Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog 9: On the Cusp (Discuss a past 1010 or 2010 course)
Shelley Williams/Engl 3840
Though I liked to write and did pretty well in high school on papers that I had to produce, but I was not good at writing under pressure or planning out what to say and so I did not pass the AP tests and ended up taking both 2010 and before that, what was I suppose the equivalent of 1010. It was actually a series I took in the summer at Weber State and it was then called English 101, 102, and 103.  Though I cannot remember far back enough as to how or why that series of courses were segregated in terms of developing skills, what I do remember is that the topics I was asked to write about were actually quite abstract and sophisticated for introductory English courses.  The topics I remember were writing on love, and other emotions. I suppose the idea behind this was not having to incorporate outside sources but just to speak from my own experience/opinion/feelings, which, frankly, is a lot to trust to a freshman.  But in personal narratives that became popular soon after, the idea is to bridge from the known and give students the feeling they have some valuable experience and something to say, even if they are young writers.

 I also took 2010 or the equivalent, which was considered business/technical writing, or maybe that was the alternative to the usual 2010. All I remember is we had to write a couple main assignments, one of which was supposed to be generated from our actual major. That concept was a great one as it made my research very applied. That being said, neither the 1010 series nor the 2010 course felt like it was sufficient to prepare me for graduate school writing because I remember one of my first assignments in research writing garnered me a low “B,” and I was confused.  I spoke to the instructor and to sum up, I felt the kindly-delivered message was that I really wasn’t writing at graduate level.  I took the message to heart but also to task and worked to improve. 

Though this is not as detailed as I would have liked, I simply cannot remember that far back.  I could safely say, however, that my English experience was still very “old school” meaning that simple practice was supposed to make perfect, not burdened with bridging lack of grammar understanding nor complete with the understanding of rhetorical tools the way English 1010 often incorporates now. I didn’t learn any of those until I was required to teach them to students as a teaching assistant in grad school.  While I wish it had not taken me that long to accumulate such skills necessary to be truly conversant in needed composition skills and academic discourse, I cannot complain because my journey was my journey and made me appreciate finally having said tools in my arsenal--I may not have appreciated, understood, nor been able to explain them as I can today had I obtained them earlier versus the hard way.


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