Learning Everyone’s Name

Procrastination at its finest, as I write my last blog, I am lost for words to see how freshman year is almost over. Looking back at the first class, I can see how much I have changed not only as a writer, but more importantly, as a person.

I am so happy that Dr. McCoy  made us learn everyone’s name on the first day of class, because it has helped me develop my communication skills. For example, instead of trying to grabs someone’s attention by making eye contact, you can call out their name and have a normal conversation. As a result of this, I made an attempt to learn at least five kids’ names in all my classes. This attempt was successful, as I made new friends outside of my core group of friends here at Geneseo. As my dad has said to me countless times, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. I have not told my dad about this little social attempt I made, but I know he would be proud of my “networking”.

Learning people’s name has made it easier for me to do “school”. What I mean by this is that I now look forward going to class instead of dreading it, because I have developed new friends through just learning their names. On top of that, it made it easier to reach out to them outside of class to work on homework or group projects together. For example, instead of emailing someone who you have never spoken to asking for help on homework and getting a response, “Who are you?”, I now receive helpful and personal answers when I ask for help.

I can’t help but think how much different my second semester would be if Dr. McCoy did not make us remember everyone’s name. Imagine a parallel universe where Dr. McCoy did not introduce to each other. I believe as a result, I would be antisocial in INTD and in all my other classes. This would lead me to not to reach out to other students asking for help. Overall, in this parallel universe, my grades would be worse. Also, I would like to point out that in this parallel universe, our collaborative writing assignments would not be as good as they are now because of the lack of communication between each student without knowing everyone’s name.

Ultimately, I believe learning everyone’s name in a single class is not only beneficial for that one class in particular, but for other classes as well.

The Rewrite…

Over the course of this semester, there was only one thing I dreaded besides finals: the Bloodchild rewrite. I wasn’t nervous that I would get a bad grade; I simply thought I would not write an essay to Dr. McCoy’s standards. Dr. McCoy expects alot from her students, as she pushes us to be the best writer we can be. As I talked to other students in the class, they explained to me that received similar feedback to what I recieved. This made me feel better because it showed i was not the only one in my current situation.

Dr.McCoy pushed back the due date of the Bloodchild rewrite to three weeks later and first I was overcome with joy, but looking back, I procrastinated way too much on this essay. As it was two weeks out from the due date, I decided to give the essay a look. Looking back at the essay after a month of growing as a writer, I realized how raw my essay was, and that I needed to further explain my ideas. Dr. McCoy told me in an email that sometimes it takes an essay to write an essay, meaning that sometimes writing down all your ideas on paper the first time will help you formulate an idea upon which you can rewrite your whole essay. For example, Dr. McCoy picked out a piece of my rough draft, calling it the “popcorn kernel”. In this case, the “popcorn kernel” represents the idea on what I could base my whole essay about. This metaphor illustrates the idea that one idea can lead to endless possibilities.

I would be lying if I said I did not struggle with this essay rewrite, as it really showed me my flaws as a writer. For example, it showed that I jump from one idea to another idea without explaining the first idea fully. It also showed me that my writing tends to be choppy, meaning I jump from from place to place. The last flaw it showed is that I need to further explain my evidence and how it connects to the prompt I am writing about.

This rewrite process has allowed me to work on my flaws as a writer. Looking back, I feel silly that I dreaded an essay rewrite so much, because now I have grown so much as a writer.

How Technology Can Help Us

As the last day of classes and finals week approaches, it seems like everything is just piling on top of itself. Personally, I lose count on what I have to do and what is due which day. Another thing I lose track of is what day my exams are, and exactly where and when the actually test is coming. It seems to me every student on campus is battling spring fever. For example, it is getting extremely hard for me to focus on my school work because of the nicer weather. I think spring fever is having a bigger impact than normal because of the harsh winter we experienced in Upstate New York.

Believe it or not, I have used my phone to keep me on track with my school work. Never in a million years would I have thought I would use my cellular device to keep me focused, because for the past couple of years it has been the source of my distraction, and the reason why I have procrastinated so long on most of my school work. Over the course of the past two weeks, I have used the calendar app on my phone to write down what assignments are due on which day. Also, I downloaded an app called “My Countdown” that sends you a notification every morning that tells how far an event is out. For example, I wake up every morning to see how many more days i have left till I take my astronomy, calculus, and theater exam. This little daily reminder helps me stay motivated. This simple reminder has helped me not to procrastinate too much on my exam studying. Another habit I have started to develop is that when I sit down and do homework, I set a timer for an hour on my phone and once that hour hits, I get up for 10 minutes and walk around and text my friends as a little distraction. Once that 10 minutes is over, I go back to studying for another hour. From past experiments with myself, I have learned that the most I can study at a time is 2 hours, but I can do this two or three times throughout the day. This is how I plan on attacking finals week.

In conclusion, I believe there is a silver lining to using your phone: it can help you become organized, but on the other hand, it could come at the price of distracting you and not letting you get your work done. As we are freshman, I believe it is important to develop healthy habits that will allow us to succeed during finals week here at SUNY Geneseo.

The Power of Like Icons

Last Friday I attended a MILES meeting. For those who don’t know what MILES is Men Incorporating Leadership and Exploration through Service. I enjoy going to MILES. You can always learn something new if you keep an open mind. In our MILES meeting, we had a guest speaker and Geneseo Alum Mr. Andre Doeman come in to discuss minorities and their misrepresentation as well as stereotypes in the media. Doeman talked a lot about his experiences teaching in the inner-city of Rochester. Most of the kids he teaches are of disenfranchised backgrounds. They have a shared culture of poverty which puts well within the achievement gap as we learned from Chipman The Power of Realistic Expectations.

Mr. Doeman explains how all the kids he teaches have similar dreams. They all dream of being professional athletes, actors, or rappers and the like. He noticed very few had dreams of being doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, or other types of well-educated professionals. He when he asked his students why did they dream to be basketball players and rappers and not something else. What made those careers appeal to them over all the other possibilities. He was meet with blank stares by most of them. Not one of them had a concrete reason. No one had ever stopped to question their motives. The majority of them didn’t question it themselves. Why is that?

He came to an epiphany. He realized the kids he works with only have exposure to those influences. All if any of the successful men and women of color they see are in those career fields. In an article, I read titled The Racial Achievement Gap, Segregated Schools, and Segregated Neighborhoods: A Constitutional Insult The author Rothenstein claims “if a child grows up in a poor neighborhood, moving up and out to a middle-class area is typical for whites but an aberration for blacks. Black neighborhood poverty is thus more multigenerational, while white neighborhood poverty is more episodic One of the only outside influences that circumvent the achievement gap is media influence. Doeman explained that one of the greatest things to combat negative self-image in children of color is to have positive role models in the media they consume. What do kids all watch? Cartoons. What do cartoons often have? Super heroes. How many superheroes of color exist. The answer is not many. The ones that do have little to no screenplay. He brought up a point that I found very interesting. If we have more superheroes of color perhaps we would have more aspiring heroes in communities of color.

The Common Issue: Procrastination

As I sit here writing my last blog post, I’m looking back at my first blog post and have realized how far I have come. Even though it’s my tenth blog post I’m still somewhat stumped what to write about and have been procrastinating for about an hour now. I’ve always been a procrastinator, I even procrastinated on my blog posts.  Continue reading “The Common Issue: Procrastination”

Aaaannnd Done (Last Minute What a Surprise)

As freshman year comes to a close I’m going to take this last blog post to reflect on my transformation as a writer. In my last blog post I mentioned how I can see the growth in myself as a writer but I did not expand on it. As I also mentioned many times before that I have struggled with my writing because I have had very little experience and I didn’t have much confidence in my ability as a writer.

My experience as a writer is not one to brag about. Throughout grade school I wasn’t a bad writing student but the classes that I had to write for were my lowest grades. I also didn’t think that I needed to make drastic changes because my teachers did not give helpful feedback pertaining to the way that I write. I mentioned how I had never had a proper lesson in grammar or punctuation. The little experience that I did have were not ideal writing either. Growing up in New York State we are all accustomed to the standardized tests (shiver). Personally, these standardized tests have taught me how to follow instructions or write to fulfill a list and how to write an essay in under 120 minutes. So obviously this course was a huge change in direction for me and my previous writing experiences. Because of this gap in experience, I did not have the amount of confidence that I should have had.

I struggled with comparing myself to others through our writing. I would read other peoples blog posts and hear what they had to say in class and think, “Wow, that is so smart, why didn’t I think of that”. During the group project, I didn’t know what to say half the time and when I did think of something, I was terrified that it would sound dumb or the other people in my group wouldn’t agree with me. I didn’t think that my voice would matter because I didn’t have as much experience as some of my classmates. It was not until Dr. McCoy explained that the writing process takes time and that I am going to struggle and that it is okay to be in a different place in my writing career as someone else.

I truly think that through this course I have developed as a writer not only in the way that I write but the way I think of myself as a writer. I was given the freedom to write about what I wanted and was able to practice my writing; because of this my confidence in my writing has gone up drastically. I have finally realized that the writing process cannot be mastered at the press of a button. I must thank Dr. McCoy for helping me build my confidence, staying patient with me and truly push me to do my best. If she hadn’t, I truthfully would not have become the better writer that I am now.

My Aspiration in Life

As it stands I am a Biology major with a pre-med track here at SUNY Geneseo. It is my greatest aspiration to become a doctor. In my opinion, many people go into medicine for the wrong reasons. There motivated by money and status. Sadly those who go into it for the right reasons are often under-resourced and lack the means.When I say “I want to be a doctor,” I say it because of my ardent belief that I want to dedicate my life to the care of others. I am privileged to have learned my passions at an early age. Don’t get me wrong there are many people who feel the same way. There are multiple ways of helping other people that do not involve medicine. I have personally decided to be a doctor because I feel it is the best way I can make a positive difference in this world. I genuinely believe my talents lie in treating patients.

I understand I have picked a particularly hard path.There are other ways of treating patients. There are so many options that range from nursing to therapy. I have thought of the other options. It is not entirely impossible for me to change my mind and pursue one of those other options. I hope to be a doctor because of the fact that I would be able to treat multiple people every day. In my experiences as a CNA, I’ve learned that you can do a lot of good by having prolonged interactions with your patients. Believe me, that is meaningful, but it is also limiting the amount of disease I can eradicate. Through my experiences in health care both as a CNA and EMS, I discovered a greater appreciation for life, particularly the delicate balance in maintaining it. When I finish college I plan on going to med school. My interest and knowledge in medicine have only grown with time. I hope to reach my aspirations and affect as many lives as I can within my own.

The Impossible Year

When I was in high school, I received spectacular grades without studying, and most things came with ease. I had taken several advanced placement (AP) courses and did well on the exams. When I arrived to college, I felt as if things would not be as difficult as they became. I am truly the first in my family to have the real “college experience.” The getting accepted, going away, dorming and having a suite of my own so I could have a taste of living without my mother for the first time.
Despite my excitement and how movies portrayed college life, the first semester proved to be harder than I anticipated. My social life was thriving but academically, I thought I was more ready. Having a very detailed syllabus with all assignments throughout the semester and way more weekly online assignments than in high school was a shock.
I had never done well with mathematics and the sciences. I never had an aptitude for the subjects, but I began to despise them as soon as the common core was implemented in my high school. I was silly enough to sign up for contemporary biology during orientation thinking it would be like my high school living environment class which I passed with ease. I began to struggle with a major required class as well: microeconomics. I feel as if no one told how hard or math intensive it would be. I did not know how to really ask for help because I had never needed it in high school. I felt almost scared to ask for help because it was my major, I thought I should be handling it. If I could not handle it, I felt as if I did not deserve to be in this major. If could not get past a small obstacle like this how was I supposed to travel abroad and help others?
The truth is, because of my actions, I was placed on Academic Probation this semester. I was so ashamed initially. I felt as if I failed myself, my family and the college. When we began modifying the academic probation letter and trying to connect with how the recipients would feel when they received the letter, it was not difficult for me. In a way, it hurt to see the letter again but changing its language and the presentation of the letter became sort of rewarding for me.
I do not want others students to feel the failure and shame I felt when I received it. I do not want them to feel alienated from the other students, to be on a different “status.” Modifying the letter so future students would not feel inferior was crucial to me. I felt like this whole semester I had to keep the secret that I was on academic probation from all my friends. I am really close with my suite, but they had no idea. I felt as if I had to hide everything because people would be shocked and act differently towards me. I imagined they would say: “you? This must be wrong” or “how? You’re such a smart girl” or “you’re joking, right?”
My story however is not a sad one; it is one of resilience.
I worked as hard as I knew I could and put forth my best effort to change bad habits that had nearly dragged me down. I recall us discussing in class intelligence is not a set thing rather it is something that grows with you. My GPA by the end of this semester will be well above the required 2.0 and it has not been an easy road.
When I was first introduced to GLOBE, it meant little to nothing to me. I did not really see the significance and I did not think it would really impact my life. Throughout this semester I believe I have found out the true purpose of GLOBE and how it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I had to realize GLOBE did not ask us to be flawless robots incapable of error, and it does not demand perfection of each student. They want individuals. GLOBE emphasizes the growing process. The growing process is certainly not without fault, and it is full of mistakes and lessons, but the most important part is learning from the experiences and obstacles.

The Truth Behind College

Most students enter college with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree and continuing their education beyond high school. But are students actually developing and gaining any real-world skills by attending college? The content taught in college-level courses can be quite difficult to master and most students don’t retain much of the information that they learned in their college courses. That late night cram session, where you had to memorize the whole general education Biology class material taught in the semester seem as though they have no significance in your life once you have finished taking the final exam. However, the critical thinking skills and experiences gained from the class will have impacted students beyond the classroom. Developing these skills is crucial for success in the workforce. Geneseo’s GLOBE claim that “Geneseo prepares students for twenty-first century challenges through the development of intellectual and practical skills that transcend boundaries and are applicable throughout our lives.” Geneseo is a liberal arts college and students are required to take different general education course that can allow them to explore the variety of courses offered at Geneseo. I think if a student is undecided or unsure of what to major in, Geneseo allows for students to dip their toes in the water and experience different course that can assist them in choosing a major. Continue reading “The Truth Behind College”

Consent and the Classroom

I recently was rereading part of Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild.” It reminded me of our classroom discussion earlier in the semester of consent. When we hear consent I think we automatically consider it in a sexual manner, and this course changed my perspective on this. The formal definition of consent is: “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” Yet I had never considered it in my education.
There are many new rules, regulations and programs that are implemented throughout ones primary education. In high school I recall when common core was introduced in my Freshman year. No one ever asked about how the students felt, whether the common core or the old method is better for students. I realized I had little to no control over my education. Everybody in my high school despised the common core, and even the teachers were scrambling learning how to teach the new and hasty program. Several teachers expressed their dissent with the program with the students and yet, it was implemented in my high school although no one seemed to like it. This reminds me of my point in my “Bloodchild” essay that there is an education hierarchy. In this hierarchy, each person is hounded from those above. Although teachers may not believe a program is the best for the students, they have a duty to administrators and institutions. Teachers often must listen to those above them because they have no choice. I argue that institutions are flawed in my essay and the weaker groups must have a voice for a more efficient system.
It reminds me of “Bloodchild” because the Preserve was established years before Gan was born, a system that he forced into. He did not consent to participate in this institution however it is expected of him to follow the rules and be a willing participant. T’Gatoi represents the “teachers/faculty” in this system. She has power however she is still subservient to the Tlic officials above her, as faculty are to administrators. “Bloodchild” is not only a commentary on the relationship between students and faculty but their relationships to institutions as well.