Preparation for Reflective Essay Workshop

Since you’ve just finished the brain-breaking task of your final papers, I don’t expect you to bring in a full draft of your reflective essay.  Far from it!!  Instead, I’d just ask that you take an hour or two and undertake the following tasks to prepare a short piece to bring with you to class:

  1. Consider the two questions for the reflective essay carefully.  Which of these are you most interested in?
  2. With the question in mind, look back over your blog posts, your comments, your tweets.  You’re looking for moments in these that document PROCESSES rather than CONTENT. A couple of things to look for:
    • If you’re considering the first question (“practices that I’ve developed”), you might look for sections with phrases like “I think”; “I feel”; “I was bothered by”: “I’m learning that”; “I used to think”.  If you’re considering the second, then you’re probably looking for the appearance of terms like “reality” and “truth” and “real” and “fake” adjacent to lots of verbs that describe what these concepts are doing, or how you identify/describe them.  You’re not limited to these, of course.  But they’re a place to begin.
    • Identify moments when your thinking changed.  What differences can you note between your first and last blog post?  your first and last tweet?  see if you can find the places in between that marked those changes.
    • which statements from that past 14 weeks seem surprising to you now?
  3. KEEP TRACK OF WHERE YOU FIND THESE QUOTES (which post, tweet, etc.), because I’ll ask you to cite them.
  4. Cut and paste them into a document, along with their citations, so you have plenty to work with.
  5. Choose TWO that strike you as the most “meaty” (ie., have the most for you to work with).
  6. For each, engage in a close reading, and write at least a paragraph that documents what you see here.  What words, images, or ideas in the quote seem most relevant to you?  What do they indicate to you?  What larger contexts/questions/debates/themes do they hook into?  Finally, how do they begin to provide evidence for either the practices you’ve developed (question 1) or your expectations of narrative’s representation of truth and/or reality (question 2)?

Please bring 2 copies of your 2 quotes/close readings with you to class on Monday, and we’ll do some work with them.


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