Reflective Essay


During this semester I have learned so many new things. I have become extremely proud of myself with the progress I have made from UNIV 111 to UNIV 112. The things I am most proud of include including my input in class discussions, becoming a better presenter and learning how to become a better writer.


Coming into UNIV I was a tad bit nervous to voice my opinion because I was scared of being shut down by others. Luckily, I had an amazing class and professor that allowed me to become open and voice my opinions on issues during class discussions. Although my peers can be frightening, they are very open to what you have to say. My peers have also been very helpful because even if you say something aloud that doesn’t make any sense at all they will openly continue the discussion without making you feel like an idiot. I am so glad that this class has allowed me to come out of my shell because I think it will be very beneficial for future classes here at VCU.


The thing I am most proud of is becoming a better speaker in front of the class. When I came into this class in the fall I was terrified of speaking in front of the class; so scared to the point where it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. With the advice from my wonderful professor and my classmates making me feel comfortable my presentations have improved dramatically (at least in my opinion) over the course of the year. Hopefully this is a step into being able to present in my other classes here at VCU as this has been a very eye opening experience.


The last thing I am proud of is my writing skills. This course has allowed me to write so many different things; things that interest me. When you are able to write about things that interest you it changes your perspective of things and makes you willing to learn how to become a better writer. This has definitely given me insight into how I will need to be writing for future classes. I have learned new skills from my professor and mostly my classmates. My classmates were super helpful when I was “stuck” and needed some advice.


My own personal goals include becoming the best I can be, to never give up when faced with a difficult task and to continue being an open person. With these goals I hope to strive in college. I think it is very beneficial that college freshmen are required to take UNIV 111 and UNIV 112 because it helps a lot. I am not quite sure what would’ve happened if I got thrown in front of a classroom full of random people without first taking this course. I couldn’t have done this without the help of my professor though. She truly is an amazing, caring lady and I would recommend her to any new freshmen coming to VCU.

Learned Facts for Multimodal Project

Today I learned that there was actually a third person that helped with the discovery of DNA that was rewarded with the Nobel Prize, but he didn’t discover it himself. He actually stole the picture from Roosevelt.

I also learned that there was a secret agent Altrich Ames who helped the Soviet Union by telling them secrets in exchange for money.

I learned that the attack on 9/11 killed almost 3,000 people.

I also spoke incorrectly and stated that Neil Armstrong was a high school teacher after the landing on the moon and that is false. He was actually a professor at the University of Cincinnati.


This book it quite interesting in many ways. It is also very relevant to our world today. A lot of the things Lauren Redniss discusses in this book are things that we have stemmed off of in today’s world. For example, we use radioactivity to do a variety of things such as chemotherapy for cancer. This book just makes you think about history and the fact that everything comes from something that someone has done in the past. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone because it doesn’t just have to do with science.

Reflective Essay

Throughout the course of this semester I have learned a lot of new things in this Focused Inquiry class, as well as made a lot of new friends. One of my biggest accomplishments thus far is being able to give presentations in front of the class. At the beginning of the semester I couldn’t even take my eyes off my paper and now I am able to successfully give a presentation and make eye contact with my audience. Although I know there is still room for improvement I am glad I’ve made the changes I have and I am excited to see how much further I can get in UNIV 112. I have learned how to use my resources such as the VCU database along with the wonderful librarians at the library. I have gained better knowledge about how to write a proper essay. With the help of my professor I was able to learn how to properly write an argument essay which was the essay I struggled with the most. This class has also allowed me to learn about new tools such as the writing center and I look forward to visiting this place on campus more often as my classes will soon become more difficult. This class has allowed me to make new friends and helped me to be a better partner when working in groups as it is very important that the work is divided evenly. Finally, this class has opened my eyes up more to seeing real world problems and realizing that my input does matter in certain situations. It is always okay to question something if we don’t agree with it. I look forward to learning many more things next semester in UNIV 112. This class is important to me because it can be applied to many parts of my life, unlike some classes. I also look forward to becoming closer with my classmates as this is the only class that is a year long.

Three things that I found interesting were that love is more than a chemical compound, if you have prolonged anxiety you are more prone to develop problems with learning and memory, and the final thing was that public schools in high poverty areas are beginning to lose their libraries because they cant fund them.

The two essays I found to be the most interesting were Natural Born Liars and Disney World: Public Use/Private State.

Natural Born Liars was definitely a good choice for a topic of discussion because it made me question whether or not were born to lie or if it’s something we pick up on. It falls under the topic of Nature vs. Nurture. In my opinion I think we learn to lie. We don’t come out of the womb knowing how to. We learn to lie by listening our friends/family and from watching television. When you think  about it, nobody actually taught us how to lie. Why do we lie? We lie for many reasons such as to protect ourselves, along with the simple fact that it’s easier to lie in certain situations.

Just Mercy

Just Mercy was a very intriguing book. It allowed me to open my eyes up to see all of the negativity in the justice system today. Bryan Stevenson provided many stories of people of all ages. Reading about people my age being put on death row really hits home and causes me to think about whether or not it is humane to put a young adult on death row. Many children being convicted of crimes have promising futures and I think that rather than locking them up/putting them on death row they should be put in a institution to help them get mentally stable. I think VCU chose this book for all freshmen to read because it relates to issues that happen here on campus. There is injustice everywhere you go.