Today, we talked about Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education (GLOBE). After I first read the outcomes and goals listed under this page, I was disappointed in realizing that my classes didn’t really reflect what Geneseo’s goals seem to be. Communication, creative thinking, leadership, and a lot of the other outcomes that students are expected to demonstrate are not prioritized in my classes. Typically, I don’t speak to my classmates at all and I hardly speak to my professors. I honestly don’t mind this, but it does not correspond with what’s explained in GLOBE. But this discussion today made me realize certain things about this school as whole.

Global awareness is one of the learning outcomes GLOBE included, and one which I think Geneseo has effectively encouraged. I think global awareness is extremely important in a classroom, and I feel that most (if not all) of my professors have made tolerance and open-mindedness a priority. I’ve noticed that having this mentality discourages academic competition. I’ve always hated academic competition, and my grade in high school was extremely competitive with each other. It was toxic! The goal of education is to understand more, and in order to understand more, students must have open minds and a willingness to share ideas and opinions. At this point, I have never felt like I was in competition with my peers at Geneseo. And I think that ties into global awareness in that we as students are more concerned with gaining knowledge, wisdom, a better understanding of our surroundings, rather than simply getting paper grades. So maybe GLOBE is more implemented than I had initially thought.

Call Me By My Name

At first, I found the exercise both foreign and unnecessary. Listening to each of my classmates names, tying these names to the corresponding faces, and committing it all to memory, would require an unfamiliar use of attention and labor. Any benefits of this exercise were seemingly inconsequential.

It was not until reading They Say I Say that I was more fully able to understand the value of knowing your classmates. Graff and Birkenstein describe an academic setting that is all too familiar: detached monologues with little reference to preceding comments. In previous discussion-based courses, I encountered a similar classroom dynamic. Sometimes, students would share entirely disconnected thoughts. More often, the comments would be connected but lack direct attribution, making it difficult for me to piece together the many responses. At the time, I found this discourse to be entirely sufficient. Only through re-analyzing my past experiences have I been able to find the insufficiency. Addressing classmates by name, directly engaging with their ideas, is achingly necessary.  

Although our section of INTD 105 has not yet engaged in a large amount of discussion (We are young, we are shy, we are tired), I can already see the ways in which our classroom is starting to address the failures of similar classrooms. Moving forward, I hope we can hone our discussion skills and carry them into the larger Geneseo community.

Mission Statements Everywhere

As I was thinking about our latest class and our discussion about mission statements, I came across the mission statement of Geneseo’s food service in Starbucks. I like to think that I am pretty good with technology, but the file with the picture was too big to post on this site. So, if anyone wants to see it for their own eyes they’ll have to go to Starbucks. Sorry!

Anyways, seeing this made me realize how seriously schools take the idea of mission statements. They define a school and what they want people to know about them, is what they include. This mission statement in particular is quite a bit different because it specifically talks about the “CAS Values” and then relates them to Geneseo overall. Some of the main points made throughout the poster include: valuing people, pursuing excellence, embracing diversity, leading with integrity and accountability, and growing through innovation. They bring together the people that work in the food service and the students and faculty at Geneseo. Each statement embodies what CAS wants the Geneseo community and those that visit Geneseo to know about them.

Although reading through mission statements for our homework probably wasn’t everyone’s first choice, at least I can say I’m glad we did. Pretty much every establishment now-a-days has a mission statement, so I challenge you all to go out and find them!


Callous Curriculum

“You won’t be able to get away with this in college.” I knew college would be different than high school; my teachers have been making comments like this for years. However, they made it seem as if it being a student was going to become a death-sentence once I reached college. Much to my surprise, I have never felt so liberated as a student.  Continue reading “Callous Curriculum”

How Your College May Be Putting You At Risk

Finals week. Stress is in the air and everyone is trying to keep it together, somehow. This is the time of the year where your college should be trying to provide forms of stress relief, as to reduce the risk of mental breakdowns and suicide. But no, your school may actually be putting you more at risk than you would be otherwise.  Continue reading “How Your College May Be Putting You At Risk”

Emotions, Growth, and Writing?

I remembered our “Bloodchild”-spawned conversation about inoculating ourselves in the face of fear, worry, and anxiety when I came across this Scientific American article titled “Negative Emotions are Key to Well-Being.”

Eudaemonic approaches, on the other hand, emphasize a sense of meaning, personal growth and understanding of the self—goals that require confronting life’s adversities. Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life’s ups and downs. “Remember, one of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences,” Adler says.

Read the article–is there anything you draw from it that you can apply to your writing, thinking, growing experience in this course?



Look Outside And Then Within: Reflection For Fledgling Writers.

Reflective writing is a novel concept to me and one, that I find quite deep and interesting. However, I have been able to understand from the writing workshops I attended during my gap year that, reflection is needed to create a strong and well-written piece. For me, reflection occurs when a writer is able to look within his/her self after observing (looking outside) texts, people, scenery among others,  in order to review, revise and restructure a draft until it becomes a strong and complete work. In academic writing, observing texts is instrumental  in acquiring strong textual evidences needed to write essays and articles.  Textual evidence is so important, it appears everywhere both on evaluated papers, in  classroom conversations and even Writing textbooks.  Continue reading “Look Outside And Then Within: Reflection For Fledgling Writers.”

Writers As Collocutors.

A laptop, a power outlet, a strawberry milk shake, some peace and quiet and Me. This is my all-in-one kit needed for a powerful writing session. Indeed, my perfect scenario includes no one distracting or disturbing me or trying to give me opinions on what and what I should not write. I could receive and accept criticisms and correct my mistakes but my idea would still remain. Writing for me is what I have always considered as a “selfish” activity much like taking a Selfie or something. My writing should zero in on my ideas, my thoughts, experiences, style and mode of thinking. However, before I enrolled in INTD 105, writing collaboratively was a notion I had not yet come to terms with. In other words, writing as part of a team is still a fairly new concept for me and one, I would want to explore further.  Although, I can say I have experienced working with a team outside of the academic environment but it was mostly centred on leadership and accountability. I would never be able to fathom the ineffable feelings attached with working with a team, brainstorming ideas, sharing laughter, learning new ways of doing the same things, experiencing the power of many and achieving great results. Deep inside me,  I still yearn to know, what does “writing together” really mean?

The notion of writing with a team paints a different picture entirely. Now I know a writer should not need to be a hermit to produce a good piece of writing. To illustrate further, I understand that its like people coming together like pieces on a mosaic to form a total picture; nevertheless, each one is a unique, distinct and special entity that together they all form a masterpiece. The editor, the reviewer and the writer, all come together to make a masterpiece.

Nevertheless, I must say a writer is a highly social creature whose life depends on expressively communicating with peers, mentors and people alike. A writer is a collocutor who must learn to converse actively in his or her group and inspire greatness within it. The writer is also a learner and like most learners thrive better around people than in isolation and up until now I still do not fully understand the total concept.
Writing with people is in itself both exciting and intimidating and much, like taking a roller coaster ride. It’s scary and fun at the same time. There is a fear of losing your identity and not “shining” well enough.  It is also important to note that in every group, no mind works the same as the others do.  In the effort to paint a scenario, in a group there can be a person who always get the best votes by other members of the group on lots of ideas while another person’s ideas get relegated to the back ground. Furthermore, a person who is more creative than you will always get all the work pushed on to him or her while you, who is just not as creative,  always end up with a more technical role. Although,  this is no one’s fault as everyone wants the best results for the team so individual members are better off sticking to their areas of expertise. This leaves little or no room for flexibility and experimentation.  This makes me a little cautious and wary.
Nevertheless, I still maintain that collaborating with others helps a person view life from a different perspective, help an individual step out of their comfort zones zone for a while and enables them to walk in other people’s shoes as well so that they end up becoming more sensitive and conscious individuals.  For me, writing with people would help me tap into my nether creative side, learn tolerance for the sometimes encumbering writing process and develop respect for other people’s intellectual products.  I see myself  becoming  unstuck from my very linear world and becoming exposed to a multi-dimensional world which exists from working and sharing with others.

Summary: Conciseness and Brevity


The art of Summarising in chapter two of  Graff-Birkenstein (They say/I say)exposed my ignorance of summary.  Before I read the above  chapter on summary, I always believed summary was only about shortening what the piece of work or article was saying. In other words, be concise and apply brevity. What I believed I knew about summarising was a mish mash of what I had been taught over the years. For example, I was taught that if one is able to make the assigned piece shorter, then it could be considered a summary. Clearly not.

Summary, in fact proves to be an essential and critical tool to successful writing because according to the they say/I say model, writing is a dialogue.

When in a conversation, one does not merely repeat everything the other person said because that in itself might be considered plagiarism. Paraphrasing comes in handy when attempting  to bounce off what has been said earlier in order to make opinions. Although, I know the trouble of going back through texts, scanning through long lines of words and spaces; I  still try to get a feel of what the author is saying so I can say what he/she says in my own words.

Finding the balance is not easy if I might say. It is far too tempting to repeat what the author is saying  in my own  words and leave it at that. However, this  is not enough. I have to be able to paraphrase what has been said, cut out the fluff, be concise and say it in words focused in my direction of thought.

Continue reading “Summary: Conciseness and Brevity”