Jimmy Astacio English 612 Reflection

 

 Welcome to the record of my academic journey in English 612.  I hope you will enjoy my musings on composition, hybrid texts, and ideas on how to change the way we will teach our future students.  Enjoy!

  

I'm very interested in the use of hybrid texts and slang in the writing class.  To learn more about a book which is written in multiple non-standard dialects, click on the link below. 

"Londonstani" NPR Link 

 

If reading about Londonstani intrigues you, you may wish to learn more about Bhangra music, which is prominently featured in the novel.  Check out the link below for a brief introduction to D.J. Rekha's music.  It's all about mixing it up!

Bhangra Music

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The man to your right is Professor David Stacey.  At times, this semester in English 612 resembled a kind of radical Zen journey through the world of academia.  That is, beyond all of the unorthodox classroom work—running around getting chased by grad students comes to mind—there was a calm, inner core to the work we did.

Dr. David took the helm of the 612 ship and sailed into uncharted waters.  At times, he would ignore his compass and would let his crew take control; many were the times that we didn’t really know where we here headed, and yet, we always arrived at a new, interesting destination.  Remember all the running around I was talking about in the previous paragraph?  Here's a good example of the Doctor's 
Unorthodox Teaching Practices.

Of course, there's a method to the madness.  It's not all gin and slabs of beef and cheese-slathered hardtack on the high seas.  No.  There's more to this experiment in teaching than a mad dash across the sea.  I learned facts about working in academia--real stuff--the stuff that matters.  For example, one issue we discussed in English 612 is the quantifying of education

English 612 contrasts sharply with the "traditional" model of a classroom.  This is definitely NOT the banking model of education.  This is more like free-form jazz, ever-changing, expanding into new realms, smooth, cool, grainy, hot and yes, at times, sad and reflective. 

Not everything we tried this semester worked.  But what did work, really mattered.  I find myself thinking differently about students than I did when I first started the MATW program. 

Back then, a year ago, I thought I knew quite a bit about what to expect from teaching.  Now I realize that I have no idea what to expect.  I’ve also come to respect students for who they are—I look at the students in my TA class as whole persons, not just as pupils who need to write the way I want them to write.  English 612, in some subtle way that is hard to discern, has smoothed over the rough edges of my previous beliefs.  I understand better than ever the importance of the process of writing, the necessity to nurture students, the need to look at global concerns of writing rather than local issues of syntax and grammar.  I also discovered new aspects of teaching English composition. 

I found the "Wednesday Forum" to be an interesting and valuable part of the class.  By collaborating with my fellow students, I was able to deconstruct the assigned readings in a way that would have been difficult if I would have worked on my own.  I found that the discussions added to my understanding of the texts in a big way.  For example, by discussing Kenneth Burke's Pentad with my group, I learned about aspects of gossip that I never knew about.  The Pentad certainly applies to the developmental writing class; it is an exercise in invention that allows students to position themselves as author/inventors and creators. 

Through our readings of Haswell I discovered that student writing is not getting worse, but perhaps, teachers are getting better at believing in self-perpetuating myths.  Check out a further discussion about Haswell's "Ungrounded Teacher Vision" by clicking here.

I enjoyed reading Bawarshi; the topics presented in his book led to my decision to research genres and hybrid texts as a possible subject for my final, unbound project.  I'm interested in how hybrid texts--which can also involve video and audio files--can lead to building community in the writing classroom by validating non-standard dialects and oral narratives, and by contrasting these genres with the linear, factual, thesis-driven genre of academic writing.


All humor aside, I thank Dr. David for all of his hard work and passion in providing his students with information that very few professors provide.  From him, we learned what it’s really like out there in the world of work.  From him, we learned that teaching is more than just lecturing; it’s an activity that involves the body and soul.  And, like him, we too are brave enough to sail on into uncharted educational waters.

If you’re ready to heave anchor and set sail, click on the word document below to read more of my insights on hybrid discourse, texts, and how we can use Bawarshi's genre approach to create a close-knit community of readers and writers in the composition classroom.

 

English612ReflectionCopy.doc

 

Dr. David    Stacey

Pirate. Captain. Improvisational Master 

Leading his crew through the shark-infested waters of academia. 

 

Navigational Note:

When clicking on links, use the browser's  left arrow to return to the page. 

If you click the "x" matey, you'll be swimming in the drink! 

 

Links to 612 student websites:

 

Chris the Hallster 

Karol with a K 

Kendra Tremenda 

Da Martin 

Mike the Rebel 

Ryan Rocks 

Creative Sarah 

Stephanie!!!