Introductory Reflection

On this website you will find my work in English 250 over the summer of 2018, with the theme of Monsters. These assignments were based on the WOVE method that our school, Iowa State University, utilizes and promotes. The WOVE method includes looking and focusing on the Writing, Oral, Visual, and Electronic components of presentations, essays, and other means of communication. On the menu above, you will find links to each sample. Through this course I was able to develop as a student, writer, and presenter. This can be seen through the evolution of my writings and presentations which are available to view. Please feel free to browse at your leisure. Below, you’ll find a site map, that details what you’ll find in each tab of the site.

-Jasmine Mareta Spikes

Introductory Reflection (That’s where you are now!)

About Me (Nice to meet you.)

Written (A sample of my Writing in class, it’s revision, and reflection on it’s revision.)

Oral (A sample of my Oral presentation and it’s reflection)

Visual (A sample of my Visual presentation and it’s reflection)

Electronic (A reflection on creating this site)

Final Closing Reflection (Can you guess it? Neither can I!)

Other Reflections (A reflection on Assignment II Feedback.)


Dear Emily,

Thank you for your help this summer in guiding us toward better being students as well as enhancing our writing. During this class I was able to better generate ideas, expand my methods in accommodating different audiences, and through this class I am now better able to understand my goals for the future in communication with my peers. These alongside with facilitating the development of our class’s overall performance in communication, has left my peers and I better prepared for the academic and professional world. Although this did not come easily. Learning the WOVE method provided some difficulty, more specifically O, or the Oral component.

As for coming up with ideas for my assignments, I utilized my science background to make sure a couple components were found, when applicable, to my works. One component being if an assignment called for summarization or rhetorical analysis, I made sure I was impartial in my composition. Then I made sure that providing evidence was my dominant factor in my works. I always attempted to make sure the reader knew where I was getting my facts from, and the amount of weight a source should be given based on their credentials. This not only gave legitimacy to my work, but to myself as a source of information as well. If there was insufficient evidence, or if a source was biased I included this to make sure the reader was aware.

When thinking about my audience members, I reflected on that these were college level students, most of whom have had experience in college level writings and presentations. I also had to note though, that while we may all be college students, our focuses varied drastically, and so specific jargon would be lost on some, rendering my work incomprehensible. So, for words or terms that were uncommon I made sure to include a short definition to ensure that my work remained understandable by a majority of the class.

My goal for the future, in regard to the improvement of my communication, is centered around my development as a professional. I plan on taking more courses through Iowa State University that are specific to my career goals, and methods of communication within the field of anthropology. I plan on also attending more AIA conferences (The American Institute of Archeology), where I can not only learn more about the advancements made in the field, but also see professionals with developed careers presenting. I can only stand to learn more as I continue learning in this discipline.

Lastly, I did encounter some difficulties during this class. Oral communication has always been a lacking skill of mine, I’m a people watcher, not a talker! Although rants on the behavioral patterns of monkeys and anything relating to bones are a near constant whenever the subjects are brought up, these seldomly (to my dismay) find their way in normal day-to-day conversation. If it wasn’t for my poor eyesight, you could guarantee I would be sitting in the very back, hidden in a corner where I could simultaneously doodle and observe the class dynamics.

For instance, the separation of houses was more genius than you know. Each group demonstrated everyday that they were meant for each other. Hufflepuff, offered the most pleasant comments during class, and would also offer at least one compliment to anyone per class period. Gryffindor, being the smallest, asked the hardest questions, and often served to remind of upcoming assignments, or even bring up assignments due dates (to the dismay primarily of Slytherin and others who did not complete it on time.). Though they had the smallest house they single-handily kept the class on schedule and focused. Slytherin, was by far, the most interesting group. They were also the loudest. And the largest. They seemed to be more focused on the benefit of oneself, as well as the opinions of others, than their assignments at times. They were also the most likely to interact with other houses, as well as openly express their opinions.

My house, Ravenclaw, was the most socially independent house. As I’ve said before, we each, on our own, claimed a whole desk and spread to cover a third of the classroom. So, it would come to no surprise that, coming from this house of independent workers, that group activities and speaking was my weakest point. Always self-critical, it was difficult for me to feel like I was benefiting anyone I was peer editing. I am, by far, not the best writer in class, that spot is held by a member of my house I was often paired with. When looking at her work, there never seemed to be anything that needed changing. Thus, my review of it felt useless, and a waste of her time. Realizing this, I tried to look at the flow, and find anything in her work that could be improved, which she made very difficult (which isn’t a bad thing!). In the end, I think this will be something that I will just have to keep working on, better oral communication, and removing myself from simply observer to participant.

While I can’t vouch for all of my classmates, I know for myself and my house, we have all improved drastically. Looking back at my assignment II, near the beginning of the semester, versus my latest assignment, assignment V, the differences are clearly evident. The contrast was so clear, I decided to make it the focus of my revision assignment, as I think the amount of changes necessary would be far greater than any other piece. I’ll await your take on such (translation: me clicking refresh repeatedly on the “Grades” tab).

My skills as a communicator, will only continue to develop, with you to thank. So thank you Emily Grzywacz. Thank you for being an amazing teacher, and for helping us grow as individuals.


Your Student,

Jasmine Mareta Spikes


P.S.  As a nocturnal soul, as soon as this class ends I will revert back to my normal sleep pattern of bedtime at 4 A.M. and waking up at noon. So if you hear reports of a fuzzy headed monster roaming the streets of Ames at midnight, just be kind and throw tea at it. I hear that appeases the beast.