Monthly Archives: October 2013

Project 3 Working Bibliography for Sharon, Zahra, Hunter and Carly

Bibliography

Wayne State University Office of Housing & Residential Life. Wayne State University, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

“Guest Housing & References.” Wayne State University Office of Housing & Residential Life. Wayne State University, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Michigan State University Office of Admissions. Michigan State University, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

“Student Hosted Day/Overnight Visits.” Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Michigan State University Office of Admissions. Michigan State University, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

“Freshman Quests.” Wayne State University College of Education. Wayne State University, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Wayne State University Dean of Students Office. n.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

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Reflection 3

     Project 2 was a good turning point this semester.  It brought all the concepts I learned thus far in ENG1020 together and let me implement them all in one paper. I enjoyed this project and learned a bunch: personal narrative writing, interviewing processes, learning conciseness, being ruthless when it comes to revisions (I revised my paper at least six times) and finally learning how to put my true feelings out in the open. 

     There were many factors that influenced my writing.  The articles on interviewing were very helpful for Project 2 as all my information was solely based on personal interviews.  Merriam’s article on conducting effective interviews was very helpful when it came to coming up with questions for interview.  I also read articles using Wayne State’s library database for inspiration on interview questions.  All the interviews I conducted went surprisingly well –I would call them conversations opposed to interviews.  I chose to interview three different types of students: students living at Wayne State, students living on campuses aside from Wayne State, and students who once lived at Wayne State and now commute.  I got different answers from each type of student which helped formulate different ideas and ways to approach my “meaty” paragraphs in Project 2.

     Reading the example I-Search papers in class also helped immensely while writing my I-Search paper.  It helped me know I was on the right track and it did not have to be as formal as I thought it di—it just needed to be honest, relevant, and concise.  It also gave me a good standing on how I should organize my paper and which details to include and exclude. 

     Another important factor that influenced my writing (and thinking) process in Project 2 was the peer response in class.  After reading my draft for Project 2, a student pointed out that I really was not answering my question and suggested thinking of a new question.  I cannot express my gratitude towards this student enough.  After class she and Mrs. Jankens helped me come up with a new question that made my I-Search go much smoother and made it much more enjoyable to write.

   After changing my question, I changed my I-Search and revised the way I went about writing my paper.  I had a meeting with Mrs. Jankens which I found especially helpful and encouraging as I was still struggling with putting my feelings on paper.  After my meeting with Mrs. Jankens I was able to get a better grip on my motivation for my I-Search topic and pushed through the rest.  A lot of anxiety I was having about others reading my paper was reduced and I finally was able to be honest on paper, which I thought made it a much more enjoyable read. 

     I also appreciated how my ENG1020 class suggested sentence and structure revision when reviewing my paper on the projector.  It helped me get a good bearing on where I was in my paper and what structural changes I needed to make.  They were supportive and constructive critiques and made my first paragraph sound a lot less wordy and redundant.  I used the same tactics on my own for the rest of my paper.   I genuinely hope whatever feedback I gave to the students who asked for it were as satisfied with my criticism and their projects as I was.  This paper really was about both the journey and destination—I hope my classmates enjoyed writing this paper as much as I did.  

Reading Response 6

      While reading the Peck, Flower, and Higgins text, I learned much about argument and proposals for change.  One of the key terms I picked up from this article was Community Literacy, which from my understanding is looking for change in a discourse community.  There are four aspects to Community Literacy: social change, intercultural conversation, strategic approach, and inquiry.  All of these aspects of Community Literacy help make an argument valid and complete.  When talking about urban kids and school suspensions Peck, Flower, and Higgins used specific examples by applying these four elements of Community Literacy, making their proposal for change relatively strong.  The way I saw it, they used Community Literacy as a way to explain how to argue effectively.  Arguments (clearly) are not usually one-sided and need clear evidence to prove a point.  A proposal for change is a good start when learning to argue effectively. 

     As Project 3 is a proposal for change in a familiar discourse community, I would like to focus on any sort of community relating to Wayne State.  It is a familiar discourse community to the students I will be working with and is a facility that is always changing. As Wayne State is a huge community, there are several aspects that people could change: parking, buildings, learning communities, forms of communication, dorm rooms, etc.  I will be open to any thoughts and would like to help anyone with similar ideas.   

Project 2 Draft–Please comment with feedback!!

Sharon Yousif-Dickow

Professor Adrienne Jankens

ENG 1020

10 October 2013

     As a first year-first semester student at Wayne State University, I have come to find college is much different from any schooling I have encountered in my educational career thus far. Aside from the challenging classes, thousands of unfamiliar faces, and adjusting to an entirely new community, college is the place where one starts to find himself and gain independence as an adult. It is the threshold from childhood to adulthood, the door to a world of new discourse communities. I identify myself with a plethora of discourse communities at Wayne State, each serving as elements to whom I am, and who I aspire to be. One of the larger discourse communities I partake in is the “commuter” community, as I drive to and from Wayne State each day. I have been told by numerous friends and family members that college is the place where one really gets to know himself. My interpretation of finding myself is growing into an individual and understanding how I contribute to society as a global citizen. As I am trying to find myself throughout my college journey, I constantly wonder, “Would I better develop as an individual if I were to live away from home?” All semester, I have been asking myself “What if?” when it comes to living on campus and commuting.  I want to understand how, or if, I would grow to better know myself if I lived on campus. Researching my I-Search may give me insight to something I may have been blinded to, or would further justify my decision to commute to Wayne State.

     As a commuting student, I do not know much about campus life beyond the basics (dorm, laundry, campus food, etc.).  Since my question is more personal, I knew I would not find my answer in reading articles; I needed personal feedback. Fortunately, I am blessed with friends who live at Wayne State and other universities who allowed me to interview them about campus life. I inquired about academics, social life, family and the college experience in general as I felt these aspects were most important to me. I planned on using peer responses to give me a better picture of how life would be on campus and then applied them to myself and personal experiences.   

     Before actually interviewing several students, I came across various online articles which inspired me to come up with specific questions for interview.  Most of the questions derived from these articles were about social life: “What sorts of interactions allowed you to make friends on campus?” “What was your motivation to make friends in college?” I then came up with a list of questions on various topics, organizing them according to their category, and refined each question in a way that allowed for a conversation opposed to a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Since I interviewed students with different circumstances I revised each question in a way that was relevant to the student’s situation.  After a final revision of my questions I started to interview.

            While inquiring about academics, I came across a range of answers from, “I’m a perfectionist, so it wouldn’t really matter if I lived at home or on campus; I still strive for excellence and accept nothing less” (Smith) to “When I lived on campus, I really didn’t care too much about grades because my parents weren’t on my butt all the time about it” (Fatone). Currently, my study habits consist of doing homework on the third floor of the UGL while conversing with friends and cramming for exams at the Farmington Hills Library. Whether or not I were to live on campus or live at home, I know I want to do the best I can in my schoolwork, and be able to maintain a relatively high GPA— especially because I plan on furthering my educational career to medical school. Although I have not yet found my study “groove” in college, I know I will eventually find what fits once I am better acquainted with Wayne State, which will hopefully in turn help me get better acquainted with myself. At the least, I know I strive for the best, and have an unstoppable will to succeed in my studies. 

            After inquiring about academics, I inquired about social life.  When it came to social life, every interview was basically the same.  When I told Molly Freida to describe her social life while living on campus she said, “I became a lot more social living on campus. More social than I was at home, like, everyone is just there where, like, at home all my friends were off to college and all my friends from school lived at school” (Freida). As I interviewed other students living on campuses besides Wayne State (Michigan State University and University of Chicago), they mentioned how their social life became more important than their academics, causing their focus to dwindle (Kim). Right now, I have a solid group of friends at Wayne State. We study together on a daily basis and hang out off campus on the weekends. I plan on meeting new people and making even more friends as the semester progresses. If I were to live on campus, I would probably get caught up in the social scene and try to make as many friends as possible for a sense of comfort. I would become much more involved with on campus activities and see how different things work. This would make me better-rounded which is a good contributing factor to individuality. However, my focus on school would definitely deplete, and my time management skills would not be up to par.  This would take away from my individuality, or at least my personal development.

            As I continued the search to my ultimate question, I began thinking about my family and my relationship with them.  I am close to both my immediate family and my extended family—I could not imagine life without them.  When I asked Hannah Yosef to describe her relationship with her family while living on campus opposed to commuting she responded, “When I was living at Wayne State, I missed my family like you wouldn’t believe.  Oddly enough, it made me closer to them.  Now that I am living at home again, I appreciate them a lot better.” On the other hand, Akash Patel responded, “We really don’t talk much.  My mom calls me about nine times a day, but I don’t always necessarily answer.”  As much as I would love to strengthen my relationship with my family I would find it hard living on campus as I would become distracted with my own priorities, making it harder to keep constant contact. Yes, technology is always available as an excellent form of communication, but it is not the same as a face to face conversation; the emotion is just not there. As I mentioned, my family means the world to me. Almost every decision I make is based on my family. I would have a hard time finding myself without them, as they are always there to support me in all my endeavors. They constantly give me the confidence I need to believe in myself and follow my heart. Life would be tough without this support, and I would begin to doubt myself. However, making decisions on my own would help me become more independent and allow me to know what I really want. I know I would develop if I were to live away from home, but am not entirely sure how I would do so. 

     When ending every interview I asked each student, “How is your life different living on campus?” All but one student replied they are free to do what they want, when they want.  The one student who did not have this same answer replied, “Coming into college I thought I would be changed, but I’m not.  I stayed true to my beliefs. Yeah, my family life was different, but that was about it. I do me, and don’t really care about anything else. Life’s the same, and I don’t expect it to change” (Walter). I found this answer to be the most unique. It hit home.

       Unfortunately, I did not include questions pertaining to religion in my interviews as I knew some of the interviewees were not comfortable talking about religion, or did not have a religion to discuss. Instead of interviewing, I decided to reflect on my being and how my religion affects it. After much thinking and even more praying, I immediately knew I could never be the same person without God in my life. I pray daily and attend church every Sunday. I purposefully make time for prayer in my daily schedule.  With this being said, if I were to live on campus, I could see my relationship with God weaken because I would get too caught up in studies, friends and enjoying college in general. My church would not be as close as it is at home, and I would find excuses to miss Sunday Mass. My religion is my foundation, and without a foundation it would be nearly impossible to further understand myself.

     Throughout this process, I received much more than an answer to a question that interested me.  I learned technicalities of the process of interviewing and personal narrative writing. I was pleasantly surprised at how each interview was not so much an interview, rather, but an open hearted conversation. I appreciated how honest my interviewees were, and did not just give me what I wanted to hear. Most importantly, I learned about myself. After reviewing each interview, I thought more deeply about my I-Search question and how I would actually answer it. Since my topic was personal, I had a hard time putting my personal feelings out in the open as I am introverted. I experienced much anxiety about how I would present my thoughts on paper. Somehow I pushed through and constantly asked myself the question “Would I truly be able to define myself if I were to live away from home?” each time I concluded an interview. I would sit in my bed and think, writing down every thought that came to mind. After, I tried to come up with an answer using these thoughts, but could not bring myself to one concrete response. I wrote and re-wrote my final answer, but was never satisfied. Eventually, it just clicked. It took a while, but I finally realized there really is no answer to this question; I would have to experience it for myself. As much as I would want to develop into an individual throughout my collegiate journey, I finally understood it takes a lifetime to develop into an individual regardless of living at or away from home. Life is always changing, and I honestly do not known what is going to come next—I am just going to roll with it and see where it takes me. As long as I “do me” and stick to my beliefs I will be on my way in doing so. It was not the answer I anticipated—not even merely close to the answer I wanted out of this question. For some reason, I am okay with this answer, as life is a journey of finding one’s self, and for me, college is just the beginning.   

 

Reflection 2 :)

     As I read my Project 2 draft, I could honestly say I was more or less satisfied with my work.  I started off by reading it once in my head, once aloud, once aloud backwards (it was long and difficult, but really cool), and aloud again. On a side note, reading my paper backwards helped me appreciate my work much more than usual.  Each time I read my paper, I found more technical error than anything, but surprisingly was not all that worried. Yes, a few sentences sounded awkward, but after switching a few words around, they made much more sense. I still need to work on sentence variation—my sentences are relatively long.  I was able to follow my thoughts on paper and liked the way it flowed.  I do not think it would have flowed as nicely if I did not keep up with my interviews and write everything as I went along while it was fresh in my mind.  

     In some spots, I thought it sounded like the “try hard” academic part of me starting to come out, but then would be balanced out with something that informal me would say—it just meshed.  Towards the end of my paper, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can get pretty deep….there’s hope!” I loved how my paper ended; it was the first time I was actually able to be honest on paper and not care what people would think of me.  

     I am not the type of person who can write an essay while watching the Tigers game and expect to actually get work done.  Every time I came to write my draft, I was either in the UGL or in my room at some insane hour at night (or early morning, depending how you look at it).  I was focused, and was actually excited to write, which helped me power through my draft.  Some sort of relaxing, classical Arabic music (instrumental only, the singing distracts me) would be playing in the background to get me “in the zone” and I would have that same song on replay until I lost concentration and decided to stop writing. 

     While hearing myself read my draft, I noticed that although it sounded together, it seemed to escape from the main point in different areas.  I had a hard time incorporating my information to my question because I changed my question pretty late in the process.  I feel like some of my input/reflection is irrelevant and am not sure how to go about changing it without changing the whole paper again.  I plan on meeting with Mrs. Jankens and discussing a plan for revision. I want to work mainly on my content and organization, making sure all my information is relevant and make sure I actually answer my question without beating around the bush.  I also want to work on my sentence structure and not have a sentence take up nearly three lines of the page.  Additionally, I might add more detail when describing my research process if it will fit without seeming overbearing.  With these revisions I think I will be on my way to an excellent paper. 

   After reading Elbow and Fulwiler’s articles on speaking/writing and voice, I found that I was able to relate to Fulwiler’s text on voice a bit better than Elbow’s article about speaking/writing.  I liked how Fulwiler used rhetorical situation while analyzing his work (which I think could be a genre analysis, but this is a separate conversation) and found myself doing the same thing while reading my I-Search paper.  I could “hear myself” while reading my paper, and found it to be a mix of private and public voice, with a little bit more public than private.  I plan to take Fulwiler’s input on voice into consideration as I carry out my plan for revision (which is still in the works) so I can have the “perfect touch” of voice in my I-Search paper.

Library Database Feedback

As we learned about the several awesome resources in the UGL today, I began to explore my own research.  Unfortunately, through the several databases available (MEL, CQ, Gale articles), I was not able to find an article specific to my I-Search question, as it will require more observation and interview more than anything.  I will definitely use the resources through the Wayne State library system to broaden my horizons and come up with new questions for my interviews.  I hope to obtain information from these articles that will help me look at my I-Search question at a different angle.  I will still make an appointment with a librarian, though, to find more information about campus life.  I will also use Wayne State’s housing website for information along with interviewing on campus friends (first semester, and friends that have been there for a couple of years) and commuter friends.  I will then interview friends living on other university campuses (University of Chicago, UM Ann Arbor, MSU, Northwestern, etc.) and compare the two campus lifestyles.  Although I am not using the mainstream database search, I will definitely keep it in mind for Project 4.