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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
I told myself that wasn’t going to wait until midnight on the 30th to do finish these posts but… here I am. I have a huge problem with procrastination (as you can tell from the abundance of blog posts) and this assignment did not help that at all. Granted we had all semester to do them and we are being graded on how well we space them out but that didn’t fix my habit.
At first, I wasn’t too worried about the assignment because I had the same type of work assigned to me in high school. We were given prompts and we had to choose from a list of about twenty prompts to answer. So, when Dr. McCoy first told us about these blog posts I thought it would be like my previous experience, I could not have been more wrong. She didn’t give us anything, no prompts, no heads up on what we could or couldn’t write about. She gave us total freedom and that scared me. I thought that needed to know what I had to write to get a good grade.
My first blog post was a disaster, it was cluttered, rushed, and didn’t make much sense. I remember thinking to myself, “she can’t give me a poor grade because there are no guidelines, no help”. I didn’t know what she wanted from me so how would we know how to receive a good grade? She left comments on that first post so, for the next post I followed them with the hope of receiving a better grade. I received a higher grade, but it was still one that was no where close to where I wanted to be. I kept trying and trying but I never knew what to write about. Up until recently, I was very frustrated with myself and the assignment.
I hadn’t realized until my sixth blog post that this assignment helps us as writers to look back on our work and mark the progress that we have made. For me it has been a place to vent, for others they use the blogging space to make sense of what we had just discussed in class or compare something that they had previously experienced. Now that these blog posts have come to a close, I can reflect on the semester that I have had as a writer. I can document my improvement throughout the semester and reaffirm my growth. Although I did not see the purpose of the blog posts at the start of the semester, I now see the benefits and they are very refreshing.
Leadership has played a great role in my life. Most people believe leadership is synonymous with authority over others. A leader is someone who is willing to make sacrifices it if it means the betterment of their community. In my life, I have had many role models who have gone out of their way to give me direction. I am very grateful for all their help as I surely would not be where I am without assistance. The sacrifices we make on the behalf others to ensure the good of the commonwealth is, in my opinion, the most defining characteristic of a leader. A leader must have the willingness to assume responsibility for a difficult situation. It’s easy to take credit for the good but it’s another to accept the blame for the bad. As humans we are not infallible, therefore we need leaders who can maintain order in times of doubt.
Great leaders dedicate themselves to a life of service Service is the active process of creating change that benefits the community. Service is a very important part of my life. I believe we are all as strong as our weakest links, therefore we should all take steps to help one another. In Geneseo, I observe the practice of service through my work in Geneseo First Response(GFR). GFR for those unfamiliar is the on-campus EMS service coordinated and perpetrated by students. In doing so I play an active role in maintaining the safety and well-being of all Geneseo community members. It has given me the opportunity to create a real difference in the lives of those around me. We can all contribute to the service of others if we take the opportunities allotted to us.
Lastly, a leader must have the ability to empower. I think of empowerment I think of education. There is nothing more empowering than seeking out an education. Advocating for the education of oneself and others is extremely important. The learning process is continuous, the quest for education is a lifelong journey. It is my personal mantra that if armed with the proper knowledge we are capable of achieving any goal we can imagine, and or reach any level in society that we dare to aspire to despite the expectations of others. Education gives access to a world of limitless possibilities. Nothing in this world will keep one from obtaining their goals if well educated. There is nothing more empowering than that.
One of my favorite things about joining Geneseo First Response has been picking up a new identity. People come up to me saying “I didn’t know you were a GFR”. Not “I didn’t know you were apart of GFR.” As if it is my whole being is summed up in that acronym. I’ve come to terms with my identity as “A GFR”. When you wear the uniform you embody the role of the organization. I am fortunate enough to a part of GFR. GFR for those unfamiliar is the on-campus EMS service coordinated and perpetrated by students. In doing so I play an active role in maintaining the safety and well-being of all Geneseo community members. It is a rewarding experience as well as a taxing one. When on duty for 12-24 hours I am prepared to uproot my daily activities for the benefit of others. This includes possibly missing instructional class time which is to my detriment. I am happy to do it if it means a safer campus. It is very probable that you may one day need an ambulance at one point or another. It is my sincere hope most of you never have to utilize my services.
I am unable to mention specifics of my work and it’s beneficiaries due to the HIPPA laws. I will say that GFR has had a profound impact on the lives of everyone in Geneseo, myself included. Everyone at some point in their time here will be affected if at all at least indirectly by the work my colleagues and I do. I have benefited so much from my work at GFR. I have gained so much practical experience in the career I intend to pursue. It has given me the opportunity to create a real difference in the lives of those around me. Academically it has been very sobering. Life is not to be taken for granted. That is becoming more and more apparent. Now more than ever I am dedicated to making the most out of my education. It also helps to have good role models with similar mindsets and aspirations.