Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Say something real

My most significant frustration with my writing/pedagogy class at the moment is that all the articles we've read are mostly theory.  And those of us who have spent any time in a classroom know that theory and actuality are not synonymous.

I read these articles in which people postulate these ideas of composition, and I find myself marking the text with an all too familiar question:  "OK, so how?"  It frustrates me a bit that for all the class description threw around the term "pedagogy" we are doing little discussion of what that might look in the classroom.  The class is structured around freshman comp, as it is a mandatory class for TAs teaching freshman comp.  Even still, there aren't a lot of suggestions or strategies offered by the instructor or the readings.  If I were a TA with no prior teaching experience (as many of the TAs in my class are), I would appreciate someone handing me a recipe and saying, "Here, try this."

But my point was not to complain.  Rather, I am rejoicing in the fact that finally ONE guy said, "And if you want to see what I mean by this, check out my book [insert title]."  Now, while my gut reaction is to say, "Hello, self-promotion," my pen was finally able to stop mid-question and turn "OK, so how?"  into "OK, so check this book out at the library!"

I'm now flipping through A Short Course in Writing: practical rhetoric for composition courses, writing workshops, and tutor training by Kenneth Bruffee.  Don't you love that title?  PRACTICAL rhetoric!  Glorious.  I am looking at the original edition published in 1990, which does look a little outdated in parts.  Still, though, if it's worth it, I'm going to add it to my Amazon to-purchase list, and I'll share with you all if I think it's a worthwhile resource.

Either way, I'm just glad to finally read something real.

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