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Exploratory Essay

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Exploratory Essay English 115 Prof. Carmen Hamlin

* Compose a self-assessment/reflective essay (five paragraphs, 3-5 pages in length) by addressing each of the parts listed below. Each part represents a paragraph in the Self-Assessment essay. Part 1: Pre-Writing/ Invention Process Which of the pre-writing/invention strategies did you use for this essay? Did you find this strategy effective? Why or why not? Explain. What did you learn by using this strategy? Be specific and explain your response. What would you do differently next time? Why?Part 2: Writing Process What was your purpose for writing this essay? Who was your audience and how did you fulfill your responsibility to that audience? What was the main point of your essay? What do you want the audience to know, to think, to learn or to believe after reading your essay?Part 3: Peer Reviewing Process What did you look for in your peer’s essay as you peer reviewed? What did you learn about the peer whose essay you peer reviewed? What did you learn about yourself as you peer reviewed? What did the peer review process make you think about your own essay? Part 4: Revising Process Describe the ways in which you decided to revise your essay. Be specific.  What made you choose to make these revisions? Why?  What do you think about your revised draft in comparison to your initial draft? What did you learn from revising this particular essay?Part 5: Assessing What was the strongest aspect of your essay? What was the weakest aspect of your essay? What writing issue/challenge did you run into the most frequently as you wrote this particular essay, and how did you cope with it?  What would you do differently for the next essay assignment? Why? * What did you learn from writing this essay – about yourself, about your audience, about your peers, about writing? Click here to see the Grading Rubric for Assignment #5: Self-Assessment/Reflective Essay | *

Milla Brewer 11/06/2011

Will the world really end December 2012 or is this just a myth? Is the end near?

I have learned that there is much controversy about what will happen in December 2012, with sources like the Mayan calendar and ancient astrologic predictions claiming that a major change will occur in our society whereas more professional sources like NASA claiming that there is no actual evidence to prove that prophecies are true. The Mayan society is recognized for its advanced technology when regarding astronomy, given that the Mayans have apparently devised a calendar more than five millennia ago. The question baffles me like no other. For the research project, I decided to pursue the question; Will the world really end December 2012? This question deserves to be examined because the more people that are aware of our earth’s history and scientific methodology, the more influence scientific observations will have on society as a whole. I suspect that through my findings, I will be able to suggest whether this question is a myth or a proven fact. Before I could comprehend what the impact of the end of the world would have on our society, I needed to know the foundation of December 2012 and how it would impact our existence. I started by reading that the Mayan calendar ends in December 2012, influencing some people in associating it with an apocalyptic scenario supported by a variety of theories pointing toward the belief that the world will end in the last month of 2012. Although it is difficult to determine whether a notable change will actually take place in 2012 or not, it is virtually impossible for one not to feel intrigued consequent to coming across all the information gathered through time. I discovered that present day historians have accurately identified the date when the Mayan calendar will end: December 23, 2012 (Henderson, p. 273). Many people have attempted to come up with an interpretation concerning the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in December 2012. After learning more about the history of the date, I wanted to know how our society has reacted and deal with the presumed end of days. Society has virtually been obsessed with an apocalyptic scenario related to December 2012, given that people from almost all domains have gotten involved in studying the concept. Some have even seen the opportunity of gaining profits from exploiting the story, with Roland Emmerich’s 2009 motion picture 2012 being among that year’s best box office movies. Although the film might not be among the best ever produced, its inspiration can be considered rather interesting (“APOCALYPSE NOW; Dire Predictions,” 2009, p. 28). It is not necessary that Emmerich took advantage of audiences that attended his film, but that he simply provided the public with what it wanted to see (“THE END IS. 2012,” 2009, p. 18). Some consider that the end of the world will actually take place in 2012, others believe that society as we know it will experience an improvement, and others use a variety of legends (that are more or less extremist in nature) to create an association between their theories and December 2012. Most people would agree that the second group is particularly optimist, while the other two put across negatively. There is however, another group of people that simply cannot find any correlation between their future and December 2012 (Richards, p. 193). I found that people’s attitudes regarding December 2012 are actually related to fear rather than being related to confusion. This story has produced great tension among the masses, having people even more vulnerable to receiving false information. Although certain individuals have tried to raise the public’s awareness concerning the solar system’s collision with planet Nibiru, it has not been until the recent years when these people have discovered the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, thus getting the chance to elaborate on the topic and to associate concepts like the apocalypse and a cataclysmic event with the month of December 2012 (Morrison, 2009). After learning how society has made conclusions, I needed to understand the scientific background and correlate it to the history. As the world got more and more concerned about a doomsday event taking place in 2012, numerous apocalyptic scenarios emerged, most of them related to that exact year and to how ancient predictions provide proof that it is only natural for people to be afraid. Individuals that believe that planet Nibiru will enter the solar system in 2012 claim that they translated documents written by ancient Sumerians. Although these documents showed that planet Nibiru will appear in 2003, the theory’s supporters recalculated the date and concluded that the correct year was 2012. Scientists and scholars have provided numerous data pointing toward the belief that it would be crazy to think that Nibiru actually exists and that earth will be affected by it in December 2012. However, the people supporting the Nibiru scenario have raised numerous questions that were considered by officials to be somewhat uncomfortable. These people have claimed that NASA and governments from around the world are perfectly aware of the Nibiru threat and that their sole intention is to keep the masses focused on simple matters, in an apparent attempt to avoid having to deal with a general state of panic. NASA is among the first institutes that people expect to react in the case involving planet Nibiru. Most of the general public is inclined to believe the story precisely because authorized individuals are reluctant to take any position in the overall state of affairs involving doomsday. NASA’s stance is however reasonable, given that it cannot simply engage in polemics with anyone that comes up with a story involving the end of the world. I have discovered that it is virtually impossible to determine whether something will happen in 2012 or not, given that although material evidence prove otherwise, there is a large amount of confusing information showing that matters are critical and that someone needs to do something in order to have people aware of what is about to happen in December 2012. I feel it would be best for society to focus on ancient Mayan documents instead of becoming paranoid as a result of reading unproven sources claiming that the end of the world is near. I will continue my research, but I now have a better understanding of history, society’s beliefs, and scientific data to better ascertain the question of: Will the world really end December 2012 or is this just a myth? Is the end near?

References:
Breznican, Anthony. (2009, July 24). ‘2012’: One final disaster for director Roland Emmerich. USA Today, p. C1.
Graham, J. (2004). Rave Culture and Religion. New York: Routledge.
Henderson, J. (1997). The World of the Ancient Maya. New York: Cornell University Press.
Leafe, David. (2009, Oct 27). “Will the world end on December 21, 2012? The unsettling evidence behind ancient astrologers’ claim and film they inspired.” The Daily Mail, p. 20.
McIver, Brian. (2009, Nov 7). “APOCALYPSE NOW; Dire Predictions of the Earth’s Demise.” The Mirror, p. 28.

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