I never thought I would make it to the end of this semester, but I am proud that I have. This semester has been a greater struggle for me than anything in the past, especially with the shift to online learning. I feel that I have missed out on so much to be gained in the face-to-face classroom environment, and I hope to be back to it in the fall. The timeframe of the posts in this final portfolio were written in the midst of large assignments, so I did not devote as much time to them as I would have liked. However, I do believe that I have maintained what I have learned throughout the semester.
This category is the one that I have worked the hardest to improve throughout the semester. As I look through this final collection of posts, there are a few in which I achieve the depth that I need.
In my post about act one of Da, I immediately explain which character I think is the stage Irishman of the play, and I also chose a passage that describes the relationship between Oliver and Charlie. I went deeper by explaining why exactly I think that Oliver is the stage Irishman.
In my post about part one of El Nogalar, I explained how the opening passage depicts average family life better than any of the other works which we have studied this semester. I employed depth by commenting on the format of the play which means that the two women are yelling at the same time, and that I think that the audience needs to physically see the play acted out to receive the full experience intended by Tanya Saracho. I explained that this dynamic within families is more common than many works let on, and it was a nice choice to demonstrate it.
I have also worked to improve on this category throughout the semester. I have a problem with sticking to a formula, which is something that I will continue to work on in future classes. However, there are a few posts in which I break the mold.
In my post about act two of Da, I explored the fact that the play began and ended in an argument. This post is more risky than others because this may be a more common phenomenon than I have noticed, but I chose to talk about it anyway without actually finding out if it is common, simply because it caught my eye.
In my post about part three of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen, I explained how Madam Kofo’s monologue at the end of the play reflects Tess Onwueme’s storytelling style that was presented in the context video. This is not extremely risky, but it breaks the mold of my usual post which do not mention the author’s personality.
As I progressed through the semester, this aspect became easier for me as I noticed the many similarities among different texts that we have studied. I employ it in a few of my posts.
In my post about the context lecture for Irish drama, I explored the stage Irishman’s presence in works other than Da that were presented in the video. I could have improved my intertextuality in this post by choosing a line or two from The Rivals in which Lucius O’Trigger embodies the stage Irishman.
In my post about part one of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen, I connected Dupe’s mention of Hakuna Matata to The Lion King. Although The Lion King is a movie and not another work of literature, I chose the passage specifically because it makes reference to another text. I was also surprised by the fact that The Lion King was released a few years before this play, so the play is actually alluding to the movie and not vice-versa.
This has been the most difficult aspect of the portfolio to maintain since the switch to virtual classes, because even virtual discussions do not carry the same weight as face-to-face ones.
In our class discussion of Da, I left comments on the posts of Ashlynn, Mila, and Amy. I feel that the comments that I left on these posts could have lead to deeper discussion had they been stated face-to-face. I have tried to improve my comments to include more than simply my appreciation of the original post. Although it is difficult to do this virtually, I feel that I did an okay job at it.
This is an aspect that has also been a struggle for me to maintain virtually, but I feel that I have greatly improved at it.
During this timeframe, all of my assignments were submitted to Canvas on time, which is an accomplishment for me in a virtual environment where assignments can pile up in the blink of an eye. I submitted my CCProject about three hours early, which is definitely an unusually early submission for me.
Throughout this timeframe, I have posted for every assignment. My posts about part two of El Nogalar and part two of Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen are probably my shortest and most shallow posts of the collection, but they are proof that I have posted for every assignment.
This portfolio proves that I have achieved the course goal of deeply and critically reading culturally dramatic literary texts, as well as organizing and developing my initial reactions to them. I have also proven my ability to support my claims textually, as every post is backed up with a quote. However, I believe that there is always room for improvement, and I certainly have a lot more learning to do. I am grateful that I was able to learn what I did through the challenges of this semester.
Source: Participation Portfolio 4