Declining By Degrees: A Summary

As a college student, my first reaction to the video Declining by Degrees was: This is something that I can relate to.  However, while watching the video, I soon realized that I have nothing in common with the young adults and their stories portrayed in the film.  Although we are technically in the same boat, small private colleges differ from largely populated universities, where class sizes can reach up to 200 students per professor.  I would have difficulty in this type of environment, mainly because I get anxious when surrounded by a big group of people; even our small class size of about 18 sometimes makes me nervous.  My high school friend, who attends UNC Chapel Hill, could relate more easily to this movie than I.  She has a class that contains a little more than 200 students.  

With larger class sizes comes less one-on-one attention.  Relationships with professors are less personal, which makes it easier for students to feel like a number in a classroom.  I recall a political science professor in the video complaining how she never gets visitors from class.  Honestly, I wouldn’t visit the professor either–she probably wouldn’t even remember my name.  I prefer smaller classes where I have the opportunity to bond with my professors, and even my classmates (which, in a class of 200, it is impossible to learn who your classmates are).

It is easy to see why 1 in 4 students drop out of public universities before their sophomore year.  When you don’t know who your classmates are, and the professor doesn’t know who you are, it is simple to get lost in the crowd.  It is impossible not to feel like an outcast, like you don’t belong.  It is welcoming to slip into the shadows; however, it is the shadows that lead to identity crises, which can either benefit or damage a student’s education.

Revision of An In-Class Writing

On September 23, Dr. Lucas asked her class to write about our writing habits.  As I wrote, however, I came to the realization that I do not really have any writing habits.  After our free-writing time was up, we were asked to get together with our groups to discuss our habits.  It seemed as if everyone in my group had habits, except for me.  One of my classmates even referred to me as “abstract” because of this, which I considered a compliment. 

Here is what I wrote for this writing assignment:

“As a writer, I feel ridiculous about limiting myself.  Where I write and when I write are irrelevant to me in my moments of inspiration.  When I feel bored, or excited, or I just want to write a short story or poem that has no particular meaning, I dig our paper and pencil that I always keep close by, and I compose whatever thoughts come to my mind.  Inspiration has no limitations.  It has no timers.  It can get set off at any moment, and at any moment is when I am prepared.”

I believe that no one should limit themselves to habits.  Yes, we all have them, but we should not let them control us and our ways of thinking.

Blog #1–A revision of an in-class writing assignment

On September 9th, Dr. Lucas asked her students to write about a time where we changed our name, why we changed our name, and, if we have not changed our name, have we ever thought about it.  Because I have never altered my name, nor have I ever desired to, I instead chose to write a poem.  I must admit that it is not my best poem, but it has personal meaning and importance.

I Wake Up

I wake up.
Cursing and screaming
Suffocates me.

I sit up
In my bed that is meant
To protect me.

I cover up
My ears and wish for it
All to stop.

I dry up
My tears as the sounds
Come to a stop.

I get up
To make sure that everything
Is alright.

I look up
At my mother as she whispers that everything
Will be alright.

I head up
Towards my bed that is meant
To protect me.

I wake up.
Cursing and screaming
Suffocates me.

On the day that this poem was composed, I was nearly late to my English class.  A few hours before class was to start I received a troubling phone call from one of my friends, begging me to come and take him and his mom somewhere.  I heard screaming and crying in the background as I hung up the phone and raced to my truck.  I arrived at his home sweet home, only to realize that it wasn’t actually sweet.  Sour was more the word that described the scene.  Clothes and personal items were strewn across the lawn and the driveway as my friend and his mom rushed to my vehicle.  I jumped out, helped them load their now-ruined belongings into the back of my truck, and drove them elsewhere.  Honestly, the last thing on my mind the entire time was the fact that I could be late to school.  My schooling was second to their safety.  As soon as Ii was assured of their well-being, however, I sped to school, where I made it to English class just in time to start the day.

I chose this entry for my blog because it has not only affected me, but my friend and his mother as well.  His mother’s boyfriend was the source of the problem, and many of these situations go unnoticed.  Unfortunately, this has not been my first run-in with domestic violence.  Even more unfortunate, this will more than likely not be my last.,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.52164340,d.eWU&biw=1188&bih=537&dpr=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=2Hk3UrTaE4ig9QTsl4CADg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&