Monday, May 4, 2009


Erica Morrow
111-28-Class Evaluation
4 March 2009
TCC English Composition 111
When first introduced into College Composition, expectations were obscured by common allegations of what College Classes are like. I figured English 111 would be no different; in fact it was the exact opposite. Paul Gasparo as my brilliant instructor made the experience more rewarding and exciting.
Common allegations of College classes can discourage any freshman. For example, instructors use traditional methods of teaching, their classes are filled with lectures and extremely high expectations, and tests are given every day. To my surprise Paul Gasparo’s English course number 111 is the exact opposite.
He introduced himself with a brief analysis of his past and present, along with expectations he had for the class. The directions for assignment layouts and presentations were thoroughly explained from the start; there was no confusion in understanding from my part. Lessons were effectively planned and not a single lesson was constructed the same, which made classes more interesting. It is like looking through a kaleidoscope. You get excited every time you look through it, because you know the next pattern is different from the one before.
Mr. Gasparo also incorporates the students occupying his class; He shows interest in their opinions as well as commenting on them, He plans class discussions so you feel less pressured on giving answers, and he also makes you think rhetorically not just about English works of Art, but about different aspects in everyday life. I applaud this instructor for his efforts in helping students understand the importance of Rhetorical Analysis and using Rhetorical appeals whenever possible.
Also to my pleasant surprise, tests were not part of the English 111 curriculum (At least not in Mr. Gasparo’s section 28 classes). One fond memory of class is when Gasparo asked about whether or not students read the selection assigned for class. After finding that 75 percent of the students had not read their homework assignment, he threatened us with a test about reading selections every class. He continued with the explanation that: Reading is important and required in order to comprehend the lesson given and connect that lesson with other aspects of our lives.
Mr. Gasparo’s classes are informative and exciting. We zoom in on important lessons for the curriculum while having fun with them. In this section Gasparo used movies, songs, class discussions, peer reviews, and presentations to effectively engage his students in their academics. His use of Super Size Me and Maxed Out as examples of Argument was genius. Showing movies that pertain to the days’ agenda, while discussing why the movie coincides with the lesson, is extremely effective in academically engaging students.
Paul Gasparo is the best English teacher I ever had. We share the same dislikes of our former President Bush. I also enjoyed his seldom sarcasm, and was never demeaning or insulting. He is always fair in treatment towards students; no favoritism. The lessons always kept the gears in my brain from rusting. Also, being in his class is rewarding; I have confidence in my writing skill. I also learned how to use rhetorical tools and appeals to persuade others, and how other use those same appeals to persuade me.
Tidewater Community College Freshmen: If you’ve already signed up for English 111, Section 28 and Paul Gasparo is not your instructor, SWITCH NOW. His class will help you understand the impossible, write more concisely than you ever have. It is rewarding to be taught by a knowledgeable professor like Gasparo. He gives you the road map to succeed in English without the roadkill.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Importance of Revision; Influenced by Bruce Springsteen's Revision Examples

Erica Morrow
January 21, 2009
Fun-filled ways of Escaping Parents
People will tell you running away from your parents does not solve anything. They’re right, but it does aid in alleviating turmoilous situations; especially when you’re underage. Parents act unreasonable and sometimes you long to escape their tyranny, even for one day. I know how you feel and I’m about to tell you how I achieved that same thought.
Two years ago things weren’t looking good for my relationship with my parents.I felt like an unbroken horse with a fat person on my back. I needed to escape, so thought of a destination where my parents could never find me. My secret spot: The Eastern Shore. I stopped to fill my gas tank and crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge headed for lands unknown. After traveling the 17.6 mile-long bridge, I headed north-bound on highway 13 which takes you towards Cape Charles. The drive was relieving and there was nothing in sight with the exception of ancient, rotted-out houses and the occasional convenient store for fire works and cheap tobacco.
After an hour and a half of traveling and a sore buttocks, I visited Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles, Virginia. Naturally astounded by my surroundings, I decided to investigate the parks’ natural beauty. Automatically I hit the beach, and as I wondered off I noticed historic concrete ships baracading the shore. I later learned that nine concrete ships were made during the second world war and were half sunken to act as a ferry
Morrow 2
breakwater for the shore! Leaving the beach, I climbed 2 flights of wooden steps leading to the forest section of the park. It was such a wonderful sight with massive trees reaching towards the sun. I also noticed structures in the woods called yurts that looked like tents and cabins combined. These yurts were modernly equipped and interpreted from our ancient nomadic ancestors, and nothing like I had ever seen. The yurts gave the Park a more earthy feeling, unlike most other industrialized parks.
They day was winding down and I had to head home before dark. I left Kiptopeke State Park in all its glory, crossed back over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and stopped at my friends’ house for bong rips before returning to the twilight zone, which I call my house. While I was at my friends’ house my mother left a message on my cell phone for me to be home by 8 o’clock or the police would be sent after me. The thought of my parents being angry with me was scary, but involving the police was another ball game that I wasn’t intending to play.
All good things must end, so I arrived home at 8 o’clock sharp to find my parents in complete rage. I had to listen to lectures, say my apologies, and cry in despair at the thought of my punishment. Even though I received a month of confinement, I had the best road trip ever and nobody will ever take away those memories. Taking that road trip to the Eastern Shore didn’t solve any of my issues, but it did alleviate my internal turmoil and the turmoil my parents faced with me as their daughter.

Erica Morrow
111-28-Revised Diagnostic
5 March 2009
The Run Policy
Running from your parent(s) is wrong, but sometimes it is liberating. In my experiences with running I’ve come up with a simple, yet effective plan: Create probable reason, find a remote or random location, and wait for the smoke to clear. This plan not only gives time for the accused to gather their thoughts, but it also gives the parent(s) a chance to reflect and strategize as well. This strategy is most effective with teenagers age 14 to 17.
Ladies, Gentlemen, I’ve been down that road over-grown with weeds. The road often less taken is filled with question, curiosity, and excitement (not to mention the consequences that followed when entangled by thorny bushes). The rush of excitement motivates me to continue my journey through the weeds.
My first encounter with thorny bushes held me at age eight. In school they taught of America, the nation of democracy, and freedom of speech and opinion. At home it was a nation controlled by a dictatorship; the mother and father rule the house and anyone in it. Most of the time thoughts of any place were better than thoughts of staying home. I yearned for the open road and making my own decisions; plus I was hurt emotionally by my folks and considered my friends loyal and trustworthy. Like a hobo with a few belongings slung over my shoulder, I proceeded to jump the chain-link fence and head for streets unknown, literally.
My plans were foiled when my elderly neighbor, Hank, spotted me unattended and decided to be nosy. “What are you doing,” he asked with compassion and concern in his voice. I told him I was leaving my house, never coming back, and stood firm with my decision. After a moment of conversation and reasoning, I agreed to let him walk me back home. I wish I could have stayed away from the territory of the house because my parents didn’t take Hank’s news very well. My mother got emotional and angry, as did my father. The consequences were isolation to my sleeping quarters for a few weeks. It was dreadful because my favorite pastime is enjoying the outdoors and friends. After taking that detour through decrepit thorny bushes, I stuck to pavement because it’s smoother with much less conflicts.
I sucked up the punishment and continued to live in oppression until my next outbreak, which happened to occur eight years later. High school changes a person’s perspective on life; it can also change a person. The single-most person responsible for my interactions with drugs, alcohol, and rebelliousness is my high school sweetheart. Most of the activities that involved him also involved me, and love makes you do crazy things, so I was down.
Once again the oppression I felt from my parents’ dictatorship roles became unbearable. They were ruining my social and personal life; not only with my sister whom I continue to fight with, but also with my high school sweetheart. I felt like a trapped animal desperately clawing its way out and needing to taste freedom. This is when the Run Policy was created. Assessing the situation is the first step. Identifying the attacker and reasons of the flight reaction is the second step. Making it seem as though my parents were out-stepping their boundaries made it easier for me to decide on taking my second and last attempt for freedom. I chose the Eastern Shore for my most random and secluded location kidnapped my sweetheart and booked it towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for the day. I also turned my cell phone off so I was unreachable all day to ensure my plan’s success. It was coincidentally the Fourth of July, so I wanted to make sure I got my eight hours of freedom because I foresaw consequences.
My trip was an ultimate success, it was uplifting and exciting because I was 16, on my own with a car, and all the time in the world to scavenge around. It gave me a chance to escape and reflect on aspects of my life. It was also a trip of experience followed by conversations of deeply-rooted problems within the family and my punishment. I know it gave my parents time to think about their actions towards me, and how they act towards other in general, because when I returned home that night the family had a discussion. It included talk of sources to our internal problems, and issues we had between each other and how to improve our quality of living at home.
Today my family has meetings every month, because all four of us lead busy lives and we hardly see each other. Three years down the road and I still cut through thorny weeds in my path. The only difference now is that I identify and conquer my afflictions before they become as annoying as a hemorrhoid. Take it from me. It is better to tackle weeds because when you directly face your initial problems, you can solve them more effectively.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Who am I?

Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I always wondered how we all got here and what my purpose was. I still don't know how the universe and all its wonders came to be, but since I started Tidewater Community College my purpose became clear. My purpose is to feed people while incorporating entertainment, in other words I want to be a Pastry Chef. Through TCC I can recieve my Associates of Applied Sciences in Hospitality Management, and start interning with the best Pastry Chefs around. I am eager to see what the future has in store.