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Final Reflection &Portfolio of Final Versions Essay

“My Journey as a Writer”

I have accomplished a great deal in the past three months. As the semester ends I find myself reflecting not only on how I have survived the first semester but also what I have learned. Writing is hard work. There is so much more to it than just writing an interesting story. I also learned another important lesson; just because I worked hard on an essay before presenting it and reviewed the daylights out of it did not mean it was ready for submission. Every time I went back to read it I found new changes, typos and other mistakes I had missed before. Reviewing and revising an essay is an essential part of writing. Reviewing allows me to rewrite and make changes in the essay’s content, organization and sentence structures. It allows me to add, remove, move or substitute words to make sure it communicates effectively the purpose of the essay.

The task of reviewing the essays I wrote for this course allowed me to learn and improve my writing skills; as a result my essays have evolved into more stylish and fluent pieces of writing. Out of all the essays I wrote in this course, “A Book with Nostalgic Flavor” is my favorite and the one I would like to improve even further. I would love to add more content to the body of the essay and expand it by discussing specific cooking recipes and the family stories tied to them. I think that by making these changes the essay will become richer and more pleasant for the reader. I have also learned how to avoid certain patterns of error often found in my writing. Limiting the use of complex words and use simple, straightforward vocabulary instead. Using sentences that are direct and simple instead of sentences that are long and confusing.

Avoiding patterns of error ensures that my writing clearly communicates its purpose and it is easy to understand. I still need to improve the use of punctuation signs, the use of commas to be more specific. Having a better understanding of the proper use of punctuation signs helps to avoid comma splices and other mistakes that affect the natural flow a good essay needs to have. Comparing the first essay I wrote at the beginning of this course to the most recent essay I have written. I notice how my writing skills have improved, my ideas have become more developed and my essays flow better and are less awkward. Throughout this course, I have learned and grown in ways I never would have imagined. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am getting there.

“A Book with Nostalgic Flavor”

Many years have passed since I started thinking about writing a book . A book that combines my passion for cooking and the nostalgia I feel being away from my home, my family and the land I will forever hold dear, Guatemala. I remember I was just a child when my passion for cooking first awakened. It came as no surprise to me, since it was in my grandmother’s kitchen where some of the sweetest memories of my childhood happened. It has been almost 20 years since I left Guatemala; I was just a kid back then. I would have never imagined that after so many years the most trivial memories would make me feel nostalgic.

This is why I would like to write a book a tribute to my precious homeland and an opportunity to share those experiences and the inedible imprint they left on me. Cooking is a big part of family and social life in Guatemala. Cooking recipes are passed down from generation to generation while socializing, sharing old family stories and traditions that have been in the family for centuries. Traditions that are the backbone of our family history and a big part of Guatemalan culture. It is now up to me to pass down those traditions. It is thanks to my family, especially my grandmother’s guidance and patience that I am able to keep the family recipes and traditions alive. I’m looking forward to writing this book a testament to the invaluable heritage and the unique flavor it gives to my identity.

“Changing Our Lives”

Earning a degree has a dramatic socioeconomic impact in a person’s life and it is the reason thousands of working adults decide to go back to school every year. For instance, a degree can help start or change a career, it can push forward professional development, and it can lead to a significant increase of income. Also, it provides each individual with a sense of accomplishment and as a result it increases self-esteem. There are countless ways in which earning a degree will impact our lives. Deciding to go back to school is the first step towards “Changing Our Lives”. That is precisely what I decided to do the fall of 2012, after almost 20 years I decided to go back to school and earn a degree. It was not an easy decision to make, the thought of juggling work, marriage and school scared me. I felt stuck, I needed to change my life and I knew that without a degree it would not be possible. I made a list of all the pros and cons, and it was clear the pros outweighed the cons. That’s when I decided to enroll in school.

I was not going to let anything keep me from reaping the benefits of having a degree. I will not continue to be afraid instead I will be brave and go back to school despite all the reasons and obstacles that had stopped me before. I am proud I took the first step towards changing my life forever, I am back in school. I know I am on my way to a better career and a better me. I’m looking forward to the sense of accomplishment getting a degree will bring to my life and after so many years of putting it off I can finally say; I am on my way!

“Conquering my Fear of Writing”

I have to admit that I’m not a good writer. Luckily, I can say that in my life I have not had the need to write a lot and have not faced many opportunities that required me to do so. Professionally, I was lucky enough to always have had someone help me with any projects that involved heavy use of writing skills. On a personal level, I have tried as much as possible to stay away from it because I know that I am not good at it. These are facts that I am not proud of and now I have decided to change. Registering at school is the first step I have taken towards conquering my fear of writing. My fear of writing has not helped me throughout the years. I am a firm believer that by staying away from writing and limiting my exposure to situations where I had to write I crippled myself even further. Instead of using every chance I got to write as practice and use it as a learning experience, my lack of practice only made me more afraid. I refuse to continue feeding the same cycle. I have decided to confront my fear and I hope that by taking this class and being back in school I will be able to learn the skills necessary to write without fear.

One of the worst experiences I can remember and the one that probably is the biggest reason I am afraid of writing happened at work. I remember early in my career I was working on a report, I was aware that I was not the best writer, however, I did not think I was the worst. I decided to write the report despite my lack of writing skills only to embarrass myself beyond belief. When my supervisor reviewed it, she had nothing but horrible comments about it. I was so embarrassed I never again ventured to write anything on my own again. At this point in my life I am tired of being a bad writer, and I’m tired of being afraid of writing. I want nothing more than to be able to write a paper like the one I’m writing and not be afraid of turning it in. I hope that my efforts pay off and I’m finally able to conquer my fear of writing.


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