Monday, October 31, 2011

Measuring My Shakespeare Literacy (Among Other Things)

This post is going to be a little long, because I am going to look back at my blog over time and see what's changed for the better and what can still be improved.  So here goes...
Learning Outcomes:
Shakespeare Literacy
I feel as though my Shakespeare literacy has improved dramatically since the beginning of this class.  We have studied five different plays (Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost, The Tempest, The Winter's Taleand I read Henry IV, part 1) and I have explored each one of them at some point during the class.  I have especially learned more about my assigned play, Henry IV, part 1, since I read it extensively without other members of the class to gain information from.  I have seen three performances of Shakespeare's works so far as part of this class, two on stage (The Winter's Tale and The Tempest) and one film (Henry IV, part 1) and have analyzed these performances in my blog.  I have related the plays we have studied to everything from historical events to popular television sitcoms
Analyzing Shakespeare Critically
I could definitely do better with this part of the learning outcome.  I have done a good job of analyzing Shakespeare in his historical, contemporary, and cultural context-I'm a history major.  It's what I do.  However, though I have posted in the past before about themes in Shakespeare and such, it hasn't really been a big focus of my learning up to this point.  I should probably look into that a bit more. 
Engaging Shakespeare Creatively
Again, another area that could use improvement.  I can't honestly think of any ways in which I have engaged in literary imitation of Shakespeare.  I'm a boring analytical person.  What can I say?  However, I am going to be part of Averill Corkin's final project (Thanks Averill!), in which we will perform a one-act production of a play (I think it's Love's Labour's Lost), so I will have the chance to personally perform Shakespeare before this class is over. 
Sharing Shakespeare Meaningfully
Finally, an area in which I can say that I've done better.  I have not only been able to post regularly about Shakespeare, but I have been able to reach outside the class in order to share ideas about Shakespeare and apply his work to the lives of others (I did it during my home teaching!  I'm still kind of excited about the fact that I actually made it fit).  I do my best to engage with others in the class in conversations about themes, ideas, and facts that we bring up on our individual blogs. 
Self-Directed Learning:
I would say that the biggest thing that I have done to show that I have taken charge of my own learning about Shakespeare is to put the effort that I have into learning facts and exploring Shakespeare on this blog.  I look up ideas and facts (mostly historical) on a regular basis to provide background on Shakespeare, and my searches have taken me to a variety of Internet sites on Shakespeare and his plays.  I do well at planning and documenting my learning, especially now as compared to the beginning of the class.  I have to confess, I was not that excited about blogging when the class started, an attitude that reflects itself in my earliest posts.  But since then, I have put more effort into learning about the history and background of Shakespeare, and that effort has showed in the quality of my blog posts. 
Collaborative and Social Learning:
I feel as though the assigned groups work well for learning about Shakespeare.  I enjoy gaining new perspectives on the different plays that we read.  I don't really see any problem on how we are doing them as of right now, although I have wondered if they can be switched up sometimes.  It's not that I have a problem with any members or anything; it's just that there doesn't seem to be a lot of interaction between groups and I don't get to see a lot of other blogs (Maybe it's just me).  Out of the members in the class, Angela Grimes and Mason Bennett have been very helpful in commenting on my blog and providing me with questions to think about.  I could do a little more to apply Shakespeare in social settings (Maybe I should just try to talk to English majors all the time...might make that easier) although I did mention that I shared Shakespeare with the people that I home teach.  I also posted a review of Henry IV, part 1 on Goodreads. 
Looking Ahead:
My main plan to meet the outcome of engaging Shakespeare creatively is to involve myself with Averill Corkin's play as my final project.  I hope that this will allow me to examine Shakespeare in a new way by experiencing it firsthand. 

1 comment:

  1. When I was writing my evaluation I thought that these would be lame for others to read but they are actually very interesting. It's fun to see a summary of the blogs and click on all of the links to see past posts.

    I do agree with what you say about the groups. It makes it harder for us to connect to the class as a whole. We have formed our own Shakespeare cliques. It would be good to find a way to talk to other members of the class.