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Midsemester Evaluation

Amy Ma's picture

When I think about the last two months in this class, the first scene that appeared in my mind is that I walked into Mark’s class. After he finished the roll call, I realized I was not supposed to be there. Mark took me to the right classroom. Mark led me to a classroom with chairs in lines ( and later we made it a circle) and that’s how my Play in the City journey began.

For the first time, we talked about in what way we can feel comfortable speaking in class: in line or in circle, speak after raising hand or without raising hand. For the first time, memorizing my classmates’ name becomes a test that everyone is supposed to pass. For the first time, professor asks you to speak to the whole class rather than speak to her. It seems that there is no right or wrong in our class. I really like this part, but in the meantime it takes a while to get used to it. Because I was a science student in my high school, so all the questions we discussed mostly just have the only answer. The class experiences here are all different from my previous class experience in high school. In my high school, students have to raise their hands before they speak in class. Most of the time, we just listen to what teachers are giving us. That is kind of passive. So when it comes to this Seminar which students are not just receiving but also giving thoughts, at first I was afraid, because English is not my first language, and I am afraid of speaking of something wrong. But it gets better. Anne encourages us to speak out our own opinions and everyone in the class is very open to different opinions. We sit in a circle and there is no pressure on talk. It is a playful class!

 Every time I tell my friends that my ESEM is “Play in the City” and we have seven trips to Philly, they would be really jealous. The trips are my favorite part. We are “forced” to play in the city. I have done a lot of things I would never have done: the Quiet Volume, the Magic Garden, the R-100… From these experiences, I get to know Philly better.

By reading those articles about cities and play and bringing their ideas with me when playing in the city, I get more angles to see a city, and to question the most common and the simplest activity: play.  Flanagan’s Critical Play does confuse me for a long time. How can PLAY be CRITICAL? After the discussions with my classmates, I got different ideas and I really like what Kate said that there is a time issue in critical play. I like hearing different voices! After the trips, I get to know other students’ experience and thoughts from serendipity. It is really fun knowing how we have different angles and perspectives on the same things. We post paper online, and read each other’s and make comments: these make me more relaxing about my paper, so I am more comfortable about writing down what I truly think about. Thanks to Anne, I think my writing is improving. Anne helps me to dig deeper in my essays and encourages me to go somewhere else. I have never written this kind of paper before, and now when I read the papers I wrote, I could tell a difference.

In all, I like this class, and I would use the word "friendly" to describe this class!:)