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Dear Reader,

Welcome to my Portfolio. It is said that no author ever writes something without leaving
a piece of their soul in their work. This ideal therefore paints quite a gruesome picture for this
author. More often than not, I find myself repetitive and philosophical. I find myself rambling on
about the intricacies of Creation, overwhelmed and attempting in vain to make sense of it all.
What does this say about me? That I am self-aware? I think, therefore I am, Descartes would
say. So I do exist. Wonderful. Glad thats settled. But where does that leave me? A guppy
swimming against a colossal tide of my own making? So many questions I have and I cant bring
myself to answer them all. Doing so would take millennia. But I can write. Its about the only
thing I can do with some degree of competence.
I recognize that my skill was not nearly as refined as it is now. I attribute that greatly to
the Self Authorship and Literary Narrative essays. These assignments were very linear and easy
to follow. The crux of the matter however is the fact that they forced me to look inward. As if I
dont do that enough already right? But they worked simply because they forced me to look
inward with a sense of structure. This was something that was likely severely lacking in my
writing because I am prone to rambling. It also allowed me to create a sort of resonance as each
paper in some manner or another related back to this sense of introspection.
The free writes were perhaps equally helpful in that they allowed me to trudge through
writers block, a good skill to have, especially for someone like me whom is easily bored with a
project and will spontaneously decide to redo it (hence why Angels Falls will likely never be

The peer critique assignments in all honesty let me compare myself (in true INTJ fashion)
against others. Call me vain, but it brought some sense of satisfaction to see that my skills as a
writer were still, to some extent at least, ahead of those of my peers.
In summary, the assignments completed over the course of this semester where not, shall
we say, learning new skills. In the words of the late Stephen Covey, this semesters assignments
allowed me to sharpen the saw, i.e. improve upon what is objectively a good foundation.
Compare for example, the lyricism in the first Literary Narrative essay to that of the EIP essay.
The final section of my EIP essay reads as though it is ripped from the musings of an
apologeticist, not a college freshman. My lyricism, in some sense has always been my most
defining characteristic. Even the Literary Narrative was written in such a manner that it stands
above whatever my peers work might have been. Whilst my research/reporting writing remains
rather unchanged, I am very much proud of the improvement in my creative writing. I continue
to struggle however with a noticeable weakness in readability. Let me explain. What I mean is
that for the average reader, my essays were to some extent too philosophical or difficult to grasp.
I do not blame them. I attribute this to the fact that, when I write, I write as though I am writing
to myself, not any audience in particular. Save for Angels Falls, I cannot think of a single work I
have written wherein the audience is accounted for. Even Angels Falls falls into an odd category
where it is both too mature for contemporary young adult novels and too youthful for the adult
section. This weakness remains.
I am left then questioning what I take away from these assignments, apart from a refined
skillset. I ask, what has affected me as a person? What has influenced me to such an extent that it
reflects in my other work. Almost immediately, the Self Authorship essays of course come to
mind. I could not bring myself to pick between the two because I feel as though they are equally

significant to me as a writer. What the Self Authorship essay did for me was highlight my utter
lack of understanding about the world. I could very barely figure myself out. Tell me then, how
should I figure out the rest of the world? Its utter nonsense. I took this concept of unknowability
and thrust it into every paper after. It creates a sort of poetry, to acknowledge at the end of every
declarative essay, every affirmation of action, every stoic report, that I am in fact nothing much
more than a human who cannot understand even himself. This is my signature. This is my
enigma to the world.
As a thinker, I have not progressed much over the course of this semester. I say this
because, as you may have gathered form earlier, my sense of thought and comprehension has
always been fairly well developed. Even in the arena of inquiry, I have always excelled. I find
fault with any work almost immediately. Even my own work. That is the curse of the
perfectionist. To continually seek self-improvement and not shy away from critiquing others.
I hate to umbrella the topic, but it must be done so in the interest of being concise. I
thoroughly enjoy all of the major assignments this semester. I already discussed how much I
enjoyed the Literary Narrative and Self Authorships. So I dedicate this aside to the EIP and
ePortfolio. In essence, the EIP was an extension of the Self Authorships. I planned it out that way
on purpose. I play off of my strengths (lyricism, roman a clef) and minimize the actual amount of
reporting and technical writing I have to do. That way, the EIP was a fuller expression of my
personality that the Self Authorships did not quite allow. Even the EIP genre, the poem, was an
enjoyable project that I dedicated hours to. Not only in the writing, but in the video design etc. I
essentially made the EIP a carrier for the piece of soul Id leave in it. The ePortfolio for its part
was a bit complicated putting together given I never kept any of the old drafts saved onto my

laptop, but nonetheless, I never found myself quite so torn between picture filters as when I was
putting it together.
The difficulty in these assignments was actually getting started. Ending, ironically and
surprisingly, has never been an issue. That being said, in retrospect Id change only the manner in
which I placed myself into my writing. That may have been a mistake, like leaving myself open
to attack; exposed. I still dont quite know who I felt about it. What surprised me the most about
all this is how naturally it came to me, once the ball got rolling. Though Id lie if I said the
second Self Authorship didnt give me trouble. But that was mostly due to trying to fulfill criteria
rather than following a prompt.
To conclude, I enjoyed this class more so than I ever imagined. All I take away is that I
know nothing. Not knowing You know what? Screw it. I think Ive played that card too many
times now.
Juan David Ladino Cardenas