my composition and rhetoric blog.
fall 2002.


"all of us have stories to tell."





:::october 14, 2002- 7:14pm::: MyStory

MyStories- heard of them before from Kevin.. and Dayna. Cool forms of composing.. cool idea behind it all started by Ulmer.. sorta. Websites of defintions and examples were very helpful. Have linked to them for my students to view.

:::october 15, 2002- 10:20pm::: Schroeder

"The others at the table began arguing that intellectual work at their institutions was engaging. That doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a crisis in meaning, I thought." While I don't understand completely what he means by a crisis in meaning, I highlighted this quote because people always seem to shine light on their universities and don't think of how to make them better. More open to more things. Or take into account that some students still aren't 'getting' their curriculum, etc.

"..adjuncts and graduate students, who perform a significant portion of the intellectual work in U.S. colleges and universities." Yup. and Wow.

".. has culminated in classrooms designed to teach nothing but writing and reading." It's okay that we do this.. but why not add a creative aspect to it. A fun component. Students like English 110 and 120 because they are smaller classes, but for some reason, I feel like I need to get them to do those 2 items AND then some. Teach them OR show them WHAT is out there, WHO they are, THE POSSIBILITIES, the ABILITY to locate ANY INFORMATION. There are so many things that can be linked to writing and reading. And it's not that our objectives/goals are so low (well, they kind of are), but why not include more? This doesn't mean more work for us either.. in my opinion...

"... with the fact that historically, literacy crises have been linked to dramatic increases in enrollments." Controversy is popular.

".. conventional academic discourse(s) is no one's mother tongue." EXACTLY. Is it REALLY, even now, the typical white male's?

"If we are going to do more than declare a literacy crisis, then we will need different ways of doing intellectual work, which is one of the reasons I proposed this collection. If we are in the midst of a crisis in meaning, then such a collection could, I believe, provide legitimacy for alternatives." amen.


"..composition classrooms... offer productive spaces in which to engage in alternative ways of intellectual work that resist the large-scale mercantilization of education.." Yes yes yes.

".. then we must consider the complicated issues of assessment." I am running into that with my Paper #1s from my students. Some did them in very creative formats- others were more traditional (I gave them an option since weblogging is a very untraditional form of writing to begin with)... Do you grade on effort? Content amounts? Creativity (and that would be subjective)..?

"Now, I am not suggesting that I never experience differences in and among these stories -some of them move me, and others don't- but my job is to listen to, and to authorize and facilitate the telling of, the stories that their authors want to tell." = "All of us have stories to tell."

"All of us have stories to tell."

".. so I must also encourage translation- Langston Hughes' 'Theme for English B,' for example, into conventional academic argument or academic summaries into Spanglish- and experiment with and translate my own stuff." Like Emily mentioned as far as bringing in something and then saying What could we write about using this- I think that poem would be great for that. It has a long mashed in there!

:::october 15, 2002- 11:03pm::: Castiglia

I hate sameness like he does. Yuck.

Emerson- YAY! Ironic that a community that shunned being different was named after "America's philosopher of independence, self-reliance, and individual transcendence." I so adore him and his theories. I can still pinpoint the EXACT first MOMENT I heard of him and Thoreau- Mrs. Morris' class.. I stopped gossiping with Tara and listened so intently. The rest of the semester I highlighted his words.. over and over and over. I wanted to marry him. Go back in time and stare at him and Thoreau talk.. take them in. Snort them in if possible.

What is the American Dream? What is the American Dream for the scholar/academic?

Sure, the white (according to the gov't- this will soon include Hispanics so the white population is still seen as in the majority) male may rule to an extent, but the homosexual white male... he will struggle with the rest of 'us'... Are minorities (one essay goes against this) the only ones that want to break into nontraditional intellectual works?

"At a recent MLA panel, someone read a story from local paper in which a hotel clerk remarks that he doesn't understand academics: we don't spend a lot of time eating or sleeping with one another, he claimed; we just go back to our hotel rooms alone and cry." Huh. That's a sad thought.

Much of what he had to say intrigued me. Too many sentences to list. A great piece to take in. To listen to, like Schroeder would want.

:::october 16, 2002-9:55am::: more Castiglia/ Ohmann

"In defending personal criticism against these charges, however, I also urge its practitioners to avoid making "personal" synonymous, not only with "private," but also with "individual." Our stories are never private or only our own." Hmm. I agree and don't agree. Yes, our stories can be made public... and there are some stories that are our own because of the uniqueness of them. Like Castiglia, my former student Dustin (who came out of the closet), may have story overlaps.. loving certain musicals, but both have unique aspects that make them not the same story. Not every girl I know from Wahpeton will have the same story I have to tell about growing up there- not even my own sisters. I still like that sentence though.


"...and the class felt more like a conversation among smart people about matters of serious interest than like a test of my skill at impersonating a professor." Yea- That should be everyone's, especially T.A.'s, goal.. or maybe just mine.

"How I spent those intervals: reading for orals, working on my dissertation, drinking with friends, being domestic." Normal life. As normal as it can be. I don't have the teaching anxiety he has.... hard to connect in that respect.

"By contrast, "teaching" suggests interminable activity, pushing a boulder up the mountain, never reaching the top." But, what do we win or gain in reaching the top.. students or teachers? It is in the process of life, of teaching, of learning where the rewards are. "They" say when you stop learning, you die. Exactly. When I am done teaching and learning, I will be ready to die... (good old Steve Ward pounded the whole process over product in me a long time ago... I have preached it ever since).

" an MLA paper was a breeze in compared to teaching an English 101 class." Depends on the activity to teach, the paper, the students that will be taught, and the professors I would give the paper to.

Boggling to me that the same guy... anxious in front of students becomes an activist.. a radical of sorts later in the narrative. Two different voices. Anger and anxiety... huh.

:::All three essays, this time, were excessively engaging for me. Dove right in..

...a start to a miniMyStory...


neighborhood-home-family-childhood-tomboy & president of clubs-Wilson- pets- eating sand and grass


sports-cliques-personality finding-conformity-people watching-testing limits- learning the language of teens- teaching high school- "kids these days"


religion questioning-agnostic-catholic-buddhism-God in a chip


being the oldest- red ink- the "cuff"-guilt trips & threats- being a "role model" in and out of family life- overachiever- more schooling- teaching with controlled chaos vs. strictness- away from being the damn leader/organizer- emerson & thoreau & writing- blogging- exhibitionistic soul in academia= be raw/ risk being opened up & get some hurt

2002 by Sybil Priebe My Homepage

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