First off, I love the theme and GIF that goes along with it. I know all the lyrics and corresponding dance moves to “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from Mulan. If you ask me to perform, please understand that I give my best performances in the privacy of my own home.
Alright, back to reflections. I’m sitting here trying to think about what I learned throughout the gateway course. I believe my biggest takeaway will be the confidence in my writing that Shelley and my classmates helped to reinforce. As I’ve heard many times before, self-confidence needs to come from within–hence the self in self-confidence. But I do think that the words of positive encouragement from Shelley and members of my blog group gave me the reassurance that what I was doing was right. Professors and GSIs have to critically analyze the papers and assignments submitted to them for a grade.
One of my political science professors told the class today there exists a difference between offering negative criticism and thoughtfully critiquing a piece. Too many times writers seem to happily to engage in harsh criticism rather than helpful critique. The professor went on to say that criticism that fails to prescribe solutions is rarely well-received. Instead, writers like to know what isn’t working, but also ways in which to improve the piece. I’m very glad my classmates understand this difference in criticism methods.
I didn’t think I would need those words of encouragement from my classmates and reviewers. But I have found that it really helps. When I get a paper back from Shelley that says “This is AWESOME!” I know that my work paid off and someone on the other side is listening. No pressure, though, to say anything nice back to me about this blog post.