summer writing

I saw a tweet today emphasizing that not only is summer reading important to maintain analytical skills in reading, but writing skills also need maintenance. I love and emphasize the idea of writing as a skill every time I teach a composition based course. It’s an important idea, to overcome lots of romantic ideology about being born a writer.

on a side note, so many students still believe writing in innate – essentially, poets word vomit their amazing poems. yeah, that imagery usually helps overcome the ideology when repeated enough. New summer goal: make a gif to support that lesson!

The goal of this blog, and many other note writings is to practice writing, to continue to develop and practice skills. To talk through ideas, to provide space for analytics. For me to get the ideas wrong before they end up in a longer article length paper. What i’m wondering about this idea, practice if you will, is where does class participation writing fit in the overall idea of writing for practice?

I’m teaching a summer class, and my students are amazing, so I feel l’ve been especially active in discussion boards and in grading. Do grading comments where I engage with and leave notes on ideas count as writing for me? Should I be grading and participating in my courses, AND writing on my own each day because the skills associated with the two are completely separate, or different enough that both need daily practice? I understand, as a rhetorician, that audience is vastly different in grading comments than in scholarly publications, but then so too is my potential audience for this space. So if I begin to use audience as a filter for writing, should this blog even count. While i’m assuming my audience to be academic, and I discuss a significant amount of pedagogy, for the most part it’s my students who end up clicking on the link to gain access to needed information for a class they’re completing. They then accidentally read the blog as a side note to course completion. So now, this blog, while different in tone, approach and content than grading notes, is actually closer to grading notes and discussion board interaction than scholarly writing. So now I need to blog and write papers everyday?

I don’t actually believe there’s an answer to this question. I could call my blog writing for me, but then that demotes my classroom space to not-writing for me. I designed the course, I’m encouraging (or forcing) the students to experience my content in a specific way, so isn’t all writing there for me too? (hahahaha there are undertones of pedagogical issues in that statement, just go with it). in the end, I just need to write. Everyone just needs to write.

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