I. Get your copy of Lab Girl and use this handy writing guide to focus on a theme from the book that is something you’d like to write about.
2. Following our lecture that included Bloom’s Taxonomy, your own two quarters as a transfer student and bring us your insight into the transfer experience.
Keep the Model of Bloom’s Taxonomy in the back of your mind as you plan out your paper. What are some examples in your transfer experience that your learning development was at each of the stages in Bloom’s Taxonomy?
Part one (1 to 2 pages.): Analyze one of Hope Jahren’s allegories: Select a passage where the author uses the description of plant life as a metaphor for her own life. Write a page or two focusing on what aspect of life the author was referencing in the excerpt and if the use of this metaphor was effective (note, I adapted this from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.)
Part two (5-7 pages): Choose a metaphor that aligns with your transfer experience (pick one from your major, apartment complex, favorite campus location). Apply that metaphor to your own life as a transfer student. You can choose any segment of your transfer experience (this quarter, your transition from your previous institution(college), your longer educational journey to university.)
Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used in a couple of ways. The first is that by applying a metaphor to your life as a transfer student, you are already showing evidence of application and creativity, which are top-of-the-pyramid qualities! Hold true with your metaphor and be creative with how you weave it through your story to engage your readers.
The second is that since you are writing about your own learning, you can explicitly tell us what stage of your learning you are writing about and how that connects with the larger metaphor – e.g., My first quarter at UCSB, I was nervous but motivated. I wanted so badly to make it into the Economics major. I remember sitting in my room, re-writing my notes onto flashcards—cultivating the soil that would be the basis of my learning. I began to memorize the flash cards. Each card I memorized was like a seed of knowledge that I hoped would take root in my brain. I just knew that the formulas I was learning today were just the start of the forest of knowledge I would grow by the time I graduated from UCSB. In this example, you are referring to the stage of learning known as memorization! But, you are also creatively applying the metaphor to your own experience.
For this assignment, you can get quite personal. But I want to assure you that you don’t have to. We are not going to give high grades to those who deeply emote. Finals week stirs up all of our emotions and I do not want to add stress beyond the basic challenge of exams and end-of-quarter obligations.
In order to make sure you read additional materials, I also ask that you apply at least two other of the readings (or other media) we assigned, to your paper. I suggest that you use these additional materials as a way to demonstrate your ability to analyze and evaluate in your paper. For example, how closely did Lanaan’s (2001) paper [from week 4] align with your own experience? Use one of the readings from the class to look for similarities and differences (compare/contrast) with your own experiences. Then evaluate yourself: Did reading the paper change your view of being a transfer student? Evaluate the paper: Did the paper successfully capture the transfer student experience of 2018? Make connections back to the larger narrative you are composing.
Cite things following APA format (most of you have used MLA, so be sure to read up on how to cite using APA format. If you have questions about APA format, email the TA or your discussion leader)
You can refer to this general guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
The discussion leaders will do the grading. Not co-leaders (they’ll be studying for exams and writing papers along with you.) I’ll ask the discussion leaders to use the rubric. Because you are sharing your personal journeys as transfer students, these papers will be challenging to evaluate. So be sure to hit all of the fine details: clear writing, few errors, and thoughtful use of the book.
I always try to “eat my own dog food” and outline how I would approach this challenge. I think I’d compare my current faculty role with Storke Tower. The tower and I are about the same age. I’d describe how my life as a longtime citizen of this campus (ivory tower) offers great views that I love to share with new students. I’d talk about how the tower and I are both getting a bit rusty and decrepit and what that means. Does this give you some ideas? You can plan on some time, next week, to discuss this final in your sections.
Here is the TA, Sami, giving it a go:
Ok, 2 pages of analysis of the book and then 5 pages of creating a metaphor and applying it to the transfer experience.
The first two pages seem straight-forward. For the next five pages, I started to think that I should be tying the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy into my narrative. If I said something like my experience as a transfer student was like a plant being transferred from a pot on a window sill to the garden in the front-yard, I might go on to say something like I took the parts of home with me that were the closest to me (like the soil that was still attached to my roots), but left some important things behind (like if the shovel cut little bits of my roots off), and was put in a big giant new place and left to fend for myself (moving to living in the front yard). I would expand on and add details to these ideas.
I would be tempted to look for examples in my learning where I could say, according to Bloom’s taxonomy, I showed evidence of a very basic form of learning because I was able to remember how to drive to school from my apartment. Then I figured out that Nothridge is North of Los Angeles and I lived South of school; therefore, the direction of school oriented me towards the North. The way that I oriented myself to the school was sort of like how a flower orients itself to the sun (CSUN in my case). I was able to apply that knowledge to help me find my way around Los Angeles (the way a flower uses the sun to create nutrients) and branch out, which enabled me to take in new ideas (like how more leaves capture more sun) and be more creative. I created data by doing lab experiments, created opportunities for new lab members by opening up the lab as a co-leader of the lab and let creativity spread the way that a flower lets bees spread its pollen.
[Please keep in mind that you are not restricted to the use of plant metaphors. Choose what works best for you and works the best for your own experience. That will result in your best work.]