Becoming a better version of me

My original impression of the course epigraph was that you cannot move on with life and forget about everything you have left behind. The most important takeaway I made from the epigraph was rather than trying to recreate yourself as a person and a student, it is more beneficial to combine what you already know with what you are learning. I think that this train of thought will benefit me in this class because while I am in a new school and beginning a new time, it is important to remember all that I have already learned. I can always improve my skills that I currently have while basing them off what I already know. For example, while the kind of writing I am doing in college now may be different than what I did in high school, I still have knowledge and a base of what I did in high school to help me along the way. My main goal for myself this semester would be to not be afraid to go back and read over my work once I have finished as well as taking constructive criticism and using it to my advantage rather than letting it frustrate me and unmotivated me. In the past, I was never big on going back to my completed work and seeing what I could do to improve it. Especially senior year. I had an attitude of getting the assignment done would bring me that much closer to graduating instead of making sure I am putting out my best work and listening to feedback and making corrections. I also would like to become more comfortable with public speaking and speaking in person with my professors and peers about my work. Rather than letting the nervousness and fear consume me, I know it will be beneficial to be able to open about my writing and hear what others have to say about it so that I can improve upon it. I believe I will be able to accomplish all these goals throughout the duration of this course.

This course of thought for me came from the course epigraph, “You just can’t fly on off and leave a body” (Toni Morison, Song of Solomon). In class when we tried to unpack this quote, I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant to me. Now that we have this assignment, I looked at the epigraph more in depth and picked apart what I thought it meant in relation to my goals for this course. I interpreted this quote to mean that rather than trying to recreate yourself as a person and a student, it is more beneficial to combine what you already know with what you are learning. My previous knowledge is a base to grow and learn from as I continue with my college career as well as my writing. It also ties back into my main goal of not being afraid to go back and look at my work and use the constructive criticism to improve it. I won’t improve as a writer and as a student if I don’t do my absolute best to make my work the highest standard I expect of myself. By moving forward while not being afraid to go back on previous works I have done, my writing and skills will improve tremendously, and my goals will be very reachable. In the syllabus for this course, it is stated, “It gets you in the practice of bouncing your thinking off of someone/something else” (Dr. McCoy, Course Syllabus).

Another goal of mine would be to become more comfortable with public speaking and speaking to my peers about the work we have put out. I have always been a nervous public speaker and I tend to try to shy away from having to talk to others about my work. I took a speech and communications class in high school and while it improved my abilities, I still get nervous. Relating to the course epigraph and my interpretation of it, using my previous knowledge from the speech class that I took and combining that with the new learning elements of this year will all come together with work and time to make me a better student and a more effective speaker. Without reinventing myself as a speaker, I can simply add on to the skills I already possess. During this course, I hope to become more confident in my work to the point where I feel less nervous talking about my work with others and being able to help them with there’s.

The book, Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison is where the original course epigraph came from. There are many more important points throughout this book that led me to the goals I have set for myself. A final goal that I have realized I want to achieve since beginning to read this book is to be sure that I am not adding too many random and unnecessary details or sentences to my writing just to make it longer and reach the word count. It is important to make sure everything I add to my writing is beneficial to my piece, rather than having no use. In chapter 8 author wrote, “Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down” (Morrison, 179). In the past, I have found that I tend to add a lot of useless words to reach my word count which in turn brings down the effectiveness and interest in my essay. The sentences I add to extend the length of my essay that don’t have much thought put into them would be the stuff that weighs down my piece from reaching its full potential. While this is a change I wish to make from my past, it is important that I remember those same mistakes I have made so that I am able to learn from them in my future writing. Instead of becoming a whole new writer completely, I am better off proofreading my essay and looking for the past mistakes I have made and the things in my essay that aren’t adding any value in order to improve my work.

I feel very strongly about my goals for this course. I wish to improve as a writer the most that I can while I start out my college career so that I am always putting out my best work. I will use the base knowledge I have to improve on my skills and become a better student all around. The syllabus and books we have been reading have provided insight into what goals I choose to make for myself and allow me to start thinking about the best ways I can achieve these goals. The talks in class have already made me a better student. By connecting my thoughts and opinions to another students’, I have learned to be more involved in the class because I truly must listen to everything that is being said in order to form my own perspective. To reiterate my goals for this course, I wish to be a better student and person overall. I want to be able to take criticism and use it to my advantage rather than letting it hold me back. Realizing that the corrections are only there to help me improve my work will help me to realize that they are much more positive than negative things. I want to be able to openly speak about the writing I have produced and be proud of it rather than being embarrassed and nervous. I hope to improve on what I already know and be able to develop into the writer I wish to be. I hope that I achieve all these goals as I continue INTD-105 and that I can become the best version of myself.

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