Thursday, May 14, 2015

Personal Reflection on my Improvement in communicating orally and in writing

 20.109 was a lot of work this semester, and it was by far my hardest class in terms of difficulty and time.  But through all the time and effort I put into the class, I definitely learned a lot.  Only looking back, I’m glad that all the large oral and written assignments were mandatory because if they were optional, I’m sure I would have opted not to do them.  It’s kind of like how I view my childhood experience with taking piano lessons.  As a child, my parents made me take piano lessons, no matter how much I rebelled, threw tantrums, or tried to convince them why I should discontinue piano lessons.  The routine of practicing the same songs became really frustrating and I remember how I always wished I could have been playing video games instead of sitting on the piano bench.  However after taking lessons for over ten years, I am so thankful that they made me stick with it because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to read music or play the piano.  So connecting this experience with my 20.109 experience, I’m thankful for the assignments that required a lot of time and effort and for the continual guidance of the instructors.  It’s always easy to look back in hindsight with 20/20 vision and realize what was good or bad for me.

Through all the written assignments, I was definitely challenged to write in a type of scientific prose that I was not used to.  It was good practice, because I ever get a chance to help write a paper, I’ll be ready.  The oral assignments such as the journal club and the final presentations were really helpful because I haven’t had much practice giving presentations in the classes I’ve taken so far.  I also really liked how journal club presentation was a single person assignment while the final research proposal presentation was team assignment.  I think through both of the oral assignments, I received good practice in being able to present alone and in a team.  I really liked how we got to view ourselves in the video that Atissa recorded for the journal club because I was able to pick up on some things I did that I didn’t realize I was doing.

Looking back, although 20.109 was a lot of work, I think that it did a lot to improve my writing and oral-presentation skills.  It was also really helpful to receive constant feedback on our homework assignments that we turned in regularly.  So now, I have one CI-M down and 20.309 to go.  Even though I know that I’m going to struggle during 20.309, I know I’ll come out of the class learning a lot just like how I came out of 20.109.

Joseph Han

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