Here at the end of the quater, I realize that our class has exposed me to an area of study that I wasn’t totally aware existed. Though I’ve been writing for years, and hope to find a career that will keep allowing me to do so, I’d never been taught about writing as a subject in itself. It had always been in conjunction with other classes, normally my English and Spanish classes in both high school and college. Taking English 16 has shifted my perspective and made me see writing as a multi-faceted discipline in itself.
Though we’ve been exposed to many intriguing topics over the course of the class, one of the ones I found most thought-provoking was the idea of teaching the “unteachable,” the students who are not prepared for college. Because it is a topic that hits close to home because of the area in which I grew up, its fascinates me, because I think there are very few clear answers. Shaughnessy’s piece was intriguing, and I liked her idea that those who have disadvantaged academic backgrounds should not be excluded from higher education. I also thought this tied in well with Harris’s analysis of error, and the dichotomy we discussed as a class about what makes “correct” writing and how much teachers should focus on a student’s grammar. I also found the debates about voice really interesting. In the chapter on which I did my Harris and His Sources assignment, Harris manages to illustrate the issue in such a way that makes the reader understand that the issue is not black and white. I’m inclined to believe that a writer’s voice is a reflection of who they are, but that multiple factors create their identity. It’s been intriguing to apply this to my own life and writing, because this was not something I’d thought deeply about.
Many of the ideas we discussed this quarter, like process and voice, are logical, but this quarter opened my eyes and helped me understand them in a way that I hadn’t before. I’ve enjoyed learning about structure and style in a subject I love so much.