Final Reflective Essay

Over this past semester, I have learned a thing or two about the writing process.  There is more to writing than simply drafting a paper and then later going back to edit the grammar and sentence structure.  Joseph Harris’ Rewriting has been a helpful tool for me to examine how I write and for ideas on what I can do to improve my writing.  My critical thinking skills have improved, which in turn has led to an improvement in my writing and even my critical reading skills.

I now understand what academic writing is and some of the processes behind it.  From my understanding it is a forum for discussion.  I used to view it as just really high level writing about topics I probably did not understand and certainly not capable of writing about in an effective way.  I still think academic writing is really challenging and complex, but now that I view it more as an ongoing discussion, I think I can chime in and agree with a point made.  I do not think I am on the level where I can create my own point of view and empirically prove it.  I am just not skilled or accomplished enough yet at this point to be a major person of influence in any academic discussion.  I am getting more comfortable with academic writing and while right now it is inconsequential, maybe in time when I can add something meaningful to the conversation, all this practice with academic writing will pay off.

My thought process on how to write a good thesis has changed.  Prior to this class, I would sometimes spend an absurdly long time staring at a blank screen trying to come up with something to write.  I would try to think of a perfect thesis statement that would make my paper function, but it was challenging and time consuming.  Then the idea of a working thesis was presented to me.  Just the idea of writing down a thesis that gets the main idea down to start writing was intriguing to me.  Later once I have my evidence written down, it makes editing my thesis to argue towards my evidence far easier and it is even more logical.  A thesis statement is simply stating what one is going to prove throughout the paper, and saying what one is going to prove after proving it already is simple.

Not only did my writing improve, but also my reading skills improved.  I learned what was meant by the project of the writer.  I learned to look for what the author was trying to portray and why, so I could better understand the meaning of the literary text.  Examining the project involves looking at the techniques the author used in addition to looking at the word choice.  After successfully identifying the project, one can understand the text in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Regarding countering and forwarding, my thoughts remain essentially the same.  While they are certainly important parts of the writing process, these two concepts are understood pretty well by almost everyone, and therefore, a description of their uses and limits are not really necessary.  Countering and forwarding have been ingrained into children from a young age, and as a result, have a good conceptual understanding of how to effectively use them.    In addition, I do not think the concepts of countering and forwarding to be particularly challenging to understand.

English has never been my favorite class.  At times I enjoyed it, could tolerate it, did not enjoy it, and flat out hated it.  Despite all of this, I have always had a healthy respect for the class.  I used to always think math and science classes were more important.  As I have grown up and now understand the importance of reading and writing, I now think English is the most important class.  Obviously math and science are still extraordinarily important, but English is used in every profession every day.  Reading and writing are necessary tools for communicating ideas, which is how the world progresses.  I feel as if this class has made me better at reading and writing, and therefore ultimately more prepared for the world.

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Final Reflective Essay

Club Soccer Team

I tried out for DC Stoddert when I was 8 years old.  Because of how much I was dominating the recreational leagues, I thought I was the best soccer player.  After tryouts, I still thought I was the best soccer player, but I did not even make the best team, only the second team.  Initially I was still happy because when my older brother tried out, he did not make it, so I was eager to rub it in his face.

As we practiced and played more and more, I thought I got snubbed by not being selected for the best team.  We scrimmaged the better team, and I would score goals, but the players on the better team still were telling me I did not deserve to be on that team.

The next season I tried out again, not only to maintain my spot, but to make it on the better team.  Probably from a combination of getting better, positive comments from my coach, and my speed, I made it to the “A” team.  Once I got there, it was not what I had hoped for.  Everything became so rigid and mechanical.  I did not enjoy playing soccer anymore.  I stopped going to some practices and wanted to quit.  I think coach saw this change in me and moved me down to the second team despite me being able to play with the first team.  I enjoyed myself a lot more on the second team because everything seemed more fun because the environment was more about having fun than simply improving one’s technique.

Since then I have enjoyed soccer more and was moved back up the next season.  Afterwards, I played with this team for probably close to 7 or 8 years.  Blue United finale 17 May 2015-4064.jpgMany of these teammates are good friends of mine to this day.

August Cup127 Sep 03

Club Soccer Team

Middle School Basketball

I played three years of varsity basketball during this time period.  The team was very successful and I enjoyed playing.

In the sixth grade, the team went undefeated during the regular season.  But, there was one game we only won by four points.  This team actually gave us problems.  Come playoff time, we were beating all of our opponents when we played the team again.  We won by three points.  Since the tournament was double elimination, we played them in the finals.  They beat us 35-31.  Since we came from the winners bracket, they had to beat us again to win the tournament.  We made some tactical changes and played them again in the final game to determine who wins the tournament.  This game was more defensively focused and it was a lot harder to score.  We managed to win 18-17, and for the first time in my basketball career I had won something.

Middle School Basketball

Ice Skating/Hockey

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I loved watching hockey ever since I was a kid.  This love caused me to want to play hockey.  Before I could play hockey I had to go through ice skating lessons, and before I could skate on hockey skates I had to skate on figure skates. The lessons were frustrating, but I finally learned how to skate and could play hockey.

I really enjoyed playing hockey and was actually pretty good at it too.  I would play almost every Sunday.  Sometimes some players from the Washington Capitals, specifically Brooks Laich and Donald Brashear, would sometimes skate with us.   I had a lot of fun playing hockey, but since I started to play some more soccer, I did not have time to play hockey anymore.

My fondest memory of hockey is playing at the Verizon Center during the first intermission of a Capitals game.  I still remember how beat up the ice was after the period and I almost fell within my first two strides.  It was harder to move the puck, but after thirty seconds or so I adjusted.  However, we only had about a minute of ice time before getting kicked off.  The other team had the puck in our defensive zone, and they my team got the puck and passed to me.  I skated down the ice and shot the puck and scored. The announcer announced my name to the crowd, which was what I was hoping for going into the game.

Ice Skating/Hockey

T-Ball

My dad played varsity baseball in high school, and loves the sport in general.  He signed me up for a t-ball team.  I disliked the sport.  It is not even that I was bad at it, because I was actually fairly good, I just got so bored playing.  I played shortstop and I would play with the dirt in the infield because of how long and uneventful the sport is.  There would be several minute spans where I would not have to move at all and I needed something to occupy my attention.  My parents persuaded me to finish the season, but the dullness of the sport caused me to not sign up for a second season.

T-Ball

1st grade soccer team

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I switched schools going into the first grade.  As a result, I joined a new soccer team.  I remember before my first game, one of my teammates, Michael, said that we were going to lose.  He watched the other team warm up and was impressed and maybe scared.  Little did he know that I was actually really good at soccer at this point in time.  I started at least a year earlier almost everyone else and had been playing against kids bigger and older than me.  Now playing against kids who were the same age as me and less experienced, I was able to shine.  I scored four goals in a crushing 6-2 victory.  I made a good first impression with my teammates and also my new classmates.

I set my personal scoring record in a single game with this team that I will never come close to breaking ever.  I scored 36 goals in a single game. I was a very fast runner and now could kick a soccer ball fairly well.  I simply kicked the ball past the blob of children chasing the ball and ran faster than everyone else to get the ball and kicked it into the goal.  The teams were split in half and 2 games were played simultaneously.  In the first half for the team I was on, I scored twenty goals and my team was winning 20-0.  The other half of my team was losing 8-0 after the first half.  I switched over to the other game and scored 16 goals in a 16-11 win.  This happened at the age where the fields and goals were small and there were no goalkeepers.

1st grade soccer team

First Soccer Team

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My first soccer experience goes all the way back to when I was barely a child.  I was probably four years old at the time when my older brother (one year older) joined a soccer team.  I was the youngest and smallest kid on the team, nor could I kick a soccer ball very far.  The season had its challenges and I at the time did not like soccer very much as demonstrated by my tendencies to play in the mud part of the time instead of helping the team win the game.  After each game there were snacks, so at least I had that to look forward to.  The first season certainly had its struggles, but I received a trophy at the end for reward and possibly even motivation for next season.

 

First Soccer Team