Tuesday, August 22, 2006


English 201: First Writing Assignment

English 201 College of Alameda
Fall 2006—Wanda Sabir

Assignment 1
Respond to the following:
Sometimes it’s not practical to follow one’s heart. When is this the case? Should you follow it anyway?

Though we do not control all aspects of our lives, we do have a lot of choice over what happens once we leave home and are able to exercise more autonomy. These choices often have to do with what makes us happy or what we need to do to survive. Sometimes if we’re lucky, we can take care of both in one act. In one of the books we are reading this semester, The Pact: Three Young Men Make A Promise and Fulfill A Dream, the three doctors: Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are able to make choices which provide them with a fulfilling and satisfying lives.

They live in an area of Newark, New Jersey, characterized by criminal behavior, poverty, inadequate public schools, and single parent homes. Their story is one which many young people throughout America’s “inner cities,” like parts of Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Los Angeles, have to navigate.

You made a choice when you decided to enroll in this college class. In an essay I’d like you to talk about where you are now in your life and where you plan to be in two years when you are finished with your undergraduate requirements and able to transfer to a four year institution of higher education.

What is the plan for these two years? Do you need any assistance? Do you know where to get it? How can I help you? What do you need to adjust in your life to be successful?

The theme we are going to look at this semester is the choices people make “for love or for money.” The three doctors decided to go into medicine “for love and for money.” Sometimes our personal and professional choices have immediate payback potential.

As you navigate this journey, there will be distractions and times when the pace seems to slow and you want immediate gratification. When this happens remember what Aesop wrote in the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare: “Slow and steady wins the race.” There is another saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”

I would add “Good things come to those who are preparing themselves for greatness and are psychologically and emotionally available for opportunities as they arise.

This is why you are here. The Sspire team: College of Alameda faculty and staff is prepared to help you meet these goals over the 2006-07 academic year.

Expected length: 1-3 pages typed, double spaced, 12-point font
Due date: Next class meeting

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