Essay 1

Chosen Course Epigraph: #3 “I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY”

From the first few of my own experiences in this class, I have felt empowered, more heavily focused on the thinkING instead of grades, I have already found myself to not only grow as a writer, but grow as a thinker. Whether my constantly circulating thoughts come back to me about perception, self-accountability, or just plain confusion, I can already feel the differences in my thinkING processes. The epigraph I chose has made me connect the idea of “being yourself” with my past as a middle school student. 

Back then, I never had many friends. I usually just went along with my day, not walking with anyone to my next history class, eating lunch alone while I wondered how all my other friends could even have the nerve to get up and go make new friends. I longed to have good relationships with people other than myself…or so I thought. Now that I look back on it, I didn’t truly know myself; or in other words, love myself. I thought that loving myself was being able to fit in with the rest of the popular kids, or being able to communicate more clearly with people I knew; or in that case, even with people I didn’t know. I spent all four of those years in middle school struggling with not knowing myself, and not even caring enough to get the help I needed. You’re probably wondering how this relates to the course epigraph I chose. Well, all that time that I spent in middle school should’ve been me choosing to be myself instead of trying to be a group of girls who didn’t even know themselves at that point in their lives either. Turns out, we were all just trying to find our place in the world. 

The first line in the course epigraph that I chose really stands out to me in a way that connects to my story above. “I came back to this place to find something, to connect with something lost, to reunite if not with my whole self, then with a piece of it.” I have grown to learn that I should always be myself, no matter the situation. The line itself also should make the reader feel a type of nostalgia; like a longing for the person you used to be, or the person that everyone liked, or maybe even the person that passed by you everyday and didn’t know you existed. I think that everyone wishes they could go back in time and at least visit their old selves, maybe even try to remember everything that happened back then. But me? I would go back in time to try and change the way that I thought, the way that I acted differently around different people. Once again, how does this relate to the course epigraph you ask? “I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY.” I am not the person I was almost 9 years ago. But that person doesn’t show themselves in today’s world, either. This final line in ‘I am Not Sydney Poitier’ gives the readers a chance to think about themselves and wonder what they’ve done in their past that has made them out to be the person they are today. 

During class the last three weeks, my experiences with my peers and Professor McCoy have enlightened me on the thought process of thinking critically, and not to mention, the wide variety of perspectives being expressed just in that one classroom. While looking at the “Essay 1…” assignment summary page about five minutes ago, I wanted to figure out what else I needed to include in my essay. I kept reading over the prompt, hoping that an idea would pop into my head..until I figured it out, and quickly hopped on over to this document to finish my thoughts. I remember the second or third class that we had, we were to discuss in our small groups what we thought about one of our course epigraphs, “Suspicious Pants” and what the major takeaway from it was. Illiana was also in our group for a while, nodding their head, almost every time, at what each one of us thought about the epigraph. This was an extremely mind blowing experience for me, as when I was walking back to my dorm, I found that the reason Illiana was nodding her head and not necessarily disagreeing with us the whole time, was because of my main point: who are we to tell someone else that their perspective is wrong when, quite frankly, it’s something everyone has (perspective & opinion) minus the criticism? No perspective can be wrong, nor right, because everyone has their own thoughts about every other literal perspective. MIND = BLOWN!!! 

While thinking about the goals I would like to set up for myself for the rest of this class, my mind goes straight to the idea of just being original to your own thoughts. Being able to write, or think, or talk about something purely based on your own thoughts, experiences, and emotions. The thinkING process that Professor McCoy has shown us in the first few weeks of class will be something that I take with me for the rest of my academic career and beyond. 

I have thought about what my main goals in this class will be for the remainder of the semester. I will use my ever-growing thinkING skills and processes to become a better writer, person, and thinker in all aspects. I plan on applying these newly learned ways to effectively communicate with others about the topics we will be studying; to always be empathetic towards my peers that are expressing their beliefs and emotions throughout the course. To apply the thinkING that occurred throughout the semester in every other aspect of my life would make for new opportunities and perspectives to open up my pathway into several different directions and openings.

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