Gentner, Jonathan M./COMP -150-FALL2014

What I learned In class 9/25/2014

Today in Bill’s class we talked a lot about the word ‘try’ and what exactly this word means. What does it mean to try? What does try mean to each of us individually in the class?  I think that the reason we spent so much time working to come up with a definition for the word try is that we have to take more time to stop and notice the words that we use in everyday life. If we go on using words everyday that we really don’t have any meaning for then the words do exactly that: they have no meaning.

It is important to pay attention to our diction when we are writing. If people were to spend more time thinking about what they said before they actually went and said it then the world would probably be a much better place. It happens too often in society that someone goes and shoots their mouth off to the wrong person and ends up in a world of hurt. I know that is a very general example, but really if people started spending just a little bit more time thinking about what they were putting out in life then our quality of culture would definitely increase.

Another thing that we talked about today in class that I thought was interesting was the concept of ‘context’, or contextual situations. Context is a very important word to keep in mind when in a scholarly setting. It is very important because you must remember what context you are in at all times. If you don’t think about where you are when you are being outspoken. You could say the wrong thing and offend someone which could in turn start a whole negative sequence of events. This is a very important concept to keep in mind not just  in scholarly situations, but in everyday life.

Apart from talking about just the literal meaning of the word try, I think it is important to actual spend a moment to look at the word ‘try’ and its importance. Try happens in everyday life, every time we do anything at all. it is as much apart of our life as water or food. I think that words like ‘try’ that we use or rather should use in everyday life really lose their true value to people.

Misconceptions/Conceptions of Writing

  • The first misconception that is addressed in this section is the idea that there are a specific set of rules that hold true universally, in any situation. This is a bold statement and a huge misconception because the rules of writing vary depending on the context of the situation. Basically, the rules of writing are ever-changing based on the authors audience and reason for writing.  The true conception in this paragraph is the idea that, the rules of writing are completely dependent upon three things. The audience to which the author is writing, the authors exigence, and the context of the situation.
  • The second misconception is the idea that any author can display knowledge without putting ‘spin’ on the facts. This is not true because a persons background and past experiences will always influence their psyche, thus influence the ways that they present/ view information. The Conception in this paragraph was, that writers and reader construct meaning together. This way the author and reader can both obtain their  own ideals about spin without being conflicted.


  • The next misconception is the statement that literature inherently ‘means’ something no matter who is reading it. This is a totally false statement because anyone can simply fly through the text without absorbing anything. But, in order to add meaning to a text you must be able to read the text and also absorb and comprehend the information which you are reading. The more accurate conception that was added to this paragraph said that different people can have different meanings associated with the same exact text. This again goes back to the idea that humans bring past experiences into everything we do, so two totally different ‘feelings’ can sprout from the same text.


  • In this paragraph, the misconception was that you can write a text objectively, or without putting any of your own experience into it. The problem with this idea is that, like I stated above, we bring our past experiences into everything we do. So for someone to foolishly believe that they can undergo a project like writing a work of literature without putting any spin on is well, preposterous. The more accurate Conception is that we as humans, drag our past experiences into every aspect of our life. So, using this logic, we would never be able to write a whole text being completely objective or unattached.


  • The next misconception said that it is obvious when writers borrow from other writers in literature, and these people should be stopped and punished. This is far off from the truth, the fact is that nearly all writers these day borrow from  some existing literature, whether they know it or not. The more accurate Conception is that there is so much existing literature that it is impossible to write something without partially ‘plagiarizing’ . Now I don’t know if agree with the statement that it is impossible, but in our day and age it is very hard.


  • The last Misconception is actually a fallacy. It is the belief that your quality of writing is completely dependent on your level of grammatical skill. This is a huge fallacy that people hold true to their work even at a college level. It is quite false however because a persons grammar and their level of content are not really dependent on each other at all. The more accurate conception is that writing is about sharing meaning and information, or simply getting things done. These rules actually hold less or more meaning depending on the context of the situation and the audience.

What I learned on 10/24 and how it transferred?:

Friday in class i was very “Out of it” because i had not slept any the previous night. But mainly what i took away from the conversation on Friday is that we as scholars have to take responsibility for our own learning. I thought that this was a pretty good topic but I’m not sure that i entirely agree with everything that was said in class. I do agree that it is a students responsibility to reach a certain level of academic rigor. But on the topic of Mid-term grades, i do not believe that one’s self assessment paper should be able to greatly harm their midterm grade, especially considering that the paper had no set guidelines.. I had to get this off of my chest because it was occupying my mind throughout most of the class on Friday. But other than learning about academic rigor i cannot say i learned anything else substantial, unfortunately.

Our conversation on October 24th was all about trying, rigor, and putting forth effort. We determined that in order for someone to put forth their entire effort they must actually care about the subject, assignment, game, or whatever else we are talking about. I believe that this concept is very important and can be transferred to nearly everything that we do in our everyday life. If you do not care about anything when you are going through life then you become apathetic and quit putting forth any effort- this can be very dangerous. I think that this conversation served a purpose of reminding myself and perhaps others that when we are going through life we must try not to become non-caring. I don’t think that I learned anything spectacularly new in class today, but I was sure reminded of how easy it can be to lose focus of what’s ahead and stop putting forth your entire effort. I took a lot of what was said today in class to heart, and I hope to keep what I learned in mind throughout the rest of my academic career.+


Connections can be made all around us in everyday life. Connections are what help bridge the reader to understanding anytime he or she is reading literature. Connections can be the differance between completely understanding material or not understanding it at all. Many different types of connections exist, but the type that we were talking about today in class are the connections that we make between material that is learned in different classes. Making connections between math, science, history, writing, and many other subjects are what help to advance technology on a daily basis. If these connections are never made than nothing else can ever really change.

It is important to remember however, that making connections can be very difficuilt and can effect people in very different ways. What i mean is; two people sitting down in the same math and science classes can hear the same two lectures and interprite them completely different. The first student could have picked up nothing out of the ordinary about either lecture. Meanwhile the student next to him has simultaneously rough drafted an invention that could have potential to stop climate change. This is a very extreme example of how being able to make connections can effect not only the individual, but the world around them.


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