I worked with Thomas Legeza on this project, as we discussed the book Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee (see below) by Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut. I was an interesting read and I found myself thinking about it long after I finished the last page. Our presentation- which includes a summary of the books thoughts, the relation to some of our other readings, and our thoughts on the topics it discussed- can be found below. Reading as research was very enlightening. I have always loved to read, and being a science major I have also deciphered my fair share of academic articles and research papers. However, reading a nonfiction book like this one is interesting in the fact that I felt like I could share it. I would not suggest some of the heavier articles I have read to my family, and yet I recommended this book to my father and gave him my copy after I had finished it. This way of conveying information is more conducive to feedback. Even in a broader sense, more people are likely to see your research if it is a book among the shelves at a store instead of a link to a PDF that you need to scroll through. I also think that presenting in the way that we did was advantageous because it allowed the information to be communicated succinctly but completely while also allowing the class to share their specific thoughts about how everything connected and interacted.
The Fishbowl was accomplished over the span of three in-consecutive days. A group would go to the front and put their power point on the big screen and then tell us about the book they read. Different groups employed varying amounts of interaction with their peers, some groups asking questions throughout their presentation, others waiting at the end to see if anybody listening had final thoughts. I enjoyed the groups who required more active participation because I felt that when I was involved it helped me to better pay attention and learn things. I was impressed that so much discussion was inspired, even during presentations that didn't encourage participation. In most of my other classes, there are never any questions about presentations; there is just an awkward silence lasting long enough until the teacher instigates the next part of class. I'm not sure if this increase in vocalizing our thoughts has to do with the fact that our class is rather small so we know each other a bit more, or that we are all in the Honor's program and take pride in our academics, but I quite like it.
The Fishbowl Discussion section of this assignment involved several thirty minute discussions among groups of six people, while the rest of the class listened quietly without participating. There were three rotations of this, as our class is 90 minutes long, and different questions were asked during each discussion. The questions, and my notes during the discussions I did not participate in, can be seen below. I participated in the last group. I found the experience very interesting, albeit a bit frustrating. I only had thoughts I wish I could have shared three times, but each time it was torture to not speak. For example, one group member of the first discussion asked if there was any legislature about bees. I knew that there was, as I read about it in the very book I presented on for this project. However, I was never able to share my knowledge and the group moved onto talk about other things. While in the discussion, I felt myself sometimes sliding into the habit of trying to persuade people that I was right instead of just discussing the topics and getting to know everyone's opinions. This was surprising as I normally am a large facilitator to discussion in group projects and the like. This behavior could be attributed to the audience present, as I am not used to that kind of atmosphere. I find that it was easier for me to take notes while I wasn't speaking, so I remember what everyone said who was in the first two groups because I wrote it down. I still remember what my group talked about, but not every detail. I also think that it was less engaging to just listen, and I felt the urge to let my mind wander more when I was not able to speak. However, I did learn a lot from every discussion. Both about my classmates' views and my own. I also had things to say for all of the discussions and was interested in the subject material. Over all I definitely learned some things about how I contribute to group conversations, and how my classmates feel about bees.