How did knowing you’d have to write a Review on the blog change the way you read our books? How did it change the way you prepared for class?
I usually read books pretty closely, but I think for this class I definitely annotated them more because I’d read things that I knew I wanted to write about in my reviews later. It also helped to see you (the professor) with the book thoroughly marked up so that I didn’t feel like a crazy person with stickies hanging out of my book! I also came to class with very specific ideas and topics that stuck out to me about the book but again, that’s probably due to me annotating inside of them so much.
How did writing in this format affect your writing process and writing style? I’m really interested to hear how writing in a blog format was different from writing you’ve done in other classes, whether English classes with more traditional papers, other courses with online writing (blog, discussion board, etc.) or otherwise. Did the possibility of a wider audience – your classmates, or anyone who stumbled upon our blog – change the way you wrote?
It definitely changed the way I wrote, because I think I felt like I had to back up my arguments even more than usual and be more assertive when making claims on whether or not I liked a book. As far as the formatting of writing blog posts instead of papers, I loved it! It’s a lot more casual and not as stressful. I also felt more comfortable writing my opinion on books, because everyone else’s interpretations were so varied.
How often did you read the Reviews posted by your classmates? Did you gravitate towards reading particular writers?
I think in the beginning I read the first few brave souls who posted first on the blog just so I could see how they were formatting their posts and how casual we should be with the blog. Then later on, I started writing and posting my blogs first, and then seeing if anyone else agreed with me and if they didn’t, what their takes on the books were. I didn’t read all of the blog posts simply because of time, but I read a couple each week, just to get an idea of how everyone else in the class was feeling about the book. I did gravitate towards reading some students’ reviews who always seemed to have similar opinions to mine and there were a couple that I’d always check out because their writing voice was really fun to read.
Did knowing that you had to post on the blog affect the way you read (and watched) stuff unrelated to the course readings?
I took another class this semester that was really heavy & close-reading about the American Gothic Short Story and I think the combination of that and this class caused me to also annotate books that I read just for fun; it’s really weird! I feel like I have to underline certain things because I’ll want to come back to them but I don’t know why I would come back to them lol.
I’d be excited to hear you reflect on whether and/or how your experience with and attitude towards the blog changed over the course of the semester. Did it live up to its promise? Was the blog element of the course better or worse than you hoped or feared?
I was really intimidated by the aspect of blogging, especially when you mentioned that other students in the class might comment on them. I’ve taken classes before where the commenting portion really got out of hand as far as disagreeing about certain topics, so that made me a little anxious. But I think that everyone’s been really cordial and respectful of each other’s opinions. At least online. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would and it helped me realize how I felt about books that I might have been on the fence about if I hadn’t actually sat down and written a review on them.
Finally, if you’d like, reflect upon the possibility that the work you’ve posted on the blog is now available for anyone to read, even now that the course is over. Do you think this blog could be a useful resource for future readers curious about the topic?
With the exception of one, I’m really proud of the reviews that I’ve written and I’d love for them and the other reviews on the blog to help someone else trying to learn more about cli-fi. This blog would definitely be useful to people interested and curious about it. Especially if they’re unsure about just jumping in. I think the blog provides a lot of insight on cli-fi and on climate change in general and I think it’d be a great starting point for people interested in it.
Hope everybody has a great summer!