Thursday, April 24, 2003

Final Reflection Blog

Dear potential future student,

Thinking of taking an online class? Unsure of what to expect? ENC1102 is a great course to experience the flexibility of a web based class. Because this was not my first online class, I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect before the semester started. I recommend this class for anyone who is self motivated and who enjoys the convenience of not having to go to class two to three times a week. The work load was not overwhelming and I felt as if the assignments were developed in our best interest. In the beginning we were put into groups depending on our interests. I thought that this was a great way to organize the class and to pick assignment topics that would interest us. I chose images and pop culture, because I am very interested in entertainment.

Our first paper topic was a paper on an article that we read in our book The Presence of Others. Different groups had different stories to read, and therefore different paper topics. I chose to write on an article by Ward Churchill titled "Crimes Against Humanity." In the article, Churchill challenged the idea that sports mascots were derogatory towards American Indian groups. Since our very own university was one of the schools affected being the FSU Seminoles, I felt as if this essay would be a great topic for me to write my first paper on. I argued with the fact that these Indian groups were going too far with their accusations and so on. A lot of the components in the essay really ticked me off, so I wrote this paper from a very opinionated and fired up point of view. I put a lot of effort into the paper and was rewarded fairly with an A, which I was extremely pleased with. In this course, as long as you take the time to plan out your assignments and put effort into them, you will be properly rewarded.

The second paper topic was a bit more challenging. However, because we were able to choose whatever topic we wanted for this research paper, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I thought that the fact that we were able to choose our own topic from any subject allowed us to use our creativity and interests to develop a paper that was not only informative, but passionate as well. The topic that I chose was "The Influence of Celebrities and Media on Adolescent Females." Since I was a part of the group that I was researching, I felt that I could add a little of something extra to the paper. I also learned a great deal from writing this. I think that if I were to do it over again I would chose a topic a little easier, because I did have difficulty finding legitimate resources. However, I put the time into making the best of my topic and once again received an A on my final draft. My advice to you, being a future student, would be to pick a topic that you are very interested in and one that will be easy to research and write.

Definitely my favorite, the third paper was a family history paper. For this report, we were given an opportunity to pick from a list of family stories that we had previously submitted to our Blog. I chose to write on the paranormal experiences in my grandparents house up in Baltimore, Maryland. The reason why I chose this topic is because it would be fun for my audience to read, and is one of those stories that really makes you question the fact of if there really is life after death. This paper will allow you to converse with family members and spend some quality time with them in order to find research for your paper. This paper is a good excuse to have a conversation with a family member you have not spoken with in a while, in my case, my great aunt Amelia. I believe that most people enjoy writing this paper, so just pick a story in your family's history that you really would like to know more about.

Last but not least, we were given the assignment of a radical revision. Now, right now you are probably wondering the same thing that I wondered while reading the assignment sheet: "What the heck is a radical revision?!" Well, I definitely thought this would be a challenge. What we did was we took a paper that we had written previously in this course and changed the format completely into something that doesn’t resemble our original paper but had the same story line. I really enjoyed writing the family history paper, so I decided I would revise it into something completely different. I chose to write a movie script, because the idea of my paper followed the traditional cliche of scary movies: a ghost inhabits a house, the family gets to the bottom of the mystery and then all is well. Although this was a non traditional writing assignment, I really thought that it was a great idea. It allowed us to take a paper in which we already had perfected, and completely change it into something extraordinary. If you enjoy being creative, then you will love the radical revision! I thought that this was the most fun out of the assignments, and I believe that mine turned out very well!

Another portion of this class, was our Blog, or online journal. Many times, we were instructed to post an open topic blog, which I really enjoyed. It was a good way to express our feelings or thoughts. We also would post our reading responses on it. This was a way in which we could get to know our classmates a little better. One of the blogs that we did was on our favorite things. In reading them, I learned a lot about the people who I shared a class with, however had never met. That was personally my favorite blog assignment. I thought that the blogs were a good way to get us to write more for our own benefit and let us write about the things we really cared about.

Just like in a regular class, group members would workshop each others papers. At times I felt this to be very helpful, but then there were some responses that didn’t help me at all. My advice for you as a work shopper would be to be honest and to give your group members constructive criticism. Although it may seem nicer to write "good job" on everyone's paper, this doesn't help them realize their mistakes and to see what they could improve on. That doesn't necessarily mean to rip their papers apart, but I feel as if I did my job when I explained what I felt needed work. Some people's responses really helped in revising my paper. It is always nice to have a second and third opinion on your work, because there are always things that need improvement!

This class allowed me to be expressive with my work and taught me that English really can be an enjoyable course. I felt that we were able to write on the things that we were most passionate about and that we had a lot of leniency in picking topics to write on. I believe that any paper will be better written if there is passion instilled by the writer. However, don't be fooled. Just because this course is online and doesn't require you to go to class in person, doesn’t mean that you can slack. We still had deadlines which were reasonable, and our teacher was very lenient on giving us extra time if needed, which I thought was awesome. I felt as if I put a lot of effort into this course and I feel as if I will do very well when final grades come out. I would definitely recommend any student to take ENC1102 online, as long as they are motivated and don't require the structure of attending a real class. Good luck to you future students!

Kelly Larkin

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

POO blog-Langston Hughes-

First of all, this format did not appeal to me because I am not big on poetry. If I was in the same situation I would have chosen a different style to write. I understood that the poem was relating to the segregation that Hughes felt while he was in school, but I wasn’t sure what the assignment was about. Did the teacher just want the students to write what they were thinking? What was in their heart? I thought that the instructions were rather vague. I felt as if his poem was just a “woe is me” story and as if he was asking for guilt from his teacher because of the color of his skin. In the last four lines he writes, “As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me- although you’re older- and white- and somewhat more free.” I thought that those lines were almost negative towards the teacher. I understand that there was segregation back in those days and that he was the only African American student in his class, but he shouldn’t have made the teacher feel bad for it. If I was the teacher I would have felt guilty that I was entitled to more freedom as he was, but there wouldn’t have been anything I could do about it. In that day and age, he was lucky to have the opportunity to attend school. I personally get annoyed with poetry, because I can’t stand reading into things that sound like nonsense to me. I think that if my teacher gave me an assignment like that I would write a paper and not a poem, because poems don’t ever make any true sense. I’m not exactly sure of what I would write on because although I have things that could be “true” to me, I wouldn’t be sure on what to specify.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Open Topic Blog
Ahhh! Finals Week is coming up and there is so much pressure for me to do well! I am also under a tremendous amount of stress about where I am going to go to school for fall. I have changed my mind about a million times! I first decided on UCF, and then I decided I was going to go home to USF and now I'm thinking that maybe I should just stay up here! My logic is that if I stay up here another year and do really well then I can transfer to University of Miami or University of Southern California... 2 of my dream schools! I'm not saying if that would happen or not, but at least I would have a chance at it! I wish I could see into the future and see what would be my best decision!! I am the most indecisive person alive! My parents are about to kill me because I change my mind every day! Eeek! My grades last semester were a little less than stellar, so I am trying to work my butt off so I can bring my GPA up as well! I would like at least a 3.5 this semester, so hopefully I will do well on my finals and I can do that! My boyfriend is coming home from his Navy deployment in South America during finals week for 2 weeks and then he has to go back out to sea, so I don't have much time to see him, study AND decide where I'm going to go to school! I haven't seen him in 3 months so this should be interesting! Theres just so much going on! Tests and papers and more tests! blah! I'm also working on finding a sublease for my apartment this summer, because I am going home and its gonna be stupid to have to pay for it during the summer when I'm not even going to be there. So thats another thing to worry about. I need a vacation! I'm thinking maybe like Micronesia or some other country in the middle of nowhere with no stress!! :) Its pretty crazy how much pressure we college students put up with during this time!!

Monday, April 07, 2003

Response to Brad's Open Topic Blog--

Well I can totally sympathize with the fact of transferring schools! I too have decided to go home, and transfer to USF in Tampa. My situation isn't exactly the same, but I too am not sure who I am going to live with and what is going to happen. The difference though is that its my choice. I guess I am just the kind of person who can't be away from home. Besides, I love Tampa and plan on living there for the rest of my life, so why not start now? I mean I got out for a year, experienced something different but now I am ready to go back! Tallahassee is fun and all, its just not my scene. I'm more of a big city gal, and this town doesn't really offer enough for me! But oh well! I can totally understand why you would be thinking of going back to Georgia, out of state tuition is outrageous! I don't blame you! I can't imagine paying all that money! Good luck if you do transfer!

Response to Michael's Open Topic Blog--

Yes, I too cannot believe summer is already here! Isn't that awesome?? I am also dreading finals... ugh! Just the thought of the countless hours of studying in the library till 3am is just not exciting me! That is really awesome that your brother is a Marine and is over fighting those crazy people in Iraq. I can't even imagine what he is going through, I have such respect for everyone who is over there right now. I also give the families mad props as well. Its hard to even think of what you guys are going through, having to watch the craziness on tv and wondering from day to day what is happening and when you are going to see him again! My boyfriend is in the Navy and thankfully he hasn't had to go over there. At least not yet... I pray every day that the war will end because I'm not sure if I have that kind of strength that you all have! I'll keep your brother in my prayers!

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

First of all, this essay was written from an emotional standpoint. Obviously it was her and her family who was affected by this nuclear testing. However, it cannot be proven that this testing was the result of the cancer. Breast cancer is hereditary which could explain why all the women in her family got it. One question I would ask is what happened to all the males in her family? Did they develop cancer as well? My theory would be that if the nuclear testing was the reason for the breast cancer, then why wouldn't the men be developing some sort of cancer as well? I know that Irene Allen had both of her husbands die from cancer, which may have been related to the testing, but we didn't hear of Terry Tempest William's husband or father or any male for that matter developing cancer. I would also ask a few years down the road if her kids (if she had any) had developed cancer, which would answer our questions as to if this was hereditary or if it was a cause of the nuclear testing. It is definitely proven that being exposed to that type of radiation would cause cancerous effects. However, I am wondering how the government allowed this. I know she explained a little bit about the governments attitude toward this subject, but it is hard for me to believe that the government would ignore all these occurances of disease and cancer.

First List--
(Personal Experiences)
-Mother's death
-Dinner with her father on his 50th birthday
-The explosion of the bomb when she was a child n the car with her parents (Operation Plumbbob)
-Witnessing her family's struggle with cancer and treatment
-The dream that she had

Second List--
(Events & Information)
-Mormon family with roots in Utah since 1847
-Children growing up in the American Southwest drinking contaminated milk
-"The Day We Bombed Utah" explaining the atomic testing that took place
-American government not listening to pleas from Americans with burns, blisters & nausea
-Lawsuit "Irene Allen vs. The United States of America" & its decisions

The information I could research--
-Breast cancer statistics
-Nuclear testing sites in Utah/Nevada during this time
-Research about the Lawsiut that took place
-Mormon culture and how it affects this story
-Newspaper articles from this time about the atomic testing
-Government's attitude on the correlation between nuclear fallout and cancer

Sunday, March 30, 2003

1)West Palm Beach/Breakers Hotel/Celebrities
Yankees charity events
Serbia/Archduke Ferdinand Assassination

2)Grandma's haunted house
shortening of my last name

3)Serbia/Archduke Ferdinand Assassination
shortening of my last name

Every year, my dads company sponsors a charity event that is held with the New York Yankees. With me being a huge baseball and Yankees fan, this is very exciting to me. I have always gotten out of school to go to this, and this year I even drove home for a few days just so I could attend it once again. I have this crazy obsession with Derek Jeter and since the Yankees have their spring training in my hometown of Tampa, I always see him around town. From time to time he even goes to my gym which is really awesome. Anyways about 2 years ago, my dad had to take some information to his house and I got to go with him. Needless to say, I almost died. Me, at Derek Jeters HOUSE, who would have imagined that? Well last month while at the charity event, I was of course one of the only young girls among a lot of older business men, which generated a lot of attention towards me from the players. Well Derek actually recognized me from the gym and from that time at his house and we got to talking and I was the happiest girl alive! Hes a really nice guy and now when I see him around I can actually go up and talk to him!

As I have grown up, my mom has always told me stories about supernatural things happening at her old house where my grandmother still lives. I don't really know a lot about it, but the house is located in Baltimore, Maryland and its over 100 years old. Throughout the years, there have been sightings of "ghosts" apparently. My mom has said that when she was about 10, she woke up in the middle of the night and said that there was a little girl sitting in her desk chair. Now if this was just a dream or not, we'll never know, but she swears it was a ghost. Supposedly a lot of people had died in that house before my grandparents bought it back in the 1940's. I don't remember most of the stories that have been told about the house, but most of them were pretty scary and convincing.

Since my grandparents on my mothers side are from Serbia, I am about half Serbian. The event that pretty much started World War I was the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Poland (I think) by 2 Serbian rebels. I'm not a history buff so I am not sure what the reasoning behind that was, but it is rumored that my great uncle was one of the men that killed him. Not a lot is said about it in my family though because it is such a morbid subject. My grandfather has been deceased since I was younger so I never really got an accurate story from him.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Open Topic Blog

Well I know that the one thing on everyone's mind these days is the war on Iraq. I am not really too sure on my opinion of the war. I know that I am not a fighter, however if it needed to be done, I would take necessary action. Although there are all these anti-war rallies everywhere, I believe that there isn't much else President Bush could have done besides waging war. I do feel bad for the Iraqi civilians, because it isn't their fault that their government sucks. However, my loyalty is with America and if killing Iraqis is the only way to solve this problem, then so be it. As for the Americans who aren't supporting the war, I think that it is almost a disloyalty to this country. I don't necessarily support war however I am American and I will stick by my country through the best and worst of times. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I feel as if every American needs to support our country. Although killing people isn't my style, it is what is needed to be done, because they killed so many of our innocent citizens. That is my justification for the Iraqi civilians being blown up, they did it to us so why can't we do it to them! My boyfriend is in the Navy, however he is so fortunate not to be over there. There isn't really a big chance of him going over there, but still it worries me everyday because I see what the families of these troops are going through. I can't imagine the fear and anxiety these Marines are going through as they sit in the desert waiting for attacks. I have been watching the live coverage and it is amazing how we can actually watch the battles as they happen. They must have an incredible amount of courage because I know if I was out there I'd be scared beyond belief! We need to kick some Iraqi butt!!