Journey Log Final Reflection Ryan dixon

Dixon - Malabro

Section 37

Journey Log Final Reflection

Metacognition, Persistence, Creativity, and Openness

Here we are, the end of the semester. I'm sad to say that I only have two more class periods in English 1030 with Chris. I have truly enjoyed my time in this class and have learned many things relating to not just writing and reading but life itself. Many of the things we learned can be applied to a larger scope than in the classroom. Some of the most influential habits of mind that I learned about this semester include metacognition, persistence, creativity, and openness.

Reflection in the water

Metacognition was the one that I considered the most important in this course. Much of the course revolved around reflecting on your thinking and your reasoning for doing certain things. Analyzing your process of creating something was a key part of the semester. Also, reflecting on your thinking process itself was a useful tool. This will help me down the line when I really need to think back on my process whenever I am working on something, whether it be for school, for a job, or even for making life altering decisions in the future.

Persistence was another habit of mind that called to me. In this course we had a lot of different assignments to work on, some of which took longer than others. I did not have an issue keeping interest in the long and short term projects in this class, because essentially all of them pertained to my interests already. I worked long and hard on some of these projects, and my effort did not waver. This was mainly due to the fact that I had such a strong interest in my subject areas for the different projects.

Creativity was the biggest shock to me out of all the habits of mind. As I have stated in many previous journey logs, I never really pictured myself as a creative person. This class helped change my perspective on creativity, as now I have seen for myself that I am a creative person. Even if we don't think that we are creative, everyone is creative to some degree. Most of the games we played in class required you to be creative in order to win. There were also other components that were necessary such as rhetoric, but creativity was an important part of it. I also had to be creative when it came to my writing and building for the different assignments. I will say it again, I think it is really cool that Chris rewards people for their creativity and for putting a different spin on an assignment. Encouraging creativity is a very important yet seemingly loss art in teaching nowadays.

Openness is an interesting concept in academia. We touched on this more in the beginning of the semester, but it has had an impact up until the end. Being open to new ways of doing things is an important skill for life in general, as well as in the classroom. One of the main things that Chris tried to reinforce this semester was to stray from old habits that we have been taught our whole lives in our K-12 education. I am mainly referencing the five paragraph essay format that has been ingrained in our minds. Throughout this class, we have learned many different ways and formats to write papers. Something that was hard for me to grasp was the informality of some of our writing assignments. This was mainly because my history in writing papers consisting of purely formal writing.

Character creation screen from World of Warcraft (one of the games this class was based on)

Throughout my nine journey logs that I have written, I feel that they have been relatively consistent. Every single one of my journey logs referenced something in the course that I was excited about or interested in. In the beginning of the course, my first few journey logs were extremely optimistic about the rest of the semester. This was mainly due to my excitement which stemmed from the structure of this class. As a lifelong gamer, I could relate to the set up of the class very much and I was able to incorporate something that I love, Star Wars, into many of my projects. As the semester went on, I arguably became more excited and optimistic as I was able to see my ideas come to fruition. I was determined to do an excellent job on all of my assignments. This was probably due to my interest in the different topics for the assignments. There is a lot of room to do what you want for these assignments, and I really appreciated that aspect of the course.

Venator-Class Star Destroyer Minecraft Build

Adding the Minecraft Education component to this class was only another thing to make me more excited for the semester. I played a ton of Minecraft back shortly after the full release on PC. I started playing during the last month or two of the beta and eventually became obsessed with it. Many hours have been put into the game and I was really looking forward to using that past experience to create some cool stuff in this class. I would say that I succeeded because I am really proud of my Venator-Class Star Destroyer that I created for my multi-modal presentation. It was also kind of cool to see all of the new stuff that has been added to the game since I stopped playing a few years ago. I am very pleased with how Minecraft was used in the course and how my work ended up turning out. I still love the reaction I get from my friends when I tell them that I have to play Minecraft for my English class. They get pretty jealous because everyone else has to do some kind of presentation on millennials or something like that.

I feel that my writing, ways of thinking, and my creativity have all improved over the semester thanks to this course. Some people may be skeptical that I am learning something useful when I say that I have to build stuff in Minecraft for English or that my research paper was on Darth Vader. But truthfully, this will probably help me more than doing a paper on democracy or something of that nature. This is because not only was I very interested in my topic, but I became even more determined to make a good paper as a result of that. In Minecraft, we used a lot of the habits of mind while creating our build and our presentation. Meta cognition was a major component of the assignment because the purpose was to talk about our process and what went right as well as what went wrong. Being able to reflect on your work and accept the successes and failures that go along with it is a crucial skill and this course really helped develop it. I have learned many new ways to research and format papers as well as find trustworthy sources and avoid plagiarism. Each of the habits of mind has influenced my way of thinking in one way or another. In this reflection I touched on the reasoning behind half of them, but that doesn't mean that the other half did not impact me.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I can honestly say that I will miss it greatly in future semesters. I don't think I will be in another class where I will be so interested and have as much fun, while still learning a handful of valuable lessons. I am extremely glad that I happened to choose this section of English 1030 with Chris. Chris is one of the few professors that I will likely be able to relate to as much as I did. Good luck with the PHD program and thank you for all you have done for us. I know for sure that this will be one of the classes from college that I reminisce about when I am older.


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