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Writing comes easy to me, but sharing it does not. I’ve made this point several times throughout class this semester, and reading John Bean’s Writing Comments on Student’s Papers reminded me of the immense weight of the vulnerability that comes with showing my work to those whose opinions I trust and asking for constructive feedback. I can see myself sitting in a chair, wrapped in the sinking feeling that comes with the lingering anxious thoughts that buzz through my head, constant, stinging, anxious bees. 

The year I taught English in school, I let myself be driven by that anxious feeling, and the idea that there were some students that felt just as I do when sharing my work. Bean brings up the idea that we might not always approach the work of our students with the same sensitivity that we may approach a colleague. If I were to give myself any kind of credit for that one year of fumbling through teaching sophomores and juniors English, it is that I was as sensitive towards them to a similar length that I am bitter towards my own writing. While holding myself to such high standards, I’ve learned the significance of being compassionate towards those students who don’t have the experience I have. I can only imagine being harsh on somebody else who is naturally as self-conscious as I am, and the blow I could deal by providing feedback the wrong way. 

When I approached the writing of my students I could tell who took themselves seriously, those who understood that my class was a form of deconstruction and reconstruction. I always found the things worth praising in the work of my students the things that made their works stand out as individual pieces of artistry, sometimes that can be something as small as one well-crafted metaphor, in other instances, it would be eloquent points written in a coherent, linear format that made it clear just what the author intended. Bean points out that one of the things often ignored by a teacher is the “personal dimensions of writing,” but, to me, that is exactly the thing we should be looking for and expanding upon. 

Sommers brought up something that I wished I had recognized as a teacher, in that I am not there to instruct or guide through the craft of writing, but I am also there to represent the greater audience. It’s a different lens entirely, even if the goal may be the same, I tried to open my students to the ideas of perspective, open-ended thoughts, but at the same time I only ever did that through how I define the concept and perhaps not how other’s would. I now question whether or not I should have elicited some additional perspectives over the course of the year, if for no other reason than to actually provide those additional perspectives and truly give my students the experience of writing for an audience beyond that of one individual. 

Should my opinion have been the end all be all in my classroom? I don’t know. Sommers brings up excellent points regarding the appropriation of a paper during the drafting process. When a teacher provides feedback on a draft, this can lead to students only correcting the particular errors that a teacher has pointed out without expanding on or editing the actual thoughts that they had at the start of the paper. Growth may not come this way, as the perspective those students hold is not being challenged or pushed back upon. 

After reading through the two articles this week, I feel stepping back from teaching in order to sort out my views on much of this may have been the correct call. 

“Rhetoric and Composition” Refelction

I found Chapter 2, “Rhetoric and Composition”, of Janice Lauer’s book English Studies to be quite fascinating. In the current day and age, the connection between rhetoric and the study of English literature are very closely tied, so it amazes me that this bond was formed only a few decades ago. As an English teacher, I find the connection between rhetoric and English studies to be vital both in developing critical thinking skills necessary for life as well as well as analyzing literature at a more critical level. As Lauer points out, studying English without rhetoric leaves out the many external and internal factors that influence one’s writing such as culture and investigating the author’s purpose. After all, no work of literature is ever conceived in a vacuum. Similarly, English studies, while considered a singular discipline, is inseparable from almost every other subject. Notably, philosophy, sociology, history, and so on add many layers to what would otherwise be a basic study of grammatical rules.

On the college level rhetoric and composition have seemingly exploded in popularity as Lauer points out, with countless courses focusing on developing each student’s voice and tactics in regard to forming effective arguments. However, an emphasis on rhetoric and composition in English classes has expanded beyond merely the bounds of higher education. In my personal experience, modern middle and high school ELA courses have a far greater focus on critical thinking, determining the author’s purpose and audience, inclusion of multiple disciplines, inclusivity in regard to studying works from a variety of cultures, and–overall–allowing each writer to express his/her personal opinions and voice than they did when I was a middle and high school student myself. This is an excellent step forward and yet I do fear that it presents a few minor problems that must be dealt with. Firstly, we should be cautious not to place too great an emphasis on these higher levels of thought before students are ready. It is great for students to be encouraged to think critically at a young age, but placing too much emphasis on this may prove to do the opposite. Secondly, students must learn the basics, however monotonous they may be, before they can tackle higher concepts. On this front, I disagree with Lauer who suggests that direct grammar instruction should be eliminated and replaced by individualized instruction. While this is a great idea, I find it be far-fetched given that teachers do not have adequate time and resources to allow for such instruction to be effective. Ultimately, students must learn the rules before they can attempt breaking them, and the simplest way to do so is with direct grammar instruction at a young age. Once this is achieved, than students can begin tackling the higher concepts of rhetoric and composition (which they will, no doubt, already have some familiarity with given their exposure to so many forms of media).

Lauer finishes Chapter 2 by explaining rhetoric’s current place in education and where it is likely to head in the future. I agree whole heartedly that this area of study will continue to expand and grow in popularity, especially in the current age of information where the average person has a much broader perspective on the world than they did only a decade ago. As time progresses, studies related to culture, gender, reader-response, etc. will remain relevant and seep out of the realms of higher education and into high school classrooms. These approaches will hopefully allow for new ideas to be shared at a greater rate and encourage students to develop a broader perspective on the world and its inhabitants.

Rhetoric and Composition Notes

Rhetoric and Composition is a must read for those who seek an introduction into the field. Janice M. Lauer breaks down the dichotomy of the various forms of writing. What I found interesting was the many different ways to write and how to study writing. The conception of writing is portrayed as mediating complex dynamics, which makes sense when we see how there are different studies for writing alone.

By that I mean that writing in itself is not one field of study, but rather it is divided and implemented into various distinct fields of study. English Writing studies is one writing program, but Literature is another, as well as rhetoric & composition, communication and literacy, media literacy, journalism, and professional writing.

An interesting part of the text was the list of shared features within the writing field by Louise Wetherbee Phelps. I think this part of the text puts the important parts of Rhetoric and Composition into perspective. It helps to give readers a better understanding of the emerging discipline that is Rhetoric and Composition.

“Rhetoric & Composition” by Janice Lauer

Honestly, just from the title I thought this was going to be a difficult read. But my assumptions were wrong. Overall, it was a very insightful chapter. I enjoyed jumping through time periods where rhetoric and composition were evolving and being comprehended. I appreciated what Janice Lauer mentioned on Page 3 of Chapter 2 ,“ In most cases, if students decide to major or even to do graduate work in English, they assume they will be studying literature. What these students often do not realize is that “English” also encompasses the discipline of rhetoric and composition”. Whenever I tell anyone that I am studying English, they always assume I am going to be a High School teacher who just reads books to students everyday. English is such a broad subject, where people emerge and become scholars, authors, and enlighten other curious scholars. It is beyond belief considering we’re in the 21st century where people have PHDs in this subject. Janice Lauer touched on the emergence of writing, the composing process, teaching of writing, different styles of writing, and even disagreements when it comes to the topic of rhetoric and composition. Many inventions such as journaling encouraged students to explore connections within themselves to make their writing more originative and authentic. 

As an Asian American student, born in Bangladesh, I had the opportunity to be raised in the United States at such a young age I was not put into ESL classes. However, many of my peers lost out on opportunities because of the diversity aspect of their education. Lauer had cited that scholars have made it more accessible for ESL students to be taught rhetoric and composition based on their culture. I highly support this approach, as it involves the students’ culture, hence comfortability in understanding writing language and composition. Since we’re on this topic of students, I was scrolling through TikTok this weekend, and I am on the side of Teacher Tok. Multiple educators have been bringing awareness to the fact many students are struggling to read basic words. A 7th grade teacher mentioned that his student could not spell “Window”. He was appalled at the lack of students knowing how to formulate sentences at a 7th grade level. This brings me to the topic of Foundationalism. I read that collaboration and making students evaluate their peers’ work makes their knowledge of rhetoric and composition stronger. Perhaps teachers can start making groups for students who are struggling to read and compose so they know that they are not alone in this struggle. Maybe they can even jump off of each others ideas when coming up with stronger sentences. 

I can fully agree that textbooks do not help students whatsoever. Majority of the time in High School, I barely understood what the reading was trying to say. I would read the pages assigned and wait for the teacher to explain everything because I had little to no idea what was being discussed. This issue continues today because there are still a set of rules on how a person is supposed to read, and how it is supposed to be comprehended. I read very fast, and I pretend as if I am reading a script because it helps me understand better. Whereas someone else may read very fast, and monotoned but understand the text a lot more differently than I did. Teachers and sometimes even scholars need to understand that rhetoric and composition is still being studied today. More theories are being brought to light, new research is emerging and students are eager to learn about these new discoveries. As a writer, this insightful reading has just proved to me that English is not just teaching Gatsby to a bunch of 11th graders. So much dedication goes to understanding this broad subject. Traditions are changing, diversity helps comprehend everything so much better, and simply understanding that everyone has a different way of taking in information and formulating it. 

T-Money Show Episode 2!

Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the T-Money show. I am your host T-Money and today we have two very special guests. Please welcome rhetoric and composition!

Rhetoric and composition are two disciplines in the field of English which are multimodal and interdisciplinary. Multimodal means they usedifferent modes of inquiry (historical, theoretical, interpretive, critical, and observation-based)” (McComiskey 2). Interdisciplinary means “the field has always drawn on work in other disciplines (psychology, sociology, linguistics, literary theory, etc.) as part of its initiating of questions, arguments, and ways of reasoning” (McComiskey 2). 

Rhetoric sounds like a scary word, but can be defined as the art of making an argument. Argument doesn’t mean a fight, an argument is the point you are trying to make and rhetoric encapsulates all of the tools at your disposal. Rhetoric has a history as old as time. In Ancient Greece, rhetoric was taught to scholars as an important foundation such as math or science. As time went on, rhetoric eventually vanished from school curriculum. This led to schools teaching composition as the foundation for English classes. Composition is like baking a cake. You take an idea, plan it out, write about it, and you have a finished product. While this sounds like a good idea, it led to writing in schools becoming formulaic, stale, and devoid of the artist in their creation.

 This all changed in the 1960’s as a new decade brought new idea. “In 1964, Robert Gorrell and others convened a meeting at the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) to discuss this new interest in rhetoric and its linkage with composition (Gorrell).” (McComiskey 3). This conference had a profound effect and soon others scholars were exploring rhetoric and composition in order to generate new ideas at English studies. They focused on things such as: “topics places for discovering arguments, status finding the type of issue in dispute, kairos the right or opportune moment for certain arguments” (McComiskey 4).

Following this, rhetoric started to be taken more seriously as a discipline. 

This is the part where things start to get good. In the 1960’s and 70’s rhetoric scholars starting to embrace rebellion. They (rightfully) argued that writing was being taught as a product in schools with the end result being a letter grade. Rhetoric scholars said that writing should be looked at as a process from when someone has an idea all the way to the finished work. There are many steps in the writing process and they more important to learn than how to write a paper that gets an A everytime. Janet Emig identified 2 important parts of the early writing process called prewriting and planning. Prewriting can be anything that helps start your creative process and planning is about getting your ideas in order before you start your draft.

An important part of rhetoric is considering your audience. I believe if we all look back on our education, we can see that most of the time our audience was our teacher. This is all well and good when you are writing something like a research paper, but what happens when you are writing a creative work? For example, I have a poem called “Kill the Boomers. Save the Millennials.” The title is poking fun at the fact that headlines claim millennials have killed everything. The poem talks about how the world is unfavorable to millennials and we are struggling to survive. It talks about how boomers had a lot more advantages then we had and they are living well. The poem talks about getting rid of the boomers so the millennials can ensure a future for our generation.

When I perform it to people my age, they love it. They cheer and repeat the kill the boomers line. What do you think happens when I perform it in front of boomers? They hate it! Imagine if I turned that poem in for a school assignment, most teachers would say it’s garbage. And I would never write that poem for a school assignment because I know that it would not get an A. How can academic writing prepare us for the real world? In my poems, I go against the grain of what poetry should be because I know my audience does not want to hear poetry that fits into a neat little box and plays by the rules.

Another thing that my “Kill the Boomers. Save the Millennials.” poem does is speak to the current times. Just like Bob Dylan said “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. This is a way to use rhetoric to convey an argument. A key feature of rhetoric is that it speaks to issues in society. “In the 1980s, a rhizomatic spread of theory, research, and new pedagogy occurred, called by some the “social turn.”” (McComiskey 14). This idea brought writing forward as something that was shaped by society and could be used as an agent of change. I got the idea from my poem as a direct result of the way society was for the boomers and the way society is for the millennials. I channeled the frustrations of an entire generation.

On paper, my poem isn’t all that impressive. But when performed live, it is a sight to see. It resonates so strongly with a millennial audience. The poem was written to be performed. It was written to inspire my generation to come up with ideas on how to change our shitty situation. In order to understand rhetoric as an agent of change, all we have to do is look at politics. There are people who become President who are fucking awful. Look at Trump. How could anyone vote for him? He was a master at rhetoric. He stoked the fires of hate and had the people in the palm of his hand. He wasn’t afraid to say the hateful racist things that many people in America were thinking. He used carefully coded messages to instill violent racist ideologies in his followers.

On the other side of the coin, you have people like Obama who used the power of rhetoric for good. Being the 1st Black President of America is no easy feat. Obama used powerful rhetoric that hasn’t been seen since the days of Martin Luther King. His message of hope and social change resonated with so many people. He inspired America to do the impossible through carefully crafted rhetoric.

There is much more to talk about in the field of rhetoric and composition. But we are out of time today on the T-Money show. We’ll see you next week.

Works Cited (Not properly formatted, I know >_<)

English Studies: An Introduction to the Discipline(s). CHAPTER TWO (Pp. 106-136). Rhetoric and Composition. JANICE M. LAUER Purdue University

The Journey Rhetoric & Composition

Imagine my shock when one of the opening lines of this chapter pinpointed my experience in joining this field (on the third page!).

if students decide to major or even to do graduate work in English, they assume they will be studying literature. What these students often do not realize is that “English” also encompasses the discipline of rhetoric and composition

I became an English major for my love of literature: the classics, the epic poems, the satirical essays, and honestly the Victorian era as a whole. Later realizing that the inner workings of the writing field are so vast and dynamic, and that I would have to understand these inner workings if I were to ever join the league of giants I studied. Let me start by stating that I have no real desire to join the pedagogical field. However, learning the history and continuing progression of Rhetoric & Composition can only benefit my own journey as a writer.

Many of the topics in this chapter are not new to me due to a course I took last semester, Writing Pedagogies with Dr. Friend. A course I highly recommend to anyone wishing to extend their knowledge of the historical traditions of writing. Basically, imagine deep diving into this chapter and having your world view of teaching writing turned on its head. It was like cracking an egg on to a skillet slowly cooking it into breakfast, adding salt and pepper as you go along. That being said I am by no mean an expert in this, and I clearly understand that this is an ever growing and complicated field

I digress…
One part of this chapter that stood out to me was when the author quoted a document published by the CCCC (the Conference on College Composition and Communication) on the legitimate use of social dialects in students. The document rejected the requirement of a “single American Standard English in all student writing and affirmed the students’ right to their own patterns and varieties of language the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their own identity and style”. Having such a standard would rip away the voices of all writers. Identity is something so inherent in writing that (I believe) its impossible to detach. Being a poet I see it in each line I write, my experiences poured onto lines that I’ve carve on to paper, my strife’s, my pain, my joy all that originate from who I am, who I’ve become. This is why I’m so against the formalistic approaches. Why does it matter if my paper has a comma splice? Does that make the argument null? It reminded of an article that Richard Fulkerson wrote an article in 79′ on the four philosophies of writing. He wrote “the most common type of formalist value theory is a grammatical one: good writing is “correct” writing at the sentence level” (344). The use “correct” here bothered me, and is in line with this notion of an “American Standard English”. I wont get into on this blog post but if anyone wants to dip their toe, be my guest.

Anyways, my last thoughts on this week’s reading is my awe in learning that “only in the past thirty years has “rhetoric and composition ” become a full-fledged discipline within English studies”. I’m glad Janice M. Lauer started this chapter with this fact. It gave me some hope knowing that this discipline is still in constant change and growth. Maybe some of my peers or professors will have a hand in improving it.

It’s Time to Dig Deeper

This week’s reading by Janice M. Lauer discusses how researchers realized that the rhetorical model offers a better way to teach and learn writing. To do this, it focuses on how these researchers have, since the 1960s, continued to work hard to grow the field and keep offering up new and more informed theories that could make everyone a stellar writer. But Lauer recognizes the fact that 21st century students are not always experiencing the benefits of that research: “[The EDNA model] persists even though scholars…have exposed the inadequacy of this model and despite the fact that scholars…have developed more rhetorically based and relevant conceptions of genre” (20). If a deeper understanding of the best way to teach writing has been available for decades, why hasn’t it informed instruction in every writing classroom? In the reading, Lauer points to the teachers as the reason.

Teachers are, according to Lauer, unwilling to change, even if change is in the best interest of the students. She mentions that teachers continue to use the EDNA model in their classrooms despite its having been “theoretically repudiated” (Lauer 10). Although she states that “the reasons for this intransigence are multiple,” the majority of her reasons fault teachers (Lauer 10). She suggests that teachers’ education has not left them prepared for the task, stating that “a huge percentage of composition teachers are unfamiliar with the…work on modes and genres because they have not been educated in the field of rhetoric and composition” (Lauer 10). She also lays the blame on teachers for refusing to leave their comfort zones, choosing instead to continue implementing “theoretically repudiated” “modes of discourse” (Lauer 10). Lauer makes it appear as though the researchers she holds in such high regard have offered up their valuable findings to teachers who have not implemented them because they neither engage in professional development nor show a regard for what’s best for their students, preferring to “remain comfortable” (10).

Successful research, though, however enlightening, does not necessarily consider practical application. The studies to which Lauer refers in this chapter are just that–studies. Studies, by their very nature, implement controls, minimize variables, and cannot address every last item that might influence the teaching and learning that goes on in a classroom. Teachers’ lessons are not governed by theory alone, but must survive the scrutiny of supervisors, administrators, and their school boards. Teachers must consider the quality and availability of their materials, the need for differentiation, and the time constraints both for crafting the lesson and delivering it, among many other things. Even the most intelligent, creative, motivated, and open-minded teacher can find it challenging to implement these theories in a school structure that was not designed to accommodate them.

Lauer mentions that the decades of work in rhetoric and composition have “contributed to our understanding of written discourse and its teaching, opening hitherto unexplored aspects, building on previous work, critiquing or qualifying it, and sometimes challenging its underlying claims and arguments” (24). Her focus is on how researchers have increased their own understanding, found new aspects for themselves to explore, and spent time revisiting their own work–none of these accomplishments involves seeking real-life solutions that will make the school structure a more inhabitable space for the theories that have been developed. The most impressive theory won’t do any good if it is never implemented. I humbly submit that the researchers mentioned here should dig much deeper to find out why their theories have not been more widely adopted; the real work is not simply identifying that a change is needed, but figuring out how to effect that change.

Work Cited:

Lauer, Janice M. “Rhetoric and Composition.” English Studies: An Introduction to the Discipline(s), edited by Bruce McComisky, National Council of Teachers of English, 2006, 106-136.

The Hidden Discipline

Hey, again, fellow classmates ~

Interestingly enough, I understood the content in this chapter and found it quite interesting, even though Professor Zamora said to prepare for an academic read that might make ya snooze (lol). I mentally prepared myself to somehow read this chapter unconsciously but rather was intrigued by the historical upbringing of a controversial subject that I’m studying to teach. I also found myself consumed by the content as I’m doing my discussion lead presentation on the writing process (formulaic writing) and all the problems intertwined in that pedagogical style on teaching students how to successfully write. Lauer’s analysis and gathered research on Rhetoric and Composition led a hand to my understanding to why students hate writing and struggle to invent, create, and revise to this day.

I’d like to take some time to focus on how members of the field of Rhetoric and Composition challenged writing as a “product,” and the alternative ways for teachers to respond to this finished “product” of student writing. The main problem is viewing writing as a “finished product” because writing is never finished. From my understanding as an amateur writer, writing tends to be limitless and recursive. WRITING NEVER ENDS! Just because the editing stage of the writing process is complete does not equal finished writing. Writing is certainly a mental challenge that needs to be practiced and polished along the way, and even in the far future. Writing can always be revised and edited at any time. There is no “correct” way to go about writing, editing, and revising, as theories are still being researched and published to this very day. Think about it, all this extensive theoretical research in Lauer’s chapter began around the 1960’s and 1970’s. That’s not ancient research, ya’ll!

While reading, I found myself getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of creative expression in the history behind the field of Rhetoric and Composition. Little instructional attention was provided to help students get started, investigate and test ideas, consider audience, revise, and receive and understand their feedback. The issue with the linear and reductive conception of the composing process is that it emphasizes an endpoint to writing, even if it does not intend to. Modern writing teachers preach about diving back into your writing to edit and revise whenever needed but contradict this belief by giving students a final, rigid grade with little emphasis on personal feedback (Lauer 12). What does this teach the student? Ultimately and unfortunately, it teaches the student to despise writing and to doubt their ideas as they were trained to ingest and analyze what constitutes writing as “good” and “bad,” and to submit a final, finished writing product that will be judged, and criticized in a way that highlights mistakes over creative content (Lauer 13).

The root of the problem begins with the writing teachers as “many [of them] are unfamiliar with the [theories on discourse,] modes, and genre because they have not been educated in the field of Rhetoric and Composition” (Lauer 10). This is not the teachers fault as research and theories were not being investigated and published at the time, they were a student. This is positive news, though, because it demonstrates that the recipients of student writing noticed a lack of depth, purpose, and connection, concluding that writing instruction is surface-level and not meaning-based. If teachers subject their students to a one-way-avenue of writing and revising, are they ultimately telling their students that an aspect of their authentic selves is not “smart enough” for school? Hmmmm. . .

Thank goodness gracious for the introduction of intentional pedagogies like meditation and reflection, observational-scenic writing, the double-notebook, journaling, drawing as pre-writing, analogies, and other forms of expressive writing techniques. Teachers can even integrate yogic practices and breathing exercises into their writing lessons to ease the tension of judgment that has lingered over the field for decades. Processes as those listed above will guarantee students the opportunity to use their language and tongue of dialect in a school setting without harsh judgment. This way, students can not only enjoy the process of writing, but they are pushed to find their own version of the writing process and find their authentic voice along the way (Lauer 11).

I feel as though writing teachers focus too much on the writing process rather than practicing writing. As I said earlier, writing is a mental phenomenon that involves practice to master; although, I doubt one will ever truly master writing. Hmmm, I’m going to ask ya’ll . . . Do you think writing as a practice can be mastered? Would a Pulitzer Prize, NY TIMES Best Selling author answer “yes” to such a question?

In my opinion,      I.       don’t.         think.        So.    !!!!!

References

© (2006). Lauer. National Council of Teachers of English. Rhetoric and Composition

Rhetoric and Composition…and So Much More

As I went through this week’s reading, “Rhetoric and Composition” by Janice Lauer, I kept considering that although rhetoric and composition reemergence is a relatively recent, beginning in the 1960s, the study of how we communicate and why is not.

I found it interesting in the reading that although there has been this tension between writing for the individual and writing for the social when it comes to rhetoric and composition studies, the way we teach these subjects (at least in my experience in American schools) hasn’t much changed from the writing as a product perspective. As a substitute teacher, I try to pick up days where I will be covering either an ELA or literacy class, and I still see the focus on the five-paragraph essay, or the 6-7 sentence paragraph, or the ability to deconstruct sentences (with the intention of students’ ability to “test” better – so writing is still very much considered a product). I also questioned this tension between the individual and the social in the reading. Society is made up of individuals, so wouldn’t trying to understand each individual’s experience when it comes to writing help us to understand the social? In the same vein, an individual belongs to many societies, and as much as someone’s purpose for writing may be individualistic, the social will emerge from the writing because that individual, whether it is a student, writer, or teacher, belongs to their respective discourses.

I also recognize in this week’s reading that there is so much I do not know or understand yet in the field of writing studies. I had the impression that a lot happened in the discipline from the 1960s until now, and much of it was in answer to what came before or what was happening during those time periods, either challenging or qualifying previous theories or arguments.

Writing Ideologies and an Understanding of Selfish Art

As a student working towards a Master’s degree in Writing Studies, I understand that I am expected to become a part of a greater dialogue and contributor to discussions related to rhetoric, it’s history, how it is a necessary part of writing and how the thoughts on the art of writing have changed over time. Yet as I sit here, I become increasingly aware of just how little I truly understand, and find it increasingly difficult to contribute to the conversation when I have no steadfast opinion, no horse in the race, no stakes in the game whatsoever.

Instead, there are questions I find myself internalizing, as I reflect my own worth as a writer. I’ve never published anything, never even attempted. The novels I’ve written in the past have usually become the catalyst for wastebasket-ball, or, if not printed, tenants in prime real estate on hard drives that could have gone to more useful things like bitcoin wallets or dark memes, because my collection of those has never been quite big enough.

For thousands of years humans have used rhetoric in speech and composition, to persuade, give a call to action, relay messages, provide entertainment, among other countless reasons. While the idea of studying writing may be newer, the process of writing goes back generations. Some of those ancient texts are still read and studied today for the messages they convey. What would it take to write something that merits will outlive me?

The above question speaks to a relationship between the author and the audience, because the audience defines the impact of a work of writing. The 1960’s saw a groundswell of work related to the relationship between artist and audience. My work, however, rarely sees and audience eyes. I have a conscious need to get my work in front of eyes yet an outright fear of doing so, thus, my writing in it’s current state is a form of selfish art (Noah Gundersen would be so proud)

According to many theorists from this weeks reading, writers make choices. Every word put on a piece of paper is the choice of a writer, and creates a writers authentic voice, but I could never define my voice if I wanted to, to me it’s as non-existent reflection of me. I don’t know what my voice is, and I don’t think I ever will, as I will never get to read what I put down on paper without the lens of being the author that arranged them. My voice then is defined by an audience that I struggle to put myself before. How do I break this cycle?

I cannot even properly decide which of the ideologies that Faigley described in 1986 fits me as an individual. Expressivists value originality, the cognitive value recursive processes, and the social-epistemic value discourse communities and the development as a language as a social process. While I would love to say that I see myself as an expressivist, I’m forced to recognize that there is very little originality left under the sun. I would love to say I’m a social thinker regarding the writing process, but I keep the heart and soul of my writing hidden typically. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, there is a time and a place for each ideology, and only through blending all of them can any form of writing, or teaching on the craft, stand the test of time, but, will I ever understand enough of each ideology blend them in such a way that I can have an impact on others?

I imagine, for the time being, I will continue to hold myself back, and let the spotlight fall on those willing to take a greater risk than I have been willing to up until this point. I once taught writing in a high school, despite feeling like I understand so little of what it is I actually do, or don’t do.