Recently I have made a connection with some of the ideas in the book Reflective Writing to my own experiences, specifically with running.
As a runner, I try to reflect on my races, so I write race reflections after each of my races. I didn’t really think about that this could connect to a class until I was reminded of it while reading Reflective Writing. Specifically starting with page 22; “Reflecting on yourself and your experiences.” This section discusses reflecting on, as the name says, your own experiences. It discusses reflecting on your writing, and your own feelings of a situation, how your feelings and opinions of a situation change, as well as your process of revision and growth. When I write race reflections I try to do a similar process of reflection. I try to write down what went wrong, what went right, how I felt and what to improve on for next time.
An example of the similarity is on page 23, which shares example of how students thinking should be guided, stating that “rather than trying not to think about the experience, students have had concentrate on it and analyze their reactions.” When someone gets criticism they often don’t want to face it, they often want to only focus on what they are good at. However, we need to analyze and reflect on our pieces to become better writers. This is like runner’s experiences with bad races. When I have a race that I am unhappy with, the first thing I want to do is forget about it. However, the more productive thing to do is to analyze the race and learn from it to improve upon for next time. I might analyze my split times for each mile and realize that I started off way too fast, so I didn’t have energy at the end, so next time I’ll try going out slower. Even if I have a good race, I need to look at what I did right. I also write do outside factors, such as what I ate before, how long before I ate it, if I felt low on energy, if I was very nervous or relaxed, etc. By writing these factors down I can figure out if it’s something that I should mimic or avoid for the next race.
Another similarity between running reflection and writing reflection is looking to other people for advice. As the premise of our class is Academic Partnership, when writing we can work together to generate ideas and review each other’s work. other people can find grammatical errors, biases and incoherent ideas that we ourselves may not notice, as well as provide us with experiences and beliefs different than our own. When I reflect on a race I also look to other people; specifically teammates and coaches, for advice on what I can improve upon. Looking to other people can give us insight on things that we otherwise may not notice and enable us to become the best versions of ourselves in any situation we encounter.