a blog so you can keep with him

Cultivating Voice – Written Reflections, Week 1

To help encourage conversation, and the habit of writing, my new course on tutoring in the Writing Center has weekly reflections to share every week. I realized that this might be something worth sharing on this blog: it relays my experiences and thoughts about events in my life, which I suppose is the focus of this blog currently.

This isn’t due until next Monday (we meet weekly for two hours), but I’ll try to get this up while the class is still fresh on my mind. A note: this is a draft for the course, and will be addressing its audience as such.

While this meeting will not resemble any others we might have (though, really, how many classes will we have that *are* like each other?), it was exciting. I’m glad to see such a range of people in the class, and I think we represent a large spectrum of interests, backgrounds, and goals. Fortunately, we’ve all found some overlap, I believe, in the time from 3-5 on Mondays. It’s something that might hopefully be reminiscent of the tutoring experience, in which people come together on a shared interest, and seem to grow most as their background’s diverge. Improvement through diversity’s an admirable goal, and I hope we can move towards it!

I resultantly appreciated the emphasis the class is providing on conversation, and discussion. The mingling exercise brought it to my attention; but I think the overall atmosphere given during the entire two hours was of enthusiasm and sharing. Anecdotal, casual, and respectful – even if we weren’t always discussing (what is there to discuss about attendance, ontology aside?), we certainly had the ingredients in place for it.

I know this will be an aid to me, as I think best when I can relate it to other’s thinking (entering a conversation). This actually applies rather well to my other course’s reading for the week. I’m in Language & Power, and we had to begin a book this week called They Say/I Say, one that focuses on the “Moves to make in academic writing”. The authors Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein liken academic “or any intellectual” writing to “entering a conversation”, one in which you are constantly addressing others and their proposals along with furthering your own ideas (for others to react to, creating the intimidatingly endless conversation I still feel a need to enter). It’s all quite exciting, and brings up something I find do find writing possesses – the ability to reach beyond yourself, and engage an audience farther removed from your own experiences and knowledge than verbal communication can usually manage.

For example, I hope this reflection gives a parallel to something you might not have had before now, or one that you’ve developed far more than I have. Either way, I might be able to share an experience with you that, without writing and without our course, you might not have had. It might not be much, but, like Sandy mentioned, “this could end a lot of the strife in the world, I really believe it”.


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