About Me

My name is Savannah Watkins and I am from Virginia. I came to Lenoir-Rhyne University to not only continue my education in getting an degree in Engineering, but I also came here to continue my track and field career. I have been running track since middle school, throughout high school and now in college. In track and field, I have done just about every event. I sprint, hurdle, jump and throw. I have enjoyed being at LR to run track here so far. Another hobby of mine is cars. I love to work on cars and drive cars. In high school, I took an automotive technology class and gained much more knowledge about cars. I also earned some certifications in certain areas of a car. Back at home I would always go out with a group of car friends and drive around and go to car meets.


Photo Credits: Sportsfotos

Semester of Fiction and Fantasy

Savannah Watkins

English 131.03

Professor Lucas

April 29, 2018

Semester of Fiction and Fantasy

A course devoted to multiple reading assignments that I would have never read myself opened my eyes to the different perspectives of writing. Some of the assignments were quite challenging for me to comprehend when trying to see events from another person’s perspective. The best thing about reading these assignments in English 131 is that the teacher would read along with us. Just like how I was new to this novel the teach was as well. As a student, I IMG_3254can have trouble reading difficult texts, but in this class, I allowed myself to read Swing Time by Zadie Smith which was quite difficult for me to grasp.

While the book was difficult to read, the events in the book were more searing. As the writer wrote about the life of two young girls, she put realistic situations in their lives. Zadie Smith would go in depth when it came to relationships with family and friends.

Along with the young-adult readings I read, am also able to relate to some situations and understand them more. While the two young girls in Swing Time were coming of age and going through adolescence I was able to relate to when they were in their teen years. An article “Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature” by Caroline Kichener relays multiple messages of people explaining why young-adult literature is popular by many. As Kichener gave multiple explanations about young-adult literature, it made me value reading YA even more. Kichener informed us that by reading young-adult fiction that people can taken into another world while (even as an adult) we are still coming of age. I would recommend young-adult literature to many people due to the fantasy and fictional moments it can have that bring back more relaxing and creative ideas.

From reading young-adult literature novels also made reading my classmate’s essays interesting. It was fun reading the different essays that the students wrote about shows, movies, poetry and books. The essays were all different and gave different insights of everyone’s life. From the poetry writing to the films helped me think about the creativeness that other students had. I enjoyed reading what everyone was interested in. Not only did it open my eyes to more literature, but it opened my eyes to more ideas about the different types of work students put in.

Not just giving feedback to other classmates, but receiving feedback was very helpful. It helped me think about more what I should watch when I write whether it is a small fix or a big fix. Even though teacher’s ideas and feedback are helpful, when multiple students are giving feedback to one essay they can help find problems that not all teachers can find their selves. When having another person read my essay helps me understand what I do wrong in my essay and what I can make better. By having another person read my essay also helps get a different perspective on my essay to make sure it makes sense. From receiving the feedback from the other students made me more aware of my planning and drafting. If I want my essay to make sense, it should be planned and drafted accurately.

After reading the essays in class, reading the novel Serafina and the Black Cloak made it even more fun to read. The fictional novel had moments of fantasy and gothic horror that made the novel fascinating with moment of suspense. From all the texts I have read this semester, this book had to the best due to the fantasy and creativeness this book had. The people that surrounded Serafina gave much suspense in the book as well. As she is trying to find who the man in the black cloak is, the people around her give a mystery of who could it really be and why would they take kids away. “Serafina watched the doorknob rotate a quarter turn and then came to a stop with a click of metal on metal.” (Beatty 177) The text provides textual evidence of how the novel is suspenseful. Throughout the book she comes close to meeting with the man in the black cloak, but he seems to slip away each time until the end. I thought it was quite interesting to keep reading on what was going to happen next. Robert Beatty wrote the book in a mystery sense to make readers keep wanting to read. “You mean a heroine,” Mrs. Vanderbilt said. She put her handout to Serafina in the fashion of fancy ladies. Serafina quickly tried to remember what she’d seen young ladies do in these situations and did her best to approximate the motion of shaking her hand. Mrs. Vanderbilt’s hand felt so soft and pillowy and clean compared to her own, and so different from the sinewy tautness of her mother’s hand.” (Beatty 288). When reading this passage, it made think of how fantasy-fiction novels normally have happy endings. The novel starts out with a regular girl as she finds out who she really is and ends up saving the day. It felt good to read a book with a happy ending as we end this semester off.

Reading the novel, Serafina and the Black Cloak, was a great book to end the semester. It wrapped the semester up from starting with Swing Time then moving on to more of young-adult literature that became easier to read and fun. The articles that were read in between the two novels related to the books we read. They gave insight on to what we were reading about but did not actually talk about the book. While not only reading short articles and novels, reading other classmates essays helped make the class interesting make reading more interesting. Throughout the class, I was introduced to multiple types of literature with different viewpoints and ideas.

Works Cited

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the Black Cloak. Disney/Hyperion, 2015.

Annotated Bibliography

Beatty, Robert. Serafina and the Black Cloak. Disney/Hyperion, 2015.

Serafina and the Black Cloak written by Robert Beatty is a fictional story about a girl who is being kept a secret from the world but finds out there is more about her than she thought. Serafina realizes there is more to her because of how she looks and her senses. A man in a black cloak comes out at night and haunts the house taking kids. Serafina is determined to find the man in the black cloak. Throughout the time of finding the man in the black cloak she is also finding herself and who she really is.

Collins, Billy. “Snow Day by Billy Collins.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46707/snow-day.

Billy Collins writes “Snow Day” explaining how a snow day has closed everything and the narrator is inside but then going outside. Billy Collins describes the look of the town when the snow covers it. As parents stay inside to stay warm, the kids go outside to play in the snow.

Kitchener, Caroline. “Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 1 Dec. 2017, http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/12/why-so-many-adults-are-love-young-adult-literature/547334/.

In the article Why So Many Adults Love Young-Adult Literature, Caroline Kichener had various people talk about the different reasons why adults enjoy reading young-adult literature. While people can see young-adult literature made for young people, people offer various examples of how young-adult literature can make an adult feel.

Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/muscling-in-on-the-term-paper-tradition.html?_r=0.

Blog vs Term Paper by Matt Richtel explains the difference between blogs and term papers. It talks about the challenges college and/or high school students face. The article explains how blogs are more enjoyable because they give students more freedom since they do not have any rules to follow. Term papers are not as interesting as blogs because they are formal and precise.

Smith, Z. (2017). Swing Time. Londen: Penguin Books.

Zadie Smith wrote Swing Time in which she talked about the different relationships between friends and families. The book started with the two brown girls being young then growing up into full adults. Throughout the book the readers can see the adolescence the two girls go through. Both girls love to dance but only one of the two girls are actually good.

Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Mar. 2018, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/.

“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation” by Jean M. Twenge talks about how the reality and relationships have been destroyed from this generation known as iGen. In the article, Twenge explains the teenage generation has completely changed from how teenagers were before. iGen is safe but due to the amount of use with Smartphones and social media the generation is in danger.

Annotated bib

Swing Time: Parents

In the novel, Swing Time, Zadie Smith introduces two young, brown girls with different family backgrounds. Parents play a big role in the novel with their kids, with each other, and with other families. The narrator and Tracey are treated and raised differently, and when they come together it can be either a fun time or a bad time. As both girls enjoy spending time with each other, the parents do not approve of each other nor the friendship that Tracey and the narrator have.




IMG_1053The narrator’s mother is more knowledgeable and has a set mindset on things. The mother is very stable when it comes to financial situations, politics and even her look. She has ambition. She has a career path ready for her, she is educated, and has a husband. Whereas Tracey’s


mother was the opposite of the narrator’s mother. She was very obese, and she seemed as if she did not take care of herself. Unlike the narrator’s mother, Tracey’s mother wore a lot of jewelry. The mother was not financially stable compared to the narrator’s mother. She tried to get on a disability check, so she can make more money which would make her seem competitive and cheating towards the narrator’s mother. Tracey’s mother had no ambition to d


o anything but to spoil her daughter with everything and anything because she was “her only joy” (11). Bother mothers had a man in their lives, but the narrator’s mother was married to her daughter’s dad. Tracey’s mother had a boyfriend while her real dad was in and out of jail.

The narrator’s mother and Tracey’s mother were different when it came to raise their kids which made the mothers disapprove on their friendship. Tracey was spoiled and got to do almost anything she wanted. The narrator knew that if she did any of what Tracey does her mother would not approve. As Tracey’s mother is encouraging Tracey to watch as much TV as she wants and influences her to dance. It was clear that Tracey was the better dancer and that her mother encouraged her to show it off. The narrator’s mother did not approve of her daughter dancing. She thought it was a waste of time since she was not a dancer but tried to become one. The narrator’s mother was feminist (9). She believed strongly in young black girls to do something with their lives.



While Tracey tries to give her opinion to the narrator, the narrator pushes it to the side. The narrator is close with her mother. She listens and takes in all the advice her mother gives her because her mother strives for the best. At a young age, being friends with Tracey was fun but sneaky. Many things Tracey was allowed to do, the narrator was not. As she got older, the narrator started to listen to her mother more. She started to move away from Tracey and from dance to find herself. The narrator was able to go off into school and find a more fitting lifestyle all from her mother’s advice. But soon the narrator rebels against her mother. The narrator went on her own path in life and did things that her mother did not approve of.



Both girls go through problems with their mothers. From a young age, both girls were all about their mothers, but as time went on and things started happening and the relationship between them and their mothers as well as both Tracey and the narrator start to deteriorate. The narrator’s mother is the most vivid character as she gives her daughter positive, influential advice and wants to see her prosper. From living in the streets as a middle-class black woman, the narrator’s mother knew she was not going to stay there, and she wanted her daughter to do better. She wanted her daughter to live a better life. The novel was able to show us good and bad motherhood and how it effected their kids growing up.