What kind of writing are you being asked to perform in your other courses? Do you find it challenging, enjoyable, frustrating?
My four other courses this term are the Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, the Introduction to International Studies, Sociology 101, and the Introduction to Spanish. As I am currently enrolled in Honours Arts, and have identified as an arts-oriented learner, I am quite used to writing a great amount. I have a variety of writing projects on the go right now, and have more upcoming assignments as the term progresses. Firstly, PACS has had several surprise in-class responses so far, and there will be more to come. There is not too much writing involved, but they are immediate and unexpected, causing us to react on our gut feeling(s) on the subject with not very much time to reflect on the ‘best’ answer. Secondly, there has not been any writing in my INTST class as of yet, however there is a assignment coming up. Thirdly, SOC 101 is one of my only current courses that has had a constant theme of reflecting on what we are learning through writing. Similar to PACS, there have been several in-class responses on varying topics. We have also had two debate responses on major subjects in the course. Finally, in my Spanish course we have almost daily reflect and response activities to aid in learning the new language. Overall, I am enjoying the different writing exercises, and while they can be frustrating I know that I am learning new things from each one.
What skills do you think you have gained so far through the assignments you have completed (in this course or other courses)?
The Personal Narrative assignment in this course I found to be particularly useful. I hadn’t written very much at all over the summer, and being able to write something of length once again, no matter the subject, was enjoyable and helped me back into the mindset of motivating myself to write once more. Spanish has helped me to come back to a) finding the root of sentences, b) why we say what we do, and c) why the way we say things actually matters, as learning a brand new language needs to start with a solid foundation. The debates done in SOC 101 have been an interesting experience, as we got to argue from a particular side with a strong stance.
Is there anything you are looking forward to doing in your courses?
In INTST, our only paper in the course is due in the middle of November, and while I am a little intimidated, I am also looking forward to the new writing challenge. We have to analyze two war movies of our choice and fully immerse ourselves into the political, cultural, and economic situations of the time. For PACS, the final, instead of having an exam, we have a large research project into an NGO of our choice, which will include lots of writing. I am especially looking forward to this project as I am hoping to one day be a part of an organization similar to the ones we will be studying. There are more basic review assignments in my other courses that are a constant, however the ones noted above are the ones I am most looking forward to. Overall, I love to write and I can’t wait for what is next!