Thoughts About Thoughts on Advice

I love to learn by watching others.

That being said, reading the experiences of others and the advice that they have to offer – regardless of whether the advice actually relates to me – has always been a pleasure of mine. It is for that reason that I had a difficult time selecting two pieces containing advice that stood out to me more so than any others.

However, the first of the two pieces I will mention caught my eye before I even read its contents because of its title, “Dear Future Minions” written by previous student Jeff Slade. The Minions movies hold a dear place in my heart. Therefore, when I saw the title I immediately clicked, hoping to find funny cracks on the minions or perhaps a minion animation. Needless to say, and perhaps predictably, “Dear Future Minions,” contained zero mentions of the minions.

However, it included something much better.

Jeff reminded me to choose my remediation project topic with care so to avoid boredom. This is especially important for me because once I choose a topic that I think is “good enough,” I do not usually change it. Call it loyalty, or maybe even stubbornness, but even when, upon further research, I come to realize that the topic is not quite as “juicy” as I had initially envisioned it to be, I trudge onward. This is a cycle I hope to break in this class especially given the huge amount of freedom I will have. I am resolving then to allow myself to change my current idea if I find it to be lacking in sufficient “juice.”

Another takeaway from Jeff’s piece was his writing style itself. I appreciated how each piece of advice he made had its own paragraph, and how each paragraph had the main idea in the first sentence. Both of these together made the post much easier to read than if it had been clumped together.

The second post I read that spoke to me on a slightly more philosophical level was “My swan for writing 220” by Rober Molnar.

Robert immediately grabbed my attention through his use of whitespace as well as his use of questions throughout. The first question in particular “Advice on what? I’m not sure” drew me in because the blatant truthfulness was funny and made Robert seem more relatable to myself. I will definitely stay mindful about use of questions and whitespace to make my pieces seem more appealing to readers.

In general, Robert’s main point about focusing on getting the most out of the class instead of doing well in the class spoke to me. It was a great reminder to enjoy my time in the gateway class as well as the process of learning more about myself through writing. I am now going to make an active effort to not allow stress over deadlines or grades ruin the experience for me.

I can now say that I am excited to embark on this new adventure and to truly live the Gateway experience.

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