Weekly Response: "Bi, Butch and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender & Sexuality"


[T]his article examines the way three feminist, queer teachers of writing experience and perform their gender, class, and sexual identities. (70)
This reading seemed overly scholarly at first, and I had to look up expressivist and compositionist. Later, it became reflections of 3 lesbian professors and where they fit in their roles in academia.

Their personal stories were interesting as vignettes, but did not seem especially relevant to the teaching of writing or writing theory. These women offered insight into their personal experiences, but did not offer any information that was new. I am familiar with the gay and lesbian experience, albeit as an outsider, and this article, while perhaps informative to those with little prior knowledge, to me felt a bit outdated and stale. (Just checked, oh, it was published 15 years ago; that may be a factor.)

The first story tells of the professor struggling with her bi and working class identities in a traditional professional environment, and how her education and identity made it difficult for her to feel that she belongs anywhere. Her story could have been written from a "just lesbian" or "just working class" point of view, and it would have worked. In my opinion, her story was hackneyed.

The second author describes that everyone knows she's a lesbian because of her butch appearance. Also, she feels that this a more powerful position than straight female or lesbian female. Her story was the best of the three. I liked her voice and her story. I especially liked the part where a male colleague called her bossy, and how she didn't really address it or get ruffled by it. (Men bosses aren't called bossy; they are called powerful or in charge. Further, women who complain about being called bossy feed into the stereotype that not only is woman boss bossy, but she's whiney, sensitive, or emotional.) I found her story interesting and relevant.

The last story was about a lesbian professor seeking a promotion. She felt discriminated against for writing about her lesbian background on a job application.  As an employer, I was unhappy with her description of being aimless and lacking in motivation, getting degrees not because she was intellectually curious, seeking employment, or wishing to better herself, but simply because she had nothing better to do. Frankly, I wouldn't hire anyone with that attitude. And what does that really have to do with being a lesbian, anyway?
She said that references to work experience such as cocktail waitressing and admissions that both my existence before I started college and my college career were "aimless"
would make me seem to the provost and his peers as if I were not worthy of membership in the academic community.
While she whines about not being accepted and perceives it as an attack on her lesbianism and otherness, I feel she has completely misinterpreted the hesitance to promote her. Her focus should be less on her sexuality and more on her employability, and what she brings to the table versus other candidates with whom she may be competing. The cocktail waitress gig, in my opinion, is not what worried the administrators the most. When she was told she was supposed to be more like the upper level administrators, I don't think they were expecting her to turn White or grow a penis. I think they were looking for drive, motivation, and a sincere interest in making a contribution to the university as an individual classroom teacher and as a departmental team player. She showed that she was an excellent teacher, but lacked the other aforementioned skills (not traits!) that could render her the best choice for promotion. Her story, to me, was annoying and self indulgent.

Weekly Response: "Bi, Butch and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender & Sexuality"


[T]his article examines the way three feminist, queer teachers of writing experience and perform their gender, class, and sexual identities. (70)
This reading seemed overly scholarly at first, and I had to look up expressivist and compositionist. Later, it became reflections of 3 lesbian professors and where they fit in their roles in academia.

Their personal stories were interesting as vignettes, but did not seem especially relevant to the teaching of writing or writing theory. These women offered insight into their personal experiences, but did not offer any information that was new. I am familiar with the gay and lesbian experience, albeit as an outsider, and this article, while perhaps informative to those with little prior knowledge, to me felt a bit outdated and stale. (Just checked, oh, it was published 15 years ago; that may be a factor.)

The first story tells of the professor struggling with her bi and working class identities in a traditional professional environment, and how her education and identity made it difficult for her to feel that she belongs anywhere. Her story could have been written from a "just lesbian" or "just working class" point of view, and it would have worked. In my opinion, her story was hackneyed.

The second author describes that everyone knows she's a lesbian because of her butch appearance. Also, she feels that this a more powerful position than straight female or lesbian female. Her story was the best of the three. I liked her voice and her story. I especially liked the part where a male colleague called her bossy, and how she didn't really address it or get ruffled by it. (Men bosses aren't called bossy; they are called powerful or in charge. Further, women who complain about being called bossy feed into the stereotype that not only is woman boss bossy, but she's whiney, sensitive, or emotional.) I found her story interesting and relevant.

The last story was about a lesbian professor seeking a promotion. She felt discriminated against for writing about her lesbian background on a job application.  As an employer, I was unhappy with her description of being aimless and lacking in motivation, getting degrees not because she was intellectually curious, seeking employment, or wishing to better herself, but simply because she had nothing better to do. Frankly, I wouldn't hire anyone with that attitude. And what does that really have to do with being a lesbian, anyway?
She said that references to work experience such as cocktail waitressing and admissions that both my existence before I started college and my college career were "aimless"
would make me seem to the provost and his peers as if I were not worthy of membership in the academic community.
While she whines about not being accepted and perceives it as an attack on her lesbianism and otherness, I feel she has completely misinterpreted the hesitance to promote her. Her focus should be less on her sexuality and more on her employability, and what she brings to the table versus other candidates with whom she may be competing. The cocktail waitress gig, in my opinion, is not what worried the administrators the most. When she was told she was supposed to be more like the upper level administrators, I don't think they were expecting her to turn White or grow a penis. I think they were looking for drive, motivation, and a sincere interest in making a contribution to the university as an individual classroom teacher and as a departmental team player. She showed that she was an excellent teacher, but lacked the other aforementioned skills (not traits!) that could render her the best choice for promotion. Her story, to me, was annoying and self indulgent.

Post-Post: One Additional Thought About Genre/Voice…..

My son, Justice (7th grade), asked me to read his Social Studies report this morning.  I was shocked by the amount of voice in his paper.  I pressed him to explain to me why it doesn’t sound “serious,” and repeatedly asked “What’s with all the jokes, Justice?”  I almost had him change the entire paper in favor of a more “academic sounding” piece, but I decided to let it stand.  I find that his tone and side notes actually make the information easier to retain and comprehend…..and kind of fun to read.  I imagine this type of writing to be in an informational book for kids, maybe not a report for school….we’ll see what his teacher thinks…..

I really liked Colin’s thoughts about there being a collective voice on the internet….I suspect that my son’s writing has been influenced by his immersion in pop culture (cartoons, video games, youtube videos, graphic novels, comic books, etc.).

THE OTTAWA, A NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE
Research report by Justice Lopez

Oh, native americans. The people that ruled America (and parts of Canada) before the English came. Today, I am going to tell you all about the Ottawa tribe (Ah-ta-wa), which is one of the many, many,  (many) native american tribes that once existed or still exist today.  Seriously, why do native americans still exist? It’s 2015! I hope you enjoy this Mr. Herson.
The name of my tribe is Ottawa, as you already know. They are a northeast native american tribe, and their name means traders. Not traitors, traders. For example, the Ottawa’s would trade goods with other people to get goods in return.
The Ottawa tribe was always a small tribe. At the time they came in contact with others, like people from Europe, their population was only about 5,000. However, today, there are over 15,000 in the Ottawa tribe. Wait, really? 15,000? Why do native americans still exist!?
The Ottawa people spoke a language called Ojibwe, which is a complicated language and is in the Algonquian language group. Here are some words for practice: aaniin is pronounced “ah-neen,” and is a friendly greeting. Miigwech is pronounced “Mee-Gwech,” and means thank you. Pronouncing those words is as difficult as teaching a fish to walk on land.
Women in the Ottawa tribe used to be farmers, cook, and take care of their children while men did most of the hunting and occasionally went to war to save their families. Men and women both told stories, such as fairy tales and Ottawa legends. The men were the only people who could become chiefs at the time, but today Ottawa women could become a chief too. I would not want to live in the time as the Ottawas, there was no internet service back then!
The Ottawa people believed in spirits and gods, and presented gifts to the gods often. The tribe had traditions as well. Ottawa’s believed in many different gods, and they also held special ceremonies at specific months. For example, the Ottawa people had a religious ceremony every spring and summer referred to as “the feast of the dead” where women would prepare the bodies of the people that have died, and men dug holes for the bodies. After the ceremony, nobody ever spoke about them again.
There was no one place where all the Ottawa native americans lived, because they were spread apart. From Oklahoma to Ontario, to Ohio to Michigan, Ottawa's lived everywhere. Watch out, they’re coming for you next!
For the full history of the Ottawa clan, it is too large to describe right now. That’s like asking me to try to explain everything I did in my whole life in a couple of sentences. Please don’t make me do that. Long story short, through the 1600’s until now the Ottawa’s encountered people like the French, and fought in battles.   
Now, I’ve mostly covered everything there is today about my Ottawa friends, but there is some more fun facts!
Did you know, that there is a city named Ottawa, and it is Canada’s southeastern capitol? And the Ottawa tribe actually has something to do with the name of the city!

That’s all for today folks, so thanks for reading! Now, go outside and impress your friends with all the knowledge you just learned. You can stop reading this paper now.

Post-Post: One Additional Thought About Genre/Voice…..

My son, Justice (7th grade), asked me to read his Social Studies report this morning.  I was shocked by the amount of voice in his paper.  I pressed him to explain to me why it doesn’t sound “serious,” and repeatedly asked “What’s with all the jokes, Justice?”  I almost had him change the entire paper in favor of a more “academic sounding” piece, but I decided to let it stand.  I find that his tone and side notes actually make the information easier to retain and comprehend…..and kind of fun to read.  I imagine this type of writing to be in an informational book for kids, maybe not a report for school….we’ll see what his teacher thinks…..

I really liked Colin’s thoughts about there being a collective voice on the internet….I suspect that my son’s writing has been influenced by his immersion in pop culture (cartoons, video games, youtube videos, graphic novels, comic books, etc.).

THE OTTAWA, A NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE
Research report by Justice Lopez

Oh, native americans. The people that ruled America (and parts of Canada) before the English came. Today, I am going to tell you all about the Ottawa tribe (Ah-ta-wa), which is one of the many, many,  (many) native american tribes that once existed or still exist today.  Seriously, why do native americans still exist? It’s 2015! I hope you enjoy this Mr. Herson.
The name of my tribe is Ottawa, as you already know. They are a northeast native american tribe, and their name means traders. Not traitors, traders. For example, the Ottawa’s would trade goods with other people to get goods in return.
The Ottawa tribe was always a small tribe. At the time they came in contact with others, like people from Europe, their population was only about 5,000. However, today, there are over 15,000 in the Ottawa tribe. Wait, really? 15,000? Why do native americans still exist!?
The Ottawa people spoke a language called Ojibwe, which is a complicated language and is in the Algonquian language group. Here are some words for practice: aaniin is pronounced “ah-neen,” and is a friendly greeting. Miigwech is pronounced “Mee-Gwech,” and means thank you. Pronouncing those words is as difficult as teaching a fish to walk on land.
Women in the Ottawa tribe used to be farmers, cook, and take care of their children while men did most of the hunting and occasionally went to war to save their families. Men and women both told stories, such as fairy tales and Ottawa legends. The men were the only people who could become chiefs at the time, but today Ottawa women could become a chief too. I would not want to live in the time as the Ottawas, there was no internet service back then!
The Ottawa people believed in spirits and gods, and presented gifts to the gods often. The tribe had traditions as well. Ottawa’s believed in many different gods, and they also held special ceremonies at specific months. For example, the Ottawa people had a religious ceremony every spring and summer referred to as “the feast of the dead” where women would prepare the bodies of the people that have died, and men dug holes for the bodies. After the ceremony, nobody ever spoke about them again.
There was no one place where all the Ottawa native americans lived, because they were spread apart. From Oklahoma to Ontario, to Ohio to Michigan, Ottawa's lived everywhere. Watch out, they’re coming for you next!
For the full history of the Ottawa clan, it is too large to describe right now. That’s like asking me to try to explain everything I did in my whole life in a couple of sentences. Please don’t make me do that. Long story short, through the 1600’s until now the Ottawa’s encountered people like the French, and fought in battles.   
Now, I’ve mostly covered everything there is today about my Ottawa friends, but there is some more fun facts!
Did you know, that there is a city named Ottawa, and it is Canada’s southeastern capitol? And the Ottawa tribe actually has something to do with the name of the city!

That’s all for today folks, so thanks for reading! Now, go outside and impress your friends with all the knowledge you just learned. You can stop reading this paper now.

Elbow and Gibson/Marinara/Meem

Bi, Butch and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender and Sexuality

This article explores stereotypes relative to sexual orientation, gender and social class present in modern academia, as experienced through the eyes of three female writing professors.  
Honestly, it took me quite a while to get through reading the first of the three “papers” within this article.  While I appreciated her experience, I kept having this nagging feeling that her writing style did not do her story justice. I felt her overly-complicated sentence structure and word choices clouded the heart of her plight.  It was uncomfortable and almost felt like she wanted it to be that way. However, the experience she shared about going  back to her former place of employment did begin to trigger some notions in me that became fully realized by the end of the third article (to be discussed).  
The second narrative was easier to digest and was clear in its conclusions: the author’s experiences as a butch lesbian with kids has afforded her certain privileges and powers not readily available to femme lesbians (as demonstrated by her three anecdotes). It was an interesting observation and provided some food for thought.  
The third author’s story really struck a chord in me and had me thinking about my own persona in the classroom.  I had always consciously known I was doing something with my students each year-something I felt would somehow benefit them, or me, or us, as a group, but I was never able to articulate it until I read this article. Just as the author had chosen to connect with her students based on her past experiences with a working class upbringing, a survivor of family violence and a recovering mental patient, I, too, have used my past experiences in order to create a commonality between myself and the students.  Although my experiences differ from those of the author, I often find myself sharing stories of my youth (and those of my husband’s unthinkable childhood) to my students in an effort to make myself relatable in the eyes of my students. A large majority of my students are Hispanic or African-American and 85% of my school is eligible for reduced-lunch.  I stand in front of my students year after year- the-white-middle-class-teacher-with-the-spanish-last-name - and strive to make myself accessible to them.  Information about my students’ backgrounds are revealed to me that tear me to pieces. One student has a mother that’s been in jail her entire life and a father she’s never met.  After reading this article, I realized that my “performance” is one of having a somewhat troubled youth.  Although these stories are not untrue, I doubt that I would highlight them to a classroom with a majority of upper-class white students-not to say that they are immune to struggles-but the stories I’d share would be different ones, or painted in a slightly different light.  I, like the author in the article who used her identity as “currency” with her administrators, I use my experience to “purchase power” with my students.  I think this may be the reason so many of them open-up to me.  I believe my classroom environment is one of trust and mutual-respect because of this.  

Reconsiderations:  Voice in Writing Again:  Embracing Contraries

I looooove Peter Elbow!!!! There, I said it.  LOL!!!  (can you hear my voice?)

I suspect that Elbow’s voice is the reason why I enjoyed his article more than the author of the first section in the previously-mentioned article.  Seriously, though, he wrote an entire paper arguing both sides of a viewpoint- something I feel like I spend my entire life doing- and he makes it seems so effortless.  So, I guess I am free to say I agree with him.  I think most things in life are a that way- both sides are usually “right.”  
I think I Shakespeare was alive today, he would be a screenwriter and director.  What would we study in school then?  All this discussion about voice got me to thinking about the future of writing and technology (which is why I’m excited about my discussion lead night on multi-modal).   
I also wonder about how gender relates to voice, as Elbow pointed out.  When we know something was written by a man, do we interpret those words differently than when we think it is a woman?  Yes, I suspect.  This idea can go even further when we know the author, personally, that wrote something (which is why I try not to look at the names on my students’ papers before i read them).
Voice is complicated as it pertains to genre.  I’m sure most will agree that voice is particularly important when it comes to narrative pieces, but what about in other genres.  At first, I was thinking that it does not belong in, say, a formal complaint letter.  But then, I got to thinking that the elimination of your authentic voice is, in fact, a “voice.”  A voice that is unapologetically no-nonsense and, therefore, also essential.
Elbow’s conclusion about both ignoring and paying acute attention to voice in writing reminded me of something I do in the classroom with my students.  We read like readers (to enjoy) and read like writers (to learn).  When we read like readers, we gobble up the words, eat them up and bask in the fullness we experience from having read the piece.  When we re-read as writers, we perform an autopsy on the pages, dissecting each phrase and word and punctuation mark trying to discover how and why the author chose to put them together.  This, I think, are the lenses he was talking about.

Final Project/DigiWriMo

I am glad we came up with a concept for our final project.  I am thinking that my “vignette” will include a little of what we discussed in class regarding gathering other people’s experiences with writing.  I am still fascinated with the idea and got some confirmation when I informally asked a few people how they learned to write.  The range of answers was fascinating.  So, as a part of my project, I would like to include these snippets for all to hear, in their actual “voices.”  I hope to be able to include a mini audio-archive of some of these voices, perhaps with some images floating around…..not quite sure yet, but to hear an actual voice rather than reading their ideas I think would be interesting.  I will add my own written section, as well, about my own experience and who knows????......
I checked out and subscribed to the DigiWriMo website. I think we can do some good things there, especially since its connected to the publication we hope to get our final project on. 

Elbow and Gibson/Marinara/Meem

Bi, Butch and Bar Dyke: Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender and Sexuality

This article explores stereotypes relative to sexual orientation, gender and social class present in modern academia, as experienced through the eyes of three female writing professors.  
Honestly, it took me quite a while to get through reading the first of the three “papers” within this article.  While I appreciated her experience, I kept having this nagging feeling that her writing style did not do her story justice. I felt her overly-complicated sentence structure and word choices clouded the heart of her plight.  It was uncomfortable and almost felt like she wanted it to be that way. However, the experience she shared about going  back to her former place of employment did begin to trigger some notions in me that became fully realized by the end of the third article (to be discussed).  
The second narrative was easier to digest and was clear in its conclusions: the author’s experiences as a butch lesbian with kids has afforded her certain privileges and powers not readily available to femme lesbians (as demonstrated by her three anecdotes). It was an interesting observation and provided some food for thought.  
The third author’s story really struck a chord in me and had me thinking about my own persona in the classroom.  I had always consciously known I was doing something with my students each year-something I felt would somehow benefit them, or me, or us, as a group, but I was never able to articulate it until I read this article. Just as the author had chosen to connect with her students based on her past experiences with a working class upbringing, a survivor of family violence and a recovering mental patient, I, too, have used my past experiences in order to create a commonality between myself and the students.  Although my experiences differ from those of the author, I often find myself sharing stories of my youth (and those of my husband’s unthinkable childhood) to my students in an effort to make myself relatable in the eyes of my students. A large majority of my students are Hispanic or African-American and 85% of my school is eligible for reduced-lunch.  I stand in front of my students year after year- the-white-middle-class-teacher-with-the-spanish-last-name - and strive to make myself accessible to them.  Information about my students’ backgrounds are revealed to me that tear me to pieces. One student has a mother that’s been in jail her entire life and a father she’s never met.  After reading this article, I realized that my “performance” is one of having a somewhat troubled youth.  Although these stories are not untrue, I doubt that I would highlight them to a classroom with a majority of upper-class white students-not to say that they are immune to struggles-but the stories I’d share would be different ones, or painted in a slightly different light.  I, like the author in the article who used her identity as “currency” with her administrators, I use my experience to “purchase power” with my students.  I think this may be the reason so many of them open-up to me.  I believe my classroom environment is one of trust and mutual-respect because of this.  

Reconsiderations:  Voice in Writing Again:  Embracing Contraries

I looooove Peter Elbow!!!! There, I said it.  LOL!!!  (can you hear my voice?)

I suspect that Elbow’s voice is the reason why I enjoyed his article more than the author of the first section in the previously-mentioned article.  Seriously, though, he wrote an entire paper arguing both sides of a viewpoint- something I feel like I spend my entire life doing- and he makes it seems so effortless.  So, I guess I am free to say I agree with him.  I think most things in life are a that way- both sides are usually “right.”  
I think I Shakespeare was alive today, he would be a screenwriter and director.  What would we study in school then?  All this discussion about voice got me to thinking about the future of writing and technology (which is why I’m excited about my discussion lead night on multi-modal).   
I also wonder about how gender relates to voice, as Elbow pointed out.  When we know something was written by a man, do we interpret those words differently than when we think it is a woman?  Yes, I suspect.  This idea can go even further when we know the author, personally, that wrote something (which is why I try not to look at the names on my students’ papers before i read them).
Voice is complicated as it pertains to genre.  I’m sure most will agree that voice is particularly important when it comes to narrative pieces, but what about in other genres.  At first, I was thinking that it does not belong in, say, a formal complaint letter.  But then, I got to thinking that the elimination of your authentic voice is, in fact, a “voice.”  A voice that is unapologetically no-nonsense and, therefore, also essential.
Elbow’s conclusion about both ignoring and paying acute attention to voice in writing reminded me of something I do in the classroom with my students.  We read like readers (to enjoy) and read like writers (to learn).  When we read like readers, we gobble up the words, eat them up and bask in the fullness we experience from having read the piece.  When we re-read as writers, we perform an autopsy on the pages, dissecting each phrase and word and punctuation mark trying to discover how and why the author chose to put them together.  This, I think, are the lenses he was talking about.

Final Project/DigiWriMo

I am glad we came up with a concept for our final project.  I am thinking that my “vignette” will include a little of what we discussed in class regarding gathering other people’s experiences with writing.  I am still fascinated with the idea and got some confirmation when I informally asked a few people how they learned to write.  The range of answers was fascinating.  So, as a part of my project, I would like to include these snippets for all to hear, in their actual “voices.”  I hope to be able to include a mini audio-archive of some of these voices, perhaps with some images floating around…..not quite sure yet, but to hear an actual voice rather than reading their ideas I think would be interesting.  I will add my own written section, as well, about my own experience and who knows????......
I checked out and subscribed to the DigiWriMo website. I think we can do some good things there, especially since its connected to the publication we hope to get our final project on. 

"Voice in Writing Again" by Peter Elbow

     I never really thought about the use of voice in writing until reading Peter Elbow's "Voice in Writing Again". I don't know if I was explicitly taught this or if it is subconsciously done, but I always assumed that if I was writing an academic paper then my voice would have to be as dry and boring as all the rest. The only time I could inject my personality into the writing was when it was a creative piece. To be completely honest, I still feel weird that my blog posts aren't very formal and proper.

     There are people in this world who could read an anonymous piece of writing and then pinpoint the author. I am not one of those people. Whether this is mainly due to voice or unique style, I don't know; but I can't do it. I know the quality of writing some of my students are capable of, but I couldn't tell you who wrote what.

     This year, like most, I notice a change in quality when we move from the creative writing portion of the class to the persuasive. Consider the following beginning to a student's narrative:

          "Buzzbuzzbuzz. Eve was startled by the incessant vibrations of the phone beside her ear.  
She whined before grabbing her phone and unlocking it furiously. Her best friend, Karina, was 
spamming Eve with multiple texts."

I love the language and personality this student incorporates into the story. Unfortunately, this same student, when given a persuasive task this past week, left the class without writing anything down. It wasn't for lack of trying, she just couldn't find the right way to begin. She couldn't find a way to include her voice in what she thought was supposed to be a dry paper.

  I frequent Reddit, a community site on which the users submit content of all varieties. I particularly enjoy reading the comments on most posts, mainly because they are all so comical. By now, I've read comments from thousands of different users, but they all read as though they came from the same mind. It seems to me that the Internet has established its own collective voice, with thousands, perhaps millions, of unique contributors falling in with one another.

I am excited by the new idea for the group project, mainly because it gives more freedom to everyone to be themselves. each piece would be extremely personal, featuring everyone's own voice. In terms of the Digital Writing Month, I'm also excited by the possibilities this might present. I've never really created anything outside of normal assignments. This blog is the most advanced thing I've even attempted.

"Voice in Writing Again" by Peter Elbow

     I never really thought about the use of voice in writing until reading Peter Elbow's "Voice in Writing Again". I don't know if I was explicitly taught this or if it is subconsciously done, but I always assumed that if I was writing an academic paper then my voice would have to be as dry and boring as all the rest. The only time I could inject my personality into the writing was when it was a creative piece. To be completely honest, I still feel weird that my blog posts aren't very formal and proper.

     There are people in this world who could read an anonymous piece of writing and then pinpoint the author. I am not one of those people. Whether this is mainly due to voice or unique style, I don't know; but I can't do it. I know the quality of writing some of my students are capable of, but I couldn't tell you who wrote what.

     This year, like most, I notice a change in quality when we move from the creative writing portion of the class to the persuasive. Consider the following beginning to a student's narrative:

          "Buzzbuzzbuzz. Eve was startled by the incessant vibrations of the phone beside her ear.  
She whined before grabbing her phone and unlocking it furiously. Her best friend, Karina, was 
spamming Eve with multiple texts."

I love the language and personality this student incorporates into the story. Unfortunately, this same student, when given a persuasive task this past week, left the class without writing anything down. It wasn't for lack of trying, she just couldn't find the right way to begin. She couldn't find a way to include her voice in what she thought was supposed to be a dry paper.

  I frequent Reddit, a community site on which the users submit content of all varieties. I particularly enjoy reading the comments on most posts, mainly because they are all so comical. By now, I've read comments from thousands of different users, but they all read as though they came from the same mind. It seems to me that the Internet has established its own collective voice, with thousands, perhaps millions, of unique contributors falling in with one another.

I am excited by the new idea for the group project, mainly because it gives more freedom to everyone to be themselves. each piece would be extremely personal, featuring everyone's own voice. In terms of the Digital Writing Month, I'm also excited by the possibilities this might present. I've never really created anything outside of normal assignments. This blog is the most advanced thing I've even attempted.