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Tell us about your practical writing experiences. Have you taken writing course before?(Yes) Here, or at another school?(Here at APUS) Do you write for your job? For pleasure? What are your biggest concerns about this course, and what elements of your own writing would you like to work on over the next few weeks?

Classmate #1:

My name is Benjamin Stalker and I have always had a lot of fun with that last name. I live with my wife Rachel and we have a chocolate lab named Penny and a cat named Smokey. I have worked many different jobs from cooking to retail work to car sales. I’m always up for a new challenge and I like to learn anytime that I can. My passion is to work with people and help them through hard times, and I get a chance to do that through an organization called Younglife. My first 3 years with the organization I served as a volunteer leader I then transitioned into serving on my local committee for another 3 years. I currently serve as the committee chair for my county which brings me into working with other people at a regional level, and preforming annual reviews with and for the staff persons in my area as well as preform various office and financial tasks to keep my area running.

I used to work with my local newspaper group and reported on the happenings an a few local municipalities in my county. I have published approximately 80 articles during my one year tenure (turns out local news papers are not as popular as they used to be). I only quit when my commission fees got cut in half after getting cut a third a few months earlier, it was costing me more money in gas and time interviewing and writing then I was making per article. I have taken writing classes before. I have taken 2 thus far and thought I had all the english classes I needed already, but found out I was missing this one that is required.

I have no real concerns with this class. I just really don’t want to do another persuasive essay on some arbitrary topic, but I always do my best regardless of if I enjoy what I’m doing or if I’m doing it because something is required of me. I generally like to write, so I’m expecting to enjoy this class over the next 8 weeks.

Classmate #2:

As stated in the subject line my name is Vaughn Whitaker. I work as a designer for a private fire protection company based out of St. Charles, IL. My job as a designer is to design water based systems (wet/dry system sprinkler systems) in commercial and residential areas based on the scope of work in each individual contracts. Prior to working in the fire protection industry, I was enlisted in the United States Navy. My separation was just shy of a year ago out of San Diego, CA.

I haven’t taken a formal writing course (or any for that matter) since about 2011. For this reason, I can safely say my only concern for this course is being out of touch with formal writing. The most I’ve been required to write for the past decade has simply been email correspondences or letters of compliance for municipalities.

I will certainly say that the art of persuasive writing is the most appealing aspect of this course that I would like enhance in my own set of skills. A small portion of my job does require a slight bit of persuasion when it comes to intelligently influencing the contractor or owner that additional work may be required outside of the original scope of work. Typically, this scenario happens often. Most owners want to maximize the amount of work for the lowest dollar without really considering all of the code requirements set forth by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) and the International Building Code. Counter-intuitive I’m sure but sometimes convincing a company owner to spend more money on safety takes some persuasion.

I look forward to working with everyone over the coming weeks! Good luck.


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