Hello Folks

First of all, thank you all for the flowers and food, videos and balloons, and the wonderful tie (funny coincidence: when I left Singapore, my students signed school shirts, so I now have signed clothing from you, too). Thank you also for your enthusiasm and energy throughout the year (I’d say hard work, too, but some of you know that’s not entirely true). It has truly been my pleasure to work with all of you. I’m sure that you will keep doing great things next year. And yes, some of you should feel perfectly entitled to ask me for a recommendation letter next year (just give me lots of warning).   That said, my work here is not entirely done yet, because there are still essays to be returned. You can come by my desk and pick up your History essays on Thursday afternoon (after 2). The most consistent issues (aside from APA instead of MLA, d’oh!) are the following: Some essays simply retold the events of their subjects’ lives as opposed to creating an analysis. If a paragraph simply restated biographical details, it wasn’t doing work to drive the argument forward.  Secondly, it usually wasn’t necessary to start with the subject’s birth. For instance: where I went to high school is much more important to my becoming and English teacher than where my parents’ house is. If someone’s desire to conquer the world came from not having a father, then you should leave that in. Unless you could connect it to your point, you should have left it out.  Focus is key to creating effective arguments. I’ll also try to have your Oral History assignments ready for you, although I must admit the comments will be light. Lastly, one more thing for you to do: In a comment to this post, please write what you think is the most important thing you learned in Comp Two this year. Please remember to take it seriously (no “I learned that Mr. Dranginis wears great ties” or “I learned that Moses looks like Mr. Cho when he wears a hood” or “I learned that Minho becomes a rather convincing prostitute on Halloween” comments, please. Let’s try to keep them academic).

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17 Responses to Hello Folks

  1. Minho Kim says:

    I learned that learning mostly comes from sharing ideas, having discussions, and engaging with enthusiasm, not only from quietly reading good stuff on our own.

  2. Moses Kim says:

    This year, I learned that every story (personal stories, the development of philosophies, even histories) comes from a place of pain–and that by sharing our stories we can begin to stop being so afraid of each other and begin to see each other as people.

    I also learned that I look like Mr. Cho when I wear a hood, but that’s a different can of worms.

  3. Dahyun Kim says:

    I learnt that yes, I can stare at a blank piece of paper without knowing what to write, but that blank piece of paper isn’t going to stop me from writing. Even if it comes out like BS sometimes.

    I also learnt that studying literature was a lot different from what I had initially thought.

  4. Sonia Jiyoung Lee says:

    This year in comp class I learned so many things that have improved my critical reading skills, discussion skills and more. I found out that just understanding the words on the paper does not help at all and that we need to keep asking “why” in order to take readings fully as ours. I also learned that the essay I myself thought was okay can be a depressing one to the others(especially to Mr Dranginis)… Overall, comp class has matured my intelligence and enlarged my viewpoints.

  5. I’ve learned that–as I somehow always manage to do–I have still a LOT to read, learn, and think about. Being trapped in school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. hardly allows any time for me to go outside and actively search for things I want to dig deep into, and this shortage of knowledge and background information surely shows when I’m reading new material. Each category of academics (history, philosophy, science, etc.) not only opens up an entirely new perspective for understanding things, but also allows knowledge itself to interact; it was sort of funny how I could connect the idea of discourse, cultural hegemony, and power relationships and Antonio Gramsci’s theories of culture’s contributions to forming hegemony with the concept of panopticism we’d learned early on during the summer session. I haven’t mentioned it in class, but musing about the idea alone was pretty fun.

    I’ve also learned that just because a class ends it doesn’t mean that learning stops altogether. There’s so much more to explore, even if the realms may be limited to digging deeper into what’s been covered in class. Simply skimming through the bookshelves in my and my brother’s rooms, I found that there were numerous books that I could relate the class material with. It’s become one of my goals to spend my free time devouring them one by one.

  6. Pearl Lee says:

    The most important thing I learned this year is the power of literature. It was amazing to know how people interpret the same text very differently according to their own perspectives. The huge difference between the activities done last year and this year is that we focused more on how the readings have affected our thoughts rather than simply analyzing the author’s writing skills in this year’s comp class. Although conveying my opinions into words and letters were difficult, the philosophy unit was my favorite. It was funny how we ended up all being petrified by the complex concepts, but I learned the struggling process itself was worth it.

  7. Heeyoung Kim says:

    The most important thing that I learned this year is whether one could express and write what one learned during the class. Of course, through reading articles and understanding every contained ideas, I could experience the “awe moment”. However, I always felt that every lessons and classes that I had were being wrapped up and summarized in 3 pages whenever I wrote assignment essays. Also, looking back what we have learned, I could understand the deep, hidden meaning of this curriculum—starting from interpreting ourselves and then others.
    Lastly, I would like to say that the most interesting unit was philosophy. Even though I suffered a considerable difficult in this unit, this unit enabled me to mature intellectually by learning numerous philosophers, understanding their ideas, and writing my own philosophy. But, anyway, every units was useful, beneficial, and awesome. 😀

  8. Dong Won Lee says:

    The most interesting thing I learned this year is that there are diverse perspectives authors have. Text analysis depends on the view point of the autor, and every author has a different perspective. Thus, understanding various view points is certainly significant in interpreting literature, I guess. Anyway, the whole year was really precious time for me to learn many things about both literature and compostion.

  9. jeonhyeyoon says:

    I learned that things I learned in classes could affect my real life. Class materials always seemed separated from my current life. After the history unit, I was interested to find out the intentions behind historical texts; after learning about structuralism in literature unit, I was trying to figure out why a scene on movie/add was being depicted that way. I was surprised at myself for the changes. It was the first time for me to experience that learning actually does affect my life.

  10. Abby Kim says:

    I learned that there is beauty to be found in every aspect of the world, especially science, which up until the science unit I had considered as complicated and uninteresting. I also learned that the more you learn, the more you find that you are a clueless idiot–I still have a lot to learn, and just because we celebrated the end of one class with balloons and pizzas and signed ties, it doesn’t mean that it stops here.
    (I would mention the great ties and Minho’s potential success as a Halloween prostitute but I’m trying to be academically serious, so…)

  11. Saemi Han says:

    I learned that power relationships can be and are being reinforced through everything in our lives such as history, literature, advertisements, movies and such. It surprised me to think how unconsciously people accept given information without thinking about the message that is being implied. The people in power continue to reinforce the power structure to the point where everyone is brainwashed and thus they are able to maintain their power. I felt like this power structure was a topic that repeated itself throughout the year from different readings from different units.
    I also learned that classes can be fun and educational at the same time and that I’m lucky to have met such amazing teachers this year. Thank you 🙂

  12. Before taking this course, I only thought of writing as a skill that could be achieved mechanically by a lot of practices. This assumption wasn’t entirely false, but your course certainly offered me more than that. Having read the voluptuous articles that you gave out, I am sure that my overall English ability developed a lot and became able to apply many new skills that I couldn’t conjure before taking this course. However, the most important influence that you had on me was the widening of my perspective. From every unit, the readings from many perspectives showed me many perspectives that I could never perceive before and made me aware of many possibilities from then on. I think the wonderful experience of having your class would have a beneficial effect on my future studies and career, and I am very grateful for that. Thank you, and I hope that many other students also could become better individuals by your influence.

  13. Hansel Jaewan Park says:

    Putting all the great readings we have read this year aside, what I have learned is that people like myself can actually be excited by texts and can be engaged in reading and analyzing. The biggest difference between the Hansel before taking this course and afterwards is that Hansel has now realized more clearly what he wants to study more in depth in the future and what he wants do for a living. The readings have led him to the truth :).
    What I found most interesting during the course was how opinions and thoughts can vary on a single issue. Even the judgments and decisions I made on a single issue that I naively believe to be right based on my common sense were, mercilessly, proven to be wrong by my classmates and Mr. Dranginis, so I realized how myopic and near-sighted I was. Listening to various opinions and taking consideration of many different approaches done by others, I was either persuaded or puzzled, and it was the latter that I struggled the most to elaborate my thoughts and try to walk others through my thinking process. For me, the course was mostly about exchanging new ideas and thoughts, which were derived from the readings assigned. Thus, I’m so grateful to my classmates and Mr. Dranginis who made, or force, me to go through this pain.
    The big questions Mr. Dranginis wrote on the board when starting the class are the ones that I can remember the most at this moment. Asked the big question, such as “what is literature?,” to be frank, I often started with the blank, and it were the readings and the lectures that cleared out the picture. However, the sad thing is that I still don’t have a definite answer for the big questions that I can agree with completely (it could be just me who’s going through this dillehma :() But, maybe the fact that the questions are yet to be answered by myself, and that they are keep bugging me is what makes them worth pondering.

  14. jun5hero says:

    First of all…sorry for being late…
    The most important thing I learned in Comp 2 class this year is not only the readings but also the way of approaching new types of readings. Depending on which type of reading we are going to handle in class, you taught us how to approach that specific type of reading in various ways. Also, the background lectures helped me a lot to easily understand difficult readings. Your lectures helped me a lot.^^

  15. The most important thing I learned…Discourse, Orientalism, New Historicism, and all that jazz. Yeah, these are all important, but the “most” important thing I learned in Comp 2 is that I have to have confidence in order to learn and that no matter how much hard the course is, I will have a way through it. In the beginning of the year, I was quite shy (believe me, it’s true). I enjoyed the readings and considered them wonderful, but never gave a thought about speaking up like many students did. Sometimes, I knew where the class and Mr. Dranginis are headed to, but did not speak up cause I was afraid that I might be wrong. When I started to talk out loud what I wanted to say, although I have been wrong many times as I had worried, I grew both more confident and more logical. I am definitely sure that this experience is going to help me when I go to college or graduate from college. I know it was mainly Mr. Dranginis’s job to lead the class, but it was the students who made it more enriching for themselves. Hope you have great students back in the U.S. Mr. Dranginis. It was truly an honor to learn from you during such a important time of my life.

    Having sit next to Minwhore for three hours on Halloween, I learned that it is impossible to concentrate when a sexy lady is around. Peace

  16. K-h Sol Shin says:

    I learned this year that there is a line of logic, or sense, or something to learn in everything that may look like a BS. I also learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of BSing or misinterpreting or making such mistakes. I must make those mistakes, learn from it, then be more confident. I lastly learned that there is a way through everything, even if it seems impossible at first.

    Oh I also learned that the this comp class is one of the best classes I ever took thanks to my classmates & teacher.

  17. Dong Hun Kim says:

    Never knew this was here. Ah, Comp II…. What was the most important thing I learned this year? Content-wise? I was going to say that being powerful has a lot of perks, but really, who doesn’t know that? I guess the most important thing that I learned in Comp II is that nothing can every be truly ‘true.’ Whatever you read, no matter how convincing it seems, no matter how much you think it tells of the truth, is only a little part of it. Nothing is really “true,” as in absolute truth-there’s always multiple sides to everything, and everyone’s story is true. It’s just that you can’t see everything with your two-eyes, just what you see. In that case, the history unit was perhaps the one that shocked me the most-especially at the start, when you, Mr. D, said ‘humanity always repeating history, so why bother?’ I still haven’t answered that question.

    Comp II left me with a lot of answers, but a larger number of questions. I hope to answer those if-when-we meet again.

    It’s a bit late, but again, thank you Mr. Dranginis (and everyone in the GLP).
    You really were the best.

    Brian

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