Thursday, June 20, 2013

Coming Out. (Not really.)

First of all: I'm SO GLAD that I dropped the writing class I was taking at the beginning of the term to take this one instead.  I think I've learned more from peer criticism and comments than I could have in the other class. Maybe not. But thank you--everyone--for whatever you've contributed to this class: it has contributed to my learning. 

1.  Literary Terms.  This was my weakest spot when I was evaluated mid-term.  Quite honestly, I feel like I had a bit of a downhill ride on improving for the second half of the term, because I'm already quite familiar with drama (The Human Fascination, Climbin' the Fourth Wall, and The Power of Sequence and Music) and non-fiction terminology.  It's poetry and fiction that I struggle with.  SO. Since then I've made a point of reviewing Craft & Voice's outlined terms, as well as the list that was given to us with our study sheet.  I have found that the more poetry and fiction literature that I read, the more connections I make to genre-specific terms. 

2.  Genres and Representative Texts.  I read plenty of non-fiction.  I'm always reading up on new discoveries in National Geographic, as well as replenishing my knowledge of things obscure and unimportant (to anyone but the author and me).  My Goodreads profile boasts mostly non-fiction works, but after this term I've added a Shakespearean play that I've never read before, A Midsummer's Night Dream, and so many poems that I can't count.  I've completely digested an anthology of poems I found in my grandma's old office, and loved every second of it--even when I was reading a poem I hated (the outdoorsy atmosphere might have helped).
 But I could at least recognize the meter, the rhyme-scheme, the application of devices, etc. I think I've found classic poetry to be more affable than I had assumed.  I'm definitely not done exploring the genres that have been presented in this class, and their more specific sub-genres.  

3. Writing Literary Arguments.  Ah!  The whole point of this class.  Learning how to write a literary argument...and be persuasive. Last term I did quite well with the personal creative analysis of a poem, but didn't do so hot with the analytical one.  Here's where I link to My Final Paper...and argue that I've learned a lot about the latter form of persuasive writing in the past few weeks.  I feel my argument used objective supporting evidence, as well as intelligent literary terms to validate my sub-theses.  And the cool thing: I didn't have to use a dictionary to make sure I implemented them properly.  I feel like I could use a lot of them in natural speech.  A triumph, to be sure.  The most important objective of this class (based on the course title), I feel, has been realized.  I'm comfortable writing making a literary argument: casual, or formal. 

4. Creatively and Socially Engage Literature. When I met with Dr. Burton to discuss my progress, he suggested that I +1 some more people on my posts, since I don't have any other social networking resources.  
So I did.  
A couple of success stories: My post, "The Allure of Travel Writing" jumped from 29 hits to 48, and my very personal but analytical "I Can Feel a Hot One" went from 54 hits to 109.  I've had friends call and text me, thanking me for sharing something so personal (because some of my closest friends had no idea that I was even remotely literate. Not kidding).  My friend Cub has since shared with me his own poetry, and a few people have found me on Goodreads because of it!  Way cool.  
I'm slowly remembering books I've read, and adding them to the virtual shelves.  It's definitely not going to stop after this class. Since I'm not going to school next term, I'm stoked to start on my list of must-reads, as suggested by newfound friends and longtime family members. 
The biggest takeaway I have from this class: the importance of process.  In sharing your ideas so that people can help build on them.  I've always been a single-channel student.  The ideas get developed in such a narrow space (my brain, and my brain only) that they have no room to expand and advance, then they get poorly represented in a night-before paper, and sent off to the professor.  In the future, I've vowed to do more idea-sharing. 

5.  New Media and Pedagogy.  As was already mentioned in my midterm post, I struggled with new media and applying advanced technology...but this class has forced me to be more comfortable with it.  And I am now!  I think, given more time in this class, I would probably get freaky-creative with formatting and whatnot, but with what time I've been given, I think the ideas of other students in the class--and browsing other blogs--is how I've come to establish my own style of presentation.  I like it.  But if ever I notice something cool in the way something else has been done, then I'll definitely try it out (e.g. Color choice, picture sequence, etc).  In comparison with my first post (cringe), I've come a long way in understanding how to direct a reader's attention, and keep things appealing for skimmers.  

In conclusion, thank you (if any of them read this) to all of the students in this class.  This has been an incredibly cool way to learn.  Blogging, commenting, sharing, etc.  Self-directed learning.  I've achieved my goal of expanding my appreciation for other genres, and not only have I done that, but I also have a genuine desire to keep reading them.  Something truthful and cheesy (Charly): I think what I've learned in this class will go much further than just a few weeks of summer 2013. 

Thanks, Dr. Burton. 


  1. Another great post! I agree this class has been a clever cool way to learn!! And you have done amazing Jamie! I will miss being in class with you. I appreciated all of your comments, you've been a great example in your creativity and writing abilities. Good luck with all of your endeavors. You will do great in life!

  2. I agree with Kimara, you are amazing and I loved your creative posts. Watch out World, here comes Jamie Clegg!!!