The Reviews Are In…

Peer Reviews are now coming to a close.  There were many good posts on the discussion board that gave me several ideas to adjust my own work even though it was not aimed at my paper.  Everyone seemed to try to give their best advise to assist the author in the final phase of writing before posting the finished product. 

I do need to give a big thanks to Jim Flickering for reviewing my paper given the state it was in!  For whatever reason (tech support is working on it) the last part of my paper was missing.  I even tried to repost and it still cut off the last few paragraphs!  But he was able to give me helpful insight to some necessary corrections!  And I do so appreciate his help.  Blake Carlson also tried to review my essay for me.  Poor guy was having internet troubles and lost his post.  Guess we had the computer gremlins hard at work making a mess of things!  Thanks you both for your efforts!

I was able to review four essays.  I would have loved to do more but time is limited when you work 40+ and taking three courses.  I enjoyed reading many of the essays and thought we all did a good job.  Most of the things I noticed (perhaps still a work in progress) was the formatting of the paper. 

All in all it looks like we should see many excellent pieces posted to the blog sites for review by all! Congratulations everyone on round one of our first essay! 

Happy Writings!

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The Peer Review Process… Wait for it, wait for it!

The wonderful peer review process has begun and I am hopeful that it will not be like the last semester.  I was luckly to get a review and of the few I got, it wasn’t insightful.  As a matter of fact, the person didn’t have a clue. 

The peer review is a valuable tool for the writer, both in giving the review and receiving.  We get to exercise thoughts and hear the thoughts of our potential readers.  I can write all day but if it doesn’t make sense who would read it?  I need to learn from others and others from me.  Exchange of ideas open doors for more ideas and better ones.  I myself will patrole the discussion board and try my best to assist those who are lacking the essential peer review.  Those of you who read my blog and understand the the lack of review and how it affects the writer, I challenge you to check the discussion board and offer review to those who have very little.  This is an important step in our writing process and would hate to think someone missing out.

To those who will review my essay, thank you!  And to those I review, I hope my comments help you acheive an excellent grade!

Write then write some more…

Writing should be like talking.  I like to talk. I can argue a point, tell a story and even be comical when the mood strikes me.  Then why is it so difficult to write!?!  Perhaps we put too much stress on structure and spelling at first that we lose our train of thought and the next thing you know, you are staring at one line and nothing more.  Doesn’t matter that you have been staring at the computer screen waiting for the words to flow from your fingertips.  Your efforts are fruitless.  The next thing you know you are banging your head against the desk, panicking that you won’t make the deadline for your assignment.

I happened to post on my Facebook page that I was already stressed over the idea of writing an essay with limited sources.  Thank goodness my daughter’s best friend happens to be a teacher with a Masters in Special Education.  She gave me some sound advice that helped me get past the writer’s block that I was stricken with.  I thought it would be useful to my fellow students who happen across my blog and who are also struggling with the blank screen before them:

“Write your thesis statement toward the end so it encompasses all you said in a concise way.  Write first with freedom.  Connect the dots with transition later.  Beef up the introduction after the paper is done.”

My paper started to flow, still needs work, but it finally started to form on the blank screen.  Now that the draft is near done.  I can spend time doing the polishing and beefing up.  Thank you Melissa Powell Hausman for your sound advice!  Now if I can only stop panicking over the Works Cited page!

From Gold Rush Pot Rustler to Philanthropist

Reviewing the long list of people to write our first essay about was not an easy task.  It was knee deep in names I am familar with and interesting to say the least.  But I found one that was just a bit off the standard of famous westerners.  Margaret Tobin Brown.  Yes, the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”. 

Now how could she be part of our Western history?  I just have to find out!  I have done my initial search on the world wide web and found some interesting links.  There is an official site which gives information on the Museum http://www.mollybrown.org/learn/about-molly-brown/.  This has a lot of information but not as indepth as I would have thought. 

 Of course there is the site for the Titantic http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/molly-brown.html which offers many pictures on board the fatefully ship.  It also includes several links to articles in various newspapers regarding Molly Brown.  It even contains the notice of her death.  But Margaret Brown’s life had more to it than just the Titanic sinking. It is my quest to know more about her during the Gold Rush to her Philanthropist life before and after the Titantic.

There are several good sites that offer information regarding her life:

http://ghostdepot.com/rg/history/molly%20brown.htm

http://www.visitmollybrown.com/index.html

http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/brow-mol.htm

I am still searching for more detailed information regarding the many things that she did in her life and from the brief articles I have reviewed, she had a life full of purpose.  On that I hope to convey in my first essay of this semester.

Using the World Wide Web as a primary resource has been a bit confining.  Being from the old school days of learning when you went to the library and searched the catalog for reference materials are long gone.  So this will be another lesson in learning!

Happy Trails!

The Short Version of Me

My name is Renee Roberts and I am an older adult returning to school.  I am a mother of three and a grandmother of three.  However, I certainly do not act middle-aged.  I am an Administrative Assistant in a large consulting firm and work fulltime.  When I am not at work or studying, several hobbies and activities fill my time.  I am an active runner, practice and teach yoga to other middle-aged women, and enjoy reading and sewing.  Yes, I am a very busy person and relish every minute of it!

Once I complete my Associates of Art Degree, I will transfer to a 4 year University to obtain my Bachelors degree in Business, unless I change my mind again! I have a supportive family and friends who, without their encouragement, I would not have taken on the goal of finally finishing my degree.  Several of my friends have also returned to college and we find support in each other.  We even have study date nights, gather frequently to review ideas, and assigned writings, our own peer review.

This will be my second semester of online classes and feel comfortable in this venue of learning.  It does require more time and attention than your traditional lecture class, but I find learning this way allows me to exercise critical thinking and keeps me focused.  I have to work hard and I reap the benefits of being disciplined.  Needless to say, I score 13 out of 13 on the Online Readiness test. 

There are times when I can feel overwhelmed with taking 3 courses and working fulltime.  In my prior Writing class, the instructor was always willing to help and give direction when I became confused.  I am confident that I will have the same support from Professor Stacy. 

I wish all my fellow students good luck and happy learning!