I arrived to class late today. When I entered the class room, it was quite, which was very unusual because normally there is noise from the class discussion, which should have been in full motion already. All my classmates had their heads down facing their notebooks and their hands were busily scribbling into their spirals. My eyes wandered toward Bill who was standing at the podium located towards the front of the class room. Bill responded to my questioning eyes by telling me to write about anything I wanted in my spiral with one exception; I had to writing continually for ten minutes. Although I had already missed part of that time, I sat down, took out my notebook, and began writing words on my paper.
I managed to write a whole paragraph concerning the weather and my dog before Bill told the class to stop writing. The class was told to switch seats and then we were given three topics, which were our left foot, candy, and the end of the world, to write about. My mind locked onto the first topic, our left foot, and I started thinking about what I could write. I wasn’t very creative with this topic. I wrote about my sock and shoe that was on my left foot at the time. I connected the star on my shoe with Texas, the Lone Star state, and from there I poorly transitioned to the topic of candy. Then I made a jump to the topic, the end of the world.
After the writing time was up, Bill asked a few people to come to the front of the room and read their stories. Bill was surprised that many of us wrote about each topic separately instead of using all the topics in one story. I found it hard to relate the topics to one another, since the topics were so different and didn’t seem to have any connections. But that was the point of the exercise; to make connections and build relationships.
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Writing About Writing, pg. 4-5
1) Misconception: There is a set of grammar rules that should be used on all writing.
1) Conception: The rules of writing vary with the context of the writing like who is reading, the purpose, why are you writing, and what you’re writing about.
2) Misconception: You can write without passing yourself into the paper.
2) Conception: When you write something, you are putting it down the way that you understand the information.
3) Misconception: A text has a set meaning.
3) Conception: When reading a text, everyone who reads it has their own understanding.
4) Misconception: It is possible to write objectively without adding any personal style.
4) Conception: Everything about writing is personal like the words you choose, because you learn from past writings.
5) Misconception: Differentiating between your own writing and another’s writings is easy.
5) Conception: You can’t avoid using language and ideas that have come from others, but when you use another’s writing you must make a citation.
6) Misconception: To be a good writer you must use proper grammar.
6) Conception: Proper grammar is used so a paper is easier to understand, but to be a good writer your paper must have good content.
We sat in a big circle at the front of the classroom today. Ben Miller and Eljin Gorman were sitting on either side of me. Bill started off the class by saying “What’s about not even trying?” To answer Bill’s question, the class began a discussion of the definition of try. We all looked around at each other while thinking of the definition. Then we went around the group circle and everyone said what they thought the definition of try was. Everyone seemed to have a different meaning of the word try. The words pursue and attempt came up a few times when describing the definition. Although, Bill claimed that “to pursue something sounds different than trying something.” I realized that it was hard to obtain a clear definition of the word try.
Bill figured that between all the class members we had 279 years of education. Still we couldn’t come to an agreed definition of try, because as Bill said “We have been socialized to not think”. The meaning of a word depends of the context it is used in and the facial expression used when the word is said.
I decided that the definition of try to me is: To attempt to achieve a set task.
In today’s class, our topic of focus was making claims. What is making a claim? Well, when you state something you are making a claim. To back up the claims you make, you need evidence proving that the claim you stated was true. So, all day everyday people make claims and then support the claims they made.
What does making claims have to do with geology? In the geology field, I will be studying rocks. I will need to identify any rocks I find. If I pick up a piece of limestone and claim “This rock is limestone,” I am going to have to prove it. There needs to be evidence to back up my statement. This could be done by comparing the rock to another limestone rock or I could analyze the rock’s mineral composition.
The reason that making claims and then proving them to be true is important in geology is because geology is a science. In science, you can’t just take things at face value. You have to dig deeper to find the truth, so we can know what the Earth was like in the past.
Today, I met with my group which consisted of Tyler, John, Katie, and Jennelle. We decided to meet in the lobby outside of our normal class room. I wasn’t happy about this, because there are no computers in this lobby. I do not have a laptop. I would have preferred to meet in the library or a computer lab, but the rest of my group insisted on meeting in this spot. I think that it is easier to use a desktop computer when you are in a group. Katie brought her laptop with her. After everyone arrived, we all stared at each other asking what we were to do. Katie started up her computer. Katie then checked her email and then read the email Bill sent. I felt we weren’t accomplishing anything so I left. Next time our group meets, I think that we should convene at either the library or a computer lab, so we can use two desktop computers.