Another semester has reached its end. Another class I’ll no longer attend.
The last 12 weeks were rather refreshing for me. Up until this semester, I’ve always had a rigorous math course to round out my term. Whether I was taking a statistic, calculus or an algebra class, the math student in me was always put to the test. However, this semester, I decided to dedicate my term to courses that met my degree requirements, but did not require me to memorize a theorem. I just could not do it 5 terms straight.
It was my desire to take a (needed) break from problem solving that led me to taking this class this term. I was skeptical about doing an English course, even more so when I saw the course outline. However, I stuck with it and I am glad I did.
Looking back at the first email assignment, I remember telling the professor that I struggled with creative and informal writing. I was never good at the former and probably never will be. Yet, with the latter, I think I can see improvements since I’ve left high school. It may be because I started keeping a journal 2 years ago. I plan to humor myself reading about my youth decades from now, and so, I’ve spent the last 2 years writing journal entries with a bit of wittiness that may have sneaked its way into my blogs. This course gave me a good chance to measure how much my informal writing has improved in that regard. Hopefully, as I continue to make journal entries, I’ll continue to improve. Like the professor said, writing is a muscle.
Maybe, I’ll be able to flex one day 💪🏾.
For me, the biggest taking away from this course was the rhetorical triangle. Back in my first blog, I spoke about how communication, to me, is simply getting your idea across with clarity. However, I never considered, “why should the audience receive my idea?” I’ve only been writing to be graded up to this point in my life, so for me, if the writing was coherent, a teacher would read and grade my work according to predetermined guidelines. In the real world, I guess I would have had to demonstrate to my professor, in my writing, why they should bother to continue reading my work. Can you imagine getting an “F” because the first paragraph of your first-year paper had a comma splice that put the grader in a bad mood? 😱 Imagine if students could not get higher than a C on oral presentations if they said more than 2 “ahs” and “ums”.
(My exact expression typing that last thought. Luckily, it isn’t the case. 😅)
Going forward, I aim to present my content and myself in a way people would want to receive, instead of relying on them having too receive my content.
While the rhetorical triangle is my most memorable lesson from the course, for me, blog writing was the most enjoyable aspect of the class. Again, it gave me chance to measure my developments since high school. But, more than that, these blogs are genuinely fun to write. Well, they are fun to write when my ideas are flowing. Sometimes, I’d open my laptop and get distracted by the wonders of the internet. You can only imagine my deflated optimism when I’ve gotten past 20 minutes of writing and only needed 3 hours to do so. A “productive” session of me writing a blog can be described below.
I want to draw focus to the bottom 3 points of the pie chart above. One of the biggest challenges for me in this course was overcoming writer’s block. More often than i would like to admit, I just could not make strides in my writing, regardless of how focus I was. It was rather disheartening at times. In retrospect, I wish the course briefly touched on ways to combat the condition. My hat must be taken off for those in the class whom are able to write at will. That said, I was able to complete my last blog, and so, I’ll pat myself on the back 🙂.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to say, the group presentations left a lasting impression on me. All of the presenters did well, but some were exceptionally good. I wonder if the really good presenters had any hurdles at all putting their content together. Like I said in my second blog, my group-mates worked hard to beat our initial odds and for that, I wish them success in this course and others.
To the class of Engl 119, I say goodbye.