10 November 2014, Reading Strategy

Reading Strategy

            This is my first experience with approaching reading with a strategy. And, I will also say that reading is not a strong suit of mine, as a matter of fact, I’ve never been a good reader. I wasn’t asked to read as a child and just never really read anything unless I was asked to for school. So, I have a bit of an uphill battle and I’m going to need to step up my game to get up to college reading level. I am pretty confident that the system developed during this project will help me do just that. I followed the instructions, developed a plan, a writing strategy, a way to tackle the reading and I think it helped.

The reading was incredibly difficult for me so without the strategy I may not have retained any of it. It literally took me 1.5 hours to read the first 8 pages of the assigned reading while utilizing the new strategy. However, Mangrum has stated on numerous occasions that this book is a difficult read.  Additionally, for me, the history and the tiniest details of rhetoric outlined in the article are not typically the kinds of things I’m interested in. I am interested in the overall big picture of research and rhetoric and this goes for most things in my life to this point. I’ve never been much on intricate details of any subject so I think the specific reading itself contributed to the difficulty for me. But, like I said I am excited to attack all of my readings with this strategy. I have already started using it in my other class and it is helping me to retain information. So, I am grateful to have learned about the benefits of having a strategy for reading! And, because reading is a bit of a chore for me anyway I feel that this strategy will have a positive impact on my reading skills as a scholar here at FLC and in my personal readings as well.

4 October 2014, Reading Strategy

Reading Strategy

             It has been said that, to have an action plan or strategy for reading can help one to learn and comprehend more of what they read. I’ve never followed any kind of strategy but I’m willing to give it a shot. This is what I’ve come up with. First, I feel it’s necessary to be well nourished, so I’ll make sure that I have plenty of coffee in me… Or on a more serious note: Make sure to have some food before I begin to read or study because it’s necessary to be well fed with the proper nutrients for maximum brain performance. Then, I’ll begin with getting my space organized; I can’t think well when things are in disarray, so I tidy up my area. I usually read sitting up straight on the couch with some couch pillows around. The pillows help me to position the book so I don’t have to hold it the whole time. Next, something to drink maybe a cup of tea or coffee or maybe just water. And, finally, I just get comfortable. At this point, I have everything I need with little distractions and I can begin to read utilizing the strategy outlined below.

Before I read the text start to finish, I’ll read an introductory portion of the material. For me this is simply reading from the beginning until I get a good feel for what the material is about. Then, I’ll skim through looking for important data trying to pick up the direction of the piece with key words and then I read the last page or two to get a sense of where the reading ends up. The last thing I’ll do is read the assignment from start to finish adding in annotations as I go with either questions or paraphrasing. Based on some information I heard earlier on this semester about how humans learn:  It seems to me that annotating is an additional way of entering in information into the brain and this will help when I need to access that information. It said something like: The more ways we can introduce information into our minds the better chance we’ll have at being able to access that information when we need it. I feel this strategy will give me a better foundation for reading, comprehending and then being able to utilize that information to achieve a certain goals.


2 November 2014, computer Lab experience

I was thinking...Hummm I wonder how to writie a blog?
Camping trip, Animas River, 2013…I was thinking…Hummm I wonder how to writie a blog?

On Friday, 31 October 2014, Halloween, our COMP 150 class was asked to meet in the Computer lab in EBH 07. In costume. Mangrum, asked us to pay close attention because we had a lot to cover. Basically, we were going to learn more details about blogging so that we can begin to step up our game when it comes to writing and blogging.

First, we learned how to utilize the widgets and we posted our calendars so that we can easily see when our posts were published. Next, we learned how to go specifically to the COMP 150 / SEC 12 blogs, so we can access and comment on each others blogs. Basically, when you’re at the main FLC blog site, you go to “sites”, then click SEC 12, and there we are! Then, we were asked to make hyperlinks to each others blogs by highlighting the name or words, clicking on the chain link icon, and pasting the URL for where you  want the link to take you to in the pop up box. And don’t forget to check the “open link in a new window/tab” box so that you can remain on the page you started from.

Finally, we learned how to set up the header and customize our page by clicking on appearance, then header, then up loading, cropping and positioning the picture we want.  This was the just of it and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of these tools which will ultimately lead to better blogs.

31 October 2014, Perception & Maturing as Researchers and Rhetors

Perception & Maturing as Researchers and Rhetors

     During everyday conversation we make moves to prove our points, to get our way and to convince people that we are right.  For now we wont get into our incessant need to be right, rather this pertains to the art of research and rhetoric. As was mentioned in our outdoor discussion by Bill Mangrum on Wednesday, “rhetoric is about figuring out who your audience is, what you want them to do and using language to prove your point”. He also said, “you need to stake a claim, give evidence and prepare yourself for rebuttal. These are basic moves that we all learn at a very young age and now that were scholars in college, when writing a paper, we need to be more grown up about it, subtle, sophisticated, detailed and convincing”.

Believe it or not, this something that were all, already, pretty darn good at already! Most of us, until recently,  just didn’t know what rhetoric was, so how could we know that were good at it. We’ll if you think about how we handle even the most mundane conversations, were almost always trying to prove a point in order to achieve something. For instance, during that same discussion outside last Wednesday, Gunther Ott, with out thinking “I’m going to paraphrase here” ,  paraphrased a conversation he once had with his mom about wanting to raise some ducks in his room. Gunther, provided many reasons why this was a great idea and eventually convinced his Mom.  Gunther proved his point and he “got what he wanted”. While telling the story Gunther mentioned that he was trying to “get her to let me” have something. So you can see here that in simple every day conversations we are making arguments and trying to get folks to do what we want. This is, in essence, what Rhetoric is about.

Before Gunther asked his Mom he had already figured out why this was a good ideas, he had done his homework. He had put the time and effort into research about the ducks and what it would take to pull this all off. He had evidence to back up his claim that it was indeed a great idea. Then, he presented his evidence, argued his point and got his way. All because of the preliminary research he had done, when it came down to it his Mom agreed that this was a good idea and let him have what he wanted. However, had Gunther done the research and determined that maybe this wasnt the best idea, based on facts, he could have changed his stance.

This is another area of research and rhetoric that was discussed on Wednesday. Often students set off into research and the writing of a paper thinking they already know what they want to say. But, as scholars we really need to be prepared to change our stance if the research leads us in a different direction. This is part of the maturation process; letting go of being right. If were obsessed with being right all the time (which we never are) then the most true and relevant information will not get out. And, therefore, chances are, we will not be able to prove our point to an educated readr or audience.

So, were taught sets of basic communication skills at a young age and as we learn about language and grow as individuals we enhance our communication skills. We build on what we initially learned then based on what we see works and what doesn’t, we begin to develop a more advanced way off communication and proving our point. This is for the most part unconscious, we just develop ways to be better communicators. And, now that were in College, in a more professional, mature environment, we need to call on our most advanced skill set when it comes to language and communication. In order to produce writing projects that exhibit a scholar at the collegiate level it is necessary to utilize all the best, most relevant and current skills we have. This includes recognizing that we already possess these skills and have unknowingly become proficient at them. It’s all about perception! We perceive that, “well yeah, I can talk and communicate just fine” but when we break it down, were actually, already, good at research and rhetoric we just havent perceived it that way.

28 October 2014, My Left Foot, Candy and The End of the World, Making the connecting

My Left Foot, Candy and The End of the World, Making the connecting

            During class today we were asked to just write for fifteen minutes, no stopping just write about whatever comes to mind, don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or sentence structure. The point is to not stop writing for fifteen minutes, just keep writing. This was an interesting assignment and I wrote about something that I have wanted to begin doing to enhance my writing abilities. It had to do with taking additional steps on my own to learn about certain intricacies of language and grammar. I was able to write non-stop for the entire fifteen minutes pretty easily but I did not know I was going to ultimately read it aloud to the class. I’m curious, if I had known that I would be reading this to the class when I was done, would I have written something else, or would I have worded it differently? Not sure, but, the next in class writing assignment was to write about my left foot, candy and the end of the world for twenty minutes. The ultimate lesson in this assignment was; how well are we making connections in our writings? It was said that professors are a little tired of reading papers from freshman and sophomore students where they fail to make crucial connections with in the writing assignments. That was the purpose of this assignment, to see how well we make connections and to help us begin to see the importance of this in all of our papers.

I could be wrong, but I feel pretty confident that I am not having difficulty with connections. I wrote two papers sponateously today and made some decent connections. The first paper was, for the most part, all about  the topic of me wanting to enhance my writing skills with additional research outside class, on my own. I didn’t waiver from that topic until the very end after I stated my intention, and how I planned to achieve my goals. I then wrote about my hand being sore from writing for so long, how my penmanship was better when I write slowly and that it seemed like while writing slower my ideas came through more vivid and concise. Although, I think the point of this particular assignment was not necessarily about connections but more about building confidence in our creative abilities, so that when it comes to deciding what to write we understand that its best to just start writing and what we need will soon flow. We can always go back and edit out the parts that don’t work or fit into the piece. The point is that ideas will flow more fluidly when we just begin the writing process.

My experience with the next in class assignment was also rewarding in that I wrote a piece and made connections to all of the subject matter. Although, it didn’t necessarily flow in the first draft, I did, however, come up with some good content and made subtle connections. This wasn’t a conscious choice though. It just kind of naturally happened as I was writing. It felt more right to take what I was currently writing about and blend it in with the next topic because that would allow me to not have to stop and think about my next move. I just began to think a little ahead towards the next topic and I naturally came up with a way to tie the first, second and finally the third idea all together. Knowing that there was a possibility that this would be read out loud but not knowing that the ultimate lesson was about making connections in our writing, here is what I came up with…

So, I have a pretty decent left foot. It wear a size 9.5 or 10 depending on the manufacturer. There are many different kinds of shoes that my left foot likes to be in, like tennis shoes, Chuck Taylors, sandals, house shoes, flip flops, fly fishing boots etc…Although my left foot is sometimes uncomfortable in my fly fishing boots, overall, my left foot is willing to bear this discomfort for the ultimate good and enjoyment that comes when my fly fishing boots are on. However, I am unable to eat with my left foot. Some folks might be able to but I cannot. But, if I could eat with my left foot I would most likely start by eating candy. I do not eat much candy and not being able to eat very well with my left foot is probably a good thing. I wonder though, if there is a possibility of creating a left foot candy eating world championship? The person who ate the most candy with their left foot would be crowned champion until the end of the world. Hopefully, that left foot candy eating champion would hold that position for a very long time. I heard that the next meteor that has the size and therefore possibility of ending the world is scheduled to hit earth in something like 2226. At that point the earth may no longer exist as we now know it. But, does that mean the end of the world? What is the end of the world? I’m not sure that anything will every actually completely destroy planet earth. So hopefully the left foot candy eating champion of the world could just move to a different planet and continue his reign.

Looking back through this writing, a silly as it is, I can see that I somewhat abruptly tied in the subjects. But, I put down the frame work or the dots. With this in place,  I’m pretty sure, with a little editing and restructuring that I could make it flow a little better with better continuity between the subject matters. Thanks to these assignments, I have more confidence in my ability to write spontaneously without stressing about where it’s going to go. I know that I can just begin writing and it will go. Then I can go back, add more, edit some, make connections and re-write for a pretty decent paper.

Serious as it relates to the transference and connection of information between classes and life

Serious as it relates to the transference and connection of information between classes and life

            Fortunately, I see where a lot of what I’m learning in COMP 150 /SEC 12 transfers to my other class. Not only do I see where the information can be beneficial outside the class but I’ve been utilizing the information and applying it to my other class and it has improved my learning and comprehension by doing so, thus, improving my grades in that class as well. I can see where the information will continue to be of benefit in future scholastic endeavors too. And, it has already helped me in my life outside college.        When this semester began, everything was so new to me that I wasn’t utilizing the information received in COMP in my other class. I was simply trying to figure out where I needed to be and when I needed to be there! But as I began to figure that out and get into a routine with school, I was able to see more clearly. Initially, I wasn’t taking as many notes in my business class because I hadn’t been asked to in the way that I was in COMP 150. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for it to set in that “Oh, I should be taking what I learned in my comp class and utilizing it here in this Business class as well”. I also hadn’t been engaging quite as much with my class mates either. As I began to take more notes, utilize what I had learned about formatting papers and writing in general, I began to see my learning and comprehension increase. In addition, we were not directly asked to participate and interact with each other the way I had been in COMP, but here also, I realized the need to utilize what I had learned in COPM as it pertained to class and group participation.  At mid-term I have an A in that class and I’m sure that I the connection of information between the classes contributed to my success.

Unfortunately, the same is not true when it comes to transference the opposite way. In other words, taking information from my Business class and utilizing it in my COMP class. That may simply be because of subject matter not necessarily going both ways. Although, I know for sure, that I am being educated in a completely different way in my COPM class. I feel that most of the information I’ve learned is transferable to many different areas of school and life. However, that being said, I have taken information learned in Business and connected it to situations outside the class and it has been of benefit to me because of my background and interests outside school.

Thanks to the information I have received in my COMP class, I have a better understanding of how to simply be a scholar. I have been instructed to take any information that is pertinent in other areas and use it in those areas! Not to say that I wouldn’t have eventually done this anyway but being urged to do so has sped up the process of integration across all areas of my life. Obviously, being a good writer transfers and connects to many areas of life, especially when it comes to school. So, naturally, I’m utilizing my new, improved, research, rhetoric and writing skills to benefit me in my business class. But, I can honestly say that I never even conceived that I would be so fortunate to receive such amazing teachings on how to simply be a scholar. I am very grateful for having received such teachings from my COMP professor (Bill Mangrum) and I plan to continue this transference and integration of knowledge because I am serious about getting all I can out of my education. If one only uses this information to pass tests and get better grades then, you can be a good test taker and good at school but if you want to learn and grow as an individual and you care about who and what you’re going to be when you grow up then you will take this information we are so fortunate to receive at FLC and you will apply it to every area of your life that’s pertinent. This is serious business so take it seriously!



Serious in the context of COMP Class 150 /Section 12

Serious in the context of COMP Class 150 /Section 12

Serious for me relates to the way in which I’m looking at my new endeavors as a scholar. And, my life in general from here on out for that matter! But when it comes to this class in particular, I am sincere in the way I approach it. I try not to miss class as, I try to participate and engage as much as possible. Being a scholar is new to me so I am just trying to do everything that is asked of me.  I need and appreciate the guidance of someone who knows what it means to be a successful scholar. So as I said I am taking what’s being taught seriously and doing what I am asked. I am making an earnest effort to write and rewrite, edit and re-write for the best possible presentations. I am making an effort to engage with my class mates both in and outside class. All of this seriousness is making me more proficient at school. Thankfully, because, my collegiate career is not a game, it is not a trivial pursuit. I have specific intentions for being here! Or, to quote our Precious, Precious “serious means; not messin around.” Class notes. Oct 24, 2014.                                                           Also, Its necessary to take into consuderation that I am fortunate that I’ve already had my time to mess around. Now, It’s time to get down to business. I’m not getting any younger so I’m ahead of the game when it comes to motivation! In closing Id like to ad that I did go ahead and look up the definition of the word serious. But, it did not come from the suggested dictionary.  I’m hoping this one will do… I’m sure you can tell that I tried to utilize as many of the words in the definition as possible in this short essay. And, the reason I’m keeping this short is because I am trying to lower my anxiety when it comes to the time I have been allotted for time on task. Being that I have another essay to write in only an hour, It is important that I cut this a little short.

Thanks for listening!

Serious:                                                                                                                                     1. Grave in character, quality, or mein; sober. 2. Said or done in earnest; sincere. 3. Concerned with important, rather than trivial matters; weighty. 4. Requiring extensive effort or consideration; difficult. 5. Causing anxiety; critical; dangerous.  The American Heritage Dictionary 1979

24 October 2014 Class notes

– Bill states were not quite where we want to be still with our writing when it comes to formatting. We need to pay more attention to detail with the formatting.

– Ex: COMP 150 / SEC 12

– if you put something in italics then it doesn not go in quotes. Turn signals are connectors, the let people know you are about to make a move. When in italics… its a book but quotation signals quoting a source.

– Be consistent, if your not sure what to do then always make sure to be consitent in your decison.

– If refering to a person whos name is the same as the book do not italisize

– Scholars name

Profs name

detailed about  class

then date…

Mangrum in essays, font size 11, times new roman.

Where were going during the last few weeks …were going to blog

Blog structure

– 1st post notes from class, do not elaborate.

– 2nd can only occur a minimum of 4 hours later (the great pause) you can and will see and think about things differently. Write about the word serious as it relates to writing in this class. How does it relate to our class discussions, note taking, self assesment, etc…

*look up serious in dictionary*

– 3rd write a second essay again with at least 4 hours in between the last posting. How does the word serious relate to the whole of my eduction experience. Connecting the wrod serious to all the different parts of my acedemic career. Connections are at the heart of a liberal arts education.Transference… conections, higher education how to make parts of all classes relavant to others in some way. how can we connect the parts? Write the essay about connection between all aspects of education, life in general and other classes.

– I didnt get anuthing out of that class

– That class was a waste of my time

– I’m never going to anything with this

– I’ll never use any of this

_ The conversation to give rise to the blogs

– Pushing to understand how language works

– Pushing to tease out the suttleties and different nuancies in language

– pushing against commonly held assumptions about what writing is. In the process were developing ideas as critical thinkers.

– Were also learning how difficult it is to write

What does the word serious mean?

– Precious  initially  says that she doesnt know, then  says after listening to someone else that its when someone is not kidding around. Bill says do you see what she did? she looked at what is not… the opposite of something.

– Serious is different than kidding around

– Luke says its solem attempt to accomplish someting

– Bill is serious, if you can expand the word then you can expend the sentence and you can expand the paragraph and then finally you can expend an entire essay

– Sydney thinks of a humorous way of thinking about it. are you serial? or serious Texas BBQ.

– Leighton, focused or determined

_ CJ says its a tone, when laughing is not welcomed. her job as an author to create a serious tone so that the reader feels that joy and laughter is not appropriate.

– Amy- diciplined

– Me, its a way of communication something important with a sense of conviction.

– Carlie, Batman- why are you so serious Batman? showing hes deep in though.

– Sam says seriuos going towards a goal with a motivated and driven mindset.

–  Noreen says legitimate or passionate

– Lunstin  Lopez says a full bodied attempt to accomplish soometing

– Justin says its an emotion showing the magnitude of a situation….Bill then says an emotion that matches or rises to the magnitude of a situation…Bill changed the words paraphrased.

– expression of something of importance

– 4 hours total so plan acordingly…

– Bill is pushing us towards how common, ordinary word have a particular meaning in my head but that when someone reads my writing they have a different meaning in their head. they dont have my meaning in their head.



Feedback on pages 1 through 11 in “Writing about Writing”

Feedback on pages 1 through 11 in “Writing about Writing”

Well I have to say that I really like where this text is going because I do not have a significant amount of patience when it comes to small, intricate and mundane details. And because of that writing has frustrated me at times. Granted I only finished 9th grade but still, while learning to write by trial and error in the business world I heard so many conflicting opinions about how I should write; it really was discouraging. But the text, writing about writing seems to discount some of those misconceptions and makes it a little more creative and free depending on the particular situation. This opens up my eagerness to learn about language, grammar, writing and rhetoric; I actually had a sense of excitement while reading these insightful eleven pages!

One thing that stood out for me after re-reading those first eleven pages was that some of the grammatical situations I had always been told were in-correct were actually used in these pages. For example: I saw commas being used before and and so which I thought you were never to do as well as beginning sentences with and or but. This was interesting for me because I had seen it done in books but for the most part when I did these things in certain business related writings I was told that it was not correct to do so. I guess those few people I worked with had these certain concepts of writing that they had learned somewhere but that were not necessarily relative to all situations. Maybe they were relevant in those situations but it’s nice to know now there is some freedom when it comes to writing.

Another thing that caught my attention is the fact that the rhetoric of writing and language is actually a technical skill! I was told in another class the exact opposite! The professor asked “what are some technical skills” and the class responded with the typical type of technical skills, then I said “communication skills” to which she replied: no, that’s not a technical skill.  On the contrary, I believe that really good and effective interpersonal communication skills are a huge asset to any organization and that to become proficient at it requires all of the same kinds of study and continual practice that any other technical skill would. It was interesting to see how quickly I could relate the content of these pages to events and writings in my past.

In closing, because of this reading assignment my overall feeling for what lies ahead for me in this class and all of my future writings are enthusiasm and eagerness. But, I’m wondering how these new constructs about writing will affect me in other classes where they don’t necessarily follow this more free and creative writing philosophy. I guess I’ll have to really get an understanding for how each professor teaches and then utilize the particular constructs for writing that fits his / her style. Ultimately, this seems like a real pain in the you know what for Scholars but I understand how and why it’s come to this and I will still do the best I can in each individual situation.


27 September 2014 Experience of reading aloud with group

Experience of reading aloud with group

The project was for us to get together as a group and read a few pages out loud. Then to re-read the same pages but each of the readers was to read a different section than the one they originally read. I found that the particular book we were reading was a little bit difficult to read and the font size and spacing made it even more difficult for me. Over all I feel it was a good learning experience and it ultimately will be of benefit to me and my class mates.

Our group was missing Justin but we gained a member with the addition of Leighton and Katie, Mitchel and I were all present. Before we started the project we had a quick collaboration on exactly what was expected so that we had a clear vision of what to do in order to proceed. We each obviously had different notes from class about the particulars of the assignment so we all added some input based our own notes and came to a conclusion about exactly what to do.

We decided to read one page each then switch so Mitchel began then Katie then me and then Leighton. We read almost three pages each and I found that my recollection of what I read was even less than that of when the others were reading. It seemed like we were all having trouble with reading this particular text aloud. We each had some different comments about what was causing the difficulty and the majority of us agreed that, for various reasons, it was a difficult read. The font is small and the spacing was too so just the physical act of following the words from line to line was difficult. Then ad on the difficulty of the content itself and at least for me I retained very little of what the eleven pages were about.

I’d like to ad that because of the time restraints we were unable to each get a second read. When we finished the first read there was only fifteen minutes left so in order to get some experience with breaking down sentences we decided to go ahead with that and skip the second read. I am sure this contributed to my lack of retention of the text but we all agreed that we wanted to get some practice in with restructuring sentences. We chose the sentence on page 6 of the text. It reads: Engineers and English professors might look at the same piece of writing and, because they value different qualities in writing, have conflicting opinions on whether it’s good writing or not. It was my initial intention to restructure the sentence using the same words then to go back and see where we could use different words or phrases to have the sentence say the same thing. But because of time restraints we just forged ahead and began to come up with new words and phrasing right off the bat. This is what we came up with: Because Engineers and English professors value different conventions; they may have opposing opinions regarding different pieces of writing.

In closing I’d like to say that even though we did not complete the assignment as it was laid out I feel like more practice with this will be very beneficial to us as scholars and I hope that we get more opportunities to read aloud in a group setting. I feel like it will be very important for my fellow scholars to learn to feel comfortable with themselves and to feel confident when others are directly watching them. I think that lesson could be larger than the specific teachings on writing we are in the midst of.  There were some significant eye openers in this lesson / project and I feel like there is now even so much more about reading, writing, comprehension etc…that I still have to learn but I am excited for the challenge!

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