Well, here goes the drafting for my reflective essay, I am feeling very much up to the task seeing as most of the blogs we have written for this class have been at least somewhat reflective.
I’m not quite sure who I feel like writing to though so I’m going to spout off a few ideas for that as a freewrite first to see if maybe I can come to a decision that way. I have considered writing to several different people, the first of whom is my grandmother, I have been hesitant to give her my blog link because of the subject matter that I discuss in my blog, I am not certain that she would approve but I wonder if my writings could convince her to my side as I hope they will convince others one day. I guess I feel like explaining my motives to her, as well as the very positive direction I have found for my course of study and for my life as a result of this class. I will go into that later. Another person I have considered writing to is my little brother, I don’t know how effective this would be though because I have been discussing this course with him throughout its completion, maybe however that would be a positive thing, I’m on the fence with that one. I thought about writing to a friend or a group of my friends, convincing them to take a class like this one, because it has been such a positive experience for me. Ugg, still undecided, I guess I’ll just start drafting and see where my voice leads me.
What a class this has been! So much excitement! First we find out that this is no regular English class, but one in which we will be required to use technology (a BLOG oh NO!). Then not long into the quarter, after setting up my dreaded blog, we found out that we were getting a teacher swap, I was a little upset by this at first because I really liked Jen, she was just so energetic and passionate, and just the right amount of zany (which as you would know made me feel so much better because of my own crazy tendencies). However, after getting to know Lindsay, our new teacher, a little bit better I was just as happy to learn from her.
As I got used to the idea of having a blog, and posting my ideas and musings for that world to see, I began to really like it. I started receiving awesome feedback from my peers, and I got to research and write about something that I was really passionate about. Because my subject matter was of my choosing, the feedback I received really meant something to me and I began to be less hesitant about my writing and about discussing my topic.
The topic I chose was originally a bit exploratory, my question being: How are the methods that other countries employ in fighting opiate addiction different than the ones employed by the United States? As I got further into my topic I discovered that I actually have a very strong opinion on the right to handle opiate addiction in America, my opinion being, that America handles it very poorly and should start handling it like many European nations have begun to. I also became very excited about actually doing research.
The text that we were required to use in class was Bruce Ballenger’s “The Curious Researcher”. Instead of placing emphasis on correct formatting and regurgitating information, Ballenger places emphasis on learning, and on improving one’s writing on a more personal level. This was very exciting to me. I love to write and I love to learn so I threw myself into the activities we did in class with relish instead of reluctance.
As I researched and I wrote, I found myself more and more drawn into thinking about the researchers who had compiled the works from which I was drawing my information: anthropologists, scientists, and ethnographers, who were researchers and writers as well. As you know, for a while now I have been focusing my associates degree with the plan to move on into international studies and Anthropology, but to be perfectly honest I had no idea what career path I would want to follow once I had those degrees, I just knew that that area of study was where my passion lay. Because of this class and the interest we were encouraged to take in our own research and writing and because of a lot of the positive and interested feedback I received on my blog I finally know, what I can do with my unique skills set and interest. I can become one of these people that researched and compiled the works I used for my paper. I can travel and study other cultures and their methods for fighting addiction, I can write about them in the various languages that I have studied to master, then I can bring the knowledge I have gained to the right people and maybe someday I can work to affect a change in the way the world views the problem of addiction. Lofty goals I know, but at least now I have a dream.
To be continued…