Collaborative and Integrated Composition Classes (with New Media Support)


Scholastic writing used to be disconnected. From research: reading and writing took place in different spaces at different times. From other writers: writing was a solitary activity. From previous steps of the process: each piece of writing produced along the way was discarded. From a real audience: students wrote to prove something to a professor who claimed they were engaged in an imaginary “academic discourse.” From authentic purpose: writing ended up in the garbage can and all the student’s hard work, knowledge, insights and craftsmanship were wasted.

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The Floodgates Have Opened: A Writer and a Teacher Today

Written May 17, 2010

The university took from me the ability to write. During creative writing workshops at the University of Utah, I learned the important, but painful lesson that a lot of my writing was melodramatic, cliche-ridden, and fatty. I learned what not to write, but not how to write. I learned what to cut, but not how to produce. I dropped out of college and began two decades of obsessive revision, revision, revision. I have drawers full of well-polished beginnings, written for no one, read by no one. About sixteen years after dropping out, I went back to school. And I love it. Since the university gave me writer’s block, it is appropriate that the university has now opened the floodgates. I have become a prolific writer, who is actually read by real people in the real world. (Hello, world!)

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Technobabble: The Digital Life of Ronosaurus (Writing and Teaching with New Technologies)

Not sure how to begin the story of how I came to be sitting here with my laptop at Cafe Abir (just a moment, let me pick up my triple latte), writing a technoliteracy autobiography, but I will just get started and see what comes out. I can always fix things — make that, revise — later. After all, this changing piece of writing, which is morphing under my fingertips even now, is the climax of the story I wish to tell, the story of how my own composition process has changed because of digital technology and how that should affect the way I teach writing.

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