This week was nerve wracking to say the least. There were at least 2 nights this week that Erica and I were up late trying to figure out our presentation. I am not a very confident public speaker. I can go on stage and perform lines in front of hundreds of people, but I have issues presenting in front of a class of 25 people. It’s all a mental thing, but I still find it ridiculous. Anyway, Erica and I were pretty stressed about the whole thing, but it worked out. As it turned out, we did better than we originally expected.
I also learned the dos and don’ts of presenting this week, which this website summarizes quite well. I learned that pictures help. A lot. I learned that not everyone is good at public speaking, but everyone is capable of it. I learned that I am good at making the presentation look appealing, and I have the creativity it takes to make the presentation mostly hold the audience’s attention, but I am not so good at filtering the information and deciding which parts are more important than the others. Erica was good at that, so we made a great team.
The last thing for this week is that I was super in love with the poem on Monday. It was “OCD” by Neil Hilborn. I am emotionally attached to that poem; I actually recite it when I get nervous or anxious. Last year for my Drama 2 class, we did a show where we picked poems and picked people to perform them how we wanted. Autumn Williams chose that poem, and chose me to perform it. It has been my favorite poem since, and I can recognize it almost instantly.
I have felt a range of emotions about this class this week. On Monday I was excited to choose a new book. Creative writing went very well. I’m happy with what I wrote, and that doesn’t happen very often. The more negative feelings pertained mostly to the Elements of Fiction project. It’s not that I didn’t like it, because I actually find it kind of interesting, I just wasn’t exactly sure what we were supposed to be doing. After we talked in class, I felt I had a lot more direction and was able to effectively begin our presentation. So far it’s coming along pretty well. It really helped once we discussed answering the “So what?” question.
The concept of using the question “So what?” in writing and other English related things is something I hadn’t heard of until this year. It’s really very helpful. It guarantees that your audience will at least be able to better understand what they are reading, regardless of whether or not they find it interesting or important. This blog post that I found does an exceptional job of explaining it. Better than I am currently able to at least. The author gives three alternate ways of asking the question, which allows for deeper insight into the meaning. It’s beneficial because not everyone interprets things in the same way.
Overall I felt like the end of this week was much more productive for me than the beginning. Erica and I didn’t get a whole lot done until Thursday and Friday actually. It wasn’t that we had no idea what was going on, we just didn’t want to start something and have it be wrong. We’re working at a good pace now, and it shouldn’t take us too much longer to finish it.
This six weeks went by ridiculously fast. I feel like the first day of school was like a week ago. It’s absolutely insane that we’re already 6 weeks into the school year. But, very well, I suppose that is not the true purpose of this post. The point is to reflect on what I learned this week.
This week was mainly focused on the unit one project. We read the rest of “Sonny’s Blues,” and we both enjoyed it very much. We started to read the point of view paper as well. I enjoy this project I find it interesting to read something and then pull it apart and dissect every little aspect of it. I feel like sometimes I look TOO closely and I miss the point of it because there is no hidden meaning, but for the most part I am able to identify important literary devices.
Point of view is typically an easy thing to identify, but a not so easy thing to understand all of the time. The reason the author has for choosing the type of POV they do is not always apparent to the reader. This is a link to an article that does a good job of summarizing the different kinds of POV authors use most frequently.
We also wrote our free response essays about our book of literary merit we chose to read this six weeks. My book was amazing, and I didn’t struggle too much with the essay, although I don’t think I’ve quite finished it yet. I’m still working because I have so many thoughts and I feel like I can’t present them all in a way that makes sense. I’m still working on it, so hopefully that’s not an issue, but I suspect it will be an honorable attempt at an essay.
This week was not amazing. I feel like we didn’t accomplish a whole lot because of the fog delay on Tuesday and the fog day on Thursday. On top of that, I did not understand this week’s poem. Like at all. I was, and still am, completely and totally lost. I did not connect with it like have with the other two poems, and that bothers me. None of the ways that it was presented to me actually made sense. I think part of the reason was that I don’t really have any experience to pull from that relates to the poem, so I did not get that same “click.” The poem “Bright Star” was not a shining star for me this week.
The other big thing we did was start our unit one project. I am in a group with Erica, and I think it should go well because we are pretty similar in our literary endeavors. We have characterization and point of view as our Elements of Fiction. I have read all of the characterization paper and part of “Sonny’s Blues” for the short story. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually. “Sonny’s Blues” is very interesting, but I’m still not that far in, so there isn’t a whole lot of character development going on yet. Here is a link that talks about the importance of characterization in literature. It gives good examples and defines it very well. I look forward to finishing this project.