Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Focus, Frustration, and Fun

Class is officially on a roll! We started by going over Professor Porwancher's writing guidelines for the research paper. He has 41 rules that he wants to see in the research papers. Some of the rules include leaving out contractions, avoiding the passive voice, and using descriptive words instead of neutral words. It's actually a really good list of ways to write better, but it also makes me a little self-conscious while writing my blog. I'll need to change my habits before I submit my paper. Our second topic on the agenda was to discuss last night's reading. Everyone in my class had to read a nine-page article about allegory and The Wizard of Oz. Analysts are claiming that Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz to display his support for the populist party, while others disagree. The main support for this claim is that Oz is the unit of measurement for gold, the scarecrow represents farmers, and the tin man represents industrialists. There's a lot of symbolism, but evidence shows that Baum publicly supports other political parties. The article doesn't have much to do with the topic of presidential powers, but it does show how my professor would like the research papers to be written. The author of the article was very analytic and discussed the claim from all perspectives. Three people were picked on to answer simple questions about the reading. As an observer, the questions didn't seem too difficult, but I'm sure it's slightly nerve-racking if I was the one being called on.

During the second day of learning how to research, the class went to the Lehman Library. It's across the street from our class and it's more modern than Butler Library. Lehman has dozens of new computers, comfortable desk chairs, and several study areas. I like Lehman more than Butler because there are rooms where people can work in groups and talk. Butler is just silent all the time. One of the librarians took us to the newer lab and taught us how to use the different resources that Columbia provides for research. She let us practice on the computers and she gave us cute tech buttons! Time goes by pretty fast in this class and before I knew it, it was already lunch time.
My Presidential Powers packet and buttons from the library
For whatever reason, Columbia gave all the summer program students two cards instead of one. One is the school ID and the other is a guest pass which opens the dorm rooms. We were notified that we would have to re-program the ID because the guest pass would deactivate soon. Only one staff member was reprogramming and every student in the program(about 600) had to stand in line to fix the cards. On top of that, the only time we can do this is during our two hour break for lunch. I stood in line for one and a half hours before there were only five people ahead of me. And with just my luck, the computer stopped working. It was one of those situations where the issue is nobody's fault, however, it's a complete bummer because everyone's at a loss. A positive from the whole situation was that I made two new friends though! They're both from China, but one of them has been living in the U.S. for a while. They eventually fixed the computer, so I got to leave with a programmed ID!

For the second portion of my class, I went to Lehman library and collected sources for my paper. I'm going to break it into sections and dedicate two or three pages to each. I look forward to keep going to that library for research. My goal is to do two or three pages of the essay a day so that I can have it proofread soon. And I'll feel a lot better when I go out because I'll know that my one writing assignment is done. My day pretty much ended with Lisa and Emily. We grabbed a bite during dinner, explored the campus a little, and now we're doing our homework and blogging. I just finished signing up for events this week, so I'm getting incredibly excited! I'm currently looking at a pop concert, ice-cream run, orchestra performance, and museum visit. Writing this research paper and getting through the little obstacles thrown at me won't be easy, but I'm sure I'll have lots of fun along the way. 

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, you may feel self-conscious about your writing, but your blog is one of the most interesting because you include so many details. Thanks for that!