An English 131 class is required for all freshmen that attend Lenoir-Rhyne University, unless of course one already has taken it or an equivalent course. That being said, I can honestly say, I am not disappointed to have selected this one. English has never truly been one of my favorite subjects, nor one of my best ones. Beforehand, the only reason that I took such an extensive high school senior English class was because I knew even though I would have quite a bit of work in front of me, I would be much more prepared for college than if I hadn’t; and I was right. That class was a yearlong and it continuously pushed me to make my usual works better, but because of it I felt I was prepared for this class and the depth that it made me develop my writings into. The variety of assignments that were prescribed throughout the course of this class provide me with a certain satisfaction because each individual in this class was always given a choice in their writings to make it something that they find the most interesting.
Because of other continuous methods and features of this course, I believe my most significant piece of work to be produced in this class would be the analytical essay on the topic of the play Our Town. This essay forced me to not simply analyze the actions of the characters of the play, but made me question the approaches in the play about certain aspects of it, for example, the way author wrote the play to contain a character that would narrate the acts as well as break the fourth wall between the characters and the audience led me to question his motives for this character throughout the work “Now, is there anyone in the audience who would like to ask Editor Webb anything about the town?” (Wilder 24). Additionally, the last act of the play focused around the subject of death and how the characters experience the gloomy afterlife which made me believe the play to hold a more intricate, somewhat darker meaning, than I originally thought.
However, I feel that I would have not been able to develop my analysis on this essay in such depth if it had not been for the repeated methods that were executed throughout this semester such as the choices to see the plays/ interview with the author, the ability to revise with the aid of technology, as well as keeping a journal for this course. It was truly valuable to me that I was able to see an actual performance or an interview with the author, and usually both, of each longer piece that we were assigned to read. Doing so greatly aided my interpretation of the works, especially the two that were written as plays. I also enjoyed the fact that we were made to compose our first drafts of the analysis, on each of the four longer pieces, working long hand. Last year in my AP Literature and Composition we did this repeatedly, probably over twenty times, but we seldom were ever able to go back and improve the work to our liking. I do realize my former teacher did this because that was the most similar to the actual AP exam, but I always felt so unpleased when I was forced to hand in a writing that I could easily go over and improve. Additionally, I appreciated when we were assigned to write a small amount in our journal, more specifically concerning the text we were currently reading. During such instances, as well as afterword when we went over them as a class, I was able to further my development for the topic and analyze matters discussed that had not occurred to me.
Am I sad to see this class end? A little bit. If I am being completely honest I do not enjoy just writing for the sake of writing, but I am happy to have taken this class to progress my writing skills a bit further because I am aware that skillful writing is going to be a part of every single class I take a college student and there is nothing wrong with improving on that. Our last assignment is this current reflective essay and it has made me realize I should have appreciated this class more while it was happening. After this class has come to an end, I believe I will miss it, and realize I should have cherished it more while I was experiencing this course, which reminds me of another quote from Our Town; “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” (108).
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1938. Harper Perennial, 2003.
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, sept 2003, http://www.esquire.com/news-
politics/a48031/the-falling-man-tom-junod, Accessed 8 Sept.2017.
This excerpt from an article written by Tom Junod depicts the appearance of a photograph of a man that was captured while he is falling from one of the buildings of the World Trade Center. He goes into great detail describing his expression and predicts what this man might have been thinking, making the situation seem calmer that it actually would have been.
Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004.
The Devil in the White City depicts historically accurate information centering around the famous World’s Fair, held in Chicago, which indirectly aided the also famous serial killer H. H. Holmes with supplying his victims. This non-fiction book goes into detail concerning this murderer and how he was able to kill so many people with the help of his own design his intricate, malicious Hotel.
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Jan.
Richtel seems to be a mostly objective source, merely stating statistics and quotes stated by teachers and professors on their stance on whether the few but long task of a term paper or the more frequent shorter blogs are a more effective writing assignment for their students.
Shrek, Heidi. Creature. Samuel French, 2011.
Creature is a play set in the early 1400’s concerning a woman, Margery Kempe, and her escapade of wanting to be revered as a saint. Margery is a new mother who has seemingly been having visions of a satanic creature, but upon her stating that she has had a new vision of Jesus Christ, now devotes her life to showing her love for Christ.
Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media
Company, 4 Aug. 2017, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-
This article gives a plethora of statistics that seem to prove that smartphones having harmful effects on people, more specifically the younger generation that she gave the name “iGen.” Twenge repeatedly states studies that time and time again prove that the excessive use of smartphones and other smart devices are detrimental to the “iGen’s” overall health.
Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad.
The Underground Railroad is a science fiction novel which depicts the famous intricate passages from the south to the north as an actual railroad that is located underground. This tale centers around one runaway slave, Cora, who begins her tale in Georgia and through a long tragic journey, finally makes her way to freedom.
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1938. Harper Perennial, 2003.
Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, is a play that depicts Wilder’s take on the classic American town during the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. The acts of this play tend to center around two main families in the town, the Webb’s, and the Gibbs’.