I often try to comprehend cultural, social, political, moral, and other changes humanity has undergone throughout centuries of its existence and development. To a large extent, these changes were caused by technological progress: new inventions often transformed the way of people’s lives and respectively, the norms by which societies lived. Airplanes, cars, computers, mobile communication devices, as well as other technological wonders have reformed the way we think and live. But, what is even more curious, technologies have also morphed the way we communicate.
Englishmen have a tradition to talk about the weather when they meet an unfamiliar (or even a familiar) person. Japanese people have multiple complex ways to start a conversation politely. Many other nations also had their own rules of etiquette; these rules allowed people to enter the communication process smoothly. However, nowadays we can see that etiquette is rather often neglected in favor of the efficiency of communication. The pace of everyday life has increased dramatically compared even to the middle of the 20th century, and today people have to sacrifice courtesy in favor of productiveness and efficiency (IFResearch). Perhaps, from the viewpoint of a person from the 1950s, we would most likely look like rude and straightforward people, as we have become less concerned about our culture of communication, considering it to be archaic.
The time we live in is interesting in terms of the existence of at least two levels of language usage; basically, they are the real world and virtual reality (IDFS). The Internet has made it possible to transfer not only meaning, but also the emotional palette and even images. All kinds of emoticons in social networks and messengers serve the purpose of mitigating plain, insentient text; moreover, it happens often enough to send a photograph or an image file to explain yourself rather than describe your condition or situation in words (Instagram is a perfect example of how it works). Internet communication has also contributed to the development of a peculiar language layer: netspeak. It is not completely slang—it is rather a new digital language that has evolved from regular English, Spanish, Russian, and other languages. Such neologisms as brb, LOL, u2, btw, cul8r, a/s/l, and so on, along with an altered use of grammar rules and other peculiarities form a completely new culture of digital communication. This is not to mention texting (by the way, another specific word) via cell phones and other mobile gadgets.
Not only has the language of the Internet changed, but also the language that we use on a daily basis. The modern English language is regularly updated by the expressions that were unknown less than a decade ago. For example, such neologisms as “to computer-face” means to throw quick disturbed glances at the monitor to create an impression of serious work pressure. The term “like-shock” is used to describe a condition of a person who has posted something in social networks and then gathered an unexpectedly huge amount of “likes” under it. Other peculiar terms such as “ghost-post” or “Facebook-minute” have also appeared in the modern English language due to the influence of computer technologies (Know-What). And though they precisely describe situations and conditions that many modern people are familiar with, their existence seems impossible out of the Internet-communications context.
Communication today has undergone serious changes, compared even to the middle of the 20th century. The pace of life has increased, and thus lingual etiquette has also evolved. Computer technologies are known to have influenced modern languages most of all. Lots of neologisms such as cul8r or brb appear almost on a daily basis. Besides, not only the language of Internet communication, but also regular language is changing. Many of its terms (such as “to computer-face” or “like-shock”) are familiar to people who often use computers; however, imagining them existing out of the context of the Internet and computer technologies seems impossible.
Leerie, Susan. “The Modern History of Communications.” IFResearch. N.p., 02 Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. internetfakeresearchbase.org/articles/internet/communications/74330
Jones, Nathan. “Virtuality: The New Reality?” IDFS. N.p., 11 May 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. <idfakescience.edu/articles/nathanjones/virtuality>.
“Modern Slang: What You Did Not Know.” Know-What. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
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Writing an Expository Essay
Below we offer an example of a thoughtful reflective essay that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI). We suggest that you write your own essay before reading either of these models-then, having completed your first draft, read these over to consider areas in your own background that you have not yet addressed and which may be relevant to your growth as a reader, writer, or thinker.
Any reference to either of these essays must be correctly cited and attributed; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a failing grade on the portfolio and possible other serious consequences as stated in the CI Code of Conduct.
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Sample Reflective Essay #2
Author: Nekisa Mahzad
I have been a student at California State University Channel Islands (CI) for 5 semesters, and over the course of my stay I have grown and learned more that I thought possible. I came to this school from Moorpark Community College already knowing that I wanted to be an English teacher; I had taken numerous English courses and though I knew exactly what I was headed for-was I ever wrong. Going through the English program has taught me so much more than stuff about literature and language, it has taught me how to be me. I have learned here how to write and express myself, how to think for myself, and how to find the answers to the things that I don't know. Most importantly I have learned how important literature and language are.
When I started at CI, I thought I was going to spend the next 3 years reading classics, discussing them and then writing about them. That was what I did in community college English courses, so I didn't think it would be much different here. On the surface, to an outsider, I am sure that this is what it appears that C.I. English majors do. In most all my classes I did read, discuss, and write papers; however, I quickly found out that that there was so much more to it. One specific experience I had while at C.I. really shows how integrated this learning is. Instead of writing a paper for my final project in Perspectives of Multicultural Literature (ENGL 449), I decided with a friend to venture to an Indian reservation and compare it to a book we read by Sherman Alexie. We had a great time and we learned so much more that we ever could have done from writing a paper. The opportunity to do that showed me that there are so many ways that one can learn that are both fun and educational.
The English courses also taught me how powerful the written word and language can be. Words tell so much more than a story. Stories tell about life and the human condition, they bring up the past and people and cultures that are long gone. Literature teaches about the self and the world surrounding the self. From these classes I learned about the world, its people and its history; through literature I learned how we as humans are all related. By writing about what we learn and/or what we believe, we are learning how to express ourselves.
I know that my ability to write and express my ideas, thoughts and knowledge has grown stronger each semester. I have always struggled to put my thoughts on paper in a manner that is coherent and correct according to assignments. I can remember being told numerous times in community college to "organize your thoughts" or "provide more support and examples". These are the things that I have worked on and improved over the past couple of years and I feel that my work shows this. The papers I wrote when I first started here at C.I. were bland and short. In these early papers, I would just restate what we learned in class and what I had found in my research. I did not formulate my own ideas and support them with the works of others. The classes I have taken the past couple semesters have really help me shed that bad habit and write better papers with better ideas. I have learned how to write various styles of papers in different forms and different fields. I feel confident that I could write a paper about most anything and know how to cite and format it properly.
There are a couple of things that I do feel I lack the confidence and skill to perform, and that is what I hope to gain from participating in Capstone. I am scared to teach because I don't know how to share my knowledge with others-students who may have no idea what I am talking about. I hope to learn more about how teachers share their knowledge as part of my Capstone project.
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