I am an International learner from Saudi Arabia. I have only been here for the duration of my degree. I had an opportunity to do this class in fall 2012. I liked a lot to do the class. I always thought that this was the course that would allow me to be a better reader and author. I did not make it that time. I failed it and the main reason was that I was unwell for some time during that time. I had a contamination in my wisdom tooth. The tooth earned me a few days at the hospital and two weeks at home. It disoriented my studies for this class then. However, before the disorientation, I had gained a lot in terms of the love for reading and a bit of writing. I remember that throughout the time I was unwell I had a novel to keep me company.

By the time I resumed classes, I found that so much progress had been made and was unable to catch up on time. This resulted in a fail that was really demoralizing. This time however, I had to do the class for mainly one reason. I had to do it this semester or I will be late graduating. This has motivated me to go an extra mile in everything about this class and others of its kind. I have currently completed all my journals. There is, however, one day that I was absent. It was June 9th. On that day, my mother was having a neck surgery. The surgery was classified as ACDF level C4-5, C5-6. The doctor wanted me to be there with my mother during surgery for several reasons. First, my mother would require some psychological support during this surgery. Second, my mother does not speak English and so outside help was required for the surgery to be done. I acted as the translator. I also had to spend most of my nights there until mother got better.

By the time she left after a week, she was feeling much better. She only complained of a slight pain at the collar. Everything else seemed fine with her and she could even move her neck. I also felt her appreciation for my being there. She had been nervous before the surgery but said it turned out to be not that bad. The other person who could have assisted her out is my wife. My wife had however left the country for Saudi Arabia with my one year old daughter for the summer.

Throughout this course, I have completed one a collection of short stories namely The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and are doing a collection of sample essays called Short Takes by Elizabeth Penfield. They are both very interesting books and have always looked forward to the interactive nature of the course. The class has made me a much better reader than I got when I took the course the first time. The class has been very developmental both socially and education-wise. The second book we are currently covering is especially educative as far as writing is concerned. Those who would like to enhance their writing skills should be advised to read this book. It covers the works of numerous writers from various age groups and generations.

The work we are doing is quite impressive and the level of reading is unlike any other I have done before. The writing I have done within this course is also one of its own class with improvement as time moves on. The books are however different in that they The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a one author book unlike Short Takes by Elizabeth Penfield which covers many authors and different perspectives to life.

In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, I was especially attracted to the short story called “Speaking of Courage.” It introduces us to a young soldier who finds himself at a loss. When he returns from war, he finds the girlfriend already married to someone else and his friends dead. He imagines himself sharing with his father about the medals he won in Vietnam and those he did not win. He finally finds comfort in imagined conversations and shares the stories with us.

I feel like I associate fully with the story and find it rather comforting. It is a reflective one in that it helps us reflect on our lives. It makes us realize the impact of losing a certain part of our lives and makes it likely for us to recognize what we still have.

In conclusion, while the class may not be one that I was looking forward to cover when I joined college; it has turned out to be amongst the most significant ones. It has been very developmental to me by offering opportunities to me to become a better person. It has exposed me a lot both in terms of education and socially. The class is one that has left a permanent mark in my life and I look forward to finishing it so that I can apply the skills I achieved from it in real life.

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