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Kaitlin Matheny

Prof Enos

ENG 111 W03

9 December 2017

Critical Reflection

I know majority of students would probably write about how much they feel they have

learned or improved on throughout the semester. I am not the majority of students. I attended a

high school that offered Advanced Placement classes, I took two. I took Literature and I took

English Language and Composition. Now, in those classes I learned a lot. I learned to avoid

fillers like can and be and is and how to substitute those with other words when possible. I

learned how to parallel a sentence. I learned how to use complex words meant to captivate and

challenge the reader. Another great thing that I learned through those classes was a great amount

of transition words. In addition to those classes, I have already participated in a College level

English class equivalent to this one (due to financial circumstances, I do not have access to those

credits, so here I am) at a small private college roughly two and a half hours south of Mount

Pleasant. While in that class, I learned about how to write for an explication, a synthesis, a

persuasive, and an argumentative essay. Everything I learned there replicates everything a first-

time student would be learning in this same class, except problematizing. The concept itself I

have a slight understanding of. A problem that is not just something simple like education having

a problem. It would be more like the effects views of authority has on a students education I

will elaborate more on this in a moment.


Moreover, due to my experiences, I have the tendency to structure sentences differently

than the majority of my peers and use words others might not use. I know from having my

papers peer reviewed by other students and even my best friend, that the way I write can be

confusing to some or can be misinterpreted. The way I write, I try to write with a purpose and I

try to make it sound like I am writing for a purpose. I do not like to sound bland and like I am

just rambling on. For example, in my second AMS proposal, I titled it Size Matters. To me, the

phrase had so many preexisting meanings, therefore it was a sense of humor along with

something to grab the readers attention. But that was something I was suggested to change.

Another example was when I compared a cluttered classroom with one professor to a size six

woman trying to fit into a size two, Throwing many students in a room as an audience to one

measly educationist is like forcing a size 6 woman into a size 2; it does not work (AMS

proposal 2). I grasped that it was slightly irrelevant and may have not been the best comparison,

but it illustrated what I was trying to say. That ended up being something else that was suggested

I should change. Which I did change for reading two, . Throwing many students in a room as an

audience to one measly educationist is like forcing a square peg in to a round hole; it does not

fit. (AMS reading two). I am probably capable of making comparisons that relate better to each

other that also show what I am trying to say, but doing so does not always have the same effect

as I feel otherwise. It just seems plain. So, to me where I should speak plainly of the topic I am to

write about, it can feel near impossible. Then, when I attempt to be simple, I feel like I simplify

it down too much and it becomes too plain. I have not really found that middle ground. But back

to problematizing Contrarily to how I write, when something is being explained to me,

especially certain things, the way my mom puts it is like explaining it to a child. So, for the way
problematizing was originally explained made zero sense to me. I learned more from google

about what it meant than I did in this class.

When I got feedback from the first reading of my AMS paper, I already knew the

scenario thing would probably not be something accepted. (For each source used, I set it up like

a scenario). An example would be

Second scenario: Students have just woken up with barely enough time to get ready for

their 8 AM class, eating breakfast on the way. They walk into the classroom and find

their seat, dreary and half-asleep. As they sit there, waiting for the lesson to begin, the

professor walks in, arms full of brightly colored props. The professor exclaims to the

students that they are going to get into groups, pick a prop, pick a subject from todays

lesson, and fabricate a story relating the two to present to the class. The students lighten

up with motivation and get to work, actively retaining the information. This way of

teaching, engages both the student and the teacher, allowing both to learn from the other.

Freire would call this technique problem posing. (AMS reading 1).

But I did not expect some of the other criticism that I received. Following the feedback

from AMS first reading, which a main issue I had was summarizing more than analyzing, I had

emailed about it. Where I thought I had analysis and it was backing up what I was saying was

perceived as summary. When I asked how to distinguish between the two, the answer I got back

did not really help my understanding, Summarizing is just restating what the article is saying.

Analyzing is connecting back to your claim and showing your own take on the quote. So it really

comes down to what do you have to say about these quotes and ideas and not what your sources

have to say about it... That advice to most students would probably seem helpful. What it did

not address to me, was how again, where I thought I was giving thoughts about the quotes, I was
giving summaries of them instead. Which goes back to how aspects need to be explained to me.

But again, leading me to search and read multiple bits from google to get a better understanding.

Google states analysis is detailed examination of the elements or structure of something,

typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation. So when Freire goes through his description

of the banking concept, my analysis would be If there were money to be deposited, the more

money there was, the better the bank account would look. Therefore, the more acts of deposition

extended to the maximum capacity, the better the teacher would seem. Whereas, the more

submissive the students are, the better they make for such deposition. That is the banking

concept of education (Freire Explication). Where a summary would be something like, the

teacher deposit information to the students and the students never really grasp at what they are

being taught. Another problem I experienced was the fact that I was not told until the first

reading was done that I did not need so much background of the sources (which was where a lot

of my summarizing in the first AMS reading came from). I was taught to never assume the

audience knows who or what is being discussed, so automatically I include a summary about the

source for the audience to relate to. At no point did I think that I was to just know the audience

was going to know about these sources

After going through the AMS reading 2, where I thought I had made progress, I had

actually done worse. Like mentioned before, when I try to be simple, it becomes too simplified.

That was my issue with the second reading. It was underdeveloped and lacked a unique

perspective. At that point, I just wanted to quit. Instead, I reached out to my mom and she was

able to help me. She took the same class a few years ago and is the type of person who does not

do anything unless it is crystal clear on how to do it, so she was very apt to give me instruction

and address where I should go. Amazingly, I was able to develop a new topic/perspective and
nail problematizing. My final submission discussed how education focuses on there being a right

way and a wrong way and how students are left to decipher between the two, between each

professor, as well as the trouble it brings to students. The final submission had a way better

development of discussion and thesis. Here is my introduction:

Learning can, at times, seem to be a struggle between right and wrong. Whether you

agree or disagree with someone, lifes experiences tend to create bias within others

ideas. Those ideas or opinions that others have becomes a frame of reference. The

difference between ones personal life experiences and the information students are being

presented with do not always match alongside one another. Differences within frame of

references is where the war between right and wrong begins. It is well known that all

students do not become hard wired from the same experiences. Since each student

perceives and evaluates the incoming data in a plethora of ways according to their own

personal frame of reference, it would mean that arriving at one singular conclusion would

be impossible. Could there really be only one right answer?

All in all, I do not mean for anything said to be taken as an insult. I am just one student to

the many. I was to reflect upon my experiences within the class; where I was then and where I

am now. To me, I have the same knowledge (minus the new articles I have read and knowing

what jargon and discourse community means) I did at the beginning of the class. In the end, I

figured out how to put together the AMS paper even though knowing that one irritating paper

determines whether I pass or fail no matter any other grade I have in the class