I have been fortunate to read every assignment--that is my job after all--and have learned a lot from both the students in the class and our visitors across Electricblogland. However, you need not be a participant in the class to observe the growth in ten short weeks. Of course, writers improve somewhat just by following through on the hefty amount of writing and reading I assigned. I also think we can thank the public comments from strangers for partly keeping us on our syntactic toes. Before we do close the book(s) on this quarter, I'd like to leave you with some end-of-term thoughts.
- You are responsible responders to all texts. Language is powerful; language gathers armies, changes laws, sells us crap we don't really need. Make sure that you continue to work on your ability to read all texts with a critical eye. Take nothing for granted; consider everything. Assigned texts in classes can be suspect, while the homeless guy on the corner may have something valid to say between his ravings about cosmic peanut butter. Stay alert by reading between the lines. People are looking for suckers to just go along with the crowd or not to bother to check the fine print. Don't be one of those suckers. It takes longer to read critically, but your soul will be freer for doing so.
- You are writers. And don't let anyone tell you different. Even if you don't like doing it, or don't want to do it regularly, you DO do it, and do it increasingly well. Look at these class blogs for proof.
- Dissension is okay. We learn when faced with ideas, theories, beliefs that are new to us or different from the way we understand the world. It's one thing if people are arguing to just to get a rise from you or just to be difficult; it's quite another when they earnestly have different opinions and are effectively trying to communicate those to you. But before you agree to disagree, see if you can come to some understanding.