet frequently, especially when it was really close to presenting, and talk about what we had to finish and try to do it as soon as possible. We collaborated by bringing our own ideas and then talking about them amongst the group. Collaboration helps develop the ideas. The ideas go further than ones mind. We also practiced giving the presentations in front of the group when we met. It helped with stage fright and made us understand what we need to change. We also had to plan out our part of the presentation. Planning is everything, and one should also know everyone else's part; just in case someone needs to fill in. This happened to my group because one of the members came in late and another member had to cover. We also had to stay focused on our material without letting nerves get in the way. We had to understand the flow. I presented four parts in the seminar as did my other group members. Because we were the mc group, we had a little extra to present than the other groups of our class. I presented in the beginning of the seminar to open up and break the ice. My group thought of telling jokes between their presentations to keep the audience interested. I then went up again to start up the second section of the seminar. My third part of it was to analyze another character and present on that part. I

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picked a character whose name was Paul Redeker from South Africa and how he had lifeboat ethics. These ethics were basically to isolate a group as bait for the zombies so the rest of the people could be saved. I then closed off the presentation with explaining what we had learned through analyzing the zombie genre and to end it off, I gave one final joke. My greatest strength on presenting this seminar was, I was confident and knew what I had to say. I struggled in giving enough detail because of the lack of time we had. If I had extra time to work on this presentation, I would try to learn a way to give detail without talking very much. Overall we did a great job on the presentation and received several compliments. The presentation helped me in boosting my confidence on presenting in front of a group. I can now present in front of an audience because of this experience. One habit of mind that I developed throughout this experience was flexibility. It taught me how to move around my schedule and adjust to other peoples needs. For example, I had a discussion for my class at the time we were supposed to meet so instead of attending discussion I met with the group. I later attended another discussion which I received all of the information I needed. Before the start of this class, I did not know a lot about zombies or rhetorical situations. Now that I have almost finished the class, Ive learned a great amount about two things that I never really had an interest in. in fact, I had never seen a zombie movie before the class started. I also did not think about a rhetorical situation or what kind of conventions should be shown in a movie or a book. I just watched the movie for fun. I learned that horror is a general theme and does not specify a movie, it is the broad view. The more precise way to describe a movie would be first to identify a general theme. For example, a zombie movie would be considered as a horror movie and then to be more specific, it would be sectioned off into a zombie horror unlike a ghost horror movie. Then there are conventions that are specific to a genre being shown. So if a

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zombie movie is being shown, there should be zombies, blood, gore, and specifics that apply to the zombie theme. There are also unconventional conventions which do not follow the genre of the movie. For example, In Shaun of the Dead, although it is a zombie movie, there is British Humor mixed within it and it makes part of the movie unconventional. In the future, I plan on taking more biology and chemistry classes so I would be using the rhetorical situations to write up my lab reports. As a hobby, I like to make comedy videos with my cousin. If I were to make a video for something, I would apply the rhetorical situation into what I am making the video about. I also learned about film terms used in the movies that I could use when I make videos. For example, if I want to follow the character, I can use a following shot with the camera because it puts more emphasis on the character and I know what it is now. I learned all of this grateful information that I can take advantage of now.