Michee Jacobs: On Exploring the Unknown and Attacking Fear

One of the most important questions that I’ve asked myself throughout this semester is, “where did my growth begin?” I acknowledge that I made significant strides this semester, not solely academically, but all around; however, I am not sure when things began to click. Coming into this semester I thought I had things all planned out. I knew what classes I would be taking, how much time I would need to contribute to each class, and the amount of effort that I was willing to put in. While I stuck to my plan (for the most part) in terms of academic planning, the way that I went about completing my classes changed somewhere towards the middle of the semester. I guess I had a break-through (or break-down), whichever feels more appropriate at the moment. Continue reading “Michee Jacobs: On Exploring the Unknown and Attacking Fear”

Under Construction

Once again, I find myself stuck in between words, staring at the clock as I wait for the anxiety to hit. It’s so easy to get lost in your thoughts, but articulating them has never been my forte. The idea of language has always been to help ease the flow of conversation. As writers, our use of words allows us to go beyond communication. Language bridges the gap between imagination and reality, giving the user the skill of creation. The ability to comfort someone or expose them to a feeling greater than themselves has been the ultimate goal in my search for higher education. The idea is to leave behind something greater than myself. Yet, the formation of such a legacy is difficult when you do not have a stable sense of just who you are exactly.

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Oh, The Places I’ll Go

With a couple of Home Depot boxes, ranging in sizes, a white laundry hamper (which I purchased at the Clearance aisle at Walmart) and a suitcase full of aspirations, I embarked on a 6-hour car ride to a place I would call home for the next 4 years of my life. Coming from an underdeveloped high school for inner city students, I placed expectations of how college life would be. I envisioned all the things that college brochures are so good at promising and the immense amount of freedom to decide the path I found fit. Immediately, I could see the difference between high school and college. I enjoyed the ability to pick my classes, live on campus, and interact with my peers in a way I could never do with my past classmates. I felt intellectually challenged by those around me which pushed me to think beyond my original aspirations for the first semester of my freshman year. Despite having a memorable semester, I have also learned from the struggles I encouraged as a result of the decisions I made. I remember the words of wisdom my mentors and advisers gave me before departing for college. While most of them had to do with avoiding procrastination and mastering my time management skills, the reality was far from that. It all started with my inability to start. Continue reading “Oh, The Places I’ll Go”

Learning to Write

Writing is a difficult skill that takes years to develop and perfect. The process to solve a math problem can be instructed, the dates of a political conflict can be memorized, and even chemical compounds can be derived and analyzed. Writing is difficult in other ways. It can’t be taught in a traditional sense, you cannot read how to deliver an idea, argue a point, or explore a concept beyond the pure basics of writing. Much of the journey of learning to write is a personal process of trial and error, considering input from others to make small, microscopic adjustments over time. Many times these adjustments themselves are hidden. You can’t mathematically confirm if an essay delivers what you want to say, or look up the answers online to find if what you are saying reaches the reader in any meaningful way. This is where the value of good writing and good writers come from, the difficulty in developing this skill.

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The Orogenes of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Rather than being inspired by an enlightening experience with a medical professional like some of my fellow pre-med peers have expressed, I’ve always been fascinated by the ability to heal others in general ever since I was young. Throughout primary and secondary school, I remained so oblivious in my fascination and excitement that I never realized what I was getting myself into. I knew nothing of the medical school process or even the specializations within the medical field. For some reason, the mantra “when there’s a will, there’s a way” was all that kept cycling though my head all those years. I never really look back at the times before 2015 because I’m (mostly) no longer that steaming pile of emo angst anymore but in reflecting back, I think that there was a lot more at play than my blissful ignorance at work.

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Untangling the Knot in the Silver Thread

Jemisin explains in her afterward, “Where there is pain in this book, it’s real pain; where there is anger, it’s real anger; where there is love, it’s real love”. (416) The same rule applies to my reflection of her novels and the course as a whole.

I’ve always struggled with taking myself seriously as a writer. For the longest time, I refused to re-read my work. I would sit down, write an essay, and then refuse to think about what I wrote because I had a wall up against putting true effort into my writing. I think this was my defense mechanism against criticism. Like Syenite, I was only functioning as a part of myself. I didn’t want to think about any of the issues that defined me, or how I evolved into the person I am. Continue reading “Untangling the Knot in the Silver Thread”

To Fail is to Succeed by Practice

Today, many motivational quotes and statements are seen as clichés due to its repetition and being overused. One phrase in particular, “failure is inevitable” was built upon the idea that one fails and struggles throughout their life. This thought provoking phrase has been deemed as a cliché–by society (my friends included)–, but what counts as three individual words serves as an underlying significant reflective meaning, for me at least.
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The Worth of an English Major

It is a few months ago, and I am at a frat party watching a rather riveting game of beer pong (just kidding – they’re all the same), when I am pulled into a conversation with a friend of a friend. He introduces himself and I do the same. Then comes the obvious, “What’s your major?”

“English,” I relay, bracing myself for what is sure to come next.

“Oh.” The guy looks unimpressed. “Hard,” he says, sarcastically widening his eyes for emphasis.

“But…you– you don’t…that’s kind of unfair,” I stumble over my words because I never have a great response to such bold condescension.

This happened to me at a frat party of all places. Is there no place this English major is safe? Continue reading “The Worth of an English Major”

Final Reflection Essay

This entire semester I have found myself faced with increasing apathy towards my classes when compared to my earlier semesters in college. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve hit a wall now that I realize graduation is closer than it seems, or whether I have gotten too comfortable knowing what the bare-minimum needed is for me to get by. The soft deadlines of the blog posts in this class were one of my first wake-up calls this semester that I had to try and find my motivation again.

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If This Isn’t Niess, What Is?

“This engine’s magics have no purpose that I can see, other than to look and sound and be beautiful. And somehow—I shiver, understanding instinctively but resisting because this contradicts everything I have learned from the laws about physics and arcanity—somehow this structure is generating more energy than it consumes.” (The Stone Sky 149)

I arrived at Geneseo fall of 2015 with 30 credits, precisely one year’s worth, from taking AP courses in high school. With ardent warnings of the present ferocity of competition within the job market still ringing in years, I set out to do what any sensible student would do—acquire as many designations on my degree as possible. I declared a nice, meaty Theatre/English major and, following the advice of my theatre department advisor, immediately set upon knocking out those theatre requirements, with an English class sprinkled in on occasion. I slogged through technical theatre courses. I took History of Theatre Since the 17th Century and Play Analysis with Dr. Wesp. His were the only theatre classes I took that I enjoyed; Dr. Wesp was the only theatre professor who actively checked in on me to make sure I was managing the difficult adjustment to college courses. Dr. Wesp passed away. So it goes. I continued through my theatre degree in a haze, while also getting my fine arts and outside major requirements out of the way.

Continue reading “If This Isn’t Niess, What Is?”