Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Explaining My Interest

Technology is fascinating.  Being able to be connected to anyone, anywhere, anytime is a pretty astonishing feat.  Technology is constantly changing to keep up with the times, and new upgrades and versions of software are coming out seemingly almost every month.  There are so many types of technology, and it is changing so quickly that some people cannot even keep up.  Older technology, even technology that is one or two years old, is becoming obsolete, and newer, better technology is becoming the norm.  Ask almost anyone what kind of phone they have, and a large majority if people will respond with a smart phone.  Of course, there are some people who choose not to keep up with technology for one reason or another.  Perhaps, they do not want to learn the new technology and are happy with what they are used to, or perhaps some people simply do not have the money to purchase the latest technology.  I find it fascinating that nothing stays the same for long in regards to technology, and everything is constantly being updated or upgraded.  Children in first grade have phones now, and some young kids know how to use this ever evolving technology better than their parents.  It is bewildering how society changes based on technology.  Younger and younger generations are receiving better and better technology, and it is what they are used to.  This invented technology is literally reshaping people, even causing some to lose valuable skills.  New technology is being created everyday, and people are willing to spend more and more money to make sure they have the latest and greatest phone or laptop, whatever technology they crave.  I agree that technology is important and very useful in today's day and age, but I feel that technology has taken over the lives of many.  Many people are losing or simply not learning social skills, and people do not know how to talk face to face anymore.  Professional writing is becoming weaker because of the huge reliance on texting and texting slang.  The force of technology has redefined the world and who we are as individuals.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Experience Synthesis Reflection

Writing the experience synthesis was a good experience for me as it was a different and enjoyable paper to write.  Being able to tell a story and use my own personal experience is not something usually acceptable for a college paper, so it was nice to be able to sort of have fun with the paper and tell a story.  I was able to use some creativity which made the paper even more enjoyable to write and hopefully more enjoyable for the audience to read. 

Overall, I think the actual process of writing the paper was helpful for me.  Going through each step of brainstorming, free writing, drafting, peer reviews, and revisions, was really beneficial for me and ultimately helped me write a stronger paper.  The outline and design plan also helped me with organization and keeping in mind my ultimate purpose and audience.  The design plan was something new that I have never used while writing a paper before, but I do think it was useful.

In my original design plan, I stated my purpose for my paper was to provide my own personal experience with service and encourage other students to get involved in service.  I decided my audience would be students, specifically high school and college students, wanting to get involved in service.  I believe my paper was successful in staying true to my purpose and audience as I shared how service has positively impacted my own life.  I focused on my meaningful experiences that made me really understand the value of service and hope that the readers will see how important service is.  My experiences could encourage others to get involved and make their own difference in the world.  I think I made my paper relatable to the audience through my own experience and also the outside sources I chose to include.  I believe I was successful in getting my point across to the reader, staying true to my purpose, and writing an interesting, relatable paper.      

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Revision Process

In the past, the revision process has always been something that I overlooked and did not really put much effort into.  I already had all of the information I wanted to talk about in my paper, and my revising consisted of fixing spelling and grammar errors and maybe rewording a sentence or two.  In my previous classes, we would do peer reviews, but the comments I received were never really helpful, so my papers wouldn't really change that much.

This revision process has not been like my previous experiences.  Taking the time to perform two peer reviews in class which answered meaningful questions really helped me.  Being able to get the opinions of four of my classmates was great because I could easily see where I needed to be clearer on a topic or idea.  I also liked working with a partner while doing the peer evaluations.  Having two perspectives on the same work was beneficial as we could combine our thoughts and offer better comments and suggestions.  This time, I was actually able to use those comment and suggestions to improve my paper and actually make meaningful revisions.  I think this revision process has been worthwhile and will hopefully help me to write a better paper.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Most families have their own traditions and rituals associated with Christmas.  One family tradition I have in my family is breaking oplatki.  This is a Polish tradition my family takes part in every Christmas.  Oplatki are thin wafers usually with a religious image on them.  Each member of the family gets a wafer and then goes around to the other members and they each take a piece of each other's wafer, wishing each other a merry Christmas and a healthy, happy new year.  I always enjoy this tradition as it is a way that we remain close as a family.  Each member takes a piece of each other symbolizing the connectedness of our family.  The tradition enables me to see each member of my family and wish them a small greeting for the holidays.  I like this tradition as it is a memory I carry with me during the holidays from the people I care about.  Al of the men in the family usually complain and do not like the tradition, but it is one I look forward to.  It is a simple gesture that means a lot.  What might seem like a strange or unimportant tradition to others actually means a lot to me, and is something I remember throughout the holiday season.  I know that not all families have the opportunity to be together during the holidays or any other time for the matter, so having each family member participate reminds me how lucky I am to have such a close family.  It may be a simple task, but the tradition of breaking oplatki with my family carries a whole lot more a meaning than most realize.  I did not always view it in this way.  At one point, I too probably sounded like the men in my family, saying why do we have to do this, it is silly, or it isn't important, but as the years went by, I realized that it is in fact important.  It symbolizes much more than simply breaking each others wafers, but it shows that we are a connected family and family is important to us.  It is important that we tell each to have a happy holiday or new year because life is unpredictable.  Family is a huge part of my life, and this tradition is a reminder that the people I love will always be there for me, something that unfortunately not everyone can say.  Family means something different to everyone, and it does not always necessarily remind them of good times, so I know I am lucky to have a loving, supportive tightly knit family, and my Christmas tradition is a reminder of that.  So maybe it is just a simple gesture of breaking oplatki, but it means a whole lot more to me.  It is a constant reminder that my family will always be there, loving and supporting me every step of the way.  It reminds me to be grateful for the loving people I have in my life, and it is an important tradition that I look forward to every Christmas. 

What does it mean when I say service?  I'm sure if I asked 100 people this question, I would get 100 different responses.  Some might say it is volunteering and helping others, while others might name some forms of service such as volunteering at a soup kitchen.  The point is service means many different things to different people.  When I was younger, I probably would have responded in a similar manner, saying that it is volunteering and helping the poor, but I have come to learn that is it much more.  Of course, service can be volunteering or helping the needy.  These are great forms of service, but through my own experience, I have come to realize it means a whole lot more.  To me, service means giving a little piece of yourself to someone in need, really empathizing with that person and wanting to make their life better.  Service is a broad topic that encompasses many different forms, and all service is good.   

Service is like a reality check.  This sounds kind of odd, right?  Allow me to elaborate.  Service is usually done for the poor or people in need, people who are not as fortunate as others.  It is in working with these people that we are able to realize how fortunate we really are.  Suddenly what may have seemed like a major problem before becomes much more trivial when we realize the struggles others face on a daily basis.  Service is a reminder to take a step back and truly appreciate all that we have.  Service has helped me to become a better person and to strive to live my life more graciously.  Seeing the often horrible conditions some people are forced to endure allows me to look at and be grateful for all of the things and people in my own life.  Service is like a reality check, allowing us to remember that we are blessed, and we should share our blessings with those in need.