Apparently reading and writing were things I was always “good” at going through school, but you could never tell me that. Though I enjoyed them, my passion remained with the sciences and mathematics (or so I thought). It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I really gained an appreciation for reading and writing. Still, science and math were “my things” even as I started my collegiate career. Then, one day in study hall, one of my teammates was struggling with an analysis reflection on a rather abstract poem. She didn’t understand the poem and definitely didn’t know how to start writing something she didn’t understand (especially an analysis at that!). I offered to take a look and quickly broke the poem down and helped her set up “steps” to finish her analysis reflection. At the end of the hour, her reflection was completed and all were amazed that I could put together ideas that quickly for a four page paper.
During my undergrad years, word traveled fast that I could write well; thus, teammates and friends always asked for my advice when it came to writing assignments for their classes. I enjoyed helping people with their writing and helping them discover successful ways to write as well. From there, I ended up here! Reading and writing…a lot. I ended up adding English as a secondary undergrad degree because I loved to read and write. I still enjoy science and math (which is where my HNFE degree balanced into the equation nicely), but I’ve realized that English is my true passion.
As far as my actual writing process, it varies. If the assignment involves a lot of research, sometimes an outline helps me get my ideas together. However, I usually just sit down and start writing. Though I do not always have a “formal” process, I do like to give myself enough time to do a rough draft and still be able to review and revise. When helping others with their writing, I make sure that I help them formulate a process that works for them, individually. For people who like to say, “Oh, it’s just easy for you! I can’t write!” I tell them, “You may not be able to put together a 20 page paper as quickly as I can, but you can write those 20 pages once you figure out a strategy that works best for you. You can do it.”
Today, writing is a part of every day life. And my definition of literacy is evolving even as I write this. I mean what really is literacy today? There are so many different literacies out there that we are developing and our students are bringing to the classroom, that the term literacy has changed tremendously. Thus today, it is more of a focus on multiliteracies and how we can best adapt them into our practices.
In fact, this very exercise, blogging, is helping create a new group of literate students. From a journalistic form, to persuasive arguments and collaboration, blogging is transforming the writing realm. Perhaps it can even be used as a space to help struggling writers get their thoughts down in an informal manner. With that said, no matter how one views literacy, it has changed and is changing. And I’m so glad that I found my true passion so that I’m able to soak up the rays of change and help show others that English is more than simply reading and writing…it is a way of life.