New Experiences Create New Skills
As College Composition 2 comes to a close I realize how I have grown throughout this year. I started off the year using poor grammar, not using the grammar guidelines provided to the class by Professor Hodges, and rushing through assignments just to get them done and not really becoming interested in them and really giving them my best effort. These traits that I use now are all thanks to Professor Hodges and the curriculum of College Composition 2. At first when I walked into the class room on the first day of the semester I looked and I was in a computer lab. I had no idea why and what I was going to do for a semester of English in a computer lab. The first day was a culture shock, I had never even been onto a blog before let alone was an author for one. The first month was an adjustment period for me, and after that I got very comfortable using the Counterintuitivity Blog. Along with using the Counterintuitivity Blog I also adjusted to the Core Values of this course, and by now I feel as if I have achieved the Core Values.
The first Core Value I feel I have achieved is Core Value III. I demonstrate that I can understand others’ work as well as my own and can appreciate it, also I can read something and understand someone else’s perspective of their work and have my own perspective or rebuttal on their topic. One specific example of this would be in my portfolio in my definition essay. I created a definition essay on the “winning statistic” in baseball, and I thought that it was written very well. I asked Professor Hodges to comment on my essay to see if there was any way that I could make it better than it already was. He responded by saying that my definition of the “winning statistic” was not the clearest and that if I could get a better definition of it that would make my essay stronger, and not as confusing. I took his advice into consideration, and I also asked one of my fellow classmates to read the paragraph with the definition in it to see if they were not clear on the definition as well, and he also was unclear of what the definition meant. I then went back and took a more clear definition from a different source, and then went on to explain it in more depth as well just to make sure it was as clear as possible. This made a big difference in my essay and in my grade. Another example of this Core Value would be reading each others’ essays in class and then commenting on them. This was a good exercise to do because it got other people’s perspective on your topic, if it caught their interest, and if it was clear to what your topic was about and if there was anything that should be changed.
I have learned to understand others’ work, but I also learned to understand information of sources into my own writing and that is Core Value V. For this Core Value I have multiple examples that I would be able to use, but the best one would probably be my research position paper. This paper was divided into three smaller papers, but then combined into one research position paper. For each of the three parts we needed to use many different sources that would support our argument, and also refute our argument. Having a strong argument that could be defended and opposed was a good start to writing this paper, but the paper needed to have the sources to make the paper great. Learning all the new information from each source was good, but I also had to become careful too because if you learn the same information in a couple sources some people could think that they do not have to source it now. When in reality that is how many people get caught for plagiarism. From all the sources I learned from my research paper I now know about sabermetrics in baseball and formulas to calculate different statistics. Watching baseball is now a different experience for me than before because now I am thinking about how every pitch can affect a pitchers statistic and every hit or walk will affect the batter’s statistic. Now that I have also used all the sources that I have used if I ever wrote a paper and were to somehow involve something on sabermetrics, statistics, or baseball I would have background knowledge on the subject and also know which sources are good to use. I also learned from my topic that all sources do not have to be written journal entries, or encyclopedias. Many of my sources were tables, diagrams, and formulas. I had trouble at first understanding some of the tables and formulas, but now I am able to use them and my knowledge has grown in multiple areas such as reading tables and dissecting formulas.
Core Value VII was the most difficult for me to accomplish, but throughout the year I felt myself getting better and better at it. This course focused a lot in my opinion on this Core Value because we were always reading different types of articles, listening to interviews, or watching short videos and then developing an opinion or argument on the topic and had to defend our self with specific examples. There were also many discussions in class that the whole class engaged in and Professor Hodges would tell us to use specific examples from the text, audio, or video to defend our opinion, and then he would use an example to either refute or agree with us, but when he refuted people would look for even more specific examples to refute Professor Hodges. An example that everyone had to do in this class that was closely related to Core Value VII would be the definition essay. The definition essay had to deal with picking a counterintuitive topic that you can either refute or defend, while supporting your topic with evidence in sources. This essay needed to have more facts and defending of the topic rather than opinionated views because the purpose of the essay was either refute or defend the topic at hand such as mine which was that sabermetrics is a vital point in drafting players and that it helped teams chose players that would give them a better percentage to win. I did not give my opinions on if I believe this is true or not and if I would use sabermetrics. I just defended the view that sabermetrics is a vital part in drafting players and how it would help teams win.
Overall this semester has been successful in my opinion because I believe that I have become a better writer due to this course. I also know that since I have used skills such as reading an article and writing my opinion or argument on the article and using specific examples defending my views I will be able to use this skill in the future. The skill does not only have to be used in an English class either, it can be used in a debate if I were to ever get into one, or also in any other class that I would need to defend my opinion on something. This class was taught very well by Professor Hodges also, he gave me a great environment to learn, he provided help anytime needed, and he was great at giving advice even if you did not want to hear that your paper was not up to par he would tell you and help you fix it to ensure that you get a grade you are proud of and worked hard for. College Composition 2 is a class that I can honestly say I have learned skills I will use in the real world and not only in a classroom environment.