Monday, November 16, 2009

In Class Proofreading Exercise, Shawna Blumenschein

In 1995 (check year of trip) our family took a vacation to Costa Rica. We'd traveled before in Mexico but that was always in the resort areas and never the "real" Mexico, as it were. That changed with our trip to Costa Rica. One of our activities on the first day was a bus tour of the capital city, Sao Paulo Jose (check that this is the capital). To say it was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement.

The bus took us through the downtown areas of Sao Paulo Jose which were vastly different from Canadian (speak broader, maybe? North America and Europe?) cities. There were bars on the windows of literally every building on the street. People milled around outside with the appearance of what most North Americans would call street people (expand on this, what did they look like?). The buildings themselves appeared dilapitated dilapidated, with garbage and grafitti graffiti in plain view. On the whole, most of the city looked and felt like what we would consider a bad neighbourhoods neighborhood that is rife with crime and poverty. Despite that, the people were all universally friendly and happy and seemed to take joy in the small, simple things in life.

Seeing a society and culture so vastly different from one's own stimulates thought. It leads to analyzing one's own life, city, and surroundings and asking what is really important. The citizens of San Jose clearly had less than the average North American family. But in their welcoming expressions and easy laughter it seems that they perhaps have more in terms of happiness and contentment. Maybe rephrase the last sentence. Look at whole paragraph to perhaps remove "one."

Writing to express was an easier and freer process than the evaluative reading. During the recounting of my experience I was pulling on memory and simply describing what I recalled. The evaluative reading required more attention and thought on my part. With every sentence I asked myself if there was anything to expand upon or if there was a better word, phrasing, or structure to use.

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