For a lack of a better way to put this, first semester of freshman year in Jan Roser’s class has been a very enjoyable experience. Her style of dictation is so unique in so many ways that she always has the ability to keep the class’ attention and effectively get whatever message it is that she is trying to send across to us students. It seemed as though no matter what was on the agenda for the day she had a new way of teaching the material she had for that day. I feel as though, over the course of this semester I have learned many different things and how to learn them in new ways. We spent a great deal of time writing extended annotations based off readings that we were given. I was also faced with new challenges that I wasn’t not expecting as well and I was taught how to overcome these difficulties in a whole new fashion. Now when it comes to academic expectations, I learned that there is a lot more responsibility involved than in high school. The amount of independent work is also far more common and as college students we are expected to take more initiative in spending time outside of the classroom doing homework and studying. When I showed up at BSU, I knew I was in for an entirely new kind of challenge because I know when high school is over, the easy fun stage of my childhood had ended and a new style of life was headed my way both socially and academically.
My conception of critical reading has been entirely renewed after this semester because of the type of critical reading we did and the way we as a class were taught to analyze the passage at hand whatever it was at the time. The first thing were introduced to in the class was a thought process called “meta-analysis” which is a form of thinking about thinking. I quickly learned that simply paying attention to what Jan had to say I would be able to pick up this technique quickly. When it comes to writing, though, Jan had a very free spirited approach to writing. She was never strict about how we as a class chose to write on assignments, whether it be writing a page at a time or only writing in ten minutes periods taking short breaks in between. No matter what we chose for a writing style, if we understood the expectations at hand and were able to meet requirements, everything was acceptable. After working in groups on a regular basis with people from all walks of life that have an array of perspectives and views on different things I was definitely surprised at some of the things I was able to learn and collaborate with while working together on tasks with these other kids. My entire school career, when it comes to writing and the English department, has always been based on studying independently and writing by myself without the help of anybody else. Looking back on that now I realize how ineffective it truly was to try and write a paper by myself without out a peer reviewing by my classmates and professor before it was turned in. For this realization, I am grateful because I would have never known my own writing potential had I not been introduced to these foreign techniques.
Over the course of this semester, we read several passages on different views and perspectives on the process of learning in a classroom and teaching in class as well. The first reading I would like to discuss is “The Banking Concept of Education” by Paulo Friere. The author of this book is Paulo Friere and he has a very different way of seeing how kids are being taught in school. He spends this segment of his book dwelling on how teaching is sort of like a “Banking” system, “…in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits.” He explains how most teachers now a days simply teach their students in a fashion where they see information and only remember it long enough to pass a test or make a grade. The students never actually learn anything; they are just temporarily