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Sophomore year: Class reviews, part 2

 Written by    April 29, 2019

As always, I have a lot to say about Ohio State and the things I’m doing here. This is the second half of my class reviews for sophomore year; go ahead and check out Part 1 to hear how fall semester went, and keep reading for the classes I just finished for the spring!

English 4569: Digital Media

This class threw me for a loop on the first day. I walked in expecting a general digital media class—the course description did not inform me that the section I was placed in was Digital Protest and Online Activism. That being said, I still enjoyed it! Dr. Teston did not expect us to concentrate our rhetorical arguments and online campaigns on any specific political or social issue; rather, she  said we could center our projects on “the right way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” if we didn’t want to deal with any hot button issues. We worked with Photoshop, iMovie, Premiere and social media platforms to advance “unruly” protest rhetoric, learn just what demagoguery is and craft our own digital campaign. This was a super unique class, and I don’t regret taking the 4000-level seminar over the 2000-level at all!

English 3662: Intro to Literary Publishing

I loved this course. The professor brought in a professional from the field almost every week, giving us an open opportunity to ask questions about the industry to those with real-world experience. We talked to multiple published authors, academics, Ohio State’s Special Collections librarians, people who worked at publishing industries, literary magazine owners and even a bookseller that we took a Short North field trip to meet in his own store. The broad perspective I gained and the information from knowledgeable sources I had access to made this course one of the most helpful classes I could take for my future.

English 3466: Intermediate Poetry Writing

This is a follow-up class to the introductory poetry workshop I took last semester (cough, cough, read Part 1). Same professor, same class structure, and same positive review! I feel like these two poetry workshops, especially taken in succession, improved my poems and my perspective on writing poetry. I had another great group of people in workshop that provided helpful feedback and became a quasi-family over the past few months.

English 3465: Intermediate Fiction Writing

Again, this was a follow-up to my introductory fiction course last semester, and it was taught by the same professor. Not all creative writing courses are taught by the same instructors, but the tight knit staff makes a repeat possible. The variety of media we consumed for the class to learn about fiction (stories, articles, books, movies, podcasts) was a great way to learn how we tell stories, why we tell stories and the foundations of what makes a good story. I feel like this class had a tendency to get philosophical about literature (and, occasionally, life in general), which worked really well with the discussion-based structure. It was fun to toss our ideas out there and chew them out for hours at a time. And, of course, the workshop of my short story helped me get outside perspectives on my writing

English 3305: Technical Writing

This class didn’t play out as I was expecting, but that’s okay! I wanted to take tech writing to get a feel of different professions I can take on with my major, and it taught me that perhaps I don’t want to be a technical writer one day. I came into the class not really knowing what technical writing was, and it opened my eyes to the size of the field (including, but definitely not limited writing professional reports, memos, instruction manuals and flyers). Despite not being overjoyed with my work, I definitely came away with a new skill set that I can use in other types of writing. This course was a great way to narrow my career prospects while expanding my abilities.

Overall, I am immensely happy with everything I’m taking away from my second year at Ohio State. I want to give a shout out to Neil Grayson and Kelsey & Emmalee Hagarman, the MFA students who were great professors to me and are now moving on from their master’s degree to do bigger and better things. They were all such genuine, helpful, entertaining people that I’m glad I got to know. I had Neil and Emmalee for both semesters (they were my trusty workshop leaders), and saying goodbye at the end of the year was surprisingly bittersweet. I’m so appreciative of their time at Ohio State and the portion of it I got to spend with them.

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