Monday, October 31, 2011

Midterm Assesment

Attention all faithful few readers, this blog is mostly an assignment for my Shakespeare class. Written as an assessment of myself to see my Shakespeare progress, a little self-reflection, and also for my Professor.

Learning Outcomes:

Gaining of Shakespeare Literacy:
I feel that through this course I have increased in my Shakespeare literacy. One thing I have enjoyed about the lectures is the history of Renaissance writing and society which really helps explain why the plays are written like they are. Things like literary tools commonly used then but unknown to most now have helped me understand the text and canon better. Something else that has helped is just reading Shakespeare a lot, practice makes perfect and we have gotten plenty of practice with the text.

This increase literacy has made Shakespeare even more interesting for me. Which has made me read it with increased attention, making the stories come alive even more. Also this closer reading teaches me a lot. I wonder if Shakespeare meant to tell us all of the things he does.

How have I analyzed Shakespeare critically:
One thing that I have been able to do is put Shakespeare in different settings and seeing how his works apply in those contexts. Religious settings, modern popular culture, the art world. Seeing Shakespeare in all of these lights has really made me understand the works better and how great they can be. Some things don't hold up in certain lights, Shakespeare only gets better.

Another thing I feel I've done to analyze critically is not just by consuming the plays but letting them inspire me to create as well. Poems, paintings, sketches, etc. This process of creation helps me to analyze and process Shakespeare in unique ways, teaching me differently than if I was just consuming the works.

How have I engaged Shakespeare creatively:
I talked about this in the above section. How I've processed and analyzed Shakespeare by making my own things. Writing poetry about characters, sketching scenes, or painting pictures. This blog is also something creative that I have used to engage Shakespeare. A mixture of text, and picture media put together to explain what is Will Shakespeare to me.

Sharing Meaningfully:
In my most recent post I explain how I shared with my room mate Jeff (who tonight, organized a group to see Macbeth again while I sit at home doing homework). I also mentioned how I posted about Othello and also on other blogs about what I think of Shakespeare. Again this blog is another example of sharing. I've tried to tell my family and friends to look at my blog and see what I've been learning and from this have been able to have some good conversations with them.

Self Directed Learning

Things I have done to take control of my learning are again, this blog. Posting at least twice a week, usually on anything I have been learning or thinking. I have tried to make myself see things or come up  with things that others would find engaging to read about. Another thing I think I have done to direct my learning is the drawing of Shakespeare which helps me think more in depth towards what is going on.  I have to think of what symbolized the scene best, in one image. I have really enjoyed blogging about these things and sharing it with people. I thought blogging was silly before but I have found myself excited about what I'm learning and I have found that blogging is a great place to share those things and insights I would normally keep to myself.

Collaborative and Social Learning

The group learning idea is an interesting one. I usually like to do things on my own but have learned a lot by getting other peoples opinions and insights. At first our group seemed pretty withdrawn towards one another. Gabe was really good at getting us going on our conversations and collaborative learning. Angela has great insights on her blog and I learn a lot of cool thing I would not have thought of. Then Austin always seems to come to class with a great insight to the reading we've been doing that really progresses our group conversations. Justin helps a lot in his ability to process everything we've been saying and bringing it together in a really good application. The only thing that could be improved with this group learning is that it makes it difficult to connect to the whole class. We are in these little cliques of group learning.

Milton's Paradise Lost, cool, but not
quite up to par with Will
Something I've been doing to involve others outside my class is talking to my room mate, or getting groups together to go see plays. I have a cousin and we playfully bicker about who is better, Shakespeare or Milton (I'm right, it's Shakespeare). It is just fun to talk to others about what I learn and also talking to other people via the Internet. This is a practice I'm going to use more now.

Looking Ahead

Things that I intend to continue doing are blogging. After the course the posts will probably slow down. Also I want to keep up the sketches of Shakespeare. I am excited to read King Lear, a play I have no backround in and I want to see how my reading comprehension has improved as with William. Another thing to look forward to is the final project. I was planning on just doing the drawings but was surprised to hear that the project is a group thing. I was wondering what to do and thought maybe an exhibit of Shakespeare art in a local library or something like that. I have drawings, Angela has landscape sketches, I'm sure other people would like to do something like this. I'll let you all know how this idea progresses.


  1. I'm glad you're going to continue the blog!! I love it.

  2. Hey Mason, your blog looks awesome!

    I was hoping perhaps we could start a thread of collaboration on my blog,,

    so that we could get some ideas out in the open, if you have some time.

    Thanks, man!