We have read a lot of different types of books, short stories and poems this semester. Some of the books were hard to understand the true meaning behind them and others were simpler. The short stories on the other hand were challenging. They had so many different meanings behind them and where hard to understand what was going on. We only read one poem in the class and that was challenging to comprehend. The thing with all these pieces of writing is that they made the class think about what was truly going on in the story. It just wasn’t a piece of writing that you read and then went on to the next one.
The writings I am going to reflect on are the hardest ones, I thought, through out the class. The first one is The Lottery By Shirley Jackson. This short story was hard to comprehend because there was so much going on and I couldn’t really grasp the true meaning of what they were trying to do. The Lottery was a story about these little towns that would have to stone someone every year. In the story we read there was conflict with this one family because the mom got picked and she made her family draw again.
The next story is The Street By: Ann Petry. This book I was so confused about it through the whole thing. It’s a book about a lady named Lutie and her child named Bub going through life and how they had to live. It was a good book but very hard to understand. Going through it in class was helpful but didn’t really help me understand what was really going on.
Both of these short stories, and novels were challenging in there own way. The Lottery had me second-guessing the way I read stories and the way I think about them. When Jackson explained the difference of the lottery boxes because they made a new one because the old one was to old I got really confused on what they were talking about (pg. 703). For this part when we had a group conversation all the people in the class knew what she was talking about. So that made me think that the way I was reading the story was totally off and I didn’t comprehend what was going on. The ending of this story I found out I knew what was going to happen. All of the context clues within the story gave me the idea that someone was going to die and it would be painful.
Now the novel The Street was a different story. It made me really think about what was going on and the concept of why they would put that in there. For example when they add at the end that she was beating the guy with a candlestick and saw all the red around her and it turned out to be blood (pg. 429). That part was drug on when it didn’t need to be. So when I was reading that I remember thinking why did they add so much detail about this part when they could of added it somewhere else. Then when I got to the class discussion I understood that they added so much detail to add effect to the book and make her look like the bad guy. The group discussions worked some times but not all the time and when we had the peer teachings those were the best.
The peer teachings made all the books we read in that class make more sense and helped me understand them better. It gave me an opportunity to grasp the real meaning of the novels and short stories. The best part was that my fellow peers were doing the teaching and it didn’t really matter if we would miss the meaning because they would help explain it in the terms that would make sense in the college student’s language. It was more personal then when the teacher gets up there and talks to us.
Along with the peer teachings we did a lot of small group talks and those didn’t do much for me because we would talk about other things then what we were suppose to. I do have to say that in the small groups I talked more then in the larger groups. That is because in the small groups I could say what I wanted and we would talk about it as in the large groups someone would say something and then people would bash on it and that scared me. With this I learned that I am afraid of public speaking and being rejected. I would of talked more in the class but I was too afraid of people bashing my ideas or nobody saying anything.
Group talks were nice because of the fact that it got the class talking about different outcomes and helped me understand what is going on in the stories. Then we started these critical thinking and little background stories of the novels we were reading. These critical thinking and background stories were a waste of time. I learned nothing from them and to honest I didn’t read most of them I just blow them off. The ones I would read I would only read the parts that I found interesting and that was it. So these were pointless for the class.
All of these activities and stories had some point to the class but some of them were helpful and others were pointless. Like the teaching was very helpful and made the stories make sense. Then on the other hand the critical thinking and background information was useless. Just for the fact that we didn’t really talk about them. Now for the stories they all had a purpose for reading them but most of them were very difficult to understand but with the activities we did they helped out. This class was very informational all in different ways.