It’s been a long fifteen week semester. A total of sixteen credit hours and most of my free time dedicated to one class: WRT160. No, this isn’t a sad attempt at sucking up for pity points. It’s a sad yet proud fact that I’ve been working so hard on projects in class. If it weren’t for this class, I probably wouldn’t be able to complete any essay in my later classes.
Coming into WRT160, I didn’t really have any expectations other than learning APA format. A bit blunt to admit how naïve I was but I’m reasonable enough to admit my flaws. Upon departure from this class, I can say that I learn much more than just APA formatting. The critical reading that was imposed by Sondra Perl’s lengthy article on unskilled college writers is a notable early reading. Not only did I have to read most of what she had to say but I also had to apply it to myself and then I had to write an essay about it. Of course, there were little companion articles related to it but they were smaller and just help to understand more of what Perl was saying. In all they gave a more in depth view to what Perl couldn’t in her more than thirty page article. This is hardly what critical thinking can be used for. In terms of my major, during translating word choice is key. If I’m translating a business meeting and I use the wrong word, I just potentially just ruined an entire deal. If I used my critical thinking skills to study more about Japanese business, I could then relate that to the deal I previously potentially botched.
The most important lesson I’ve taken from this course was the research methods, mostly primary and secondary. In Unit 2, primary research was used in order to collect the thoughts and feelings, via surveys, of the common Oakland student on the topic of expanding the Oakland Center. The main point of primary research is to collect information that hasn’t been collected before. What I did with the pure numbers aspect of the data was a bit of math work. The data was input and made into charts. This is completely different from both Units One and Three. Unit One was comprised of primary research through the recording of myself while writing and of the secondary research conducted by Sondra Perl. Unit Three was a bit easier. Much less math involved than Unit Two, thankfully. In Unit Three, like Unit One, primary research was implemented and secondary research was scoured. For my project, I thought of different combinations of shampooing, conditioning, and the additional oil application. The two styles of research were vastly different but are both equally valuable research methods. The data collected from Unit Three is vastly different from Unit Two. Unit Three was qualitative as Unit Two was quantitative. Thus bringing forth a rift in primary research that I wasn’t aware of prior to this class.
I’d most likely apply APA formatting as well as primary and secondary research in my future Sociology as well as Marketing courses. Sociology is mostly a synthesis of previous theorists’ work into your own. While I lucked out of my SOC100 class and didn’t get any kind of essay assignment. I, however, can foresee an essay or two discussing which cities are based on the Hoyt or Chicago models of structure. In Marketing, tons of different research can be implemented. I might be given the assignment of researching people’s thoughts on some product and its effect on certain members of society. In example, the marketing of potentially harmful products to young, impressionable children like the Frisbee that was also a bong marketed in the very early 1980s. Or which strategy of marketing is the most appealing to the eye at glance. People are shown five visual ads (posters or banners on the side of internet pages) then asked which ad was the most memorable. Both of which are both insightful to the fundamentals of Marketing.
What I’m most proud of overall and in my portfolio is my Unit 3 presentation. I enjoy presenting in front of people. Unlike the Unit Two presentation, which makes a close second on my list of most proud of projects, I was on my own for all of it. My proudest moments are usually when I do something on my own. Presentations are most likely my favorite scholarly activity. I say “most likely” because that could always change.
More often than not, if not all the time, I was forced to read and reply to my classmates’ papers online. Despite my constant of being online anyway, reading an entire essay online is both physically and emotionally draining to me. Although the pain of staring at a computer screen is like tickling my corneas with a sewing needle, I dutifully reviewed others’ essays to the best of my ability. For each of our projects and a few of the minor assignments, the students were to read and respond to each other’s essays. Unit Three is a prime example. After reading Brandon’s essay, I responded with a thought of my own that wasn’t represented at all. What about those who pay car insurance? Are they affected by pothole problem as much as those who don’t have insurance? Personally, I like to have a hard copy of what I have to review but I understand that my wants are irrelevant to others and I cannot just impose my will onto others because I have tact and manners. That being said, I enjoyed the Speed Dating activity that was done in class. We sat in two circles, one inside the other. The outer circle would switch seats and papers would be exchanged. Besides the obvious fact of my liking of holding hard copies, not only did I have someone from outside my assigned group read my paper, I got some pretty good advice that I probably wouldn’t have every gotten if we were to stay in groups. Laura pointed out that my intro of my essay was a bit, paraphrasing, stupid. I reconsidered what I originally wrote thanks to her.
Unit One, though focused on myself, was rather boring. I would, if at all possible, avoid situations where I’m forced to apply thirty pages worth of information to myself. Unit Two was more focus on what others think. That was slightly more enjoyable than the previous assignment. I just really enjoy presenting. Unit Three was the most enjoyable, as I’ve mentioned previously. Working alone is great! This class, though a mixture of both group and individual activities, was essential to the rest of my time here at Oakland University.
Possibly one of the hardest and longest projects I’ve had to force myself to finish. The amount of reading, applying, then rewriting was just way too much for me. The transcribing of just one of the recordings was around three hours. I had maybe four recordings. Luckily, just the sheer amount of junk said on the first recording was more than enough to capture how I write. In the end this set the foundation of the critical thinking skill set. For most of the Unit I was thinking, “Now that I’ve skimmed thirty pages about ten times, what does this mean?”
This was the first presentation assignment given in class. My group was really laid back and we all got along fine. I’m happy with my grade on the presentation, not so much with the reflection of what I learned and all. Though not on the syllabus, yet still an important tidbit to know for future careers, is how to work as a team. At any workplace, I can be paired with the most disgusting pig or the uptight rulebook thumper. I’m sure I would be able to cope with them now. After all, I didn’t have much of a choice of who was in my group. As I mentioned earlier, we were laid back but some are more laid back than others.
This last project which consisted of an essay and a –if I might say ridiculously awesome- presentation. Unlike Unit 2, this was based solely on primary research. Not only was my primary research beneficial to my grade, being mandatory and all, but it was also beneficial to my scalp and hair growth. Overall, I think I had the most fun with this assignment. Learning about the differences in hair such as how many follicles are present within a square millimeter or that the main cause of dandruff is the fungus Malassezia. The assignment brought me to a whole world of knowledge that is definitely outside of my major. I was more interested in the secondary research than I was in Unit One. I suppose I combined what I learned in Units One and Two.
Perl, S. (2011) The composing processes of unskilled college writers. In E. Wardle &D. Downs (Eds.) Writing about Writing (pp. 191-217). Boston: Bedford/St.Martin