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Why Did You Select This Piece For Your Portfolio? (Essay Sample)


The Portfolio
Introductions to each piece of writing included in the portfolio which consider and respond to the following questions:
• why did you select this piece for your portfolio?
• what makes it an important or favorite piece?
• what problems, if any did you have writing this piece?
• how did you solve those problems?
• how would you describe its development, strength, weaknesses
• what does it show about your writing?
• what is the value of this essay to you, the writer, and its relation to other works in the portfolio?
4) The Writings
1. 1 paper about The Power of Habit (include all the drafts)
2. 1 paper about The Namesake (include all the drafts)
3. 1 timed writing of your choice (including original)
4. 1 community activity (including original)
5. Groundhog Day OR 30-Day Challenge Essay
6. 1 final assigned class writing
My 30 days challenge About Loosing weight
Losing weight generally refers to the reduction of a person's body mass within a period of time. There are many strategies that individuals use to ensure that they lose weight within the shortest time possible; these strategies often differ from one person to another. Some people prefer to change their diet to low-levels of fats while others involve themselves in physical exercises. The loss of body weight has psychological, physical and emotional advantages.
I chose the challenge of weight lose because it is really important to me and assigned it 30 days to ensure that I lose 5 pounds. My challenge is unique because it is meant to help me live better in life.
Firstly, losing weight to me means a whole new sleeping experience; it would give me a peaceful rest. We can never overstress the importance of losing weight in terms of health. The amount of processed products we eat each day is bound to have a negative effect on our bodies, which explains the rise of diseases throughout the world like cancer, high blood pressure and other heart related diseases.
Personally, losing weight will definitely have a positive impact on my studies. The mind, I believe is freed and relaxed to enable me carry out my studies without getting tired easily and dozing off during my studies in class or at home.
The other reason as to why I chose this challenge is to keep off my mind from stress. I have discovered that whenever I engage in some physical activity, I tend to avoid stress. My mind is kept off from things that could generally stress me or even sometimes depress me. In fact, my mood changed when I started; this I noticed from the positive comments I received from friends.
To lose 5 pounds within a period of 30 days might be beneficial but it is really challenging. I decided to strategize my personal challenge by using physical exercises and changing my diet. Concerning my diet, I specifically decided to eat low-fat foods, which have low quantities of cholesterol. This I discovered should be accompanied by a mental preparedness because it involves a lot of commitment especially for me who has enjoyed a variety of foods over the years. This is also accompanied by willingness to make diverse changes and strict adherence to times of eating. I decided to have a heavy breakfast, a medium lunch and a very light dinner before 6 pm. All my meals were generally of grains and fruits and vegetables. I also ensured that I took at least 8 glasses of water a day. This was actually working better for me in terms of saving time and avoiding tiredness. I was beginning to enjoy my sleep after about one week and 5 days.
I decided to have at least a 15 minutes physical exercise each day of jumping rope and walking. I assigned myself those minutes because I did not want to overwork my body. The first two days worked well but the next five days were really challenging. I was getting tired especially at my knees. I was also sweating a lot during my exercise. Though, I later realized that diet and physical exercise must be addressed together.

I have noticed that anything a person puts his mind in will surely work even if not to beloved. In my case, this challenge has taught me about my inner ability and steered me into better performance.
I was disappointed because I failed to achieve the results I had anticipated for within the period of thirty days. I realized that by the end of that period I had managed to lose only four pounds. Initially, I thought that I had set the lowest level for myself and when I did not achieve it, I felt a little discouraged though I also felt that I should try the challenge again.
It is evident that losing weight is not an easy task; it requires a lot of mind will and determination, which I had at first but it faded as time, passed by. The amount of time I had assigned myself of 15 minutes a day for the exercise was little when I compare with the normal 24 hours we have a day. I should have allowed more time for the exercise and divide the time into both morning and evening sessions.
I found myself violating the rules I had put in terms of food. Occasionally, I ate some processed foods like cakes and bread. I must say that this derailed my progress. Some of the challenges I also faced include finding adequate time because my weight loss challenge coincided with a busy schedule I had at school and adapting to all the new changes. I also think that 30 days are inadequate to have better results. I should have extended my challenge for a period of three months.
I am recommending a training class for myself for the next challenge I will engage in. I have experienced a lot of positive changes in my life that are more than the few challenges I have faced which makes me consider continuing to lose weight.
Reaction paper 1 the power of habit book by Charles Duhigg
The power of habit by Charles Duhigg is a interesting book that examines the nature of human habits in the manner it moulds, shape and affects individual', organizations' and societies' habits. Bigining, from the prologue, Duhigg narrates about Lisa, a woman who provides good science materials for scientists as she was a chain smoker, a drunkard, obese and a deabeat who had failed to hold on jobs as she was hired and fired frequently. Later she decided to turn her life around at the age of 34 where she became vibrant and lean. To change her life she stopped the habit of drinking, smoking as well as becoming debt free and secure a good job.
Over three years, psychologists, neurologists and sociologists, geneticists became curious and look into Lisa's case as well as other individual who have showed destructive habits and managed to turn their life around in short period of time. The author aim is to gather how Lisa and other similar victims managed to do change their life. For example, Lisa narrates that she realized she needed to change her life the moment her husband left her. This made her downwards to an amount of attacking and threatening her ex-husband's girlfriend. At this point, Lisa had no job, no husband, and decided to leave for Egypt, her dream vacation destination with the little credit she had saved.
While in Cairo, Egypt, Lisa was woke up in the morning by noises of Muslims prayers in the nearby mosque in her first night. She was so disoriented that she didn't realize until she smelled burning plastic that she was trying to light a pen, not a Marlboro. Later, she began feeling lonely and depressed again as she think over on her ex-husband and the difficulty of securing another job when she returns home as well as how much she will hate the new job. She was also being troubled by how unhealthy she felt at that time. With this strong fear, Lisa realized that she needed to change at least one thing one that she could control. Therefore, Lisa had a task of identifying what actually she needed to change in her life. It was at this point that she came with a plan to trek through the Egypt dessert, an idea that appeared weird, but she was unwavering to undertake it. However, to prepare for this plan, Lisa needed a year of preparation and part of it involved stopping the smoking habit.
The judgement to quit smoking provided a key point that triggered succesiding changes in every part of her life. Actually, the changes were psychologically visible and outlined in her mind. This was the suggestion that the new patterns of her habits were beginning to dominate the neural patterns of her old habits. Literally, Lisa had reorganized her life and scientist notices this miracle as not only applicable to humans but also companies. For example, huge companies such as Target, Alcoa, Starbuck as well as Procter and Gamble have managed to renew through the principle of companies' reorganization.
According to the author, there are many individuals who are like Lisa as human beings are creatures of habits. Quoting Williams James, the author believes that every human is made of a mass of habits. Also, humans might think they are making decisions but they are not as evident by a study conducted by Duke University that confirmed 40% of all actions we perform this day were not as a r
Reaction paper 10 Reaction # 10 the namesake book by jhumpa lahri
After reading the story of Gogol (or Nikhil), I was impressed with how it captured the whole situation with people of foreign origins, where they embrace the “popular culture” and forget where they originally came from. I like the idea that the story is straightforward and that it draws a lot of emotions from its readers (based on my own experience). However, what angers my interests the most is the idea that it has ‘much more' than what is literally written. In my opinion, the portion, which makes the plan very effective in delivering that message, is the way that the story mixed the message with the intense emotions that were caused, due to his father's death. However, it is patent that the story – its story and characters – could still be interpreted in a much deeper way than how it is written. In my opinion, the main character (Gogol) could be regarded as anyone who avoids his/her own origins just to embrace what most people ‘seems to want'/popular culture. Following from this, Ashoke (Gogol's father) could be interpreted as the character's own culture which he has ignored, while the death of Ashoke is the decline/death of culture due to his act of denying it. Lastly, Maxine and Moushumi – Gogol's love partners –could also be interpreted as the culture that he is trying to embrace (pop culture) and his own (Bengali), respectively. And, as he left Maxine and went for Moushumi, this could symbolize herrenewal of his own beliefs and preferences towards where he came from. However, this is just my own interpretation of the story . What I'm curious about is whether the Lahiri has intended these symbolisms to be perceived by his readers? And, if so, what inspired her to write the story and what is the main idea/goal of writing it?
Community activity #1
New Immigration policies
I attended community presentation on changes to immigration policy at Highline Community College on February 4,2017 which more than hundred of people attended the event. The presentation was in both English and Spanish about the executive orders that have been announced in the past two weeks and an explanation of how they might impact the community. The presentation also included information about how community members can protect their rights and attorneys were on hand to answer questions.
I chose to attend this activity because since I am Muslim and I emphasize with the seven countries that have been banned by President Trump from entering the country, also I am a new arrival to United States as an immigrant and I was so worried about what is going to happen to my family and me in the coming months. If the president banned 7 Muslim countries whether they have visas or not within 9 days after being president, I thought the following thing if that's going to happen, will he be deporting all blacks or all Muslim Americans or everyone who immigrated to the US from different part of the world?
The presentation only made me worry more since I wasn't happy with the new policies and changes because they don't favor all Americans, both newcomers and old comers. Some of the changes include Border enforcement, where anyone who is undocumented or a permanent resident (Green Card holder) will be deported if arrested with as simple as driving without license. Even if just a security agency asks where are you from and you say “I'm from one of the seven countries that would create a problem. Federal grants will be stopped from people who are not citizens, taking assistance from government while working will lead to deportation if you are undocumented, refugee or immigrant. “It's unlikely to go door by door and arrest people who are undocumented,” said one attorney, but there is always a high risk or chance to get into trouble or get in contact with a security officer for example if pulled aside by a police officer while driving.
Reaction # 10 the namesake book by jhumpa lahri
Another major challenge that was created by these changes is petitioning family members to rejoin the family here in US; Citizens can only do petition. I have a mother who is in Ethiopia and we were on process to bring here America but because of the changes she is not going to come because it is really hard for any Muslim to enter the US and she went to American Embassy twice after Trump became President, but she didn't able to receive the visa. If a permanent resident holder goes to another country she or she will not be able to return to United States and every green card holder will be required to have the Green Card in the wallet anytime going outside their house. In 2018 there would be a new innovation of “Enhanced License or Real ID” a type of identification document, which will only be given to citizens to access transportation and other major activities which will not allow people who don't have the document to access including undocumented people and Refugees or Immigrants. People who have dual citizenship for instance US and Iran who are permanent residents will be rejected or will not be given citizenship in United States. I was paying attention during the presentation and also to every question and answer, that made for me easy to understand.
I think it's the time that we should advocate or we should stand together against the bad things including marginalization part of our community. I am so happy with the system of this country because its now a prove that the three bodies of the government are balancing each other which are legislative, judicial, and executive branches. With that said a dictator couldn't rule us, each of them makes sure the situation or discussions made by the government are for the benefit of the people not against the people. U.S. District Judge James Robert in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order halting the about a month Washington state and Minnesota sued,” CNBC published Thursday, 9 Feb 2017. This is a great example of the democracy we live in and its something we are all proud of.


Portfolio Essay
Portfolio Essay
As I look back on what I have accomplished and learned thus far, a tinge of pride engulfs me. We are all different and are also gifted in different things. Some people are good in mathematics while others cannot stand it but can write exemplary poems or are good exceptional swimmers. With each passing day, I grow to accept who I am with all the flaws as well as the gifts bequeathed me. However, it takes time to get to that point, and I cannot say am closer to living life as I should. I have learned a lot this semester, and as I look back on some of the works I have delivered, I thank God for where I am and acknowledge his grace while I journeyed. Writing can be a challenge and having English as your second or third language makes it more of a challenge than before. I feel different and can categorically say that I have grown and not just as a student but also as an individual. The entries I have chosen for my portfolio while not entirely related will help to showcase my appreciation of the journey I had. Additionally, they will also help to depict my growth as well as proficiency in reading, writing, academic skills, listening skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
The first entry in my portfolio is titled The 30-Day Challenge or The Groundhog Day. This entry’s value is personal, and I selected it because it vaguely helps to tell my life story. The challenge I chose was one that entailed losing five pounds in 30 days. While the number five might seem negligible to some people, it gave me a target which helped to push me to limits I never thought I could reach. This particular entry holds an important place in this portfolio because to me, I was not simply writing another essay, but I was confronting something in my life. It was challenging, of course, because this meant writing something that is personal to me and I had to, first of all, amass enough energy and psychologically prepare myself to handle it. I have always been sensitive about my weight, and therefore, I convinced myself that dealing with it as a topic for my essay was the best way to push myself to action.
The development of the essay is indeed quite well because it begins with a normal introduction where the topic is defined. It then proceeds to discuss the effects of heavy body mass. Eventually, it gets to where I discuss how losing weight will impact my life. Even though the end of the challenge was not as I expected, the essay also ends well by stating how the exercise changed my life afterwards. The above speaks volumes about my writing because it showcases the skill of growing a story chronologically. However, I had some grammatical errors because while I had it right with the sentences’ semantics, while I was revising the essay to write this portfolio, I noticed some mistakes. As already stated, the value of this essay is personal and compared to the others, it comes first.
The second entry in my portfolio was a reaction paper that I wrote on the book titled The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I selected this piece because it resonates with the lives of a lot of people in the world. In the essay, I focused on a story about a woman whose name is Lisa. Lisa’s life is far from normal but what makes this piece a favorite is the fact that it can be used in different contexts and still have the same impact. People can also use it to assess themselves and thus influence or push themselves to become better individuals within the society. To write this piece, I had to read the book and then find an angle of approach, and here is where the challenge was. The book is fitted with numerous examples and finding an area of focus can be hard. However, to solve this problem, I decided to read the book while looking for something that relates to man.
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