I really enjoyed having all the different mediums and outlets to practice our skills and abilities as readers, writers, and speakers. I enjoyed the variety in assignments we had to do and felt like even though we did have quite a few of them, they didn’t feel repetitive or tedious. I think working with the writing fellows and getting constructive feedback on the essays in particular helped me grow in my ability to construct strong arguments and support it with great evidence as well.
I hope to keep improving my ability to write and publicly speak. I think the various activities in class have helped, reaching out for advice on writing pieces from others have as well, and finally, I think being able to watch and think about the good demonstrations of discussion-leading and public speaking from my peers have helped the most.
I think one thing I will take away from this course is the rhetorical concept of delivering to your audience what is expected of you. I’m not sure that’s quite the best way to phrase it, but I think the general concept is still there. I don’t think it means that we should try to be who we’re not just to fill the arbitrary expectations and standards placed upon us, but I think it’s interesting to think about what the audience believes they should expect from you, and jumping off of that as a starting point. I think when we are able to focus less on making sure all the intricacies of how we’re delivering a message is perfect, we can focus more on the message we are delivering itself.
I also really enjoyed learning about kairos, which is about the rhetoric timing. I think being able to brush up on how logos, ethos, and pathos are used was incredibly helpful, but learning about kairos has made me think a bit more deeply about what things are being said when. I think I had previously overlooked how important timing can be for delivering any message, whether it be a persuasive one, a celebratory or emotional one. But being able to read and understand the surrounding environment and relevant circumstances can inform us on when a certain message will be the most conducive for our purpose.
I think I have been surprised at what I have enjoyed and what I’ve been the most frustrated about in the transition to online classes. I have found I like listening to the videos of lectures and being able to listen to them in my own timing. I think for some of my classes, the professors were very technologically-proficient and understanding during the transition while others were less so. I think what has been the most difficult doing school online is being in good communication with some of my professors.
Thank you for a great semester and being flexible in the transition online! I hope you and your family are staying safe!