Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Entry #4 - Open Entry

In the beginning of class last session, Dr. Jones posted the quote for consideration:

"When people write about something they learn it better" (Toby Fulwiler, 1987, p. 9) as cited in Tompkins (2012, p. 107). 
 While reading chapter 2, Developing Strategic Writers, I thought a lot about the impact the writing process has on students. The section on writing strategies really stood out to me since it was full of information I could use in my own classroom or as a college student at Nazareth. 

When I first entered the literacy program at Nazareth, I was asked to write a literacy autobiography in the course I was in. This was a semester long process, and allowed me to reflect as a person first, and then as an educator/writer/literate person. I was asked to think about three literacy events that stood out to me and made me the person I am today. One of them was an on going event happening from birth to about 3 years of age. This event consisted of my mother reading me the same text before bed every night. The text was written by Robert Munsch, titled "I'll Love You Forever". This book had such an impact on my life, and my relationship with my mother in general. However, I never really sat back and thought about that impact! last year, when taking the course, I was asked to reflect and think about why the literacy event was so meaningful to me. In doing this, I was able to draft a lengthy paper regarding all three of my events and their meaning. During the semester, I spent a large chunk of time monitoring while I wrote. I had a hard time not 'blabbering' about life in general when discussing something so emotional. I spent a great deal of time narrowing my paper itself, and getting rid of the 'fluff'. In doing so, I really found out what was the MOST important part of my life story to me, as well as what would be important to another reader. Every time I proof read this paper, I was able to get a different take on this event in my life. That really struck when group members would proof read my writing. Although it was difficult at first, to allow someone to read emotions and ideas that were so close to my heart, getting another opinion or a different take on the event only allowed me to understand more about myself! Every time I sat down to work on this project, I questioned the event, myself, the project, my audience, the purpose, etc. This helped to clarify the meaning of the literacy event every time I sat down to work. 

Although this is just one example of an extensive work I produced while in the Masters program at Nazareth, it proves the point that while I was involved with the writing process, I was able to learn even more about myself. Day one of the class I took an event that I knew meant a lot to me, and through writing I was able to learn more about it. You would think if it is your own story, your own emotion, and your own relationships you would know all you can about the event, but I learned quickly that that was not the case. For the first time in my life I was encouraged to take a step back and analyze that situation from multiple standpoints, and not only did I leave that class understanding more about the text I used, but I learned more about myself and my wonderful mother as well :)

1 comment:

  1. Shawna, this is a wonderful reflection on what you learned about writing your literacy autobiography (some of this may come in handy as you write your entry slip/Addendum for your Masters Portfolio). It would have been helpful to say more about what you have now learned about the information Tompkins presented in Chapter 2.