Sunday, September 20, 2009

Because I have learned to bite my tongue in certain situations....

...I'll share the story here.

I'm taking an Eng Comp class online. I'm not enjoying anything about this class. It's the thorn in my side. And while I thought that Gov't and Algebra would be my downfalls, it turns out, it might be this class. I have As in all classes going into week five. English Comp is my lowest grade right now.

The first part of the assignment this week was to post thoughts on peer reviews, and talk about the times we've had to offer constructive criticism. To summarize, I wrote it wasn't something we did in high school, that I'd read other writers' stuff, and that I never lasted long in the local writer's group because you could write down the contents of a can of Alpo, and everyone would tell you that it was fantastic writing. It was several paragraphs detailing these situations. I also mentioned substitute teaching a writing workshop class.

The same week, we had to upload the rough draft of our first assignment for peer review. I didn't like this much, and it pained me to upload something I knew that wasn't complete. (I did get some great responses that said I completed the assignment with little to fix. I knew what needed to be added, but for the sake of rough, I let it go.)

The next part of the assignment was to read the thoughts on peer review and reply to three. Reply. Comment. There was nothing about giving constructive criticism on the discussion board posting.

I'm probably going to hell for posting this, but it's one of those things that you have to see to believe.

I got this response from a classmate. This is the part that made me raise an eyebrow, and not the whole thing:

" I think that you might have had comas in some of the wrong places. I could be wrong though and you right. I do know that some of your wording in your sentences are too bunched together, as in it doesn't sound right. I think you might need to watch your words and focus on your words. Although, I need to as well. "

I took the high road and posted a mature response about unsolicited criticism, whether constructive or otherwise, and how I failed to see where it was part of the assignment to critique the discussion board post. I noted that I was thick-skinned, but what if someone read that and was struggling with the class? I added that unsolicited advice can be destructive.

What I really wanted to say was this:

"It's unfortunate that I have "comas" in the wrong places. Next time, I'll be sure to have one in the hospital. It's probably what keeps me from having that much needed focus and the ability to watch my words. "

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