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Robert Arguello

Emily Litle
ENG-121
April-25, 2017

Portfolio Essay:

The initial decision to take ENG-121 was not an easy one because I believe I
was not prepared for the changes English composition has endured over the past 30
years. I was last in high school in 1986 and the evolution of writing as an author has
changed considerably. I felt very uncomfortable in the first month of class and this
feeling is not unique to me based on studies that focus on the obstacles veterans
face in college settings. However there colleges that have studied the challenges
veterans face, and colleges Like Salt Lake Community college have implemented
models of support for veterans (Aaron Ahern, Michael Foster, Darlene Head). After
reading this source it was clear I needed to focus on my lack of familiarity with
current English because I was clearly behind the other students in the class. I could
not find a resource on campus dedicated to the persons categorized as previously
homeless; recovering addict; or veteran. The only source I found was TRIO program,
but that program was designed to help with general academic support like tutoring
and research. I was unable to find groups that support the previously mentioned
groups. The responsibility of learning and seeking help is mine and I could have
done a better job, but I made mistakes.

The beginning of my development came when I learned the name Charles


Bazerman and his theory regarding Speech Acts, Genres, and Activity Systems
(Bazerman), and how we view behaviors based on perception. This opened my
mind to a better understanding about how writing can impact society and how I can
change my genre and activities systems in a way that enables growth versus being
enslaved to my own lack of flexibility. I have the power to change my barriers and
potential obstacles if I am open to that potential change. This portion of ENG121
was difficult for me to wrap my mind around, but it was a necessary trial because it
forced me to focus more on the theory versus my lack of knowledge. The theory
that Bazerman offered me a window into the understanding the writing process and
the view of the reader and that has made me a better student than I was on day 1.

A lesson in being open to change was clearly evident when learning about
Mother Teresa and how she faced so many obstacles. This assignment helped me to
be very honest with myself and be grateful for the opportunity I was given to go to
school. I was not feeling ungrateful but I can understand how a reader may perceive
my view as selfish and self-serving. I dont disagree with that point of view because
I feel I was selfish default. I was held on to my past way of thinking and that was
detrimental. I have always enjoyed writing for its most raw purpose, self-disclosure.
This is so important to a person with flaws, because we now have a platform to
release our emotions and thoughts. I feel confident in saying writing has been as
important to mankinds evolution, as genetics have been. If we were unable to
Robert Arguello
Emily Litle
ENG-121
April-25, 2017

share our thoughts and become a society of learned people we may have never
reached our potential and may have dissolved as a species many generations ago.

I found a quote while writing my journal- 8 and I felt the connection of writing
and spirit for the first time.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it,
but because by it I see everything else.

C.S. Lewis

This quote was used to reflect my feelings and though it has a spiritual undertone I
do not apologize for using it. I felt insecure when I first shared it but now that I have
grown in confidence I am content in sharing this quote. I cannot be a productive
writer if I am ashamed of my belief system, and that is why I chose that quote. I am
not in agreement of with censorship even if it causes discontent within a classroom
or conversation. To be severely honest, I would pull my son from any institution that
selects what he should write about regardless of the potential anxiety it may cause
to discuss certain subjects. If writing is a pure form of expression then the censoring
of that process taints the intent.

One of the first papers we wrote was about an image that reflected my
personal views and I was to write a descriptive image for a reader as to what I was
seeing (Roll up our sleeves America). I found this to be in easy in theory, but
again I was not technically accurate in my writing. I read this paper again and I
seem to have trouble with letting go of my view versus the correct technical view. I
have great respect for those that can follow the formats and defined parameters of
writing. It must take a form of discipline that I seem to lack, because I find myself
almost daydreaming when I write and that is not productive because I am dictating
my thoughts and not creating a picture for a reader. I want to be better at writing
for the sake of business but I honestly enjoy writing my thoughts even if no other
person on earth finds me easy to read. I am not able to define why I feel this way
but maybe some of us are not meant to write for others. I may be predestined to
simply just journal and be my own audience. That does not mean I am not thankful
for the lesson, I am very blessed to have been in this class and have gained
confidence in how to write for others. I believe I will be best suited to an audience of
one, me. I am content with that statement, and I feel no more detached from
Robert Arguello
Emily Litle
ENG-121
April-25, 2017

society for stating this. I guess the uniqueness in each man may be defined in many
ways, but I am willing to accept how I may be perceived because I have peace.
Robert Arguello
Emily Litle
ENG-121
April-25, 2017

Cited works:

Aaron Ahern, Michael Foster, Darlene Head.

Salt Lake Community College Veterans: A Model of Serving Veterans in Higher


Education.

Charles Bazerman and Paul Prior. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004. ,
Speech Acts, Genres, and Activity Systems: How Texts Organize Activity And
People. What Writing Does and How It Does It. Ed.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1979/teresa-
facts.html
Robert Arguello ,Roll up our sleeves America,
Robert Arguello
Emily Litle
ENG-121
April-25, 2017