Although I was a little skeptical at first, I really enjoyed this class (only skeptical because i'm a spanish major and i expected to read/hear more spanish). But! it turns out that chicano literature is very interesting and not necessarily written in spanish. Ultimately I thought it was very appropriate that we speak in spanish when the book was written in spanish and english when in english.
The novels were well-chosen and none were tedious to say, although the Martí readings were a little difficult to get through because of his use of colloquial language.
In-class discussion was always exciting and was impressed that the majority of the class participated. i think that this was facilitated by three things. One, that we were given sufficient time to read the books. two, that the online blogs forced us to do the readings on-time and develop our own opinions prior to class. and three, that jon presented ideas and questions that always got us talking or thinking.
It was so refreshing to read contemporary novels; so many of the spanish major prerequisites focus on ancient spanish literature.
This class had a different format than any other class i have taken. The weekly online blogs, commenting and wikipedia contributions made the class modern. It was at times frustrating and confusing and other times new and refreshing. I felt that the blogs facilitated communication with other students outside of class and the development of independent thought. They also, as i said before, forced us to do the readings on-time. I have written journals for other courses that were due at the end of term, this was a huge disaster because people would try to write it all at the end and didn't necessarily promote unique thought from students.
The wikipedia article gave me mixed feelings though. I have found it tedious, frustrating unrewarding. I think its a really interesting concept and i do use wikipedia frequently. Its a very useful thing as a student to get a broad, unbiased study of a subject or concept. it also leads you to sources (if sourced properly) for research essays etc. I do like the idea that I am giving back to the wiki community but i also feel a certain resentment maybe or anxiety every time i open up my tomas rivera wikipedia page.
Everything included, I think that the class was structured very well. I might actually enjoy working on another wiki article now that i know (more or less) how it all works. I think Jon has a great ability to get conversation flowing which is such an important skill for a prof to have ( no i am not trying to stroke your ego Jon ). It was the class I felt the most comfortable in, contributed the most in and did the most readings for; all of which are my responsibility but at the same time are things that the prof can definitely encourage in other ways than just instructing.
I think i only have enough time to say hi at the gallery, term paper to write :(