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Will Misenheimer

Deby Jizi
UWRT 1102-028
8 May 2016
Final Reflective Letter
Dear Professor Jizi,
I am writing you to conclude my thoughts of the UWRT 1102 class conducted during the Fall of
2016. Coming into the class, I was unsure of what skills would be gained. I thought that my writing skills
would be the emphasis of the class, but in reflection, I have determined that my development of a fluid
thought process was instrumental and key. I feel that I learned to do some of the small things better, such
as researching my sources to make sure that they are certainly credible, as well as polishing the manner in
which I think. This was done through the multiple freewrites. What seemed like such an insignificant
activity in the beginning has helped me to hone my focus on the task at hand. I have seen the
improvements in this category not only during activities that involve writing, but other activities, such as
performing 3-D CAD Models in engineering classes. I feel that it is a little easier to engage in a topic,
whereas before I would use the art of multi-tasking to simply procrastinate. And while I have certainly not
mastered my self-control of focus, I believe that it is much more mature, and it is not such a chore to get
myself to focus on single activities. In regards to my research abilities, I feel that I have a better
understanding of what it takes to label a source as being credible. I have always been sure to avoid
using sources such as blog sites and Wikipedia to obtain reliable information, but I learned of places
where heavily reviewed information may be found. For example, I would never have thought to
investigate Peer-reviewed articles, but I ended up using one in my Extended Inquiry Project and it proved
to be a very helpful source and aid in my thesis. During high school, my English teacher often assigned
double entry journals to the students. I always saw it as a chore, and to be completely honest, I was

skeptical of the time efficiency of the assignment this year. That is, until I needed to recall my responses
for my Extended Inquiry Project. Of the 6 sources that I used in my Extended Inquiry Project, I recorded
double entry journals for 5 of them. Logging these double entry journals proved immensely helpful to me
as it recorded the emotion and feelings I had during my findings. The assignment also helped me to recall
those feelings when I sat down to write my Extended Inquiry Project. I remember when I sat down to
discuss my first draft of the Extended Inquiry Essay and you explained to me how my paper was in
Research Paper format, whereas it needed to be in Research Essay format. I can still remember the Ahhah feeling I got when I made the connection between the responses of the double entry journals and the
personal component of the Research Essay. I believe that the logging of my thoughts and opinions
through the double entry journals increased my efficiency when translating pure thoughts into a Research
Essay. However, I feel that my writing skills, as far as syntax, were not significantly improved. This does
not mean that they decreased by any means, but I think that the repetition of writing exercises helped me
to solidify my writers voice that I have developed throughout my lifetime. Whereas I believe that UWRT
1101 certainly helped my writing skills and finding my writers voice, the 1102 successor allowed me to
practice my research skills and ensure that the sources that I am pulling from are credible and will
contribute to my argument or inquiry. I remember when you said that you have students that come back to
you saying, I have to fact check everything now. That couldnt be any truer. After viewing sites such as
Climate Depot, Ive learned that not everything is as advertised. The video that you showed us of the
FOX News reporter blatantly spreading false information about the 1970 global warming scare really sent
a message to me, especially since FOX News has a major impact on what Americans see. The Extended
Inquiry Project allowed me to practice this, as well as forming new opinions from sources regarding
topics that interest me. My question of Inquiry was, Should firearms be controlled? My family and I
own guns and before I researched this topic, I wouldve most likely arrogantly shunned the question.
Following my research on organizations such as the NRA and current gun laws, I now believe that there
are certain individuals that shouldnt have access to guns, mostly criminals and other mentally unstable
individuals. This isnt a belief formed of hate, but precaution. I learned that I was oblivious to many of the

second-hand, under-the-table transactions that were going on could certainly land these potentially fatal
instruments into the wrong hands. The Extended Inquiry Project was a wonderful, eye-opening
experience as it allowed me to realize that once you pay attention to the other side, there are often times
arguments that you can see truth and validity in. It also made me ask the question, What else am I
missing out on? I ask this because I thought I had all of the evidence in the world to disprove the notion
of even the most minute background check on firearms, but once I had collected a larger pool of data and
turned an open ear to the other side, I found truth and validity in certain aspects of what those who are
skeptical of total gun rights had to offer. Its great to experience new ideas and test new waters, but if the
information that you are viewing is altered or inaccurate, then your opinion will have been made off of
invalid data. I was very proud of myself for going a step further with the Genres Assignment and creating
a letter to the NRA, voicing my opinion and encouraging them to take action. I had never really done it
before, but it feels excellent to stand up for a newfound belief and make sure that it is heard. My friend
would always tell me, Be the squeakiest wheel on the bus! Not only will the inquiry skills from this
class help me in other research-based, scholarly assignments, but it will also help me in regards to
anything that requires research and an opinion or feelings determined from that research. While the
Research and Inquiry skills that I gained from the Extended Inquiry Project certainly aid in forming a premeditated opinion upon factual information, I believe that the lesson that will stick with me the most from
UWRT 1102 is the Happiness Study. Boy, did I have a contorted view of what happiness was. As a high
school senior, I had dreams of coming back to Trinity High School, many years later, driving a
Lamborghini and flashing tons of money. Thats what I thought happiness was. Nevertheless, the first
study of happiness focused directly on the relationship between money and happiness in the article, Can
Money Buy Happiness?, which is where my favorite quote from the Happiness Study comes from. Ed
Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener say that, The lesson here is that no matter how much money you earn,
you can always want more, and feel poor along the way. When I read this quote, I thought that it couldnt
be any more applicable to my lifestyle. That was something I really needed to hear. I had previously
thought that money was the only route to happiness, but that isnt really true. Ever since reading the

article Can Money Buy Happiness? and completing the Happiness Study, Ive tried to live my life a
little less needy and materialistic. And what I discovered was truly beautiful. Ive come up with a little
theory to describe my discovery and I will leave you with this: We will almost always have to have what
we want to be happy, but if what you want is what you already have, then chances are you are already
living a healthy, sustaining, and happy life. Thank you so much for a wonderful semester! I have no doubt
that the skills that I have learned in UWRT 1102 will not only benefit me during my academic career, but
throughout my entire journey. I will never forget the lessons that I have learned regarding happiness, and
how wanting less, is really receiving more.
Sincerely,
Will Misenheimer