Journey Log Final Reflection A hell of a ride: let's say that

Habits of Mind that Have Changed Me

Over the course of these last couple months, I have learned SO much about myself. I will admit that if I had not had to do these journey logs and incorporate habits of mind into them, I would not of consciously thought about the things that I did this semester. The four habits of the mind I feel that have impacted me the most have been openness, metacognition, responsibility, and persistence.

Let's be honest Chris. On the first day of your class, you told us to pick our favorite game. I chose Scrabble because of my love for words and writing, and as opposed to many others in the class who chose active things, or animated games, I chose the nerd route to go. As I sat there that day and listened to you go through what your course was going to consist of, I was ready to drop. You told us to give it a chance, and so I did. I can say that in the second to last week of your class, I am very glad that I did, because without this course, I would've never engaged in reflection like you have had us do, I would've never played Minecraft, I would've never learned to be a better reader, and I would've never been exposed to a lot of the things that you showed us in class. For that, I thank you, because even though you may not think you did a great job, this has been one of the best English classes that I've had, even though my grade has not reflected much.


As I go back through all of my journey logs, I am pleasantly surprised to see how open I have been this whole semester. I honestly forgot that I had been that willing in the beginning , because from just my memory, I was dreading the class.

My openness expanded this semester. From the very beginning when we were told we had to play Minecraft, I changed my approach to it quickly so that if given the chance, the game would help me grow. I had no idea how that was going to happen at first, but I was open to it.

I have never been a good reader, and I have lacked skills in reading comprehension all my life; so you can imagine how awful it sounded to me when you picked random people to summarize readings, because whether or not I had read them once, twice, three times, or more, I never felt confident to summarize them at the beginning. That changed though. Prior coming to this class, I had almost a phobia of reading, because I would always feel dumb if I couldn't comprehend something. Because of that, I usually never tried to read anything in depth, because I often gave up before I even gave myself a chance to try, so why read it at all?

As I go through my journey logs and different assignments to see how much I have done, I take pride in the initiative I took to be open at the start of all this. I was open to try and get better at reading, I was open to annotate more if needed, and I was open to take more notes in class, ask questions, and speak up. I have read on several occasions that I took part in speaking in class, because I was open and accepting to the reality that I may be wrong sometimes. I have NEVER been like that. I asked questions within my table, and I would even re read some pdfs until I actually understood.

I was also open within the game of Minecraft. I despised the game to begin with, but I have found that it isn't all that bad as long as you take some open steps in getting better. I have a girl on the golf team with me that loves the game, so having her help me with some things was huge. My assistant coach's nieces and nephews also FaceTimed me one weekend to teach me to build certain things (they're six and seven by the way). As I reflect on this aspect of thinking and approach different aspects of life with openness, I realize that I could've easily given up on everything in the first place. Sure, my grade would've suffered early on, but if I had been close-minded about doing these things just because they pushed me out of my comfort zone, I would've gotten nothing out of it. Since being so open with assignments in this class pushed me to my limits, I feel way better about English and my abilities for my future to come.

I now know some things that work and don't work for me when I read, annotate and even play Minecraft if I have to play it again. But most importantly, I didn't succeed at anywhere close to everything in this habit of mind. I learned to fail, why I failed, and how to come back from the failure, and I couldn't of asked anything more of myself besides what I did: which was being open to new things, and new experiences.


Metacognition. My interpretation of this word has changed drastically compared to what I thought it meant when I first got here. I thought that it was just the way we thought, but I learned there is a lot more that goes into it. Metacognition is based around how and what we think, in addition to the process we take in doing something, which means reflecting in some instances.

This semester, as I have reflected on the way I have thought, I began by surfacing a topic without going deep into it. I chose the easiest thing to do in most cases and only touched on things that I knew. After about two weeks of doing this, I reflected upon what I had done, and how much work I had put into these assignments, and found myself disappointed because I knew I could do better. I had come to realize that I only did this, because it was the easier route out of me being a perfectionist; when I am set on something that is harder than the norm, I often take too long to complete it and struggle to set a point of stopping.

Although I did not do this within this class, I found myself taking this knowledge and discovery to other aspects of my major. In my Spanish class, I would discuss with my professor what was a reasonable amount of time to spend on a given assignment, split the work into different days, and then do the assigned amount on each day. That way, I changed the way of doing my things according to what needed to be done, and still did it within the time frame.

I know that this wouldn't of been possible to do though if I had not kept my assignments and journey logs over the course of the semester. This was extremely beneficial and I think it is a fantastic way of letting your students reflect on what they did throughout the semester. Because of this, I can now use what I learned to other courses in the future since these habits of mind don't only apply to academics, or even English specifically.

Responsibility and Persistence

These two habits of mind came together for me this semester. I wasn't very responsible when I was having technical difficulties and as a result, my grade was hurt tremendously. If you would've asked me before coming into this class, I would've told you that I was very responsible. I write everything I need to do down so I don't forget and even when I did that this semester, I failed to in communicating my issues and touching bases with you. As a result, I have been forced to pile tons of things onto other things so that I can accomplish everything possible to make up my grades. I have had to work tirelessly and endlessly to make these final assignments perfect, and no matter the time needed, I have persisted to do so.

As I just mentioned above how my metacognition has improved, these last couple of weeks have really tested it. I have accepted the fact that I failed in doing the things that I was supposed to do, and as a result, I cannot settle for where I am now. I have actually surprised myself, because prior to these last couple of weeks, I would have given in to my sleep over grades. Except, now it is the other way around, because I try to look at it as being "I have two weeks left, and then I can sleep all I want. Suffer now, reward myself with sleep later.


Minecraft sucked so bad at first. I thought it was the worst thing ever, and I eased up to it towards the end but it definitely wasn't my favorite thing ever. I like how it is offered as extra credit, because even some cannot build with tutorials to save their life.

I feel like my writing has improved a little bit, but not to the extent that I had wished. That had the majority to do with me, because I was the one who didn't go for help outside of my writing and English tutor. I didn't ask you for help, and looking back on things, I wish I had. I think it would have benefited the rest of my years here, if I had gone in for extra help even once a week. My creativity and way of thinking has expanded a lot since I first started because I can see from looking back on the ideas and thoughts I put into journey logs the first couple times, are strictly all text. I didn't even do them on an Adobe Spark page for goodness sake.

I have grown so much more than I expected myself to this semester. I reread my journey logs and find that I do seem to be a bit more positive, but in a realistic way. I always knew myself to be the type to be straightforward about things, but at the beginning of the semester, I feel as if I expected nothing to go wrong. I expected myself to do everything perfect and even so, to be in depth with every task I took on. I was being un realistic.

I think it is crazy to think that at the beginning of all of this, my expectations were to grow and be better at specific things, when in all actuality, I grew more on reflection and self-awareness side of things. Yes I learned how to analyze text better, and I became more in tuned to what I was actually capable of doing, but I find it more important that I didn't consciously realize these things until the end. All through all I was improving on things I never expected to improve on, and I will take those lessons everywhere I go from now on.

I've learned that you are always improving in something even though you may not realize it at the time.


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