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.

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