The "Alice Project"

A 10th Grade Honors English Tour of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

“Quality of Writing & Thinking” – End of Project Reflections December 7, 2009

Filed under: After the Deadline,Observations,Student Entries — Christian Long @ 5:28 pm

Via SurveyMonkey, all students were asked — on this Monday after the student-submission side of the project has come to an end — to comment on a range of questions.

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Question 4:

Do you feel CONFIDENT about the QUALITY OF WRITING & THINKING that is required of you as you discuss “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “The Annotated Alice” notes now that the PROJECT HAS ENDED?

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Here were their (unedited) responses:

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1. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I do feel confident about my writting quality. I believe that my first 10 are my best but I also have strong faith in my other 9 blogs. I speant atleast 1 hour on each blog so I know there loaded with my thoughs. My first 10 blogs that were posted were posted over time. The next 9 were done the night before the due date. Like I said before I still have great faith in my last 9. Even though I did the last 9 on the day before the project was due I still spent the same average time on each blog.

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2. Yes. Whatever is the best you have is the only thing that gets published. Nothing lower than highest quality deserves the space it takes up on our blog and your blog. If any sloppy writing is published it is punished through your own consciousness. You feel like you let yourself down, and your team. You think people will come to see this post as representative of all of yours. Since anyone can see what you write, you have to be better than your best. And when you aren’t the best, you feel the need to become better, add more rhetoric or subtract some, recreate the idea flow and change these words over here. The openness encourages you to rewrite, or if you decided that you wouldn’t like me, to rethink and see the weakness of your arguments.

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3. It was made very clear to us from the beginnig that in order to succede in this project we would have to produce high quality work. We were alotted alot of time for this project so, high expectations were understandable. It was also made very clear that what we wrote could not be empty and thoughless, it would require alot of brain work. We were very clearly givin all expectations regarding quality so, there should be no confusion.

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4. I do now. I now undertand that there was not a certain way you had to write your blog entries. They did not have to sound extremely intellectual in the sense of using huge words that you don’t really know, and you didn’t have to only write about philosophies that you have about the book or greater meanings. You could write about anything. You could write obervations, analysis, or just fun facts. This also made the blogs more interesting. There were soundtracks, analysis stuff, and blogs that were just written pointing out places where the author had seen Alice. There were even blogs referencing modern technology. As long as it was a coherent thought, you could write about anything you wanted pertaining to Alice. It took me a long time before I realized this. At first, I thought it had to be all analysis and finding deeper meanings. What made it harder for that was the annotations, which someone wrote a blog about. Even if you had this great idea about another meaning for a certain character or action, you would read the annotations and find out you were wrong in your theory. On the other hand, the annotations provided different ways of thinking. They would explain something in a way that would make you think about something else in that same way. I finally realized not to think really hard about trying to come up with something.

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5. I had some doubts about the quality of thought in my posts at the beginning of the project, but as more outside people left Mr. Long comments about how great they thought our project was, my confidence grew. The attention that adults gave to us “10th graders” told me that we definitely had the quality of writing and thinking needed. I was especially proud when during a Cover-it-Live session, one of the “judges” asked what age group we were. I was even prouder when she said that our ideas were far above the sophomore level. I am very proud of the Alice Project and have no doubts about the quality of thought and writing now that the project has ended.

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6. Sort of. I understand the fact that we were expected to come up with our own ideas about what we read in “Alice” and present our ideas well, but the fact that there wasn’t really a set “bar” to reach quality-wise sometimes made it difficult. I constantly found myself wondering if my pending post had enough analysis, enough research, if it was too tangential, too informal, etc. We were obviously expected to write at a high standard, but that standard varies greatly, probably student-to-student, student-to-teacher, student-to-public, and possibly even teacher-to-public. In that sense, it was rather difficult to know what to do in order to interest and impress everyone who would be reading our entries.

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7. Yes, because my mind can actually manage to obtain the information and understand it. While in the begginging it would take me atleast two times to read a chapter and fully understand Carroll’s meaning. As the project pregressed my mind developed to the project and ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to where I could understand and elaberate.

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8. I did feel confident with the quality of writing and thinking that was asked of us in Alice. We were allowed to follow any rabbit we chose but publish a good piece of writing with that. All of us, as honours students have the ability to put together a very good piece of work. Nothing was asked of us that we could not accomplish writing and thinking-wise. Now that the project has ended, I believe as a whole, we have really shown others that we are capable of putting together an amazing piece of work.

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9. I believe my quality of writing and thinking blew my expectations. I also think that the quality of my classmates deffinitly blew my expectations. At the beginning of the process I would have never dreamed of reading and thinking of any of the blog posts that were posted by my classmmates and I. This was truly a “comming of age” experience for my classmmates and I as we journeyed through Wonderland.

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10. I am confident about the quality of writing and thinking for the most part now that it is over. before I didn’t understand much of it, but towards the end of the project, everything clicked. After being confused for most of the project and reading many posts, everything seemed to make sense. I began to make connections with alice that I couldn’t before.

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11. Once again I do feel confident about everything that is required. It’s just a few times I probably didn’t have my best writing on a blog entry. Honestly, it’s hard to go and write the best you ever had for a blog entry 12 times. For people out there that can, great for them. For me though it’s just hard. I may have just gone and thrown in a random sentence here or there just to make it look better. But, honestly again, that’s the way I write. I think while I write, whatever thought comes to my mind I type it down. It may not be the best way of going about things, but it makes the blog entries a little more interesting.

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12. At first I was quite doubtful about writing 12 posts on Alice. I figured there wouldn’t be much to write on at all and I would surely get stuck early on. It turns out 12 is the magic number. Anymore and I would have hit a dead end. One analyses per chapter was what I stuck to throughout the project and that worked out better than I expected. Although at times I did get stuck, overall I can say I am surprised I could have this much to say about Alice. After this project ended Alice has been popping up everywhere. The upside of that is I can now understand the allusions and refrences to Alice that I would not before. In fact I might read Through The Looking Glass, just out of curiosity.

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13. Sort of. To me this is a yes and no question. Most blogs I wrote I felt pretty confident about my writings and some I did not. I think that my writings were best, when I had a good topic and a good amount of time to sit down and write. When my topics are not that strong and I am rushed, I can tell, and I think that the quality of my writing was not as good as it could have been.
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14. Yes, I feel like my insight was more than adequate. That is one thing I feel very confident about. I feel that my blogs/comments may not necessarily be the most in quanitity, but I feel they exhibit excellent consideration and thought.

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15. Yes and no, I feel like my quality of writing has improved drastically because of this project. I aslo feel like I have more confidence in my writing, and I’m a lot more sure of what I write, compared to the beginning of the year. Though, I’m always afraid that an adult will comment on my blogs and contradict, or dis prove me with everything I say. Not saying that any adult would do that, but there are some that might and it scares me to think that.

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16. I feel like in all the madness of wonderland this was the one thing I never encountered any problems with. Writing makes sense to me and Alice never ceased to provide me with plenty of writing prompts. I enjoyed the chance to argue a point from both sides and still have hundreds of others left to choose from.

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17. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I think I gained ability to understand a story and to question things in the story. I probably could have come up with more blogs. But I became stuck. I feel like my writing improved. I am impressed by my classmates. Everyone wrote amazing blogs. It takes alot of thinking to write one of these blogs.

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18. I’m fairly confident. I see many students whose ideas were scraping the bottom of their minds for blog post ideas, and I’m sure I too was desperate like them. In this way, we are all very successful. I wish I could start over though. I wish I could write more and explore more into Wonderland. I wish I had more time in class to ask questions. I wish I had time to breathe. I wish I had time to STOP thinking so my dad wouldn’t ground me because I wasn’t coming out of my room from the time I got home. But my ideas are what they are, and are everything they are not, which pleases me.

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19. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. I feel that all of my entries are able to meet the minimum for quality if they don’t surpass that markk completely. I believe I analyzed Alice in an in-depth manner. I also feel that my comments were able to provide insightful feedback and allow the student and others to sometimes see a different point of view.

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20. I really liked some of my work, and would have rather fleshed out further on some ideas then have to skim by on 12 separate entries. I’m more of a quality over quantity person, and very much anti-quantity.

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21. I understand that this is an Honors class, and it is necessary to show a higher degree of writing and analysis. (Although My Writings Have Misspellings) I certainly did my best work on some of the blogs. Others could have been better. I had friends give me some ideas, and there were some things that came to me while sitting at home, relaxing. The project demanded more from us students than anything we encountered before, and I think I did “Ok” for a beginner blogger.

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22. Now that I look back, the amount of quality could have been better and that I should have worked harder on iterpreting.

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23. In the beginning I was unsure what to analyze. But I think once I got going with the project it became a lot easier. Also, reading other students blogs helped me think more. I also think my writing improved during this project. And when we go back to the weekly blogs, they will be much easier.

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24. I do feel confident about everything now that the project has ended, however I wish I had more preparation for the project, for example time schedules for myself and my time.

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25. It is interesting to look at the quality of writing and thinking nearly all my classmates have produced with their posts and comments. Some students that are habitually more quiet had a lot to say on the blogs. Additionally, socially adept students seemed to create long chains of comments that mimic social conversation, with a healthy dose of insightful intellect added to the mix. And while some posts were difficult for me to read due to their style, all exuded careful thought.

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26. I’m pretty sure that the word ‘analyze’ is engraved in my brain by now. Now that I’ve analyzed Alice I feel like I can analyze anything in this silly little world! It’s made me think about new things and realize the obvious things that my wandering mind had never took notice of before. Thinking and collaborating with the team would also be good to incorporate in the project in the future maybe, like mandatory group discussions of the text so that struggling members can also feel confident in their work.

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27. My quality of writing, I felt, lived up to the expectations, at least for the most part. I was expected to write blog posts that were thought-provoking and hopefully debate provoking. Due to the comments I have recieved, I feel that I did fulful the expectations. Mr. Long did a very nice job of explaining what was expected of me as well, so I knew I could get working right off the bat and produce quality work. I fully give Mr. Long the credit for my understanding of the expectations.

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28. B: I feel pretty confident about the writing of my blogs and comments. I think my thinking about Alice has been up to par as well. I could have done more, but I put it off, but I still think everything was good.

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29. I think I’ve got a handle on what needs to go on intellectually. When I put pen to paper (or digit to keyboard), there’s a moment when my day’s success hangs in the balance. Either I’ll feel truly inspired, and crank out 5 blogs and 7 comments, or I’ll look dumbly at the screen and feel that malady of inkslingers, writer’s block. I’m just not really sure what a certain day is going to be until I step up to the laptop. My intellect seems to vary greatly, depending on what a certain day might be.

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30. The main thing that I was truly confident about was the quality of my thinking. Often my ideas get bogged down by my writing, however, in these blog posts I was able to fully express my ideas and often spark interesting conversations with other students. I loved the idea that flow through my mind and were brought into the world. This outlet for creativity was INCREDIBLE.

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31. When the project was first started, I wasn’t exactly sure about what to write about. I just thought that I was writing about the most random topics, and I thought my quality of writing was kind of sucky. But, as the prject began to improve, new ideas started coming into my mind. I just wrote about what I thought were good topics of conversation to bring up. This came through for me at the end of the project. People started leaving comments about what I had written, and I knew that I was heading in the right direction.
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32. Yes I feel like I have accomplished this. I did have sometimes where I got “writer’s block” and had nothing to write about. I also had some times when I didn’t think that the quantity of my writing was enough. I think that the quality over quantity helped rule out some of the things I wrote about. My blogs were very good and helped explain how I felt about this whole project. It was good that I could comment on other blogs and help other people understand my point of view on their blog, or vise versa. If I were to go back and do it again at this point I would be very confident that my writing and thinking was very good.
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33. I now feel confident about the quality of writing. At the beginning of the project my writing wasn’t that amazing, but now I realize how my writing has changed because of this project. I knew what was required of me, but I didn’t see how to write it and make my words come out the way they are supposed to. I also now know how to analyze the stories better after this project is over.

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34. I am very proud of myself of the content that I was able to produce and grow upon. There were some concepts that I didn’t even know I was capable of, the amount of creativity there was. The bottom line is that I’m very proud of myself. My group, for the majority, did equally as well of writing, though there were a few times I questioned the writing caliber. Other than that, I am confident about the quality of writing and thinking required.

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35. I feel like this project has made me a much stronger writer. I am also proud of the ideas that I noticed in the book that I wrote about in my blogs.

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36. I am very confident with the quality of writing and thinking that was required. I think that my blog’s entry had very good quality. Also there was a lot of thinking that went into the blog entry.

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37. I feel that If i were to do this project again the quality of my writing would be a lot stronger. I understand the project and what is required a little better now. I have developed strategy for the story so I think that next time it won’t be as hard coming up with ideas and I will be able to focus more on quality. I should have done more research in order to have good quality.

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38. I feel that my work was excellent. I felt that my work had the potential of being stronger. However, I am comfortable with my accomplishments.

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39. I was genuinely surprised by the insights i had while reading Alice in Wonderland. While I had always assumed there was meaning in Alice I was surprised at how easily I was able to find it and drag it out for people to see. Over all I found my quality of writing great.

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40. Since day one, I’ve known that Mr. Long’s expectations were high in the quality of writing and thinking, because it’s just one of things where you know that expectations are already set high when walking through his door. So, in the beginning, we were to analyze Alice and the annotations, and to be able to go an entire class period just discussing themes, symbols, characters, plot, etc. And that’s like any other book we read in here as well. But now, since we’ve finally finished Alice, and also for some who watched “Alice” on Syfy to compare the two, I feel as though the expectations have risen. By now, from thus completing the project, we should all now be considered “experts” on the Lewis Carroll’s novel. And with that, all of us could hold an entire day only discussing “Alice’ Adventues in Wonderland.” So for when we have class days, our period would consist of us coming into classroom, grabing a chair, and talking anything about Alice, or anything that relates to Alice as well.

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41. The project required a lot of thinking but as it went on and your thoughts got tuned to Alice it became very simple.

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42. For the most part, although a few things confuse me. When Mr. Long first assigned the project I thought he was crazy for thinking I could do that much thinking along with all the other classes I have plus sports. As the project progressed I began to see, through the ideas of others, exactly what was expected. I struggled with the length of the blog posts. I had many great ideas, but putting them into words was difficult. My mind doesn’t like to write. It is a difficult concept for me- wirting my thoughts for the whole world to see with my name posted on it. That is basically the only thing I struggled with, though. I did enjoy this project. I like to think, to form ideas and opinions. I am a very opinionated person.

43. Like I said above, my first work was not my best. I talked about the chapters and put hardly any symbolitsic reasoning in to it. That was my problem because of the lack of concentration that the classroom created for me. I really wish I could throw some of my blogs away because a lot of them felt a little far-fetched. I still think that they reflect a good sense of what my work is like, but it is not my best. I actually do not like my writing style all that much. When I look around at all these other blogs that i must comment on, I feel saddened. I do not think I write that well compared ot my classmates. Based on my best work, I would think that my work is up to par, again with regards to my “skill.” I have no duobt that I will ever be laughed at for my work, but there are some blogs that I would really like to have changed for those are definately not my best work. That is why I give myself the “sort of ” ranking for this question-for my writing style.

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44. I think I did my best at writing. My blogs were never about plots, but rather ideas I formulated in my head while reading the story. I was able to link my ideas to real life. I was very excited that a professional was able to take my ideas and apply it to life. I was scared though. I posted a blog as a continuation to a comment thread by that porfessional. I failed to mention Alice until Mr. Long reminded me to. No matter the grade, I was happy to spakr a convesation with a professional, and now it’s two!!

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45. I know exactly the quality of writing and thinking needed for this project. I know the blog posts have to be more than 12 sentences and that our comments have to be more than 7 sentences. We could not just have a blog only about summary. All of our blogs had to be thoughtful and have meaning, even our comments.

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46. Although I understand what you are wanting of us, sometimes I do feel insecure about the quality of my writing. You do expect a lot from the sophomore class ,but I know we can do it. My class is very bright and we can all fulfill what you expect if we simply push ourselves to go further. As far as thinking, we have many bright thinkers as well who often are able to think of many deep ideas that each of us may not have realized if we were reading the book on our own at home. We are an honors class and what you expect of us is completely understandable,but I’m not saying we don’t still have to work. I’m not going to lie, sometimes this class feels harder than my AP Euro class. We work very hard in this class and always have an assignment ,but they are fun and easy to engulf ourselves into them. We are able to easily make each story we read apart of our world. We all discuss our class so much outside of class and school that we are able to almost bring it into our reality, just like the authors wanted.

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47. My response is: For the most part, although a few things confuse me. The quality of writing was definitely understood. The quality of thinking was what confused me. Everyone can develop very reasonable thought processes. Maybe it was the way they displayed them in which the the grade can be given. The quality of writing can be an interesting point of interest as well. Some people thought that quality entailed their number of sentences, but I believe that shorter blogs have a more profound effect on the reader. As long as people used the correct way to show their views, the length of the blog does not correlate to the quality of writing. I found that shorter blogs were more fun to read and allowed me to interpret the idea in my own way. I often was more confused when I read some of the longer posts. I do recognize the fact that the blogs had to be a minimum number of sentences, but I also see that sometimes, the posts could be more effective if they approached a topic and left a few loose ends for people to wonder about.

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48. Like I said in the comment above; it’s all very clear. I really don’t see how it could not be. If you wrote something less than satifactory you knew it and others did too. It is very clear that we were to put a lot of effort into everything and anything pertaining to the story or annotated notes. sometimes the annotated notes annoyed me because I couldn’t form my own opinions of things, but I understood thier significance. writing about the notes was rather fun though, because then I was able to form my own opinions.

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49. I have always understood the quality of writing and thinking required of me. While working on my blogs, I always tried to do my best in getting my point across and opening doors (or maybe digging holes) people could walk (or fall) into. I always left a door open for discussion and debate. The same goes for my comments. I tried my best to give the OP something to think about.

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50. I think that as the project goes on and you have written most of your blogs and comments, it is hard to keep on thinking at the level that you were in the beginning. But because there are so many things to write about in Alice, it is not that hard to keep having more ideas.

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51. Absolutely! I don’t think I’ve ever written as well for a class as I did with this project. Maybe it’s because it was so much more personal than the others, but I really put a lot of effort into making each blog seem professional and understandable, not childish.

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52. Again, I’d LIKE to think my posts were of a fairly high quality of writing in thinking; I’m certainly not the best critic of my own work, however. I felt that when I analyzed the text, I went pretty in-depth, and when I analyzed the film in comparison to the book, I made some relatively interesting discoveries.

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53. I guess I do…I’m rather surprised by the fact that one of my favourite blogs of my own was my very last one; which I wrote while in a rather floaty state of mind. But, well, it kind of works for Alice, doesn’t it?

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54. As the project progressed it became harder to find a topic that I could write a quality blog on.

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