Hello! My name is Jenny and this is my website for English 101: Play, Make, Write, Think class at Emory university led by professor David Morgen. In our class we started off with creating the avatar name and I chose Jenny. Unlike other people who did not chose a name that is already common, I chose this name since I use this name all the time and consider it as my second name. Starting off with this assignment was exciting for me. While other English class would start off with what kind of books that they would read over the semester and discuss about how to write a good 5 paragraph essay, we discussed about how there are so many kinds of writing and that we are going to use tools other than traditional paper and pencil. Since my first language is not English, I was really worried about the what would college writing would be like but unlike in the past where I did not want to go to English class, I was actually very looking forward to go to this class over the semester.
All of the assignments this semester in this class was very interesting but if I were to pick the main and the best one, I would pick the podcast assignment. When I first heard about this assignment, I personally thought I could not do it. Also, this was my first time making a podcast and the topic was about the game, which I do not play all the time. Not only me but my partner was also worried about this assignment and I even said in my podcast reflection letter that “we were worried how we are going to talk for 10 minutes” but later on I said “it actually turned out that we talked way more than 10 minutes [and] as we were talking about the topic, we had more things coming up”. This was the very first assignment that I realized that writing is not just typing and writing on a piece of paper but could be a voice, like this podcast. Moreover, doing this assignment definitely improved me talking in front of people. The two podcasts that we made were made inside the room that only my partner and I was in and was not in the public, but because of that I felt like this was the safe place and I could talk about my thought comfortably. This led me to successfully do my other assignments too. Lastly, from the podcast, I realized that a voice recording device such as Audacity could be a medium. It was hard to use it for the first time, but after getting used to it, I was enjoying using it and was trying to figure out different function that could be used in the program.
The next assignment is FIASCO. FIASCO is a game that we played in this class and it is a storytelling game. Unlike other students in the class who only played once, I actually had a chance to play it twice. When I wrote a reflection letter after the first game, I said “usually the game has a certain rule and players need to follow it however, when I was playing this game it did have a rule, but I felt like there is more freedom and more like create your own story game”. I still felt the same way when I played the second time with other friends. At first, I did not really know why we were playing this game. This was not a book, not a writing assignment but it was a game. I never thought of playing a game in an English class. Yet, after playing for the first time it reminded me of writing a fiction book. While I was playing the game I was thinking if other people knew about the story that we are talking right now, lot of people are going to enjoy it so much. In addition to all of this, like the podcast assignment this assignment also helped me to talk in front of people. Professor Morgen mentioned in the class when we were talking about the FIASCO how there was an international Chinese girl who was really quiet in class before playing this game but after playing it, she actively participated in class. She told Professor Morgen how she used to make funny jokes in Chinese but was sad how she could not do that in English. However, while playing this game, she noticed that she could make jokes, make funny story and make people laugh in English. When I heard this, as a non-native speaker in English I could understand her definitely felt the same way. I was always afraid if the thing that I am saying is perfect, right and if other people could understand it but while I was playing this game, I did not care about that. I could make the story that totally does not make sense and would still be able to continue the story. When playing for the second time, I was actually the one who was making all the crazy stories and my group enjoyed so much.
Throughout this course, the most valuable thing that I learned was that I am less scared of what I write and also saying my opinion to other people. It is still struggle for me to talk in English in front of large group, but I definitely feel way more comfortable compared to beginning of the year. Also, I think at least I got comfortable talking in a small group by doing lots of small group projects such as making my own game named Lucky DUC, FIASCO, podcast and so on. Moreover, as many people in my class would say, the word writing meant more than just writing something on a piece of paper. In this class writing could be voice and game and I never enjoyed writing this much in my life.
This class would help me in various ways that could be very useful in other classes. All the small group projects helped me to become better at working in group. All the projects were started and ended with me and helped me to become better thinker and realized that I could be creative. Moreover, all the programs that we used in this course, such as photoshop, WordPress, and Audacity, would be so helpful in other courses that I would be taking at Emory in the future. Last of all, as mentioned multiple times I became a better speaker and is now less feared of talking in front of the people.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. David Morgen for having such an amazing English class. I was able to learn so much things from him.