Assignment: This is the final essay and should include: your experience at college, changes in your writing, and what grade you should earn in WR 121. Make sure to use persuasive, compare and contrast, narrative, and evaluative writing techniques.

Geneva Varga

WR 121 Final Essay

9 March 2017

Green Tea Chocolates

Jane Goodall has been a role model to me since I was a young girl when I had the opportunity to meet her at a Roots & Shoots conference. Her words and life experience inspired me to work hard to make a difference for others in the community, animals, and the environment. For many years when I was a child I wrote to Santa requesting a better environment. On family walks I would always pickup litter and we took part in community invasive weed pulls regularly. I illustrated posters to communicate the danger of releasing unwanted pets like the red-eared slider turtle into the wild. As I grew older I realized I could have a greater impact by pursuing a career in environmental engineering. College and the lessons I have learned thus far, specifically in regards to writing, will play an important part in my chosen career and protecting the environment in the future.

“Every individual matters.

Every individual has a role to play.

Every individual makes a difference.”

– Jane Goodall 

My first college experience was in the fall of 2016 when I enrolled in Algebra I. The logical nature of mathematics has consistently appealed to me. Unlike traditional artists who use paint or authors who express themselves with words, engineers use mathematics as their medium. Consequently, I was intrinsically motivated to also complete Algebra II in the same term, receiving an A in each course. As my second term now comes to a close, I am confidant I will receive an A in my third college level math course, Intermediate Algebra II. However, not investing equivalent time and effort to also develop good communication skills —both written and verbal— can be a self-limiting decision. Mathematical skill is only a part of what an engineer needs to succeed. Therefore, I am currently enrolled in English Composition I, the only other course I am currently taking at Southwestern as a part-time, dual enrolled student.

Throughout this term, I have developed a deeper understanding for the writing process than ever before. I have discovered the three rhetorical devices of persuasion used to convince audiences, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos – each coined by Aristotle. I have learned strategies and techniques for choosing an intriguing title. I now also recognize the struggle I previously experienced with writing introductions and conclusions and the many clichés I infused into my work. Furthermore, I had previously found constructing a thesis statement near impossible and I would often wander from my topic. While criticism has been difficult to receive, green tea chocolates and a box of tissue have become my constant companion these past couple weeks, I have grown tremendously over the course of the term. I developed a better understanding of where I went astray in my writing. Often I failed to understand the original assignment. I am continuing to grow as a writer having completed just one college level writing class thus far. I look forward to all the challenges to come and applying the skills I develop in the future.

My Mandarin professor has said I am the best student he has ever had the pleasure of teaching because I am highly studious and always put my schoolwork above leisure time. I have approached all my college courses with the same methodology. This is demonstrated in English Composition by my near perfect attendance; I missed only one class due to family circumstances but scrupulously notified the professor in advance. Another factor to consider is that I have turned in all assignments on time and have fully participated in class activities, willingly reading aloud the work my partner and I composed. Additionally, I have read all assigned reading material, annotating the text while doing so. While I may have misunderstood the specifics of the two writing assignments, I was diligent and made every effort to apply the feedback once it was received to subsequent writings. Lastly, I have sought out assistance from other skilled writers rather than relying solely on my own perception of the assigned task. . I have clearly met or exceeded the criteria outlined in the course syllabus for which an A is deserved.

The lessons I have learned in writing are already helping me better communicate with others. For example, I was able to clearly share my vision for a student conservation project to the staff at South Slough which will commence next term.  As an aspiring environmental engineer I know skills in mathematics and sciences are critical, but writing is equally important. Engineers have a reputation for being weak writers. However, a broad array of skills are required to be effective in today’s multidisciplinary teams. Developing my writing skills will help me correspond effectively with my colleagues and the public. As a strong writer and mathematician, I can make a difference.

“What you do makes a difference. 

You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” 

– Jane Goodall

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