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self evaluation

Ann Lemieux's picture

When I began this course, I was looking forward to learning about some of the most-discussed topics at Bryn Mawr in an academic setting. I had already improved my writing a lot since coming to Bryn Mawr, mostly through the ESEM that I took my first semester here, and the education class that I took in the spring. I was familiar with some feminist theory and gender theory, simply because it’s a common topic of conversation at this school. However, I hadn’t really investigated facing feminism today, or thought about the feminist movement affected me and connected to what I’ve learned in my other classes here (especially the education classes). I have definitely learned a lot about the different movements and goals of feminism, and I see it as a much broader movement now than I did when I started this class. I identify even more strongly now as a feminist, and I love that the movement does not only combat sexism, but also racism, classism, able-ism, homophobia and any other type of discrimination.

I’ve also developed a lot as a writer- I’m not a natural writer, but I thought that I had learned to write to the best of my ability after one year here. However, I realized that I was wrong when I struggled so much with just picking a topic for the first web event that we had to write, and every weekly posting that was asked of me. I still was used to writing assignments containing specific questions that I had to answer, or a topic/choice of topics to write about. I was overwhelmed when I had to write five pages on any topic that I wanted, but I eventually learned to ask myself questions and search for the answers from our class readings or my own research. I actually learned a lot more from these papers than I ever have from class assignments, because it gave me a chance to explore topics that I was very curious about, and make connections between this class and my other classes or my own experience.

One area that I could have developed in more is class participation. I always think before I speak, and process things more slowly than most people, and this made it difficult to participate in conversations that were sometimes very fast-paced and dominated by only half of the class. I began writing down my thoughts and responses to what others said in class, so that I wouldn’t forget them and I would have fully formed thoughts to contribute to the discussion, but often these thoughts were never shared with the class or on serendip. I was sometimes hesitant to speak because I wasn’t sure everyone would think that what I had to say was completely relevant, or have something to say in response to me, and I would sometimes forget about what I had written down when it came time to post on serendip, or I wouldn’t post what I’d written because I didn’t have a way to put these thoughts together coherently with a common theme, like I felt I should for a serendip post. If I ever take another English class, I will definitely make an effort to contribute to everly class, and not let my ideas slip through the cracks of the conversation, in person or online.

When I did post on serendip, I responded to others more often than I made an original posting. It was simply much easier to comment on another student’s post than come up with my own topic, as I discussed a little above. Additionally, I feel like very few others were making comments on serendip, and commenting made our class’ website feel more like a conversation. I also enjoyed reading through other students’ posts, and often these posts would help me gain new perspective on a subject, and give me a much better idea for a posting than one I could come up with on my own.