Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog 9, Albeit not on time

Blog 9: Past 1010-2010 Recollection/Shelley Williams/Engl 3840

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 a 101-103 series (under the quarter system; I am uncertain what would be the semester system equivalent); and I also took 2010. The 101-103 series I took many moons ago in a block offered in the summer at Weber State. Though I cannot remember far back enough as to how or why that series of courses were segregated yet joined as a block 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 may have been to bridge from the known and give us students the feeling that we had some valuable experience and something to say, even as novice writers. I got A's, but that's not the end of the story.

 The 2010 equivalent I took, at another academic institution, was considered business/technical writing. I remember 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 (or Research Methods) 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 can safely say, however, that my English experience was still very “old school,” meaning that simple practice was supposed to make perfect, not troubled with bridging cursory grammar and rhetorical  tools understanding the way English 1010 often incorporates now (okay, one out of two; there is little to no emphasis on grammar anymore). I didn’t learn any of the rhetorical tools 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 that I may not have appreciated if I had obtained them earlier versus the harder or longer route to them.


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