02 December 2009
Reflection of Paul Gasparo's English 111
When I initially enrolled into Paul Gasparo's English 111 class, I was skeptical on the idea of liking my professor. I've never had a pleasing experience with my past English teachers, with the exception of one, why should this be any different. However, despite coming into the class with a somewhat negative attitude, Mr. Gasparo broke the cycle of stale and boring English teachers of the my past, and I thank him for that.
After successfully procrastinating my way into Gasparo's 7:15pm class, I had hopes of leaving before the full sentence of 2 hours and 40 minutes were served. After all, how can someone have that much material to cover every single class meeting. Well, Mr. Gasparo proved me wrong. Every class I ended up sitting in my chair for the full amount of time. It is not as bad as it sounds however. The time quickly passed by, as the fast paced teacher continued on through the night. Every class provided a constant flow of new concepts being introduced. While some of these concepts proved to be a bit on the stale side, the majority truly intrigued me. With the use of visuals including movies, documentaries, and audio clips, I found interest in topics which I had not a once of care for.
My favorite lesson of the sixteen weeks was the introduction into rhetoric. During the class we viewed the Micheal Moore documentary Sicko, and discussed the film afterwards. The video kept me thoroughly interested in the issue of how bad our health care system is, all while showing me how Moore used ethos, pathos, and logos to make a solid argument. This documentary defiantly helped me grasp the overview of the concept we were going to learn. This is just one example of the different approach Mr. Gasparo demonstrates in the classroom.
To teach the idea that revision and editing takes times, regardless of who you are, Mr. Gasparo showed us the documentary Wings For Wheels. In this film, despite being a somewhat extreme example of continual revision, The Boss, more commonly known as Bruce Springsteen, told the story of how the song Born to Run was the finished product of tedious revision and experimentation. This lesson showed me that there is always room for improvement with writing, regardless of who you are, and confirmed my hate for Bruce Springsteen.
My favorite assignment was the argument essay. I liked how we were given the opportunity to research and argue a topic of our choice. Researching a topic I had interest in made my paper flow from my head to the paper. I was able to give my view on something meaningful to me, distracted driving, and hopefully change some habits of others on the road. On the parts of the essay I was unsure about, such as in-text citations, Mr. Gasparo was able to assist me into the correct usage and placement.
I would recommend Mr. Gasparo to any of my peers looking for a down to earth English teacher. He is enthusiastic on the subject of English, he provides alternative ways of teaching the lessons, and is straight to the point with his expectations. After each assignment is completed, I felt I fully understood what I had been taught. I had a completely tolerable time in Paul Gasparo's English 111 class. While I still do dislike English, I'm glad I was in his class.