After all of these weeks, after all the struggles and the pain that I have suffered from university’s relentless assaults. I, Edgar Allan Dela Cruz will survive my first semester. English 100 is one of the toughest challenges that I have faced ever since challenging the valedictorian of my class to an argument about “knowledge versus money” in which I lost. The question is why did I bring up this story? I never engage without purpose so, this is why. The title of valedictorian is awarded to the person with the highest grade point average. Also, valedictorians are respected and whom most people depend on when it comes to group activities and brain storming. Like the valedictorian, for me, English 100 has demands that I could never possibly meet. Furthermore, it is very structured and has several branches of almost unlimited supply of content. They come in different shapes and sizes. They could go from poems to essays and from paragraphs to journals. Why am I saying this? It is because I envy people who were born with natural talent on academics. These people can easily decipher poems and literary pieces like Robert Francis’ “The Pitcher” in a matter of minutes while it seemed barely understandable to people like me without that natural talent. Why can we just be equal? “Ten thousand hours” says Malcolm Gladwell, a phrase that I have been hearing from various professors at the U of R ever since the beginning of class. I had a similar motto of defeating gene via perseverance. However, I started to doubt my motto when I pushed myself to my limits and realized that I was not even close to the level and grandeur of that valedictorian. Overwhelming would be the proper word to describe this phenomenon as well as this English 100 class wouldn’t it? I am weary of the journey of life. I am baffled, confused, and alone in the land of uncharted snow. Does hope and altruism exist? If so, who has it? Why it is only bestowed to the hands of famous, intelligent, and the undeserving? Though my futile attempts to survive this course devour my strength and distort my well-being, I do not plan on giving up. Listen: Being sick does not help either. However, for reasons unknown, my cognitively is not is not the same as before. I do not why this cognitive deterioration is happening to me. I made a gamble and placed my credibility on the line. (My head hurts). It’s not over yet English 100. I will put the last bit of my strength into passing this class before God knows what happens. English 100, you are tough to finish, and seemingly impossible to finish especially to a schmuck like but, let me tell you this: I will not letting you succeed into dragging me into the abyss.
That was some rant that I made and I apologize. However I think it had to be done and I feel a lot better know. Being sick distorts my thinking and reason. Since we are on the topic of poems, I decided to share one of mine for non-academic reason and some feedback I guess.
Edgar Allan Dela Cruz
Soundless, lifeless, and heartless
Consumed by darkness, a land of no caress.
Desolated with lies, devoured by Melancholy
Visited by observers, a vessel full of folly
Windless, depressing, clueless
Populated by craters, all faceless.
A place of overwhelming drought
A realm of unforgiving doubt
Beauty as it may from far away
A demented version of the milky way
Supressing day and offering night
The phenomena of an eclipse, the dark light
The Moon, the parsimonious moon
The pretentious shade, a silent typhoon
-Edgar Allan Not Poe
After surviving week 2 of Professor Wilson’s English 100 class, my uneasiness of having a disadvantage in learning the Languages Arts is diminishing. Last Tuesday, September 13th, we discussed about deciphering poems. He tackled the poem She Walk in Beauty by Lord Byron. After the class finished reading the poem, he started asking questions about the poem’s meaning. Then, he gave his own interpretation of the poem which left the whole class baffled because he started speaking about combines and the beautiful prairies. In the midst of the confusion, he supported his interpretation with the lines used from the poem. I was like: wow, he’s good, really good. He also reminded us that we need to “support our opinion”, which I find very interesting because one of my teachers in high school said that you “need to have a PH.D” for your opinions to count, supported or not. Poetry interpretation has always been an ongoing struggle for me due to the fact that English is not my first language and I am still learning its fundamentals and theories. Yes I can be called handicapped or crippled when it comes to learning English, but I am not the person who gives up easily. I have finished obstacles harder than this one, and there are tougher challenges that await me.
The following meeting, September 15th, we tackled on pre-writing strategies, in which we were told to read Fit to Print and Pattterns for Purpose respectively. Honestly, reading the books was a little “dry” to me due to the fact that I am not used to self-studying methods that university students often venture on and I usually prefer listening in class instead of reading tons of techniques and strategies that does not make sense to me at all. I wanted to raise questions on how pre-writing can executed properly, but he solve it right away before I could even raise the question. He discussed the dos and don’ts of pre-writing which I find very useful. Furthermore, I found that writing strategies that I usually use has some holes and some sentences do not have any connection to the essays at all which led to my teachers giving out questions marks on some sentences on my essays whenever I submit one. One thing I found new on this lecture was the Free writing, a method in which the writer writes and writes everything that comes in his/her on paper until he/she runs out of ideas, and the “real” ideas come out. I find this method to be very fascinating because I have never tried this before. Then, he started discussing about the three kinds of essays namely Personal, Persuasive, and Informative essay. I usually could not distinguish the difference between informative and persuasive due to the fact that both types of essays are very similar in nature. Writing has always been my weakness and it no matter how much I try to write, edit, and re-write, I often get lower marks than my target mark should be. I often work hard and it takes a lot of time for me to finish a high school essay. I think that I should spend more time expounding on my understanding of the Language Arts and get help if I could or even read and decipher the books that was provided for this class. I have just to try and try until I have it mastered. I just have to resort to my diligence because I do not have talent on writing.
Here is another poem that I made for my Teacher, adviser, and a big sister, Ms. Dennehy A woman of music and integrity The best Choral Director-Full of Authority Transcendent, Gentle, and Smart Traits that can never be bought at Walmart She wears glasses, contacts, and has majestic eyes Whenever I am in her class, my voice says Hi to the skies Her voice is like pure Sunshine warm, sweet, and vibrant-God's Design Her Philosophy is a university A community, working together-Full of diversity With her, the Choir is Alive! Tenors-Bright, Altos-Dark, Sopranos-High, Basses-Thrive But who is she outside the class?; the inner A loving daughter and A Legitimate Singer She enjoys singing, dancing, and acting A triple threat, like a powerful bullet-piercing She loves to cook; chopping here, whacking that Humming and waiting on the oven's spat. This is Ms. Dennehy: a Little Angel! That's a fact!: half rest "Live, Love, Laugh!" I only want to say, She's the Best! -Edgar Allan Not Poe