All students BEWARE! This is not English 111, but something that appears to be so. A perpetrating class of a higher level that is disguised as English 111. Extremely intense! Rip your face off frustrating! I am most certain that I am not even close to receiving my associates, yet alone my master’s degree. Why then am I producing gray hairs all of a sudden? Oh, I know. It’s because my professor seems to be unaware of the incapability’s of an English 111 level student. Yes, students at T.C.C. seem to be over paying and under taught. What ever happened to here are the tools to use and this is how you use them, not, “You can find the tools here and, well, you can figure it out.”
Professor Gasparo, Professor Gasparo, Professor Gasparo. When a student comes to you and says that they are having trouble with certain technological advancements, instead of telling them to go to the computer lab, maybe take a few extra minutes to show them how to do it or at least explain it without that look of disgust, but perhaps be a little more discerning. College can be intimidating enough as it is without the added stress of having a professor that hands out an overwhelming amount of assignments to a group of lower level college students. A lesser amount of work with an adequate amount of time to not only write, but learn how to write, may produce better, more well balanced papers and actually inspire students as opposed to having them despise you for making them feel inadequate.
Perhaps a little less emphasis on Bruce Springsteen and a lot more focus on the actual writing process. I think that the lessons that the 111-45 class received concerning Bruce’s writing skills may have been validated had we spent less time on listening to his songs, but actually learning how and why he revised his songs. It seems that there were several class sessions taken up by listening to music, sound tracks and watching movies. It is not music or the movies that were the problem or even the sound tracks (I thought they were great). I can see how they are useful in helping students expand their creativity, but when that creativity cannot properly be applied to the paper or keyboard then it becomes useless. Starting the semester by assigning pass/fail papers is great for the student that may already have a better understanding of how to use punctuation and grammar or may be recently out of high school and familiar with the process of writing a research paper. However, assigning actual graded papers from the very beginning may have given some students a better understanding of whether or not they are prepared to take an English 111 course and if they should drop before penalty or money loss.
I don’t believe that the students of this class were properly trained to do a research paper of the magnitude in which was assigned. The students of this class were not given proper knowledge of how to research a paper, other than a one hour crash course by the librarian in a room that was close to 90 degrees. Sentence structure is another concern that many of your English 111 students have, and yet we didn’t go over this valuable piece of knowledge one time the entire semester. It seems that the answer to any writing question was simply go to the writing center. It is not the responsibility of the writing center to do what is the intended job of the professor nor is it the student’s job to critique one another’s papers, as we do not obtain the knowledge yet to properly do so. This is an entry-level English class and should be treated as so. I believe deep down, Paul Gasparo, that you have an immaculate talent for English. You just haven’t figured out yet an efficient way of passing on this knowledge to your students. Once again, I believe that it is merely a matter evaluating time as opposed to your ideas, which are very useful and articulate. I believe that I did learn in this class, just not as much as I had wished to.