Reading Journal #3 Assignment
Article #1 Forget Formulas – Context is Everything
1. Five words I do not know: fetishizing, browbeat, pompous, assiduously, judicious
2. A. Unfortunately, a lot of them are English teachers, and the students they train (“browbeat” might be a better word) often end up fetishizing rules as their teachers do, believing that they must not violate fixed “rules” or deviate in any way from a rigid formula.
B. Unfortunately, a lot of them are English teachers, and the students they train (“browbeat” might be a better word) often end up fetishizing rules as their teachers do, believing that they must not violate fixed “rules” or deviate in any way from a rigid formula.
C. In such essays, an attempt to follow the “rule” about not using “I” will produce such awkward, pompous constructions as “In this writer’s opinion,” or “The author’s experience has shown that. . . .”
D. Take, for example, the “roadmap” introduction so assiduously taught in English classes: “In this essay I will show this, this, and this.”
E. On the other hand, I have no objection to the judicious use of the editorial “we” in essays on literature.
3. Fetishizing: verb. To appreciate and assign value to.
Browbeat: verb. To instruct by repeatedly emphasizing a concept.
Pompous: adjective. A self-conscious attempt at seeming better than one is.
Assiduously: adverb. Sinister and invaluable method of teaching.
Judicious: adjective. Sparingly.
4. This article explores the current emphasis within teaching that writers must follow very rigid and traditional rules in their writing. The author explains why this is usually not necessary and how it is detrimental to quality writing. She also gives merit to the sparing usage of such rules under certain circumstances.
5. I agree with Tina Blue’s statement that writers who believe that writing itself is rule-driven are generally not good writers. This is a subjective assessment, but one that I can share. Writers who absolutely will not get out of the box, so to speak, write papers that are mere repetitions of each other. Although their pure research papers might be quality examples of that genre, any other writing from these authors will show a demonstrable lack of creativity or inspiring text.
6. I do not agree with Tina Blue’s assessment that opening paragraphs that clearly state a paper’s purpose in methodical fashion are bad. Educational institutions have long instructed students to follow this method when beginning academic papers. The method is to explain exactly what is going to follow in the subject matter. This may seem awkward but it is invaluable to establishing a concrete base for academic research writing.
Article #2 Students Teachers Hate
1. Five words I do not know: antipathy, twerp, nontenured, brazen, blithely
2. A. Oh, most of us try to be fair and not allow our antipathy toward a student to influence our grading, but the truth is, what we dislike about certain students is usually precisely the sort of thing that is likely to hurt their grade anyway, in purely objective terms.
B. This little twerp would walk right up to where I stood at the front of the class and begin talking to me!
C. Unfortunately, most universities will not back up nontenured adjunct faculty, which is what I am, in any disciplinary matter, so there’s a limit to what we can do when one of these spoiled brats is too brazen to respond even to such forceful correction.
D. Unfortunately, most universities will not back up nontenured adjunct faculty, which is what I am, in any disciplinary matter, so there’s a limit to what we can do when one of these spoiled brats is too brazen to respond even to such forceful correction.
E. All during class, as I tried to teach the real students, this guy blithely carried on a private conversation with the pretty girl he always sat next to.
3. Antipathy: noun. Feelings of negativity toward someone.
Twerp: noun. A denigrating term to refer to someone you do not like.
Nontenured: adjective. A staff member that has not been granted a guaranteed position at a school or institution.
Brazen: adjective. Forceful disregard.
Blithely: adverb. Secretly or subtly.
4. This article describes particular students which cause grievous problems for teachers. These teachers naturally end up assigning poor grades to the students, but not for the reasons of personal emotion. Rather the author of this article makes a fine and rational set of points for exactly why these students described as twerps generally fail. It is not because of the personal feelings of the teacher, but because of the students’ disregard for methods of work that will ensure passing grades.
5. I agree with the author’s point that a student such as the one she describes in detail could have passed. Her assessment that this type of student is bright enough and smart enough to achieve good grades if they only followed the rules of the classroom seems right on. Her article describes the various violations that “Joseph” demonstrated and I agree that this was the undoing of his academic career.
6. I disagree with Blue’s argument that Joseph did poorly for reasons entirely separate from her emotions or personal feelings. Despite the case she well made for Joseph being the cause of his bad grades, I do not entirely believe her. She writes a veritable diatribe against him. It is nearly a rant. It would seem like Ms. Blue has been holding these feelings in for quite some time and now has the perfect chance to get them out. It is hard for me to fully believe that with such a vehement recall of negativity on the part of Joseph that she wasn’t somehow influenced to not fully help him. Perhaps with more assistance and less disgust she could have helped him change his ways.