Here is Cindy's experience with the #UnexpedED:
I Get It!
One of these instances was when I spoke to the professor regarding my concerns. We were learning how to make syntactic trees, an exercise which requires one to break up a sentence into smaller meaningful units and to determine whether the words would attach to a noun phrase or verb phrase. It also involves analyzing the tense and being able to account for the auxiliaries. I expressed my concerns to my professor stating how I kept connecting the trees “branches” to the wrong item and not understanding how something so straightforward was plaguing me with trouble. She explained, “It’s all about patterns.” She went on to compare this to mathematics and clarify one important similarity. I thought, ”How is an English course with Linguistics involved have anything to do with mathematics?” She explained how in mathematics many of its aspects involve pattern recognition. She urged me to sit down and noticed how in each tree the items before the verb belonged to the noun phrase and the ones after belonged under the umbrella of the verb phrase. As I continued to work through the trees, I could see the order and evident patterns in each. It became much easier as I referred to trees I had done before and followed the structure in a flexible manner. The more I practiced these trees the better I became at explaining these patterns and understanding the process behind it all.
My next experience involved a classmate. I was once again in a stump, but this time in expressing a question as well as passive and active voice in a syntactic tree. This classmate had explained a previous concept to me complete with colored markers indicating each process. I approached her, and she whipped out her notebook filled with color-coded examples. She explained how using different pens helped her understand and recognize each step of the activity. I was a little surprised by how such a simple task could make things so much clearer and more organized. She continued to explain to me how one must move the ending noun phrase of a sentence to the front to create passive voice.
These are just a couple of examples of when I have been pleasantly surprised by what I have learned. I deem these two experiences successful because each taught me not only about the concepts but how to relate it to other fields and how to take simple steps to enhance my learning.
Here is Noel's experience with the #UnexpedED:
During the first semester I had Florian, he divided the classroom into groups. The groups consisted of 3 people and the beautiful thing about being in these groups was that we were not being graded in any way for our interactions, and we did not have any projects due as a group. The groups were organized so that we could meet people and get into our comfort zones. Being in groups with students made the environment better because we felt a sense of belonging. In our groups, we shared our essay’s and gave each other feedback. My group members in that class were named Ozly and Tori, and being in a group with them was a helpful college experience.
Another thing that Professor Florian did well was meeting with us on a personal level. On one occasion we had to meet with him for about half an hour and talk about an essay we were working on. During this meeting, my professor read a paper that I had written about my Prom experience, and he complimented my boldness on writing about personal matters. He complimented my writing style; I could not have been any happier as a student at that point in time. As a freshmen, I was so proud to be praised by a College Professor, and his words encouraged me to continue my educational process at CSUN.
I found it amazing that the professor met with us outside of class to help us out. Not being able to connect with professors has been an issue for me throughout my higher education experiences. I believe that students will perform better academically if they believe that the professor cares about them. The learning experience depends a lot on the professor. Professor Florian helping me become a better writer was one of the best moments in my higher education.