E-Porfolio

COMM201:  Communications I — E-Portfolio                          Winter 2017

 Chau Tran, Section 007

Persuasive Reflection – Process & Progress

Persuasive Reflection – 1st Draft

Fleming College’s Communications course is not just an ordinary writing class. The course uses a creative approach and various strategies to help students realise their weakness and aid them in resolving the problem. As the semester goes through, I am aware of my remarkable progress in grammar and punctuation and in reduction of essay length.

At the beginning of the course I had the tendency to make errors in tense consistency, usage of articles and prepositions and superfluous comma. A lot of times when I wrote a sentence, the first clause would be in past tense and the second would be in the present, for instance: “The population of my hometown wasn’t so diverse, so it might be the first time most of the children in my school have ever been that close to a black person,” (This I Believe, first draft). I also had problems with using “a”, “an” and “the” as well as prepositions. What is more, I did not know where I should/should not use a comma, as a result, I put a comma after a clause every time I was not sure about it.

The biggest problem was sometimes I was not aware of these mistakes, so I couldn’t fix them. I used to rely on Word spelling check add-on and online grammar checking engines to edit my drafts. But my peers and my teacher could still point out a lot of grammatical errors in my writing, which made me realise that those engines could not catch all my mistakes and completely replace grammar skills. I took my second draft of the Profile assignment to the Tutoring Centre to ask for help. There I received a lot of helpful feedback to revise my writing. I also used the grammar website that the tutor recommended for reference, which took more time to read than running a grammar check on my computer, but the effort well paid off. Most of the marks I lost on This I Believe essay were due to grammar errors. A serious work on grammar revision on the Profile final draft eliminated those errors, and I received a much better grade for my Profile essay.

Another typical mistake that I usually made was that I included too much details in my writing, even those that were not relevant and not contributing any values to the big picture. I always exceeded the word limits because I had troubles determining the main ideas and deciding which parts to be removed to shorten my writing. My first This I Believe draft had 964 words while I should only write 500 – 700 words. I didn’t want to cut anything out, because I spent a lot of time on my writing and every piece of information seemed valuable and important to me somehow.

The course helped me a lot in terms of giving me motivation to shorten my writing. Because we need to get peer reviews, I felt the necessity to keep my writing at a reasonable length so that my peers could follow along. After receiving peer feedback, I discussed with my classmates about how I should organise my essays and what they thought was not necessary to be included. It was also helpful to give comments on my classmates’ writing, because most of them had concentrated essays which gave me the idea of how quickly the readers can grab the main theme without getting lost or bored if the writing was short.

I am with no doubt able to see myself progressing through the course in grammar skills and managing my ideas. I hope this would be the basis for me to improve my writing and make me a better writer in the future.

Persuasive Reflection – Final Draft

Fleming College’s Communications course is not just an ordinary writing class. The course uses a creative approach and various strategies to help students realise their weakness and aid them in resolving the problem. As the semester continues, I am aware of my remarkable progress in grammar and punctuation, in the reduction of essay length, and in my revising method.

At the beginning of the course I had the tendency to make errors in the usage of articles and prepositions. A good example is taken from my 6th blog post – As bold as it could be: “People might prefer to take the long way around and not to be explicit of how the dead are treated”. On top of this, I didn’t know how to use commas properly, as can been seen in my 1st blog post – A girl with no passion: “And I’m glad I read it, because my fear started going away, for the excitement to fill in.” However, the biggest problem was my unawareness of these mistakes. I used to just rely on online grammar checkers to edit my drafts. But my peers and my teacher could still identify a lot of grammatical errors in my writing, which made me realise that those engines could not completely replace grammar skills. After that, I took my second draft of the Profile assignment to the Tutoring Centre to ask for help. There I received a lot of helpful feedback to revise my writing. My tutor also suggested going through basic grammar rules on a website, which I did. It took more time than running an automatic grammar check, but the effort paid off well. Most of the marks I lost on This I Believe essay were due to grammar errors. A serious work on grammar revision on the Profile final draft eliminated those errors, and I received a much better grade for my Profile essay.

Another problem was that I often included too many details in my writing, even those that were irrelevant and not contributing much value. I always exceeded the word limit because I had troubles removing less essential parts. I didn’t want to cut out anything since I invested a lot of energy into my work and every piece of information seemed valuable and important to me somehow. The peers’ feedback helped me a lot in terms of giving me the motivation to keep my writing to a minimum length: “Your profile is well organized and transitions well, the only thing that I am worried about is that the length might turn people away from reading it,” (lunarainsite, April 5 2017). After receiving such constructive comments, I felt the urge to shorten my essay so that my peers could follow the main idea. I discussed with my classmates how I should organise my essay and what they thought was not necessary to be included. Also, reading their concentrated writing gave me an idea of how quickly and easily the readers can grasp the writer’s meaning if the writing was short.

What is more, I had adopted a new method of revising which then significantly changed my writing process and outcome. I used to keep only one draft and make changes on the same document, so the course’s requirement to have three different drafts for each assignment didn’t appeal to me at first. But after reading the blog True Writing is Rewriting by Beth Shope, I realised that as I write and rewrite at the same time, my attention would be drawn to small details instead of the big picture – structuring, idea organising… To avoid that problem, I now use the multiple-draft strategy suggested by the course. My shitty first draft is where I let off all my ideas and structure my paragraphs without worrying about small errors. Then I would come back a few days after to review grammar and sentencing, make a different copy while keeping my original version intact. I’d repeat the reviewing step several days after that to fix any minor issues if needed, and then my essay is finished. With this method, my revising process becomes more systematic and I have a chance to look back at my different drafts and recognise my own improvements.

All in all, I am with no doubt able to see myself progressing in grammar skills, content management and rewriting method. Communications definitely gave me a firm basis to move forward on my way to become a better writer.

Feedback on Persuasive Reflection

spiderman2310 (Duy Ly, peer)

Again, you have an extremely details essay that meet all the requirements of our instructor but I still see that you haven’t fixed problem about the length of your essay. It’s quite long to me. Anyway, you did a great job on your persuasive reflection. Hope you keep doing well or might way more better in your next communication course. Oh, almost forget, I think you need some quotations from your previous assignments to make you claims become stronger.

adventureonsite (Kailee Rose, peer)

Your introduction has an attention-grabbing component that makes the reader want to continue reading to find out how this communication class differs from others. It seems as if you are only including 2 points that you have improved on, as grammar and punctuation seem to be going hand in hand. You should also focus your conclusion down a bit as you have 2 concluding paragraphs. Your first body paragraphs leave me with a question in regards to how you learned to change those common mistakes. Was there a certain assignment that helped you with it? Seminar? Lab? just add a little bit more detail in regards to how you improved on what you did
Overall this is a great first draft!

lunarainsite (Starr Perry, peer)

Very strong introduction, clear thesis statement however, you are missing one point of your three. I like that you like to use fancy words but it makes it harder for the reader to understand. I like how you were able to recognize your week points and how they affect your writing, this will make you a stronger writer. You are missing some aspects of structure for your reflection. The magic number when writing pieces like this is 3. 3 points in your thesis, 3 body paragraphs, one for each point n typically 3 supporting points for each main point. Overall you have a lot of great content and enjoyed reading your thoughts on your writing improvements.

 

This I Believe Essay – Process & Progress

This I Believe – 1st Draft

When I was very young, my mom sent me to a kindergarten run by a church. That was odd, since none of my family is Christian. I guess it was just because it was a good school and the nuns were strict enough to make me obey, yet still kind and generous not to ever use scourging on me.

Everything started from that school. I learnt. For the most parts, I were aware of the fact that I was learning: drawing, counting, coloring, singing, … At the same time, there were some other things that I took up unconsciously, like making friends. And giving other people a second chance.

Kindergarten had been kind to me. I was a great eater and therefore the favorite kid of the teachers (well, it could be hard to get some kids finish their dishes). I got hit by a swing and ended up with a dent on my chin, and I won several story-telling contests. And there came my last year at the kindergarten, before I moved on to an elementary school. I guess I could call myself a kindergarten senior by then. When there were supposed to be not much left that I could learn from that school, I actually just began to learn the most important.

That year, an African – French family moved to my city, since the father had some business in the area. The family sent their little daughter, named Marie, to the nuns’ school, and they put her in my class. The population of my hometown wasn’t so diverse, so it might be the first time most of the children in my school have ever been that close to a black person. Until now, I still haven’t had an idea of where the rumor came from. Maybe the event was so unusual that some were startled and began to have weird thoughts. Or perhaps it was the naughty kids who wanted to make up scary stories to frighten off others. Anyhow, there was a wicked theory going around among the pupils soon after the girl’s presence: her “blackness” was transmittable, and people shouldn’t come too near her if they didn’t want their skin to turn black. Don’t be surprised, you know how ignorance could become evil sometimes.

So there was the new girl, coming all the way from a faraway land to a place where people didn’t speak her language, and wasn’t even getting any acceptance from her peers. I wasn’t convinced by the rumor, but I was afraid. My friends would refuse to play with me if they saw me talking to her. I’d better be a member of the pack.

At that time, my mother was pretty much a single mom, since daddy was away for his job. Being the daughter of a busy mom, I was usually one of the last kids to be picked up after class. Marie happened to be one of the last kids to be picked up. It was one afternoon, when she and I were the only two left waiting. As I have mentioned before, I was an excellent eater, which lead to the fact that I was a fat kid. It was getting late, and I was hungry. My stomach was grumbling when I started to notice Marie sitting on the staircase with a bun in her hands. There were no other friends there, and I was so desperate for food. I kept staring at Marie for a while, and she looked backed at me, before I got my courage to come sit next to her. Suddenly she smiled and said something. I don’t know what language it was, could be French, could be English. I couldn’t understand a word, but I knew what she wanted to say: she asked if I wanted her to share the bun. Everything changed, that moment when I nodded at her generous offer. She split the bun in two, gave me one, and we started eating. We started to try communicating by gestures while still eating.

A moment later, her mom came. I remembered her standing there silently watching us. She’d have taken Marie home, but she waited. Then all I remember is my mom came after that and they had a few words before leaving for home. I was a kid, I was too excited with my new friend to pay attention to what the grown-ups were doing.

Marie just stayed for a year and then her family went back to France. We’ve never met again ever since. A few years after the incident, my Mom told me what Marie’s mom told her that day. The woman was so depressed and upset since Marie couldn’t find any friend at school just because of her skin color. That’s why she was surprised, and touched, when a kid didn’t show any sign of despite toward her daughter. She actually burst out and cried in the middle of the saying. At the time I didn’t realize what I’ve done, but now I know.

Time flies fast, and I grown up. I grown up a judging person who always secretly give opinion about other people in the first time meeting them. But the memory of that day always guide me back to the right thing. Don’t treat people bad just because how they look and what they seem to be. Look inside and try to bring out the best of them. I don’t need to stop judging, I just need to put it aside and look at people with the innocent eyes of a 5-year-old kid, like what I did the day I ate Marie’s half a bun.

This I believe.

This I Believe – 2nd Draft

That guy is weird. Saw him talking to himself on the bus the other day.”.

She seems distant. Perhaps too arrogant to talk to anyone that’s not up to her standard.

We all have these kinds of thoughts popping up in our heads at some point. It’s common for people to be judged at first sight, based on what they wear, how they talk, what colour their skin is, what others say about them. But I believe we all deserve better than a hasty judgement. We all deserve to be learnt about and understood. I believe, that we all deserve a second chance.

When I was in kindergarten, an African – French family moved to my city. The couple sent their little daughter – Marie – to my school, and she was placed in my class. The population of my hometown wasn’t so diverse, so it might be the first time most of us have ever been that close to a black person. She became the subject for local gossip, and soon after Marie’s presence, there was a wicked theory going around among the pupils: her “blackness” was transmittable, and people shouldn’t come too close if they didn’t want their skin to turn black as well.

I was five, and I was naive. Of course I believed in what they say, and did what they did. As ridiculous and pathetic as I was, I tried to stay away from the poor little kid.

One afternoon, Marie and I were the only two left waiting. It was getting late, and I was hungry. My stomach was grumbling when I noticed Marie sitting on the front stairs with a bun in her hands. It took me a long pause of hesitation before I plucked up my courage and came sitting next to her. Suddenly Marie turned to me with a big smile, split the bun in two and gave me a half. There our friendship started, with a little courage, and a bun of kindness.

That’s all I could remember about how we became friends. Marie and her family stayed for only a year, then went back to France. We’ve never met again ever since. Later when I got older, my mom filled in what was missing from my memory about that day. When Mom came to get me, Marie’s mother was there waiting for her. The woman burst out in tears even before she could say anything. There was a kid that didn’t despise her daughter. A kid that didn’t refuse to share her daughter’s snack. After all the terrible things Marie had to go through, it was all she asked for. The mother couldn’t feel more grateful.

A lot of times I asked myself, what if I wasn’t hungry that afternoon? What if I was hungry, but Marie had nothing to give me? Then I wouldn’t have had a new friend, and Mary would’ve ended up with no friend at all. But that’s how life usually is. We are not motivated to really get to know people. It’s a brutal thing we keep doing: we give ourselves the right to judge a person just by looking at them. We tag them, and we call them names: weirdo, nigga, rapist, cocky face, fat ass, flirt, gay, idiot, loser. We don’t care if it’s not fair: it’s easy, and it saves us a lot of time. But we’re missing out a lot of how wonderful that person could be. So give them a second chance. Dig deep, and seek for the wonderful things that were obscured by what the eyes can see. Let them speak for themselves.

Because we all deserve a second chance. This I believe.

This I Believe – Final Draft: Everybody Deserves a Second Chance

Weird guy. Saw him talking to himself on the bus the other day.”

She seems distant. Perhaps too arrogant to talk to anyone that’s not up to her standard.

I sometimes have these disturbing thoughts popping up in my heads. It’s tempting to judge people at first sight, just based on their social status, what they wear, how they talk, what color their skin is, what others say about them. But I always manage to chase away that evil whisper. I believe we all deserve better than a hasty judgement. People worth learning about and being understood. I believe, that we all deserve a second chance.

When I was in kindergarten, an African – French family moved to my city. The couple sent their little daughter – Marie – to my school, and she was placed in my class. The population of my hometown wasn’t so diverse, so it might be the first time most of us have ever been that close to a black person. She became the subject of local gossip, and soon after Marie’s presence, there was a wicked theory going around among the pupils: her “blackness” was transmittable, and people shouldn’t come too close if they didn’t want their skin to turn black as well. Back then, I was five and I was naive. Of course, I believed in what they said and did what they did. As ridiculous and pathetic as I was, I tried to stay away from the poor little kid.

One afternoon, Marie and I were the only two left waiting to be picked up after class. It was getting late, and I was hungry. My stomach was grumbling when I noticed Marie sitting on the front stairs with a bun in her hands. It took me a long pause of hesitation, but my craving for food beat the fear of turning black, and I came sitting next to her. Marie turned to me with a big smile, split the bun in two and gave me a half. I ate it greedily, the snack that marked my very last moment of having light skin color. You can guess how surprised I was, realizing that my skin color hadn’t changed a bit after I had finished the whole thing. I suddenly felt terribly ashamed and regretful about how unkind I was to Marie. My behaviours towards her were totally unacceptable; but fortunately, good things followed: we became friends, and Marie was not excluded from the pack anymore.

Marie and her family stayed for only a year, then went back to France. We lost touch ever since, but even now the memory of that afternoon sometimes keeps playing over and over in my head. A lot of times I asked myself, what if I wasn’t hungry? What if I was hungry, but Marie had nothing to give me? Then I wouldn’t have sat down with her, and figured out what a kind-hearted girl she was, and Marie might have ended up with no friend at all.

It’s a brutal thing we keep doing: we give ourselves the right to interpret a person’s appearance or reputation as their basic qualities. We carelessly conclude about them; we tag them, and we call them names: weirdo, nigga, rapist, cocky face, fat ass, flirt, gay, idiot, loser… Marie herself was looked on as a black virus. Whether it’s fair or not is none of our business: it’s easy, and it saves us a lot of time. We feel satisfied with what we think we know, while we should be doing the difficult work and looking for more.

Judging might be an easy way out. But I have no right to take away people’s chance to prove who they really are. Every time I’m about to draw a conclusion about a person, Marie’s there like a wakeup call, keeping me from being a careless critic. I believe that people – despite how they appear to be – worth seeking behind their look. I believe in second chances. This I Believe.

Feedback on This I Believe

spiderman2310 (Duy Ly, peer)

You have to state your belief at the beginning

You have extremely wonderful story with specific details but i still cannot find what is you believe in . I think you should add your belief like i believe that color skin does not determine characteristics or behavior of people. Good organisation ^^

theboomerangsite (Timothy, peer)

Authentic Voice : Yes, a personal story is being told with detail. Made me feel emotional on the level she was on and what she went through.

Narrative Coherence : The draft is very engaging and there is a personal story being told. The belief is not at the start however if it was intended to be it is rather vague. The structure and grammar need a bit more work.

Scott, COMM professor

This is a very moving, personal story. Thanks for sharing this so honestly. This essay is very effective o conveying your belief. The major issue is grammar and sentence construction. I’ve made note of these issues about. Please visit the Academic Skills Centre for extra help with these issues. Overall, good job.

Profile Essay – Process & Progress

Profile – 1st Draft

Together with the breakthroughs in technology, reading habit is shifting from printed materials to electronic books, and more and more people refer to Google rather than the library catalogue. It’s faster and more convenient. But when it seems like libraries are no longer necessary, their significance is more crucial than ever.

I’m a keen library user, and that’s how I got to know Carmen. I saw her at the reception numerous times. I also went the two library workshops where she was the instructor. She would be the first library staff you see on your way to Fleming College Library in Sutherland Campus: beside the staircase leading from the main foyer to the library downstairs is a standee with a photo of her instructing a student.

She agreed to my interview request without a second of hesitation. The library was crowded with lots of ambient noise, so I had a chance to visit her office. Her working desk was messy, with files and stationeries all over. Hanging on the wall behind her seat was a cork board filled with colourful kids’ doodles, leaflets, schedules, and handwritten notes. The other side of the wall was a more organised collection of library event posters. It looked like a dedicated and creative librarian’s workspace.

Today’s Carmen was still the typical Carmen that I met every time I went to the library, in her simple outfit and a big smile on her face. She was wearing a dotted beige sweater, dark trousers, and a brick red chiffon scarf. No sense of perfume. Not too polished, not too sloppy. There is always a moderation in her. She had a look of concern and eagerness to be of help, as usual, as if I was there with a library question.

Without being asked, she introduced her position as a library technician. Carmen is accountable for giving the library instruction sessions and literacy workshops, creating written materials for library instructions and research skills, maintaining specific pages on the library website. She serves as the liaison for faculty in Business, Justice, Technology and Trade courses. She also coordinates the marketing and communication for the library, organises special events, as well as managing student workers in the library. It was a long list, and she had to pause in the middle to look for her CV to help her remember. She concluded humbly afterwards: “It’s a lot of areas, and we’re a small team, so we all have a bunch of different stuff that we do. So, it’s a bonus to the job, it’s interesting.” (Carmen Gelette, personal communication, March 6, 2017).

Carmen was from Whitby, Ontario – just near the border of Peterborough and… She ran away to Vancouver with “a car full of stuff and no money” after graduating from Trent University in the early 90s’, worked for Raincoast Publishing for a few years. She was not satisfied and decided to change her career. Carmen had another diploma in 2005, this time in Library Technician program. She worked in public libraries in Vancouver for a few years, then her family moved back to Peterborough. She started working at Trent University library for 4 years. Then Fleming College offered her a job, which was a step up for her as a permanent full-time job. She’s been at her current position for three and a half year since then.

Carmen continued her stories by telling me about her everyday work with intense enthusiasm: the website platform that the library is using, the workshops and events. She likes giving instructions and spreading library knowledge, so she’s certainly doing her dream job. She seems to enjoy doing every single task of the job, such as making those short instructional videos that are available in the library tutorials.

When being asked what she found the most challenging in giving the workshops and instructional sessions, she said it was the difference in the participants’ level of computer literacy. The obligation of the instructor is to keep higher-level people engaged and make the workshops more useful for them, but also to help the others who progress more slowly so that they’re not too far behind. She added after a few thinking seconds about what sometimes bothered her. Not all the students appreciate the importance of library instructions. Some people, at some points, could even show disrespectful attitude by playing games or chatting or watching sports while she was presenting. “It can be a little bit disheartening.” – she told me.

It’s not an easy job, but it could be very rewarding. To her, the most enjoyable moment was when she managed to spark the interest in the students with what she presented – the knowledge that she found very interesting. Her joy could come from the simplest thing: how students appreciate her help when she aided them in finding articles or citing a source. What moved me was her latter words. She said since she already had her dream job, what she wanted to do is helping students move towards their dream job by doing good work in their programs, so that they’d have a better outcome when graduating and could do what they love. She said the idea of people loving their job was important to her.

Along with her passion for the library services, she also holds big concern about libraries’ future. Not everybody understands the significance of libraries and library skills. Even students – the subjects who need it the most – are not the ones who fully get the ideas. Also, libraries’ prospect is affected by boards’ decisions. The problem is, the decision makes are usually not library users themselves and don’t understand its job. Library funds, librarians and library time for students are being cut down, especially in the States, based on the idea that the Internet could come in more use and save more time and money. But there are expensive materials such as peer-reviewed articles and scholarly journals that students couldn’t afford to access on their own, it’s up to the library to offer that access.

Carmen is a great example for those people who do silent jobs but contribute huge value to the community. She might be a small librarian, but she’s in the force that is working hard every day to promote for the course of knowledge and literacy. It’s time we stopped neglecting and taking for granted the things that are too generously offered to us, and to hold a higher respect for the people who work quietly in the background.

Profile – 2nd Draft

Together with recent breakthroughs in technology and the blooming of internet usage, reading resources have shifted from printed to electronic materials, and more and more people are referring to Google Search than the library catalogue. Mobile apps can help students learn and review lectures, as well as to look up new vocabulary. To some people, going to the library to search for information is just another waste of time; with laptops or tablets or smartphones, any of those could be done in a second. But is it true that libraries nowadays have less value than it used to? To know what people behind the reception desk have to tell as life changes and library demand is going into a descent, I went to have a chat with a member of Fleming College Library crews.

Carmen Gelette is a familiar face to keen library users, as she can often be seen at the reception desk. The lady agreed to my interview request without a second of hesitation. She warmly welcomed me into her small office. Every corner brought up a pleasant cosy feeling. Her working desk was messy, with files and stationeries all over. Hanging on the wall behind her seat was a cork board filled with colorful kids’ doodles, leaflets, schedules, and handwritten notes. The other side of the wall was a more organized collection of library event posters. It looked like a dedicated and creative librarian’s work space.

Today’s Carmen was still the typical Carmen that I met every time I went to the library, in her simple outfit and a big smile on her face. She was wearing a dotted beige sweater, dark trousers, and a brick red chiffon scarf. No sense of perfume. Not too polished, not too sloppy. There is always a moderation in her. She had a look of concern and eagerness to be of help, as usual, as if I was there with a library query.

Without being asked, she introduced her position as library technician. Although people often thought of her as a librarian and saw her do the work of the librarian, it was a different credential. Her job is to provide library instruction sessions and workshops, create written materials for library instructions and research skills, maintain a portion of the library website, and serve as the liaison for faculty in Business, Justice, Technology and Trade courses. She also coordinates the marketing and communication parts, organizes special events, as well as manages student workers in the library. It was a long list, and she had to pause in the middle to look for her CV to help herself remember. She concluded humbly afterwards: “It’s a lot of areas, and we’re a small team, so we all have a bunch of different stuffs that we do. So, it’s a bonus to the job, it’s interesting.” (Carmen Gelette, personal communication, March 6, 2017).

Carmen was from Whitby, Ontario. She ran away to Vancouver with “a car full of stuffs and no money” after graduating from Trent University in the early 90s’, worked for Raincoast Publishing for a few years. She was not satisfied and decided to change her career. Carmen had another diploma in 2005, this time in Library Technician program. She worked in public libraries in Vancouver for a few years, then her family moved back to Peterborough. She started working at Trent University library for 4 years. Then Fleming College offered her a job, which was a step up for her as a permanent full-time job. She’s been at her current position for three and a half year since then.

Carmen continued telling me about her everyday work with intense enthusiasm: the website platform that the library is using, the workshops and events. She likes giving instructions and spreading library knowledge, so she’s certainly doing her dream job. She seems to enjoy doing every single task of the job, such as making the short instructional videos that are available in the library tutorials.

When being asked what she found the most challenging in giving the workshops and instructional sessions, she said it was the difference in the participants’ level of computer literacy. The obligation of the instructor is to keep higher-level people engaged and make the workshops more useful for them, but also to help the others who progress more slowly so that they’re not too far behind. She added after a few thinking seconds about what sometimes bothered her. Not all the students appreciate the importance of library instructions. Some people, at some points, could even show disrespectful attitude by playing games or chatting or watching sports while she was presenting. “It can be a little bit disheartening.” – she told me.

It’s not an easy job, but it could be very rewarding. To her, the most enjoyable moment was when she managed to spark the interest in the students with what she presented – the knowledge that she found very interesting. Her joy could come from the simplest thing: how students appreciate her help when she aided them in finding articles or citing a source. What moved me was her latter words. She said since she already had her dream job, what she wanted to do is helping students move towards their dream job by doing good work in their programs, so that they’d have a better outcome when graduating and could do what they love. She said the idea of people loving their job was important to her.

Along with her passion for the library services, she also holds big concern about libraries’ future. Not everybody understands the significance of libraries and library skills. Even students – the subjects who need it the most – are not the ones who fully get the ideas. Also, libraries’ prospect is affected by boards’ decisions. The problem is, the decision makes are usually not library users themselves and don’t understand its job. Library funds, librarians and library time for students are being cutting down, especially in the States, based on the idea that the Internet could come in more use and save more time and money. But there are expensive materials such as peer-reviewed articles and scholarly journals that students couldn’t afford to access on their own, it’s up to the library to offer that access.

Carmen is a great example for those people who do silent jobs but contribute huge value to the community. She might be a small librarian, but she’s in the force that is working hard everyday to promote for the course of knowledge and literacy. It’s time we stopped neglecting and taking for granted the things that are too generously offered to us, and to be more thankful of the people who work quietly in the background.

Profile – Final Draft: The Messenger behind the Desk

Together with recent breakthroughs in technology and the blooming of internet usage, reading resources have shifted from printed to electronic materials, and more and more people are referring to Google Search than the library catalogue. Mobile apps can help students learn and review lectures, as well as to look up new vocabulary. To some people, going to the library to search for information is just another waste of time; with laptops or tablets or smartphones, any of those could be done in a second. But is it true that libraries nowadays have less value than it used to? To know what the people behind the reception desk have to tell as life changes and library demand is going into a descent, I went to have a chat with a member of Fleming College Library crews.

Carmen Gelette is a familiar face to keen library users, as she can often be seen at the reception desk. The lady agreed to my interview request without a second of hesitation. She warmly welcomed me into her small office. I took a brief look around and suddenly a pleasant feeling came up to me. Files and stationeries scattered all over her desk. Hanging on the wall behind her seat was a cork board filled with colourful kids’ doodles, leaflets, schedules, and handwritten notes. The least messy area was the other side of the wall, which displayed a well-organized collection of library event posters. The room was pleasantly untidy; it was just what could be imagined about a dedicated and creative librarian’s workspace.

Today’s Carmen was still the typical lively Carmen that I met every day at the library – in her simple outfit and with a constant smile on her face. She was wearing a dotted beige sweater, dark trousers, and a brick red chiffon scarf. No sense of perfume. There is always a moderation in Carmen: not too polished, yet not at all sloppy. She was having a look of genuine concern and eagerness to be of help as if I was there with a library query.

Without being asked, she introduced her position as the library technician. It’s a different credential, despite the fact that she’s often thought of as a librarian and seen doing a librarian’s work. Her job is to design and provide library instruction sessions and workshops, maintain a portion of the library website, and serve as the liaison with several faculties. She is also the marketing and communication coordinator, event organiser, as well as student worker manager. It was quite a long list, somewhere in the middle she had to pause to reach for her CV in order to recall all of the obligations. She added humbly afterwards: “It’s a lot of areas, and we’re a small team, so we all have a bunch of different kinds of stuff that we do. So, it’s a bonus to the job, it’s interesting.” (C. Gelette, personal communication, March 6, 2017)

With intense enthusiasm, Carmen went on by telling me about the ease of access to the library’s website and the importance of the library workshops. These workshops aim to demonstrate the enormous electronic database and resources which are exclusively offered through the library website. A lot of students haven’t been aware of this accessibility nor its usefulness in studying and research, thereby putting themselves at a big disadvantage. Thus, Carmen and the rest of the library team’s mission is to spread the idea of library utility among the student community.

When asked about the challenges in giving the workshops and instructional sessions, she told me it was the variation in the participants’ levels of computer literacy. The instructor should be able to engage higher-level people in the discussions and make the workshop more useful for them, but also to help others who progress more slowly so that they’re not too far behind. After a few thinking seconds, she confided what sometimes bothered her – the impolite behaviours towards the instructors and the blatant disregard for the library instructions of some students. There’d be people who played video games or talked or watched basketball while she was presenting. “It can be a little bit disheartening,” – she admitted (C. Gelette, personal communication, March 6, 2017).

It’s not an easy job, but it could be very rewarding. To her, the most gratifying moments are when she manages to spark in the students the interest and enthusiasm for information literacy. As Carmen is doing her dream job, she wants to help students move forwards their dream jobs by assisting them in their programs, so that they have good results and can be able to achieve their goals. She said smilingly: “Because the idea of people loving their job is important to me.” (C. Gelette, personal communication, March 6, 2017)

Along with her passion for the library works, Carmen also holds big concerns about libraries’ future. Not everybody understands the significance of libraries and library skills. Even students – the subjects who need them the most – are not the ones who fully perceive the idea. Libraries’ prospects are strongly affected by boards’ decisions. The problem is, the decision makers are usually not library users themselves, hence they couldn’t recognise libraries’ benefits. As a result, library funds, librarian positions and library time for students are being cut down, based on the mistaken conception that the Internet is a more efficient and economical means for the sake of information search and references. In reality, useful information is usually not free. Students themselves could not afford expensive materials, including peer-reviewed articles and scholarly journals, thus they should depend on the library to provide such access.

Carmen, as well as the Fleming College Library crews, is making every effort to deliver an important message: even in the digital world, libraries still hold an undeniably critical role, especially for educational purposes. Passionate and dedicated, Carmen is a great example of those people who do silent jobs but contribute huge values to the community. She might be an ordinary librarian, but she’s in the force that is working hard and making tremendous attempts every day to promote the course of knowledge and literacy.

Feedback on Profile

spiderman2310 (Duy Ly, peer)

You have an very interesting interviewee – a librarian of our college – extremely detailed information. You help me know more about librarian whom I’ve ever noticed before. You had a good introduction. Very specific and vivid, you didn’t miss even a small detail. You followed the introductions very well, citation is in proper form. The flow of the essay is smooth; you make reader follow your flow to see what things ahead are. However, you need to put more reflection on your conclusion.

adventureonsite (Kailee Rose, peer)

First thing your word count is over and this will have to be condensed. The word count must be between 500-750, and you have over a 1000. Try to narrow down some of paragraphs and you’ll be able to condense them down by including details from 2 paragraphs to make one.

Introduction:

Your first sentence could have a word choice change from “reading resources is shifting” to “reading resources are/have shifted” It will make the sentence flow a lot easier.

When speaking towards the mobile app component look at a change of words again, instead of look up the dictionary, maybe try mobile apps can help students learn and review their lectures, as well as look up an unknown word on the online dictionary.

Laptop or table or smartphone, instead of or put a coma instead as you are creating a list. It makes it to wordy with the ors.

Your final couple of sentences of your introduction are the most attention grabbing, however the start doesn’t really grasp my attention as the last bit does. Try to change this up a bit to grab attention from the start.

Body:

Your first paragraph following your introduction is detailed in your description to the library. You can condense this paragraph in attempt to reduce the word count by stating that you know carmen who is one the receptions in the library. Condense the first two sentences. Also your third sentence has an extra word I am assuming which is making it unclear to read.

The next paragraph has very vidid description of your office area which makes me really be able to visualize her office space.

Following the descriptive office paragraph you start using a list format again of what she does for her job, remember that the final job in the list should not only have a coma but also the word and. Example she likes to run, bike AND hike.

In my opinion it would make more sense to have the paragraph in which she packed her car with no money first before your job description for Fleming as the timeline would make more sense to have it after, also you would have a better flow to the next paragraph.

When you state “such as those short instructional videos” you are almost sounding like everyone should know about them, and honestly I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that.

Overall:

Your introduction makes it seem like the profile is going to be on the decreasing use of a library however you only talk about it really in one paragraph. This being said you might want to rethink your introduction to show the more board range of topics you speak towards instead of your introduction just focusing on the decline or library use. Your detail is very strong and vidvid and you capture attention throughout the piece. Just really watch word count.

lunarainsite (Starr Perry, peer)

You have a very unique topic and captivating introduction. I enjoyed reading your profile on Carmen. You have a well written nutshell paragraph that outlines everything that you want to talk about. You put a lot of effort into your work and it is very authentic with a clear and concise topic. Your profile is well organized and transitions well, the only thing that I am worried about is that the length might turn people away from reading it, however I understand that all the little paragraphs just make it look longer and are necessary because of each of the little topics that you talk about in your writing. There are very few grammar corrections, maybe just look through to see if there is another way to word a sentence. I think that it is a beautiful piece of writing and that you chose and excellent topic.

kathleencommsite (Kathleen Barnett, COMM professor)

Hi Chau.

It looks like you have not revised this since we met at TASC, but that’s okay.

I will reiterate that this is very well done, but there are minor issues:

– Preposition usage

– Articles (“a”, “an”, and “the”) This is not unusual for ESL students whose languages do not include articles

Your work is good.

This is a helpful site with interactive quizzes at the end of each section: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index2.htm

Weekly Blog Posts – Two Exemplars – Process & Progress

Blog post #7: Writing and rewriting

Shope’s writing brought me a sense of familiarity. At some point, I could see myself and my way of writing – rewriting in the experiences she described and other writers’ stories that she told.

That’s me who takes forever to write an 800-word blog, and when it’s done, it’s done – the editing was carried out by the same time the words were being inputted. Grammar and spelling errors, thesaurus, logics, agreement… I’m a perfectionist, I can’t wait to come back to the previous sentence, the newborn paragraph, looking for things to be fixed. The knowledge that what I just wrote is full of flaws won’t leave me alone to move on to the next part. I need to, I must go back. Writing and rewriting – I can’t separate one from another. To me, writing is rewriting, and rewriting is not far from actual writing.

That’s also me whose essays are “full of things that don’t match, things that don’t belong, and objects of rare beauty that can scarcely be seen for the clutter” (Shope, 2002). As previously mentioned, my writings are usually, if not always, packed with irrelevant facts and off-the-topic discussion. Thus, my editing process is mainly eliminating the unnecessary pieces and limiting the overdetailed rambling to minimum length. It is, to be honest, the hardest thing ever to me when it comes to writing. The shortening saves time and brings more sense to the readers, but as the writer, it takes me five times longer to complete my work. And taking away words somehow feels like ripping off the spirit and energy and emotions that I invested in my writing. Like a part of me is removed with it.

Writing – rewriting is a time – energy consuming process. But that’s how it works. If I don’t do it the way I do, writing and editing at the same time, I would just get stuck in the middle of nowhere since I need to feel satisfied to keep writing. If I don’t ramble at first and keep holding myself back, nothing precious would come out afterwards. So be it the way it is. One should write only if they are capable of rewriting since there is no piece of writing that is excellent from the first draft.

Shope, B. (2002). Vision: A Resource for Writers. Retrieved from Forward Motion For Writers: http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue9/true.htm

Blog post #10: Say ‘NO’ to early mornings

My least favourite weekday? Definitely Friday. The terrible thing about Fridays is that my COMM seminar starts at 8:00. But it’s not COMM class that troubles me, I’ve always loved to go to COMM (my first blog post has more to say about this). The thing is: who wants to be at school at EIGHT in the morning? Not me, and not a whole lot of Fleming students do. In my opinion, no classes in our school should start as early as 8 a.m.

To make it just in time for an eight-o’clock class, a student must take the bus that departs at 7:20 a.m. from the terminal. Consider the case in which the student lives somewhere near the terminal or even further north. Let’s say the person takes about 40 minutes for morning hygienic routines, making breakfast, changing, and walking to the terminal. There should be a 10-minute gap to make sure the student can still make it if any undesired issue happens. Taking all into account, he/she should get up at 6:30 in the morning so that he/she could show up at eight in class. Honestly, getting up at 6:30 is quite early for a young person, and this senseless schedule is putting the teaching and learning conditions at risk.

On the students’ side, being required to go to school early can cause us sleep deprivation. It’s usual for college students to stay up late at night studying so we couldn’t get enough sleep if we have an early morning the next day. Due to sleep loss, we night owls would be in a dreamy condition during the professor’s presentation, not being able to gain any knowledge. We’d walk into class tired and, when classes finish, walk out even more tired. But things can be even worse. Early classes give people a good excuse to skip classes. And I bet a lot of them do skip early classes, as only half of the class are regular attendees as in COMM seminar on Friday mornings. By missing classes, many students are falling behind the course progress. Since they couldn’t catch up with the materials and instructions, they’d lose their enthusiasm and motivation to do the course, which increases the probability of failing.

On the professors’ side, seeing a remarkable percentage of absence is a big discouragement. The professors are also tired in the early morning, yet they still have to stay active and try to deliver the lectures. The fact that half of the class don’t show up and the other half keep yawning all the time and the professors themselves are also tempted to have a big yawn is very intimidating. The situation is obviously a disadvantage to both the teachers and the learners.

To sum up, not only that early classes are not proving its effectiveness in the effort of making more use of time, it also declines the efficiency of class time usage and the quality of the courses. Thus, Fleming College policies should be changed so that no classes start at 8 or earlier in the morning.

One Additional Sample of Writing from Another Course OR a third blog post

Blog post #9: Money vs. Love

Money certainly has its power. But what it cannot replace, now and ever, is love. For whoever saying money rules, please take a moment to consider this.

Money can be traded for a lot of things, but not love. Money can buy you a house, but not a home; money can warm your body, but not your soul. You can give a person luxurious clothes, jewellery, fancy cars, yet they could still despise you. Love, on the other hand, is an unconditional offer and is given without any request for anything in return.

Material things have an expiry date, but love can last a lifetime; it lives on even when a person has passed away. When your pocket is clinking, more people would want to get to know you. Friends come, lovers come. But those relationships that come with money might not stick around anymore as soon as the money is gone. Yet love, true love, would stay with you through thick and thin, and never let go.

Love embraces us and gives people motivation to keep trying and move forward. Some people argue that even if love is important, we still need foods to fill our hungry stomachs, and money to buy those foods; we live on money, not on love. But life with money and no love is a hell on earth. Love can carry people through the darkest times and push them toward a brighter future.

If it comes the day when you have to choose one over another, don’t waste your time hesitating. Choose love, because it’s all you’d ever need.