MajorPjct5 Reflection

Nicole Berry
English Com, Section 330, Dr. Weaver
MajorPjct5 Reflection
April 30, 2021

Friday marks the halfway point of a school year held during the coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic provoked a sense of fear and paranoia as well as the spread of the coronavirus. The virus spread so fast that all schools across the globe closed. The closing of schools pivots students to begin school or end a school year online. As well know, online education has become a well know issue for most students. This school year has challenged students’ ability to balance life at home and school.
Sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming, to say the least. The pressure from parents, professors, and pressure from myself to succeed. I’ve contemplated three hours and devoted five hours to complete my coursework. Since the beginning of this year contemplating has been my routine. Webex meetings and coursework have felt like an option more than mandatory.
Transferring to remote learning has destroyed the engaging atmosphere of a school classroom. The atmosphere was engaging with students tackling assignments and teachers answering questions. Alongside the small interruption from students that crack up the whole classroom. This atmosphere was an engaging environment. Now classrooms are firm mattresses with Cheetos dust and an 11-inch baby Yoda plush toy.
The majority of what primary and secondary teachers teach are online. If the programs are individual and self-paced, even better. Individual meaning the courses are self-taught at my own pace. But the approach schools have to use is for mass education. This shift in education to home learning has to accommodate the school’s schedule. As a student, I had to merge four or eight classes into a schedule along with home duties. This is my situation since the beginning of my college as a freshman. The challenges for the first time as a freshman was nothing compared to the second semester.
What came as a challenge in the second semester was the classes. The classes in the second semester were Sociology, American Government, English, and Chemistry. These courses weren’t a strong suit but I was willing to prove that I am cut out for this. Especially Chemistry because the subject varies along branches- analytical, organic, inorganic. Every week the Chemistry instructors would give little to no information to help. I tried my best to reach out and receive help but no one answer. Which resulted in retaking the class alongside other classmates.
As for this English course, it has been smooth sailing. This course reassured me that a writer is someone that writes. I am a writer. Writing doesn’t have to be Shakespeare’s level of writing with metrical patterns. This course helped me understand that anyone can write. I can accept constructive criticism and dedicate myself to improving my writing.
The perception of this school year has changed within the 4 months of this semester. At the beginning of this course, my partner Graciela and I discuss our academic selves. I communicated to her that “I’m motivated to work, to learn”, which has been my motto since. I have gained more of an understanding that change is always happening. The amount of energy that I put forward can either result in something good or bad. In this ever-changing world, I’ll try my best to put forward positive energy.
Throughout quarantine, the world of education and learning has changed to remote learning. This experience has been an eye-opener for me and many students. Many students such as the ones that would ace courses had begun to fall behind in class. This may come as a surprise though students come from different backgrounds. And some of these backgrounds don’t provide the resources students need to succeed. Students rely on school resources such as internet access to complete assignments. Other resources such as books, lunch, and school supplies accommodate students in need. I’ve recently read an article that consulted with these issues of remote learning. This article was Sean Michael Morris’s “Pivot to online: A Student Guide” article. These issues have become well known to Sean as he emphasized the limitation of the internet. If a student must return home, they may face little or no internet access there. In December 2019, EdSource reported that only 30% of households in rural California have internet access; even in urban areas, only 78% of households have service. (Sean 2020)
Through the challenges and setbacks I faced this semester, I am willing to push through. It is a little bittersweet to think back to the times where education was in a 900 square ft classroom. Students received far more interaction and motivation in school. Though as time changes so can I. It is necessary to face the hardship of life because you gain a better sense of life. Better yet you grow through the stressful time in your life. As it comes down to the end of the second semester I’ve realized that I have to adapt to change. This pandemic has provoked me to focus my energy on the better things in life.

Sean Michael Morris. “Pivot to Online: A Student Guide.” (2020)

Research Project: Humor in Classrooms

Nicole Berry

English Com, Section 330, Dr. Weaver

MajorPjct4 Assignment


College Instructors believe that students should learn in a solemn classroom. In a solemn classroom, students undergo eight hours of a strict and quiet environment. This is critical for students to engage in a strict and dull classroom. Instructors staying within the traditional atmosphere of a classroom cause harm. To adapt to these ongoing demands, students must develop coping strategies. One way to engage students in the classroom is by incorporating humor.

Humor serves as a language that engages and distresses students. It’s a tool for instructors to ease student learning. In the classroom teaching humor whether good or bad instructor can use humor. In ways, the instructor and students can perceive information and understand one another. Humor reinforces students other than break down the traditional method.

 Students undergo many responsibilities in their early adolescence. These changes are crucial to adolescent growth. These necessary changes conflict with the student’s ability to handles demands from school. As well as the social demands from peers, teacher, worker relate, and family. These roles are vital to society and so is the physical and mental health of a student. Students undergo a great amount of pressure in and out of school, and stress can lead to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Humor is a major psychological tool that can help students cope with stress, enhance their sense of well-being, boost self-image, self-esteem, self-confidence, as well as alleviate anxiety and depression (Check, 1997). A student’s response to this everchanging world could make or break the student. For students to optimize stress a coping mechanized should be developed.

  Humor can entail itself in serious topics. Discussion of the social dynamic that surrounds racism, sexism, and or homophobic jokes. This can engage students in discussion topics such as social justice. Instructors can discuss the issue in a serious tone with a flair of humor. College instructors often treat courses as something apart from the real world. Real-world problems graduate students, women, students of color, and young scholar’s encounter. Providing a strong pedagogical style of humor can provoke students to question society. If we accept that “clowning is not about entertaining an audience of spectators,” as Laurel Butler claims, but rather about “relinquishing one’s knowledge, certainties, and reliance on conventional symbols and cultural codes,” then the practices of clowning would seem to align with the goals of teaching (Butler 2017).

 The definition of humor is beyond the class clown. Rather a cultural language that breaks down barriers. It reviles discomfort in a social setting and difficult topics on issues. In countries, like Pakistan instructors are using the traditional, old method to educate. This old method has come to an end as new methods are emerging its way into Pakistan. Researchers in Pakistan researched to study the effect of humor. The study called the Psychometric Properties of the Scales survey involved 100 students.

 The main aim of this study is to investigate the different effects of humor on participants. Studies have shown that students in Pakistan engaged in subjects. In the study, there was a positive correlation between students and teachers. Students reported being motivated, less anxiety, and class engagement. Humor as a single continuous predictor explained almost 50% of the variance in overall teaching effectiveness (Shahid, Ifra, Ghazal 2019). Students also reported their favorite instructors created a fun environment. Teachers who used humor were significantly rated higher, than those who did not, on motivation, anxiety reduction, class engagement; thought stimulation, fostering positive student teacher relationship, and overall teaching effectiveness (Shahid, Ifra, Ghazal 2019). Humor has the power to provide a stress-free environment in which students share ideas.

Humor types various from environmental factors that affect the student’s response to life. Humor is influence by family, peers, media, and school. The influence of the classroom affects students’ motivation to study and complete assignments. Instructors are role models that should moderate humor rather than offend students. The results from Wentzel’s (2002) study of sixth graders indicate that the teacher’s modeling of motivation toward schoolwork explained significant amounts of the variance in students ‘social behavior at school (Wentzel’s 2002).

 Formal education has become less valuable. Students’ lack of interest often due to boredom and strict instructors. Students’ lack of interest is the amount of demand that leads to stress. The amount of stress that sometimes declines students’ focus and interest. When students identify a good instructor, many notice the sense of humor. Enthusiastic instructors spend time thinking about ways to present course information in creative, interesting, and positive ways that will be memorable for students in many years to come (Pollak and Freda, 1997).  Humor is a social and cognitive benefit that engages students. Instructors are more likely to create serious classrooms with a flair of humor. Overall, humor is an appreciated teaching tool for college instructors, and is an integral component for student learning if instructors are using it appropriately, constructively, and in moderation (Lei, Jillian, Kristen 2010).



Shahid, Ifra, and Saima Ghazal. “Humor as a tool to Teaching Effectiveness.” Journal of Behavioral Sciences 29.1 (2019).

Lei, Simon A., Jillian L. Cohen, and Kristen M. Russler. “Humor on learning in the college classroom: Evaluating benefits and drawbacks from instructors’ perspectives.” Journal of instructional Psychology 37.4 (2010): 326-332.

Chiang, Yi-Chen, Chun-Yang Lee, and Hong-Huei Wang. “Effects of classroom humor climate and acceptance of humor messages on adolescents’ expressions of humor.” Child & Youth Care Forum. Vol. 45. No. 4. Springer US, 2016.

Pozsonyi, Kriszta, and Seth Soulstein. “Classroom clowning: Teaching (with) humor in the media classroom.” JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58.3 (2019): 148-154.

Laurel Butler, “‘Everything Seemed New’: Clown as Embodied Critical Pedagogy,” Theatre Topics 22, no. 1 (2012): 71

Check, J. (1997). Humor in education. Physical Educator, 54(3), 165-167

Wentzel, K. R. (2002). Are effective teachers like good parents? Teaching styles and student adjustment in early adolescence. Child Development, 73, 287–301

Pollak, J., & Freda, P. (1997). Humor, learning, and socialization in middle level classrooms. Clearing House, 70(4), 176-179

Graciela Rivas: Academic Profile

When you hear the word motivation you hear the journey of an individual that has devotion, passion, and persistence to go through challenges and still make out on top. The concept of motivations is much deeper than thoughts or emotions. The definition of motivation has many contexts from experience, support from family and friends, and are willing to achieve. Developing these motivations will take knowledge of our strengths and weakness by taking a situation and finding hope. There are not many times where an individual can be open to sharing their stories. It has been a pleasure to communicate, through text, with Graciela Rivas, a devoted student that has shared his ups and downs.
Graduating, in 2016, from Berkmar High School is a curious and devoted Graciela Rivas who felt lost but eager first-generation student to attend Georgia State Perimeter. In her first year of college, she faced hurdles of feelings of confusion, pressure, and loneliness. Within that year of attending college, Graciela had to take three months to recollect herself. On break, she got to connect with her grandfather under El Salvador stars. This memory of the night skies and loving grandfather has been her motivation ever since.
Though things started changing for the better when she met a professor that saw her dedication and introduce her to Culture Anthropology that fitted her liking and surely her personality. Especially from our communication, she expressed, “I’m fascinated by the people aspect of it and the backgrounds of where we all come from.” As of the three months break, Graciela got to understand more about Cultural Anthropology, that there’s a lesson to be learned from the people around you.
Graciela has been welcomed back to Georgia State to achieve her goal of pursuing a career in Cultural Anthropology by transferring to the Downtown campus. An extra achievement she wishes to travel abroad with this degree along with a double major in sociology. Graciela has chosen a reading that best connects to her was “Taking my parents to College.” In which overcome the feelings of loneliness and realized that she doesn’t have to do this alone. She has support and motivation from her family.
The concept of motivation is different for everyone. We come from different backgrounds with different stories to tell. Though we never talk about the difficulties we face. Graciela shares her story that her motivation started with confusion and loneliness. All those mixed feelings changed once she saw the support she has from her family, especially her grandfather. Though these stories stick with us, with Graciela Rivas. We come out better than we started.