Journal 7

During class, we had an activity to complete interviews about how we spent our Valentine’s Day.  I was paired with Ryan and I was lucky enough to have gotten paired with someone who did quite a bit on V-day.  I learned about Ryan’s romantic and spontaneous side.  Even if his spontaneity was planned!  I learned a lot about someone in a matter of the ten-minute interview.  Something I definitely learned about him is that he extremely caring.  One thing about an impromptu interview that I find difficult is to figure out the interview questions on the spot that will help move the interview along.  I was lucky to have a partner that was easy going with interview questions and it wasn’t an awkward situation, for either of us hopefully.  At a couple points, I found it difficult to come up with more questions that will give me a bigger idea of who him and his girlfriend are as people.  On top of asking them what they did for V-day, I wanted to ask them who they were as a couple aside from the day couples usually go out.  To learn what their V-day was like, I needed to know who he was aside from being a boyfriend.

I enjoyed this activity because it forces you to not dilly-dally and get questions formed.  You can’t spend weeks planning many different questions that you never end up using, and you can’t continuously doubt yourself.  One thing I noticed about this interview, is that V-day is only fun to talk about when you have someone to spend it with, whether it be your boyfriend/girlfriend or your best friends.  We enjoyed talking about our days because we had something interesting to tell and something we were excited to talk about it.  We enjoyed that day and we were glad to talk about it with someone else.  However, I’m sure if I were paired with someone who stayed home and did their normal activity’s, the interview would have been much more difficult to get through due to running out of questions to ask them.  This was a good activity to get the mind going to figure out how to ask questions to an interviewee.

Journal 8

This analysis confused me a lot at first and took me a couple times of reading to get a better understanding of it.  I didn’t find that the transcript was very helpful for me to understand what A was talking about.  I felt certain things just came out of nowhere.  When thinking of transcribing an interview, this is definitely not what came to mind.  Some times when reading interviews, I want to imagine myself there and that I heard the entire interview from beginning to end.  I didn’t feel that I could do that with the way this was transcribed.  Honestly, I’m still not quite sure I understand what this was truly about.  Hopefully with more examples, I will understand it a bit more and will be able to use it for the future when I will be transcribing my own interviews.  Obviously, this interview is about the shame that this girl felt and the trauma from her past experiences with the internet and phone.  Seeing as how this happened so long ago, the person being interviewed had so many memories come back, that the emotion was probably very strong.  However, I didn’t quite get that from the transcript.  This essay was both confusing and difficult to read.  However, once I learn more about interviewing, this might seem very helpful to me.

Journal 5

During class, we discussed analysis and what comes with it.  Analysis and research was never my forte, however, there were always a few steps that I chose to complete while writing an analysis piece.  When I’m completing an analysis, I go through each part of the article piece by piece.  Last semester, I wrote many papers on the analysis of poems and stories.  The action I took while reading through the poems was breaking it apart by each line.  I wanted to understand what I was reading at each part.  This is the same with an academic journal.  Those journals are long and difficult to read.  However, if you look at each section individually, it becomes easier to understand the long drawn out articles.

Coming up with theories before you interview and analyze research is not something I know much about, and still don’t.  Coming up with my thesis for a research project is always one of the most difficult parts for me.  I’ve found myself in the past always keeping that for last, which never makes sense.  Although I’ve been told my many teachers in the past it’s okay to write my thesis at the very end.  However, I never quite understood why.  When I skip writing the thesis, it takes me longer to search for a specific research topic.  Also, every research topic I’ve ever had to search, until recently, was something I was uninterested in and didn’t know how to search.  When it’s a topic you’re not very into, it becomes that much more difficult to research it.  I hope this semester, I pick a topic and a community that I will really enjoy looking up.  Hopefully this week I will work on picking a topic and discovering a thesis that can go along with it.

Journal 4

While attending college, we become a discourse community.  I think the main common goal that we all share is of course to pass the class.  However, there are many other common goals that we all share throughout the semester to assure us to pass this class, or any class for that matter.  During class, you gave us the activity to form into small groups and interview one another.  The group I joined was so extremely friendly that focusing was probably on the harder side.  We continued to make jokes and laugh during the interview process.  However, we did get the interview accomplished.  I did find out a bit more about my group such as clubs at the school and a note taking job I never knew was an option at Kean.

We all enter this classroom twice a week in hopes to learn something about writing and to have a better understanding of it in our future.  We all chose these majors and minors and hope to one day in our future use these skills.  Also, a huge common goal that we don’t think about often is the respect in the classroom.  To make it as a discourse community, I think we all need to have a certain aspect of respect towards one another and towards our teacher.  To reach our main common goal of passing the class, we all need to give off the same respect we would hope to receive from others.  We must give the professor the same amount of respect to let the flow of the class go by.

As a discourse community, we also have specific means of communication.  We all are capable of reaching out to one another with the use of Gmail and Blackboard and this is important for many reasons.  We should use these means of communication to reach out to each other to help with future papers we have, and to all in all become a community with one another.

Journal 2 – Next Step

Researching while in school has always been one of my hardest tasks to complete.  I’m not a researcher and probably never will be a master of it; but it is my duty to try.  One of my biggest struggles with research is that the topic is generally boring and never something that I’m interested in.  During my last journal and last class, I made the suggestion that I would begin research on Young Adult Literature books and/or authors.  I would love to compare and contrast two separate authors in the YA literature world.  Compare the different genres and the effects it has had on others.  Since I was in high school, YA books have been my favorite.  The way it speaks to teenagers is truly magical.  But to know what truly comes from YA books there is quite a bit of research that needs to be done.

The next step that I would need to take to begin my research on this topic would be to read some books.  Of course, I’ve read more than I can count since I started reading them, however, it’s important to put myself into that element now, at the age of twenty-three.  Of course, there will be many articles and journals that I can find that are written by both authors and lovers of YA literature.  However, for myself, truly understanding this topic would mean reading those books.  Of course, YA lit is such a broad spectrum of books, considering it is not one specific genre.  Conducting my own research to back up what I am looking for would only help me in my search through databases.

To narrow my search down even further it’s important to pick two separate authors from different genres.  Example of this would be John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games.  These two authors and books are completely different from one another, yet one in the same.  After reading a book from both of them, I find it would be easier to conduct research knowing what I’m looking for in both of their works.  These are important steps to take when it comes to research and finding what you really need to have it make sense.

Journal 2 – Swales

The Concept of Discourse Community by John Swales is both informative and difficult to read at the same time.  Although he does describe each individual trait of a discourse community separately, that doesn’t make it an easier topic to read.  I felt myself not fully understanding what I was reading until sub section 2.3 came.  The six characteristics that are listed are a little hard to understand to read.  Swales is quite confusing with the choice of structure he uses.  While reading things I don’t understand, it is better to be extremely direct and just say what you mean.  Don’t give many examples in one example.  When I first began to learn about discourse community I thought to myself it must mean a literal community that you can find in a church, school, or work setting.  However, to find there are many different types of communities that you could find was rather shocking.

The very first characteristic makes the most sense and I never quite thought about it in that way.  A discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.  Of course!  That makes complete sense.  In my last class, Advanced Composition, I wrote my discourse community paper on the up and coming sport, Spike Ball.  This sport had a few common goals.  One was to make sure everyone quickly began to learn of this sport and how amazing it really is.  Second was to create a family that people could escape to.  A community must also share ways of communication with one another.  Even if it’s not a constant speaking to one another, communication is vital.

I hope to get a better understanding of the term discourse community because it will of course help me through this course.  Although I don’t plan on entering a field where the technical writing is a necessity, it’s still something that I hope to perfect by the end of the semester and to help me with future papers.