Journals: By writing daily in journals about things that interest you, your writing "fluency" and comfort with the writing process will increase. We often write in our journals in class to get "warmed up" for thinking about writing. Although you can always choose your own topic, the instructor will usually have topics you can write about. The goal is to keep your pencil or pen on the paper for the entire time we are writing. The number of minutes that you write in your class journal will increase over the next ten weeks. At the end of the quarter you may write as long as 15 minutes per sitting. Whenever homework is not specified on your calendar, your job it to write a journal entry--to write as long as we have been writing in class. Below are some lists of topics for you to consider.
Sample Joural--Use as an Example Sample Journal Entries:
These entries are from a student journal that you can use for ideas about how to write your own journal. What I like about this journal is that there are keen observations which are described clearly. She gives both general information and concrete examples. She includes many fresh insights, personal discoveries, and "deep thoughts" relating her experiences and ideas. Also, the writing style is personal, lively, and engaging.
For example, she describes the value of service to others, to her personal development, and to the development of new insights as a result of the service experience. This is an example of what I would like to see in your journal. Of course, you will have to adapt these ideas to each topic.
Journal Entry for Oct .17, Volunteering
Volunteering with the Food Recycling Program is such a rewarding experience. Throughout the week, I really look forward to Wednesdays when I can take a break from my daily activities to help others. The simple routine of what I do brings such an exciting and joyful feeling to my heart. I have never seen so much food in my life! Today I think we counted 36 buckets. WOW! This is great! Do you know how many mouths this is going to feed? The Food Recycling Program helps so many homeless and starving people.
Through the food recycling program, I not only learn about helping others, but I also learn about other people and their feelings. Many people judge cafeteria workers by their outside appearance, but once you get to know them, you see what’s on the inside. There is one lady who works in the cafeteria that is so sweet and caring. She talks to my friend and me about her grandchildren and asks us how we are doing. She is an energetic lady that always makes me laugh. She always does crazy things to put a smile on my face. Today, I went to the back room to bring the workers the dirty dishes, and this lady had the radio on and was dancing and singing. It was so hilarious and fun to watch.
Journal Entry for Oct .19, New Insights, New People
My life has changed since I started this volunteer program. The Food Run has shown me reality and the other sides of life. I get to experience teamwork, charity, and suffering. Working together and talking to other volunteers and cafeteria workers allows me to form a team with them and to make friendships. I am so glad that there are so many people willing to donate their time to help others.
Each Wednesday I see this one man on the sidewalk with his same pair of worn-out shoes and same raggedy, plaid shirt. He is sitting there like there is no hope in life. I always look over at him, smile, and say, "Hi sir. How are you doing today?" He always smiles and replies, "Thanks for asking ma’am. I’m trying to get along, but doing just fine." For some, it is easy to ignore the homeless, but when you see the same man or woman sitting on the side of the street week after week, you take the initiative to see how they are doing because ignoring them is impossible.