Throughout my first few weeks in the Topics in Media and Culture course, I have already thoroughly utilized my blog to demonstrate my knowledge. As I analyzed my blog posts, I was pleased that many of my responses exemplified one of the categories listed below. While there is still room for improvement, I am very content with the depth of my responses and the risks I have taken early in the semester.
My first post this semester that I felt exemplified depth was Introduction to the Canons of Rhetoric. I dedicated a paragraph to each of the five canons of rhetoric and analyzed how each was important to giving a speech.
As I read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, my posts about each day of the book grew more detailed as well. My Eco: Fourth Day response was the first that I felt began to exemplify depth. I wrote a lot about one of the quotes from that section, including what that quote implied about the character of William.
I continued to add depth in my Eco: Fifth Day response. I wrote a few paragraphs where I analyzed different aspects of that section in the novel, especially the contrast between the characters of William and Bernard.
Similarly, I felt my final two responses for The Name of the Rose fit into the depth category as well. My posts for Eco: Sixth Day and Eco: Seventh Day each contained a few quotes and in-depth analysis of challenging aspects from the text. I take pride that my responses for The Name of the Rose grew as I read, especially considering the complexity of the novel.
Aside from The Name of the Rose, I would also include Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read in my depth section. Instead of only writing a paragraph or two about this article, I decided to write multiple paragraphs to demonstrate the application of the main points in my everyday life.
Both of my responses to the two Plato assignments fit under riskiness. In Plato, “Phaedrus,” Socrates and Phaedrus’s dialogue was very challenging to engage with. However, I still tried to incorporate and interpret multiple quotes in my response.
I also think my Plato, “Apology” post was risky because this assignment involved listening to an audio recording that lasted over one hour. It was risky for me to choose which points to discuss because there was so much content. The content itself was also very challenging, so writing in-depth about this speech was a risk.
It was also risky for me to write about every section of The Name of the Rose, especially the first two. In Eco: Front Matter and First Day, I was open about my struggles reading the first portion of the text, but I also identified the importance of writing and the library in this post.
Eco: Second Day was also still a risk for me, as this was the first time I tried to incorporate quotes into my post about the novel. I felt similarly about my Eco: Third Day post, where I tried to move to deeper analysis and including more quotes. Despite the novel’s difficulty, I’m glad I began to take more risks with my blog posts, as this added to my comprehension of the novel.
For intertextuality, there were two blog posts where I incorporated our class discussion. In my DK Book and Our Online Habits Affect How We Read posts, I related their topics to Dr. Sasmor’s discussion with our class. I also related my ideas from the DK Book to The Name of the Rose. I hope to continue improving my intertextuality section throughout the semester.
Two of my posts that sparked discussion were my first two: My Blogging Experience at SHU and Oral Interpretation. A few of my classmates commented on both of those posts, and I commented on Laramie’s introduction to blogging post and a few of my classmates’ Plato: Phaedrus posts and responses to The Name of the Rose. However, one of my goals for my next portfolio is to comment on more of my classmates’ blog posts and also to reply more when they comment on mine to have deeper discussions.
Despite my goal to improve on my blog, I’m pleased with my engagement on our Canvas discussions, especially with our first Name of the Rose discussion. I engaged with my classmates’ ideas and analyzed how they compared or contrasted with my own. Overall, I think my Canvas discussions with my classmates were strong.
Although I am typically very punctual with my assignments, there were a few blog responses that I posted after their due date. Moving forward, timeliness for every post is something I hope to improve.
However, because there were certain posts I knew I rushed to post on time, I returned to them and made sure I added more depth to them. One of these posts was DiRenzo: “His Master’s Voice.” Originally, I had only written a paragraph or two about that reading to publish it on time, but I went back and added a few more paragraphs of analysis.
As I mentioned in my timeliness section, there were a few instances this semester where I was falling behind and simply completed my posts. Two of these included Can You Read or Write Cursive? and Twenty-Six Old Characters, which I wrote a few paragraphs each for, but mainly included my own thoughts on.
After just a few weeks in Topics in Media and Culture, I am confident that I am moving toward achieving the course goals. One of these goals is to “develop the ability to analyze complex issues relating to knowledge, thought, and literacy; and to evaluate diverse critical perspectives on those issues.” Many of the assignments I have engaged with involved analyzing complex issues, especially the multiple in-depth responses I wrote for The Name of the Rose. Another course goal I have worked toward achieving is to “strengthen your critical thinking and writing skills.” The Name of the Rose and other course material I have read required me to think critically and demonstrate my knowledge through my writing. I definitely feel that I have engaged with the course goals so far, and moving forward, I am confident in my ability to continue doing so.
Source: Participation Portfolio 1