Journey Through English Class

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Michael Statchen
English 110
Professor Finegan
Capstone Project
My Journey as an English Student

When I signed up for this Introduction to Literature course I was not expecting it to be one of the most insightful and interesting classes that I have ever taken. Nevertheless, over the years I have learned to expect the unexpected and that truth held to it’s own with this course. After five years of avoiding any type of English Literature course I knew it was time to finally take one, as did my academic advisor. My expectation was that I would be sitting in class watching the clock tick or trying to text message friends to pass the time. Ergo I do not believe my cell phone left its holster all semester. From the very first day of class when I was walking to my car, a classmate and I talked about how we thought it was going to be a great class, and on the last day of class that same student and I talked about how we were actually going to miss it, so our prediction was dead on. Normally the last day of class is a celebration for the fact that everyone is so happy that it is finally over, but that was not the case.

I was dreading the fact that we would have to read books and stories that I wasn’t interested in and write about them. I was also worried because I sometimes have a hard time remembering books and things that I read when I am taking a test on the facts of the material. I figured I would be taking long exams on long books and struggling to remember what I read which was one of the reasons why I was not looking forward to any sort of Literature course. I did realize that annotating in the margins and re-reading the stories helped me remember more, but I still don’t think I would be too interested in re-reading a very long book. I have always been a good writer and English Composition courses were never hard for me, although they were never my favorite’s ether. As a Business Management major with a minor in Coaching, math and sports management classes have always grasped me the most. I never exceptionally liked math but have always been a very strong student in it so I thought that business would be a good major for me. Never in a million years would I expect a Literature class to be one of the best classes I have taken though college. The reflective essays were much different then any writing assignments I have previously had. The second page where we were able to write about our own personal connections and feelings was the part that I became very fond of. The chance to relate the work to our own lives was a great way to express myself and it was something that I found myself looking forward to. I am guilty of normally leaving my writing assignments till the last minute when I barely finish them in time to make it to class on-time, but I would often write the reflective essays right after we left class so I would not forget the ideas that I wished to write about. I will discuss how each essay helped me to grow more as a student and how a couple of the pieces really touched me personally next. The first reflective essay was on “The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin in 1894. This fittingly was the only essay I did not receive a check plus on showing that I took the mistakes I made in it and improved throughout the semester. I enjoyed the short story and found it to be one of the more ironic pieces that we read. In my essay I talked about one of the lines that came out at me the most. “And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not.” (227 Kirszner) This line reached out to me because not only was it the first time in the story that you realize everything is not as it seems, but it is a very sad but true statement that expresses how many married couples may feel. The grammatical problems I had on the first paper had to due with that fact that I was using present tense in the first page and I needed to keep the tone general, with no I’s. I related the shock that she went...
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