Final Reflection Shania Steele - shanias

Shania Steele

Section 041


Habits of Mind

Openness throughout this course was especially important due to the nature of this course. Though I have played my fair share of games, I wouldn’t consider myself a gamer to any extent. The layout of this course and the overall focus on Minecraft and gaming was quite different for me. I remember I had to miss the very first class this semester for family things and was thoroughly confused by the course website and what the hell was going on or what I’d be doing throughout the semester. I came to really enjoy this class and the way it was taught since it’s very different from others. On top of that, I actually despise English and the act of writing any sort of paper so this course setup was a very pleasant change for me.

Curiosity was important in this class for research purposes. We were asked to pick a specialization at the beginning of the semester and after reading through them, mine was pretty clear. I went with ranger. My friends like to joke and call me the FBI or a sort of stalker since I have pretty great researching skills. It takes me little to no time to find a person and a few things about them. Yeah I know it’s a little crazy. I get that a lot. However, using my research skills in this class was a little different. My own curiosity on certain subjects was especially helpful since I thoroughly research to get a clear understanding of the subject and everything that surrounds it. While doing my paper, I researched for days before actually deciding on what sources I’d use and how I’d use them. I wanted to make sure I had the story straight and all of my research was related and corresponded to my topic. Sometimes I’m a little too curious, but I’m one of those people that like to know any and everything I can get my hands on for no particular reason.

Now persistence was extremely important throughout this class. Honestly, finding the interesting parts of some assignments was incredibly difficult. I remember in Journey Log 6, I talked about how incredibly fascinating it was to me that people could study rhetoric and its uses in daily conversations. We were having sort of a dry week with assignments since we were in the beginning stages of our research papers so finding a topic to write my journey log on was sort of difficult this week. Also on the topic of research papers… goodness gracious did it take some persistence to get through that process. Now I typically think of myself an extremely average writer that offers nothing more than expected. It was a pleasant surprise to find nice and uplifting comments on my annotated bibliography. This gave me an extra vote of confidence that I definitely needed before actually writing my paper because I was surely freaking out.

Creativity was another important habit of mind throughout this course. It was used in so many different assignments and projects. For example, my favorite assignment of the semester utilized this habit of mind to the greatest extent. I discussed the assignment, For Your Audience, in Journey Log 4. Since I have never actually had to write a coroner’s report or think up a closing statement, creativity was especially useful here. It was also used plenty in the Minecraft builds. We didn’t really have any restrictions regarding our builds so embracing my creative side was important.


Most of my journey logs were more research based. My specialization as a ranger required me to explain how I found my sources and ideas and that made up the bulk of my work. Although I switched to a warrior later, the research style I used at the beginning sort of continued through the rest of them. The ranger specialization made everything easier to write and actually added to them. I’m not sure if it was a requirement as a ranger, but I did take the time to add my thoughts to the journey logs. I know they’re supposed to be personal and they were definitely that. My opinions were scattered throughout the whole reflection and made them fun to write. Journey Log 3 was my absolute favorite. I can’t quite place my finger as to why it is my favorite but I do know it has something to do with my very evident opinion. The response to the Monster PDFs that we were assigned to read in class was given here and I actually connected it to myself. I kind of think that me being able to see myself connect something from class to my own experiences was a great thing to see. I also like that we were basically given free range on our topics and allowed to express ourselves as we would around our friends and family, outside of class. Although the weekly due dates got sort of annoying, I did actually enjoy writing them once I got started.


When I first heard we were playing Minecraft, I was actually confused. I've never played it before but the only things I had ever heard about it was that it involved a lot of blocks and was it was a building game. Now I've played a lot of games, but they all involved fighting and guns and violence of some sort. So a building game with no clear goal was a totally different route for me. My very first build was pretty awful. It was a simple rectangle with few decorations inside and nothing really outside. Although the whole process was pretty soothing for me, I was still confused as to the purpose of the game. It wasn't until I build my sanctuary that I realized the importance of the game and how much creativity you could actually show in the game. I could see my improvements and how far a little extra effort and focus would take me. Although I probably won't be playing it as a pastime, I was throughly pleased with my Minecraft journey and how cool simply building a structure could be.

My Personal Minecraft Journey


I don't necessarily think that my writing skills have improved in this class, but I definitely did encounter a couple new things. My confidence level regarding my writing, especially the paper, has gone up. I've been really insecure about my writing and thought it was average but the peer review and numerous comments during the process helped me through it. Another thing I noticed is that I'm more willing to express myself and share my opinions in my writing now as well. I think the journey logs had a lot to do with that. I've always been the one that sticks to the exact requirements, and wouldn't dare deviate from what the instructor was asking for in order to get the best possible grade. I know now that my own opinions and ideas add to the paper and make it more original as well as shapes my own personal voice through writing. I am extremely proud of how I completed assignments throughout this class and allowing myself to step outside of my comfort zone. Now I'm not sure if this means my writing skills have improved, but I know for a fact that I'll be a bit more comfortable taking another English class after this one.




Created with images by aneye4wonder (Ineta McParland) - "Reflections"

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