Bad Ideas about Failure and Envisioning Possibilities.

Blog Homework 10 5 class

Both of the week’s readings shared a theme:  Multimodal applications to learning are essential moving forward into the 21st century.  My own forthcoming presentation on Multiliteracies stages much of its foundation upon multimodal learning.

“Bad Ideas About Writing” was an interesting look at how multimodal work is helping students adapt to becoming college-level writers.  I too used to perceive Community Colleges as a great place start and the remedial classes they offer as an extension of High School classes.  I can speak honestly when I say my opinions have changed considerably.

Community Colleges offer some amazing academics.  They are no longer the drive through of higher education.  As a High School Teacher I can say that I have taught my students to write to their own individual level.  This was never intended to dumb down the student, it was only a means to get them comfortable writing from within their own skin.  Tyler Banson is no fan of the Five-Paragraph Essay.  Part of me is relieved to share such an opinion.  And yet I’m saddened.  The Five Paragraph Essay has helped so many students learn to structure a written piece and maintain an individual level of writing.  Tyler Banson goes on to say that the Five Paragraph Essay is not how the real-world writes. I agree.  But I believe I could show him how many great writes took that paragraph structure and turned it into the style from which many write.  I also agree with Tyler Banson when he says that writing is not a set of formulas.  But yet, I can’t help but notice how many tales begin with setting, then move on to the introduction of character and plot and then get to the heart of the matter before regaling readers with an ending. That pattern right there sounds like a formula to me.  People writing for college should be made to notice such things.  It would help college writers to further define argument versus audience, which seems to be another theme running throughout.

“Reading is Not Essential…,” speaks to the newly minted college student taking entry level courses.  Ms. Barger speaks to students, who for years have been taught to write towards the standardized tests each and every students and educator has been pummeled with, that are now having to write toward real-world arguments.  Barger furthers Banson’s ideas of audience versus argument.  I like that she takes an active stand in having students write toward the argument and reading as a way of backing up arguments. Barger makes the argument that text books for teachers to teach reading are out of date – DUH!  The way students read and what they read has come leaps and bounds before a bunch of stuffy professors decided to sit down and craft a text book. Talk about failure as an option.

Allison Carr again showed the connection to the first two pieces in regards to new college writers.  I like that she spoke about failure as a method of learning.  I can’t tell you how many submissions I had rejected before I got paid for my first piece.  Steven King is even familiar with that feeling.  Comic Books, by design, were because of young readers failure to read traditional works of literature. I love the idea of failure as a way of identifying those willing to take risk.  Failure is discovery, as Carr points out. I instantly thought of giving students an assignment, “Ok everyone, I don’t care how bad your writing is I just want you to write and ….”  Then the next day say, “I want you to do your best work.”  I’m betting the difference is that when there are no risks of failure, the writing will be amazing.  When the risk hits the fan, that’s when problems arise.

Hugo’s chosen piece, “Envisioning Possibilities …,” connect wisely to Amber’s chosen works.  As mentioned I too will be working with multimodal applications among multiliteracies.  Comics galore in this piece.  I have used comic book adaptations to teach literature.  It worked the best with Frankenstein.  I’ve even divided up the Novella, Of Mice and Men amongst the class and have students create a comic of each chapter that when put with the other groups tells the entire story.  Visuals help in so many ways.

 The authors of this piece speak about three elements in her piece to help young readers and writers.  First was to employ metaphors and images.  I like this very much and use it constantly in my writing and speaking.  The next was an integration of comic book images ad aesthetics.  No guessing needed as to why I can relate.  Carr’s third element was that of dynamic visualization.  Such a broad term.  The word dynamic strikes me – I bet it strikes many people and all differently.  I intend to use all three in my project for Writing for Children and Young adults with Dr. Bhandari.