For the past three weeks, the brawling experience for me, was also a learning experience. This had been the first time I experienced any debate like projects so I tried to make sure I was more prepared than usual. We were a group of four, known as the Sock Rockers, and in preparation for my very first brawl, all four members of my group pitched in equally to get the most out of each question. When it was time for me to brawl, of course I was a bit nervous. While presenting it was hard to remember everything about the question being asked but for someone brawling for the first time, I accepted my performance with approval.
After that first brawl, I learned a couple things. Two of the most important things I learned from my experience in the first brawl was that one, confidence was a key component, and secondly, I learned that the best answers to questions were the ones that could connect to different topics and subjects such as Timothy did when he connected student’s brains to a rusty old car engine after being overly worked for a while.
Overall, the brawl was a really fun experience that I wouldn’t mind going back to again. Although the brawls in our class were very intense, based on stories, I’m guessing other classes (Period 5) had even more intense brawls than we did, resulting in yelling and very tense arguing. Next time, I’m hoping to bring the same intensity seen from period 5 in order to make my arguments more convincing.
As for the workload, during the first brawl, I felt my whole group worked together as one to get the job done in preparation for a successful brawl. We all worked efficiently on the questions in class and finished up with extra evidence such as pictures and videos at home. When the second brawl came up, the story was a little different. I felt my fellow group member, Donna, and I did most of the work for the questions, including the videos and pictures as memorable evidence, in the second part of the brawl while my other two group members did significantly less work. We were hit with a difficult question (number 10) about how we could make guns not violent. We did not perform as well as expected and were actually silently praying for question 4. This question asked how we as people could prevent others from taking advantage of one another. We believed in order to prevent people from taking advantage of each other we had to either change the way we were raised from an early age or, if that was too late, to put a person in another’s shoes. This answer instantly made me think of a touching video I saw about a job interview about an extremely difficult job that many people voluntarily do even though often times, they are taken for granted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWcJZ210AaM). The video touched my heart and changed my life, showing me how important people are and to value all that someone has to offer, never taking advantage of anyone.
In order to interact with the novel, my group and I connected the ideas and experiences of Paul Baumer to real life events and even my own experiences. We were able to find many views on society that matched the way Paul and the men viewed war. I viewed this book as connecting to the outside world because it showed themes of brotherhood and peace. The way Paul cared for others, even for the enemy after Paul had stabbed him, showed that war was not a choice for the men and that love would prevail over hate. Even though the French man’s objective was to kill the enemy (Paul), Paul’s love for others and his caring personality couldn’t help but cause him to sit there in despair as the French man laid dying. I felt this connected to the outside world because Paul’s personality was, in this part of the book, an expectation for society since very few people showed the love and compassion that was portrayed in Paul. Points like this, ad many others were found throughout the book while working on this BRAWL. I felt connecting the book through situations like those brought the book to life, to the outside world. In the end, I felt the BRAWL had helped my group and I understand the book and learn more about the book by connecting the book to different views and topics that thoroughly expressed the true meaning of same questionable themes or sections in the book. It was a great experience to be able to BRAWL with my friends and really dissect a book apart. I enjoyed the experience and had very much fun with my fellow Sock Rockers.