Reflection One – Course Expectations

My expectations for the course are sincere, but a little unspecific. As a new resident of Manhattan, I am hoping to be able to integrate writing and the history of New York City, to be able to better identify with my new world and improve my writing simultaneously. I want to better improve my historical writing. I have never held any qualms about fiction writing, but I will sometimes run into trouble when I begin to integrate facts and quotations. I feel that when I do this, my writing takes on a mechanical feel, as opposed to the “natural” appeal of writing for the sake of writing, instead of writing to inform. I can easily put myself into the shoes of a human character (for lack of a better world), or imagine myself in a different time period. However, our first assignment of “describe a place as if it were a person” was a little challenging for me. I have to work to inspire inanimate objects to become animate. Sometimes I have trouble with minor grammatical faults, and often I am asked to do more “showing” than “telling”. However, I put together three research papers last semester, and they were all regarded highly. I am hoping that this class will help me to further these new accomplishments.

I believe that I am a strong writer, regardless of what in my writing could be stronger – writing has always been heavily emphasized on during my academic career, both in high school and in the ISP classes. I am grateful for the opportunity to hone my skills in ISP. I believe that it will help me to further my plans of a career as a forensic psychologist, which I know will call for an incredible amount of writing and reading (and history). I cannot think of a better way to learn about my new city than a class like this, and the only way to truly get better at writing about research is to practice. Finally, I am doing work outside of school for a small team of staff at Rikers Island. I have already been asked to conduct a literary review. I don’t believe it would have been as well received as my final product had been without my first few college research papers. I expect this class to help me better these extracurricular writings; one of the goals of the group is to publish the work done. I want my writing to get to be that impressive – that it looks like it belongs with the rest of the Rikers team.

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