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  • Final Reflection

    Lucas Baker

    Professor Lucas


    December 1, 2022

    Final Reflection

    Over the past few months, I’ve grown as a writer from this English class. Working in groups, writing on paper and online, and the Check, Please! Lessons are some of the things that helped me most improve as a writer. Playing Scrabble every Friday was also entertaining and it forced me to think and expanded my vocabulary.

    Working in groups was beneficial because it required me to communicate and collaborate with my classmates. Having a variety of different views on the assignment helps it become better than it could’ve been having worked on it individually. I enjoyed having different groups to sit with every day because I got to talk and work with all my classmates. I made some friends I don’t think I would’ve talked to without having to sit with different people every day. It was fun and interesting to meet up and work on group work together outside of class. It felt less stressful being in a comfortable environment like a dorm room or the library. Although, there were many more distractions with being in a non-classroom environment doing work.

    Writing on paper and online was an interesting way to learn. I liked the concept of the blog, as it allows you to post for classmates and anyone to see my work. Using the blog feels like i’m writing to an audience, instead of for a homework assignment. Doing the scrabble reflections as well as other various writing activities in class was a good way to write longhand. It improved my handwriting as well as grammar and punctuation. Writing online helped me improve these skills as well. Plus, typing on a keyboard is much faster and efficient than writing longhand. I felt as though there was a good balance of writing on paper versus writing online. The in-class reading “Blogs vs. Term Papers” by Matt Richtel was a good argument giving pros and cons to both paper and online writing. The essay gives the views from multiple different professors. The course relates to the essay because although it wasn’t heavily focused on the blog style, I got to experience a classroom environment where a blog was involved.

    The Check, Please! Lessons taught me a lot about writing. They introduced me to the SIFT method, teaching me how to investigate sources further to prove their authenticity and trace claims, quotes, and media back to its original source. The lessons were not too much reading and they were very informative. I felt like there was enough time given to get the assignments done. These lessons were definitely useful for this course.

    Playing Scrabble every Friday was very entertaining. I’ve never been in a class that plays any kind of word game consistently. Playing a game with other classmates was a good way to divert feelings of stress and doing schoolwork, and incite feelings of competitiveness, teamwork, and brainstorming. Playing scrabble is a good way to make the class more enjoyable as well as improving vocabulary and brainstorming. I feel as though my vocabulary has increased slightly and I’ve become much better at forming words. 

    Over the course of this class, I’ve noticed my writing skills improve everytime im required to write something. At the beginning of the school year, I did not feel comfortable with my writing abilities. But as of now, I am more comfortable with writing and I feel as though I’ve become a much better writer than prior to taking this course.

    Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,

  • Comment to Ethan W’s Writing Analysis

    Ethan did his analysis on the essay titled “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” by David Sedaris. Ethat started his analysis by giving the reader some background of the essay. The second and third paragraphs consist of examples from the essay like “If you have not meimslsxp or Lgpdmurct by this time, then you should not be here. These examples add value to the analysis by giving the reader a feel for what the author was feeling at that point. The sentence structure was for the most part good, aside from the minor grammatical errors such as a semicolon instead of a comma, which was one of the mistakes Ethan made. He wrote, “This story is written using two strategies, scene, and summary.” The sentence should’ve been “This story is written using two strategies; scene, and summary.” Over all, Ethan did a good job writing a detailed analysis with minimal grammatical errors.

  • The Importance of Photography

    Baker Lucas

    Professor Lucas

    ENG 1103-23

    November 4, 2022

    Photography has been around for ages. Throughout the years, photographic technology has improved greatly. The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to prove the importance photography has on history. Photography preserves historic moments and lives of significant people. Without pictures, we wouldn’t have the level of information of the past that we do today.

    The purpose for compiling this research topic is to highlight the importance of photography. In the essay “The Falling Man,” the author Tom Junod writes about a picture of a man falling in such a position that it gave people feelings of hope and freedom when looking at it. In reality, the man was falling to his death after jumping off the tower during the 9/11 attack. Despite the man’s terrible outcome, having the picture of the event has importance to history because it gives people a verifiable source they can visualize rather than another person’s words. 

    A larger project that may develop from this annotated bibliography could be studying the evolution of photography overtime and how it has changed throughout history. This can be done comparing historic photographs to more modern ones and by studying the differences in the photographer’s technique, style, and comparison. This project could go into detail of each major advancement in photographic technology along with the people responsible for achieving these advancements. This project would be for a history class.

    Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, vol. 140, no. 3, Sept. 2003, pp. 176+. Gale Academic OneFile Select,

    The essay The Falling Man, goes into detail about a picture that was taken during the 9/11 incident. It depicts a man who is falling vertically between both towers with one leg bent at the knee, his arms casually at his side. The geometric balance of the picture gives people a sense of freedom and strong will. The photographer, despite others’ disapproval of his photos, was able to capture the falling man’s final moments of life captured in a frame.

    The author Tom Junod is an American Journalist, has received two National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Junod also worked as a writer for Esquire Magazine in the beginning of 1997

    Gay, Roxane. “Moma Learning.” MoMA, 2019,

    “MoMa Learning” addresses photography and how it can provide a view into the past lives and historical moments that human memories can’t provide. Photographs can tell stories of chronological events as well as serving as trusted copies of important documents. The picture presented in the article is a photo of a car, named Cour, 7 rue de Valence, taken in 1922. The article says photographers use methods ranging from appropriation to digital manipulation to reveal biases and challenge already accepted history.

    “MoMa Learning” is written by Roxane Gay, among others. Roxane Gay is the Yew York Times Bestselling author of “The Bad Feminist”, and is a professor at Michigan Technological University.

    Wells, Chris. “Beyond Bones.” BEYONDbones How Photography Changed History In More Ways Than You Think Comments, HOUSTON MUSEUM of NATURAL SCIENCE, 29 June 2019,

    The article, “How Photography Changed History In More Ways Than You Think,” starts off by stating that photographs are a way to preserve history. It gives the example that at some point in the future, the only thing people will know about you is what they see in pictures that have been preserved long after a persons gone. The article talks about the first picture taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, in 1826. It was a picture of buildings on his estate and required 8 hours of exposure time. Joseph partnered up with Louis Daguerre a few years later to experiment with methods that required shorter exposure times.

    The author of this article, Chris Wells has traveled around the world to countries such as Europe, South Africa, Mexico, and the US. He has seen and experienced different cultures and humanities. His main goal is to share his unique perspective through his years of international travel.

    Welch, Adam. “The Evolution of Photography.” Contrastly, 18 June 2022, 

    The article “The Evolution of Photography” refers to the timeline from the first creation of the camera to present day photographic technology. The first photo was believed to be taken 190 years ago by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce but really, the first camera was created in the 4th century in China called Camera Obscura. In November of 1839, Robert Cornelius took the first selfie of many to come. In 1855 color was introduced to photographs by a Scottish physicist named James Clark Maxwell. In 1950, the polaroid picture was created by Edwin Land.

    The author of this article, Adam Welch, has a book called “Photomakers’ Journal.” He is also an adventurer and photographer who travels around the world to take pictures. Welch is also the co-founder of Contrastly.

  • My Adventures in Costa Rica

    Baker Lucas

    Professor Lucas


    15 September 2022

    My Adventure in Costa Rica

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking; The aircraft will land in twenty minutes.”

    Sitting in the window seat, I peered out of the window to see vast snow-peaked mountain ranges and tropical, green rainforests that seemed to go on forever. Every minute that passed by, my excitement and curiosity only grew. After the plane landed, it felt like a lifetime waiting for each passenger to retrieve their luggage, but once off, I wandered the airport in search of the rest of my group. Eventually everyone in our group showed up, beginning our adventure into Spanish Culture.

    Our group got on a local tour bus that transported us from the airport to a small hotel twenty five minutes north of San Jose. Our group called this hotel home for the coming week. Week one was more of a vacation rather than learning. Although we were not in the classroom yet, our group leaders pushed us to use Spanish consistently. To practice this skill, our group went to restaurants to order food, local shops to read item labels, and walked around town to read street signs and posters on windows. On the third day of the first week, our group went on a hike through the rainforest, seeing sloths and an assortment of different bird species such as parrots, hummingbirds, and macaws. Finishing our hike, we relaxed at a beautiful white sand beach with crystal blue water, surrounded by lush greenery. Some people bathed in the warm sun, while others were eager to dive right in.

    As week two rolled around, every student in our group was assigned a host family. One by one, every person was picked up and driven off to their home to get settled. The family I was assigned was very interesting. In the states, I was used to living only with my parents and siblings. I was surprised to see nine people, including me, living in the same house. There was the Grandma and Grandpa, then there were two sons with wives, then there were two children ages eleven and seven. Fortunately for me, I got my own room with a TV. My family treated me like I was their own. At the end of the second week, our group took a weekend trip to a National Park named La Fortuna. All of the students stayed in yurt-like buildings, except they were air-conditioned. I could see the vast tropics and the signature dormant volcano in the distance, its peak above the clouds. Somewhere at the base of the volcano, there lies a waterfall; which our group got the opportunity to swim in. At night, I relaxed in the natural hot springs with the other students.

    The third week was focused on improving our knowledge of Spanish during the week days and spending time with our host families on the weekend. On the Friday of week three, all the students received their graduation certificates. Most students had signed up for either the two or three week program. I on the other hand had signed up for the four week program. During the fourth week, the six students that remained, got into a bus and drove 30 minutes into the mountains, moving farther and farther away from civilization. Our group finally arrived at our destination; La Iguana Chocolate Farm. During our time at the farm, we learned how chocolate is produced and how time consuming the process actually is. At night, students had to sleep under mosquito nets with no air conditioning. One of the farmers took our group on a 30 minute walk up the mountain to the cacao farm. At that elevation, air was thin and breathing got more challenging the farther we ascended.

    From the time I walked off the plane a month ago till the time I went back to the US, my language skills had improved considerably and so did my knowledge of the culture. I had the opportunity to forge relationships with my peers and my host family. I got to experience Spanish Culture through a variety of different ways whether it be excursions, food, music, and day to day life. I had acquired amazing memories and stories to bring back with me.

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