Below is a reflective essay I wrote for the Final of the same class that prompted me to start this blog. Though it is not a piece that perfectly fills the shape created by my blog topic, I still think it is relevant because it shows a separate, yet equally comprehensive side of my writing. After all, these posts I make about race are engineered in a workshop that is my noggin. But it’ s a workshop that produces a variety of goods, not only the kind that serve to relay race-based concepts.
It all ends here. Okay, maybe it doesn’t ‘ALL’ end here, but something is coming to a close. That something is the semester, meaning that all my classes are finishing up and I’m seeing them out the door, handing out caffeine-stimulated, sleeplessly edited party favors. But like any good host, I wait for the guests to grab their coats, but while I wait, I like to reflect on how the night’s festivities unfolded. You know, highlight the positives in fiery orange and the negatives (or setbacks) in broccoli green so I remember to move them to the edge of my plate and get something else next time. I am happy to say that this night has ended with more orange than green. My writing has definitely progressed (at least in my eyes) more than it has cracked beneath the blows of peer review and critique.
When I started the semester I was a fairly confident writer, though, albeit I had acknowledged my year long absence from academic – english writing and the effects it would have on my grammar and vocabulary. Be that as it may, this class has been all kinds of enlightening for me and for my writing. For starters, the premise of the class, learning how to read and write online, was what drew me to it in the first place. I may be an avid poster on Facebook and Twitter (or at least was at some point), but I had never even considered something as passion-driven or time consuming as writing my own blog. Nor had I paid much attention to the specificities of what it takes to analytically read someone else’s online writing. I can say with confidence now that my skills with digital writing and reading have not only blossomed, but are advancing. I am still no pro at navigating WordPress, no speedster when it comes to citing links or photos, and the amount of time I spend writing and reading online is still unimpressive when compared to your average Starbucks patron.
However, I do find myself paying attention more to things like, intended audience, voice, sourcing, and figurative language when I am reading or writing. Something else that has come as a result of the work we did in class, but is more prevalent in my daily conversation than in my writing is the idiom/ figurative language section from George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”. To be honest, when we read it for class I thought it was equally as intriguing for writing and speaking as it was dry for reading. That has not stopped me from interrupting stories and conversation to point out the incorrectly or haphazardly used metaphors or idioms spoken by my friends and peers.
Now comes the blog. As far as I am currently concerned, this blog of mine will continue on after the semester as an ongoing project. Each post so far has attempted to cover an issue or question regarding racial heritage and social perceptions of it. The most difficult part about making this blog and these posts hasn’t been any single, specific thing. The hardest part has been trying to create a fresh angle on an personal, yet universally recognized topic in this country: race. My goal was to speak up; to make sound in a room I didn’t respect as capable of echoing. This goal is on its way to being met, but I set it far out, across a lake filled with icy brain freeze and fearsome creatures that bite at anything that makes ripples in their water. You could say my writing has gone off the deep end, but that would be cheesy, and incorrect because what is an idiom about a pool doing at the end of a paragraph about a lake.
My approach to writing has definitely changed. If anyone wants to know how, see essay above.