Class on Monday November 3, 2014

Again in class we did another experiment with our writing. We did a  free write on specific topics to talk about all in one story and they were cat, fuzzy, cube, reincarnate, button, and risk. I do not know how the rest of the class felt about this exercise, but I enjoyed doing it because it helps improve my speaking in front of other people. Everyone that spoke had well thought out and creative stories. After a story was read, Bill would ask one of the scholars what they liked about a certain someone’s story.  The stories had their different styles and each have a very important tool to use in all writing.  We talk about what was good and what we needed to improve at in our writing.  We talked about having good word choice as an important skill and introducing a problem. We need to get into our professor’s head. Thats something a lot of students have trouble doing in their writing.

You want people to get engaged in your story. Do not leave your audience to figure what the story is about.  When you put something you feel is important in an essay, you have to explain why its important. Doing these mini presentations helps everyone out, and the more we do this the more we learn and the better we get as writers.

The lab on Halloween October 31st, 2014

Almost everybody was able to get a costume and wear it on Friday morning for Comp 150. Bill kept his costume a secret on Wednesday and got me excited to find out  what he was going to wear on Halloween. The only problem was I had no idea what he dressed up as.  He wore a hat that looked like it belong to an elf and to go with that he had a bow tie and a tuxedo.  I never would’ve guessed that was supposed to be his costume. Luckily I was able to get myself a costume. I was dressed up in a skeleton costume, and at parties that night people ended up calling me skeletor. I liked the name so I went along with it. In class we went over our blogs  and Bill showed us some stuff that we had to know about. When we get Bill’s email we are able to show that we read his email by clicking on receipt, which proves people saw the message. We talked about about hyperlinks, how to set up our calendar, and even crop the background we use for our own blog homepage. Majority of people worked on posts that they had to type and also we had to comment on other people’s blogs.

It was a good day not just because it was halloween, but we learned a lot more about tools to get used to on our blogs. So for me, I didn’t work on posts because those were completed and instead I just messed around with my blog  trying new stuff to get used to.

The Halloween discussion on Wednesday October 29, 2014

Wednesday’s discussion got me thinking a bit on whether or not I was going to dress up this year for Halloween. Its been a few years since I last dressed up so there is a chance that I will have a costume. We had our discussion outside right next to the classroom, and the weather was great but when cars would pass by it was hard to communicate and understand what other people were saying.  Besides some of the distractions, we were able to get a good conversation on whether or not people are going to wear a costume on Halloween. We first talked about why people may not wear a costume. The costs, embarrassment,  extra effort, and it may cause a separation of people in the classroom. Molly made a claim that if we were to make an effort to dress up for halloween then we should get extra credit.  We decided to make a vote on that claim Molly made. Everyone agreed that the costume and the extra credit together were a great idea. It may have motivated people to do that because of the points.

We were only able to do this idea because  it had to be an academic reason for us to get points. If we come to friday’s class dressed up it shows we were understanding everything that was said in Wednesday’s class. If you participate in class then you get the points and I think that there will be scholars dressing up for sure and I’m curious to find out what Bill’s secret costume is.

The experience on October 27, 2014

The way class started off was not what I was expecting. This was the first time where we did an exercise on our abilities to just keep writing and writing. Bill gave us the chance to pick out any topic to talk about. I chose to talk about how the weather has been awesome here in Durango and I compared it to Chicago’s weather,  which  has some of the most bizarre weather out of any city in the U.S. This first exercise got me in a zone where I was able to be creative and write, and keep doing that until he told us to put down our pencils. It became a challenge for me when Bill asked me to read my story because I was never a fan of presenting information I came up with in front of people. I thought I was the only one who did not want to present in front of everybody. But then, there were a few others who didn’t present because their story was very personal or they tell Bill that their story was not exciting.

After that we did one more exercise where we talked about three of the same topics in our own words. Those topics were my left foot, candy, and the end of the world. At the end of the second exercise we did more presentations of our stories and you can see some of the connections people have to each other when talking about the same topics. Tyler and Molly both had a bunyan in their left foot. When we talked about candy, everybody made connections to the dislike of tootsie rolls that Bill brought in. When more and more people brought up the tootsie rolls, it always got people laughing and I think that whats made the connection within our class. We learn about each other’s stories and doing that got everyone in the class to talk and get engaged.

Connecting the Conversation to the World for October, 24, 2014

The Friday conversation got a lot of people involved, and the topic of discussion was on the word serious, but we started with the self assessment and talked about issues that we had on the paper. I thought about a connection I could make to the word serious that I thought about on Friday. When I’m in that class it gets me thinking about connections I can make to my own life. The word “serious” was something I was used to being around especially because of my school that I went to back in Hinsdale, Illinois. Hinsdale Central High School was known for the strict rules it had since they started winning awards for being the best academic public school in the state and also nationally ranked too. Everything we did in each of my classes had to be well thought out and organized. It seemed as if all the work we did had to be perfect. Yeah there were times where people laughed in class and we had some good times, but more than anything you had to take everything you did seriously at Central. The older I got the worst the rules and the seriousness of people had gotten. College was not too far and people were nervous about not making it into their dream school.

Being serious throughout all of High school changed my mood a lot during and after school. It was mainly an issue Sophomore and Junior Year because of the stress with the ACT , but being serious and competitive was not my style. I’m serious about school, no doubt, but from 8 to 3 in the afternoon, you start getting tired of going to school every day. I like how it is in College where you have an hour or two for one class then you go out and enjoy the outdoors. I get serious only when I’m in class or when I have to be in a certain situation. I have fun with college obviously, but at the same time its not just one big party, you have to be serious about yourself and where you want your life to be at in the future. As long as you take notes and continue to learn from classes, then your doing the right thing.


My thoughts on the conversation from October 24, 2014

I enjoyed the discussion we had on Friday. Bill had us at the front of the room in a circle like we usually do and we started off by talking about the self assessment. There were a few papers he changed the grades to and  at least to me, I felt he had to switch some of the grades up because of the weak energy we showed in our self assessment papers. He told us to write down that there are a number of scholars who are not motivated to do the self assessment or they do not show enough effort when they write. This was a wake up call that we all learned from, and from there moving forward in the discussion, we talked about the word serious. There were different ways of putting the word in a sentence. In question form,  you would say something like, ” Are you serious?” While another example sentence would be, ” I’m being serious stop tapping my shoulder its getting annoying.” These are some of the ways we get into discussions, once we pick on a word like serious,  we get each other engaged in the discussion by coming up with our own ideas of what the word ” serious” means.

I felt that Bill wanted us to realize that scholars do not turn in late assignments, and that we should be on top with everything we have discussed and learned about in class.  It makes sense to do that because  we are scholars and should be responsible enough to the point where we are serious about the class and get everything done with effort.

Class Notes: October 24, 2014

Notes to remember:

  • Looking forward to the self assessment at the end of the term
  • We are looking for a robust conversation
  • Bill wants all of us to help him
  • Students should be responsible for their own learning
  • Bill only changed 5 or 6 grades because of the self assessment
  • There are a significant number of scholars who are not motivated to do the self assessment or rigorous self assessment writing
  • How do I honor the roll that scholars have for their own learning
  • I want us to think together
  • Do not think of only yourself in this conversation
  • One of the things you have to do as a scholar is train your mind to take yourself out of the conversation
  • Collaborate
  • In the past, you were taught in education to believe your responsible for yourself
  • Will we continue these past habits in the future?
  • How can we fix it to where were motivated to work?
  • Do not turn in anybody else’s paper
  • How more rigorously you access oneself
  • genre: we want to think of a self assessment as a genre
  • Your learning about language.
  • Your learning about articulating a position
  • Your making knowledge
  • Ethan says were responsible for our own learning but we can help each other out
  • Scholars need to be turning their work in on time
  • How would serious be in bind?
  • Serious is the opposition of half-hearted
  • You should care, its much different than ability
  • Ability is having the set of skills to be good at something
  • Embrace an assignment whole heartedly
  • You want to pass and take tests seriously
  • Seriously hard and seriously messed up
  • Tyler said that when you say, “are you serious”
  • Am I to take this as an credible expression of your true intentions.
  • Are your intentions to turn stuff in
  • Are you serious? Question or interrogation
  • Date rape- a man raping a woman, could be vice versa, but in most cases men do the crime
  • I didn’t think she was serious when she said no
  • Andrew is making the connection between the way we use language.
  • A paper is a site for knowledge.
  • Its a site for knowledge because of how I read the words
  • You think wrongly when you put words on a paper that are fixed
  • If you think  your average paper is solid, that is a bad way of looking at it
  • Energy and motion keep the chairs up
  • Your words are  not solid, they are moving
  • Jessika says, we have to think about the reader when they first encounter a paper
  • Seriously Bill will lock that door
  • We would like to challenge the use of the term interpretation
  • Most of us hear the word interpretation as an act of reading
  • We are also interpreting when we are writing
  • Focus on listening
  • What you want to be able to do as scholars is take words or phrases and take the meaning of the phrase.
  • When you hear the word listening, its a part of what it means to be serious
  • Serious is an internal intention
  • Its a mentality and an attitude
  • Intentions are coupled with the sensations of listening
  • Context of the situation
  • A lot of different ways to think of a simple word
  • Those terms are acceptable in this class but most likely not in another
  • Do three posts in about 4 hours
  • Bill is trying to work us so that we talk, we recall, we write, and we connect
  • When your not able to connect the world around you, then you don’t take class as serious
  • I liked how we used the word rigor and learning
  • We should care about these words we use

Emily Strasser: Bridge the academic/ personal divide

Emily describes what we have to do as scholars perfectly. We were told by Bill to put ourselves out there in conversations. Emily talked about how students now a days are taught to work very had during the week and have fun and party on the weekends. She brings up her middle school teacher Janna, who taught everyone in her class to write in the way that shows their own creativity and ideas. Its not about having the best grammar and punctuation. That seems to be the mentality that everyone has nowadays, and it puts a lot of stress on people to be the best. The only thing people worry about is looking good and speaking well,  and usually when people have discussions, its the best students at speaking that talk and have the ideas. Those other students who are quiet  sit back and listen and act like their learning and feeling confident in themselves. Your not actually learning until  you put yourself out there and give your own insight. Doing that will make you a better writer. When you use someone else’s ideas your not using your own head to come up with ideas. Using someone else’s ideas makes you almost like a robot. You’ll never be good at something if you don’t put yourself up to the task and be vocal. You want to learn from others, but on top of that you want to add to what other people say. It shows you understand the discussion and that your getting better as a scholar. Your expanding your mind and thats what you want to do all the time. Emily says that people should talk more about the positives than the negatives. Doing that will make people confident and get everyone communicating and put people in the right direction for better writing.

Malcolm X: Learning to read

Being a black man in the civil rights era was a very rough time when the white race tried to take advantage  of every minority in America. Malcolm X was a leader of the civil rights movement and  brought himself up to fame. He never had the chance to get educated under the white man’s ruling, so he read and got educated in prison. No one tells a better story then Malcolm X about why prison was the best place for him to read and get a better understanding in life. He said that he rather be in prison learning to read than at some random university. He was taught under the nation of islam the by Elijah Muhammad, and he was one of the only men that Malcolm listened to because everything he said was true about reality. I liked the history lesson that he talks about on how the white men were the real devils in past history. From the slave trade in America, to the Opium War in China, it really  made the white men look evil. Malcolm learned all what he talks about in prison. He said many of the books in the library are ancient, and it has so many different books, and a lot more than your average college library. In prison you don’t have many options, you either fight through it to survive or you try to find an outlet, like reading books to help improve you as a person and give you a chance of freedom. Malcolm kept reading and thinking all the time, and it made him who he was in the future.  I give all my respect to Malcolm putting his fight against the white men during one of the darkest times in U.S. history.

Victor Villanueva’s story

Victor really has an interesting story. I thought it was impressive how he was foreign to the English language, and was able to make it through the Army and also from community college to the University of  Washington. For a lot of people its a struggle when they don”t know the language everyone around them is speaking. But like it says in his story, he was able to learn from the different sounds that people made. He had his son with him at home, plus he was at school and working a couple of different jobs too. Me personally I could never go to college and be able to work at different jobs and  take care of a kid. Victor had his own way of getting better at everything he did. Everything he worked at, he did on his own. In his classes, he got better at it the more he pushed himself.  Victor worked hard to get to where he’s at now as a professor of Rhetoric, even being foreign to sounds he never understood, it still did not stop him from learning the language and becoming a scholar.

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