Throughout this course I have learned a lot about my skills as well as my weaknesses. Although I came into the course with the weakness of not thoroughly reading, my goal was not only to become a better reader, but improve my writing skills as well. Furthermore, back in high school and this past year of college I had the horrible habit of skimming over required readings and not thoroughly dissecting the content within them. As a result, I wasn’t fully prepared for certain assignments, quizzes and didn’t include a lot of content in my essays. Thus, this affected my college grades, and led me to be disappointed in myself. Getting bad grades doesn’t make me happy, but unfortunately I was so used to skimming over readings in high school and would get decent grades that I didn’t realize till college that this form of reading isn’t acceptable or appropriate. On a separate note, although I have been told I obtain some good writing skills and think of myself as a decent writer, this course allowed me to further my abilities within this area.

Since I set my goals at the beginning of this term, I believe I have come a long way compared to before. First off, proof that intensive reading rather than skim reading has paid off can be viewed in the following example/blog post:
Prompt #1:
“After reading Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship by Majorie Heins and Christina Cho, there were several facts and details that stood out to me. The first detail that stood out to me was the fact media literacy was neglected and ignored by the United States until some time ago. This relevant detail stood out to me because I had no idea about this issue before reading this and I also can’t imagine as to why the U.S. would discount this educational approach, especially since it’s beneficial as well as useful. Another detail that stood out to me was the purpose of the curricular project known as “Television Awareness Training” in the year of 1977, because it focused closely on how television represented ethnic minorities as well as presented other issues, which allowed me to relate our classwork in some way since some of us conducted research for our Mirror Blog Essay on how a specific group of people is portrayed in the media. Last but not least, the astonishing fact that the White House decided to release a supporting statement in 2002 was particularly fascinating in my opinion because it was a step closer to having the United States government accept and embrace the approach of Media Literacy and its importance. Overall, all of these facts/details stood out to me because they were alluring to read about and allowed me to receive a better insight regarding Media Literacy.”

Prompt #1 from a previous blog post of mine is a brilliant example that with engaged reading, relevant information can be discovered and understood more clearly. Not only did my improved reading result in much more accurate and longer postings, but it also allowed me to soak information in more easily. Not only was I able to successfully exercise my reading skills, but also my writing skills. Likewise, my writing skills were practiced through the amount of writing we were required to accomplish in this class. Next off, evidence that I believe represent my improved writing skills can be seen in the following example:

“Due to the powerful influence popular culture has made on individuals in regards to race, Hispanic/Latin women suffer several frequent stereotypes. Moreover, instead of properly portraying this group of women, popular culture has instead steered its focus of Hispanic/Latin women towards an inaccurate and negative representation comprised by unreliable stereotypes. Additionally, popular culture has jumped back and forth from stereotype to stereotype, but in my perspective has focused on four particular stereotypes of Hispanic/Latin women: the maid/housekeeper, the women with thick accents, the immigrants, and the attractive teases. Furthermore, it is safe to say that all four of these stereotypes are offensive and degrading to Hispanic/Latin women. In addition, not only are these stereotypes hazardous to a woman’s image, but they can potentially be very harmful due to the fact that these images consist of unpleasant and awkward imagery based on the assumptions created by popular culture. All in all, these ideas can be viewed and understood thoroughly through television shows such as Devious Maids and Modern Family, as well as the film Spanglish.”

In regards to the strengths and challenges I obtained during this term, there are a few. First and foremost, a main strength of mine this term was accomplishing all my assignments either on time or earlier than the due date. Another strength I encountered was being able to take constructive criticism in a positive way because in the past taking this type of criticism has been tough on me, but this class allowed me to overcome the fear and disliking of it because it helped me improve on assignments. However, the only challenge I faced was doing all the assignments. Although I completed every one of them and either before or on their due date, it was tough to try to get everything done early or on time due to the amount of other homework I had not only in this class but others as well along with working part-time. Luckily, I overcame this challenge, but it surely was hard to do at times.

The role I improved in this term was a reviewer when it came to reviewing others blog posts, discussion posts, and mirror blog essays. I enhanced my skills within this role because before this class I struggled as a reviewer when it came to giving others constructive criticism and feedback. This was tough for me because I know that many people can get uncomfortable or nervous when it comes to having someone look over and review their pieces of writing, and my biggest fear was hurting someone else’s feelings, offending them, or making them feel distressed. While the thought of having to do this for others this term was frightening, I overcame my fear and improved by not only giving good constructive criticism and examples to improve, but also words of praise. Proof of improvement in this role can be noticed in the presented example/peer review letter:

“I would suggest looking over the complexity because at first when I read over it I was a somewhat confused as to what your main idea was, which I believe can be adjusted by pulling out some unnecessary sentences and summing them up to make your main point more clear and thorough. Other than that, I think you’re off to a great start and just by making those few tweaks along with any other ones you desire to change, it’ll be awesome and will flow a lot more smoothly.”

As a result of this class, the knowledge and skills I have gained will stick with me for the rest of my life. I will apply my knowledge when it comes to viewing a film, television show or any other form of popular culture since I know what to look for in certain areas of this topic. For example, when it comes to stereotypes/portrayals, I will be able to scope this details out much more easily since I know what to look for. I will also apply skills such as writing and reading when it comes to future classes and assignments within them. Similarly, I will continue using my writing and reading skills for the rest of my life and especially in my dream career which will require both abilities. Overall, this class pushed me to work hard and exercise my talents so that I could perform at an improved level and I am incredibly thankful for that.