Tuesday, November 08, 2005

This Is Why I Teach

Why do I teach? Why do I love it? This bit of story opens an angle on a piece of the answer:

Gordon Weliky is one of the writers in a first-year composition class I teach at Purdue University. The syllabus sequence through which I guide my students works out its title, “Composing the Digital Self,” as it directs students through a daily discovery of on- and off-line tools with which to hone, polish, and amplify their command of language and their exactness in writing. Nearly all of the writing for this course work is done … online! The digital experience can be a tough transition for some students and take the better part of a semester to open up for others: Gordon caught his “ride” today with a lift from Urban Dictionary. Here’s the email I received from Gordon … his telling says it all:

Mary!!!!!!!

Holy crap, I made the front page of Urban Dictionary!!!!!!
Hopefully its still there when you check Urban Dictionary, but if not,
they posted a comment on my blog. They quoted the last sentence of my
blog on the front page of Urban Dictionary and included a link to my blog!!!
If you can’t already tell, I'm pretty excited. I cannot wait to check
stat counter and find out what kind of traffic I’m going to be getting!!
Gordon called his parents, other members of the class, and likely his entire roll call of friends back home. I called my own list of notables; I can’t honestly tell you which one of us was more excited. It’s loads of fun to win a moment of digital celebrity – a terrific “win” for Gordon … a bucket of personal satisfaction for me!

You can drop by Gordon’s blog by following this link, or you can follow the Urban Dictionary “link back” to Gordon's blog by going here - look for “purdue blog.” And, if you’d like to read more about the happenings for this course in general, you can check out some of the other student writing by clicking on links from the blogroll at right: scroll down until you come to “Purdue English 106 Class Blogs.”

It's all too darn much fun!


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