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Throughout the course of the semester I feel that I have grown as a student, writer and person. English 1103 has truly been an experience that I wasn’t too sure about to start with. This class has been different than any English class I have taken before. I think that this not only has to do with the instructor but how the class was taught. It involved a lot of my own opinions and feelings with more open-ended questions instead of a strict rubric that needed to be followed. Some of the assignments I didn’t fully understand the purpose of and all of the reading from the textbook got tiring but, in the end, it was worth it. The classroom work ranged from free-writes to informal writing assignments to major assignments that were worth half our grade. At first, I didn’t see the full purpose of the in-class writing but I feel that I have found some meaning in it. I enjoyed doing the free-writes each class because it allowed me to go beyond what was discussed in class and let my mind wander. These writings gave me the chance to think deeper than I could have before. One thought led to another which led to another and so on. I now see the reasoning behind doing them after each assignment, it really did help to see where I could have improved or what I really thought about what I wrote. Before I knew it, I was writing about things I had never thought of before. The in-class writing gave me the opportunity to think through different angles when tackling major assignments like the Topic Proposal and Extended Inquiry Project. The Informal Writing assignments were also very helpful. We did multiple assignments including an Interest Inventory, Peer Reviews, and Annotated Bibliography Search and Rescue. The assignments gave me the chance to expand on my knowledge on the various elements of the course. Each of the informal writing assignments linked with a major assignment which helped a lot for background knowledge. The Annotated Bibliography Search and Rescue aided me a great amount with the
Annotated Bibliography assignment and navigating through Moodle. Before this Search and Rescue I was lost when it came to Moodle. I became very familiar with the resources available and knew exactly where to look for help with each assignment after this assignment. Another thing I found extremely useful were peer reviews and group work. By having the opinions and thoughts of another incorporated with my own work it gave me insight to where I could make improvements. The feedback wasn’t negative, only suggestions that helped me as a writer. “No one writes alone” is something I remember from the video we watched before doing the peer reviews which is completely true. As a writer I occasionally struggle with getting right to the point I am trying to make. In the peer reviews this was pointed out in my Extended Inquiry Project (EIP) which helped me understand where I needed to concentrate my revisions. It was simply suggested that I omit a few things and work on making fluent transitions from one paragraph to another. I’m not always an outspoken person so doing group work helped me a lot with speaking my thoughts. I find it easier to speak my mind in a small group compared to a classroom of people. The work with my peers helped me to not only say my thoughts but, also, get directly to the point I was trying to get across. At the beginning of the semester I was very nervous about the EIP but after seeing how it was broken down it became easier. I really liked how the assignment contained different components which led up to the main assignment (EIP). The Inquiry Process was one that I found more difficult than I thought I would. It was difficult because I didn’t know exactly where to start and then, when I found my topic how far I would be after to go with it. The Interest Inventory we were to complete for an Informal Writing assignment helped me a lot. It gave me an idea of what really interested me and the different directions I could go with the topic. After I found a topic, genetic engineering, it became easier to find out where I wanted to go with the idea.
The Topic Proposal was an assignment that I found fairly easy to complete. After choosing my topic it was easier to do research on it. I knew where I wanted to go with my topic which also made it easier to write. I feel like I put a good amount of work and information into this assignment to clearly state what my topic was. If I could go back and change anything about the assignment, it would only be that I started it sooner. I thought it would be a simple assignment but it required a lot of time. The Annotated Bibliography was one of the most difficult assignments I have done in the class and even University. It wasn’t that the assignment was actually hard, it was just a lot of work and I found it very uninteresting. I had the hardest time just starting it which led to it being started at the last possible moment, the night before it was due. I think part of the reason it was so hard to was because I had no idea what an Annotated Bibliography was. I can summarize, tell you how the information is important to me and find out information about the author, but do citations? I had never heard of a citation before in my life. Then, when I finally started the assignment I regretted waiting to the last minute to d it. It took so much time to read through all of the material and do research on the author. Then, trying to put it into MLA-style, which was a problem all on its own. Thankfully, I stayed calm. I logged onto Moodle, read, reread, and reread the supported documents multiple times until I finally understood how to correctly do the assignment. Even though the assignment was very lengthy I can see the importance it has after completing it. It is important to know who the source is and what makes them credible, as well as, what importance the information has to you. The Extended Inquiry Project was an assignment that turned out to be easier than I thought. When I heard it must be at least 7 pages in length, I started to have a mini heart attack. But, after I began writing and found out it was to be double-spaced, 7 pages came easily. Doing the Peer Reviews and Margin Outline helped me a lot to see where I needed to make changes to my essay that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I was actually surprised at how well everything worked together. Each
assignment before the EIP laid “ground work” for this assignment which helped a great amount. The Annotated Bibliography helped with the works cited page, the Topic Proposal helped with obtaining a starting place and the Inquiry Process was something that carried on throughout the assignment was I continued my research. After each minor and major assignment I feel that I have grown as a learner, writer and student. I struggle with trying to get right to the point but it is now easier to catch myself when I’m doing it. I still tend to leave assignments till the last possible moment but I am working on that as well. I feel that my ability to see past the words I’m reading has improved through daybook entries. By being able to look beyond what is written in front of me and look for a deeper meaning I feel that I will be able to learn more. With an open mind, as a teacher, you never stop learning and when you never stop learning your ability to teach improves. This English class has helped me think more about my future as a teacher and how I want to teach my students. I wasn’t very confident when doing the in-class writing assignments or assigned readings during the beginning of the semester but I feel that as the semester ends, that has changed. Each has given me the chance to grow as a thinker and a questioner. After analyzing the various readings and doing the Annotated Bibliography I have started to think more about what I am reading and what it means to me. I know wonder who has written the article I’m reading and what makes them qualified, how this information will help me and do further research on the topic. This is what I will take from the class. At first, I thought this class was going to be a waste of my time and money and that my instructor wasn’t going to take anything seriously. It turned out to be the very opposite. In the end, the class proved to be interesting and helpful, not always productive, but still helpful. The joking and the laughter made it a more comfortable place to be that I didn’t mind waking up at 8am to go to. The given days off didn’t hurt either. I will take this class as a learning experience, as everything in life is. I will look
deeper into the meaning of assignments, readings and my thinking. I will try to get my point across quicker and try to start assignments before the night they’re due, which I will start after this assignment. As a future teacher I want my students to be able to express themselves in a way that expands their learning. I want to give them the chance to take an assignment and run with it, in which ever way they feel is the “right” way. I will give basic instruction, and if questions are asked I will provide feedback, but I want to allow them to think on their own and find deeper meanings. I now feel as if I know as much as I can about genetic engineering at this point in time and question everything around me. I want to thank you for a very interesting semester. I believe you are someone that has made a positive impact on my life not only as a student, but as a person.
P.S. Your jokes are funny, people are just too nervous to laugh.
Sincerely, Kathleen Morrison
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