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Juma 1 Omar Juma Professor, Rieman English-1101 (Midterm Reflection) Oct.

9, 2012

Dear Jan, My perspective of reading and writing had completely changed since I started college at UNCC. A lot of important changes had happened. Since English is my second language, I have the advantage of describing the differences more specifically. I learned a lot of things about teachers, students, and myself while attending your class professor (English-1101). Simply, I will say, I attained a new level of literacy! Most of the High schools dean will tell you We are preparing you for college. This objective really gives an idea of how different and intense is college. Even though we had 7 hours/week of English in my high school, the college English lessons are more effective with an amount of 5 hours/week. The reason behind this is that college is a higher level of teaching. So teachers had higher degrees than the ones in high schools. Some university teachers have PhDs, such as you Professor, Jan Rieman. This degree represent that you professor are open minded and have different methods of helping to improve someones reading/writing skills. Most of the readings and writings we had in both English 1100 and 1101 were focused on reading and writing literacy. I find this intelligent and very helpful, because we will be connecting different topics to the same subject reading and writing. This way of learning a broad subject is very useful. For example, the reading we had to respond to

Juma 2 was called "From Degrading to De-Grading," by Alphie Kohn. Reading this topic gave me an idea of how teachers see our writings. I even understood some methods of grading. This helped me to understand what teachers want, their goals and ideas they want us to understand. I also learned new way of understanding a text by going through "What We Know About Comprehension" by Harvey and Daniels. This article lists some new strategies of how to be a good reader by fully understanding the text. Completing a full month of English 1101 lessons, I recognized that we had to do a lot of reading responses. Reading an article and responding to some questions really made me read. I didnt feel good about my first two reading responses, because this was a new thing, which I wasnt familiar with in my high school. However, later on, I started posting better responses on Moodle. Since we are reading helpful articles in English 1101 it wasnt difficult to read, because I felt that the stuff I am reading is improving my reading/writing skills. In contrast, we were assigned to read 10 pages of a medieval time story, which never helped or interested any one from my class. Most of my classmates were not reading including me. We even didnt have to understand the text to answer the comprehension questions. We just scan for the answer and boom it is correct! So this method of teaching wasnt helpful what so ever. This shows how my high school teachers were close minded and were stuck with the schools curriculum, in contrast with university professors where each one have their own method and Syllabus. Writing To Explore topics were the most helpful and interesting of all. I liked the idea of not being assigned I specific topic to write about such as in high school. At the same time we didnt have the total freedom to write about anything we liked to write about and this was really challenging. Writing two pages each week was fair I think for a

Juma 3 freshman. I gained knowledge about students behavior and myself toward writing by writing about just five of the topics we were assigned. I felt related to most of the topics. For example, Writers on Writing was really interesting, because by writing about it I found a lot of stuff about myself. I recognized that I have to eat any snack while writing. I also need to be in a quite place in able to generate ideas. I found that writing an outline instead of start writing instantly will interrupt my writing later on, because then I will be restricted with the ideas I thought about in my outline. This represents that I am a creative writer. Moreover, when I watched the video about how professional writer write, I found that I wasnt the only one who had rituals to generate ideas. I enjoyed the different requirements we had to do before writing our Writing To Explore piece. For example one of the topics I wrote about required that I sit and observe students behavior on campus. I also had two topics were I had to watch the video attached to it and include a response to the video in my writing. With all of these different requirements I couldnt get bored. The writing I am most proud of is my Literacy Narrative. Although this was this was my first literacy narrative, I think that I really did a great job. I feel good about the five pages that I wrote. I think I met all the requirements since I included memories, personal experiences, and my educational history. I really feel that this assignment was perfectly accomplished. Some questions that I have for you professor: 1) How to know what assignments I can take risks doing while writing? 2) Does it depend on the topic or the audience weather to write informal or formal writing? How so?

Juma 4 3) How to learn new ways of generating thoughts and ideas? 4) What differences are there between preparing an outline for writing and start writing immediately? 5) Do I always have to include either my opinion or personal feeling in my writings?

I totally loved the methods of teaching you and all other professors use. By reading and writing about the same topic I felt gaining the most benefit in contrast with my high school study. However, through the next half of this semester I will be working on three things: new ways of generating ideas, try to make the reading assignment enjoyable, and to go back and recognize my earlier mistakes in in my previous writings. All in all, getting through my first month in your English-1101 class was really helpful. My skills in reading/writing had totally improved. Simply, I will say, I attained a new level of literacy! Omar Juma,