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Erin Coggins
Dr. Reiman
UWRT 1103
September 30, 2014
Midterm Reflection

Dear Dr. Reiman,


The semester, I have grown in my reading and writing awareness and technical
skill. I have also seen the areas in which I need improvement and intend to continue to
cultivate my growth of becoming a more productive student in the university.
Since I have begun college, I have been able to expand and improve my reading
and writing skills through reading higher-level articles and practicing writing for different
audiences. In high school, I learned how to read and take notes. These techniques have
been helpful in understanding the articles I need to read for my classes. Also, in high
school, my AP English teacher taught me how to effectively write and organize essays,
which has been extremely helpful. However, in college, I read and write exponentially
more. I am also able to think about reading, writing, and research differently. Ive
realized that college is a group of intelligent people researching the relationships between

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normal patterns of life and writing about it, so I can read it and in turn write about it too.
I have also realized that in most of the readings, the author uses critical knowledge,
discussed in Framework for Success, to better connect with the audience. This tactic is
something I have been able to practice more since being in college.
Over the past semester, I have found sincere enjoyment in journaling. I even
adore journaling so much that my friends and I have started an online blog about college
life. I am able to write sarcastically and informally, which is my favorite way to write. I
like being able to look back at my journal entries and laugh. It helps me remember the
little things that happen and make me smile. In my journal entries, I often experience
self-discovery. It helps me process concepts and ideas, and I can usually separate my
thoughts this way. For example, I often write about South Africa and my dream to go
back to that country for humanitarian aid work. Once an opportunity arose for me to
return, I was able to flesh out and communicate my thoughts and options because I had
kept a journal in the past.
Based on that idea, sometimes in writing, I am able to make discoveries. In
simply writing this midterm reflection, I am able to fully see what we have covered
curriculum-wise and what I have learned on my own. I have realized how much I have
grown in college and the aspects I can easily improve on within the semester.
This semester, my favorite piece of writing is from my daybook on August 25th,
2014. I even took a picture and sent it to my mom. The piece reads:
I am from hairbows
From smocked dresses and Sunday school
I am from the bicycles in the garage
And the black asphalt cul-de-sac hot on my feet
I am from the sunflowers
And the white peony bushes that scatter my childhood playground

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I am from Knock off that racket!
From pancakes a little burnt on both sides
I am from braces and contact lenses
From the time I was young
I am from plis and tour jetes
From bright red lips and soft pink tutus
I am from macaroni and cheese
And from watermelon, a lot of watermelon
I am from encouragement and fireflies
And from sarcastic jokes that arent actually funny
I am from the foot of the cross
From where my Savior died for me
I am from Anthropology cabinet knobs
And an array of pretty words
I am from adventure
And a strange thirst for change
But I am also from finding something lovely
In every single day
I am especially proud of this piece because I usually hate poetry. However, I enjoyed
writing this and found that I was able to express where I come from, physically,
spiritually, and mentally. It also talks about all of my favorite things. In addition, I wrote
a journal entry while I was hiking in Wyoming that is extremely descriptive and well
written (in the opinion of my tent mates). Unfortunately, I cannot remember it word-forword, and my Wyoming journal is at home. I typically like reading my own writing, but
these two pieces are some of my favorite things Ive written.
My least favorite thing Ive written this semester include most of my essays for
film class, my Short Films Reflection specifically. This essay is terribly boring and
sounds extremely rehearsed. For example, I write, I found Sebastians Voodoo to also
be the least compelling out of the three short films. Although the visual components of
the film were engaging and symbolic, the plot and sound were lacking making the overall

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quality decrease. When I try to write like a film critic, I feel as though I am a small
child trying on my moms high heels. My paper didnt flow, and I had no idea what I
was talking about. I could not take creative liberty in my writing, making it one of my
least favorite compositions.
Learning about writing has also caused me to question certain aspects of reading
and writing. In high school, I was taught that in writing an essay I should say it, explain
it, and say it again. Ive noticed that many authors use an altered and often more
complicated version of this template when writing. In Navigating Genres, Kerry Dirk
discusses that almost every aspect of writing, including syntax, organization, tone, and
diction changes with genre. This leads me to question if this simplistic format still the
most effective way to write? Or does it depend on the audience? In studying for tests and
taking notes, Ive also wondered if reading and writing the same material makes a student
remember the information more when compared to only completing one of the two tasks?
I feel as though both tasks complement each other well but would love to see research
behind that idea.
By the end of the semester, I hope to have improved my reading and writing
skills. Specifically, I would like to be able to read more quickly while still retaining the
information. To accomplish this, I will need to allow myself the time and space to be
completely focused on reading. Also, I would like to be able to take short, concise, yet
helpful notes while reading. I think that this goal will come with practice. I plan to focus
on what is the most important and write that down. And hopefully, by the end of the
semester, I will be a better student because of theses goals.

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As I have begun to think about the extended inquiry project, I have become
extremely interested in how food affects the identity of a place. On Saturday, September
13th, 2014, I attended a Charlotte Immersion tour. During this tour, we explored the
different neighborhoods of Charlotte and the Levine Museum of the New South. In
seeing the history of the city, we were able to get a glimpse of Charlottes true identity.
However, as we drove around, the extensive number of nationalities represented in
restaurant ownership fascinated me. I would love to research how the food in an area
describes the identity of the place.
After reviewing the Framework for Success document, I have been able to
recognize both the habits of mind I succeed in and those I need to work on. For example,
I consider myself responsible for my own learning, and work while also being relatively
creative. However, I need to improve my critical thinking and openness. It is hard for
me to consider my audience, purpose, or context and alter my writing process
accordingly. Along the same lines, I would like to improve on being flexible and
accepting of ideas given to me by others. I hope to intentionally improve upon these
ideals to become a better student.
Throughout the year, as I review my submitted assignments, I appreciated the
various comments and suggestions you made. I liked how often times you would point
out the things I did well and/or correctly in my paper. Also, citing my own paper not
only jogged my memory about what I had written but also helped me specifically identify
what worked in my paper. In the WTE response from August 27th, you mentioned the
use of hyperlinks in electronic writing. I would like to revisit this topic to better
understand when to use them and how to strategically place them in my writing.

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In this class, I believe that we are both holding up our respective ends outlined in
the contract. I am trying to display the habits of mind, completing my WTE assignments
and reading responses, collaborating well with others, reflecting thoroughly, and
attending class. I also have all intentions to turn in all proponents of the extended inquiry
project. I also think you are giving constructive feedback and facilitating class discussion
well. The functionality of this writing class depends on the responsibility of both parties:
the student and the professor.
Overall, I believe this course has contributed widely to the growth of my
analytical and technical reading and writing skills. I intend to continue working hard and
exploring new ways to learn throughout the semester.

Sincerely,
Erin Coggins

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Works Cited
N.d. CCBC Connection. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
<http://blog.ccbcmd.edu/connection/student-life/college-writing-advice/>.