Shrew You!

Shrew You was a project full of new learning opportunities, and challenges.  Our study of both literature in the form of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ and a historical look into women’s rights, and connecting the two together made for a very fascinating project.  This brings me to the driving question of Shrew You: 

How can we use our study of “The Taming of the Shrew” to understand how much, yet how little, has changed for women? 

Over the course of the project we attempted to find an answer to this question, and then were asked to bring our findings together into an essay.  

Milestone 1

We started this project off strong with learning about the suffragettes, and how they contributed to women’s rights.  We looked at their main goal, which was gaining women the right to vote, and how this could connect to other fights going on, or have gone on, for women’s rights.  In my milestone 1 I used the suffragettes to show how much has changed for women, and I featured women in government to show things that haven’t changed.  Women are still very under-represented in the Canadian government at only around 28% of the members of the Canadian House of Commons being women, when women are represented in society at 50%.  That imbalance has been improved over the last decades but is still far from being satisfactory.  I also originally included some details about how many of the suffragette leaders were LGBT women.  Though I later took this out because it pulled my topic in too many different directions for the small word count.  This is a problem I am now actively working on that became very evident during this project, that I pull ideas into too many different directions.  Instead of including only the most supportive points, I include all relevant points, this showed itself in my final essay.  During this milestone I worked to connect texts and ideas to show a cohesive concept, being the continuity and change of women’s lives over time and using the suffragettes to support it.

Milestone 2

This milestone was where ‘Taming of the Shrew’ came into play.  We were asked to curate all of the notes that we’d taken thus far in the project, and present them in a way that fulfilled the criteria.  My strategy for this milestone was to take my ‘Taming of the Shrew’ notes by writing down an important or interesting plot point, and including a connection from somewhere else in our knowledge (Common-lit, essays, videos, discussion).  By the end of doing this I had well organized, thorough notes that brought together all of our knowledge from the class.  I also included any notes that I took on our discussions, or any other sources.  With these notes I felt confident going into the following milestones.  

Milestone 3

Here we had our first real team moment in the project.  We in groups were each assigned a decade throughout the 20th/21st centuries to study.  We had to include the rights of women and the continuity and change throughout that decade, but also create a poster to represent that information.  My group was asked to tackle the 80s.  In this group I took more of a leadership role, and took on the design of the poster.  Over the weekend that we had to do this project I found myself prioritizing the group’s coordination over my own work, because everyone was so busy that weekend and the communication between group members was quite lacking.  Because I prioritized this over my own work, it was the day of presentations I had little to say, which lead to me rushingly putting a speech and information together to present.  I learned a very valuable lesson here, about making sure to balance the value that I put on the group versus myself.  In the future I will keep this situation in mind, so that I can keep my priorities straight.  Regardless of these struggles, our group gave a thorough presentation, that covered all the bases.

Milestone 4, 5, and 6

These three milestones were very connected, as 4 was our essay’s outline, and 5 was our annotated draft.  In this time we had to come up with our thesis, begin formulating our essay.  After much thought I decided on the thesis:

Socially accepted treatment towards women has changed, but how they have felt about it has stayed consistent.

In my essay I brought together many ideas that we’d touched on in class, and also ‘Taming of the Shrew’.  Kate’s journey from a strong, outspoken woman to a broken, subservient wife leant itself well to the point that I was trying to make in my essay.  The point being that excusing actions done in the past due to them being socially acceptable in the time totally negates the people that were actually hurt, in this case women, just because they didn’t have the voice to share their grievances.

Throughout the writing and revising of this essay I learned a whole lot about essay writing, and how to formulate arguments into an essay concisely and clearly.  the biggest problem that I had was with keeping it on topic, and to the point, so I’ve taken from this that I need to work on this and improve it for the next essay I write. I learned about MLA citations, how and when to use them, and also when information or claims need to be cited.

Covid-19 and PLP

Set in the new way of (covid 19 quarter system) we were faced with completely unexpected circumstances for PLP.  This new quarter system accelerated the project by a lot, leading to us only having 5 weeks to finish it.  With these new expectations I learned a lot about how I manage my time, and how that needs to be improved.  Something that helped with this learning was the contract grading introduced during this project.  Knowing the penalties for wrongdoings in our work, most notably late work, gave me motivation to improve time management.  Although this did lead to some particularly late nights, I learned from them and know how, in the future, I can do better.  

This project was an amazing learning opportunity under unprecedented circumstances, and I found it a very enjoyable regardless.  I feel that I succeeded in reaching my target, and creating quality work throughout, and in the places that I faltered I feel confident that I will learn and move forward with new knowledge and skills.