Collaboration and Communication

 

A large part of Geneseo’s curriculum is based of the Geneseo Globe (Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education). This is a list of what Geneseo hopes their students get out of their classes. A few weeks ago, in Dr. McCoy’s class, she gave us an activity that was closely related to the GLOBE.

After being separated into groups, she asked us to write a paragraph together, explaining the problems and solutions in Ian Chipman’s article, The Power of Realistic Expectations. Out of all the group projects I have done, none have been similar to this activity. Usually, in group projects, the work can be divided and each person is typically working on their own part, but it is essentially impossible to divide work up when you are working on a single paragraph.

This activity related directly to points two and four on the Geneseo GLOBE- Communication, and Leadership and Collaboration. Both of these deal with group work, being able to communicate ideas effectively and engage in conversation with others. But six people working on one short paragraph can be a challenge since everyone has their own opinions. When Dr. McCoy asked us what writing in a group felt like my classmate Anderson portrayed it very well by stating, “there were too many cooks in the kitchen.”

While a group project like this can be challenging, I can easily say that it is very rewarding. This first project was an initiation for the group work we would be doing for the following weeks, a much more detailed project. Without this first project, I feel as our groups would still be lost, with less of an idea of how to collaborate effectively and communicate.

So while, “too many cooks in the kitchen,” is an accurate description of the initial struggle groups had, without this we would not have had the ability to step up and overcome the problem. And I personally feel like this is what the Geneseo GLOBE is hoping for- a little bit of struggle to encourage us to push through toward our success as Geneseo students.  

 

They Say/ I Say

At first glance of the Bloodchild essay prompt, I was unclear of how to relate Octavia Butler’s story to the main focus of my INTD class, which was risks and rewards of academic partnership. My first instinct was to go through the story and highlight all of the examples of academic partnership in the book. From there I did exactly what I did in high school- threw it all together on a page, read through it for grammatical errors and called it an essay. Continue reading “They Say/ I Say”

A Whole New View

In  December of 2016, my senior year, I was invited to Conference Allstate, to sing among 500 best high school vocalists in New York State. Coming from a high school choir where students rarely sang in key, couldn’t comprehend rhythm, and didn’t care what they sounded like, this was whole new experience for me. I was surrounded by people who had the same passion as me, with so much more talent than what I was used to. Returning to my mediocre high school chorus after that moving experience was somewhat sad.

While scrolling through our optional extra credit assignments, one in particular caught my eye. It happened to be Dr. Ysaye Maria Barnwell’s “Community Sing”. After months of regret for leaving music behind as part of my high school career, the word sing practically jumped of the page. But after reading the description I was a little more than skeptical. How would this director manage to get a group of strangers, many inexperienced, to sing in unison? I felt like attending this may be close to being stuck in high school chorus all over again. But, I dragged my skeptical self to the presentation anyways, and I’m very thankful that I did. Dr. Barnwell taught me a new kind of music and gave me a whole new perspective on the world. She began by teaching us spiritual songs like “Kumbaya” ,which means “come by here.” She added easy harmonies, nothing too challenging. Then she moved to slave songs, like “Wade in Water” and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.” During these songs she painted the picture of slaves wading through the water, far enough out that dogs could not pick up their scent, and they could escape to freedom.

This moment was when I realized that she did not gather the community together to teach us perfect technique, or make sure we were singing the correct harmony. She joined us together simply to share her love and passion for soulful music, to teach us where the beautiful songs came from, and why they are still sung today. She was not expecting anything complex, she was just hoping to join us all together in song, and I was truly moved by that. I was never expecting such a beautiful song to come out of a group of strangers.

 

The “Other” Theresa

It is common you walk into class on the first day of a new semester and see 20 faces, all unrecognizable. It is also quite common you walk out on the last day, still knowing none of the other students names. That is certainly not the case in Beth McCoy’s section of INTD 105.

Last semester, I did not have a single professor that was this eager to learn my name. This never bothered me, the fact that maybe two of my professors could match my name to my face, until this semester. One of my professors, who wanted to learn everyone’s name, would call attendance everyday. There happened to be another “Theresa” in the class who came before me alphabetically. Each day when the professor reached me, she would address me as the “other Theresa”. This would not have upset me if I were not also in Beth’s class, where she puts so much emphasis on making sure everyone feels like their own individual, whose voice is important.

You may have read my fellow classmates, John or Hannah’s posts, where they talk about how they appreciate Beth’s name games. What seemed useless to us all in the beginning is now making a breakthrough. We are all seeing changes in our discussion and we are recognizing each other’s thoughts and opinions. It is so nice to see a professor that wants to create a welcoming environment where we can not only learn, but more importantly, grow as individuals.