All posts by JustErik

The Anthology of Us

I will start with a brief overview of my piece.
I’ve decided to make a fictional journal entry from the perspective of a young adult. I intend to make it completely gender-neutral so readers, male, female and nonbinary, could relate to it. The main theme of it will be the struggle of a young adult going through paradoxical time in their life. A time where their family wants them to be prim, proper and perfect, while they yearn to be messy, loud, and “flawed”. I want to disclose that its semi-autobiographical but everything will be exaggerated a bit.

All of my ideas for the anthology are in the Docs that the class made but I’ll reiterate them here. I’ve got two titles in mind for the anthology: Growth and The Anthology of Us. The second one arose when I started writing this blog post and it was just too good to ignore and let it just be a blog post title. As for the format I believe it should be digital. A digital format allows this project to be attached to CV and resumes as a quick hyperlink. (if you don’t know what a hyper link is, click here) It also allows this project to be revisited by the authors to edit or add more stories if they so choose. In a digital format it has the potential to reach a far wider audience than a physical copy could.

As for the job I could take responsibility for…if we as a class decide to have a dedication page I’d like to take responsibility for it. Before I start creating one I’d like to know the general theme of everyone short piece.

Ideas for Final Group Project

First and foremost, Id like to mention that I was never a fan of group work. Maybe it relates back to my desire to handle everything on my own, or my lack of trust in others. Personally, I’m not sure but what I am sure about is that ill most likely figure that out at the end of my thesis project. (all are welcomed to read it when it’s completed)

That being said I went back and reread the initial notes that the class did last time, and recorded everyone notes.(I took some liberties and summarized everyone’s ideas. Apologies if I did not capture your message)

What ideas are exciting to you
Me: Identity, Multiculturalism & Multilingualism, AI
Val: Voice, Healing, Multiculturalism & Multilingualism
Max: Voice, Identity, AI
Tyler: Healing, Pedagogy of the oppressed
Fran: Healing, Identity
John: Healing, Revision
Mike: Diversity, the Power of Writing, voice.
Rachel: Multiculturalism
Cindy: Trauma & Writing, Healing

What learning outcomes matter more to you
Me: Growth
Val: Trust
Max: New perspective and ideas
Tyler: Application
Fran: Finding voice in writing.
John: Application
Mike: The significance of the story.
Rachel: New perspectives
Cindy: awareness of trauma

How can you make this class project count in a way that is truly meaningful to you
Me: Creative freedom & application
Val: Participating/Teamwork
Max: Creating something I am proud of
Tyler: Application
Fran: Application to life and daily living habits
John: Personal growth, gaining insight
Mike: Expanding our horizons, growth
Rachel:  Adding value to the world
Cindy: Connecting trauma to pedagogy

As I’m writing this only Cindy, Rachel, Fran, and Mike have posted their blogs so I only have their ideas to build upon, so bare with me if it doesn’t have the range of everyone’s ideas in mind. That being said, the ideas I’ve read so far have been wonderful. I’m leaning towards Fran’s idea of writing short fiction pieces about struggles. Creating a short anthology about our struggles could: 1) be applicable to our professional futures. 2) relates to trauma AND healing 3) expands our insights and perspectives 4) has the potential to become an anthology magazine 5) has the potential to become a source of solace for readers. This anthology would have a limit of 1000-1500 words, could cover Fiction, Nonfiction and poetry and a variety of topics. Topics such as: trauma, healing, pedagogy, growth, voice, etc. It could also be open for submission by readers, but at that point it would be a full-fledged magazine. Though, I could see it being adopted by the English department.

However, I’m at an impasse between this and Mikes idea of creating a curriculum that works within the constraint of “standards set forth by the state of New Jersey” (O’hara). I think it is a very realistic idea to work within the systems we have installed currently. Though I do not relish the thought of working within the choking grasps of secondary education, its still a wonderful idea.

Regardless of what we choose, I’m eager to see everyone ideas.

In My Own Voice

Before start Grad school, I got a certificate in court translation at Union County College. In a meeting with my professor, she confessed to me that my writing was beautiful. That it had a flow she had not seen before in her previous students. That I had an ability to make my thoughts flow between each word like melody in music. I was a bit in shock when hearing this, since 1) i had never heard someone describe my writing like this and 2) because it was an informal writing about my life. Looking back at this, I wondering if what she meant was my voice.

I’m going to get a lil nerdy, sorry.

“Spoken language, often combined with the movement of the face, hands, and body, animates and enlivens. We become thought; we feel voice; we act out ideas on the small stage of our being” (Huber).
SO, there’s this manga that I love called Jujutsu Kaisen written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. There is a fight scene in chapter 37 between two characters the main protagonist, Yuji Itadori and a supporting character, Todo Aoi. In the midst of their battle Todo stops to tell Yuji that he’s controlling his power, Cursed energy all wrong. (side note: cursed energy is powered by negative emotion) He goes on to explain that cursed energy originates from the belly through the chest, the shoulders, arms and to the fists. Why am I mentioning this? Well because of his next words. “Do we think with our stomach? Do we use our mind to express rage? Listen up, Itadori. We exist in this world with our entire body, mind and soul. Its so obvious that most everyone has taken that maxim for granted” (Akutami 12-15). It goes without saying that this applies to voice in our writing. I love the last line in that quote. We as writers forget that when we write its not only our words that we stamp onto the page, but our Being, our souls. I have a portion of my wall covered in chalkboard paint, and when I write on it I end up covered in chalk. my hands, my clothes, my hair, my face. I’m not only writing words and poems but I’m pouring my soul and voice into the physical world. As Huber mentions, this act “kindle, enliven, and embody expression”.

Writing and Trauma

Small confession: Right before reading Expressive Writing, Emotional Upheavals, and Health by James W. Pennebaker and Cindy K. Chung I was not doing so good mentally. I was in the middle of a emotional breakdown. So bad that I knew I wouldn’t be able to properly make this blog post if I didn’t get it out of my system. So I wrote it all down in a journal that hadn’t been touched since September. (How shameful to neglect the empty pages begging me to write upon them) 15 minutes and 3 pages later, I felt rejuvenated. As if I were a reptile shedding my skin. How serendipitous to read this article right after doing exactly what it was speaking on.

When individuals talk or write about deeply personal topics, their immediate biological responses are congruent with those seen among people attempting to relax” (Chung & Pennebaker 9). And boy did my body relax. My whole being had a reaction: My jaw unclenched, my shoulders relaxed, my breathing regulated. It was a much needed healing experience. Now I feel as if I can tackle the issue that led me to these feelings.

I’ve mentioned before that writing to me is therapeutic. That since I’m a more reserved person writing thoughts down is easier than speaking them into existence. It also allows me to actually see my own thoughts and analyze them, the good and the bad.

“Once an experience is translated into language, however, it can be processed in a conceptual manner. In language format, the individual can assign meaning, coherence, and structure. This would allow for the event to be assimilated and, ultimately, resolved and/or forgotten, thereby alleviating the maladaptive effects of incomplete emotional processing on health”

(Chung & Pennebaker 27).

When speaking or thinking about issues, we tend to focus on the last thing said or felt. It’s not as if we have a 24/7 transcript where we can read back what was said. Writing it down makes us sit with our issues and traumas, and work through every single one. How we got there, how we can start healing from them.

What Even is Standard English

As I was reading this weeks selections I could not help but think of a close friend, Mary-rose, of mine who teaches middle school English. (I’ll send these articles to her. I dunno if she’ll read em but worth a try) She’s a stickler for the grammatical rules that Vershawn Ashanti Young talks about in his article. I’m afraid that she would be more likely to agree with Stanley Fish than with Young but I cant blame her for this , she was taught this way. To work and teach within these lines that are considered Standard English. (I am in no way saying she’s a bad teacher for this either, i wanna make that clear. Shes doing something I could neva. Teach. and doing it pretty well IMO)

The narrow, prescriptive lens be messin writers and readers all the way up, cuz we all been taught to respect the dominant way to write, even if we dont, cant, or wont ever write that one way ourselves. That be hegemony. Internalized oppression. Linguistic self-hate.

(Young 112)

I had a little trouble reading Youngs article, so instead of reading it in my head like I do with all academic writings, I decided to read it out loud and treat it more like a conversation. It felt as if I was talking informally with friends but with topics that are heavier and reserved for academic settings. Anyway, I essentially turned his article into a highlighter coloring book. If I were to place all the quotes in this post I’d essentially be quoting entire pages, so ill limit it to the ones that I found important. “Fish himself acquiesce to this linguistic prejudice when he come saying that people make theyselves targets for racism if and when they dont write and speak like he do”(Young 110). I love that this point was brought up, cause its Victim blaming 101. Oh you were denied _____ because your English is not academic, developed, standard, or refined enough. as Young says in the next lines Black English and its user don’t oppress themselves, but its the negative connotation that Black English has been given.
“A whole lot of folk could be writin and speakin real, real smart if Fish and others stop using one prescriptive, foot-long ruler to measure the language of peeps who use a yard stick when they communicate”(Young 112). I love love love love this quote. When I came across it I had to stop reading cause it felt as if a brick of realization hit my head. If we only change our perspective, our “standard” English lens then we can teach various cultural perspective, dialects etc. It sounds so simple to do, but as the phrase goes…easier said than done.

I want to point out that April Baker-Bell’s article We Been Knowin: Toward an Antiracist Language & Literacy Education did a wonderful job of giving its reader a taste of the bigger picture in just half a page.

We Been Knowin also signifies that communities of color, especially women of color, queer and trans people, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty BEEN knowin what has and has not worked. Our lived experiences have continually taught us how to think about freedom and collective liberation, and have laid the foundation for what must be done today. Though this article will reflect Black people’s epistemologies and language and literacy practices, I want to point out that systems of oppression that perpetuate anti-blackness are interconnected with and cannot be separated from how other communities of color experience racism, systemic injustices, and inequities. Indeed, sexism, classism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression do not serve our collective liberation. This complexity suggests that an antiracist language and literacy education has to be intersectional.

(Baker-Bell 2)

This was a fantastic point to preface her article with. As I read the article, I not only thought about the injustices, racism, and anti-blackness surrounding language but how these systems of linguistic oppression also effect other communities. As Baker-Bell mentions above women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and people in poverty. (Also correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure this is the only article so far to mention people with disabilities.) On her second page she has already made it clear the injustice surrounding language effect more than one community, and that this is not only a issue for user of Black-English, but for everyone who is oppressed.

If you, for some reason, didn’t think Baker-Bell started off on the right foot then her next section Antiracist Critical Media Literacies sure was the right one. (second right foot?) The way media outlets use language for certain event is a clear indication of the necessity for Critical Media Literacies but especially antiracist ones. Living in this era of almost weekly mass shootings its difficult NOT to see the racist depictions by the media. How Baker-Bell mentions that Trayvon Martin, a victim, is criminalized while his murderer is portrayed as a “upstanding positive” person”. How white perpetrator are depicted by the media as Lone wolves or as having problems with mental health. It’s why antiracist critical media literacies are so important to teach, and understand. Educators need to adopt a “language that explicitly names and richly captures the types of linguistic oppression that is uniquely experienced and endured by Black Language-speakers”(Baker-Bell 7).

So I have to admit that I messed up on this weeks reading for Bad Ideas About Writing. We were assigned “African American Language is Not Good English” by Jennifer M. Cunningham BUT I mistakenly read the previous chapter “There is One Correct Way of Writing and Speaking” by Anjali Pattanayak. Once I realized this, I went back and read the assigned chapter. However, I believe these two chapter work wonderfully together and I urge everyone to read it.
“In the writing classroom, teachers can help students navigate Standard American English expectations while not suggesting a linguistic hierarchy. By speaking about language choices in terms of difference rather than deficiency and in relation to academic and nonacademic conventions, we can value both (or any) languages”(Cunningham 91). Cunningham illustrated her ideas extremely well in this quote. Once we rid ourselves and classrooms of this linguistic hierarchies we will take the steps to creating a proper multicultural, multilinguistic pedagogies.

Ring the Multicultural bell

I’d like to preface this by saying that I love the phrase Paradigm Shift. It’s an incredible way to explain the changing of ones approach in a way that holds more weight. onto the readings.

I liked how bell hooks started this chapter by stating a very important fact that most of us do not think of. “Let’s face it: most of us were taught in classrooms where styles of teachings reflected the notion of a single norm of thought and experience, which we were encouraged to believe was universal” (hooks 35). Students are taught with this norm from day one, and educators are taught to teach it. From day one we are molded by this system so much that we grow accustomed to it. To break free of this system and create one that adopts multiple cultures you need a level of self-awareness. (it is my belief that to ever grow as a person, educator, professional etc. self awareness is necessary.) hooks mentions that its necessary to understand that no education is politically neutral. She also makes a comment that the choice to only teach works by old dead white guys (my phrasing not hers) is a political decision. (quick side note: I love the works of old dead white guys. Blake, Wordsworth, Lord Tennyson, etc. BUT I’m well aware that only having their perspectives blinds me to the plethora of writers and art that reside in the rest of the world. FIN of side note). This decision however is one that we are accustomed to seeing, but the lack of awareness is what makes it dangerous and alienating to multicultural students.

I want to highlight a very important part of this chapter, her mention of Toni Morrison. From the few books I’ve read of Morrison I cannot fathom the idea of not teaching or analyzing her work without ever making reference to race or ethnicity. It’s such an important part of her work that to deny or exclude it tokenizes her works, her life, her experience, her struggles.
Another very important part of this chapter I wish to highlight is when hooks writes:

Teaching in a traditional discipline from the perspective of critical pedagogy means that I often encounter students who make complaints like, ‘1 thought this was supposed to be an English class, why are we talking so much about feminism?” (Or, they might add, race or class.) In the transformed classroom there is often a much greater need to explain philosophy, strategy, intent than in the “norm” setting. I have found through the years that many of my students who bitch endlessly while they are taking my classes contact me
at a later date to talk about how much that experience meant to them, how much they learned

Hooks (42)

I wanted to mention this because I was one of these students. I once took a class on Romantic Era Literature in which the reading material was still written by old dead white guys however it was centered around slavery. Most don’t realize that the era of romanticism was at its height from 1800-1850…..and on 1865 the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. In order to teach this era critically there is a greater need to explain the philosophy, strategy, intent of these writers in this time period. All of this to say that our self-awareness is crucial in creating a transformed classroom in which we can better teach multicultural students.

“Tutoring ESL Students: Issues & Options” by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva gave me flashbacks of last semester when taking Writing Pedagogies (A course I highly recommend to anyone specially educators and those wishing to be part administration). These flashbacks consist of the friendship I made with Edna. She is Columbian and has a good grasp of the English language. We became close last semester during class discussion when she would speak Spanish to me and I would respond either in Spanish or English. It was the first time I was able to express my thoughts and ideas in my mother tongue. Reminiscing aside, the quote “is the student’s lack of language proficiency in English keeping her from expressing a rich internal sense of what she wants to write about?” sent me into a spiral of wonder (Harris & Silva 528). Language barriers are one of the biggest challenges for educators today. I keep thinking about all my ESL teachers and the ways they taught me. It’s hard to recall since my brain felt as if it was being reprogrammed to the English language. BUT what I do remember is the size of the classroom. 3 students. Me, my sister and another kid whose name eludes me. I believe that the size of this class gave “individualized attention” to us. Perhaps that’s why I learned English so quickly, who’s to say.

Revise Your Voice

First I’d like to mention the resonance I had to a comment Peter Elbow made “Handwriting is more personal and body-connected than typing, so handwritten words are often experienced as more ‘voiced’ than typed or printed words” (Elbow 6). How I felt this in my soul. I cannot write my poetry, or short stories in a digital setting. The words don’t come out, they don’t sound right, they don’t have my voice. Another thing I’d like to mention is his use of italics. Every time I read a word in italics, whether in my head or out loud, I read/said it differently. either changing the volume of it or its pitch.

Elbow changing the way he assigns homework in order to better teach voice is wonderful. “Your homework is to prepare yourself to read this text aloud so that listeners without a text will really understand it” (Elbow 9). The emphasis on without a text is great, especially if you’re teaching Shakespearean plays. I always recall my favorite undergrad Professor, Dr. Gover, saying that these plays must be watched and heard not read. This way you can see “meanings in remarkable detail and actually feel those meanings in their bodies” (Elbow 9). The best example I can give is the double entendre in Act 3, Scene 2 of Hamlet [my favorite Shakespearean play] “Did you think I meant Country matters”. If you just read the lines the meaning might be lost, however if you listen to it……………..

(sorry about the quality, it was the best I could find)

Voice has such a important role in our writing. I often wonder if people hear my writing with my voice. Would my audience know where I would put inflections, or read my parenthetical side comments more casually. Admittedly, I only ever use my own regular voice in my writings. The feigning of professionalism or putting on a fraudulent air of higher academic speech only separates you from the audience. I’m sure there are ways to write in your own voice and revise your writings to better suit it for academia.

On the note of revision, Nancy Sommers article mentions that “what is impossible in speech in revision” (Sommers 379). The reason why I love writing is this ability, the ability to revise your words. When spoken, words are released into the ether never to be. When it comes to revising, I believe proper strategies need to be taught along side every other lesson. Genuine revision, is not about the misspelling and improper placement of commas. It’s about having the ability to “identify the ‘something larger’ that they sensed was wrong and work from there” (Sommers 383). Thinking about this made me remember my past revisions only focusing on words. Rephrasing, finding synonyms, never looking at the bigger picture.

The Incomparable, Unequaled, Unparalleled, Unrivaled Human Touch

As a someone who does most of his writing on paper first and then transfers it onto the 1s and 0s we see on the screen, its not hard to imagine my stance on artificial intelligence and writing (against it if that wasn’t clear). If it hasn’t been made perfectly clear, I am a (self-proclaimed) poet, and the one thing about poetry that I adore is the ability to pour one’s heart and soul into the lines (not that you can’t do that in prose). Poetry, I believe, is one of the art forms that requires the human touch. I’ve seen AI programs attempt to create poems and what comes out is nothing less of hollow, shallow and derivative. No matter what prompt you put in, no matter what author you command it to emulate, that’s all it will create, an imitation.

That being said, I do agree with the notion that AI Programs can help us surpass the notion of writers block. Sometimes our words have a tendency to stall and get stuck in our minds. Katy Ilonka Gero brought up a great point in her article of using theses AI programs as “drafting buddies”. That’s why we cherish our peers, and their opinions, their feedback, their minds. And who wouldn’t love to have them on call, 24/7. The accessibility of AI is unmatched, but so is its superficiality. As Rodolfo Delgado writes in his article “As writers, our distinct voices and authenticity are what draw people in”.(Delgado) I mentioned to Cindy and Tyler during our Conversation Café that my love for the field of English is the various perspective that everyone brings to the table. The ways in which they view the material and (most important) their own experiences that is woven in their responses. These AI programs can’t take into account how the text brought up memories and emotions, they cant emulate the genuine human experience.

Another aspect you lose is the sense of accomplishment. “The achievement of landing the end of a scene may only come from struggling to do it yourself”(Gero). Its the Eureka moment, that feeling that you’ve transgressed the problem at hand, you’ve found the write word, or created the perfect sentence to express your ideas. I recently wrote an essay for Language of Racial and Ethnic Identity (ENG 5155) comparing the long history of laws making insiders, U.S citizen of different races, religion and class, feel foreign to that of the popular video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which does the same with its fantastical races of Orcs, elves, and others. After submitting it, I felt it only right to allow my friend group who have also played the game to read it. Their feedback on my writing made me feel such accomplishment and dispelled most doubts I had. It wasn’t just superficial comments like “yeah it was good” or ” I liked it”. They started quoting passages and giving me commentary on my writings. (Not all of them are English majors or graduates. One is an English teacher, one is in the nursing field and the other is in the pharmaceutical field) This is what AI cannot recreate, sure it can find where I misplaced a comma or I misspelled a word but to engage with the writing and explain where it can be developed, that is out of its reach. That is what cannot be written into code.

The next thing I would like to focus on is intent behind the usage of AI. We’re focusing our view of its usage to writing academically but there are other more malicious ways of using it. As is mentioned in the Vox piece “Researchers have shown that these models can be used to flood government websites with fake public comments about policy proposals, post tons of fake business reviews, argue with people online, and generate extremist and racist posts that can make fringe opinions seem more popular than they really are”(Vox). The voice of one can be made to seem like the voice of thousands. With its ever growing usage it’s hard for the common man to decipher the writings of Bots, especially when its coming from several accounts. It gets more detrimental when people fail to investigate what they are reading. AI bots can and have been used to spread misinformation and ultimately influence the masses who fail to investigate further. But can we solely blame the AI for this or do we blame its creators? This leads us to think about who is programming these AI systems. How their prejudices have, consciously or unconsciously, infiltrated their creations.

Creating an Engaged Classroom

I may sound like a broke record player, but I’ve mentioned that I don’t want to become a teacher. I started my undergrad as an English education major but after dipping my toe in I decided it was not for me. I’m not a fan of the constraints placed upon teachers at the state and national level, the power administration and the Board of education have on the classroom (often filled with people who haven’t been teachers) and the ongoing rhetoric on censoring books. I (once again) mention this because I recently had a conversation with a peer and friend, Brandon, who told me that after I graduate I should become a adjunct professor. I laughed at this statement, but he reassured me and said that “You have a better grasp at rhetoric than me, so if I’m doing this than you definitely can”. There was more to this conversation, but thinking about this interaction in conjunction with this weeks reading reinforced the idea that there needs to be more than a mastery of a subject.

bell hooks introduction and first chapter are a phenomenal follow up to Freire’s Pedagogy of the oppressed. The hierarchy of power and the control an educator has over the classroom are one and the same. hooks mentions a few requirements for educators to break free from this cycle of oppressive power “the professor must genuinely value everyone’s presence. There must be an ongoing recognition that everyone influences the classroom dynamic, that everyone con tributes”(8). I’ve had classes where this was not the case at all, specially in middle and high school. I remember so vividly that in my 8th grade math class, when the teacher didn’t get a response, and the supposed “smart kids” weren’t in or didn’t feel like talking he would just move on, not wait for a response or even attempt to explain the problems. (Quick side note, when I was working at the B&N café I rang him up. My manager was staring daggers at him. Apparently, Her daughter had him as a math teacher as well and told her that she will never amount to anything and she should prepare to flip burgers at McDonalds. A clear example of the system bell hooks and Paulo Freire oppose.)

Classrooms and educators like that push students to become passive consumers. “It was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer”(14). I remember dreading that class, maybe its why I leaned towards English and not math. Anyways, if I ever find myself becoming an educator, creating this space where students can reach a state of self-actualization is crucial. It’s not just about mastery of a subject or over students, but to guide your students into being the best versions of themselves, regardless if you’re teaching a 8th grade math class or a freshman composition course or a Graduate thesis course.

Banks Are Scams

Here is my reaction paper that goes along with my presentation.
if you don’t want to read the whole thing that’s fine, however I will past my last paragraph since it has some question to ponder on.

Taking my own experience into account brought up certain questions to mind. In the context of problem-posing education, how can educators navigate the potential challenges that arise when students from marginalized or underrepresented identity groups share their experiences and perspectives? Additionally, Problem-posing education challenges traditional power dynamics in the classroom, emphasizing dialogue and shared knowledge creation. How might this approach influence the way students perceive and construct their own identities in relation to authority figures, such as teachers, guidance counselors, principles, etc. ? How can it promote a more equitable distribution of power? Lastly, Freire argues that problem-posing education can be a means to challenge and transform oppressive structures in society. What are the potential limitations or challenges of implementing problem-posing education and how might these challenges be addressed?

It’s Freewriting

This weeks readings were a nice reminder that I have to continue writing in the plethora of notebooks that I’ve collected. Unfortunately, due to circumstance I’ve place myself in (Grad school and poor time management) I have fallen off not only the writing wagon but also the freewriting one.

Peter Elbow’s Writing Without Teachers gives a great argument for the necessity of freewriting and the importance of not evaluating or discussing it or editing it. I’m glad that he brought up the difference between speaking and writing, editing, and called it an advantage and downfall. To be perfectly honest I’ve only ever seen it as an advantage. I mentioned in my introduction to the class how I love to write because of the ability to edited. When we speak, we cannot retract what our audience has heard; we can keep adding but what’s said is said. Anyways, back to freewriting, I feel as if Elbow particularly called me out in this article since I tend to write my papers and edit. EVEN THIS POST, after each sentence I reread the beginning of the paragraph and replace words or rewrite sentences and make sure everything flows. I add sentences and restructure the main idea of the paragraph. (Its honestly a bit exhausting for shorter writing endeavors such as blog post) For larger projects I completely agree with the prewriting method for finding subjects to write about that Elbow mentions. I see it as finding an uncut raw diamond in a pile of rubble. A way to find raw materials in your mind to craft into workable/useful writings.

One thing I must mention and agree with Donald Murrays Teach Writing as a Process Not Product is that of “teach[ing] unfinished writing, and glory in its unfinishedness.”(4 Murray). When I was learning about classics and the contemporary literature: Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Plath, Hemingway, Steinbeck etc. I was only shown the finish product. Sure it was important to learn about how they write and the dramatics and the commentary of a particular Era, but its hard to become a writer with only the castles these authors have created. I believe its important to see the process of them laying each brick.
I once visited The Berg Collection of English and American literature as an extracurricular for an Irish poetry course. (Anyone who knows me knows I love the Irish and poetry) I got to see early drafting of the The Waste Land Part III- The Fire Sermon by T.S Eliot along with its corrections and dashes and edits. (UNFORTUNATELY I did not get to see the manuscripts of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. the latter being my all time favorite poet. woe is me) Any lover of literature knows about The Waste Land and its grandeur but rarely do we get to see it in its incomplete form, to see its prewriting.

“We must encourage students to consider remixing more than surface-level content. Race, gender, sexuality–the texture of our individual identities–should be a focus for why we remix”(Garcia). Antero Garcia really hit the nail on its head with this line. With all the justifiable crap they get, dead old white guys writing centuries ago have laid a foundation of literary works that will honestly outlive us all. As writer this cannot discourage us contemporary writers, but to use it to speak our experiences into the world. To participate in a dialogue that has for so many years forgotten those on the outskirts.