Somewhere in the middle of this fourth week, it finally hit me: I’m a college student. The week before, we had been given two days off to allow students to both figure out their living situations, and to just generally digest the fact that the majority of campus would be forced to leave. I had made the decision to stay home before the semester even began, so, instead of rushing to move out, I was able to use these two days off to have a long weekend. I caught up on work, had a lot of time to relax, and experienced nearly no stress. While this break was nice in the moment, it set me up for a harsh reality check this week, as I had gotten out of the working mindset. After the shortened week, due dates started piling up and I pulled several late nights to get all my work done, something I hadn’t had to do in previous weeks. Even though it was stressful, I couldn’t help but be grateful that I finally felt like a real UNC student.
In English 105, it appeared that most people’s situations were generally improving. Most of the class stated that they had found apartments, or they were moved in back home. While the majority were still stressed, at least most people had a stable living situation. At our Thursday class, multiple people said they were finally getting over Covid symptoms. The realization that several of my own classmates had been physically affected by the virus brought a sense of realness to the situation that I hadn’t yet experienced as a student living at home.
In Tuesday’s class, we peer edited our Feeder 1.2 final drafts in breakout rooms, preparing for our Wednesday night due date. Just before, we had gone over general feedback from Feeder 1.1. Thursday’s class was more dynamic, as we spent nearly the whole time in breakout groups, analyzing model popular health articles that were assigned to each small group. To prepare for the activity, we were asked to brainstorm a list of what information and questions we thought should be included in a health article published for consumption by the general population. The list of components we created as a class included aspects such as the flaws of the study, analysis of methods used, possible biases, background information, as well as how this study is relevant to the general population’s health. By compiling this information into one document, it allowed us to better dissect the articles that were individually assigned to our groups. In our breakout rooms, we worked on naming the purpose of each paragraph, and we would later report our analysis to the class.
The purpose of this activity was to better understand the final project our Unit 1 Feeder assignments are leading up to. In my opinion, breaking apart the components of these sample articles will better prepare us to write and polish our own final articles. Additionally, viewing these examples from previous classes exposed us to what is expected of our own final drafts, including the preferred tone and style of writing. This process has personally expanded my abilities by allowing me to look at my writing from a more technical standpoint. For instance, a large part of my literary education before this has heavily focused on the use of figurative language and literary devices, so practicing this more scientific form of writing is expanding my skill set.
Overall, this week in English 105 felt like preparation for the rest of our Natural Science writing unit. With one assignment due, the workload wasn’t at all overbearing, contrasting with a lot of other classes that added on extra work due to the prior time off. This week felt like a time for getting back into the swing of things, introducing a normal college schedule after a time of recovery from the immense stress added by recent announcements and circumstances.
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