Sunday, October 27, 2013

Composition Courses - Blog 9

When I took English 1010 and 2010, they were really great classes. The professors set up the course, so it would be mostly discussion as they introduced concepts to us gradually. We had a few essays to write in each class, and the assignments seemed to build off each other.

In ENGL 1010, I had Mrs. E. She was absolutely amazing. It was the literally the first course I took when I enrolled in Weber. Because I took the course over the summer, and it was a three-hour class, she made the atmosphere very relaxed for us. She normally opened the class with an interesting story about her family, or she would let us share something fun about ourselves that happened. Then, we would have a discussion about whatever was on the syllabus for that day, how to better our grammar based on the papers we turned in, or any questions or concerns we had. After that, we wrote in our journal to answer questions based on what we just discussed, or we could chose to meditate on the discussion and write in it later. We wrote about five short papers (no more than five pages), if I remember correctly. They were probably comparison and contrast, persuasive, and analysis essays. I, of course, did my final paper on nutrition with an emphasis on pregnant women. This course was probably taught the way it was to prepare us for taking 2010.

Then, I had Professor S for ENGL 2010. I remember, at times, I wanted to drop his class because the first thing he told us was we only had to write a ten page midterm paper and a twenty page final paper for the course. I was absolutely mortified at first, but I am glad I stuck with it. We wrote a two to three page paper a week on the readings in our anthology. I think this was the only class that I actually did the readings and annotations for in my entire life because he had no problems calling us out and making us feel stupid when we could not answer his questions. Anyway, the papers we wrote were short commentary essays and two research papers. I did my research on the broader implications of tattoos and their relevancy today compared to before the twentieth and twenty-first century. Needless to say, any class after that one has been a breeze for me.

As a student and an educator, I appreciate the way these were taught. The courses seemed to build upon each other but not in an obvious way.  Having discussions about required readings and being exposed to different types of essays seemed to improve the way we learned as students in the class. It also taught me that I should discuss the books I read to my own students and expose them to different types of writing, so they can become versatile. These courses were taught this way to help us think more outside the box and to deter us from being lazy and unprepared for class.


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