Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When blank stares change your life

One of the most important lesson’s i’ve learned this semester is how to realize that students have no idea what i’m talking about and that I have to change the way I’m communicating. It doesn’t stroke my ego when students look at me like i’m a blabbing adult on “Charlie Brown” [yes, i punctuated that wrong and I’m proud of it]. What that has to do with the blog prompt is this: My student-hood has learned to speak more simply and clearly, and more importantly, to stop saying the same thing in the same when students (and professors) are nodding blankly at what I say. My in-class comments have gotten more concise. When I would have babbled on and on trying to make a point that I hadn’t quite figured out yet, now I think about it and then talk and try to make it clear and as short as possible. My conversations with writing center students has also changed the way I ask my professors questions. I used to kind of oss out some loosely connected ideas and hope my professor would not only interpret, but then make sense of it for me, and then respond with the perfect answer. #laughingatmyself My writing has changed because of this new communication skill, as well. I used to be that tutee who wanted to be mysteries and brilliant in my papers. Now I get to the point and try to be as clear and concise as possible. Life lesson #476l357b: Longwindedness leads to longboringness. I also see more what Bartholomae says about “Inventing the University”: students have to learn new ways of explaining ideas, expressing themselves, and, well, communicating in general. At the beginning of the semester i didn’t understand students’ long questions that said something about “flow” and “commas” and “looking it over.” Now I suspect that my questions to my professors sound about the same: [insert charlie brown dialogue: “whah whah whah whah whah”] I had hoped that working in the writing center would help me be a better teacher next semester. Now I’m seeing I learned a lot more than just grammar, punctuation, and 5-paragraph essay structure.


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