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Teaching Writing

Satisfactory Essays
Teaching Writing

As I look back over the course of this semester, the image that I get is one of the murky variety. It is difficult to identify although I have felt its presence for almost four months now. There have been many moments when I have waited for the insights to come, for the reading and the writing to mesh. And instead, I felt like I was lost in a fog that was sometimes dense, other times only misty. The worst part is that the fog is pervading a familiar place and once it clears I will be disappointed with myself because I should have known exactly where I was.

What troubles me is why I do not know where I stand, after a semester of studying concepts I believe in. My hopes for myself in this class have not been met (for which I hold myself entirely responsible). I spent the last few months searching for answers in the material, in my dialogues with my classmates and coworkers, in my writing and through my thinking. As a feminist and a critical pedagogue I thought I would surely come to some grand conclusions, with all these theories as my bedfellows. But instead I feel like I have abandoned and failed my agenda: to better learn the theory and grow because of it. This is not to say that I have not learned anything, or not grown from the experience of this class. I know and feel that I have been changed; I am just not certain how.

I look back at my reaction papers and I only see doubts. Questioning the people whose projects I admire, whose goals are not so different than mine, who know so much more than I do. And yet each paper that I have written criticizes and tries to poke holes. This sense of being lost, of not knowing is my own fault. I did not allow myself to engage with the writers. It has only been at the end, by doing my research paper and reading the articles about race that I finally felt like there was a place for me this course. It has been an alienating experience to see my peers thriving with our coursework while I felt like a grumpy old dwarf, shouting ìWhat about me?!î And then, a couple weeks ago, when we started reading Race, Rhetoric, and Composition, I felt like the fog was beginning to shift.
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