Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Final Blog Posting from Sarai Glass

The blog is a great reflection of how our class has been so good at thinking outside the box. Both the blog postings and blog comments just show how creative our class is. I think that this form of writing, what I would consider authentic writing, provides great insight to how our class thinks, and even I would go as far to say, insight to the success of the class. What is significant about the blog is the fact that we are writing to prompts directed by our class, and responding in a fashion that is uninhibited by a grade scale. This setting is what causes it to be authentic writing. I think the post about authentic writing was one of the most important posts because to know what authentic writing is, and to know when you are reading authentic writing, can be both very compelling, for the former, and comforting, for the latter. Overall the blog was a great way for our class to take the classroom out of the classroom setting. I really enjoyed the blog and hope that next year ’s class has even more interaction with it. The blog was a perfect venue for writing for honors students.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our Little Blog

Although my affinity for the blog hit highs and lows, overall I’m thankful for it. Because our classes could not always cover the materials as extensively as we hope, the blog provided a separate outlet. In the beginning, we really had no need for the blog, except to say that we looked forward to doing something that we could blog about. Then, as the class progressed, our opinions, beliefs, and general outlooks on situations came forth. It said everything that we did not say or were thinking.
I could remember thinking that I had nothing to say about the subject, what would I do? And the necessity to blog sort of made me think about something that I had put on the back burner at the moment. In the search to post something new and original, I really had to think about it. What were my opinions? What were the facts I was basing my beliefs off of?
Also, reading what everyone else impressed me so much. It helped me communicate with my classmates, without directly communicating with them. We all talked about read the same materials, made comments on the same topics, and discussed the same issues…all on our own (well, with a little encouragement from Professor Bateman).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

To Stop and Reflect

Just like almost everyone else in our class, I was a little hesitant about participating in this blog for the first few weeks. In fact, I probably had a few choice words to share with anyone who was unfortunate enough to be in the room with me while I was blogging...but then I actually started to like it. I would go back and read comments posted after mine to see if anyone would respond to what I said, and I even started pouring a little bit of myself into my comments instead of writing dry, boring responses. I think that the idea of being able to say whatever I wanted without having to worry about offending anyone or watching someone roll his/her eyes at me allowed me to, well, really be me. I really just wish that we could have spent more time discussing the blog posts in class, because I found that some of the most interesting commentaries and ideas were presented here, and then they simply died without living. Bad analogy - I apologize.

This blog, at least in my opinion, has allowed our class to experience a different level of intimacy; so many people were so much more open with their thoughts on this blog that I think it (in a very strange way) made us closer as a class. Please continue to use it as a teaching device - it is incredibly effective and really brings another facet to a discussion-based course.

Reflection -- All's Well that Ends Well

I feel that this blog gives a very honest, “right down to it” impression of our class. It is not riddled with our “scholarly personas” and really allowed us to evaluate the aspects of the class that were most meaningful to us on an individual level. I have never had to blog for a class before but seeing and hearing everyone’s interpretations put a whole new face on the writing process. Instead of sitting with only my thoughts before writing a paper, I had the thoughts of fifteen other students to help inspire me. Our real-life, unfiltered experiences with Project Angel Heart and the material are extremely significant. Again, we got “right down to it.” Our blog is completely unique to our course and a lasting reminder of what sixteen freshmen at the University of Denver learned about illness, service, and the public good one winter back in 2008…

Blogging Reflection

I’ll admit that this blogging assignment was initially a bit of a stretch for me: the idea of writing “publicly” was a little hard to swallow. However, I think that throughout the past few weeks, this blog has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about each other as a class. I enjoyed reading about the various events that have impacted other students’ lives and understanding of illness (the very first post); it certainly provided new insights that added depth to our in-class discussions.

Overall, I think that this blog does an excellent job at reflecting the dynamic and passionate nature of our class: no one hesitated to speak freely in their posts, and the online discussions often paralleled the arguments and discussions we had in class. Moreover, this blog could be a great way for students in future service-learning to gain insight into what lies ahead in the quarter. Perhaps this blog would also be helpful to Project Angel Heart staff if they are interested in learning more about the mindset with which volunteers approach their organization and the experiences that they take away from volunteer shifts. Although there are many different ways in which the blog could be used, I think it should, above all, be used as a resource for other people to use and apply in their own lives, teaching, or service opportunities.

New Perspectives

A Final Blog Post

Considering the blog assignment, I really appreciated the opportunity it gave the class to be more candid about our thoughts. I personally believe that I express myself better in writing than in speech (though I am attempting to find a balance here). Overall, I think this blog serves as an archive of our thoughts as the course progressed, for it is not very realistic to think that we can preserve what we talked about during lectures and discussions. Looking back, this blog is able to preserve the topics of discussion, points of contention, etc. that arose during class time, especially because its timeline followed so closely to our reading and writing assignments. I am personally grateful for the opportunity to have a class-related blog, not only because it allowed us to expand upon our thoughts, but also to go off on tangents that were not necessarily discussed in class. Overall, I think it was an effective teaching tool, and while we did tend to get hung up on some topics, I believe the class had very well-developed responses, especially those that were-student led. It gave us the opportunity to direct our discussions, which I especially enjoyed. I believe this blog assignment portrays us as a mature, open-minded audience, and though most of us are very opinionated, we did enjoy discussion (and at times, contentions) with our peers.