November 2012
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Papers and Projects and Presentations (Oh My!)

I love college and I love McDaniel college. But one of my least favorite things ever is coming back to campus after Thanksgiving break to wrap up fall semester. I have a lot of things that I need to work on over the next two and a half weeks. For the most part, these papers and projects aren’t so bad on their own, but because there’s so many of them, they’re all too overwhelming. But since I do have a lot of neat things to work on, here’s a rundown of what those things are.

For Approaches to Everyday Discourse, I have to write two more papers, the first of which is due tomorrow. In this paper I’m doing a genre study of articles appearing in popular news sources that are written about Facebook. Doing a genre study of this nature involves reading a lot of these sorts of articles; my paper requires me to read and analyze 20 articles selected by my professor, but in a true genre study, you can expect to read dozens more samples of whatever you’re analyzing to find shared features of a given genre.

My final paper for Discourse will involve a topic of my choice. I plan on doing research on the rhetoric of internet memes (particularly Advice Animals) and analyzing them as a genre in addition to observing what stories they tell and what it is about them that we as internet users relate to them so well.

For The Hero’s Journey, I have two projects due Monday. The first will involve a paper and a presentation analyzing the hero’s journey in a work of my choice. Though I’m not a huge fan of Powerpoint, it will probably in my best interest to make one to capture my classmates’ attentions and help them understand the movie better. My project will be about the movie Stardust. Other students in my class have presented on Across the Universe, Iron Man, and Pilgrim’s Progress, to name a few examples. My second project is supposed to be a creative project in a medium of my choice that describes my own hero’s journey. I’ll also be presenting this in class. One girl in my class who already presented described her hero’s journey in terms of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors, which was really creative and funny.

In my Grammar and Usage class, I have to give a partner presentation in addition to doing a take-home final. The presentation will involve my partner and I discussing the grammar of the German language and how it relates to and differs from English grammar. My partner and I have taken German for years, so even though that will make the project easier for us, we’re still excited for it because we think German is a neat language and we want to share it with others.

Lastly, for The Nature of Science, I’m working with a group of three guys on a project that has involved us designing an experiment the involves some combination of sticks, boxes, balls, and string, conducting and analyzing the experiment, and presenting our findings to the class in addition to writing a paper about it. Truth be told, I’m pretty nervous about how this is going to go, and it’s the project I’m dreading most out of all the things I need to do between now and December 13, the magical day when my last final takes place and I get to go home for Christmas break. I’m not a big fan of experiments, and since we have to construct and conduct it ourselves, I’m afraid that something isn’t going to work out. I just keep reminding myself that once this class is done, I’ll have my science requirement taken care of!

Needless to say, I’ll be hitting the grind pretty hard tonight (or at least I’ll try), but not before inviting my suite mates to join me in watching the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas tonight at 8. I’ll make myself some hot chocolate and get some paper for paper chains to decorate our suite, and it will be a nice little breather before tonight’s long road ahead.

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