Anytime a class is discussion based I know that I’ll enjoy taking that class. Not only was this class discussion based, but we always were talking about one of my favorite topics: persuasion (arguing). The topics we covered is the main reason why I enjoyed being in this rhetoric class. Every time we had a discussion I felt that the content was interesting and invigorating, and I was eager to participate as a result. I was excited for class every day because I got to express and defend my opinion each day.
I feel that anytime you can surround yourself with people who will push you to reach your full potential the benefits far exceed the negatives. In this class’s case, I think that taking it with direct admit students was definitely a positive experience. First and foremost I think that the environment made me work harder than had I taken it with the regular pool of students at the university. This section of rhetoric forced me to extensively prepare for class in order to avoid embarassment in front of my classmates. I got more out of this section of rhetoric than I would have had I taken a different section and I’m happy that this was an option.
In terms of assignments, I saw the relevance in the first several papers we wrote. I enjoyed comparing rhetorical techniques and even though I hate to admit it, the blog posts were actually a little fun to write. I thought all of the assignments were reasonable things to ask of the class. However, I saw little relevance in the narrative projects. The long paper we had to write on an Iowa City neighborhood had little meaning and the podcast following that were a bit odd as well. I am not arguing that the narrative projects were unreasonable assignments to give us, I just felt that it was an attempt to enlighten brighter students at Iowa to the charms of Iowa City outside of the university in hopes of keeping them in the state of Iowa after graduation. I felt that the projected wasted the time of the students and a better assignment could have been formulated.
I did, however, like the group work in the narrative project. While direct admits often succeeded in the classroom in high school, group work forces us to compromise and be a bit more humble. With all the perks of being a direct admit, it’s easy for some to get an inflated ego. I felt that group work helps keep our egos in check. At the very least, group work teaches us how to work with others which is something we’ll be doing for the rest of our lives.
With all that being said, the workload was fair and the class was my favorite of my first semester at the University of Iowa. Miss Bones was fun to be around and seemed passionate and knowledgeable about the material, which is all you can really ask in a professor. While not everyone contributed in the class discussions a real learning environment was achieved in those discussions, and that is when I felt that I learned the most.