Hello there, welcome to my jungle of analytical works! To your left, you may catch a glimpse of a rare breed of freshman—the caffeinated raccoon-eyed variety—typically hunched over working studiously under the mossy canopy of analytical papers and math problems resembling the designs of alien-designed crop circles.
Welcome to my congregation of analytical literary works of Autumn Quarter 2012for English Composition 131 Section S, instructed by the ever-enthusiastic Tesla Downes Schaeffer! Here you will find a compendium of all my written work for this course, along with my personal analytical reflections of each of my analytical works. Through the course of my first quarter at the University of Washington, I admit that this is the academic course that had my cranium gears cranking the most. Although these four outcomes may be of significant importance of this assignment, I hope this compilation of works conveys an insight into my whirling freshman mind, my personal stakes.
As you continue through this forest or jungle of metacognitive thought, I would like to note that I have chosen four specific works that I believe, best demonstrate my successful completion of the four Course Outcomes. Frankly, the papers that I chose to represent my achievement of the Course Outcomes were coincidentally the ones written on the topics that I had the most interest in. I promise, these four essays are sound selections that I have rewritten, altered, cut, and reworked enough not only to satisfy the four course outcomes, but also to expand my inquiry into these metacognitive and ethical considerations.
Prior to college, my experiences in English classes were not the most interesting. Either the coursework was far too laidback, or I hit—more of splattered—the ground…not running. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect this first quarter of college. It was a seemingly unpleasant surprise to write—often last minute—essays weekly. Throughout high school, I culminated a grand total of twenty essays; just five a year! I am wholeheartedly thankful for my professor’s relentless enthusiasm and wholesome genuine interest and intrigue in her passion for existentialism. It is a profoundly captivating topic. Tesla is an unbelievable driving force in my writing. I am seriously excited for her feedback and discussion of literary analysis and the basis of existentialism, which always frustratingly—but motivationally—ends in the question, “What is anything’s purpose?”
Each of these essays allude to either existentialism or metacognition. After all, they are analytical papers! Prior to moving to the crisp Pacific Northwest, I spent most of my summer lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, and spending every other waking moment savoring the last sweaty summer days hiking and cycling up to the local mountains from my picket-fence suburbia. My teammate and buddy, David, would often venture up these dry dusty trails for the sake of what he calls “escaping the conformity”. Some may say he’s slightly off his rocker; I concur. These rides always included a ritual snacking of dried food and gulping of water. During this time, existentialism would always present itself. Hours upon hours, granola bar after granola bar have been spent deliberating the purpose of anything and everything we do. We may do things, but what for? Does it matter? Why does it matter? Who cares? On this note, my portfolio questions our species’ current social standpoint. What will happen if we continue our ways as we do now? As David writes in a letter, “I feel anxious—in a good way!—at the fact that our generation is almost at the wheel of this car we call humanity. The car is…Are we windowless? Is our progression one which is affected by the natural systems around us?”
Hopefully you will discover your own personal inquiry within my portfolio’s cornucopia of personal ethical questions. I did not treat this portfolio as an assignment I just “had to do”. It was a mini-journey along my longer journey of existential contemplation.