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Deciding to go back to school at the age of 29 was not difficult to decide. I always felt I was good at reading and writing, but for some reason when I went to take the placement test, my English score was not as high as I thought it would be. Although I’ve been out of school for a while, I still didn’t think I wouldn’t pass the test. So needless to say, I was a little discouraged when I first started English 111 because I had doubts about what my skill level was going to be. Not only did I have to take a developmental class before starting this one, but I also had to make myself believe that I could complete the course successfully. Now when first meeting my teacher Mr. Gasparo, I thought to myself “He is going to make this class very interesting.”
Our first assignment was to write a Diagnostic essay to let Mr. Gasparo see where our skill levels were at. I didn’t think this essay was a problem because it was easy and I love writing narration essays. I was a little excited to turn it in because I wanted to know what he thought. We never did get any feedback on them, so once again I was left in doubt about my skills. Most of the assignments we had were very useful to me, but one in particular that I couldn’t stand was watching “Wings for Wheels” by Bruce Springsteen. The video and all the lyrics we had to read and listen to just were very annoying. I still to this day don’t understand the point of what we were to learn from him. I hope to god I never have to listen to any of his music again. Personally, his voice is annoying and I don’t think he can sing. Now that I think about it, when we read the lyrics to “Born in the U.S.A”, I learned that the song was not about being proud to be in the U.S. It had something to do with an unemployed Vietnam veteran. Although the verse is very memorable, I bet half the people in today’s society don’t know the meaning of the song.
My favorite assignment was when we viewed the documentary “Sicko” by Michael Moore. I learned so much about how corrupt the insurance companies can be. I even went home telling my husband about it and he watched a lot of the information on YouTube. I hate to think of what might happen to me or a family member if we got seriously ill, and the insurance company denied coverage. I am crossing my fingers that we never have to find out.
This has been a long 16 weeks that I thought would never get here. I feel very fortunate to have been in Mr. Gasparo’s class because in his own little crazy way, he has left a lasting impression on me through his teaching. The only thing I would want to do more of is write more types of essays. The only graded essay I remember us getting back was the rhetorical essay and I liked the fact that he went over it checking for this and that. The other assignments were just pass/fail and I don’t think that is teaching us what we have done wrong with the paper. I could be the only one who feels this way, but I figure the more I write the better I will become. Now this argument essay we have turned in last week is going to be the killer. I have never written an argument paper before, and I hope I did it correctly because I was trying my best not to make it sound like a research paper. I am very proud of myself for putting forth all efforts to come to each and every class session. I learned I could be dedicated to something if I put my mind to it. Luckily the degree program I am in doesn’t require me to take English 112, but if I had to, I would definitely choose Mr. Gasparo as my teacher, but only if Bruce Springsteen was not anywhere in his lesson plans. Thanks for all of the writing wisdom Mr. Gasparo.