Well, it is the end of the semester and I have almost completed my comp research course. It has truly been an experience to see another side of English. I really believe that everyone should read some composition texts and write at least one research proposal. I had written grant proposals before, but I recently learned that my PhD dissertation proposal is closer to a research report than an academic essay, so I am grateful to have had the practice. I also appreciate the enthusiasm of my classmates for their classes and students. It is great to think that I could enact my research project and actually make a difference in the way that scholars teach composition and literature courses.
I think the most important thing I will take away from this course is the power of stories and the written word. Ethnographies are affecting the way we all view our communities, teaching and learning. The possibilities for ethnography are endless. I enjoyed reading each ethnography and gaining access to different ways of experiencing the world. The most moving ethnography I read was actually the one I presented on. It was great to see a scholar using her personal experiences to teach us all something about race and academia. I also really enjoyed Nathan’s reporter-like style and her insights into the undergraduate university student’s experiences. I will forever think differently about my students.
I thank each and every person in my class (and Dr. Moxley, even though he is only a comp professor!) for their insights and patience with me as I waded into the waters of composition study and research. I will definitely be using the invention techniques I learned about while researching my proposal in my classes. I would like to actually do the research project, but it will depend on whether I have the time to do so. Overall, I have learned some very valuable skills and I now plan to have one of my comps lists be in composition studies! So it looks like I have come over to the dark side after all 😉