Reflective writing can help you to improve your analytical skills because it requires you to express what you think, and more significantly, how and why you think that way. I hated everything about it: the slow background instrumentals, the corny lyrics, the big hair.I didn't know who the singers were and felt like I had nothing in common with them.They were real spurs and a necessary part of their job.Surely, I thought, he was lacking in sophistication. In talking with him, I learned he had a graduate degree in animal husbandry from a major university and ran his ranch at a profit, using as much technology to manage it as he needed. Western life was not a bucolic way to hide from the real world. This quiet rancher provided a good portion of the local meat for the region, a complex and ongoing responsibility.To encourage thoughtful and balanced assessment of readings, many interdisciplinary courses may ask you to submit a reading reflection.Often instructors will indicate to students what they expect of a reflection, but the general purpose is to elicit your informed opinions about ideas presented in the text and to consider how they affect your interpretation.Once I crossed the Bay Bridge and started exploring the East Bay, I discovered a bit of ranch life.Just a few miles away from my son's school were several ranches, their locations made even more obvious by the ranchers who strode into the town's smoothie store, wearing their 10-gallon hats, well-worn cowboy boots, and spurs.I owned a dog, but I didn't know anyone with a pickup truck.I had had my heart broken, but I didn’t cry any tears into my beer.