Essay 1

After the first few weeks of class, I have been able to see what this class is really about and dig deep into my brain to find my more creative side that holds new ideas and interesting thoughts of my own. We have read many epigraphs, and all of them have made me more interested in this class. Before starting this class, I thought epigraphs were just inscriptions carved into buildings, statues or coins. After reading a few in the literary sense, I have learned that they are much more than an engravement. Epigraphs are usually a sentence or a paragraph and are used to introduce a larger text. They are usually at the beginning of books, chapters, or other texts. The thing that I think is cool about epigraphs is that they might not make sense at first, but they will make more sense at the end of the text. Which is one of the reasons why the epigraphs that we read within the first week of class made me very excited for the class this semester. Although the epigraphs we read didn’t make much sense to me, I hope they will make more sense by the end of the semester, and help me reflect on how much I grew during this class.

The epigraph that stood out most to me was “I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY”, from the book I Am Not Sidney Poitier, written by Percival Everett. This epigraph stood out to me mostly because it was the most relatable for me, and one of the easier ones to understand. Last year I went to school in Arizona and really struggled. It was my first year living alone, and on top of that I was living across the country. After finishing my school year, I decided to transfer somewhere closer to home. This relates to the line in the epigraph, “I came back to this place to find something, to connect with something that I’ve lost, to reunite if not with my whole self, then with a piece of it.” After transferring to Geneseo, this is how I felt. Although I am still two hours from home, it is much different than a seven hour flight. I felt like I had lost myself at school last year, but after being home for summer and transferring to a new school, I feel like I have connected with something I had lost. After the sentence I mentioned before, Percival Everett says, “What I’ve discovered is that this thing is not here. In fact, it is nowhere.” Although I was happy to be back home, I still feel as though I moved onto a new chapter in my life. Going home helped remind myself who I was as a person, but I didn’t come back to find anything, I came back for a fresh start. 

Another sentence from this epigraph that I resonated with was, “It seems you all know me and nothing could be further from the truth.” This is how I felt at the school I was at last year. People form opinions on people too fast, based on how they look or the few things that they hear about them. After being at college for a year now, one thing that I have learned is to not judge people until you know them, or never to judge a book by its cover. All throughout high school I felt like people judged me based on the people I was friends with, or what they heard about me from other people. I always hated that because I put a lot of effort into being a good person and doing nice things for people. I have been focusing a lot this year on giving good first impressions, and trying to be as friendly as possible. Another reason why I relate to this part of the epigraph is because people from my past think they know who I am, but over the past year I think I have changed the most that I have in my life so far. So realistically, they have no idea who I am anymore unless I have seen or talked to them since I saw them last. 

One thing that we have talked about in class that has stood out to me and reminds me of  this epigraph is good faith and bad faith. Personally, I really believe in karma. That being said, a lot of my life I put a lot of focus into doing things that will bring me good faith. That is a big part of who I am, and I think that ties into the part of the epigraph that I mentioned earlier in this text, “It seems you all know me and nothing could be further from the truth.” From the outside I seem like I am very relaxed and don’t care about much, so I feel like a lot of people think that I don’t care much about my faith or karma. I really enjoyed this topic in class, and I could easily relate it to the epigraphs we were shown in the first week of classes. 

By the end of this class, I really hope I can grow as a reader and a writer. Not only that, but I hope that my ability to be creative really develops, and it gets easier for me to make connections with different texts. I am very excited for this class because it seems much different than any English class that I have taken previously. I hope that I can become more comfortable with sharing my opinion, or ideas, along with getting more comfortable reading things even if I don’t understand them right away.  In the past, I have struggled with reading things, not understanding them, and being too scared to share my opinion because I thought it would be wrong. But I have already learned from this class that there are no right or wrong answers, and in order to really understand something it helps to talk to my peers about it.

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