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To: Kevin Brooks

From: Chelsea Akers

Date: 16 December, 2009

Subject: Class Participation

For a student to get the most out a course, he or she must attend class. It is
crucial that one attend as many classes as possible to learn the information
being taught. If a student does not attend class, how is he or she going to
learn the new material? It is also crucial for a student to participate in class.
Just because someone is physically sitting in a classroom, does not mean
they are mentally there. The best way for a student to learn is for them to
speak up in class and participate in the discussions that take place. Another
way for a student to get the best out of a lecture is to have a positive
attitude. A positive attitude not only helps them to keep an open mind, it
also helps the instructor to feel welcome and comfortable as well.

As stated at the beginning of the semester, a student can only miss two days
of class before five points are deducted from his or her class participation
grade. It also states that after eight unexcused absences he or she will
receive an “F” in the course because of missing 25% of the classes
throughout the semester. During the semester I had two unexcused
absences. I cannot remember the exact days; however I know that one day I
missed because I was working on my largest design project of the semester.
I wanted to do some finishing touches on the presentation layout; therefore I
was unable to attend class that morning. The other day I missed class was
because I wasn’t feeling the best, and wanted to rest. I had one other
absence, when Ashley Kaisershot and I were guest lecturers for the freshman
ENVD 172 class. We were asked to sit in on the freshman presentations and
help Kaarin Lindquist and her teaching assistants give helpful feedback and
criticism. I sent you an E-mail previously in the semester about us missing
that day, and I hope that it does not count as a missed absence for the two
of us.

Since we give presentations quite frequently in our studio classes, speaking

up in class is not an issue for me. I don’t believe I was the loudest or most
talkative person in the class, however, I do believe that I was not shy and
quiet. Generally I just sat and listened, but if a question or suggestion came
up, I was not afraid to ask. For the virtual peace garden assignment, when
we had to present, I volunteered in my group to be one of the presenters. I
have no problem speaking in front of a large group of people, so I
volunteered myself.

I do believe I have a great work ethic. Being in the architecture or the

landscape architect program really teaches one not to procrastinate. I will
admit that I may have put off the visual essay assignment for a week or two,
but that was because we were swarmed with studio work. However, when it
came to the virtual peace garden assignment, Christa, Ashley and I jumped
right on it. We created a personal task list and it was followed from day one.
We worked both individually and together to create a document we were all
very proud of. There were not any problems with anyone in the group not
having their share of the work completed on time.

I feel as though I had a good attitude throughout the semester. However, to

be honest, I was not thrilled to join Second Life, and I had a problem with it
at first. However, after a day or two the unit I loosened up and rolled with it.
I am sorry if I had a bad attitude about the situation at first, but I want you to
know that it was a fun project, and I enjoyed it a lot. I think that it is a fun
combination of a writing assignment and a design assignment and gets one
to really think about how the two correlate.