Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to Ms. McCray's English 2000!

For Wednesday's class, after you've read through and reviewed the syllabus and daily schedule, please comment on the following (at least 100 words):

What concerns or questions do you have about English 2000? What are you particularly excited about after reading and reviewing the course information? What strengths do you feel you could bring to our learning community, and what do you believe may be one or two of your weaknesses?

Please read through the blog comments to this post first and respond also in your comment to your fellow classmates.


  1. Hey,

    So I really don't know how formal you want these comments to be Ms. McCray so i guess that is my first question.. haha How relaxed are the blog entries and do you have any preferences on how we write these comments?? And my second question is what are the limitations going to be on the topics of our research paper??

    I don't really have any concerns about the class other than i am a terrible writer. But I am kind of excited about being in an english class because I think it will definitely mix things up for me.

    Now to answer your questions I suppose my strengths are my problem solving and analytical skills, and my weaknesses, as I am sure you can already tell, are writing and english in general... Sorry :( haha But I promise to do my best to learn quickly. Scouts Honor..

    --Kresten Brown

  2. After reading over the syllabus and daily schedule, I have some of the same questions as Kresten. Will we be choosing our own topics for our papers? I read that we will need to take a position/stand, so is it a persuasive-type paper? Also, for the research notebook, are you looking for a simple spiral notebook? Will we need to turn this in or have you check it? For the designated drivers, will we all be teaching the same essay, or will each group have the six different essays? (Sorry for so many questions.)

    In this English class I am most looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone to write and research. I am sure I will learn new information, and that's always a bonus. :)

    I'm not sure what I can bring to the class. I suppose my strength would be creativity, but I have a problem brainstorming. It usually takes me longer than "normal" to create ideas. But when I get them, I like to TRY and present them in a clever way.

    Thanks again for the yummy muffins.

    - Rebecca Griggs

  3. Hi,

    I guess my first question is do I need to make an account on blogspot for this class? This is my first time actually doing anything except looking at a blog, so I'm still figuring out what a blog actually is. My real question, though, is what is the scope of our research paper? I am a chemistry major and as such I am currently researching, but I would be happy to work on a more english-specific research topic.

    I'm actually excited about the driver exercise. I often don't have a chance to teach and guide a class as an "expert witness" of a topic. In addtition, its a group effort which makes the activity even cooler.

    One of my greatest weakness seems to be in writing. I have some difficulty making content coherent and not making it colloquial or overly conversational. However, I am decently strong in english mechanics and other rules (after revising). Additionally, I am often good at being at giving constructive criticism and being "devil's advocate."

    See you in class Wednesday

    -Raffeal Bennett

  4. Raffeal and I are in the same boat. I never really have done the whole blog thing. This is a new thing for me. But anyway, I have a concern about how much time this class is going to demand from me to make a decent grade. A decent grade meaning an A or B. With me being an Engineer major, most of my classes demand lots of my time. I'm a little anxious to see what this research is going to be like.

    One strength I think that I can bring to the table is that I'm extremely outgoing and personable. I like to meet new people and hear their opinions on things. On the other hand, one weakness I believe I have is that I'm not the biggest fan of doing in-depth research. Maybe this class will be a good experience for me. I sure hope so!!

  5. Oops, didn't put my name. The above post from ajh119 was mine.

    -Andrew Hubert

  6. I'm not quite sure if this is going to work right. I know someone already asked if we need to make an account, but I'm confused too. I'm not really great with computers. For some reason, computers just don't like me.

    My main concern for this class is that it's going to be a lot more work than I had originally thought. I prefer literature classes to writing classes, but I'm pretty good at writing usually. I sometimes over write things and have problems confining the paper to just what is necessary. My biggest English weakness is spelling. I'm horrible at spelling and have to sometimes think over a word 3 or 4 times before I get it right.

    I don't understand what some things in the syllabus mean like discovery process draft, but I bet you'll explain by the time we have to write one.

    -Nicole Bekemeier

  7. Well I can see your comment, Nicole, so good job on figuring out how to post. I ended up creating a google e-mail account, so I could post my comment. Now I have 5 e-mail accounts - all forwarding to my yahoo account. A little silly, but I finally got a g-mail account.


    P.S. I am also wondering what a discovery process draft is, so I guess I'll find out tomorrow

    -Raffeal Bennett

  8. I'm sorry for mirroring the others but I'd say my main concern would be this research paper and how flexible or standardized we will need to be when writing/researching it. I don't really know what questions to ask since I haven't realy heard any requirements other than length and sources.

    I have been told before that I am a good writer however that was in a creative writing class. I am unsure whether that will be a strength in this class which seems to be more research based.

    As far as weaknesses are concerned, I have a hard time meeting length requirements when writing because I am either uninterested and come up short or over enthusiastic and write too much.

    -Evan Ledet

  9. Yea this is my first time doing one of these blogs as well. One of my main concerns as others have said is the amount of work involved. Being an architecture major, most of my time is spent working in studio very late into the night.

    I would say that my strength is being able to solve problems fairly efficiently. However, my weakness is definately being able to put my ideas down onto paper. I can put the idea into another kind of form pretty easily, but writing has always been a challenge. I look forward to improving my writing skills!

    -Jordan Crawford

  10. After reading through the course material and all the previous blog comments, it appears that I am not alone in my concerns. Like Jordan, I am majoring in architecture which consumes virtually all of my time. I was also wondering about the research notebook. Will we be turning this in or is the notebook just our place to keep notes and research?

    My major weakness when it comes to writing is starting off an essay. I always seem to struggle when trying to find the launching point for my topic. Once I get started, I am able to organize my thoughts into a cohesive order. This has mainly been the case with creative writing, as it has been awhile since I have written a research based essay. I believe the ability to proofread and edit writing is a strength that I could bring to the class.

    Looking forward to a good semester,

    -Shawn Mitchel

  11. After reading the syllabus I am concerned about the final research paper. I find I have a very hard time getting papers started, and once I do get them started I get stuck very easily and I do not know what I should write next. However, I think it is great that we will be working in groups because I believe we will make new friends that might be able to help us with some of our writing problems. Also, I think I will be able to help other students because I am very punctual and I have good grammar. I am excited about becoming a better writer this semester.
    -Nicholas Roger

  12. I am a little confused at what the daily tasks of the class will consist of. My other friends who have taken this course have papers due almost weekly, so each day they are preparing for that paper. This class, however, seems like will only have some major papers, and not many smaller ones.

    Hopefully this class will allow me to expand my horizons. I am very opinionated and very set in my ways. This is very evident and highly reflected in my writing and my style. Besides for being narrow-minded, I find my writing to actually be quite well so we shall see how it goes.

  13. Many of my concerns about the class are the same as the previous posts. English isn't my favorite subject by any means because it's too interprettive. I think a paper I write it fantastic and deserves an 'A,' but the person grading it hates it and gives it a 'D.' I guess I'm more of a fact-learner, haha. After reading over the syllabus, that 10-13 page research report is really intimidating. Sometimes I get "writer's block," so it's frustrating to keep a paper going. I am excited to get to research a subject in that great of depth. I am a good proof reader for grammatical errors, but sometimes I struggle with concluding papers and keeping up the flow throughout. I am looking forward to a good semester!
    -Katie Clark

  14. I have read over the syllabus and I do not have any comments or concerns that have not already been brought up by previous commenters. I am looking forward to the research-based argumentative writing that this class requires, as I feel that kind of writing to be a particularly useful literary exercise – certainly more so than, say, the analysis of the themes and subtexts of an uninteresting contemporary novel. Surely practicing the critical thinking and reasoning skills this type of writing demands is something that will benefit us all in a way more fundamental than simply preparing us for the next writing course.

    I'm not exactly sure what I will be able to bring to our class, though I have prior experience with MLA-style citations and am generally good with computers, so maybe if someone's hard drive happens to fail the night before their big paper is due I can help them recover it or something. I'm not particularly keen on working in groups, nor on presenting things in front of a class, though I like to think I am fairly diligent and thorough when it comes to doing my part.

    – Brandon Ross

  15. I basically have the same concerns as everyone else in the class. For me the one thing that worries me the most is the "Designated Drivers" assignment. Like Shawn and Jordan I am studying architecture which is a major that requires many hours of work in the studio. I just think it will be quite a problem to meet with a group of people (who all have different schedules) outside of class, not to mention the assignments workload will likely increase if you have to deal with someone in your group who does not contribute.

    I do feel that overall this course will probably help me with my writing skills a lot, which is pretty exciting if you ask me. I do feel that I can probably bring a few pretty creative ideas to projects which will hopefully make them interesting. Unfortunately my weaknesses would be that I am not really the strongest writer, and when I believe something may be good or comparable to someone else's writing it isn't. So hopefully I can fix that this semester!

    -Kevin Plath

  16. My first concern, the research, is also one of the things I most look forward to. It always makes me nervous to do research because I sometimes feel that I start to use other authors ides as my own and don't know how to correctly site those ideas. However, research writing is probably my favorite type of writing because I get to learn a whole lot about a subject and learn all the different aspects about it.

    Like most people have said in the blog before I am also concerned about how the designated driver part of the corse will work out. I hope that in class once we really go over how everything will work out it will be more of an interest than a concern.

    A strength that I can probably bring to the class is more creative ways to approach certain problems in research or the essays. It has always been easier for me to brainstorm in a group and help out with creative ideas than actually sitting down and starting my own paper. Another weakness in my writing is grammar, mostly because I try and move to fast, and then I forget to check over what I wrote.
    Ben Dussouy

  17. My main concern is time management with the course. I just hope it's not overly time consuming. Other than that, all else is well. I really have no other questions. After reviewing the syllabus and course info. I'm really anxious to just get into the thick of things and just let the ideas flow. I've recently noticed that with the right topic I really like to voice my opinion and get into discussions so hopefully we will talk about some interesting topics in class. It already looks like we are going to have a class full of creativity so that shouldn't be a problem.

    I believe one of my biggest strengths is my imagination. I may not look like it, but I have a wild mind full of creativity. I've always been able to think of great topics to write about and my writings have always been very vivid as well. I feel like this has always helped me succeed in past writing courses. My main weakness is grammar. I can take English classes over and over and over, but grammar is my weakness. I feel as long as I can correct my grammar errors I will be okay.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. I would first like to go ahead and say I am a terrible speller and I have a hard time with grammer. Other than that, I love to write.

    With that said, I am excited about the class. The idea a course consisting of a one "whole" paper as an entire semesters work is a love/hate idea for me. I am excited that all work we will be doing during the semester will be geared towards the final paper. The only concern I have with the concept is picking the right topic. Some would say that you might get bored with one idea half way through the semester.

    I do not enjoy research or bibliographies, but I feel I could gain a lot by properly learning the two. Many teachers I have had in the past all maintain different ways of doing both, so I am constantly abiding to someone else’s "way" (so to speak). A solid template would be great to learn.

    I will say that your syllabus is very well written and has a lot of thought. You can tell that it is not passed from one teacher to the next or from semester to semester. Bravo. I look forward to a challenging yet creative time in your class.

    I am curious if there will be a small creative range for the topic we will choose? Many teachers always have to approve the topic and I think some can get very opinionated, regardless of whether or not it is a suitable topic for a research paper...just a thought!

  20. I do share some concerns with many of the students above. I would have to say time and group works are the main two I worry about.

    Is there any type of grading scale for peers to evaluate their teammates on group work? I have had courses in which we could "kick-out" a member due to lack of responsibilities based on documentation and a unanimous group vote.

    Like the other students, apparel design takes up much of my time in the lab and outside of class. Have students had a problem with the course work being too heavy?

  21. I think I'm the last one to comment! So obviously, my main concern for this course is my amazing ability to procrastinate. Hopefully I can get everything done on time!

    I love to write, but like Evan, I'm much more comfortable with creative writing. It's been a while since I've been in an English class, so I am worried that it will take me a while to get back into the swing of things, but I'm mostly excited to learn new things. Does that make me a nerd?

    I'm not looking forward to presenting in class or being a designated driver. I guess that's mostly because I don't want anybody to not understand information because of my lack of teaching skills.

    Although I do have many concerns about the class, everyone seems really nice and I'm looking forward to the coursework and getting to know everybody!

    -Amanda Meyer

  22. I agree with Kreston, I’m not entirely sure of how you want out blog comments to be. Im used to posting on car forums where the use of “u” and the lack of punctuation is the norm. I am assuming that is not what you’re wanting. I am wondering when we will be getting our topics. Will we get to pick them, or will it be assigned to us?

    I have to admit I am worried about my biggest weakness: my grammar mistakes. It’s been almost three years since I have taken an English course. So I am a bit concerned that I won’t be able to recall all the rules and I am quite bad at typographical errors. The strength I will be bringing to the class is my ability to paint a vivid picture of what I am trying to say. So in a way I write almost exactly as I talk.
    -Joey Busbice Jr.

  23. English is a subject that always intimidates me, I by no means consider myself a writer, but I always manage to pass the class. After looking at what all is required for this course I realized I’ve never done in depth research for a paper, much less write one longer than 6 pages. I feel like the required drafts and research notebooks will provide good organization and outlines for the final paper. Organization is probably the only thing I can feel fully confident about in this course. I’m sure the research will be the most challenging part for me, but looking at examples in our dd groups will help give me an idea of what will be expected.

  24. that comment above is from Erin King

  25. English is something that I have been looking forward to taking. I have never been great at english but i have always enjoyed reading and writing papers. One of my concerns may be about the literature and wether or not I will be able to relate to the content and be able to relate to it and be able to write a 5 or 6 page paper over it.

    I feel that some of my weaknesses in english are my punctuation and ability to ramble on and not be concise in my thoughts. But I feel that some of my strengths are my grammar and my ideas for papers
    -Erik Ross