I wandered into the classroom- albeit a little late- with only one thought, “Wonderful, another English class. I’ll relearn how to write a sentence and maybe we’ll read Romeo and Juliette again.”
The rhetorical triangle came up and I wasn’t too surprised. I had been in AP classes for the last three years of high school, it was one of the more hated subjects I had to learn, but I took notes and relearned it.
“How does the world see you?” my professor asks the next week. Quiet and sarcastic I think sarcastically but do the assignment anyway.
It’s the seventh week of the semester, we’ve made blogs for the class and posted to the a few times now. It was a little strange but I knew what I was doing and pass it off as college being different than high school. I pause and wait to make a joke, since I’ve never heard the word before. It pays to be informed about the things you’re criticizing.
“The idea that everything has a meaning.” And there it was. I had assumed that since this was an ongoing joke between my friends and I (Everything is a sign #Illuminati) it would be simple to BS and move on with my life. Oh how wrong was I.
Semiotics was the absolute hardest of the concepts for me to understand, at the time I wanted to hold firm in my belief that not everything is a sign. Following the process for understanding what the signs in a paper or an image or a video mean was easy enough, but I simply didn’t see them. I got it done, with the help of few helpful kindly souls, but it was done none the less. The hardest assignment where this came into play was Where I’m From. A way for everyone in the class to get to know each other it went a little deeper than the “what is your favorite color” or “what your starter pokemon would be” (which is Mudkip, in case you wanted to know). It made me sit down and really think about what my essence as a person is. Exploring not only the materials and random items found in one of the numerous junk drawers but what the history of my family has done to shape me. Of course where I’m from isn’t the only way to look at myself. Although it wasn’t specifically about myself my analysis on violent video games and their effects on youths had been something that I’ve been researching and arguing for a while now. That was the third time I’d done that particular topic, but it was nice to get another chance to analyze old and new information. Over the years my view has shifted from just getting the word out that it is not the problem of the games themselves, but to explaining statistics behind violent outbursts, studies, tragedies, and then with my enrollment into the school understanding games not only from a gamer’s perspective but from a developer’s perspective as well.
But the experience wasn’t all dead puppies and “what do the numbers mean” jokes. I certainly had fun doing the assignments. I definitely had the most fun with the blog analysis assignment where I gave advice for NaNoWriMo and offered people sources to use, regardless of if this was their first time or if they had been writing for a long time. I liked the way it turned out well enough that I reposted it onto my art blog and got lots of feedback on the post. Many of y followers sent messages thanking me for the information and even asked for a follow up post on “post production.” It was a great feeling bringing my knowledge and experiences to teach other people to easily jump start their writing and other creative processes.
The blog was the most fun about the whole thing though. The format isn’t entirely new to me, I’ve run a few personal bogs for a few years now but I hadn’t thought about dong a semi-formal blog at all, and especially not for an English class. It was exciting to shift the writing style to fit the needs of MamaWaffle, and I’ll probably continue posting to it in the near future.
My only regret is that I didn’t make every single assignment about cats.