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Reflection on English Class in 2010
After a year of focused work in English I feel I have developed the skill to articulate what I want to convey to the reader in multiple ways. Looking at my most recent paper, the research paper, I think that I have grown at organization and careful flow of thoughts. The research paper I wrote was on the “Israeli Palestinian Conflict”. I could have chosen an easier subject to research, but I felt I had acquired the skills that I needed to really learn and understand this complicated issue. My dad’s side of the family is all Jewish and throughout my life I have always heard them talking about the conflict in Israel. I wanted to learn for myself each side of the story and then choose a side for me to take. After heavy research, I’ve realized that each group of people has valid points on why they think the holy land should be theirs. Using this 10th grade English class, I have furthered my knowledge on current events and what’s going on in the world around me. I would say that “The Israeli Palestinian Conflict” was my favorite piece to write.
Another paper that I really enjoyed writing and felt I had a lot of insight on was the in class essay we wrote on “Black Boy” one day. As I was whipping out my ideas on paper I realized I was citing a lot of what happened in the book, and I was becoming increasingly talented at using specific information from a book source in a paper I was writing. I think that “Black Boy” affected me a lot also because there were a lot of racial issues and prejudice that really focused me into understanding what times were like back then. I think reading that book in class improved my reading skills because Richard Wright had a specialty at conveying emotions. I’ve learned from him to add more of what my characters are feeling and thinking when I’m writing.
My strengths as a reader have definitely improved after reading the material we had this year. Reading “Lord of the Flies” really taught me a lot about paying close attention to detail and describing the setting in which the book is set. Listening to people reading aloud their work, like when we played Poetry Poker, helped me grow as a listener and respectful audience. I really appreciated the other works of art that were created this year in English 10 Honors. There were definitely some writers who truly impressed me and pushed me to write even better then I was normally used to.
A strength I have in English is being able to let ideas flow freely from me. If I really enjoyed a piece of work, I can write about it easily and let whatever I want to say come out on the paper. I know a lot of people have writers block, and luckily that doesn’t happen often to me unless I am super bored. Risks I took this year as an English student included writing my “Where I’m From” poem. I had never written anything like that in my life and it took a lot of personal information from me and condensed it into a poem. I liked the format of the writing and I think in the future I may try to use it again.
This year I have grown as a writer and a reader. I was pushed to go out of my comfort zone at times, like when we built a shelter outside to see what it was like for the characters in “Lord of the Flies”! That was definitely a new experience. When we were first introduced to read “Hamlet”, I felt very unsure because I knew how difficult Shakespeare was to understand. Mrs. Larkin definitely helped me to understand the hidden meanings in Shakespeare’s work because we had a lot of time in class to discuss the different chapters of the book. It was also helpful to watch the movie so I could see someone else’s take on the play. Something that was really fun with the Hamlet unit was acting out a scene from the play. I got to do one of my favorite scenes which was the gravedigger scene. I played the gravedigger and I feel I did a good job at putting my own spin on it! I think Shakespeare would be proud.
Throughout this year I feel I have grown as a writer, a reader and an active participator in English class. I thoroughly enjoyed each class I had and always looked forward to what new activities Mrs. Larkin would introduce to us. I will really miss English 10 Honors because I was exposed to a lot of new methods of writing and a lot of new styles of literature. I really appreciate all the help Mrs. Larkin has given me over the course of the year and I hope she thinks that I have improved as well!