I must admit I was quite aggravated when I realized I couldn’t register for my advanced experimental class because I was missing the annoying prerequisite, namely English 110. Another dreadful requirement taking my time away from my passion. Then again, I had also admit that my English writing could in fact use some practice and improvement. The annoyance however has soon became an educational pleasure. Spring of 2012 was my only second semester at Queens College which is my first experience in educational system in U.S. I understand now how lost I was in the system and not aware of many layers of possibilities the Queens College offers. I appreciate directing me to the writing center. I learned about existence of cliques- still shocked! I explored available scholarship opportunities. I am glad to have a better comprehension of image projected by different types of colleges from Ivy League through private, public and community colleges.

Some assignments have initially raised my skepticism only to have gained my respect and acceptance as the course progressed. An example of those would be having to comment on classmates’ entries and videos. I didn’t like it at first but learned to appreciate quickly when I noticed how insights into my classmates’ backgrounds, plans and dreams put my own into perspective. I became less of an outlier as I felt until then and more an integral part of a bigger picture in American educational system. It also made the atmosphere in class more personal hence pleasant.  

My reaction to blogging format of communication wasn’t warmly welcomed by me either.( “What the heck?!” ) But in this case as well I have been proven wrong – in the ever dynamically developing virtual reality, I will certainly bless the time I have spent conquering this skill for the class’ purposes. Blogging has become one of the most important marketing tools in any profession.

Since it is meant to be an introductory English class, I appreciate the choice of topics being very relevant to college experience. It did feel like an introduction and foundation based on which next coursed will be easier to follow. MLA formatting is a news to me and I am still struggling to follow its rules, but I understand how important it will become when facing professional writing requirements in graduate school and also in other English classes before then. 

Room for improvement? I hardly see any but I wouldn’t be a seasoned Toastmaster if I wouldn’t try to at least find one – according to Toastmasters’ philosophy a constructive evaluation must entail some suggestions for improvement or else is not a really useful one, so here it is. Sometimes it was hard to navigate in the course schedule, it made an impression of chaos and was challenging to follow. I found particularly challenging keeping up with comments to the videos. I had to scroll through the schedule every time to find our next person to present the video. Also, since all comments had to be approved by the blog’s author and those comments were influencing the grade, it presented room for injustice in case some comments were not approved in time or at all. And we had a case of a person not having approved any- not that I accuse her of having it done viciously –just a matter of overlooking or simply not knowing.

In conclusion however, the course was yet another proof for my theory that any class can be made interesting, boring or stressful depending on the personality of the professor.

Dear Prof. Alvarez, I am not sure how the financial part of your life is working out for you, but for my sake, I am glad you didn’t become an engineer. You have made the class very interesting, enjoyable and useful for the future. It is a shame that you couldn’t stick around at Queens College for another year or so. I truly wish you all the best in your further career and congratulations on your recent doctorate. Thank you very much, Dr. Alvarez – so long.

 

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