Saturday, February 05, 2005

Writing in the Making of Knowledge

Well, I haven't posted because Amy and I have been in Santa Barbara. I left Springfield at 6:00 a.m. Thursday. It is Saturday night now, and I'm trying to evaluate what I've learned and noticed. We went to the National Writing Project local research initiative meeting. Our grant wasn't funded in the early summer, but we were invited as a development project. First of all, Santa Barbara is amazingly beautiful. It reminds me of Hawaii. The people are so nice. It's been busy, but I've enjoyed the venue. The sun and 70 degree weather. The beach. Our lanai faces the ocean about 100 feet away. Okay, but down to business. I always think about the people that I meet or see when I've only read their articles before. There were big names in composition. I read articles by these people in graduate school in 1997 through 1999. Digressing a bit, spending time with these "new" graduate students is interesting. It reminds me of when I started my program. The fun and camaraderie and community. It feels like it will last forever, but the two years go by quick and everyone goes their separate ways.

Restaurants to go to in Santa Barbara--La Super Rica--recommended by Julia Child and the L.A. Times Food critic and Brophy's--a seafood restaurant. I had lobster caught near the harbor. it was so good.

Back to comp. Names, names, names. Charles Bazerman. Sheridan Blau. National Writing Project: Richard Sterling, Paul LeMahieu. George Hillocks, Andrea Lunsford, Lee Ann Carroll. Deb Brandt.

The highlight for me was Andrea Lunsford, Lee Ann Carroll, and Deb Brandt. Oh, and seeing George Hillocks in person. Janet Swenson. 250 researchers in writing at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Susan McLeod. I'll think of more later.

I'm interested in the so-called difference between English Education and English. Composition-Rhetoric. The same problems we discuss in the Theory of Composition class are issues we discuss, study, and research in English Education. So, what's the difference. Okay, Amy says that English Ed may be more balanced with teaching and pedagogy and with teacher change. Yes, I agree. But what interests me is how much this Theory of Composition class boils down to pedagogy. Lots and lots of pedagogy talk. Very fascinating. I've always heard that English departments look down on English Education at some schools. At many schools English Education teachers are in the English department.

I just think it is so interesting English Ed is involved in the National Writing Project. I think of myself as a writing teacher--a teacher of composition. I want to always be that.

I didn't think about this, but the methods class that Russell wanted to observe is really a writing class. I would love for one of the TAs to observe Amy's class and the amount of writing that they do. Especially with a teacher involed in Writing Project all classes are writing classes--English teachers need to write and understand their own process before they try to teach students. Teachers of writers need to be writers. TAs, sharing your processes of writing--letting students being an apprentice to you is probably one of the most powerful methods of instruction that you can use.

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