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Raymond Hawkins III

Mr. Neace

English 101

2 December 2019

Final Reflection Essay

Over the course of this class, I have practiced writing several different types of essays,

literature writing, and practiced the habits of mind that I wanted to sharpen this semester. In the

beginning of this class I did not like to be descriptive with my writing, especially when it’s about

something personal. However, the in-class exercises and writing assignments allowed my mind

to open up and be more figurative in my language. I would like to reflect on my first college

english class experience.

I had two habits of mind to practice in this class this semester. Persistence is the first

habit of mind that I worked on in class. Sometimes I feel tired from long practices and workouts,

long nights in the tutoring center, and attending other classes. My day is usually busy from 6AM

to 10PM and I have very little motivation to come to class often and complete my responsibilities

for the day. However, setting and achieving this goal made me more persistent when I wanted to

give up because I do not like setting goals and not achieving them. I set this goal not only for my

success as a student but also as a student athlete. Keeping persistence a goal, allowed me to

complete all of the assignments for this class and many other classes and kept me focus on my

professional goal. Viewers of my online blog will notice that my papers at the end of the

semester are far better than the papers I wrote at the start of this class because I was persistent

enough to learn from my mistakes and build upon them making my english skills better.

Flexibility is the second habit of mind that I chose to practice. Sometimes you have to be flexible

in certain situations because you might not achieve certain goals or be in the right position to

achieve certain goals. Yet, as long as you are flexible you will be able to adjust to your

circumstances and accomplish what you need to accomplish. I had to be extremely flexible while

writing these essays because it was difficult for me to be emotional and personal in my writings

but I knew I needed to adjust my comfortability. I thought about different aspects of my essays

as I constructed them and tried to show my emotions in my stories. Keeping these two habits of

mind has definitely made me a stronger writer, and I believe that I have achieved both of these


I went through obstacles, some easier than others, while writing these essays. First, I had

a difficult time telling my personal stories about my life experiences because I am not a very

emotional person and I do not want others to feel sorrow for me. Yet, I tried to convey as much

emotion as possible to show effort and to make the writing better. I had a difficult time getting

my thoughts down on paper or forming them in sentences. Outlining my ideas made it much

easier to write my thoughts down on paper. I would first sit and think about what I wanted to

write about, then I would begin to outline my essays. I left my outlines to sit for a few days, view

them again with a clear mind, and wrote my first drafts. I would also let my tutor read over my

drafts and finalize the papers when I thought they were complete. For example, my memoir

about my Great Grandmother was difficult for me to write down because it is a subject that I

rarely speak on. The first draft I wrote was very raw and not enough emotion but I thought about

my personal story and was eventually able to give more details about my Great Grandmother and

the day of her Funeral. During the process of writing this, I thought about different ways to

capture how emotional my story was and I continued to think about the fact that I would not be

here without my Great Grandmother. The profile essay was very difficult to write about because

I did not know much information about the Gorgas House Museum and I did not know where to

find information for the house either. The first draft only had basic information and that was

difficult for me to piece together a profile of the house. I let the draft sit and returned to it with

more information after doing more research and recalling, myself, the information I learned on

this tour. I was happy with the final draft of my profile essay because I took the time to research

information and learn from the house tour.

My intro letter, memoir, and profile essay all connect in several ways to show my writing

skills and my progress during this semester. One, each essay gets better because I learned from

my mistakes after each submission. Two, each essay shows the range of writing abilities that I

learned in this class. Many of the in-class assignments also attributed to the strength of my

essays as well. Three, each of these essays shows viewers that my life is an example of a

beautiful struggle and I have different things that motivate me to push forward.