The biggest thing to note about the process of writing my paper is the inability to satisfactorily investigating my primary question. The surveys resulted in a lot of interesting data and remarks, most of which aligned with what I expected. However, the only students who left their email addresses for a follow-up interview wrote complete answers to the other survey questions and I felt like I had as much information from them that I would want. I did not see a need to interview them because the answers they gave did not require any exploration; these students all had answers in the 3-4 range on personal value on education and full answers for why they are getting a degree. I would have had to expand my survey sampling or question other students until finding the rare one that came into interest to be able to satisfy my questions on motivation. Even then I would be looking at an individual case, which would only give a glimpse into the whole, which wouldn’t satisfy my curiosity as much. Honestly, I would probably have to sample the entire university to be satisfied with drawing a conclusion on the students who had low parental interest where they had high interest.
I have been a listener in class discussions but it was during class when I came across the idea for my topic. Reading the paper on texting and the ability of students to multi-task conversations while text or browse the internet may seem rude to some, and in some situations is certainly inappropriate, but I find it a fascinating achievement of this generation. If you think about the age range of middle aged men and women (my parents come to mind) learning to text and use technology for the first time we can’t even conceive how slow they are at learning and using the information. While this generation of high school and college age students use technology as an extension of ourselves while multitasking several ideas at once it will be amazing to see where this hyper-functioning mentality takes us in the future. More on point, this lead me through a large chain of thoughts starting with modern college students and moving to how the value placed on education has changed over the decades. This eventually led me to motivation to attend college and I landed on the specific subject as a result of my personal interest. After finding my question I didn’t have any specific motivation or influence. I just sat down and wrote, usually for one hour at a time, and everything followed naturally from then.
The instructor comments were most beneficial on tweaking the aim of the survey, I feel like I underestimated student interest in giving responses and multiple choice answers were a much better format for the second half of my survey.
When I first wrote my paper and through the entire conception of the focus of the study I had not pulled any literature from the class into my ideas. As my writing developed I found a natural connection between discourse and what I was thinking. Naturally primary discourse creates the fundamental system of beliefs and parents are the greatest influence for a student to develop these fundamental values. It seems obvious that some experience would influence as students motivation and it follows naturally that if not primary discourse there must be another motivation that would be the result of some secondary discourse. Past that I made observations drawing from experiences and conversations I have had to create my hypothesis and the basis for my question.
In this class I am a fairly passive learner, I have never been outspoken in classes. Although I came into this class with more prior knowledge than I should have (this class is supposed to prepare you for college writing, not be a cap stone) I still actively try to learn as much as I can. I have been learning the most in the more subjective and creative aspects of writing, an approach which is giving depth to the other types of writing I am currently doing. It was asked today if students had any other papers due for classes, I have one 4-5 page report due bi-weekly as well as 4 other papers ranging 3-12 pages (not including this class) due by the end of the term- so I still have plenty of college writing ahead of me! I am finding that these short prompts are training me to be more readily available to begin writing, which has also been beneficial. To me, being a learner in this class means refining my skills and adding depth to my writing ability. Although I am not active in classroom discussion I am always looking for new perspectives and ways to improve myself- and the format of this class with blog posts and a focus on discourse and community literacy is certainly new from anything else I have done.