Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Inventing the UNIVERSITY

In the article Inventing the University, author David Bartholomae, describes ‘Inventing the University’, as teaching students how to, “speak our language”. Not only does the author want students to learn, speak, and understand the college level, but to grasp it in the way most professors do. I think he wants to teach students how to become more knowledgeable in their writing so that when they have to actually write a paper, the tone of it sounds very intellectual. Last year in my English class I asked my instructor how it was that teachers and even students made their papers sound so ‘good’? How did these people make sense of their paper, with all of these big vocabulary words, and make it sound so genius? How could I make my paper sound like that? She gave me the most easiest/comprehensive answer ever, it takes practice and researching. Practice I could understand everyone goes through it but, researching? How could that possibly help me become a better writer? I guess what she meant was that in order to have the sufficient knowledge of something you need to research it and become an expert on it. This is my second year at San Francisco State, as I’m still adapting to the so called ‘language’ of college. But why I’ve been thought is how to critically think for myself in a way that expresses my real opinions on everyday issues and really have a say in things.

In the article I noticed how Bartholomae included new ideas on the ‘authentic self’, and ‘performance self’. But I think the author described in a more equal stance than Blum did in chapter three. But I went a little beyond what the description was in chapter three of ‘My Word’. David Bartholomae used two words that I used in order to understand the meaning of the aunthentic and performance self, and it was ‘creativity’ and ‘inspiration’. For example one of his students decided to make a model of the earth with clay, but in a new creative way that he thought about. In this case he would be categorized as being authentic or ‘creative’ as Bartholomae suggests. Yet, the author challenges in saying well can’t he also be categorized as the performance self since he did get inspired from other clay models? It a hard question to answer especially when both creativity and inspiration take place.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this article by David Bartholomae, it helped me reflect on myself while learning about other intresting issues. I also enjoyed reading other student’s essays and how the author reflected on them because it gave a better idea on how instructors base their grading. As well as questioning the idea of really being creative or just everything we learn being an inspiration and furthering our knowledge of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chapter 3: "My Word"

In chapter three of “My Word”, Blum begins with a great quote to describe the authentic writer, as well as a great intro to the chapter. Lawrence Lessig says, “We live in a ‘cut and paste’ culture enabled by technology” or best define in Chapter three as ‘performance self’. Do I agree with it? No quite as Blum describes it in the book, the best description of the two in my opinion was good and bad. The authentic self is described as an honest, hardworking, and unique person; on the other hand the ‘performance self’ is a cheater, lazy, and copy-cat. The author makes a clear distinction between the two in order for us to really see a difference. But I feel like she goes on and beyond for the ‘performance self’ in the since that she makes them seem really bad. When I was reading the description Susan Blum was giving each type of writer I felt like I could relate to both, but because she made the performing self seem bad I would think of reasons not to relate to it. But the more I thought about it, the more relation I saw myself to it. For the most part I think I would consider myself to be more of an ‘authentic writer’, reason for being so is that I like to be unique and come up with my own ideas. I hate relating to others’ ideas, and their opinions about things, I rather draw my own opinions on it. On the other hand though, I also related to the performing writer in the sense that in some assignments it is a required for me to draw insights on others work. Not necessarily to plagiarize, but use others work to expand my knowledge of certain things, and then make my paper that much better. On page 89 of chapter three Blum expresses her opinion in that performing writers are more likely to ‘cheat’ their paper than the authentic writer. To by defense I’d disagree with this statement because I also relate to the ‘performance self’ and never have a plagiarized a paper; I would use others opinions but I’d properly cite them. On the other I agree that performance self is most like to plagiarize because it’s not like they care about what they are researching, as long as they get quotes to fill their paper in.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What is an Essay?

As a noun the word Essay is defined as, 'a short literary composition on a single subject usually presenting personal view of the author'. As a verb the word Essay is defined as, 'to make an attempt at; try or to subject to a test'. Some synonyms for the word Essay are; 'composition, paper, theme, proof, test, trial, attempt, and effort'. The term Essay comes from the French word essayer meaning, "to try or to attempt". What I think an Essay is, is a written piece that has some kind of subject or argument that you are trying to express through words. Essays can be written in different formats and styles. For example: Descriptive writting, Narrative, Compare and Contrast, Persuasive and so on.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Intro to "The Word"

In this novel, author Susan D. Blum, hopes to answer many questions in regards to Plagiarism and how it affects college students. In class on Friday we came up with a lot of great questions in regards to what the word Plagiarism really means, and to what extent is something such as a piece of writing, words(speech), or work of art that is not properly cited is considered to be “cheating”. We also came up with logical answers to why students Plagiarize, and a possible solution to stop “cheating” at the college level. So what is Plagiarism? Susan Blum describes it as, “improperly taking someone else’s words”. (pg.10) But is it more than that? The answer is YES! The word Plagiarism is such an intricate word, with many meanings and complexities.

Because this word is so difficult to analyze, I think the author’s sole purpose is to come up with a solid overall definition of it. As well as, showing differences in student’s of different cultures understandings of this word, and knowledge of it now than before. This word has been a around for a very long time, but the meaning I think, as well as the author, has changed and developed with time. We first learned what Plagiarism was when we were just barely learning how to write. But levels of knowledge have changed, as well strictness of it as an adult and college student. What I found very interesting is how the author explores this term and tries to unpack its meaning step by step. She doesn’t point it out as an issue because it’s obvious that it happens and will continue. Instead she tries to evaluate various cultures and how they each learned about Plagiarism, as well as other factors such as education level, as well as tuition costs, work, and more.

I think the author has a very clever structure in developing her novel. I am looking forward to what kind of data and statistics she will built up. I am also looking forward to learning reasons for this issue, her knowledge of it and her personal opinions of it. I think it’s something that is very important in regards to writing, as well as reading, and I think it needs to be addressed.

Intro to "My Word"

In class on friday we began to