1. How have you changed as a reader?
Think about where you were as a reader in September, and where you are now. How are you different? What has caused the changes? What reading experiences this year have been most important to you? If you have not changed, why not? How do you see yourself changing as a reader in the year ahead? Finally, what are your summer reading plans?
In September of 2009 I was a voracious reader. I was checking out books from different libraries, reading online books, and making lists to buy more books from America. As the school year fared on however, and schoolwork as well as homework became more of a challenge, the number of books I read, and the time I had in which to read them, went down. Schoolwork became my excuse not to read one hundred pages a day, or a book a week.
This year, no reading experiences have been important to me. To be honest, the only thing reading changes about me are a few slight personality changes, and a few questions to be asked to myself. While reading the book ‘This Lullaby’, I was reminded of my own situation. The situation in which I was in was a divorced situation, where I was always catering to my mothers’ needs and helping her. This was the only book that really hit home, as I could read all the other books with a simple readers’ point of view. Just reading because it was interesting and did not relate to me. ‘This Lullaby’ was the only book that truly kept me interested because it related to me. Every other book I only read because they did not relate to me in the least. The other books I read were sci-fi, or murder mysteries, anything that would not relate to me. I realize that I only did this because I was scared that I would be reminded of everything I have been through, and not like it, or go back into being an unhappy person.
What makes ‘This Lullaby the most important reading experience I have read this year is that it relates to me so closely.
In the year ahead, I will probably improve as a reader, reading more complicated and challenging books, as well as more books. My summer reading plans are three books a week, and two on the weekends.
2. How have you changed as a writer?
Has your writing changed this year? Has your attitude toward writing changed? You might want to go back and look at your first few blog posts to see if you can find any differences. Do you use different strategies now than you did in September? What are your strengths as a writer? What are your weaknesses? What do you need to do to improve? Finally, what are your summer writing plans?
During the course of this year my writing has improved. Although my literary skills have improved, my attitude towards them has not. Before moving to SSIS, my attitude towards writing was much more enthusiastic. I loved writing, I would write on my own almost every day. In the beginning of SSIS, I wrote plenty of blog posts for every book I read. As the work became tougher in other classes and the number of books I read went down, so did the number of blog posts. They required at least 15-20 minutes each, which I felt I didn’t have. I would get exasperated at the thought of writing a blog post. In September I took my time on each blog post, making sure each one was of top quality. As the year wore on, I only wrote them because I had to, and made them as short and simple as possible, while maintaining the grade I had at the beginning of the school year.
My strengths as a writer are poetry and novel-writing. I am also pretty good at analyzing books and symbology. After I read ‘Lord of the Flies’, I wrote my own essay on the symbols used on it. I never published it to the blog, or told anyone about it, because I had written it for my own reasons, not because I wanted to show it to anyone. My weaknesses are in my organization. I realize I need to really get organized, because my lack of organization might one day have an affect on my grades. I need to become more organized to improve.
My summer writing plans are nil. I do not make plans to write. The idea to write comes to me, and in my mind, it should not be set to one hundred words a day or anything silly like that. If you get an idea, write it down and make it yours. Do not write your way through however many words you think you should per day to ‘improve’. Writing is something I do for myself, not for anyone else. So no, I do not have any summer writing plans, except to do whatever I want when it comes to writing, and not feel obligated to anything.