Please post 2 brief paragraphs on the following.

REFLECT on a discussion we have had in class.  What stood out?  What did you learn?  How did the discussion contribute to your understanding of rhetoric and/or writing?  How do you view the discussion differently knowing what you know now??

(filter bubbles, SCSU issues, Sherry Turkle and technology, Jon Ronson and psychopaths, Ken Robinson and education, the rhetoric of comment sections, etc.)

** Feel free to include additional commentary re: class discussions, in-class activities, and/or homework assignments that stood out to you as helpful.  What resonated about that assignment/discussion/activity?   (peer review, opposing view mini-paper, etc.)


18 thoughts on “FOR MY ENG 191 STUDENTS

  1. It was really interesting to dissect some of the issues that are effecting us right here on SCSU. There was much more depth to each of the issues than I had originally expected. We really do live in a highly complex world where the issues and solutions are not simple. This is why Rogerian argument is so key to rhetoric.

    Often, it is very easy to get so caught up in your own opinions on the topic, and forget to take a step back and look at the whole, complex picture. Rogerian argument allows us to recognize the complexity of problems and collaborate to find a solution. Being required to right a separate argument for the opposing side really helped me attempt to do employ Rogerian argument.

  2. For me the discussion that stood out the most would have been the discussions taking place the last few times in class on how to improve St. Cloud State. I guess since I don’t live on campus I was unaware of all the issues taking place on campus. For example not having to deal with living in the dorms and having to pay outrageous amounts of money just to live there. I think the proposal activity we did today in class really helped me understand both sides of the issues happening around St. Cloud State from baseball fields, tuition costs and parking. I think this was a great way to help the class understand the opposing viewpoint even if they didn’t agree with it.

    I also like how we have to participate in peer reviews. I think its a great way to get feedback from our classmates since we all have different viewpoints. Peer reviews come in handy since the person doing the review might find something that needs to be changed or they look at the issue in a different way that you may have not thought about. It’s quick and easy way to get feedback.

  3. I felt like a great topic that we were discussing in class was when we were talking about the roads on and around campus. As a runner I can definitely appreciate a freshly paved road as opposed to one covered in pot holes, but then as we were discussing in class I came to understand that since this is Minnesota and our construction season is shorter then our winters some years it can be very hard for road construction to take place when there are many other more crucial projects to accomplish. so this class has taught me to expand on my thoughts instead of just giving short emotion less comments about subjects, and also how to view the counter argument both of which will help me for the rest of my life.

  4. The Sherry Turkle TED talk and discussion we had in class was very interesting. What stood out to me was her description of what she called the “Goldilocks Effect”. Turkle described it as people can not get enough of each other, but they have to keep them at a distance. Social media and technology allows individuals to talk to other people and share information without having to communicate face-to-face. They have control of the conversation and can end it at any moment.

    The discussion we had showed how there are many forms of rhetoric. Whether it was Turkle’s minimalistic black slides with white words or her introduction about texting with her daughter, each showed different styles of rhetoric and we as a class perceived them in different ways. The discussion helped me realize that rhetoric is a stylistic choice, as is writing. How the audience interprets it is what is most important.

  5. The discussion that we had in class helped me better understand rhetoric. Throughout the discussion, we talked about the different factors we need to consider when making an argument and how every situation can be quite complicated. This is why when we write an argument, we need to be well educated on both sides.
    We also talked about how we have to consider how the situation got that way. For example, the parking way be expensive and displeasing. However, when all the parking passes are being bought, SCSU does not have a reason to drop the prices. The discussion also reminded me that we can not make a proposal if we do not know of a reasonable solution. So, we can say that parking is unreasonable and not really affordable to college students, but we would still have to come up with a solution at would convince SCSU that it is worth it to make a change.The group that argued reducing parking passes did a good job of this, because they explained that we should create more parking (and came up with options for that as well) and then drop the price. This would be convincing for SCSU because having more people purchase passes at a lower price would increase revenue.

  6. The discussion that we had in class on Tuesday 4/21 showed me the importance of understanding all of the facts when making an argument. The dorm prices on the PDF file were misunderstood by the group arguing for cheaper dorm prices, and made them seem a lot higher per semester than they actually were. The prices still are not cheap, but they are not over the top like originally thought. It goes to show how fast an argument can lose credibility if all of the facts are not understood.
    The other part of the discussion that stood out to me was the baseball field argument. Both sides gave good facts and addressed why a field would be good and bad. I thought that these two groups had the best arguments because of how much they knew about the topics. They both researched well, and developed good points about why they should or should not make a baseball field, which led to them having plenty of credibility.

  7. I feel that the proposal section that we have been working on as of late is the most beneficial to my rhetoric skills. Making an argument without proposing an alternate solution seems that counterproductive in my opinion. Using a proposal style in one’s writing is a solution to this.

    Not only do I feel that this style of writing to be the best variety, I also enjoyed the topics that we chose to write about things close to home. This makes the assignment more enjoyable and easier to do. Unlike the last assignment we had to do about blogs.

  8. “A discussion that really stood out to me was the filter bubble. I had no idea that Facebook and search engines such as Google or Bing did that. It stood out because it made me realize that it’s limiting information. It contributed to my understanding of rhetoric because there are people who enjoy the filter bubbles and there are people who absolutely hate it. When we talked in class both sides made really good points. A student made a statement talking about how she is a psychology major. When she searches something on her computer it usually brings up something dealing with psychology. Another student talked about how he is originally from Chicago so when he is home stuff mainly about Chicago pops up but when he’s in St. cloud it doesn’t. I view it differently only because it’s creepy how much someone can see what we’re doing on the computer or where we are.”

  9. The Sherry Turkle Ted talk was a very good example of rhetoric. She did a very good job about finding a middle ground. There was no saying one side was better than the other. The job of rhetoric is to get your point across without putting anyone’s beliefs down. The discussion made you make your own decision for yourself, and that’s what the reader wants, is to feel like they came to the conclusion all by themselves.
    The mini opposing side argument paper we did was very beneficial to me. I put as much research as I did my actual argument so I knew both sides equally. With writing, you should go in depth on both sides to be absolutely sure that you have the winning argument. If you can argue for both sides it builds up your credibility, which is essential in writing.

  10. I thought it was interesting hearing everyone’s thoughts on areas of SCSU that could really use some changes. Before the discussion I had never heard of the Green River Project or that St. Cloud had been thinking about building a baseball field by Q-lot. Everyone seemed interested and had a strong opinion in the matter. This was clear because people were giving suggestions about what the space from tearing down W.W. Holes could be used for and about where a baseball field could be put in.

    The discussion helped to expand my understanding that knowing and considering the opposing view is important because it increases your knowledge of the subject at hand and shows that you care for those opposing you. I can now see that everyone in the discussion wasn’t only discussing to prove a point, but to reach a common ground that suites everyone. The discussion helped me see that people have to make a lot of considerations before proposing an idea because the idea needs to be ethical, practical, and realistic.

  11. There are a lot of good topics we discussed in class, but the most interesting topics I found are the SCSU issues and Sherry Turkle and technology. I just realize St cloud University is not perfect as people say. The first reason is because there is no free parkings, a lot of others universities have free parkings why dont we?. I have class this semester starts at 5 pm and end 6:30 and there is no buses coming to where I live after 5 pm so I have to use my car to go to the class. And every time I use my car, I get a ticket. Also, the dorms, it is so expensive for what ? I mean the WIFI is not good nor the rooms. Therefore, they should consider about lowering the prices. However, about Sherry Turkle and technology I found it every interesting and I want to say technology is changing no one, but people changing themselves. It is people’s fault not the technology because technology created for good, but most people dont know using it. Those people should control themselves, and know how to spend their times.

  12. The discussion that was the most beneficial to me was the Sherry Turkle Ted talk on technology. In her Ted talk, she provides examples on how technology has done many good things for us but how it can also be worse. She argues how we need to disconnect more while keeping a relatively fair standpoint on the issue by saying she herself enjoys engaging in social media as much as anyone else.

    This helped me see how there are many different forms of rhetoric. It is a stylistic choice and the readers, or listeners, all perceive it differently. This discussion also helped me understand that you can have your own opinions and thoughts on the issue, but you should keep an open mind and at least try to understand what others are saying even of it may vary from what you think.

  13. I think that the discussion about persuasive arguments pertaining to SCSU issues was the most beneficial and interesting. Not only did it help with coming up with ideas for our papers, but we had to be rhetorical in our in class discussion because some people had different opinions on an issue than others. It opened my eyes to the fact that there is not easy solution to most problems even if they seem simple at first. This is because there is a reason behind every problem.
    I also really enjoyed the discussion on the filter bubbles video. I knew that the internet filtered our searches but I never would have believed that it does so to the extent that it does. It was very interesting to see different people’s points of view on whether internet filtering is creepy or not. It just goes to show how we need to argue and write in ways that find common ground and compromise while still being persuasive, because everyone has a different take on a topic.

  14. As someone who has lived in residential halls for 2 years and now living in a apartment for almost a year, I believe I have a great understanding of both sides when it comes to advantages and disadvantages. Since it is not the popular choice to argue for living in residential halls in our class, i would like to just state the advantages i saw and experienced while living on campus. I understand the price for living on campus is a lot more than the usual $275 per month average for living in apartments. I believe it is because you must factor in all the small daily life activities that goes on that you do not notice. Such as utilities bill, payment for janitors, and maintenance fees. I understand those 3 alone can come up to $200 so it would be roughly $500 a month with adding in a some more smaller miscellaneous expenses. But I believe what is important to understand here is, although living on campus more expenses, the one resource people like to say you can not put a price on is time. Nowadays time is so expense that you must use every second to its fullest and living on campus gives you that. Although you are paying more, it frees you from having to worry about those bills that come every month and taking care of your surroundings (obviously you still take care of your own room, or try). It gives you more time to do things you enjoy and having a more free schedule to work around. So my argument is I believe that all first year students should live in residential halls because it will give them something they can never get back, time.

  15. There are two discussions that stood out most to me: The Rogerian Argument and the Review of Amy Young’s Book.. The Rogerian Argument stood out to me because it asks you to consider the other side. Before College, when I was writing papers in high school, all we were asked to focus on was our side of the argument. We did not need to consider the other side. In Rogerian Argument, though, we do need to consider the other side. Throughout the year you asked us to come up with the counter argument to our claim and write something about it in our paper. At first I thought you just wanted us to briefly consider the counterargument, just so we knew what the other side might be, but through out the year I realized it was much more that you wanted us to see. You wanted us to see that Rhetoric is much more than arguing a point, It is also seeing the other persons argument, agreeing with some of their claims, but also helping them to see your side.
    Amy Young’s book, “Prophets, Gurus, and Pundits,” also help me to see that Rhetoric is more than arguing your case, it conversation. Rhetoric is not arguing for one side, it is conversations, agreements and disagreements, it’s not a debate, but a talk.

  16. The discussion I would like to talk about is the ‘Filter Bubbles’ discussion. I ended up re-watching the video and was still equally horrified that google (and other websites) have access to everything searched, and there is no way to disable this feature. I still think, as was discussed in class, that I would feel better if there was a disabling option. What stood out to me in this discussion were the differing opinions. Some said they like it, and some – like me – did not like it.

    I learned that there are things we cannot control, but you can definitely argue them and discuss them. This contributed to my writing by getting me to think about people’s opposing sides. I thought one thing about the filter bubbles, but hearing what others’ opinions were made me start to think about how they are my opposing side and I am theirs. Knowing what I know now, I was too quick to say ‘no that’s wrong’ instead of listening to people’s opinions. I liked the talk on filter bubbles, even if they freak me out.

  17. The discussion that stood out the most to me was the Sherry Turkle TED talk. I agree with just about everything she says. We are loosing communication with other people due to technology. The problem is, I love technology. It is a constant developing field that keeps creating new and innovative ways to help us in our daily lives. However, this comes at a cost.
    This video helped me understand how to use different rhetoric devices, such as admitting that I love technology, but also admitting that it needs some changes. I also thought it was a good rhetoric device for her to go to black and white pages with single statements. It helped me remember what she was talking about.

  18. I thought a topic that stood out to me was the issue about the baseball team having a baseball field for themselves to practice and play on. I thought that the activity with groups constructing arguments against each other was really helpful because it caused us to look at how exactly we wanted to phrase our arguments. In other words, having that sort of public forum allowed us to invest ourselves a bit more in the rhetorical elements of the arguments. This helps us improve our ability to argue about something we care about.

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