Learning in the Light of Dr. Burton

Monday, October 31, 2011

      This post is for my Shakespeare class and  mainly for my professor. The contents should not make you feel like I am simply posting because I am assigned to. Another warning - this is a self-evaluation so I will seem very self-centered and critical. I would instead read a different post in which I actually discuss Shakespeare instead of discussing myself.

Learning Outcomes:

   Shakespeare Literacy:    
      As I think about all that I have learned over the summer, I realize that Shakespeare has really come alive to me. I don't only think of Shakespeare as a playwright, but as I think about him, I think of different pieces of literature that he has expressed his ideas and his creativity through. Before the semester I had read all of the pieces that we read in class, but I felt (especially in the case of the Tempest and Love's Labour's Lost) like I had simply glanced over them and hadn't put in the time and effort to make the plays come alive to me until this semester.

   Analyze Shakespeare Critically:
      I am now more fully able to analyze the plays now through examining the text and different productions as well as through other styles and pieces of literature being read during Shakespeare's time. This is demonstrated in my blog posts, especially the one about Macbeth (post). I have been able to analyze some of the deep messages that are taught in the plays and have realized that the more I learn about these plays and about Shakespeare, the more I realize I can never finish analyzing his works. I have explored many themes in Shakespeare including the religious symbolism in the Tempest, the play within a play in Love's Labour's Lost and in Hamlet, and the amazing images Shakespeare adds to convey his messages in The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, and in The Tempest.

   Engage Shakespeare Creatively:
      I have not had many chances to perform Shakespeare, but I have been able to draw up a few landscape designs that would visually and symbolically represent the individual play and convey some of the themes found in the particular play. I was thinking of doing something different for my final project though, as it has to be a group project. Yet, this hasn't stopped me from trying to focus more on the imagery that Shakespeare uses in his plays and the important messages that these images portray.

   Share Shakespeare Meaningfully:
       I have also been able to spread my knowledge and develop my writing skills through online sources, such as blogging, goodreads, and twitter. Before this class, I had never used blogging or twitter and had never written a review on goodreads.  Now, halfway through the semester I have learned different techniques to not only use blogspot, but to also create an attractive, appealing blog and posts. I still have more to learn about twitter (to shorten my comments and punctuate correctly, or incorrectly), but I have started tweeting and am learning a great deal. I have also posted a review of Macbeth on goodreads and am more confidant than before. Also, doing a blog search through google, I found a blog of LDS women who have formed a book group in order to continue learning. They just finished reading Macbeth and I was able to leave my comments and have a great discussion with them about it. I got their permission to link to their post, where you can see some of my comments. I feel that I have learned a great deal in different methods of writing and sharing through technology today.

Self-directed Learning:
      Through this class, I have actually been excited to post on my blog. This is not just because I like getting my assigned post out of the way, but it gives me a chance to go back over the play that we have been reading and to look at it in different ways that I can then portray in my post. I love being able to comment on others' blogs as well as seeing their comments on my own posts as it helps me to better develop the ideas present there. I have found a real sense of accomplishment through this class and through my discoveries and blogging about Shakespeare.

Collaborative and Social Learning:
      I believe that everyone in my group has brought great insights into our discussions as they each have different aspects of the play that they are looking at. Speaking of the members in my group, I would mention Austin for some great insights in class, and Mason for his great comments and conversations he starts on posts. Justin likes to sit back and listen to our conversation, but when he puts in his two bits, they are usually well thought out and insightful. I would describe Gabe as fitting the clown role through his bringing a lot of humor into the group, which is good because it usually gets us to converse in the first place. It has been fun getting to talk with others about these plays. I was also able to talk with my mom about Hamlet as she is taking a writing class and is reading it for the first time. I referenced her to my blog in order to help her get some thoughts forming concerning Hamlet's relationship with Ophelia (the topic of her essay).

Looking Ahead:
      As I mentioned earlier, I know that learning about Shakespeare is never complete. I used to wonder how there could be English majors who study Shakespeare all their lives as I thought that there would be a point in which you would simply know everything. I now know how these great works can lead to a life full of study and learning. As I also mentioned earlier, I was going to complete a landscape design of each play, but as it is a group project, I have now thought of playing a game for my final project. It is no ordinary game, but is called In the Manner of the Adverb. We would film it of course, or perform it in front of the class. It would include several different scenes from various plays and will have each scene played out in the manner of the adverbs. I believe that this will bring greater insight into the particular scenes as you will be able to look at the scene from a different perspective. What will change and what will stay the same as Prospero tells Miranda of their past in an excited manner. What about a spontaneous Hamlet? Sure, he is in some scenes, but would it fit in his 'to be or not to be' speech? I believe that this will give a greater understanding of each character and will show how there are several different interpretations of character, but that their actions usually fit with a certain attitude of character.


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