Estelle Feirtag

Focused Inquiry


26 September 2018 

Writers Memo 

  1. I spent around 6-7 hours all together working on this paper. Most of that time was developing my thoughts through brainstorming and writing the first draft which I split up over 2 days. I decided on this topic fairly quickly knowing it was the most prominent place that fit the description of the prompt. I had the idea of writing about my dance studio but I decided against it after brainstorming about both places. Starting this writing process I was too focused on an idea of my current self and less of my past self in my place, but that perspective changed the deeper I got in to writing. 
  2. I found the peer revisions to be very helpful they mentioned a lot of my sentence could work better in different orders so a lot of the revisions I did was play around with the sentence order of each paragraph. My group also mentioned ways I could get my paper to flow better so I worked on sentence structure and combining sentences. Most of my comments from my group were for my introduction so I focused on making it more intriguing  for the reader and sound less like I was following a prompt. 
  3. I feel the most confident about how I introduced and used the text in my paper. I felt like the examples I used worked well with the idea of my paper. Im not so confident about the first few sentences in the last paragraph because I struggled to tie back together some of my ideas and I would have liked a little more feed back on that paragraph from my peer group. My introduction felt strong to me, something that makes you want to keep reading. Im not as confident that all of my points got enough description or interesting word choice. It sounds like I got to the point quickly without really diving into my examples. 
  4. I would focus on developing my examples and really diving into my descriptions. I would like to see them more interesting to the reader and sound more like a story. It would probably take another few hours with editing and revising. I would like feedback on how I could make more creative and developed ideas. Based on the rubric I think my paper could fit a B paper, it is organized and my thoughts are controlled and the reader can follow my points throughout the paper. 


Grosse Ile Michigan, a little town where everyone knows everyone and where you grow up with the same people from elementary school all the way through graduation. It is the kind of town movies set their opening scenes in. Quiet and quaint, knowing everyone well enough to address them by their names passing them on the street. I have lived in the same small town my entire life and I believe where I grew up one of the strongest physical places that has impacted my identity. Grosse Ile has always had the same feeling and sense of comfort. Somewhere I can feel calm and safe. It is a serene place where not many things change and if they do it quickly becomes the talk of the town. The fact that nothing really changes brings me the feeling that there is always somewhere to return to if I really need it.  

Living in this small town my whole life I have come to learn most everything there is to know about it, I know Grosse Ile like the back of my hand, where everything is, and not only how to get everywhere but the calculated and tested route that will get you there fastest with every shortcut accounted for. This is the place where I could find independence. Even as a little kid I could find independence because of how safe the small, close knit community was. I would stay outside until late at night with my friends, without a care in the world, where I run around for hours outside until my Mom called my name to come home for the night. This is where I gained a sense of curiosity, where I use to go exploring on my bike all day with friends, finding new little conners of Grosse Ile thinking we were the first people to discover them. It is where I went to school, learned to drive, and discovered how to use my imagination because it can be rather boring in such a small town. Most importantly I became my own person instead of conforming or settling for the same model and patterns everyone in that town eventually falls into.  

Grosse Ile, being an area that does not change much at all gives me a sense of roots. I feel like this is something special and almost rare in today’s fast paced world. In Why Place Matters by Wilfred M. McClay, he addresses the fact that the world is so quick to switch things up and change every second that it is hard to recognize a place you once knew. It has become, “A world of space rather than place” (McClay 234) meaning that there are no roots connecting us deep enough to one certain place. People feel like they do not belong anywhere because they can not recognize a familiar place they once called home. This is a result of everything being so quick to change and evolve that somewhere can become unfamiliar in a very short period of time. He states  It is not necessarily a bad thing, that the world changes for the better to create a more healthy dynamic for life. As a person who loves to explore and go to different parts of the world where it is fast paced. I get to appreciate big changes and see all these big changes that dont happen where I live, it feels good to be able to come back to a place that I can recognize as a home and not just a space in the world I once knew.

Living somewhere now that seems almost stuck in a cycle of innovation is different than living somewhere that has always been content with being stagnant. In a way, being apart of a city other than Grosse Ile is much more exciting, I get to meet new people everyday and experience their outlook on life. Everything I see is different but it lodges itself in a part of my head that is constantly comparing what I find to be new and exciting and what I recognize as comfort and find home in. The key is to keep a small town attitude in the city and to keep focus on all it has taught me, even more now than back in Michigan because now I have more to explore and new things to fuel my imagination and curiosity. My town taught me to keep the wide eyed fascination with the world I had growing up as a kid and has taught me to find my place in a place that is constantly everyone else’s. I can look back now and see just how much my identity has been shaped by that little Michigan town and how much more is out there for me to find explore. 

Work Cited

Wilfred M. McClay— Why Place Matters. Published 2014