Monday, January 24, 2011

Personal Writing Memoir - First Draft

As I have mentioned already, most of the writing I did in school was either copying or responding to questions with evidence of my reading and or memory for details to support ideas. While I remember being told (or at least assuming) that I was a good reader, I don't really remember teachers or my parents praising me for my writing. Perhaps it was the effect of large classes with my fellow baby boomers. We were indeed a huge group who arrived at grade school around the time when the cold war was heating up and energies were shifting towards improving performance in math and science. Sadly,my memories of school and writing probably differed little from the memories of my parents and even my grandparents.
I really did not focus too my on my writing until early in my college career (late September I suspect) when a horrible grade on my first paper for my English literature class at Syracuse caused me to rethink my entire future. I wondered IF I was cut out for college? I did not know where to turn or what to do and I still remember vividly crying desperately in the shower as I rethought my future!
FORTUNATELY, there were people (grad students in fact) who guided and scaffolded my writing that semester. They certainly never wrote anything for me; however, they suggested strategies for planning, organizing and producing my papers that allowed me to not only complete that course, but to also complete many, many more courses.
I guess I was very lucky to have landed in the right place at the right time with the right teachers. I suspect the experience has impacted my teaching and contributed to my sensitivity to students who find writing challenging. Teachers really DO make a difference - especially teachers or writing!

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