Friday, October 26, 2007

Surviving the First Hump

The past week or two have been really busy, but I seem to have been much busier in my head than I have been in person. I'm taking three classes this semester, and I had something due for each of them these past two weeks, something due every day it seems (in reality two of my classes meet on Tuesday; the other meets on Thursday), but I had a mid-term paper (4-6 pages); another paper for a second class (3-6 pages) with an accompanying presentation; and the submission of self-selected journal entries with an accompanying letter stating why I had chosen those specific journal entries to submit.

The class for which I submitted the journals - Individual and Small Group Writing Instruction - is such that there is no breakdown of assignments; these journal entries that we submit, for example, do not have a specific weight, so when I got them back this past Tuesday, I had received a check (the options were that we would receive a check minus, a check, or a check plus), and half a page or so of comments (which were helpful). I got a check, which was fine, although I dislike this method because I never seem to get check pluses. This is not a class I'm worried about, though; actually, of my classes this semester, I'm least worried about this class, for no specific reason than I'm very comfortable in the subject matter.

My mid-term had been for African-American Short Fiction (more properly called Twentieth Century American Literature; the topics change each semester), and was absolutely a paper that I eked out. This was definitely not my finest paper, but I could not get enthused about any of the short stories we had covered so far, although I liked them all well enough. I managed to finish the paper the night before it was due (a bit too close to the deadline), but it was done, and submitted. I got a B+/A-, which is not bad for a paper that was eked out at the comparative last minute (and truth be told even when I try very hard I am a B+ student, which is...painful? And irritating.). I am not a great writer, but I really do want to improve, and might approach the professor. His comments were, in retrospect, correct: That I made some interesting arguments overall, but I over-used one particular piece of literary criticism, and that he would have liked for me to develop some of my other points more. He also commented on some points in my paper that I could have developed more, and I saw how I could have done so.

Of course, that leaves one paper left, the paper for the Sociolinguistics and the Teaching of Writing; I had written a paper on Villanueva's Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color, which was a very interesting read, and about which I also gave a presentation, which went well. (My presentation encapsulated the latter half of the book; the first half was done by a classmate whose presentation inadvertently went long, so I wound up only getting about 20 minutes, instead of the hoped-for 45 or so.)

I have a paper to write for Tuesday for ENG 646; I had observed a tutoring session that I need to reflect on and write about. I also have a rough draft of a literacy autobiography for ENG 509. I'm not too worried about the reflective piece; I've really begun to appreciate what I've soaked up at the SBU Writing Center; Harry taught us so well how to reflect on tutoring sessions I can wind up doing that with hardly any thought, it's so second-nature at this point.

No comments:

Post a Comment