On the last day of class, I handed out index cards for our last collaborative piece of writing. I told my first year students to write something they learned this semester, in any class or in the residence hall. Then we shuffled the cards together and read them aloud. Here is what one class came up with:
I learned that inner molecular forces determine the physical properties of a compound.
I learned that plants have hormones.
I learned that Snowstorm City does indeed have worse weather than any other place I have ever been.
I learned that ingesting nutmeg can make a person trip.
Parenchyma cells are highly vacuolate.
Shopping carts are fun.
Looking at bad situations with humor is the only way to not go crazy.
Nyquil is a wonderful drug.
I learned that I like to write.
I learned that I could be very different from people I lived with and still get along with them.
Orange juice goes bad in the fridge.
Sleep is both a precious and scarce resource.
I learned to put up with people, like my roommate.
I learned that I really care about chemistry.
I learned that you can get written up for hitting on an RA while inebriated.
I learned that people aren’t always as mature as they seem. I also learned that in a time of need, unexpected people come through for me.
I learned that I still don’t enjoy writing but I think I am better at it.
I learned that Christianity was a cult in the Roman Empire before Constantine made it the official religion.
I learned that it is sometimes too much effort to sleep or bathe.
I learned how to write geometric isomers.
One thing I learned this semester is that I have to work harder next semester.
I learned a lot. Mainly how very different and unique people can be.
Freewriting is a good way to get ideas onto paper so that I can then organize them.
I learned not to let garbage sit in my room for three weeks.
I learned to write faster.
When one person in a community gets sick, everyone gets sick.
The endosperm is a 3n triploid.
Trees are amazing.
Timing is everything.
I learned that I really enjoy all aspects of science.
I learned that I can write poetry.
Water secretion by the hydathodes is called guttation.
I learned that it was possible for me to read my own writing aloud to a large group of people without passing out.
The sheer amount of writing we did this semester changed my way of thinking about writing. It takes me less time to write papers now because I know that I just have to do it.
I learned to believe in myself.
I learned to appreciate sleep.