Going into our eleventh week in English 105, the class is assigned our third and final unit project. As we begin our final unit project, it serves as motivation for me to push myself as I enter the semester’s final stretch as if the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter. Unit Three covers writing in the humanities while allowing students to assume a literary scholar’s role with interest in short literary fiction. The humanities use society, culture, and human creativity to create new mediums for pre-established outlets. By composing a literary analysis on a short story of our choice, then present their findings in the form of a video essay to push students to translate a traditional essay into a multimedia form to engage different audiences.
Before Tuesdays class on October 20, 2020, students had to complete Feeder 3.1, a preliminary analysis of our selected short stories. The assignment guided us in generating a thesis statement for our stories for a later feeder. For my story, I choose “A Rose for Emily,” which is a Southern gothic short story by William Faulkner. The story details the life and death of the reclusive Emily Grierson and the inference of her judgemental neighbors’ various in her personal life. I had previously read the story in both my eleventh and twelfth grade AP English classes and felt confident to analyze the story again for the unit project. Due to my prior knowledge of the story, I had no trouble completing the Feeder 3.1 assignment and expanded on the ideas I learned in high school. In Tuesday’s class, I workshopped with my group “Five Golden Rings,” and I was given great input from my partner. My group all chose stories they were familiar with, giving us an advantage by having an established knowledge of the story. I was also knowledgeable on some of the stories my group members chose, such as “The Yellow Wallpaper,” giving detailed feedback on their feeder and sending them some of my notes from high school on the story.
Beginning Thursday’s class, students checked in by sharing what music we were currently listening to. Personally, I love music and was excited to share my current favorite song to listen to, sharing Aaron May’s song “Let Go.” This check-in was an excellent way for students to connect even though we are in different parts of the world instead of having the traditional college experience on campus. After class, I enjoyed listening to all the songs listed in the check-in. Thursday’s class focused on developing a thesis statement that effectively represents what you will write about in your essay. Through various exercises, students could gain an idea of what an effective thesis statement looks like. In our breakout rooms, groups collaborated to create a strong and weak thesis statement on an assigned topic. My group’s topic was: the effectiveness of federal governments’ response to COVID-19. Following Thursday’s class, students had until Monday night to craft a thesis statement for their short story.
By the end of Week 11, I had grown my confidence in my final unit project by writing about an interesting story that I enjoy reading. It is crazy to think that in four weeks, this freshman class of Tar Heels will be done with English 105. Nevertheless, as we work on our Unit Three project, we can reflect on all the things we have learned, which have strengthened my writing and will help me throughout my college career. The next four weeks will be filled with a lot of work, studying, and exams, which has already slowed me down; hence, me writing this post days after it was due. All of us can try our best to hold on as we reach the end of our first college semester. We can use our long break as motivation to work hard in these final days.
Featured Image: Jeffery A. Camarati. “Quick Takeaways from Carolina’s Battle with NC State.” 24 October 2020. Photograph. UNC Athletics. Carter_Michael_ncs6.jpg Accessed 28 Ocotber 2020.