Category Archives: Course Notes

November 3rd

Writing short stories with randomly picked words isn’t as hard as I imagined it would be, Its all about having imagination. in this class we talked about word choice, rearrangement, and the five cannons that cisero made; invention, arrangement, style.  I think learning these different tips on writing are definitely a lot of help.

something else that we talked about was introducing problems, not exactly making them fully known, but having a little bit of mystery before and after the problem. A lot of people including myself try to take up space on a paper with a quote and not doing anything with the quotes. We have to lead people to and from the quote. working our papers so that the quote goes a long with our paper, not just tossing it in. we also talked about audience, paying attention to what their interested in and also what catches our attention. Location means a lot we all want to know when and where. Building tension, adding problems, good description, and paying attention to when and where, were the tips that I got from this class.

My Class Notes: October 24th


  • molly made the claim that if we dress up we should get extra credit, the reason being we would put forth  more effort, their could be additional costs, or we could be embarrassed, some people might judge other people, some people aren’t planning on dressing up, some people might think their too old to dress up, some people may have classes before this class and can be considered a distraction,
  • arguments are everywhere, we are making claims constantly
  • counter claim, rebottle, giving evidence as to why not
  • making claims and providing evidence
  • Rebecca made the claim that judgment and embarrassment aren’t the same
  • The reasons being for dressing would be because its fun, because its Halloween, its not socially acceptable to dress up any other days of the year, personal desire, it could be funny, we could get extra credit for it, to show off our costumes, make connections with other people wearing costumes, its a tradition, or it could be not a tradition for some people and they want to change that, getting your cost worth out of your costume, or to join into the festivities
  • counter proposal because as a scholar bill needs to be able to give an academic reason for points that are given
  • those who show up in a costume on Friday to show that we understand the arguments for and against the argument we had today, and that we engaged
  • an academic argument is back and forth, get a half letter grade bumped up on the final self assessment
  • we have reasoned discussions with people all the time to get what we want
  • participated and learned from this conversation
  • we have to develop the skills of paraphrasing
  • understanding is followed by proof


  • put in a good chunk of time on blogging
  • todays notes
  • essay can be developed from these notes
  • writing is connected to talking, your writing will improve when you pay attention to the way we talk


Making Connections

We make claims everyday, I say I’m tired at least once every morning, and that right there is a claim. But we don’t always provide evidence or ask  why, or why not. The difference between this conversation and the world around us is that people don’t always care to ask why, or to ask people to give us evidence. The connection that they have is that we make claims everyday, everybody does it. We don’t always notice it, but its there. The thing that I have learned from this class is that to be a scholar is more than getting information, its having that information and digging deeper, going beyond a search engine or a textbook.

Thoughts on October 24th Class

a lot of the time we say things or write things that we mean, but other people don’t understand. People take our writing out of context everyday, I’m glad that we talked about this in class because I feel like this is probably a really big problem in college writing. Learning to pay more attention to the way we write things, and the effort we put into writing.

we also talked about self assessing ourselves, and how to make it better. I feel like the solutions that everybody had to improving our self assessments were great ideas, I definitely didn’t have motivation for the self assessment, and I needed to care more about it to take it more seriously. My intentions were to only get the paper in and not improving.

we also defined serious, and their are a lot of different meanings to the word. i like that we do try to define simple words because we notice the difficulty of it. Even words that are so common to us take time to define, and once we get used to defining these words, it’ll be a breeze to do later in life.


My Class Notes: October 24, 2014

  • Get back to the assignment on activity theory
  • blogging
  • looking forward to self assessment at the end of the term
  • looking for a robust engaged conversation around self assessment topic, students should be responsible for their own writing
  • some people have no motivation to do a rigorous self assessment
  • don’t think of yourself, distance yourself from thinking of yourself doing the self assessment and not doing it or not turning it in
  • collaborate
  • Andrew Owens said how can we fix things so that people are motivated to turn in the work
  • Josh Plutts said to work on fixing past habits
  • Tyler Scott said to learn how to more rigorously assess ourselves
  • genre; think of self assessment as a kind of genre it asks for a particular kind of writing
  • Jonathan said to work on taking self assessments more seriously
  • were not just killing time to the extent that you engage were learning about language, how to articulate position, and making knowledge
  • Ethan Beussel said we are learning to take responsibility for our own learning and want people to work together
  • joey said to get more involved with the conversation
  • Marcale Kaskalla said to work together and engage in learning
  • Raelynn Torres said that when we dont turn our papers in on time that its not very scholarly of us.
  • Janelle Mitchell said to take more responsibility
  • how would serious be embodied
  • one of the most helpful ways to get a general look of a word is to set the word in opposition to another
  • half hearted, rigor, to do something to the best of your ability, having a sense of care for something
  • examples of the way we have heard the word rigor
  • Andrew came up with the example of when we were kids and someone was bothering us and we would say “seriously, stop”
  • Joe Breummer said that if we want to pass then we know we have to take it seriously
  • Ben gave the example of when something is seriously hard or seriously messed up
  • When your parents tell you that your grounded and you ask are you serious, am i to take this as a credible action of your true intentions
  • when your taking a paper seriously your getting better
  • are your intentions to just get the paper done or to get better
  • Molly said that serious could be used as a statement or as interrogative
  • When talking about serious texas barbecue or serious date rape causes, one is seriously good, and one is just serious
  • the defense is usually i didnt think she was serious when she said no
  • two completely different meanings with different costs, or different intentions
  • Andrew made the connection between our conversation  and misunderstanding papers
  • site is a paper, a site for knowledge, but not always a site for fixed knowledge
  • we put words down on a paper and think that the meaning of those words are final
  • the papers are dynamic, but not fixed solid or certain
  • your words are not solid and people encounter our words sometimes very close to what we mean, or not close at all to what we mean
  • everyone interprets things differently molly said
  • interpretation is an act of reading and writing
  • writing makes form or interprets
  • the act of listening to someone who is being serious
  • we want to be able to talk about common or regular words or phrases and explain the phrases without using the phrase
  • listening and serious have an internal intention serious intentions are coupled with listening
  • context
  • some terms or expressions are acceptable for certain times and places.

October 9th, 2014: Book Excerpts

Victor Villanueva: Bootstraps

On page 116 Victor wrote “What I would do is read and enjoy. And, when It was time to write, what I would write about would be an explanation of what I had enjoyed” The part that I enjoyed the most about this excerpt is that the story is about a character who is a minority, and for the most part just wants the best out of his education. He wants to potentially become more than a bill collector. I relate because I’m a minority who doesn’t want to end up working at a fast food restaurant or some other low income job. Along the way the characters dreams get bigger and he realizes that he can accomplish a lot. This is a big motivation to me, maybe some day I’ll believe in myself enough to become a doctor.

Malcom X: Learning to Read

My whole life my teachers and my grandparents told me different stories about what the Europeans did to many different native tribes that were all over what is now America. In Malcom X’s story he talks about what they also did to every nation that did not have the same skin color as them, I was never told about the stories of what happen to other nations. So reading this was kind of a shock to me, I have heard people who are angry about what has happened in history talk about this situation but hearing it about a whole different culture gives it a whole new meaning for me.

Emily Strasser: Writing What Martters

On page 201 the writer talks about Gerald Graff and how in his book he makes the proposal that ” teachers should teach students to incorporate their street smarts and common skills of argumentation and persuasion into academic writing,” I agree completely because I think that students everywhere should be able to convey their messages in their writing in their own words, or in the way that they think not the way that their teacher or professor thinks. I liked this reading because it stresses the importance of writing being more than perfect grammatical sentences.


Conceptions and Misconceptions about Writing

  • The misconception here is that writing has the same rules everywhere, and everybody who writes anything should follow these rules. That writing is all about grammar and punctuation, but the most important parts about writing are who, what and why. Paying attention to who your writing to is a big part about writing, knowing your audience determines what context to write in. The reason or purpose of what your writing is the what part, of course you have to have some knowledge about what your writing. Why are you writing about this topic? This is the question you should consider when writing at all times. Considering why you are writing about this certain topic is a good way to start researching the different aspects of your topic.
  • When writing about different information you cannot do it without putting your own information and opinion into it. This misconception is wrong because it is impossible to write about something and not put your own way of thinking or your mind into it.
  • When reading different texts everybody will have their own opinion about the writing, different people will view the text in completely different ways. People often think that when reading the same thing, everybody gets the same thing out of it, but when different people have different experiences or beliefs they relate to the text differently than others.
  • In different types of writing authors can write and not involve themselves at all. This statement is false whenever writing authors will always put themselves in the text, maybe they’ll use their experiences, their opinions, or their beliefs but an author can never completely exclude themselves from their writing
  • When an author “borrows” ideas from another text it is not plagiarism, people seem to think that whenever to texts tell the same information it is copied. All authors and writers use ideas from other texts, because when researching or just getting information about a topic, there is no way to tell you the information without borrowing the idea, or writing about what you got out of your research
  • The misconception people overthink is grammar, word choice is a big aspect of writing but writing is not always all about grammar and getting it right, writing is sharing experiences, opinions, beliefs, or really anything that comes out of your mind. Writing has a greater meaning than just “getting it right”.

My Class Notes: September 24, 2014

  • “whats about not even trying.”
  • making knowledge
  • every class is about 25$
  • groups are for when your confused
  • classes are basically non-refundable so its up to me to get my moneys worth
  • intertexuality- a piece of writing where you borrow phrases, images or ideas from something else
  • we are constantly bringing into our writing traces from other places
  • understanding things by applying to what we already know
  • using prior knowledge
  • deconstruct the meaning of things, apply it to yourself
  • paraphrasing
  • if your not trying your not getting anywhere
  • comparing with the opposite
  • construct the definition of try- to give effort, to attempt, to apply yourself, to pursue a desire
  • the act of applying effort to a desired goal or outcome
  • doing something to the best of your abilities
  • exploring new things, overcoming obstacles, to apply yourself fully to doing something, doing your best no matter the situation, using all your abilities to accomplish something
  • goals, achieve or succeed, outcome, desire, pursue
  • new challenges
  • try, attempt, think
  • unwrap the package, start thinking
  • look at the contrast, using prior knowledge
  • intuitively as a group we came to the conclusion that what Jonathan said was out of context and irrelevant
  • learn how to move words around In a paper so that your professor has in their head exactly what you want them to hear
  • the conversation is never stopped, just paused

The time that we spent in class trying to define the word “try” was a good experience for myself, I personally have never been asked to define a word on my own. Usually I would have to use a dictionary, but even defining a simple word like “try” wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I personally think that everybody looks at different things in completely different ways, the word try to me means to put effort into doing something. When Bill started talking about how the dictionary didn’t fall out of the sky, and google was created by people to it got me thinking. If some ordinary people made the dictionary, then why not try.

My Class Notes: September 22, 2014

  • When our bodies aren’t engaged neither are our minds.
  • to tell somebody your name is to make a claim, but you need evidence.
  • “I don’t know” is a clam that we use too often
  • we make claims all day, and give evidence as well
  • being hungry is a claim, the evidence is your stomach growling, being light headed, being grumpy, lacking energy, saying its time to eat and saying how long ago it was since you last ate.
  • being tired is a claim that Claire Giannaula made, her evidence was saying how much sleep she had, or being sick
  • sitting in a circle gets you more engaged
  • molly went rock climbing and her evidence was that she had blisters and gear.
  • more evidence would be pictures, a witness, or a date and time
  • I’m a scholar and I have to be a investigator
  • one thing that  molly didn’t use as evidence is telling us her first hand experience
  • another claim that a scholar made was that he was awake and focused, his evidence was that he had enough sleep, he ate breakfast, and he got hydrated
  • erasing browser history erases it from a casual observer, but does not satisfy a scholar
  • “take my word for it” or “let me be honest with you” are the types of phrases that make you doubt what someone has already told you
  • another claim that marina crow made was that she is homesick, her evidence is that she was looking online for plane tickets and she been talking to her family a lot. She is planning on leaving the evening of November 14th and coming back the morning of the 26th, in order to get the fare down she has to be willing to make more stops.
  • the process of making claims and getting evidence is something we do everyday, it is something we do as scholars.
  • we notice these claims, gather evidence, and prove the claim
  • the first claim that was made in this class was that ben competitively solved rubix cubes, he proved the claim by getting on the desk and solving a rubix cube
  • Sam made the claim that he took a shower this morning, his evidence is that his hair is still wet, but a student pointed out that it rained earlier, more evidence would be his roommate witnessing him take a shower
  • we are all animals, the thing that separates us is that we can transcend our situation and think about it
  • “so “therefore” are certain keyword terms that set up a conversation to go a certain way, its different
  • Andrew recalls when Bill said to take the process and understand it, being a scholar is about understanding.
  • word choice can make a conversation or paper fail or advance
  • your a scholar not a kid, we can be kids outside of the class, but we must be scholars in class.
  • being a kid can get in the way of us getting a college education
  • in the classroom we need a scholarly mindset
  • argue, challenge, give evidence, conceive
  • another claim that was made was that a student was cold, she corrected herself when she said “kinda” it is an act of revision
  • her evidence is that it rained therefore her feet are cold
  • the professors are not asking us to do something we don’t already know how to do, they are just asking us to perfect it in a college setting

My Class Notes: September 12, 2014

3 rules for COMP 150

  • come to class
  • write everything down
  • talk to your fellow scholars

Event at clock tower, volunteers start at 6:15, event starts at 7:00. Glow run is for sexual assault awareness, It is a 5k run and a 3k walk. www, is an anonymous website for reporting sexual assault. extra credit: interview volunteers and runners, write it up for a paper, take notes from SASO speaker.

Self-Assessment- to criticize, to evaluate, reflection, observation, assess. These words can be written as verbs and nouns, Matthew thinks to criticize is to be negative, but observing is to  notice the good and the bad. whenever I get to COMP 250 I have to make definitional argument; different than evaluative argument. Ethan disagrees with Matthew because he says criticism can be used as a tool. molly thinks to evaluate is to go over what you’ve collected and reflection is going over past experiences or to look back. In Jonathans mind evaluate can be looking over what you’ve done, positive and negative. Callie thinks to evaluate is something someone else does to you or vice versa.

Writing and thinking, pro’s and con’s, formal and informal, the inside and outside. Inside yourself, evaluation is objective, and reflection is more of interior thoughts you keep to yourself

your papers will be better when you know the words your writing. Control your language, so you know what your saying means. Never agree with anybody, students have been trained to make a noise they think their professors want to hear. Joe thinks that people are nervous when they are called upon. We have to care about the language we use, and not care about being corrected. Its not necessary to be afraid. we’ve come to a point where we think nobody is going to listen, if we acknowledge we might be otherwise engaged, because it makes the situation better. Empowerment, force yourself to be heard. Don’t wait to be heard, or to empower yourself. It is my responsibility to care for my language, don’t fly under the radar.

One of the most empowering things to say when being called upon in class? “I appreciate you calling upon me, but I do not understand the question.”

  • the question showed gratefulness about being called upon
  • showed knowledge of not understanding
  • ask another student instead of the professor

don’t say kinda, sorta, pretty much or anything like that. Have distinctive vocabulary. speak with confidence.

I have to be able to show my professors I’m willing to learn, professors can see when your learning and they can see if your paying attention. To use language correctly is not the same as using language effectively.

you can face fear and you can win.