So Long and Thanks for All the Useful Skills and Good Memories

As a reader, I feel more comfortable reading academic texts and other forms of nonfiction. I also feel more capable identifying potential biases in what I read. I believe that my writing has grown more focused instead of the jumble of ideas it used to be. I have improved at writing with a clear idea in mind. Although I still do not think of myself as a good speaker or feel fully comfortable speaking to an audience of any size, I feel much closer to those goals and have gained some confidence or at least the ability to fake it.

I believe that being able to read a piece with the author’s perspectives and biases in mind will end up being extremely beneficial. I recently changed my major to sociology and plan on adding ethics and public policy as a second major after taking introductory courses in the core areas. Many of the courses I will take will have lots of readings from different thinkers and schools of thought. I will have to be able to understand these perspectives as well as contrast them with others. I believe that applying what I have learned in rhetoric will help with that.

I will never forget the day we played Speech Crimes. The activity emphasized how various things could be distracting to the audience. From a personal standpoint, I was able to see which were the most distracting for me as the listener. While performing, I found it difficult to not commit speech crimes other than the one on my card. I also really enjoyed how silly the activity was and the creativity our class displayed. It is my favorite memory of our time in an actual classroom.

In addition to being better able to read with an eye for the author’s intentions and perspectives, I believe that our work on analyzing objects and images will help me to better appreciate what I see. There is nothing wrong with just seeing an artwork you find pleasing and appreciating, but I feel like being able to consider who made it and why will open new levels of appreciation and enjoyment. Not only will I appreciate what I am seeing, but hopefully I will also be able to appreciate the person who made it and their reasons for doing so.

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