Prezi Essays

This past semester, I experimented with having my students write essays in Prezi, the web-based presentation software, in my Science Fiction class, a 200-level literature course for non-majors. I sought to improve the organization of the essays and improve the strategic use of evidence to support claims. I’ve tried more traditional ways of getting students to pay more attention to the structure of their papers, like outlines. I’ve also modeled citation in class from primary and secondary textual sources in an effort to get students to take only what they need, instead of unnecessarily long or unrelated passages.

I opted to experiment with Prezi to see if students would produce more structured and well-supported arguments if they could visualize them.  I scaffolded assignments as I normally would leading up to the final project for the class:  summaries of primary texts, drafts of thesis paragraphs and annotated bibliography entries.  I had students work out the “map” of their Prezi essays using a sentence outline or just grouping ideas together and using peer review to determine how they would move from one idea to the other.  As the rubric for the deconstructed essay shows, students had word count limits on slides. These limits were designed to make students more conscious of how they used text as evidence and how they explained the significance of video or visual evidence.

Overall, I was pleased with the way the essays turned out. Some students still had trouble with the idea of an essay, which they see only as text-based in a Word document, in a Prezi. Next semester, I plan to have students complete their major projects in Prezi.  This time, students will create an academic poster, an assignment often given in science and social science courses, for their analysis of literature and film in my Detective Fiction course. Students are familiar with academic posters, and the use of Prezi will allow them the ability to embed images and video, something they cannot do with traditional poster board posters.

My goals remain the same: to use Prezi to help students improve the organization of their writing and use evidence effectively.

Over-trained Athletes

Muscular African american cyclist captain, sweating a lot after a hard workout.

Over trained Athletes

Athlete’s need more than one day off to let their body properly regenerate from working out every day, nonstop activity actually fatigues athletes. Many studies suggest and prove that athletes on all different levels need more than one day off from physical exercise in order to properly regenerate.

Letting the body regenerate is very important, its helps the body heal and won’t be as sore the next days. Being consistently active for entire weeks at a time not only causes the body to fatigue but also wears down on the mind significantly. Athletes that do not take the proper time to heal and let the body regenerate have a higher chance of serious injury. Athletes that do take the proper amount of time to let their body heal often have fewer injuries and out preform those who did not take the right amount of time.

When the right amount of time isn’t taken to properly rest over training will occur. “Over training is a physiological and/or psychological state that may occur in response to insufficient recovery following overload. This should not to be confused with overreaching, which is a short-term state in which successive overloads “(Rearick, etc.). Overreaching is done on a short term basis, where an athlete pushes themselves too hard in one or more days and cannot perform well after this overreaching. Over training is a problem that occurs after multiple weeks of intense and vigorous training. When an athlete trains for multiple days on end it wears on their mind and body. Most athletes don’t take the proper time to rest and become over worked and either cannot mentally or physically keep up with the amount of physical activity needed for their given sport or activity.

In my own experience in high school and in college I have felt the effects of overtraining. In high school my team was constitutionally pushed to be great and training was scheduled every day. We even had a “football” class where we would work out and then watch film from practice or a game. The only break we would receive throughout the day was attending other classes not related to football; this was difficult considering the coaches also happened to be some of my teachers. Our demanding daily schedules lead to many injuries and practically the whole team to be fatigued. We had an enormous amount of injuries all related to strained muscles or players passing out from the immense work load required. In one journal it suggests “Athletes may experience chronic fatigue for many reasons, but it often results from the stress of training and competition.” (Budgett).

Although football is a high demand sport, other athletes such as swimmers also experience being over trained. “10% of college swimmers in the United States are described as “burning out” each year.” (Budgett). The effects of overtraining and extreme fatigue usually take weeks to heal from and return to a normal state. “Overtraining occurs when there is a long-term imbalance between the training load and recovery processes that, for a given athlete, leads to a decrement in performance that takes more than 2-3 weeks to return to normal.” (McDonald). Swimmers in the United States have a tough schedule that requires a large amount of physical energy and mental energy. Most are pushed too far and end up having to stop for indefinite periods of time in order to regain strength and focus (McDonald).

In the world of sports two to three weeks is an extreme problem because most sports have games once or even twice a week. Three weeks off may give you time to heal but it only takes seventy two hours of lack of activity to start losing muscle and flexibility. “Most runners run 6 days/week. Yeah, and most runners are over trained and chronically injured” (McDonald).  Given that a massive percentage of elite athletes report being over trained, perhaps even they should be training less frequently. (McDonald).This unnecessary time off could be avoided if the proper steps are taken to prevent over training and fatigue.

Another factual observation of overtraining is the “Precipitating factors of the overtraining syndrome.” (Budgett).  These factors are helpful in identifying overtraining exercises before they become too serious.  ”Sudden increases, large volumes of monotonous training. Stress of competition and selection .Physical stresses –Glycogen depletion –Dehydration –Other illness or injury –Psychological stress of life events (for example, moving house, exams, relationship problems)”. (Budgett).  If coaches are not careful in preventing over training their athletes will most likely have these symptoms; “Symptoms Athletes present with fatigue, heavy muscles, underperformance, and depression.” (Budgett).  This is occurring in all different sorts of sports and can be lessened with proper care and attention to practice schedules and work load that is placed on athletes throughout the week.

Throughout the research and my own personal experience athletes need more than one day off a week to prevent over training and fatigue. Even the on the account of professionals’, they agree that more than one day off is necessary for athletes to preform to the best of their ability and excel past their previous goals.

Works Cited

McDonald L. (2008). Body Recomposition. Retrieved 10/12/2013 from:

Minigh, Jennifer L. (2007). Sports medicine. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. Retrieved from Belk Library Catalog.

Rearick, etc. (2011). Avoid Overtraining in Young Athletes. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance82.5, 25-27, 36. Retrieved from ProQuest database, 10/11/13:

Budgett, R. (1994). The overtraining syndrome. British Medical Journal, International, 465. Retrieved from ProQuest database, 10/11/13:

Hooman R. (2013). Robert Hooman Portraits. #3/27 retrieved from web 10/24/13:

Downing, Kevin 11/8/13. Interview, transcribed 11/11/13.

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