Writing for a Teacher

My friend asked me what it feels like to be a week away from completing half of my college career. I promptly told him to stop speaking to me. I know that there are a few juniors(soon to be seniors) that are probably rolling their eyes reading this… but I bet you were thinking the same thing at the end of your sophomore year. It is crazy to think about how fast college is flying by, and so I think this post about reflection is somewhat appropriate.

This past year I was a member of Ann Arbor Languages Program. I went into three different 3rd grade classrooms and taught Spanish for 30 mins every Tuesday and Thursday. The program was demanding, stressful, sleep depriving, and infuriatingly time consuming.It left me exhausted.

How I felt after teaching
How I felt after teaching

Yet I would do it all again. I am certain now that I would never want to be an elementary school teacher, and if nothing else, I gained that from the whole experience.

I know this post is supposed to be reflecting on writing, and in a way, this experience for me was all about writing. I had to write up a lesson for every day that I taught. 44 different lesson scripts. Each one different from the next. These scripts were not just bullets listing the events. I had to dig deep and describe what I was going to do and why it was important that I do so. Here is an excerpt from one such lesson:

Ropa/Color Worksheets 10 min – end

-These worksheets are going to be done in groups – I have chosen to use six characters because every class has six different table groups and so every group will be able to work on a different person—-i will have my own person that I will model before I pass out the worksheet emphasizing again that there needs to be ropa y color so when I am demonstrating I say zapatos NEGROS———making sure to stress the color part of the answer——–then I will pass out the papers, since there will only be six it would take more time to call up a volunteer————-keep repeating “en groupos – en groupos” – so they know to work in groups ——there will be a slide now with all the colors and all the names of the clothing types, because the students usually know the word they want but they get frustrated when they cant spell it——–also when I am walking around I can help the students out by pointing at the slides——  -when I see that they re done I will call up the students by groups and ask them to share ———this may be a little hard for some of the shy students so I will allow one person to speak for the group, because I realize that not everyone is comfortable speaking up front———-the point is to have the group be involved and so its four kids sharing instead of one raising their hand

 

And that is just one ten minute segment of a lesson. Sure, this was one of my more in-depth scripts, but I think I get my point across. I learned a lot about how to think for other people’s needs. This can directly relate to my writing. I need to be aware of my audience and address their needs. Not to mention that I was doing a good deal of writing almost every night. The content is not exactly riveting or inspirational to read, but I can honestly say that I was writing. This is something that I am guilty of not always doing. Just sitting down and writing was very revealing after awhile. I did eventually expand to more than just “the colors.” I was able to write some stories not pertaining to the classroom and I just carried on with what had already been set in motion. So while there may have been a lot of pieces I was assigned to complete, the constant time spent in front of a keyboard actually became very beneficial for me.

Reflection

This semester was not my favorite in terms of what I wrote. I am finishing up some distribution requirements, so I had a couple 100 level classes that didn’t have any writing at all, and I am not super proud of what I did end up writing for my two other classes. My capacity for procrastination actually got worse; I’ve never put anything off as long as I did with a couple papers this year. The longest paper I have ever written, 12 pages on sex positive education, was possibly the biggest train wreck. By the end of the weekend that I spent writing it, I was too burned out to edit it thoroughly.

It isn’t that my writing has gotten worse, at least I don’t think so. But writing papers has taken on this route feeling, like I’ve done this before a thousand times and will do the exact same thing a thousand more. The middle of the night grind is not particularly inspiring. This is, of course, partially my fault for waiting until the last minute when everything that can possibly be produced is the essay equivalent of cafeteria food- there is a lot of it, and it looks okay, but it all sort of tastes like potatoes.

Sigh.

So anyway, I’m taking an English class next semester to get out of this funk because that usually helps (see my earlier post). Any of you feel that way about papers sometimes?

 

T.G.I.A.

Thank God It’s April!

Does anyone else feel this way, or is it just me? Of course I’m sad that my junior year is ending (I never want to graduate, go away real world!) but, in a few short week’s we’ll finally get to relax and appreciate the fruits of all our hard labor these past 4 months, and I honestly can’t wait!

Every time I come home from school my puppy Buster takes a nap on my suitcase.

To put it bluntly, being a student in Writing 200 made me happy to be a writer. It reminded me why I love it, and really how fulfilling it can be when you work with that title instead of against it. I’ve been so inspired by our writing assignments (e.g., I learned so much about how my life has shaped my writing from our first “Why I Write” essay) and by the people we’ve met in the “How I Write” meetings. I’m actually sort of looking forward to completing my E-Portfolio now that I have a better understanding of myself as a writer (although I know that by next weekend I’ll seriously be biting my tongue for having said such a blasphemous thing). One of my friends – who is a History major – actually looks forward to his final exams, because in his words “they put together everything we’ve learned over the semester and make us think about it in different ways. How cool!” Yeah, my eyes are rolling too. But now, in a way I see his point. Our E-Portfolio is a way to think about all of the ways we’ve studied writing and put ourselves to the test to aptly and creatively show what we know about our writing and present that knowledge effectively.

I think that with all of my exams, papers, projects, presentations, etc. etc. etc. things coming up as the semester closes, I’ll have to remind myself (as everyone should!) to stay calm. We’re in college! Let’s have a little fun while we’re still here. It’s not everyday that we get to be in classes as cool as Writing 200.

– Allie

Writing Reflections

I didn’t do nearly as much school-related writing this semester as I did last semester. Maybe it’s because I’m taking project-based marketing courses instead of the traditional communications classes that are heavy in writing. Now don’t get me wrong, I have done my fair share of writing for these marketing projects, just no 8-10 page essays. I think I prefer this type of marketing case study writing. I was assigned to compile and edit everything after people researched their individual parts. I think it’s really cool to put together the piece and see how the final product looks.

Aside from this type of writing, I wrote a dance performance reflection, a few mini writing assignments, and a long paper about the double standard for my women’s health class. This last essay took me a while to write, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m just a little worried about the structure of it. I felt like all of my ideas overlapped a lot. I guess we will see when I get my grade back!

I’ve been applying to a lot of internships and as a result writing a lot of cover letters. I love this type of writing because it lets me talk about my strengths. I also wrote numerous articles for Her Campus. I always enjoy writing these articles because I get to write about the college lifestyle. I don’t anticipate much writing for the rest of the semester aside from finishing powerpoints for my projects.

Happy writing everyone!

 

Blog Theme #1: Reflection

As your formally elected Minor in Writing Blog Committee, we cordially invite all cohort members to participate in our monthly “themed” blogging. We feel that themed posts will both promote inter-cohort communication and collaboration, as well as provide a multitude of perspectives on a single, focused topic. Think of these prompts as “guidelines” to use in order to freely express your thoughts and opinions about the subjects at hand.

For April’s theme, we’d like you to reflect on you writing experiences this semester. What was your favorite thing you wrote? Did you write anything outside of your coursework that was meaningful to you? What lies ahead for the rest of your semester? Remember to use the appropriate tags and categories: Monthly Theme, April, Reflection.

Mulan - Reflection
Get it? Reflection? We’re very funny people.

We look forward to your contributions.

Regards,
Your Blog Overlords

Julia Adams
Zach Bucholtz
Josh Kim
Alex Olkowski