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Mike Westwood
Noodle Expert Member

March 30, 2020

This article will chronicle my experiences in an English course I took at the Community College of Rhode Island. It is told solely from my perspective.

Prior to transferring to Curry College, I attended the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) from the Fall of 2012 to the Fall of 2014. During my tenure at CCRI, I took courses at both the Newport campus (a very visually appealing campus) and the Warwick campus. One of the courses I took in Warwick was an English course called Readings in the Short Story. This course was very engaging to me because I enjoy reading and it also helped me learn how different authors write for if and when I decide to try being a professional writer one day.

Readings in the Short Story was a course I took in-between my early morning course and my late afternoon course, which was ideal because I was able to pay attention and stay engaged in my learning. The textbook for Readings in the Short Story was large because it contained several short stories that the professor (a professor I enjoyed working with very much throughout my college career) had us read all of the stories out of and write papers to discuss and analyze how we interpreted the themes and symbolism of each story. The electronic white board in the front of the classroom was also used to display videos and online articles pertaining to the stories.

The stories ranged from being very outdated, but interesting (e.g. Edgar Allen Poe stories) to being more modern and interesting. Stories are designed to not only get the reader invested in the story being told, but to cause some emotion as well. Depending on the language and scenarios the characters are involved in, the author has the opportunity to be creative and make a happy ending if the protagonist has to overcome a lot of odds. I have read many stories and I have admittedly become emotional over visualizing and internalizing the character's issues.

During my time in Readings in the Short Story, I was informed over my CCRI e-mail account that I had been on the Dean's List in enough consecutive semesters to earn the opportunity to complete an extra credit assignment in one of my courses to earn Honor's Credit. I decided to take that opportunity in the form of writing a long and dramatic short story. I made the story up entirely off the top of my head and titled it, "Making Amends."

The main character was a man that I called John Stephens and the story was about how he experienced mistreatment from his father in his childhood and took that frustration out in his adulthood on his wife in the form of cheating on her with a friend of hers. He gets arrested while his wife is pregnant with his children and gets bailed out to go see his children born. I crafted the story that way intentionally to drive the point that as long as a person holds themselves accountable for their actions, they can be forgiven for their indiscretions and be redeemed.

Readings in the Short Story was an excellent learning experience in how to read a short story and understand the creativity that is necessary to write that type of plot. Writing my own short story was very thrilling and it gave me some self-confidence that I could write a story akin to what I was reading about one day. If any student attending CCRI was considering taking this course, I would recommend it because you will learn and be entertained simultaneously.

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