In my blog post Call of the Wild Chapter 7 I analyzed the beginning of the book to the end. I drew a lot upon what was happening in chapter 7 however I used the development and growth from all of the other chapters in order to grasp the ending of the book and make connections between the parts that all revolved around the central theme of civilization versus the wild. In another one of my posts, Academic Article, I used the peer reviews article, The Character of Flame by Anne McNamara. Here I used the scholarly article to define the relationship between Pearl and Dimmesdale in the Scarlet Letter. I talked about why their relationship was important and how it proves that the novel revolves around Dimmesdale more so than Hester. This was the main article for the topic of my first research paper topic. In this post I went into a lot of depth and really utilized the academic article because I felt it helped me better understand my paper topic and gave me a good basis to start from. However, I did end up changing the topic of my paper which I covered in my post Term Paper which gave a rundown of my new topic. Here I discussed why I changed my topic and covered my new topic about Hester and the feminist qualities that the book has. In two of my other posts, Creative Critical Progress Report and Updated Report I went into a lot of detail about my original project and my new project, why I chose the interpretations that I did, and why I edited my strategy. In another one of my blog posts, Foster “Envoi”, I drew upon what I learned from STW freshman year and compared what I gained in that class to what I have learned to this class. Reading Foster has really helped me develop as an American Literature student and I focused on this in my post, comparing my first Foster post to where I am at now. Canvas Poetry Workshop 1
Over the course of the year timeliness has been one of the things that I have struggled with most. I spread myself too thin with classes because I knew I wasn’t going to be here next semester and I didn’t want to get too far behind. Because of this I don’t have as many posts as I should to include in this section of the portfolio but ones that I would like to focus on are Uncle Tom’s Cabin Act 1, Act 2, Act3, Act 4, Act 5, and Act 6. I made sure that all of these posts were on time. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was something that I struggled with so the majority of my posts were generic and just briefly tapped into a topic. I found myself going back to these posts during class time and adding more after discussion. Another post that I had done early was the Academic Essay and once again it became a post that I went back to during class when we broke into small groups to discuss. A post that I did that I didn’t have to do was my Updated Creative Critical Project. In the middle of the creative critical project I found that I didn’t like the road that I was going down because it was too time consuming, I wasn’t knowledgable about how to use blog pages, and it didn’t analytically interpret my Dickinson poem enough. When I decided to take a different path I created the new post with my updated project and attached my new finalized project.
This unit of the semester I found myself taking more risks than I had all year. I believe this to be because I am not very good at reading plays and all of my posts concerning Uncle Tom’s Cabin were a risk to me because I wasn’t sure if I was reading and interpreting it correctly until discussion in class. Specifically in Uncle Tom’s Cabin from Page to Stage and Uncle Tom’s Cabin Act 1 I took my larger risks conceding the play. Another risk I took was with my Creative Critical Project and using technology to display my illustrations. I like to consider myself moderately tech savvy but when it came down to my plan of linking all of my illustrations through different blog pages this was a big risk. In the end this risk did not pay off but it did teach me that goals are important but I need to keep them reasonable especially with a project and time management. In my post Creative Critical Project Progress Report it talks about my plan with technology and my reach goals and fallback plans. In the course another large risk I took was changing my topic for my research paper which I explain in my post on the Canvas Bibliography and Thesis discussion forum. I liked my original topic but I could not find enough scholarly articles and evidence. When I changed my topic I knew this was a big risk because now it cut me short on time. However I think this was a risk that paid off because I feel my paper was tens times better than it would have been if I had remained with my previous topic.
The majority of my successful discussion points and comments for this unit were done in the Canvas Discussion Forums. In the Canvas Poetry Workshop Discussions I feel that I did a good job in my first initial post which helped elicit meaningful and insightful conversations. In Canvas Poetry Workshop 1 my post brought on a lot of discussion about the theme of religion in the poem. In Poetry Workshop 2, and Poetry Workshop 3 there was also a lot of discussion between my class mates and I about my posts and their posts.
In Call of the Wild Chapter 7 I incorporated a video from an outside web source in order to help me better understand all of the central themes in the novel and how they are all interconnected. In my blog post Foster “Envoi” I made comparisons between my first Foster post and my recent one. With doing this I linked my first post into this post. Also too in my post about my Updated Creative Critical Project I linked in my final product so that after reading the post about everything that I changed and why I did, viewers could go on and see my video. Since this unit revolved a lot around societal and gender roles and issues I connected my post Gender, Economics, the American Dream with a previous post about Uncle Tom’s Cabin which showed how both works represented social issues.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was something I really struggled with blogging about. Many times the posts were created with very little content until after class or after the next act when I could draw upon my point further. But still, the points that I made in these posts were not as insightful as my others were. The Call of the Wild Chapters 1&2 and Call of the Wild Chapters 3&4 were two posts that I went back to and added to because I did not have anything substantial prepared for class time. I created my post in Poetry Workshop 3 discussion forum on Canvas on November 6. I then went back in on the 7th to add more to my post before class time after I thought of more to say that my classmates could take away from the discussion.
Overall I think I have improved in almost every category. What I really noticed was how my ability to read and analyze literature has changed and developed. In high school I hated reading poetry because it wasn’t the easiest thing for me to understand. Now at this point of the year I feel I am able to analyze poems just as good, if not better at times, as short stories and novels. This can be scene through my post in Poetry Workshop 1, in my Final Paper, and my Creative Critical Project. If I were to have attempted these three different assignments at the beginning of the year they would have been very different, and not in a good way. I can honestly say that I have shocked myself with how much this class has done for my development with reading literature. I am very pleased with the way that these last three assignments turned out because of my ability to analyze and interpret literature.
While I have definitely seen an improvement in all of the categories of my portfolios throughout the course of the term, I realized that my categories that have improved the most were Riskiness and Intertextuality.
In my depth category my best post was in portfolio four, John Henry (Folklore Character) where I went into a lot of detail about John Henry and did outside research to learn about Joe Louis and make comparisons between the two in order to make connections.
In the timeliness category I would have to say that my best post was Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” This was a post that I created early. It was not a long post or one that was very in depth but instead I made a simple post about the story then asked several questions at the bottom about the ending of the story. Because I created this post early my classmates were able to read my post and respond to my questions on my blog and in class. This really helped me understand the story better in the end which is why consider this to be my best post for this category.
My biggest risk this term was changing my topic for my paper. My post Term Paper Rundown and my post in the Bibliography and Thesis discussion forum discuss the new topic that I selected. Although my risk wasn’t necessarily within the blog post I still feel like this is my most important and successful risk that I took during this term.
The best discussion that I had revolved around my post in Poetry Workshop 1. I feel that I made a great post about the poem and broke it down in a way that some of my classmates gained a new perspective from. My analysis created a lot of discussion and I feel that it one that I got the most from and that I provided the most for my classmates. I think that’s important because it showed the quality of my initial post and my comments.
I have two favorite intertextuality posts. The first one is Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” In this post I incorporated textual citations and an animated clip that portrays Poe’s short story. It was a video that I had found on youtube after searching for a long time. I thought it was a great clip that provided a good graphical and voice analysis of the story to go along with my post. My second one is a post about another one of Poe’s short stories, Hop Frog. Here I found a great comic strip from another blog site that depicted the happenings throughout the story. The reason that I incorporated this was because the beginning of the story confused me. Since I am a visual learner it was hard for me to grasp what was going on when I couldn’t picture it in my head. By finding this comic strip it helped me to understand the story better. Based on the comments and feedback from my classmates I found that including it in my post helped them too as some were also confused about the beginning of the story.
Coverage is a topic that I stayed pretty static with throughout the term. It was a section of the blog that covered the posts that I originally didn’t know what to talk about and then went back and added more too later on either after class discussion or comments from my peers. If I had to pick one post from my coverage section that was the best it would have to be my most recent one, Poetry Workshop 3 because I was able to go in and add more to my original post before class, leave comments before class and then go back in and leave more comments after class.
Conclusion. Coming to conclusion there isn’t one portfolio that I would say had a better article than the other for this category. Rather it’s my development of my ability to analyze literature that has progressed throughout this category. This is a part of the objectives for this course and now coming to the end of the term I can definitely say that I have developed as an American Literature student. At the beginning of the year I didn’t have a very good understanding about how to do a literary close reading. And now I feel it’s what I immediately and automatically do now when reading literature. I think this shows throughout all of the conclusions in my portfolios.