The Kinds of Things I Do in Grad School

In case anyone was wondering “What the frack has Aubrey been doing in Michigan for the last four months?” I have posted the links to two different assignments that I completed for my course “Perspectives on Literacy” this semester.

The first is a literacy narrative in which I try to tell the story of my relationship with reading and writing thus far.  This was extremely difficult for me to reflect on and write about.  In fact, it gave me a nice little taste of my own medicine.  I’m always encouraging my students to take a personal stake in their work and to write about the things that they love and that matter to them.  But, every time I’ve taken up a topic that held deep personal importance to me (which is becoming a more and more frequent habit of mine) it has been frustrating to write about.  Rewarding as all hell in the end, but difficult and anxiety provoking in the process.

The second assignment I am sharing here is the presentation version of a 15 page, end of semester paper that I chose to write about Facebook and how young people have used Facebook to talk about politics.  I had a lot of fun writing this one, especially because I got to use actual Facebook posts as artifacts and I got to interview some people about their Facebook use.  The process for this paper and presentation was difficult too because whenever I logged onto Facebook (my #1 most frequent literacy practice/favorite pass time/general life activity) I could never tell when I was “doing research” and when I was just procrastinating as usual.  Most of the time I’m sure I was procrastinating and just telling myself that it was research.

Finally, as the end of my first semester draws near, I am over the top grateful for these assignments.  The fact that my Professor encouraged all of us, at the graduate level, to begin our semester and our course by reflecting on our reading and writing history and the fact that my classmates all put substantial time and care into telling their personal stories about reading and writing have shown me that I absolutely landed in the right place at the right time for this crazy life decision that I’ve made. Also, the fact that those same people (Professor and classmates) encouraged me and took me seriously when I said I wanted to study Facebook because I knew and felt that something important was happening there (even though I couldn’t yet say what that important happening thing was) has been equally telling and rewarding.

That is all for now, except for this picture of Bella because she’s perfect!

Bella

Oh, Hello There!

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