Going into the third week of class, it seemed as if everyone, including Professor Blom, was finally starting to get into their grooves. Everyone seemed to be comfortable with each other and we began to lose that staleness in the air that lingers in between questions that people aren’t eager to answer. The class as a whole really seemed to flow well.
One of the first things we did upon returning for the week was discuss the types of sources that we will be analyzing as part of our feeder worksheets and essays moving forwards. This included the difference between primary and secondary sources, popular sources and scholarly sources, and how to properly cite. We then moved into an activity in which we discussed the most and least helpful feedback we have received on rough drafts in the past. It seemed to me like some of the most common gripes with peer reviews are due to people putting very little effort into improving the papers of their fellow students. Comments such as “this isn’t good” and “change this” among other things show a clear lack of care for the quality of the essay. It also seems to be a very big issue when others don’t focus on the content of the essay, but rather the grammar and spelling mistakes. On the other hand, students really seem to enjoy when their peers elaborate on the corrections and revisions that are made. Knowing why something was changed or what they would have done differently helps in the future so that our writing may continue to grow. Following this exercise, we went into the actual process of peer reviewing each other’s feeder drafts. This process was extremely helpful not only for the feedback I received on my own paper, but also for allowing me to improve my own editing skills.
The following Thursday, we were fresh off of submitting our final drafters for feeder 1.1. Class consisted largely of reviewing certain terms that are widely used in research journals and scientific articles. This was mostly a review of terms we already knew, but it was nice to take a look at them again for further clarification. Afterwards, we took a look at the article on the VW scandal. We discussed how certain studies can be biased and designed to attain a certain result, making the study itself unethical. We ended class by watching part of a video clip from John Oliver’s talk show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In a highly sarcastic yet impressively thorough analysis, Oliver ripped on scientific studies, essentially accusing them of giving us what we want to hear, such as red wine being good for you, etc. It was a very interesting commentary on the state of scientific research.
Last week was quite the busy week due to the final draft of our feeder being due. Despite this, I feel as if we did a very good job of managing class time in an effective manner as to help us with our work outside of the classroom. I am looking forward to another productive week moving forward.