February 26, 2011

As my WISE journal begins to take form, I understand there are strengths in my journal that I am proud of, but also weaknesses I am still working on. During last weeks read-around I realized how truly unique everyone’s experience is in this program. No one is at the same place in their project, making the opportunity to read my peers journals all the more interesting.
When I first heard that many of my classmates would be reading my journal, I assumed they would be critical of my less-than-perfect writing skills and therefore find my experience uninteresting. I’ve actually enjoyed writing since I was very young, but in recent years, my teachers have graded my work critically and after consecutive average grades on papers I lost quite a bit of confidence in my writing. My WISE project however, has reignited a passion in my writing and I hoped that my classmates would put their inner English teacher aside and read my journal for its emotion and honesty.
As our class gathered for the first time in over a month, my nerves dissipated at the excited voices of my fellow classmates. Everyone wanted to hear about the adventures of others and I realized no one really cared about my writing abilities so much as my story could be understood. An hour passed and I found myself enveloped in the third journal I had read that day. In this particular one, the writer included photographs of each of the persons she had been working with. I felt connected to her experience more than the others because of this and thought to myself whether I could do the same in my journal. I would love to show my journal readers Danielle because she is such a vital part of my experience. However, having a blog that is public, I do not know if she would allow this. It is important that I stay as professional as possible when working with her and taking pictures instead of working would not be tolerated. I decided it would be best to ask Danielle’s opinion on the situation. More on this conversation will come later.
As my peers read my journal, they wrote down comments and suggestions they thought of as they read. When class ended, I received several pages of notes and began to read each carefully. Some of the students wrote that they could relate to the feelings I described and all of them mentioned they could feel my happiness in my February 9th journal! I was delighted to here that my classmates had such strong feelings when reading my journal and the synonymous comments told me that every reader understood my writing in the same way.
Having my peers read my journal and being able to read their journals as well has taught me that, first, I really must become more confident in my writing. Second, I have realized that the openness I display in my journal is vital to the progress of my experience.

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