Wendy Mills
Englist 50
May 3, 1999
English is Important

I believe that having good writing skills is essential to becoming successful in the job/career of your choice. After watching the video Moving on by Mara Fagin and doing my own research I learned that other people feel the same way as I do. No matter what career a person may decide to pursue, it always comes attached with a lot of writing. In the video we listened to how other people feel about writing.

Krist Jepson is the first person we heard speak. She is a current student here at Modesto Junior College and works in the writing center on campus. Her job allows her to use the skills she learned in her English classes to help other students with writing papers. She stated that in high school she never really cared much about writing. She only did the writing necessary to complete her homework assignments. Through the English classes she has taken at M.J.C. She has discovered that there is a lot more to writing than she thought. She has learned to think more critically about what she wants to say in a paper before writing it.

Thomas Massey has always considered himself a writer. He says the courses he took at Modesto Junior College helped him to broaden his way of thinking. Techniques like freewriting and brainstorming ideas help him to develop ideas and plots for his stories. He thinks that everyone should keep journals because it is a way of relieving your mind creatively and helps you keep track of your thoughts and memories.

Sylvia Lopez-Medina impressed me the most when she spoke. She had to overcome some major obstacles to enroll in MJC. The culture that she was brought up in doesn’t believe that women should pursue their education. The women in her culture are raised from a very early age to learn to cook and clean so that they will catch a good husband. They are raised to listen to what the man says and wants. It took Sylvia twenty years and two marriages before she decided to enroll in college. She told us that she had never been interested n writing until she enrolled in the English classes at MJC. Even though she learned that she had a natural talent for writing, she continued to pursue a career in law. Through the encouragement she received from her instructors she finally decided to pursue a writing career.

Rick Estrada is employed at the Modesto Bee as a sportswriter. He covers high school sports in our area. He says having good writing skills is essential to his job. Working around deadlines doesn’t leave him much time for writing the articles. He often finds himself developing an article in his head in traffic on the way to the office. He often does a background on the teams beforehand so that he can add it to the article when he gets to the office.

Linda Brooks works in the human resources offices at the Bee. She told us that her job requires her to write memos, create employee handbooks and prepare presentations for her department. Knowing how to write effectively has helped her in many ways. Because of the type of work she does, Linda feels that being able to communicate through writing is beneficial to her job. Writing her thoughts, ideas, feelings, and opinions down on paper has always helped her to improve her communication skills with other people. She believes that if it wasn’t for her acquired English skills that she probably wouldn’t be such and important asset to her company.

The last person interviewed in the video was Carletta Steel. Carletta works at the Modesto office of the California State Department of Employment Development. Her job is to help people fill out applications and develop resumes. She helps prospective employees find jobs that they are qualified to do. She credits her abilities in writing to the English classes she took at Modesto Junior College.Even though she had always done a lot of writing, Carletta never fully realized how important English was in a career until she started working. Now she knows that she would have never gotten such a good job if she hadn’t been able to write well.

After watching the video I decided to do some research of my own. I called three people that I know and interviewed them. I asked them to tell me about how having good English skills has affected their present occupations or career choices. The first person I interviewed was Katherine Brewer. Katherine is a program coordinator ins a local recovery house. He job requires a lot of knowledge in writing. She has to fill out sign-in papers and release forms. She must make an update in each of her clients’ charts each day as well as write memos to other employees. She believes that without her extensive writing skills that she would not be able to maintain her job.

I next interviewed Kathy Bjarnson. Kathy teaches at Modesto High School. The students she teaches are learning disabled or problem students. She teaches a variety of subjects, but mostly English. She believes that being able to effectively teach students proper English skills requires a lot of work. She has to be able to break down sentences so that her students understand what she is trying to teach them. Besides planning work for her classes, she must also fill out reports on each of her students to send to their parents and the school board. Learning how to effectively do so in college has been so asset to her career.

The last person I interviewed was Leon Bjarnson. Unlike Kathy, Leon stated that he had been a terrible student in school. He had to really struggle to improve his own English skills in order to graduate from high school and go on to college. While in colleges he had decided to become an English teacher as well. He is currently teaching elementary kids the elements of writing and finds it refreshing to see the kids learning. He knows that without his own improvement in English that he probably wouldn’t have made it through college, let alone been able to get his teaching credentials.

After hearing what each of these people had to say about English and how it has improved their lives, I realized how important English is. Without the use of our English skills, none of us would get very far in this world. English has played an effective part in all of our lives and in history too. Without English how would we communicate with one another.

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