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Quintanilla 1 Francisco Quintanilla Dr.

Lynda Haas Writing 37 11 March 2014

Moving Forward Writing 37 has taught me many things to improve my writing. In Writing 37, our topic was the Sherlock Holmes series, we focused on critical reading and rhetorical analysis of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's text and its genre conventions. More specifically, we studied its four stages: primitive, classical, parodic and revisionist. The primitive stage introduces a new genre to the audience. The classical stage is the peak of popularity for the genre, so the audience knows what to expect. The parodic stage follows and the genre is well-known, so many humorous parodies are developed. Finally, the revisionist stage creates modernized revisions of the genre through television shows and texts. Our class mainly focused on the classical and revisionist stages through Conan Doyles Sherlock Holmes novels and modern-day television shows and movies that share the same genre convention. The class began with three-minute introductions of each student. These introductions were to learn about each other before we broke off into groups for the remainder of the quarter. During my presentation I was calm, luckily I already knew three people in the class, so I was not in a room of strangers. In my presentation I spoke about the most important things in my life: Family, Education, Honesty and Soccer. After the presentation I felt welcomed into the classroom, everyone was respectful and paid attention while I presented. This was the beginning of my journey in writing 37. After our introductions the class split into five groups to focus on different modern-day television shows and movies; House M.D., Psych, Sherlock Holmes films, BBC Sherlock and Elementary. My group focused on the USA network series Psych. My group consisted of Esteban Aceves, Selena Mercado and John Sedaros. Before the groups went into the modern day analysis we had to first,

Quintanilla 2 understand why Conan Doyles Sherlock Holmes mystery genre conventions was so appealing to people. We first learned that the Conan Doyle was from London and lived in the late Victorian Era. This explained why the Sherlock Holmes series was based in the Victorian Era. To further understand the Doyles text we analyzed Victorian topics; Victorian Scientific Approach, Victorian Culture, the Victorian Empire, Victorian London, and Victorian Criminology. My group focused on the Victorian Empire and presented about Queen Victoria, the reign of Britain at the time and the changes that happened in the Victorian Era. This was our first presentation so everyone in the group was curious to see how it went. When we finished presenting, we felt confident that we had done a good job. The smiles on our face were quickly wiped away when we received feedback from our classmates. Our classmates said our presentation was monotone, we had wrote too many words on the slides, and we did not have any audience interaction. Our professor told us our presentation was too much of a lecture. Once we finished the reading the novels we worked with our groups again. This time we read one of Conan Doyles short stories. Once we read the short story we had to present to the class a summary and point out mystery genre conventions and us quotes from the short story to support the conventions. This presentation prompt was straight forward, it let us know exactly what the teacher was looking for. Although the prompt was specific, in my opinion, this presentation was more challenging than the previous presentation. Prior to this we had been finding the mystery genre conventions as a class and this time we had to find it with our group. I was not as confident with this presentation because I had a feeling we were presenting a wrong mystery genre convention or we picked the most obvious conventions. This presentation aided me in learning more about conventions and how to find conventions on my own. Our last presentation as a group was the modern day text presentation. As a group we saw four episodes of Psych and we each picked one specific scene to present. In this presentation we were required to introduce, summarize and provide details of a rhetoric situation and give examples of

Quintanilla 3 mystery genre conventions that are similar to Conan Doyles original Sherlock Holmes series. This presentation was the most fun. We had to watch four episodes of a comedy-mystery television show. Watching the episodes was entertaining, the only problem I had was to stop watching the show. After we saw the episodes we got together as a group and began putting the PowerPoint together. For this presentation we made sure to correct the mistakes we made in the previous presentations. We focused on having more pictures than words, keeping the audience engaged and at the end we had an activity with the class. After every presentation we had a reflection blog to complete. These reflection blogs focused on our habits of mind; habits of mind are: curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition. Throughout all the presentation I was engaged and always creative. I was always involved in the assignments and I always tried to create a different way to do things. At first I was not open with my group members. I did not really pay attention to their ideas, I just wanted to do the things my way. Over time that changed because I realized my group members were also trying to receive a good grade so they had to try their best. I noticed that throughout my presentations I was always curious as to why we were presenting things and that kept my persistent in the assignments. The main habit of mind that I always take into account is responsibility. I always have a fear of letting people down, therefore I always try my best do what I am assigned to do. The habit of mind I feel I developed the most was metacognition. I was constantly looking for mistakes I made. I knew that if I corrected my mistakes my presentations would be better and my group would receive a better grade. The class was also responsible for reading two of Conan Doyles novels, The Sign of the Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles. After reading each novel we took a reading quiz, these quizzes made sure we read the novels and understood them. In the first reading quiz I did not take any side notes, I just simply read the novel and I thought I would do fine on the quiz. I later realized I was not fully prepared

Quintanilla 4 to take the quiz and my grade reflected it. I began to think about what I could do better so I would be prepared for my next quiz. I began to ask classmates that did well on the quiz what they did to study for it. Most of them responded that taking side notes made the reading a lot easier. For the second quiz I realized the importance of making side notes; it simplifies the reading and when referring to the book in an analysis the side notes remind you what happened in a certain part of the book. When it was time to take the quiz for the second novel I made sure to study my side notes frequently. I remember receiving my grade for the second quiz, I was relieved that it was better than the first quiz. The class then went into writing academic essays. In the first essay we had to show where an important mystery genre was in one of the stories and explain why the convention is important to how the story is read. The second essay was to find a mystery genre in the modern day text and to analyze similarities and differences between Conan Doyles text and the modern television series by analyzing the characters and the way the television series was filmed. While analyzing the mystery genre in both essays, I learned that although the mystery genre may seem different from the original mystery genre, the original genre remains the same, it is just modified to suit its audience. I decided to fully revise the second essay, because I felt I understood the prompt and I enjoyed writing the essay. My greatest strength in the modern day text essay is my introduction to the topic and the analysis of the film production; I was thorough and provided many details about how the use of camera lighting and zoom effects how the film is viewed. My greatest weakness in the modern day text essay is I had too many grammatical errors. I had to fix the grammatical errors because minimizing mistakes helps the essay flow smoothly. In the first essay I was lost and I did not feel it was my best work. The paragraph I chose to revise in the first essay was the second body paragraph because the purpose of this text was to analyze the text and I did not have any analysis in the paragraph. Writing these essays guided me to further develop curiosity, persistence and creativity. While analyzing Psych I continued to be intrigued about the

Quintanilla 5 writer of the show and I found that the writer was a UC Irvine graduate. When writing the modern day essay I had to be creative when using a novel approach and be able to tie different points together. Throughout the class we constantly worked on connect modules. These assignments were meant to see at what level our writing skills were and strengthen them. The modules refreshed my memory to English and Writing classes I took in high school. The modules reminded me when to use a conjunction, when to make sure the comma is in the right place, how to use semi-colons and to organize concrete sentences. At first I felt the modules were a waste of time, I thought I could just do them fast and not really pay attention to the topics, because I felt I was not going to use them in my writing. While revising my essays I noticed I was using the topics in the connect modules. I began paying more attention to the modules and suddenly found myself using semi-colons, using adjectives and making better concrete sentences. Now that I look back on the modules, I wish I can continue doing them just to keep my mind fresh and practice. During the preparation of the RIP Seminar Vincent, Esteban and I created the outline for the introduction of the seminar. While preparing for the seminar, Vincent named me his assistant director, this meant I would read the scenes and proof read any mistakes I saw in the script for the murder mystery skit. I also helped Vincent organize and shoot the little videos we played to explain how the murder actually happened. During the actual seminar I played the role of the villain/murderer. Overall, I feel our class did well. We seemed to have a lot of fun and most importantly the other class seemed to enjoy it. The introduction to the presentation went smoothly. During the skit the actors did a good job of improvising when lines were forgotten. Although the presentation was great, there was still things we could have done better. One mistake I saw was we could have made the transitions in between scenes smoother. Secondly, actors could have memorized lines, and not had to rely on improvisation. Lastly, I believe the class could have finished this project sooner so we wouldnt have to rush at the end. Earlier in the semester I wrote about how I felt I had improved in openness, persistence and responsibility; but

Quintanilla 6 now I feel I have improved in all my habits of mind. While having to summarize information for the introduction the class had to use creativity and openness to identify what key points would keep the audience engaged and what facts needed to be stated that would reflect on our class. While creating an original mystery play we needed to use flexibility, persistence, creativity, openness, curiosity, and responsibility. We needed to input everyones ideas, set up times to rehearse, make the play engaging to the audience, and everyone had to be responsible for the part of the play they were creating.

In Writing 37 I learned many things that will help me in the future. I have recognized the importance of genre conventions and the role they have in text. The most important lesson I learned in this class was developing my habits of mind, if I maintain those habits and constantly work on them I will be successful not only in writing classes, but in all my classes. The habit I feel I need improve the most is Metacognition; being able to reflect on my learning. If I am able to reflect on my learning and understand where I am in my process of becoming an overall communicator. As Writing 37 comes to an end I take what I have learned and I know I must continue practicing my writing, because that it how I will keep moving forward.