Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dollars, Democracy, and Do-Overs

The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2009
Image from flickr.

I bought one of those big books that lists hundreds of scholarships ranging from five hundred to tens of thousands of dollars hoping there would be one or two I could apply for.  Some are random drawings just for registering on a website, online quiz competions, or essay contests.  I'll probably apply for those.  Would you believe there are two awarded for blogging?  There's one that states "applicants must maintain blogs with unique and interesting information".  I'll have to apply and see if they think I'm unique and interesting since they are offering awards of up to $10,000!  If that's not an incentive to keep blogging, I don't know what is.

I also believe using my blog as a prewriting exercise is paying off, so that's another reason to continue.  For my first Humanities discussion I received 15 out of 15 possible points.  I was able to type over 600 words in less than an hour for my second discussion on democracy.  Among other questions, I had to answer:

Why might anyone hate freedom?
How much trouble should be taken to give democracy to other people?
What should be done if people freely vote away their freedom?

I did make brief notes as ideas occurred to me, so I didn't really begin the assignment at the last minute even though I didn't start typing until the morning the assignment was due.  Is that really procrastinating, or is it taking advantage of all the time given?

I received an 81 on my first English Comp paper.  At first, I was disappointed.  Then I discovered I received the second highest grade in our class.  I guess it wasn't so bad after all.  I can revise it for up to 10 additional points.  I started too many sentences with the word "they" and it "reads like bullet points".  She also thought I could use more sophisticated vocabulary and phrasings.  I need to rephrase and use bigger words.  I do like that she specifies exactly where and why she took off points.  Not every instructor will do that.     


buffalodick said...

All teachers are not teaching anyone anything, just judging..that is lesson number 2..

Jen said...

@buffalodick: That is so true! I dropped an English Comp class for that very reason. I could write a whole post on it and probably will eventually.

Brian Miller said...

i tend to agree...

Buckeroomama said...

To the above comments, I would say "yes and no." Yes, when they make comments like that, it sounds like "judging," but if she were to simply grade the paper without leaving any comments, you wouldn't learn why you got that mark or what you might do to make it better. When they leave "judgment" sounding comments, we are learning, too. :)

SandyCarlson said...

Keep going.

This teacher doesn't judge others--which is to say summarily dismiss anybody's work. Make sure your teacher respects you. If he or she doesn't, move on.

Vince said...

The point about 'they' and why it can be viewed with difficulty.
What you've done with it is to create a 'them and us'. This leads to a separation in everything which logically is an impossible position to uphold.There is a similar difficulty when 'We' is used.
Your best bet when you need to use 'they' is define early in the passage who exactly they are, then us it no more than 5 times before you use that name again.
John Brown died while fighting....He... He... he...John while a kid was.... He .... he ...He.... While the body of Brown lay moldering, his ideas exploded into flame.
There is nothing wrong with using 'they', you just need to realise that with it what you are doing is laying brick in a wall with statements of fact.

I'm really delighted for you an your marks.

Marissa said...

Good luck with the scholarship applications! And good job on your English comp. :)

Ryan said...

wishing you luck honey!

when you get time check out my post today and give me your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on those scholarships! Let me know if they work!

I had the same problem in my first writing class. I found a thesaurus was so useful! I never even owned one bofore, now I can't live without it! LOL!

Heather said...

I hope you get the scholarship your after. A blogging scholarship, who knew! Interesting.

Anita said...

Second highest grade...I think that's impressive. Just think what it would have been if the instructor did the "curve" thing.
Do they still use that term? :)
It's still all new...I'm sure you're doing a good job adjusting to all the changes in your life. Things can be challenging.

gayle said...

That is great..2nd highest!!!

Jen said...

Thanks everyone for the support and the comments! I'm sorry I've fallen behind replying and commenting on yours.

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