Tuesday, December 1, 2009



This semester in English 111 was a little different than I expected. The first day of class had me a little concerned about the workload of the semester, but I have been thinking about becoming a writer so I decided it would be good for me. The first writing assignment was a simple paper that didn’t cause too much stress. For the next few assignments they were all pass fail, so I didn’t worry too much about making them perfect. This set a bad example for me because I carried that attitude with me the rest of the year.

Eventually the assignments were actually graded, and since I was used to getting full credit for work I didn’t spend a lot of time on I didn’t spend a lot of time on the new assignments. My grades weren’t horrible on these papers, but they could have been better. I’m not blaming the professor for this; it just wasn’t the right environment for me personally. Next semester I will try to do my best not to get into a certain routine with my classes. This way I can treat every new assignment as a unique work, and not just another English assignment.

My favorite assignment was probably the rhetorical analysis. It let me look back at my life and reflect on what made me the person I am today. I felt the paper flow onto the page after I started writing. The only thing I regret about it was how I waited until the last minute to write it. This prevented me from making it a paper I could be proud of, and instead made it just another writing assignment. I could have also added more detail to help people understand the influences in my life. I think the lack if detail may have lessened the papers credibility.

My least favorite assignment was the argument paper. I felt like the assignment loomed over me the entire semester. I defiantly put it off too late. I did most of my research in one night, and didn’t get enough good information for the paper. I also think the interviews were a requirement that shouldn’t have been there. I got my interviews last minute, and I mean last minute. I got one the day before the assignment was due and the other the day of. I also don’t like researching for papers; I find I do better when I have to come up with the material myself.

Overall I felt the class was a little unpredictable. We never went over all the reading assignments assigned, so half the class just stopped reading them all together. Others read a little, and I’m not sure anyone read it all at the end of the semester. The course calendar also constantly changed, so no one really knew what to expect coming into class. The assignments were very straightforward though. The prompts told you everything you needed to know about the assignment, and the best way to get it done. This made the class easier, even though the actual time in class was a bit clustered.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Final Diagnostic Essay: Cruising Along


Cruising Along

I stepped out of the taxi cab and saw the ship for the first time. I could not believe how big it was. I had seen a picture if the ship before, but nothing compared to actually seeing it. I couldn’t wait to get inside and see where I would be spending the next week. The line to get inside moved slower than the security lines in an airport. We finally get to the metal detector and I get through no problem. My buddy Tony went through three times before he remembered he was wearing steel toed boots. I teased him about that until we finally got into the ship.

When we first got onboard an attendant directed us to the elevator so we could get to our rooms. As we walked into the elevator the first thing we noticed was the floor had MONDAY written in the carpet, seeing as it was Monday this was pretty impressive. We got to our rooms, and they were smaller than I thought they were going to be. The beds were pretty comfortable though.

We were exploring the ship when we discovered we could get all the pizza and ice cream we could eat for the duration of the cruise. My mom made a joke; she said she wanted to weigh us after the trip to see how much we gorged ourselves. Tony and me took it seriously and decided we would prove her wrong. We avoided the elevator all day and stayed away from all the free food. We woke up the next day and we both felt horrible. Our legs were sore and we could barely get around the ship. It was at this point we decided that we were on vacation and should be enjoying ourselves. We used the elevator as much as we could, which now had TUESDAY in the carpet, and we pigged out on pizza and ice cream the rest of the trip.

The next day the ship stopped in Cozumel where my mom had booked an excursion for the day. We got into a crowded bus that took us to a lake next to some ancient Mayan ruins. We were supposed to go snorkeling in the lake, but it had stormed recently and the lake was full of debris. I felt like we got ripped off and was complaining the entire way back to the bus. My mom told me that there was one more stop in the excursion, and that I should hold my complaints until the end. The bus stopped at a hotel on the ocean. We walked through the gate and I could not believe my eyes. My entire life I had wanted to go swimming with dolphins, and right in front of me was a tank where they allowed people to interact with dolphins. I finally lived my dream of riding on the back of a dolphin. I didn’t want to leave, but we had to get back to the ship.

All of us were given a room key that doubled as a charge card that could be used throughout the ship. My brothers used their cards constantly during our trip, but I didn’t use mine once. I was content with all the free activities the cruise offered. The last stop the ship made was at Haiti. We spent the entire day at the beach having a great time. When the end of the day approached my parents decided to give me a treat for not using my card all week. I was able to fulfill another dream of mine, I went parasailing. The view was amazing, and I loved the thrill of being so high.

The end if the cruise was the worst part. I remember walking into the elevator and seeing SUNDAY on the floor, and feeling sad that I would never see the elevator again. When we finally got off the ship it felt weird going back to the real world. I will never forget that amazing week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Original Diagnostic Essay

My Cruise Experience

When we first arrived at the ship I was astonished at its size. The ship was the largest ever built at the time; it was as long as the Empire State Building is tall. I spent the entire first day simply exploring, and I still didn’t see everything before the night was out. The ship had its own mall in the center with just about everything you don’t need on a cruise. The ship had plenty of choices for food. There was also a twenty-four hour pizzeria where you could get free pizza throughout the cruise. You could also get ice cream at the mall with just about any toppings you could want, or you could just get a cone on deck. At night you could even dine at their restaurant with one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. When you weren’t eating there was plenty to do. They had a mini-golf course on deck, and a virtual driving range. You could play ping pong on one of the numerous tables throughout the ship; some placed a little too close to the railing if you ask me. If you like to swim the ship had three swimming pools and a surf simulator. They also had lounge chairs all around so you could just relax if you didn’t feel like doing anything.

During this cruise we stopped at some amazing places. Our first stop was Mexico. When we arrived we got on a bus and went to some Mayan ruins. The guide showed us around and taught us a little bit of Spanish. He also showed us the plant we get gum from. After the ruins we went to a wildlife preserve where we got to swim with dolphins. I had wanted to swim with dolphins since I was six years old. Next we went to Jamaica where my dad and I got to spend the day together. We went zip lining through the jungle. The instructors were half the fun, they were so funny. I will never forget flying over the tree tops. Afterwards we got to enjoy some real Jamaican jerk chicken. We then met up with the rest of my family to go climb a waterfall. Next we went to the Grand Caymans. We went swimming with stingrays; some of them were bigger than I am. Then we went snorkeling in a coral reef. My grandfather almost got bitten by a moray eel. Finally we went to Haiti. We spent most of the day at the beach where they had a playground on the water. At the end of the day my dad and I went parasailing, something else I had always wanted to do.

The worst part about the cruise was the end. The last day seemed like it was trying its best to fly by. When we got home our bodies had to adjust to cooler weather and most of us got sick. I lucked out and was fine, but my mom was on bed for a couple days. The day after we got back I also had to go back to school and pick up a weeks worth of make up work. The cruise was one of the best weeks of my life, so it was worth it. Ever since I have been yearning to go on another one.