During Spring 2020, I participated in an independent study with my advisor; the study revolved around the writing style for the Southern Fiction genre. Throughout the course, I read and analyzed authors such as Lee Smith and Katharine Anne Porter to compare and contrast writing styles while identifying my own in the genre. This course provided a deeper challenge because I had to read and annotate on the most massive scale I ever had for any class, not to mention that I had to figure out what to do for the final part of the course during the time everyone was sent home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After writing two revised short fiction stories in the Southern genre, I find myself feeling more capable to write fiction more than ever before, which is my ultimate goal in life.
In ENG 365 Shakespeare, our first big assignment was a literary analysis paper. Our professor asked us to select a sonnet from the numerous amount that Shakespeare wrote and analyze it in great detail, especially with focus on how Shakespeare frames certain phrases. For my essay, I chose Sonnet 8, and did required research in the Oxford Dictionary regarding how particular words in the sonnet have multiple meanings, therefore offering multiple interpretations.
HONS 320, also known as Markets and Morals, was the second Honors course I have taken at Longwood in Fall 2019. While our class mainly revolved around verbal debates regarding our views on capitalism, socialism, and the options that run in between, we also did some personal reflections on specific topics. For our third Reflection Writing assignment, the topic was ‘what it means to have a good life’ and how financial matters can influence our perception of having a good life. I discussed this issue with particular emphasis on my own financial background.
Another English Major requirement class is ENG 336 American Literature Realism to Contemporary. One of the larger assignments of the course involved a group presentation about one of the many novels we have read. My group chose “The House on Mango Street”, and we set aside spare time to do research about different aspects our professor required us to discuss. My contribution to the project involved matching up quotes from the novel that matched up with the elements of literary research. This meant looking for different research quotes that aligned with our own opinions about the novel as well as the novel itself.
One General English Major requirement course I took in Fall 2019 was ENG 325 also known as Medieval Literature. The accompanying document is the Final Research paper assignment. For this, I was required to come up with a thesis about at least two of the texts we had written and provide my own literary analysis about them. In this paper, I chose to write about the werewolf’s wife in the poem Bisclavret and the Wife of Bath in “The Canterbury Tales”. I found this assignment very challenging throughout the writing process, yet I found myself engaged in the subject matter since female roles from this specific type of literature can often be dismissed as wives by those who have not done their research. Hopefully, when you read through this paper, you will find that there is a lot more to the stories of medieval women!
Even though some of my gen ed credits were received from transfer credits I took before coming to Longwood, the course that I have taken have shown me a great deal or skills that I will continue to use throughout my time at Longwood. My goals mainly involved improving on my writing skills and learn different perspectives. In terms of perspectives, I have learned how to work in groups by discussing course material and absorbing the point of view of each person participating in group discussion. When it comes to writing, I have adapted my skills due to different professor requirements for papers in each course I’ve taken. Adapting to different paper length and discussing various subjects in specific detail that gets right to the point is the major takeaway I have received. In the long run, I hope that these skills will improve, especially when it comes to the specific details of the material I study.
The following document is my Final Story Portfolio for ENG 376, also known as, Cultural Anthropology Fiction. My goals for this course were to fully explore Southern U.S. culture in fictional storytelling. At the beginning of the course, I wasn’t sure that my writing skills were properly representing the culture I grew up in. With research and constructive criticism from peers both in and out of the classroom, I learned where my strengths and weaknesses are in my writing process in a much more clear and specific way than I ever understood beforehand. As I wrote and rewrote each story, it gradually became easier to point out certain flaws in terms of character decisions, character voice, plot, and the ending of stories. I think I was successful in achieving my goals for this course by developing skills primarily in the revision process.
The following assignment from Citizen 110 involved debating ethical issues. Each student had to take two chosen ethical topics and debate both sides of the argument. For my class, I discussed the pros and cons of both sides of the Abortion and Gun Control topics. I found this particular assignment interesting due to getting in the mindset of both sides of the arguments despite having my own opinions.