I’ve transferred faculties a few times during my stay at the University of Waterloo. Things have mostly worked out in my favour, and I haven’t had to spend much time redoing courses or catching up. But when I reentered the Faculty of Mathematics, the communications requirements for the faculty had changed. All of a sudden, I was required to take two additional communications courses.
Naturally, this did not sit well.
I explained to various faculty members and administrative staff the fact that I had already passed the ELPE and that I would really appreciate it if I didn’t have to pay for an additional two courses. After a great deal of complaining, the faculty decided that the ELPE could count as one of the two required communications courses. I cut my losses and started looking into the course that I was going to take.
Originally I wanted to take the fluffiest course available, but I eventually decided on a course that sounded somewhat useful. The course I decided to take was ENGL 119.
From day one, I enjoyed the course. The class size was different from what I was used to, and I met some awesome people. The complete change of scenery from my other courses in MC is what I ended up looking forward to each week.
Our first task was to send a professional email to our professor regarding our goals in the course. My main goal was to improve my public speaking skills. I wrote about this in my last blog post. In the end, I think I reached my simple goal. I practised my presentation skills and felt a little more comfortable in front of an audience.
But I learned so much more from ENGL 119.
I finally learned what a comma splice is. This term has been thrown around so much during my lifetime but I have honestly never known the precise meaning. I blame my education in the French Immersion program for not knowing the basics of the English language. All of our classes were in French, other than our English class, which was mostly focused on the analysis of certain literary pieces. Anyways, I’m pretty sure what a comma splice is now. Whether or not I can use this newfound knowledge in my own writing is a different story.
On a more serious note, the rhetorical triangles taught me a great deal about formulating arguments and presenting information. Similar information had been taught to me in high school, but not to the same effect. You must build credibility as a person and as a speaker; you must use techniques to stir the audience’s emotions; you must use concrete evidence and logical ordering to present your arguments. The pillars of persuasion went further with me than just applying them to our assignment writings and presentations. I think these pillars represent a large part of how to become a respected, intelligent human being. I am now finding myself thinking in terms of these ideas and trying to compose my thoughts based around this structure.
All in all, I really enjoyed ENGL 119. My only wish now is that I had more time and money to enrol in additional communications courses!