Over the course of the semester, this class has helped me grow as a writer. From different rhetoric situation that were thrown at me, I feel like I have conquered them. Maybe even sidestepped them a bit.
I had considered myself a writer before, but not on a professional level. I still don’t but this class has curbed the amount of terrible habits I have. From the Survey Monkey assignment, I was well aware that it takes me more than an hour per sitting to work on papers. I liked staring at my screen, ruining eyes, and thinking about what kid of topics I could get away with writing about. I personally think that it’s one of the best parts of my writing process. The worst would be editing.
The writing process calls for multiple drafts and revisions, something I’m not a big fan of. I would revise, really it was a once over, checking to see if I had any noticeable errors. Of course that didn’t always work as I can’t spell worth a darn. Your class demanded that I have multiple drafts and I’m not saying that as I bad thing. Usually, I wouldn’t even bother with it (before I was I your class, of course). I absolutely hated reading my own writing. I still hate reading my own writing. It’s the same with hearing my own voice on a video or recording. There is a process to writing and rewriting the same paper or creating the same project over and over again.
Project 2 is a prime example. The first draft was uploaded to the forum to be reviewed and revised by some of the others in the class. I couldn’t turn in my rough draft just as it was. In my opinion, it’s was god awful! They told me what I needed to fix and what needed to be kept. Without their comments, I’m sure I would’ve gotten a lower grade than what I had actually gotten. Also noting that earlier this semester you had us read about Down, Up, and Dental drafts. Those terms are much better than “Good Draft” or “Bad Draft” as that doesn’t really encompass the work that was used to create the Up Draft. This leads me to my next point, how to develop strategies for interpreting, evaluating, and responding to visual, electronic, written and verbal texts.
I had to read their papers. I had never been big on that. Reading someones work and the possibility of them flipping out on me because of the comments I give them. Even though I’m not the best writer, when I read I sometimes find myself “grading” kind of harshly. For someone who can’t spell, I can find spelling errors like a bloodhound. Sometimes, the essay was extremely hard for me to understand. This should be surprising as whenever someone -including you- would rad made my paper, there was always some confusion about some part or another. I suppose that I when I read and write, I have, what I like to call, thought dyslexia. My thoughts bounce all over and when I write or type them down, often times they don’t get put into the right order. I’m so hard to follow when in my own writing, it’s not surprising to me that I get confused reading others. I suppose this makes me the wrong person to go to for peer evaluation. I am brutally honest at times. For example, a friend of mine had written a short story. The main protagonist was given up for adoption at the age of twelve. I had to break it to her that the plot made no sense at all as that kind of adoption is known as abandonment.
To combat my way of thinking from taking over, I have to think like a “normal” person for a while. I have to go beyond the rubric for a moment and think if I was the actual target audience, then what would I get from the media put in front of me? Is it informative enough? Did I truly get the point of whatever they were writing about? My general rule for project 2 was if I were to be looking at their topics as a possible career, were their papers enough for me to change my mind entirely. Since we used more than three sources, the essay was essentially where all the information of the chosen topic should be compiled. If the truly important information isn’t presented, then the job wasn’t done.
The same approach was used in Project 3. Having read the papers, I know what was actually in the paper. It was somewhat fun figuring out what was omitted and what wasn’t. A little something that I found out, based on feedback, is if you feel a certain way when making the video, a paper, or even an Animoto it carries over into the project. For example, if you just get the feeling that you’re one hundred percent done with the project and want to end right were it is, it feels that way to the people watching it. That’s something all “artists” should pay attention to.
For the most part, I spent arguably the most time on Project 3 and 4. Finding sources, tracking down people, waking up earlier than everyone else so I’d have a working computer in the lab, etc. I have no idea how people can write entire volumes with all the right citations and the most up to date information. Just the one paper was enough for me. Having somewhat irrelevant sources didn’t make it any easier. However, I persevered. My first draft was by far the worst paper I had turned in. My somewhat irrelevant but necessary interview was sent to e via email very last minute. Beggars can’t be choosers but life isn’t always fair so you roll with it.
When I revised my essay, I had had another interview with my professor. I asked more questions and got what I needed plus about two extra hours worth of conversation. A bit of that ended up in the essay. Turns out that her 1965 career wasn’t too important. Having whole paragraphs crossed out was a bit depressing. I had long since thought that I had picked a terrible topic to write about.
Enough of my downfalls, I was particularly proud of some of the work that actually kept people interested. I think the Animoto was one of those projects. From the initial paper, I knew that I at least had Natalie interested. When I made the actual Animoto, I threw in some overly dramatic music, originally for fun but then I kept it as fit perfectly.
All in all, I’d say that this class has made me a much better writer. I enjoyed the Animoto project, the Youtube video not so much. I rather enjoy crossing mediums. I still have a problem remember the word minimum and maximum, often getting them mixed up. That’s just something I’ll just never learn!