Monday, May 11, 2009


Portfolio Narrative and Sample Portfolio

Start the following reflections

The portfolio narratives for English 201
There is an example of a portfolio in the comment section below. You can see more examples, just ask, I have lots of them.

Each narrative is 250 words minimum

1. The first narrative essay will look at the past 18 weeks of study, and the themes we looked at this semester as we explored the life of the first black president and the idea that we are the ones we've been waiting for, that is, if there is something in our communities or government we do not like or want to improve we can change it. Obama's work as a community organizer proves this, your social entrepreneur's work proves this, and hopefully, your work presently or in the future will prove this also.


Talk about what you've learned and discovered this semester about writing and yourself, college and life, which have transformed or changed you. What have you learned about the discipline you are studying: reading and writing that you plan to carry forth into your lifelong pursuit of learning.

Please also comment on the texts, especially Stewart Pidd Hates English. Was this books and the others, Dreams from My Father,and The Message, helpful in this process? You can also talk about the instruction, culture of the class and the teacher.

2.Essay 2 has each student look at the writing process and discuss his or her own writing process: the topics chosen, the information used, revision strategies, writing as a process. This should include a definition of the difference between editing and revising and a value statement on the place for both in composition.

What have you learned about yourself as a writer? Take two essays and talk about the planning, research and revision strategies you used. It helps to choose an early paper and compare to a later paper. Often you can more easily see the differences in your writing and a better example of mastery of certain concepts. Also discuss skills you need to improve and how you plan to address that.

I am really interested in discourse about audience and how that shapes or determines how the writer approaches her topic.

I am also interested in discussion of the revision process, and whether or not seeing writing as a work in progress or a draft, liberates or stagnates the creative process. (Students are to use examples from their writing to illustrate these points.)

I'd also like students to think about and give at three specific ways how they have grown as writers and thinkers this semester. Each essay should be minimally 1-2 pages (250-500 words).

Anonymous said...
Include your name and mailing address, phone number and email address.

Portfolio Table of Contents

• Portfolio Essay #1
• Portfolio Essay #2
• President Bush’s State of the Union Address
• Byron Hurt film: Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes
• Initial Planning Sheet
• Midterm Paper
• Social Entrepreneur Essay
• Work Sited page for Social

Entrepreneur Essay

Jeff F.
Portfolio Essay #1
25 May, 2007

During this semester we the students of English 1a had to type a couple essays, and every time I started a new essay, I followed the writing process. Pre-writing is the first step out of four, in the writing process. When a person starts the pre-writing process they should start by thinking and talking to them self about the subject that is on hand. It always helps to think and talk out loud. After that one should do some research like go to the library and check out some books or if there is access to a computer one should go online and check some search engines. One should at least do something that helps get information on the subject. Now one should make a list of at least twenty-five ideas. From that one should take out the most important ideas and make a cluster. Now one should start to freewrite from beginning to end. One should now make an outline. An outline is kind of like a map, it helps one with the paper with out getting lost.

Drafting is the second step in the writing process. When a person enters the drafting phase of the process, that person should have an outline finished and sitting next to them on the computer. Now that a person is on the computer, they should start typing from the beginning to the end without stopping. No corrections or anything just start to finish by then it should be shitty and that is what one wants. After the shitty paper is done, one should save it and put it away for the day. This is the fastest step in the writing process and the one I like the most.

Like drafting this is also one of the fastest steps in the process. First one should start with the global/structural. Look over the paper and make sure that all the paragraphs are following the format guidelines. One should save it and put it away for twenty-four hours. This is when one should check the paragraphs to make sure that they are all indented and the right number of sentences. Now one should save it and put it away for twenty-four hours. Now it is time for sentences. All one has to do is check all the topic sentences and make sure they are short and simple. Also one should check the supporting sentences and make sure that they are on subject with the topic sentence. Once again one should save it and take a twenty-four hour brake.

Last but not least is edits the fourth part and last of the writing process. By now the paper is practically all done, except a couple of things. Now comes the time when punctuation can be added or taken away. A period here, a comma there or parenthesis there. This is where stuff like that gets changed or added. Now that the punctuation is done it is time for the grammar. One should now go through the paper again and make sure that the right words are being used and that there is no slang or stuff that a reader could not understand. Now that the punctuation and grammar is done one should spell check it. Also one should read through it with a dictionary and make sure everything is ok. Now there is one last step in edits and that is proof read the whole paper. By now the paper should be done and perfected. Practice these steps and they will make it easier.

Jeff Figueroa
Portfolio Essay #2
25 May, 2007

This semester’s writing experience was one not to forget, and for all my hard work and preservation, I think I deserve a B for the semester. This semester’s English experience was not like any other, the class at times seemed to be unorganized and students were all ways unprepared, thus making this class, a non-educational experience. Our class had so much potential of being a fun and interesting learning experience, not that it wasn’t. We were reading excellent material, books such as Alice Walkers We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, and Spark Notes No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet. In addition to that we also read some great articles like The Making of a Criminal and Stephen Jay Gould’s Women’s brains. Because so many students didn’t either have their book, read the story, or plain just didn’t show up to class, it made this class almost a failure.
When our class first met in the begging of the semester, there was almost fifteen students enrolled in the class, but day by day, and week by week less students began to show up to class. I can’t lie. I my self missed more than my fare share of classes, but I always knew when to show up, or when I could miss a day without jeopardizing my self.

As students it was our responsibility to stay on top of our class work, and in the begging of the semester Mrs. Sabir told us to always check her blog, because it would be our source of what’s going on, and what is to come in our class. But when it came time to come to class on a certain day with a certain book, come to class with extra credit, or even come to class prepared for a mock trail.
When we were done reading Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, we had a mock trail to determine if Dr. Victor Frankenstein was to be held accountable for his creations actions. There were two teams, one team was the prosecutors, the other team was the defense team, and I was on the prosecutors. My team decided to gather information and evidence on things we could use against Dr. Victor Frankenstein on our own time, and not as a group: I knew that wasn’t such a great idea, but I went with it anyway. When it came time to gather all our findings and information, I was the only one to come prepared with my share of the work. Something told me the night before to not count on my class mates and to go ahead, and type out an opening argument. Thank God I did that, because no one had sufficient evidence to prosecute Dr. Frankenstein. I don’t want to come off sounding like this class was a total failure, because it wasn’t by any means.

Because students came unprepared or just plain didn’t show up, this class did not live up to it’s full potential. When a student puts his/hers hard time into something and their class mates don’t do their share, it robs that person of their education. I was not the perfect student this semester, but at least I tired to do what was expected of me, and for that I think, deserve at least a B for the semester. All in all I did enjoy this class for what it had to offer. I just wish that everyone was on the same page, because if we were, this class would have been one to remember for some time to come.

Jeff Figueroa
State of the Union Response paper
24 January, 2007

With a grand introduction George W. Bush walked into the room of the white house for the seventh time to address the state and with just a few words he drew an easy pop from the crowd. Those words “thank you very much and tonight I have the high privilege and distinct honnor of my own as the first president to begin the state of the union message with these words, Madam Speaker.” When he said that, the air filled with thunderous applauses, a cheap pop is what I call it.

The purpose of his speech was to address some very important issues. Issues such as domestic issues, energy consumption, education reform, immigration concerns and health care deficiency. His speech was well organized, so well organized; one can not help but think that he did not write it. There have been times that George W get’s all choked up when talking but tonight was different, he was clam and quick. When it came down to evidence he didn’t have any but some of his claims, I found myself agreeing with. Like when he talked about health insurance. Not all of us can afford insurance and I would be one of those people, so by his purposesul of cheaper tax cut’s for those that pay for insurance , I like that idea. But just like Democrat Senator Reed said “this president is very good at pointing out problems but he is not good on the follow through and finding the solutions.”

Jeff Figueroa
Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes response
01 March, 2007

"Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" directed by Byron Hurt, is a documentary on how commercial rap promotes misogynistic, violence and gives black males negative stereotypes. Bryon Hurt grew up a fan of hip hop and he still is. Hurt’s arguments are not hard to disagree with and just incase one is to argue that today’s rap/hip hop music is not blatantly promoting sex, violence and misogynistic towards women, just listen to any current popular rap c.d.

Rap/hip hop has not always been about “bust’n caps” and “break’n hoes”. Back in the golden era of hip hop (1987-1992), it was all about who had the dopest rhyme and sickest dance steps. I know because I grew up in this so called “golden era of hip hop”. The music that was coming out in that time was new and different. When a person heard a song that they liked it made them want to get up and dance. That’s not the case in today’s day of age as to when a person hears one of their favorite songs, they transform into this hardcore gangster that is not to be messed with. Hurt interviewed a couple of well known rap artist; one of them was Fat Joe. Fat Joe even said that because of the image that rap displays, it makes every young male thinks he has to be hard. When it comes down to Hurts arguments of how today’s rap music promotes blatantly disrespect for women and promotes violence against each other, I would have to agree with him.

Jeff Figueroa
Initial Planning Sheet
12 March, 2007

Initial Planning Sheet for MIDTERM ESSAY

1. I am going to write about Walker and how she came to use meditation in her life. What is its role, and why is it included at the end of every chapter.

2. I wanted to write about this subject because the meditation practices she uses in this book are very interesting to me.

3. The target audience I will be writing for will be a uninformed audience.

4. I want my research paper to answer the following questions. The how’s, what’s, and why’s of meditation.

5. The main writing strategy I will be using is descriptive writing. I will be describing the meditation method that Walker uses during her life and the effects that it has on her.

Jeff Figueroa
12 March, 2007

The first book we read in my English 1A class, was by Alice Walker and called We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For. In this book, Walker talks about her life and tribulations that she has encountered in her time. One thing Walker talks about is meditation and how it helps her in life. In this essay I will be responding to such question as how did Walker come to meditation and what role does it play in her life?

Meditation is a powerful, relaxing practice; one that Walker herself uses and encourages her readers, friends and family to practice.
Walker first came to meditation by intensity of pain, loss, confusion, sadness, anxiety attacks, depression, suicidal inclinations and insomnia just like everybody else in this world. Meditation was first brought to her attention by a good friend of hers and Walker almost didn’t listen to her. But the pain that she was going through was too much to deal with, so she gave it a shot. Just like me, when Walker first tried meditation, she thought to herself that this was not going to work. “I remember sitting on my cushion thinking this will never work, and then gradually, later in the night, realizing that I wasn’t quite so jumpy, and that mornings no longer made me want to draw the covers over my head” (157).

Meditation has played a major role in Walker’s life. When she first started meditation it used to bring her to her favorite place in her childhood. “Gazing out into the landscapes, merging with it and disappearing” (157). But latter in life she used it for other reasons like writing her books, raising her child, and it has also made many of her losses, some personal and some material, bearable and easy to deal with. Walker confesses that she could not have written such books as Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar and The Color Purple. Walker say’s that “The Color Purple owes much of its humor and playfulness to the equanimity of my mind as I committed myself to a routine, daily practice” (158). When it came to raising a child, she said without meditation she would have not to been able to overcome the challenge of being a single parent.

In We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Walker includes a meditation practice in each chapter. I’m not to sure as to why she does this, but I think it’s to get us readers to try her methods and see if we like them or not. The first meditation practice that I remember her doing is one where we sit in our seat and imagine erasing ourselves. We tried it in class; it was working for minute until somebody came late to class and disrupted my meditation. Another one I remember but did not get to do until just last week was the meditation where we interviewed a child while observing them eating a fruit. I did this meditation with my little niece. I asked her questions like: Where do fruits come from and how does it taste? She replied by saying that mommy got them from the store, and it tasted good. I don’t know what type of answer Walker thought we were going to get in return, because the answers I got were short and simple, but the quality time I got to spend with my niece was something that I’ll never forget.

Alice Walker has lived a long and interesting life. I think through all of her hardships and wonderful moments in her life, she is trying to pass on some valuable information. Information like love the earth we live on, respect your elders, don’t let the way you were raised prevent you from making friends with the lesser/higher class, and love one another. Also she is telling us; her audience to be strong in the moments of despair and loneliness.

“When life descends into the pit
I must become my own candle
Willingly burning myself
To light up the darkness
around me” (39).

This message of no matter how bad things get in life, there is only one person to motivate one self, and that is one’s self. Alice Walker’s methods of meditation, after each chapter is purely relaxing, and is made for her readers to reflect on the issues she and the world present. I intend to use these methods of meditation, for it has helped me in my life.

Works Cited

Walker, A. (2006) We Are the One We Have Been Waiting For. The New Press


Jeff Figueroa
Social Entrepreneur Essay
30 April, 2007

Although Bill Gates is labeled a philanthropist, he should also be recognized as a social entrepreneur, because a social entrepreneur works, manages, organizes and creates a solution for a social change within a social problem and Gates does all of the above. William Henry Gates III is the cofounder and chief executive officer of the computer software giant, Microsoft. Gates founded Microsoft with long time classmate Paul Allen in Richmond, Washington, in 1975. Gates created Microsoft with one thing in mind, he wanted to design and develop innovative software for the personal computer, making pc’s user friendly, and also universally popular. Microsoft is now a multi-billion dollar empire, and Bill Gates is one of the most famous men in recent history along with the wealthiest man in America.

William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28, 1955. His parents were William H. Gates II, and his late mother, Mary Maxwell Gates (1929-1994). Mary Maxwell Gates was a school teacher for the University of Washington and chairwoman of United Way International, a global network of nonprofit organizations. William H. Gates II is a retired attorney, and currently he serves on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington and is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which his son Bill along with his wife Melinda founded. Gates II has adopted the suffix "Sr." to distinguish himself from his more famous son William H. Gates III. Bill was not the only child of William and Mary, for they had two other children: Kristi and Libby, but that made him the only son of Mary and William. Mary and William had big plans of making their son Bill a lawyer but come the seventh grade, he got introduced to computer science.

Gates attended public elementary school, and the private school of Lakeside. It was there at Lakeside School when he discovered his friend: and future business partner Paul Allen, and his interest in computer software. Bill began programming computers at the age of 13, and while he was in high school, Allen and Gates formed a small firm called Traf-o-Data. Traf-o-Data earned them twenty thousand dollars for analyzing local traffic patterns. After that he discovered that the machine he and Paul built was connected to a national network of computers called cybernet. Bill invaded the network and installed a program on the main computer that then sent it to the rest of the networks computers, and from there they all crashed. Bill Gates was responsible for the world’s first computer virus. In 1970 when he was caught, he was severely reprimanded, and he kept away form computers for his entire junior year at Lakeside. He then made plans for college and law school, but in 1971 he was back helping Allen write a class scheduling program for their school’s computer.

In 1973, Gates was accepted to Harvard University and pursued his studies for the next year and a half. During Gates freshman year at Harvard, he developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer: the MITS Altair. H. W. Brand author of The Change Makers says out that “He [Bill] impressed his instructors in a variety of ways. “He was a hell of a good programmer,” said the director of Harvard’s computer lab.” (317). Then in his junior year, Gates left Harvard University to devote all of his time to Microsoft, the same company he had begun in 1975 with Paul Allen. Gates and Allen both firmly believed that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop, and in every home, so they began developing software for personal computers fulltime.

In the year 2000, Bill along with his wife, co-chair holder Melinda Gates, formed The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF). Bill Gates first initially funded B&MGF with one hundred and six million US dollars, but in the foundation’s first two years, funding grew to two billion US dollars. Today The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest charitable foundation in the world today. Part of the reason why it is so big is because in 2006 Warren Buffett (at the time was the second richest, after Gates) donated to the foundation ten million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares valued at 30.7 billion us dollars at the time. The goals of the B&MGF are, globally to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and to expand educational opportunities and access to information in the United States.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has put it’s footprint upon global health issues with their Global Health Program. The B&MGF gives approximately $800 million us dollars every year to help solve global health issues. That is almost as much money as the United Nation’s World Health Organization gives away annual, and the $800 million a year can also be compared to the United States Agency for International Development and the funds they give to fight against infectious disease. The foundation also provides seventeen percent of the world’s budget towards the eradication of poliomyelitis (polio). The Global Health Program also awarded grant’s to the following, The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, The Institute for One World Health, Children’s Vaccine Program, University of Washington Department of Global Health, and to HIV research. As if that was not enough, The B&MGF also has two other divisions’ the United States Program, and the Global Development Program.

The United States Program division focuses on problems that are currently with in the United States. The B&MGF provide their help to such problems as, help to the minority youth of America, full scholarships to both students and administrators. Not all people can afford to put them selves or their children through schooling, and Bill Gates is aware of this, so that is why he likes to help the needy. In a letter that Bill Gates wrote on his web site, he say’s “We [Bill and Melinda] benefited from great schools, great health care, and a vibrant economic system. That is why we feel a tremendous responsibility to give back to society.” (Gates). Bill Gates saw that there was a problem with underachieving students due to overcrowded classrooms, and he wanted to change that.

Bill Gates came up with a solution to help fix some of the problems within our schools here in America. One of them was The New Schools Venture fund, and according to “The foundation [The B&MGF] contributed US$30 million to help New Schools to manage more charter schools, which aim to prepare students in historically underserved areas for college and careers.” The B&MGF also donated one billion US dollars to the United Negro College, so that they can give scholarships to high achieving minority students. Wikipedia also states that “The Bill and Melinda Foundation announced on March 22, 2007 a million initiative to send hundreds of the Districts of Columbia’s poorest students to college.” Schooling and global health is not the only thing that Bill Gates is interested in, he also likes to help combat extreme poverty.

To help fight the war on poverty, Bill Gates incorporates science and technology to improve people’s lives. Bill Gates states in a letter that he and his wife wrote on their web site “Our goal is to help apply science and technology to the problems of the neediest people.” ( The B&MGF awarded a 1.5 million dollar grant to the Grameen Foundation, so that they can make more micro loans (a very small loan to people living in poverty) to help millions of families overcome poverty. Micro loans enables a person who is poor, unemployed, and is not considered bankable, to receive money (micro loans) from everyday people, and start up an entrepreneurship to help lift themselves out of poverty. The micro loan plan is very successful, and it has a one hundred percent return rate, so the money a person lends out will be returned in full to the lender. In most cases the money the lender gets back, goes right back into the micro loan circulation, so that another person will have the same opportunity to further them selves in life.

Bill Gats is a philanthropist, but he is also an entrepreneur, because of all the hands on work he has done with many different foundations. Bill saw problems in today’s world and he wanted to help solve them, so he helped the only way he knew, with money. He would put his money towards scholarships for the poor, vaccines for children, charter schools to help prepare students for college and new careers, and to HIV research. Most critics say that a majority of today’s philanthropist donate their money for selfish motivations (to evade paying taxes or making a name for oneself). That might be true, but in William Henry Gates III case he didn’t do it for fame or tax evasion. He did it because he knew there were problems in today’s world, and he wanted to eliminate them. Also in the letter on, he wrote “Our foundation and our partners are trying to solve these problems because we believe that all lives have equal value, no matter where they are being lived”.

Works Cited
Brands, H.W. Masters of Enterprise. New York: The Free Press, 1999

Klein, Maury. The Change Makers. New York: Times Books, 2003

Leibovich, Mark. The New Imperialists. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press, 2002

Rivlin, Gary. The Plot to get Bill Gates. New York: Times Books, 1999

Knauer, Kelly. Time Great People of the 20th Century. New York: Time Inc. Home Entertainment, 1996.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 2007. 24 April. 2007
English 201A

Dear Wanda my name natalie hopkins my summer was great. i took a aerobics class here at college of alameda. the class really made me feel good about myself. i really look forward in learning new things in this class. im eightteen years old i graduated from treaure island jobcorps. Im working toward a degree in socialwork.
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