DAMN who is dat gurl in the mirror? REFLECTIONS2012: Final WIP of the semester

Think about yourself as a work in progress. What have you learned about yourself as a writer/speaker/student this semester? What are you most proud of? How would you like to continue to improve? What are you hoping to learn or do or accomplish next semester? While the bulk of your response should focus on the RCL course, you may also wish to reflect on your first semester of college more generally.

For this final WIP blog of the semester, I’d like to make myself a Pokémon, one that is worthy of her own special edition Pokémon card. On this card is an outline of my strengths, my weaknesses, and my future. I am a Pokémon card in an English classroom environment, with writing and speaking abilities. But please, disclaimer, I’m not a fighting Pokémon, so trainer, please don’t try to use me in a dual. I will fail and faint every time…

Writer:

  • Technical Abilities
    • This semester, my capabilities of forming different types of papers were tested and challenged. For the first writing assignment, the Rhetorical Analysis, I felt more in my comfort zone, but when the Paradigm Shift essay came along, I knew I would have to think harder and deeper because I’d never faced a challenger like this before. I think my thought process was on par-I have seen an improvement already from my last year in high school to now in critical thinking and analysis of something. I was more a surface thinker; I’m beginning to figure out how to be a thinker that goes beyond the top. But don’t get me wrong, I still have long ways to go with this, yet, it’s always been a struggle for me to be insightful, and so I am happy with the progress. After critical thinking comes execution, and for the first essay, I think my execution sufficed, but for the Paradigm Essay, I need to improve on blocking the words together. I had too many long paragraphs and long sentences that can get overwhelming for the reader. What I need to improve on is being able to mix and match the lengths of thoughts. It’s something I definitely will play around with. Those are my goals for next semester.
  • Creative Abilities
    • I think I’m pretty creative…I think it’s just in my nature to stray away from plain sounding things because it doesn’t interest me, nor will it interest the reader or the audience. I always enjoy the beginnings of papers because it’s an area to showcase something beyond the paper screaming “This is what I’ll say in this way and that way”. Although it’s good to have a nice preview, something so black and white as that just ain’t my thang. But I want to try something different. I have always brought my creative side to the beginning and ends of my papers, I want to try something fresh, yet still effective in informative writing. Maybe mixing something in this paragraph and something different in that paragraph. It will be difficult but it’s something I want to try for next semester. I might have to break a few rules, but despite those sacrifices, the long run outcome will be more rewarding.

Speaking:

  • This girl ain’t so good at making stuff up on the spot…I mean I can make stuff up, it’s just that I’m sure it’s not as smooth as the words that are I know will be coming out of my mouth. One thing is preparation; obviously reviewing something frantically the night before and the morning of the presentation won’t help retain what I want to say in the next few hours, but being to possess the ability to kind of wing the parts you forget and be so good at is isn’t something bad…in fact, it’s straight up awesome. In terms of speaking, I think I am good at engaging the audience, and I am proud of that charisma that I think rubs off on the viewers because no one likes to watch something dry. I think I have a clear and loud voice that gets across so the words are easy to understand, but I want to improve my cohesiveness. In my TED talk, I definitely saw much room for improvement. The stuttering, the “umms” and the less than climactic ending were things that irked me. One, I could have fixed the ending to make it more powerful if I didn’t forget what I wanted to say. The umms and stuttering are things that on the spot, I need to learn how to control. Calming down and oozing confidence is something I want for next semester, and something I will work towards next semester.

Overall, this Pokémon ain’t so bad…it definitely knows how to do things, but its quality of execution was room to improve. Also this Pokémon needs to procrastinate less…merp. I have figured out through this course that I have a strong foundation, and it can only go up from here. NEXT SEMESTER HERE WE COME!

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1 Response to DAMN who is dat gurl in the mirror? REFLECTIONS2012: Final WIP of the semester

  1. Matt Swatski says:

    Sarah, I would definitely use you as a starter Pokemon in a duel. However, if someone gave me a Charizard I would be pretty tempted to trade….I mean come on, especially if it was special edition. Back to the blog, Sarah your presentations were incredible. I was honestly blown away by your TED Talk and Civic Life Speech. It was informative, funny, and fascinating. I obviously didn’t read your Paradigm Shift essay, but the work that influenced your TED Talks was intriguing. I think we all need to procrastinate less, and I am excited to begin the second part of this course next semester, because although this course has been a lot of effort and work, it has been my favorite course at Penn State so far. It was really awesome being in your blog group. Go Catch Em’ All.

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