I’m in my second-to-last semester at Winona State. With so little time left in college, I have spent a fair amount of this semester reflecting on my experience climbing the ranks, if you will, of higher education assignments. And there have been some doozies in my days, for sure… looking at my astronomy labs, in particular.
Although this list is non-exhaustive in terms of projects and term papers, I do elaborate on why each assignment is listed accordingly. In this list, 1 will be the best and 5 will be the worst… in my opinion.
1. Papers: As a self-proclaimed wordsmith (and a walking dictionary as proclaimed by others), this might be a me thing. I love the chance to fully expand on my thought process in paragraph form. This should come as a surprise to no one. Gimme all that APA, MLA, hours spent scouring databases for that *chef’s kiss* cited scholarly journal. I like papers in (almost) all forms—that is, except for scientific writing. This revelation itself feels like a “Eureka!” moment.
2. Oral presentation: Similar to a paper, oral presentations give me a chance to verbalize everything I would have written in a more engaging format. Although I like to think my writing is animated and comes with a personal voice, a close second for favorite assignment involves, well, using my actual voice. I do get nervous occasionally, but it builds character to do things that scare you.
3. “Take-home” quizzes: In COVID times, this could really be any type of quiz or exam, seeing as we’re learning remotely. I like the flexibility this assignment type offers, but it can be daunting in terms of synthesizing all notes for an “open book” quiz. This also requires a level of trust between students and professors.
4. Textbook scavenger hunts: This one ranks so low because of its juvenile feel. Sure, it was fun to find funny pictures in biology books during middle school, but I’m paying big bucks to get a higher-ed degree. I don’t need to do busywork with itemized lists like “Can you find the book title on the spine?” and “What’s the 50th term in the book’s glossary?”
5. Peer review: This isn’t always a direct assignment, but it’s for sure a chore. Perhaps it’s mainly me who experiences struggles with people who share my work ethic and want to give feedback as good as I dish it out, but it’s frustrating, to say the least.
This piece, like any tedious scavenger hunt, was short and sweet. It has to be, with the amount of assignments staring me in the face.