Your journal may also prove to be a good place in which to reflect on the value of journals themselves. I no longer believe journals work for every-one—some people just don't like to be reflective in language—but as course assignments go, they are fairly painless. Let me conclude with some of Jim's observations. He started keeping a journal in my first-year writing class with some reluctance; later he wrote the following on page 192 of his journal:

11/11 As I scan through my journal, I found a lot of memories. I wrote consistently on my classes and found grades to be one of my big hang-ups. . . . The entries which helped me the most were those about myself and my immediate surroundings. They helped me to realize who I am. Maybe I should say what I am. I have a little bit of everyone inside of me. . . .

I really enjoyed looking back to see what I wrote. Some entries were stupid. . . . Many times I wrote what I really felt. A journal wouldn't be worth keeping if it didn't. Who wants to read about what others think? Never once did I feel it a burden to write. If you would have told us to write in it everyday, I would have told you where to go. My roommate says I write too much, but I think I write too little.

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