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Seniors Reflect on UWS

By Charlotte Aaron

Section: Features

October 13, 2017

“As a senior reflecting on your time at Brandeis, how did UWS impact your college career?”

“More so than the content of what I studied in the course, I really learned a lot from the…formatting of the whole thing. I never again had to write a lens essay, but I always felt confident that I would be able to do it if I needed to, and I also knew a lot more about resources I could go to. So I understood what a writing center was and how to go there and how to use it. And I just really was able to develop what I already knew more fully, so even though I personally wasn’t interested in the subject matter that I was studying, I still learned a lot from the course itself.”
-Aynsley O’Neill ’18

“I thought UWS was the biggest waste. I feel like the way my teacher—I mean, I’ve heard different from other people—but the teacher I had was pretty bad. The things she told us to do and her expectations were not the same as the rest of the teachers here in all my other classes. The things she asked for didn’t make that much sense, and her grading system was so much harder than the rest of the teachers. I did everything I could and got a C+, and I usually get all A’s and B’s on my writing at least. So, I didn’t know what I could do to please her to be honest. I met with her a lot, and I just felt like no matter what she did, she…didn’t explain what she really wanted out of something. I just felt like I…kept writing the same way I always did and that worked in all my other classes. Other people I know had good experiences with it, so… it might have just been my teacher.”
-Nate Mehan ’18

“It didn’t impact [my college career] at all. The class was about looking at the stories from the Bible and determining if they were truth or fiction…[T]he actual premise of the class was…very interesting, but I thought the class was structured terribly. For our close reading essay, she explained what it was, we wrote the paper, we turned it in, she gave us the grade back and then went over how to do a close reading essay and…we weren’t really taught any of the techniques until after the fact, and so I thought the class was really pretty poorly run.”
-Ben Rosenfeld ’18

“I think it was a bit of an inconvenience for me because I have a very strong English background. I did IB in high school, International Baccalaureate, so I was pretty well versed in English and to do it as a requirement…it’s [also] not anything I’m into; I’m studying business and economics, so it was a waste of time for me. Maybe I read about a few matters that I wouldn’t have otherwise, but from a writing perspective, I don’t think so.”
-Divyant Sapra ’18

“I guess I don’t really know because I didn’t really take writing courses after UWS. I was so focused in the sciences because I’m pre-med, so I didn’t see the impact it did, I guess, until I took a writing course later on sophomore year and I was like ‘Oh wait, what’s the accurate way to say these words.’ Because I know with UWS, we use lenses and all that stuff, and I guess now, senior year, I’m taking a AAAS class and it’s different from UWS, but it’s kind of similar because we have to use our articles and use them through a lens, and so the only thing I can remember from UWS is the whole lens aspect of using something and creating another piece to make your own…UWS…didn’t really impact my college career because I only needed it twice in my other writing skills. I don’t think it helped with the science stuff. It did help me be exposed to the writing center, because with UWS I had to go to the writing center often so I [could] make sure that my grammar was correct, my words were the way that I wanted them to be, and…I used the Writing Center for my bio lab research stuff, and so that was great, and I used the writing center for my applications that I would write.”
-Herlyne Das ’18

“I took a linguistics based UWS. It was called Lost In Translation and it got me more interested in the humanities. I’m only studying science here at Brandeis, like two science majors, so I liked the variation even my freshman year. It was a nice break from gen chem. I think that [it was valuable] in terms of—maybe not so much improving my writing skills—but some of the concepts that it exposed me to, especially…looking at language. I thought that that was more valuable than the actual writing skills themselves.”
-Anisa Haque ’18

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