Learning Outcome 3

Blog 12 Post Informal Response:

Overall, I really liked and appreciated this essay. It was a great read! I was engaged fully throughout the whole article.

The first time where Julie Beck connected with me was when she mentioned that the way people retell their experiences to others shape the way they end up remembering those events. It is very interesting because very recently, I have started to think about this concept. It was intriguing that we determine how we feel about a certain experience depending on how we retell it to others. In the very end, the life story we are telling is our truth. It is what we believe in to be the absolute truth and because of that, we shape how we view that experience

The second thing that really caught my eye and I was very into this in-text conversation was when she mentioned the place that redemptive and contamination stories stand in society. I, personally, really like contamination stories over redemptive stories just because I find them more interesting and there is more to talk about after the fact. Redemptive stories have their place of course, but I usually find them cliché and predictable. I like how she mentions that redemptive stories are American optimism because that’s exactly what it is! I am all for being optimistic in most situations, but if you continue to deny the fact some things just don’t get better, then you’re just hurting yourself. Only when you can admit the truth can you really benefit from the experience mentally. Sharing the hardships is what starts a conversation and a conversation leads to a connection between 2 people and isn’t that what we want? I believe it’s okay to vulnerable and share these contamination stories because you’re just helping yourself.

The final thing that I thought was pretty interesting (nothing can compare to the last one) was when she said: “And while you may be able to avoid reasoning about a certain event, it would be pretty hard to leave all the pages of a life story unwritten.” I thought that this line was beautiful and it goes along with my point that you should be vulnerable. Do not leave any stone unturned because sometimes these difficult events can really shape who you are and by finding your identity, your life story is one step closer to becoming truly yours. So I believe that share the hardships and just talk. Obviously there are things that should be left undisturbed, but in the end, it’s the narrator’s judgment call.

Framing Statement:

When I first heard the words “active reading”, my first thought was that it was impossible to be active while reading. You generally read when resting or in a relaxed state. This is because active reading is a skill that needs to be developed over time.

For me, out of nowhere, all the strategies to active reading came out of nowhere. Before, I only summarized every paragraph or so in my words in order to grasp the concept in my own way. However, in addition to that, I now engage in conversation with the text and author when reading. I ask the questions I wish to be clarified, and I give my opinions on the writer’s argument as well. As Susan Gilroy in her text “Interrogating Texts: 6 Reading Habits to Develop in your First Year at Harvard”, my margins were marked up with ideas that occurred to me while reading, questions that consisted of why the text was selected for me to read, and so on. One of my strategies to help me grasp the concept of what I read is reading it a second or third time. Usually on the first read through, I would be a believer in the writer’s words while becoming a heavy critic on the second go-around in order to have both sides of the arguments established.

Above, I do agree initially with the point that Julie Beck makes about American Optimism. I think that it is a great thing to have a positive outlook on life and seeing the good in the bad. However, on my second read through, I do say that even though it is good to have optimism, sometimes you have to accept the fact that it is what it is for negative events. You are unintentionally lying to yourself when it is okay to recognize that whatever happened is unfortunate.

If you were to ask me if annotations were effective in helping me understand the text last year, I would have said absolutely not. I thought it was just busy work. However, after this semester, I don’t think I can go reading another article without marking it up because now it is just a healthy habit that I have induced onto myself and I am really glad that it stuck to me and that I can continue to use and develop this skill as I progress forward.


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