Journal Prompt, Week 14: Real-World Application

ImageThis week on the blog, I’d like you to reflect on the “real-world application” of your English composition course. You could write, for example, on whether or not you think your writing courses have real-world application for you, or whether or not they even need to. You could also reflect on the strangeness of the term: is college somehow not part of “the real world?” Should everything in your undergraduate education go towards getting you a paying job (as the above illustration half-jokingly suggests), or does higher education serve another purpose?

You all don’t have to kiss up to me—your grades are 2/3 decided at this point, anyway. If you think the class will be useful to you as you embark on your career, I’ll be happy to hear that. If you think it won’t be useful in a career sense, but you think what we do here is important anyway, I’ll be even happier. But if you didn’t get a lot out of the class, it’s important for me to hear that, and now would be the time to say so.

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18 thoughts on “Journal Prompt, Week 14: Real-World Application

  1. I believe that this class actually does have some real-world application. This class is similar to my AP Literature class in senior year of high school. Like the AP class, ENC 1101 has helped drive-home my writing skills. In this class I have continued to improve my writing, which is a valuable skill for later in life. Not only is being able to write important, but most of all, speaking is most valuable. Being able to think clearly about a writing topic and being able to think clearly on a topic that you’re speaking about are closely related. I know that better writing equates out to being able to speak better, because as your ability to formulate a more clear flow of thought to write improves… your speaking ability mirror those improvements. Aside from that, I don’t see much else that would make this class have more of a real-world application. I don’t believe (and it’s not just this class, but most English classes) that I’ll ever fully utilize the ability to break down any one scene or image analytically. As cool of a skill as it is, unless I were to become a creative writing major, I would have no use for that skill in the real world. As the Physical Therapist that I hope to become, I doubt it will be a useful skill.

  2. College is the gateway to new experiences and has given me the opportunity to enjoy new classes and subjects that have never been my strong point. This course being a requirement for all students has changed my perspective on all English classes; A class that I have never found to be “very interesting and necessary” for an Engineering major. However, my perspective has changed completely. It continues to be my weakness academically, but the way this class was taught with real life connections and analysis of movies and texts has helped me overall. I have learned to develop ideas on topics I can relate to, instead of the boring subjects I have been forced to write about for most of my life. English is a subject that is necessary for everyday life and having the ability to improve my writing skills has been one of my main goals in a while. There is no way to be a great Mathematician or Engineer, if you don’t have the ability to communicate with others effectively in order to share your ideas and work with the world around you. Overall, this class is just another way I have grown and improved my writing and creativity; I hope it continues to be a requirement for all undergraduate students, giving many others the same experience I have had.

  3. I think that this course will have a “real-world application” for me because of intended major and what I want to do with it. I would like to own my own business, so I would need English composition to help run the business and write up reports on the status of everything. Without English composition I would not be able to run my business effectively and be able to make sure everyone is on the same page. I don’t think that everything that I’m doing in my undergraduate years is necessary for me to run a business. I’m pretty sure science and history are not essential to running a successful business. The class has been very helpful for me because it has improved my writing style and composition. I feel ultimately this will be one of the most helpful undergraduate classes for what I want to do for my career. It’s important for owners to be able to communicate with their employees and others. If one cannot do that than they are doomed to have a unsuccessful business or have a struggling one.
    Palmer Harper

  4. Education is a major part of what makes us who we are. It determines what job we will get, often times how much money we will earn, and how we think and make decisions. My first ever English course in college (ENC 1101) was in my opinion helpful. As an International Relations major I recognize that I will most likely have to write reports on things and just write in general for whatever future job I may hold. I also believe that writing is something that everybody gets better at the more that they do it. It is a practiced and perishable skill. Therefore, the fact that I had to write three decently long papers and think weekly about a prompt for a post will in my opinion help me in the long run.
    In another way though I do feel as if college is not part of the real world and we are just getting an education and being trained in things that will not matter at all to us in life. Yes, everyone needs general knowledge of many things to make it by and to be educated, but often times I feel as though when I graduate college I will just have to be trained all over again and get “on the job training” as is so often the case. Either way I feel that, for me anyways, this English course has helped me to organize my thoughts and write papers in stages instead of cramming.

  5. To be honest, and I’m not even trying to “kiss ass”, this class has made me decide that I want to minor in English. It has shown me that there are many different ways to write and get your point across, and that there are many different ways to analyze an object. Writing also teaches you how to get your opinion out and makes you sound a lot more professional. If someone uses the words “like” or “uhm” a lot, which I may tend to do, then people may not take them as seriously. Do I think college is a part of the real world? No, actually I don’t. Besides the exams, papers, and projects, I do think college is a type of playground. A place where you can spend every night out, a place where you have no rules, and a place where you can hang out with your friends all the time isn’t real life. There is little responsibility in college besides doing well in school or maybe having a part time job. It is scary because the minute we graduate we are on our own and not financially dependable on our parents anymore. Not going to lie, this is really scary to me. I’ve had a job before, but being on my own doesn’t sound appealing just yet.

  6. In my opinion writing and English classes suck for me due to the fact that not only am I a terrible writer but also it has nothing to do with my major. As finance major writing paper on different short stories and novels has nothing to do with finance. But on that note I feel as if English classes are very important. When you get a real job in the real world you have to write emails to coworkers and bosses. It would be very embarrassing if your grammar was terrible. Also when you writing something for your business you need people to understand what you’re writing which is one of the things you do in your English classes. No matter what major you are your English classes are tools you will need to be successful in your life. Now think if you never took and English class and you didn’t know how to read. You wouldn’t be able to read street signs, read the newspaper to understand what is happening in the world, or even be able to communicate other than by talking. Believe it or not our English and writing classes are important and need to be taken seriously.

  7. No matter what path you choose to take in life, writing will in some way be involved. It may not necessarily be creative writing, but you will always need the writing skills that you learned in high school and perfected in college. This course greatly improved my writing. The skills I gained this semester will help me as I continue my college English courses and follow me to my career. I think college is part of the real world. Sometimes I wonder what the term “real world” means because most people consider it to be living on your own and having a job, which the majority of college kids do. The skills learned in college are the ones that best prepare you for the career and future you are approaching. Depending on the career path you take, this preparation may be done all over again through training once you get a job so maybe the education is redundant. Perhaps to some the point of college is to get an education that will get you a job and get you money. But for others the experience and education alone is important. I do feel that some of the general credits you are required to take are somewhat pointless and could be better filled with courses that will improve your ability for your intended major. However, most courses provide you information that can in some way assist you in your future.

  8. This class has taught me a lot about myself and where I want to be as a writer. Right now my major is exploratory which pretty much means I have no clue of what I want to do in the future. I’ve always know however I enjoyed writing. I never thought I was good enough at it for me to want to do it as a career. That was the problem I had I was looking at it from a career stand point and not weather or not I would enjoy it. A job should be something you love to do and not because it makes you money. By taking this class it really let me enjoy writing. This was because we got to do a lot of personal essays which I loved. Not only did it let me write but it also had me think critically with its class discussions. The class discussions were probably my favorite part of the class. It gave you a chance to hear what the people around you had to say and even if you did not like what they had to say you still learned something new that day. Also I do not think college is part of the real word. College is it own separate word where people go to make mistakes and never look back on them. You may be leaving on your own but that does not mean you are grown up. Some kids would like to believe that but really until you graduate and mom and dad aren’t giving you a penny anymore that’s when you have stepped into the real world.

  9. I’m a business major. At this point I plan to study finance, which involves a lot of boring math and economics classes. Everything is right or wrong–there is no wiggle room. Writing is the exact opposite. It allows you to develop your ideas and, for the most part, speak your mind. Before this class I never enjoyed writing; it was like pulling teeth. Reading a novel and reflecting on the theme and relating it to other novels I had read in the class never appealed to me. If I had gotten to choose the book it may have had a more positive impact on me, but reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” until all hours of the night was one of the most painful reading experiences I have ever had. In all seriousness, no one ever read the books from cover to cover anyway. The fact that we were given the chance to write so freely about topics we could ACTUALLY relate to made writing that much easier. I never thought that I was a good writer. I was always embarrassed to have people read my papers because I half-assed them. When my roommate (who enjoys writing and is quite good at it) read my first paper and had nearly no corrections and thought it was really good, it changed the approach that I took on writing assignments. The personal prompts made me speak from my own voice. I could use humor and my personality to get my point across. Basically what it all comes down to is that even though writing has very little to do with my major and what I think will be my future, I really enjoyed the class. I’m glad you could change the way I felt about writing and I’m glad I can go into next semester as a more confident writer.

  10. I have always struggled at writing. From the moment I started I was terrible at it. This class helped me hone in on my writing skills and having this class made writing a little less terrible. Although I despise writing it is necessary evil in the world. In the future I look to start my own business and I know for a fact that I will need writing skills if I want to succeed. To start my own business I need investors, and to get investors I need to be able to write out a full strategy plan, convincing them why to invest in my business. Even though taking this class is required by the university I think every one should learn to portray their words onto paper. In any career you choose to pursue their will have to be words written down somewhere down the line and you do not want to make a fool of yourself. Whether you are a salesperson to an engineer, you will always find literature and you should be able to approach it confidently. Bottom line is that I enjoyed this class very much and I think what your teaching us is really helping us prepare for the future.

    Zachary Anders

  11. Education is important in helping one advance in the job field. This Class, English Composition 1101, my first ever college english class, was indeed helpful. I think it is definitely helpful fro the upcoming classes I will have to take. It improved my writing style and helped me analyze better. For my major, Social Work, it will help me when writing reports or other writing tasks. I don’t know if this class will specifically help me in the field a ton, but I know it will help me in the classes i have to take to get my major.
    In someways I feel like college is not part of the “real world” because we are isolated with ourselves and have our own way of living. But also i feel like college is necessary for future careers. Sometimes you so learn unnecessary information regarding your major, but sometimes that information could be useful to you in ways you never knew. Also classes that are directly related to your major that you take may change your mind and change your major because you find you enjoy that subject.

  12. I definitely saw some major improvements in my writing from this class. I went into the class knowing I wasn’t a strong writer so I didn’t have confidence in my writing skills. Writing is very important in college so the benefits from this class are very rewarding. I now have more confidence in my writings and I know that I have many more papers to write in the years to come. College is so important in today’s society. It is almost impossible to get a good job without a college degree. It is also important to be well educated in the world to day. There are so many problems in today’s society such as politics, global warming, war, etc. Being a well-educated citizen in the United States only does well to our country. This course is beneficial to the real world because it really made me think about what I was writing about and the overall purpose in each writing or reading. Every reading we had for class had a purpose in the course. There is a purpose and reason for everything that happens in life and in the world. This course helped me come to that realization and has a bigger impact on my life that it did at the beginning of the semester.

  13. English has always been my favorite subject so of course I feel that this course can be used in the real world. Being able to analyze text and pictures and being able to effectively express your thoughts can be used in any job or aspect in life.
    In the aspect of whether college is apart of the “real world” or not,bi would say its a snippet of it. Yes, as college students, we are on our own and away from the guidance of parents but college isn’t as blunt or ruthless as the real world truly is. If you make a mistake, you will have to take responsibility of your actions, just as if you were in the real world, but the independence aspect of college is somewhat of easier, when it comes to paying bills and things like that. But college is a time to explore and find yourself, so every class you take in your undergraduate doesn’t necessarily have to be towards your career, you should test the waters and see what you really like or what you don’t, and I feel that writing courses are the perfect courses to see what it is that you really like.

  14. Obviously this class will be useful for work post-college. Without the English language how is one to communicate with others? English isn’t just about the words we speak to each other but the way in which we express ourselves towards the world. This class specifically is designed to allow students to express themselves towards their peer. In a working environment one must be able to have a voice and tone in order to be respected. I really do not know how writing essays helps with that, but i guess there must be a purpose for it! Reading other people’s works allows students to gain an understanding of different voices and opinions, which in turn assist us in finding our own opinions and what we soon will come to agree/ disagree with. Collaborations with others as well as public presentations are designed to wire the student mind that in any work practice public speaking will definitely be required as well as working with others. So college classes, as annoying and difficult as they may be, have an underlying lesson for future jobs that students will acquire after graduation. Also jobs are getting more and more competitive to obtain and having a college degree on a resume is more appealing towards companies and shows hard work, dedication, and intelligence.

  15. As a pre-engineering student, English courses like ENC 1101 don’t pertain to my main subject studies other than contributing to the Gordon Rule requirement. At the beginning of the course I expected it to be as lackluster as previous English courses I have had in the past, but as the semester progressed I began to enjoy the mornings sitting in ENC. I even started looking forward to group discussions and peer evaluation of essays. Mr. Hallal made the material relevant by letting us students choose what interests us, and during lessons he used entertaining media that grabbed everyone’s attention such as the Chipotle commercial or the clips from movies and shows during class. This method was drastically different from previous classes that chose literature and media no member of the class ever cared about. But what made the class truly fun was Mr. Hallal’s interest in us as students and the respect he showed us in the classroom. He joked with us like adults rather than treating us like children. All in all this ENC 1101 class will probably not help me towards my future career or goals, but it was worth every second And despite my usual despising of English I liked the course.

  16. To be honest a freshman English class will not have very many real world applications but I do think that it is an enriching experience. I am a Chinese major and hope to go to China to do some kind of business over there so I’m pretty sure I will not need to analyze many texts in my life but it will definitely help my conversations with other people. I have learned through this class and through previous English classes how to pick apart a text and how to talk or write about it. This will help me when I am talking to people who have read the same book or watch the same movie. I will basically be a more interesting person from taking all these English courses. This may not be a skill that I need but it definitely made me more educated which could make me more hirable than the next guy. I think that everyone in college should have to take and English class because they may not have gotten the best English education when they were in high school and writing is a tool that is used in everything that you do. Also the readings that we did in this class definitely helped my writing skills. I feel as though they all related to the topic that we were writing on at that time. Overall, my experience with the class was enriching even though I may not directly use some of the skills that were learned.

    Timmy Corrigan

  17. This class has helped improve my personal writing, but I don’t think this type of writing will be useful for me later in life. As a music teacher, I will need to be able to write intelligently, but more in the form of letters to parents and staff and creating worksheets. I do believe I will be able to apply general concepts and some formatting rules that I have learned to my future writing, but for the most part the writing that I learned will not be useful. However, the time management skills I learned from this class will be extremely helpful. I’ve never had a class that I’ve had to plan out deadlines for as much as this one. I had to set up strict times i would work on my papers so I could have a presentable draft for workshop days. Time management is one of the most important skills to possess as a music major because if you don’t practice enough and in an intelligent manor, you won’t be successful with your playing or teaching. I hope I keep up with this skill to ensure my success and so I can pass it on to my future students.

  18. I think that this course did have real world value in it. What I learned the most in this class was to explain myself using my words and my ideas and this is very beneficial to contributing citizens of society. In this class we got to choose subjects that we enjoyed writing about and that made it so much more enjoyable and easy for us. It helped raise our motivation to write the papers and to write them with passion. Which is something I feel as though we will not be doing as much of next semester in the ENC 1102 class. The small grammatical things we learned also helped to better my every day writing skills. This class also taught me to enjoy writing a little more which is quite a feat for a class. Another thing that this class did was just improve my overall writing for not only my english classes but all of the other classes where I have to write papers and essays. My idea of higher education is more than just learning in the classroom. My idea is that you should have to go away to school because it is the aspect of branching out and moving away that helps you grow up. The experience as a whole really proves who you are and what you’re made of and thats why I feel that it is important to have. I thoroughly enjoyed class this year and would like to thank you for your help.

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