All posts by haileyjcarone

how the maker movement can help create writers

I really enjoyed the video and reading paired together this week, because I think it’s completely important and relevant in the next steps toward teaching writing. I think this is that “fourth wave” that Yancey reflects on, the next movement in writing assessment in education. While the third wave is still portfolio-based and tries to be more creative, I think that if writing assessment moves toward that DIY-ideology that the DML webinar discusses, it will work a lot better for students. If students gain more control over their work in both a creative and multimodal context, writing can become more individualized and accessible to a variety of students.

It’s significant to recognize the maker movement as something that can also be applied to the teaching of writing, and is not just exclusive to engineers or people who have “left-sided” brains. If we create makerspaces that cater toward developing writing skills, such as including kinesthetic methods of teaching writing instead of all just visual or auditory, it appeals to another type of thinker. That way, writing can reach out toward a multitude of students and instill confidence in people who think they inherently “are not good writers” – there should be no such thing. Learning comes to people a variety of ways, and makerspaces and DIY projects help include that neurodiversity.

Consequently, besides just helping develop the student as a writer, a DIY approach can be applied to writing assessments in school. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl mentions that writing assessments are completely formulaic and “not natural” environment for cultivating writing. Thus, if the next wave of writing assessment transforms into a process that encourages a more “studio” atmosphere, it is ultimately better for the student. That way, the student becomes more involved in their writing: it becomes a subject they are interested in, and this interest will hopefully breed the potential for their writing project to reach an actual audience. It all goes back to this culture of attribution, and if students are creating, are making, there’s a feeling of success and self-worth by adding their voice in an ongoing or completely new conversation.

In that sense, writing assessments have the potential to be more than just a dreaded thing that a student has to “pass.” Instead, it can become an opportunity for students to express and explore themselves and their writing and subjects that interest them, in order to further their personal and academic curiosities and abilities.

how the maker movement can help create writers

I really enjoyed the video and reading paired together this week, because I think it’s completely important and relevant in the next steps toward teaching writing. I think this is that “fourth wave” that Yancey reflects on, the next movement in writing assessment in education. While the third wave is still portfolio-based and tries to be more creative, I think that if writing assessment moves toward that DIY-ideology that the DML webinar discusses, it will work a lot better for students. If students gain more control over their work in both a creative and multimodal context, writing can become more individualized and accessible to a variety of students.

It’s significant to recognize the maker movement as something that can also be applied to the teaching of writing, and is not just exclusive to engineers or people who have “left-sided” brains. If we create makerspaces that cater toward developing writing skills, such as including kinesthetic methods of teaching writing instead of all just visual or auditory, it appeals to another type of thinker. That way, writing can reach out toward a multitude of students and instill confidence in people who think they inherently “are not good writers” – there should be no such thing. Learning comes to people a variety of ways, and makerspaces and DIY projects help include that neurodiversity.

Consequently, besides just helping develop the student as a writer, a DIY approach can be applied to writing assessments in school. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl mentions that writing assessments are completely formulaic and “not natural” environment for cultivating writing. Thus, if the next wave of writing assessment transforms into a process that encourages a more “studio” atmosphere, it is ultimately better for the student. That way, the student becomes more involved in their writing: it becomes a subject they are interested in, and this interest will hopefully breed the potential for their writing project to reach an actual audience. It all goes back to this culture of attribution, and if students are creating, are making, there’s a feeling of success and self-worth by adding their voice in an ongoing or completely new conversation.

In that sense, writing assessments have the potential to be more than just a dreaded thing that a student has to “pass.” Instead, it can become an opportunity for students to express and explore themselves and their writing and subjects that interest them, in order to further their personal and academic curiosities and abilities.

the problem with "research papers"

Composition 101, Researching and Writing, Expository Writing – whatever the class is called, there will always be freshmen coming to the writing center in a panic and asking consultants on how to help them to get “a good grade” on their paper for the class. These foundation classes are significant in building the student’s writing ability and to prepare them for more papers to come at university; however, it seems to do the exact opposite in terms of “authentically” improving a student’s writing abilities. I’m glad that Katherine chose to do these two articles, because I cannot stress enough how toxic formulaic writing is for students in composition classes – instead of promoting critical thinking skills, original ideas, and individualized voice in their paper, students cling to a pattern in academic writing that has preceded and is expected of them. These students are desperate to follow the formula, regurgitate ideas just to make their argument in a paper “safe,” stress out over every proper citation placement, and constantly ask writing center tutors, “Is this paper good? Does it follow the requirements? Do you think the professor will be ok with this?”

Students are poisoned with that idea of writing for a grade, and thus try their best to make their paper into a scientific puzzle- “Maybe if I move this sentence here, add a citation after this part, put a quote there, it’ll look like the sample paper our professor shared with us, and then I’ll be ok!” They are so concerned with getting through the class with no other reason than keeping their GPA up and just not failing, and consequently have no interest in writing for themselves. Like Barbara Fister says in her article, “Why the ‘Research Paper’ Isn’t Working,” students are too afraid to express their own ideas and make the paper their own because it won’t “fit” with what the professor wants, or even that there aren’t enough  “sources” to back a completely original argument. Students are concerned with replication, which is why having a standard “research paper” isn’t working. The concept needs to be reworked so that it encourages students to think on their own and tend to their own ideas, instead of doing incomplete, surface-level research just to support a quote for an argument they have no interest in.

Additionally, these standard research papers clash completely with the ideology of the writing center. The writing center works toward non-direct conversations that help the students think and encourage their individuality and confidence in their own writing and voice, as opposed to showing students directly how to “make their paper better.” That’s not what the writing center is about, and having those research papers seem to only promote that mentality of “do as I say,” instead of giving them more freedom to explore their voice. Academic foundation courses in writing need to rethink their methods in teaching, as it is dangerous to the students; ultimately, they will keep repeating this behavior of formulaic writing in their other classes. That habit, consequently, is detrimental to their own learning, and definitely does not help prepare them for their other classes at university that will require original research, original thought, and original voice.

the problem with "research papers"

Composition 101, Researching and Writing, Expository Writing – whatever the class is called, there will always be freshmen coming to the writing center in a panic and asking consultants on how to help them to get “a good grade” on their paper for the class. These foundation classes are significant in building the student’s writing ability and to prepare them for more papers to come at university; however, it seems to do the exact opposite in terms of “authentically” improving a student’s writing abilities. I’m glad that Katherine chose to do these two articles, because I cannot stress enough how toxic formulaic writing is for students in composition classes – instead of promoting critical thinking skills, original ideas, and individualized voice in their paper, students cling to a pattern in academic writing that has preceded and is expected of them. These students are desperate to follow the formula, regurgitate ideas just to make their argument in a paper “safe,” stress out over every proper citation placement, and constantly ask writing center tutors, “Is this paper good? Does it follow the requirements? Do you think the professor will be ok with this?”

Students are poisoned with that idea of writing for a grade, and thus try their best to make their paper into a scientific puzzle- “Maybe if I move this sentence here, add a citation after this part, put a quote there, it’ll look like the sample paper our professor shared with us, and then I’ll be ok!” They are so concerned with getting through the class with no other reason than keeping their GPA up and just not failing, and consequently have no interest in writing for themselves. Like Barbara Fister says in her article, “Why the ‘Research Paper’ Isn’t Working,” students are too afraid to express their own ideas and make the paper their own because it won’t “fit” with what the professor wants, or even that there aren’t enough  “sources” to back a completely original argument. Students are concerned with replication, which is why having a standard “research paper” isn’t working. The concept needs to be reworked so that it encourages students to think on their own and tend to their own ideas, instead of doing incomplete, surface-level research just to support a quote for an argument they have no interest in.

Additionally, these standard research papers clash completely with the ideology of the writing center. The writing center works toward non-direct conversations that help the students think and encourage their individuality and confidence in their own writing and voice, as opposed to showing students directly how to “make their paper better.” That’s not what the writing center is about, and having those research papers seem to only promote that mentality of “do as I say,” instead of giving them more freedom to explore their voice. Academic foundation courses in writing need to rethink their methods in teaching, as it is dangerous to the students; ultimately, they will keep repeating this behavior of formulaic writing in their other classes. That habit, consequently, is detrimental to their own learning, and definitely does not help prepare them for their other classes at university that will require original research, original thought, and original voice.

#whyiwrite concept + memo

For my #whyIwrite project, I’m exploring my own poetics and the reasoning behind why I personally write poetry. Ultimately, the main reasoning of why I enjoy writing is this idea of voice and its personal connection with the audience. Allen Ginsberg talks about it at length in a 1966 interview with The Paris Review, where he says we draw distinctions for ourselves between we tell our audience, what we tell our friends, and what we tell our Muse: but why do we confine our literary selves like that? I think that’s definitely an important part of my poetics- the lines that we make for ourselves should be blurred and be allowed to be crossed and invaded in order to conceive what I personally believe is “better” literature. If I am not honest with my Muse about my true feelings, or if I am not sharing that one drunk narrative from two months ago I told my friend Emily, I feel like something can be lost in my poetry. After all, I think those candid and unfiltered moments are what truly make poetry interesting, personal, and authentic: thus, I write to share the poetic moments in the narrative of my life as a means to connect with others in a way that becomes a raw and truly human experience.

In terms of concerns I have with my project, I’m worried about a few things:

1) In the big scheme of things, is this saying anything important? I want to add to a conversation, and not regurgitate a common idea or something that no one cares about.
2) In terms of technicality, is my draft focused? What can I do in terms of bettering transitions or connections in thought?
3) Does any of this stick with you? I tried to make my draft both amusing yet literary: I tried my hand with some humorous lines and with some poetic lines, in hopes that certain images and things that I am saying will leave something of an imprint in the mind of my reader.
4) What else can I include to elaborate / solidify my argument that would be helpful?

#whyiwrite concept + memo

For my #whyIwrite project, I’m exploring my own poetics and the reasoning behind why I personally write poetry. Ultimately, the main reasoning of why I enjoy writing is this idea of voice and its personal connection with the audience. Allen Ginsberg talks about it at length in a 1966 interview with The Paris Review, where he says we draw distinctions for ourselves between we tell our audience, what we tell our friends, and what we tell our Muse: but why do we confine our literary selves like that? I think that’s definitely an important part of my poetics- the lines that we make for ourselves should be blurred and be allowed to be crossed and invaded in order to conceive what I personally believe is “better” literature. If I am not honest with my Muse about my true feelings, or if I am not sharing that one drunk narrative from two months ago I told my friend Emily, I feel like something can be lost in my poetry. After all, I think those candid and unfiltered moments are what truly make poetry interesting, personal, and authentic: thus, I write to share the poetic moments in the narrative of my life as a means to connect with others in a way that becomes a raw and truly human experience.

In terms of concerns I have with my project, I’m worried about a few things:

1) In the big scheme of things, is this saying anything important? I want to add to a conversation, and not regurgitate a common idea or something that no one cares about.
2) In terms of technicality, is my draft focused? What can I do in terms of bettering transitions or connections in thought?
3) Does any of this stick with you? I tried to make my draft both amusing yet literary: I tried my hand with some humorous lines and with some poetic lines, in hopes that certain images and things that I am saying will leave something of an imprint in the mind of my reader.
4) What else can I include to elaborate / solidify my argument that would be helpful?

the problem of the "monolingual norm"

While I don’t feel like there was a real connection between the two articles, I did enjoy Matsuda’s article of “Teaching Composition in the Multilingual World.” Just to start off with, individuals who can write in another language are truly amazing, as that unnatural skill, especially trying to sound fluent in another language, is completely challenging. For me, I struggle with just writing a sentence in Japanese, because I want to think about all of the rules of grammar, semantics, colloquialisms, and generally if it sounds natural and not “out of context.” Thus, for someone who identifies as a multilingual writer, their mind has to continue to more consciously think of all of those rules and challenges, as opposed to just letting it come naturally to them – in all honesty, it does not come natural for a lot of native speakers, too, because writing comes as a difficult task for a good deal of people, regardless of their language.

Additionally, I found the part in Matsuda’s article about English as the “monolingual norm” to be very important (49). In particular, I think Matsuda touches on the fact that, if someone holds English as a “superior” language and disregards / dismisses the possibility or presence of other languages in the field of writing, it creates a problem that is much related to the idea of privilege. Because of this privilege, it also can tie into an issue of the loss of voice, in that something can be culturally lost when translated, as opposed to being read in the mother tongue. For example, a piece of Japanese poetry has a meaning entirely in its linguistic context; however, by following this idea of a “monolingual norm” and “making” it English (as opposed to trying to read it in Japanese), the poem loses meaning. Ultimately, multilingual writers definitely have overcome so many obstacles in writing, and as Matsuda mentions, they are not as recognized; additionally, this lack of recognition and forcing them to conform to the “superiority” of the English language also poses a larger cultural and societal problem, which truly shapes the identity of these writers.