Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cover Letter

Cover Letter

Cover Letter

I was very pleased that I could choose the topics I wanted to write about in English Composition 102. I learned a lot of information from researching the topics I chose, because I was genuinely interested in learning more about them.

The “birth of cool” assignment was very interesting to me. I am very fascinated about South Korea and this assignment gave me an opportunity to learn more about it. My topic was about boy bands. I could have written about boy bands in America, but I chose to write about South Korean boy bands in particular because I listen to a lot of Korean music and most of the songs are by boy and girl bands. I did not want to be someone who liked something without really understanding what it was. I did not want to be ignorant. I used this assignment to increase my knowledge of South Korea as well as help others learn more about a topic that is not widely known. Learning about how Korean pop music groups formed made me appreciate Korean pop music even more. I was surrounded by a lot of information and struggled to articulate it all correctly. There were many different aspects about Korean boy bands that I wanted to describe and I sometimes went off on a tangent. When I revised my essay I tried to think of myself as someone who had no knowledge of South Korea or boy bands. This helped me write my essay because my first draft sometimes made the assumption that the reader knew about the topic. Writing about a topic while keeping the reader in mind helped me develop a better essay.

The profile assignment was my favorite assignment this semester. I wrote about the private tutoring institutions in South Korea. I interviewed my South Korean pen pal for this assignment and I think it made us become closer as friends. I wanted to profile my pen pal because she would often write to me about studying for exams and being overwhelmed. I had a general knowledge of South Korea at the time and knew that education was important and studying was a priority. Being able to research the topic more thoroughly and getting a person’s point of view was enriching and helped me gain a better understanding about the topic. I wanted to write about South Korean education because I felt that I needed to share the knowledge with other people. I wanted others to become more aware of South Korean students and the pressures they endure in order to excel. I believe the worst type of pain would be mental stresses because it can break you down from the inside and your emotions become erratic. I felt empathy towards South Korean students and I wanted others to understand as well. My first step in writing about the topic was to find the source of the obsession of education and then work my way to the present. While researching about the topic I had many “Ah ha!” moments because everything became crystal clear once I knew the history of South Korean education.

The book review on Blindness was very new to me. I never wrote a review before and learning about the different components helped me become a better writer. I enjoyed reading the novel even though I would have liked it to be more inspiring. While writing the review I tried to summarize the parts of the book that were the most important and tried to convey the importance of the themes of the book. I did not want my personal feelings about the book to get in the way of the review. It was an excellent novel and I wanted to recommend it to others. The book’s message is really powerful although some people may miss the point. I tried to explain to the future readers that they would appreciate the book as long as they kept an open mind. Many people might want to find an answer to every problem, but sometimes there is no answer.

English Composition 102 helped me find my own style of writing. I also learned to better incorporate quotes and information from sources in my essay. I would often insert a quote into a paragraph and it would minimize the effectiveness of the information. Putting the information into my own words was a better technique and increased the overall quality of my essays.

The “birth of cool” assignment, the profile, and the book review were enjoyable projects to complete. I learned many new skills this semester and I will continue to improve my writing by practicing and utilizing what I have learned.


Blindness Review

A3 Blindness Review


By Jose Saramago

Reviewed by Maisem Jaloudi

Blindness strikes a man while he is at a cross light. Suddenly he can no longer see. A white blindness saturates his sight. There is no explanation for his blindness. His eyesight was perfectly fine moments before while he was waiting for the light to turn green. What has happened to his sight?

A thief takes advantage of the suddenly-turned-blind man. After escorting the blind man home, the thief steals his car. It isn’t long before the thief goes blind. Is this blindness contagious?

The blind man goes to an ophthalmologist’s office to get his eyes checked out. The doctor doesn’t find anything wrong with the man’s eyes. Is he really blind?

A girl with dark glasses, a young boy with a squint and an old man with cataracts were also at the ophthalmologist’s office the same day the blind man received his check up. Did he infect the other patients?

They go blind soon after.

In an effort to thwart the blindness epidemic, the Ministry of Health contains infected individuals in an asylum. People that were in contact with the individuals that turned blind were also brought to the asylum. The number of people in the asylum rapidly increases over time. Soon there are not enough beds for everyone to sleep on.

The ophthalmologist also goes blind. He is sent to the asylum after contacting the Ministry about the patient who suddenly went blind. His wife goes with him after claiming that she is blind as well. However, the doctor’s wife did not go blind.

Soldiers guard the doors to the asylum. They provide food for the blind and make sure the blind do not escape. They live in constant fear of contracting the white blindness.

Problems occur within the asylum. There is not enough food for the blind prisoners. The blind fight among themselves. Where is the justice?

The doctor’s wife plays an important role in the asylum. As chaos starts to take over within the asylum, the doctor’s wife helps her group as best as she can with her precious sight.

In Jose Saramago’s symbolic novel Blindness, an uncommon discrimination is described that closely resembles the discrimination of the real world. The suffering the blind go through in the asylum mirrors the suffering experienced by people today. Discrimination occurs in many different forms in today’s society and Saramago’s white blindness story eloquently sheds light on how oppressive and harsh people can be to one another.

More blind people are brought to the asylum. An unforgivable group of thugs start to stir things up in the asylum. They take control of the food supply because they have a gun. The thugs demand valuables in exchange for food at first and then demand women. The thugs rape the women brought to them. This chapter in Blindness might be hard to read for some people because it is completely raw and inhuman:

“She raised the suddenly dislocated body, the legs covered in blood, her abdomen bruised, her poor breasts uncovered, brutally scarred, teeth marks on her shoulder where she has been bitten.”

The story becomes more chaotic when the asylum gets burned down and the blind escape into the world of the seeing. Any form of organization that was once established in the asylum is broken. The doctor’s wife witnesses the state the city has gotten itself into. Everyone has turned blind. The people struggle to survive by trying to find food and shelter. The blind raid houses and shops in search of anything edible.

The doctor’s wife experiences the horrors in full detail. She often wishes she could be blind so she didn’t have to see how the blind struggle to live.

Throughout the novel, questions arise in the reader’s head. What is this blindness? Why are the blind treated this way? Saramago does not explain why or how the white blindness occurred. Many readers may want to know the cause of the white blindness and may become disappointed when the last page is turned. The white blindness is not explained because it would avert the main reason of the novel, to not simply look but to truly observe the world: “We are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

In the novel that evokes many questions, Blindness will not disappoint readers interested in opening their minds to the harsh reality of the world.

Noitisopmoc Hsilgne

(English Composition)