February 10, 2008

Tales of Development

I'm having a hard time getting into Jarrett's second chapter, "Satura: File (under) Gumbo," so I'll concentrate on Richard Haswell's Gaining Ground in College Writing: Tales of Development and Interpretation.

Evidence of growth is measured "by how long they keep changing afterward" (20). This idea struck me as I read Haswell's first chapter, "Growing." I reflected on my own writing progress and began to wonder whether I continued to change after my first-year or upper-division composition classes. Hmm. As a literature major, I tailored my writing to fit the literature requirements, but when I arrived at graduate school, those writing practices no longer fulfilled my requirements. What does that mean? Did I regress? Did I fail to grow?

I will venture to say that my ability grew to suit my needs at that time. I practiced writing the kinds of papers that professors required of me at that time, but it does not mean that I became stagnant or failed to grow. Now, in the MA in Teaching Writing program, I will practice writing the genres required of Master's students and FYC instructors. Through growth and learning, these genres will become second nature.

Students should continue to grow at each interval of life and academia. Is it possible for someone to not grow in at least one area or another?

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