n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

first call to my friends and readers...

This is my "hey, you're gonna do me a favor, right?" look. Heh.

So, here it is: I'm going to send out an email soon to friends, but I'm asking folks to help out in my teaching by acting as external audience to the students of my essay-writing class.

Basically, what I'm trying to tackle is the fact that most papers written in first-year composition or comp-like classes throughout college and high school tend to be audience-less. This tends to enforce certain writing behaviors like: not thinking about how to attract a reader to the word through the expression of love for words-ideas-topics, not explaining or describing sufficiently for a non-teacher to understand, not seeing where the "gaps" in thought are, and not thinking about how to explore multiple perspectives as a means of bridging experiential, ethical, or intellectual difference. In general, students tend to learn to write to the teacher, which is great and grand for writings that are merely meant to test a student's basic comprehension, but not so great and grand for the larger project of opening students to the idea that writing is a tool of communication and interaction. "Writing to the teacher" tends to neglect the fun fluidity of writing, and its potential for catharsis of thought; and truthfully, it often doesn't even provide a personal and safe forum for a student to one-on-one interact with a teacher.

All of these are reasons for my project of starting blogs for my students to do their "informal" work in. Up to this point, their blogging has mostly been about figuring out how to simply post and comment, but now I'm asking them to practice quoting and bring in outside examples of in-class topics and I'd like to expand the potential for them to think about "who the hell is reading this" by inviting you to comment on their posts, whether anonymously or not.

Maybe their posts don't interest you yet, but even asking random questions about what might interest you would help them see that not just their teacher is accessing this writing arena. So... here are the addresses (they came up with the new titles and descriptions):

Voice of the Voiceless
Bricks on the Street
The Micro Machines

Thank-you, folks. Hugs and kisses.
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