Personal Growth Through Blogging

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Throughout this semester, Dr. Jerz (my professor for American Literature 1915-present at Seton Hill University), has emphasized the importance of blogging.  From novels, to poems, to academic articles - I've blogged on a multitude of diverse genres of writing on numerous topics.  Though it was not always enjoyable, in fact, at times it could feel like a waste of time, I do not regret writing a single one of my blogs.  Through them, I was provided the opportunity to post my own original thoughts in the well-respected Seton Hill Blog for anyone to read online.


The most rewarding part of the entire blogging assignments was the commenting.  My class was obligated to comment on at least two fellow classmates blogs for each literary work.  Thus, it was almost guaranteed that each person's blog would receive at least one comment.  I always looked forward to checking mine before class and reading my peers views about my own written opinion.


After all of the commenting before class each week, I felt adequately prepared to participate in class discussion.  Not only did I hold my own personal opinion about the novel, but rather I held an view formed from the various insightful blogs of my peers.  Through this constant blogging and commenting, I began to look at literary works from different points of view, not just my own, and thus I grew to understand the work on a deeper level.


However, blogging did not just affect my views on literature.  I learned to be more open-minded and receptive to other people's opinions.  The way in which I interpret something is not always the so-called correct way.  Rather, there is no one particular correct opinion to any topic, but instead many diverse interpretations that, when put together, can form a broad and widely accepted idea.


On that note, here is my second portfolio of the blogging.  My blogs for this half of the semester fall under 5 categories: coverage, timeliness, interactions, depth, and discussion.  


Coverage


Many of my blogs throughout this semester contained adequate "coverage" of the assigned literary works.  These entries consisted of a direct quote, an identified source of the quote, and links back to the course webpage devoted to that reading.  Here are a few of my entries which best exemplify my understanding of the concept of coverage:


Keep it Simple


The Meek and Mild Mushroom


Eloquence in the Invisible Man


You Can't Fight Fate


Timeliness


I admit, this was a tough criteria to keep to this semester.  Along with the enormous amount of homework presented in my other class (especially organic chemistry), as well as while trying to fulfill my own personal endeavor (which may actually work out!), I found it nearly impossible to post all of my blogs by the Friday before class.  However, I did manage to blog them before class, usually during the weekend, and thus I was adequately prepared for each class. Here are some of my earlier posted blogs:


More Biblical Imagery in the Grapes of Wrath


Forget the Future, Live in the Past


Thesis?


Beating Time


1,369?


Interaction


This is one topic which I noticeably improved with since last semester.  Though I was at one time hesitant to respond to my peer's comments, I finally grew confidant enough to respond to their feedback about my blogs.  Here are some examples of my newfound confidence:


A Play That's Anti-Illusion


Keep it Simple


Blatantly Obvious...And I Loved It!


Depth


Writing more complex, thoughtful blogs was another task which I successfully accomplished this semester.  Rather than simple summaries of the literary work, I insightfully wrote intellectual, thought-provoking blog entries which often used other sources besides the assigned work. Here are some of the blogs which best exemplify my concentration on depth:


More Biblical Imagery in the Grapes of Wrath


A Play That's Anti-Illusion


Forget the Future, Live in the Past


The Media Has Made Sex the Norm


Manners in 1918


Black Man Bank


Discussion


Throughout this semester, I took great pride in the comments I left on my peers blogs.  Rather than simply writing "you did a good job," I either agreed with or challenged theirs views.  Regardless of my opinion about their blog, I always followed with evidence for why I felt the way I did.  Here are some of my classmates blogs which contain my favorite comments that I wrote:


Chelsie Bitner's Save the Family


Joshua Wilk's Crucified


Mathew Henderson's Arthur Miller's funny now?


Juli Banda's Imagination is Key


Nikita McClellan's Throw Away Everything You Learned



Overall, this course has been one of my favorites throughout my freshman year at college.  For the first time in my life, I did not have someone teach me the course material.  Rather, I interpreted literary works on my own and then combined my views along with those of my classmates to come to an insightful analysis of numerous books, scholarly articles, and poems.  I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn as an intellectual, not just a student.  This class will challenge you in ways you've never dreamed.  Prepare to work hard, and the rewards you will reap in the end will be well-worth the effort.


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