This week, I get to tell you all about one of my favorite classes I’ve taken in all my time at ERAU! It was difficult to pick just one of the incredibly interesting classes that I’ve taken, but I decided to blog about COMM219: Speech. This class is required for a lot of our majors on campus as a way to help you improve your public speaking skills. I had this class with Sally Blomstrom as a professor, who was an absolute joy to learn from. I highly recommend taking any course that she teaches. Over the course of the semester, we completely broke down the speech writing process and studied lots of different ways to effectively or ineffectively deliver a message. We wrote different types of speeches, from informative to persuasive. We also studied ways to add or detract from the message using varying types of media. Overall, the course made me much more comfortable speaking in front of my peers.
My favorite of the projects we took on in this course involved local elementary students. Their teachers submitted ideas relating to the science, technology, and engineering fields, and groups of students from our class got to choose a topic and put together a presentation about it. My group got “Electricity” as a topic. It was a really great exercise in tailoring your presentation to a very specific audience. Not only did I actually learn about electricity and alternative forms of energy, but it was so fun to be able to hang out with elementary school kids! They all had such interesting questions and we all felt like we were helping the future generation get interested in science.
After every major assignment, Professor Blomstrom would ask us to submit a self-review of how effective we thought we were and areas that we thought could have used improvement. Most of the time in classes, you move on past assignments without having much time to reflect on what helped or didn’t help you earn that grade. If you earn a bad grade, you simply tell yourself that you need to work harder next time. But having a purpose to sit down and really evaluate where you went wrong and where you went right in an assignment can keep you from “working harder” at making the same mistakes next time. I felt that I improved more throughout the semester because of these self-review assignments. My takeaway piece of advice for this week is not to count out your general education classes! They can be some of the most enjoyable and informative classes that you will take, if you have the right attitude.