A reflective and/or experiential narrative



Experience/Culture/Text: Unit I engages students in integrating to the university and the community and exploring the theme of true stories through discussion, personal reflection, observation, active/critical reading, and formal and informal writing.


The first part of this unit focuses on reflective and critical thinking, so that you are given the opportunity to reflect on your new goals and challenges as university students as well as your personal evolution as a person/student/citizen. Readings will be used to foster points of discussion. You will practice critical reading and writing strategies. The second part of this unit focuses on our theme through critical reading, reflective writing, and analysis.


Inquiry Questions: What does it mean to be a community of learners? What is active listening? What is the value of reflection? What does it mean to think critically? What does it mean to read critically? How can we discern the unstated assumptions rooted beneath any author’s/speaker’s claim or line of reasoning? How can one use one’s careful observations, interviews, and/or survey methods as evidence to support larger claims?


Core Assignments:


  • Writing: A reflective and/or experiential narrative that may incorporate observational evidence (3 pages or 750 words) covering the 7 sections shown below.



The layout of the paper should be like this:



Inquiry 1: Rough Draft for Peer Critique


Name, date



  1. Intro scene: Place etc. 100 words
  2. People: interpersonal relationships
  3. Former Self: Interiority: Emotional truth: set up what’s at stake.
  4. Advance the plot: move the story forward. Take us through the climax.
  5. Present self: reflect: “objective” truth: Identity and Intersectionality
  6. Project into future self: take away? Avoid Cliches.
  7. Scene that demonstrates what was learned and how to apply it. Show the reader.



My mind keeps pondering and shifting with clouded thoughts as I sit here in this enclosed room that is now going to be my home for a very long period of time. Outside, the raindrops keep pelting my window. I can barely see two meters away from where I am because of the heavy downpour outside. It is my junior year at the campus having been granted to join this prestigious college after arriving to the US. I am still experiencing a lot of culture shock since everything is new to me.

Outside my door, I can hear a lot of movements up and down the hallway accompanied by murmuring and occasional laughter. A Caucasian young man with a broad smile on his face enters the room and interrupts my inner stream of consciousness. I soon find out that he is a sophomore named Steve and whom, will be my roommate for the semester.

After arranging my belongings, I go outside with Steve as my guide to explore the environs of the campus. The rain had just stopped but there is still a little drizzle. I am utterly amused by the infrastructural designs that have intertwined with geographical features such as the small hills and the old trees around the campus to create a very complex Administration block and some of the lectures. The pavement is laced various species of plants suspended on pots painted with different colors with mind blowing images that seem to give a narrative of this university’s culture that I am just about to delve into.

Steve is telling me something about the archaic and modern blend of the Library’s architectural design when this group of three ladies and a one gentleman interrupts our conversation. They are all new students at the university just as I am and request if they could join us for the brief exploration around the university. Being social is always my primary instinct and my impulses are always on the lookout new friends and experiences because that’s what makes to be completely self-fulfilled. I feel that, by associating with new people, I am to create a behavioral and interactive comparison between myself and these individuals. I am able to connect with this new group because we all seem to share a common bond about both the campus and personal lives. I believe that by making a comparison with the other students I am able to determine my relative value with regards to how I speak as well as the value that they add me in terms of their counsel and support during difficult moments.

However, the fear of the unknown keeps haunting me. Here, I am placed in a wholly different culture from what I was brought up back at my home country. To begin with, my English is not so much polished and this tends to affect my confidence sometimes. I am a very aggressive character but I’ve had to adapt to this new environment. The education system is somehow different from what I went through back home. I used to have many friends back then but I am going through a worked up process building trust and new friends at the states. I am expecting that this transition will be smooth and efficient but then again, just as Rome was never built within a day, so does the road to a life-long friendship and trust! It safe to note that, in as much as I have gone through a lot lately, I can see a reflection of a brighter future from the warmth that I experience with the students around the campus.

My fear of being alienated is now dying down and being replaced with a strong vigor to explore this new culture and learn as much as my brain can accommodate about this scintillating life at the States. The truth is, there is so much at stake for me here that I sometimes feel that I can create more room for new people to fill this hiatus void because I need to exchange ideas with other people by opening up to their warm embrace.

I believe I can do wonders with this new vigor that I posses. I am so confident right now that I will add value to those around me and to myself as well. I have made many constructive friends who have gone their way to make sure that I am assimilating to the new culture. I am proud of myself for the strides that I have taken to improve my social life with others and the level of my school work is also something that I can brag about. I came, adapted and conquered. Cheers!