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October 01, 2005

A Learning Experience

Amanda Nichols
Dr. Jerz
El 250
29 September 2005
A Learning Experience
“Don’t be stressed”, said senior Katie Aikins a mere twenty-four hours before the presentations were due. Her blonde curls bounced and she smiled and giggled as if this assignment were as easy as baking a cake. A few of us from EL 250 were eating lunch and stressing over the quickly approaching oral presentation deadline. We tried taking her advice, but being virgins at this thing called college, we crammed, we stayed up half the night, we laughed. We were freshman.
On Friday, September 23, 2005 oral presentations were presented to a small group of peers from the Drama as Literature class. Prior to my presentation I only had a general idea of what was going to be needed in the project. Sitting out on the porch in the Administration building, about eight classmates and I presented our projects. In my oral presentation, I compared Anna in The Jeweller’s Shop and Helen in Machinal, who both suffered from a lost love. I presented most of my speech from note cards, but learned that others in my group did not have any “cheat sheets“, which made their presentation appear cleaner and it looked like they really knew what they were talking about. I picked up a lot of good ideas while watching others present. Katie Aikins did an awesome job, in my opinion. She stood up and walked around, using hand movements to emphasize her point. Unlike her, the rest of us presented ours while sitting down. I felt more like a student in class in Katie’s presentation and definitely learned the most from hers.
During my presentation I talked to my classmates about how Anna in The Jeweller’s Shop and Helen in Machinal both had fascinations with men that made them feel better and have a slight glimmer of hope. Although I stayed seated while presenting, I thought I kept the interest of my audience. After my presentation was given, everyone around the small group said it was good. I did not have much peer feedback, but the people who did contribute were helpful. Katie jumped in right away and said that I had made a good comparison between the women in Machinal and The Jeweller’s Shop. Denamarie also commented on my presentation. She told me it was informative, but may need to be a bit longer and said I should be more comfortable with what was on my note cards.
All in all I really learned a great deal from this presentation. I stressed a lot about it the night before because I was never too good at giving speeches or talking in front of a groups of peers. However, the oral presentations were much different that I had expected. Splitting off into small groups in quiet areas on campus broke the tension. In addition, the “speech” I had thought I was going to have to give was not like a speech at all, but more like having a discussion about the plays we have read with a few people. Everyone’s discussion really taught me something. I picked up on several connections between plays I did not before the presentations were assigned. I also found it interesting to see who noticed what in each play. The constructive criticism was helpful and didn’t make me feel like I was an idiot and helped me a great deal when writing this reflection paper.


Amanda Nichols
Dr. Jerz
EL 250
29 September 2005
Changes
Compared to the reflection that was due for Monday for my oral presentation, several changes have been made. My previous reflection was quite short. In this one, I explained more aspects of my presentation in detail. In my introduction paragraph I talked about what went on the crazy night before the assignment was due. I also included other presentations and the differences in our body language as my classmates and I presented.
Unlike the last reflection paper, I talked about my argument a little more. I also walked my reader through what actually went on as I presented my comparison between plays. I actually wrote the peer feedback I got instead of just saying that I simply got peer feedback. Lastly, in this reflection paper I wrote a solid conclusion and talked more in detail about what exactly I learned from the oral presentations.

Posted by AmandaNichols at October 1, 2005 10:37 PM

Comments

Amanda,

You are too sweet.

Let me tell you, you did very well on your presentation and there is nothing to be nervous about. Believe me, I used to get worked up and worried about how things were going to go, but I think that with time, you realize the worst thing that can happen is nothing that is going to happen to you in Drama as Literature. (Unless, of course, we had to bake a cake - then, that probably would be the worst thing to happen, ever.)

Honestly, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to school work. You know you are going to get through it because that's why you're here.

You are a smart young lady with good ideas, and you are sure to excel in English classes of the future.

I wish you luck in all you do!

Katie

Posted by: KatieAikins at October 29, 2005 05:26 PM

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