Response to a presentation

I attended the workshop on November 9 where three people presented. Alex P. went first and started the presentation by discussing storytelling and performing. He enjoyed storytelling and always believed that storytelling played with emotions based on word choice. He stated that he never wanted to be a teacher because he thinks that teachers are undervalued, but he loves being a tutor. He believes that teachers sometimes do not explain how to write and expect the students to know. Being a tutor gives an opportunity to help the student learn how to write. Alex also spoke about the importance of suffixes, prefixes and roots. He uses this technique to understand the meaning of the complicated words people come across by simply breaking them down and recognizing what we know about the word by relating it to past experiences. I feel that this technique works the best when trying to understand a new word. Many times my students ask me the meaning of certain words that are new to them and instead of telling them the meaning of it, I ask what they think about the word based on the words they are already familiar with. This makes the student realize that we do not always need to memorize the meaning of the every complicated word but rather recognize the suffix, prefix and roots in order to know what a new word means. Although this is a fine technique, I feel that the students really need to know their root words in order to understand the meaning of a new word because if the students do not know the root words well, they will end up coming up with the wrong meaning.

The second presentation by Juan Gomez was about his experience with sonnets. He was fond of this particular type of poetry and read us some of the sonnets he wrote. Sonnets, from his experience, reflect the power of storytelling. Poems are interesting because they engage the people in a different way, which usually requires deep analysis. If we relate the idea of poetry with tutoring and engage our students into deep analysis, we will probably see helpful results. During my tutoring sessions, I always tried to engage my student into deep analysis of the readings because I feel that the first step to write a good paper is to know how to close read and really understand what the author is trying to convey.

The third presentation, by Kristin Beatty, was about a novel she read called The Poisonwood Bible.  She started her presentation with the importance of translation and communication based on the word choice. She gave examples of how words can mean different things when pronounced differently and how some words can have two meanings. She used an example of a town where the pronunciation of the word turned the meaning of the word around. From this presentation I learned that it is really important that we know what exactly the author is trying to voice and if it really means what we think it means.

This workshop was really helpful to me because I learned the importance of word choice in storytelling and communicating and it made me realize that it is important for me to emphasize on the importance of word choice during my tutoring sessions. This will help my students know the importance of word choice not only for writing, but also for everyday life.


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