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Garrett Steinberg
Ms. Buckless
Writing 104 H
1 June 2016
A Reflection on Why We Write
The college acceptance letters come rolling in, the classes start to wain off in difficulty;
the senioritis is setting in. Second semester of your senior year is supposed to be a breeze
apparently, not the time to engage in stimulating writing and better yourself as a student. I may
have not always done my math homework or fully researched every annotation style for college
because lets face it, I dont have a clue what Im going to major in. To graduate, I have to write a
reflection on what I gained from this class, what challenged me, and how I picked up URI
learner outcomes. I never took this class to contemplate the rhetoric in everyday life or analyze
the portfolio process; I took it for one real reason: I love to write. Writing is an art form if done
well. Any person can type up research or what a day in their means to them, but not everyone can
articulate the intricacies found in deeper pieces. My writing served as an escape from the
monotonous structure of the school day; a time where I could let my emotion fling to paper
without any judgement. I enjoyed the defined outcomes which we learned about, but all those
were, were required curriculum. The real ultimatum in writing is to find ourselves. If I gain a
greater understanding of myself through at least one piece of my writing, I am completely
satisfied with the time I had in this class.
The assignments in this class were always varied, ranging from research to rhetorical
analysis to a profile on someone we admire. One of my favorite pieces was the profile. This
came as a shock to me after the revision period because I imagined this essay, in particular, being

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one of the largest pain in the necks to assemble. I was going to have to interview some person
about a time in their life and impart their wisdom to a graded paper. I was afraid one of two
things would happen: I would be awkward in the interview process or I would not be able to do
justice to their life stories. I chose to interview my honors physics teacher, John George. This
would be a definite struggle as I barely hold onto mediocre grades in that class because physics
is impossible. I also quit the football team my senior year which he happens to be the coach off
to add onto the awkwardness factor. My results were the polar opposite of what I expected,
however. I was told the life story of my teacher and saw him in a light few students ever do: a
regular adult like anyone else. I enjoyed using verbose language and block quotations of Mr.
George to spice up my paper, but nothing will compare to knowing him through a different lens.
Preconceived notions aside, I got to know someone in my school as a person and the influence
behind their life decisions which can be used a guide on my future decisions. My least favorite
essay to write was the group essay. I love the kids in my group, but I got frustrated about my
contribution and how our styles of writing collided. It was the lowest grade I received on a paper
in this class and disappointed me to say the least. I already wrote a whole reflection on why I
didnt like that and honestly, thinking about upsets me, so Ill skip to more things I gained from
this semester.
I faced many obstacles in my pursuit for a high writing grade, some more vexing than
others. The first paper we wrote was on Malcolm Xs autobiography. I think the real challenge on
that paper was motivation. The book was about five thousand pages long and the movie was
three and a half hours. I picked a solid middle ground, watching half the movie and sparknoting
some of the book. In all seriousness, I had just been accepted to one of my top choice colleges
and writing a piece on history was one of the last things I had on my mind, but I prevailed. Our

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next paper was a study of rhetoric and its usage in the contemporary world. My challenge here
was grasping the topic of rhetoric. We all may shake our heads in class when the teacher asks us
to explain rhetoric, but I doubt anyone fully comprehends rhetoric in the sense we do now. I had
to not only research the topic, but apply my knowledge to a deeper investigation of an article and
its purpose for rhetoric. As stated previously, I faced several difficulties while attempting to
construct a cohesive group piece. Our group was rarely around due to the scheduling of AP
exams and we broke the paper up in an unnecessarily difficult way. Instead of writing the paper
together like instructed, we broke it up by paragraph. Because of that, all our writing styles
clashed and made a messy result that no one wanted to fix. Trust me, when honor's kids use
thesaurus.com to write some of their best work, they never want to go back and revise or
compromise for the groups overall benefit. The greatest struggle in this class was not to organize
my ideas, fix my style and conventions, or even improve my understanding of the writing
process; it was a struggle to cooperate with my peers. I had to find a balance in when to share my
journal entries, have a peer revise my paper, or even when to talk to the teacher. Social etiquette
was my most finely tuned tool in this class.
I improved skills as a writer, but more so as a listener. I never would think of myself
pursuing journalism, but there I was interviewing my physics teacher about why he chose his
profession. I had almost no boundaries and the questions became as personal as I allowed them
to be. I was fully enthralled by his life story and gained a deeper perception on how listening is
the most important factor in building relationships. Listening is the stimulant for good
conversation, the root of where writing takes its form. I mean, Harvard may produce the
prodigies of our nation, accompanied by GPAs higher than I can count, but no one wants to hire
a robot. If you can maintain solid grades, and build lasting relationships, those skills will always

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mean more in the long run. Listening is something as a writer that we take for granted on a daily
basis. As an honors student, everything we have to say must be so important, so who cares
about what anyone elses opinions may entail. Yet, listening to anyone may provide a life lesson,
something inconceivable if you constantly drone on about your knowledge of calculus. Ive
never really been the type to talk to girls, but lately Ive started a close relationship with a girl
from this school in which listening has led to some of my greatest triumphs. Shes funny. smart,
and an absolute elation to be around. I feel that the interviewing skills I learned and reasons for
addressing an audience taught me how to better relate to people and for that, I now met a girl I
care endlessly for. Essentially, writing picks up girls.
Im not perfect though, aside from popular belief. One of the actual issues I need to
address in my future pieces is my organization of ideas. Ideally, every paper should be organized
by XYZ thesis; that would be super easy to write. Though this would be easy in execution,
writing in an XYZ format becomes repetitive and rather dull. I would attempt to alter my style by
adding block quotations after an introduction paragraph or by writing the rebuttal at the
beginning of a paper rather than the end in my position piece. In my memoir, I told the events out
of order which seemed like a deep notion at the time, but actually could have been confusing.
This organization or lack thereof is something Ill need to spend time with before college to
maximize my writing potential. If I can use transitions in each paragraph that relate back to the
thesis and overall topic maybe I can stay more focused in my ideas and attain better grades.
Lastly, I have to talk about the URI course learner outcomes I mastered because who
doesnt love talking about curriculum enforced by collegiate standards? Through teacher oriented
discussions gave way to my learning about rhetorical purpose. Each facet of rhetoric is how to
convey a message to a certain audience most effectively. This varies by audience as I was able to

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vary my pieces depending on who was grading them. I also gained the skills necessary to reflect
on my rhetorical situation. One of our first papers, was a study on the reason people have for
bringing their claim to other peoples attention. I analyzed an article on the killing of Oscar
Grant, an African American killed by the police. The opportunity for rhetoric here was to shed
light on corrupt justice departments in the US and how violence is growing in our country. I was
able to comprehend the details of editing and peer revision to a better degree. We engaged in
many class editing sessions and reflected on each other's work. This allowed me to fix common
mistakes in papers and learn how to revise my work based on other peoples suggestions and
ideas of my own looking back on my work. I practiced a range of style and convention by
altering my diction on several paper whether it was a formal or informal piece. Lastly, I made
sure my work was as polished as possible through the editing of multiple eyes, and rewrites
whenever necessary. These skills, as tedious as they sound, enhanced my writing and my overall
experience in this class.
Finally, I beg the question: why did I take Writing 104. I could take personal fitness a
third time and coast or maybe some ceramics class, but I chose to spend my time writing
memoirs and studying the rhetorical situation. I did this because, writing is the expression of our
feelings and deepest inhibitions. As I go into college, I dont want senioritis to follow me. Taking
this class presented many obstacles, but so does life. If I were to roll over at the end of my senior
year, what is the point in pursuing higher education? I love writing, I love school, and I love the
knowledge that has shaped who I am today.