Response to Prof. Talks

I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures given by professors Chris Warnick and Emily Rosko today. Both Dr. Rosko’s poetry essay on teaching “The Complaint” and Dr. Warnick’s article “Expressive Pedagogies in the University of Pittsburgh’s Alternative Curriculum Program” hit close to home in my particular interest of English study, which is English Education. I have always felt the inherent value in studying language because it is one of the biggest ways we expressive ourselves. Both professors’ lectures touched on the heart of why I study English and have a passion to enter the field of English Education. They discussed, in various ways, where the wheels of English hit the pavement of life. As Dr. Warnick mentioned, our generation is writing more than ever before and I believe, as platforms of communication are shifting, teachers may have to reevaluate their pedagogy to meet students’ needs. Reading and writing are reflective processes. The more intentional we are about noticing how language influences us and our surroundings, the more we learn and grow intellectually and spiritually.

As Dr. Rosko jokingly said, “pathos is the gateway drug to English Studies”- well, this has certainly been my experience.  While I was reading her poems, “Lunar Complaint” and “Solar Complaint” I remember experiencing a few things: smiling, laughing, reading a line to my roommate, and thinking back to my astronomy labs.  During our class discussion, all of these things were listed as examples of what makes “good writing” (relational value, style, passion, surprise/excitement, etc). She certainly had me feeling English. After all, I think it was Nealon and Giroux in Theory Toolbox who mentioned reading as a metaphor for experience. I remember sitting in my high school English class and encountering English in this new, transformative way for the first time.

Dr. Rosko’s concept of creative writing as a bridge between rhetoric composition and literary studies really resonated with me. It’s refreshing to see these things as needing one another and I believe holistic education is not complete without students having a solid foundation in all areas of study and practice. As I continue pursuing a degree in English, I will remember these lectures and the importance of examining the study and practice of English. Approaching new processes of writing, studying writing in various contexts, and exploring what makes writing “good” are all exciting things I wish to continuing learning more about and eventually emphasize in my classroom one day.

One Response to Response to Prof. Talks

  1. Erin Davis April 5, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    I, too, felt very strongly about Prof. Rosko’s talk. Since I am a creative writing major and hope to go into grammatical editing, I’ve been really having a hard time with all of the different theories and research approaches we have been studying. I’ve never had much of an interest for either of those areas of study. However, Prof. Rosko was saying that it is important to know the background to a multitude of disciplines within the English major. She says that she, sometimes unintentionally, utilized different theories within her writing, as well.
    When she said that, I really began to realize that I’ve used many of the theories we have learned and the approaches to research far more than I originally thought. I utilize feminist and environmental theory in much of my writing, and I find myself researching about different historical events for some of my fiction or prose poetry. Her talk really helped me realize that, even though I want to solely focus on poetry and short fiction, I need to know the building blocks of the written word to execute my thoughts properly. Her talk was really what I needed to hear on a tiring Monday afternoon.

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