Future Writing Experience

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“You Can’t Write That Way:” Experiences of a Future Writing Teacher

My experience with writing has dominated my life and the decisions I have made. I love all expressive modes of writing, but the response one gets can differ greatly depending on the reader, therefore, I do not like getting feedback on writing. However, when I write for an implied audience that does not get to know my words, I feel like a speaker in a large auditorium, boldly proclaiming my truths to the cold, silent stone. This simultaneous desire for a reader and dread of a reader’s response creates an overall ambivalence towards writing– a love of creating and being an author, and a dread of receiving feedback and having a reader that is not amused by my words.
While there
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I remember being concerned when I received a very good score, but yet there were corrections concerned with my mechanics and legibility spattered about the pages in red ink. My concern with my own self-prompted creative writing impelled me to ask my teacher about the proper usage of a comma. We had a heated exchange over this that led me to being isolated in the principal’s office afterwards. She insisted that I used the comma the wrong way, that her way was right because it simply was, and that, despite what I had been taught earlier, it was never just an indication of an oratory pause. I still use commas in a manner that might be helpful when I am writing fiction, and even though I know better, I am often lured to “misuse” commas even in my formal writing.
I think it is important for students not only to know mechanics, grammar, and spelling so that my students never encounter the frustration of a perfectly good idea scuttled by the reader’s inability to puzzle out the code. But more importantly, I want for them to know why these conventions exist, and to be honestly told that sometimes, there isn’t any reason! It’s easier for students to learn if they know a bit of the history and habitus of the oddities that they are expected to
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I think that creative writing and narrative should be an underlining current of composition, not an aberration that proves unpractical and misleading as teachers often leap from this ‘unimportant’ and ‘easy’ method of writing as a warm-up exercise for the ‘important’ stuff of essay writing. Even if creative writing and narrative as a discourse mode was completely omitted from the classroom, emphasizing the narrative construction of the essay mode would be useful, I think, and an interesting and useful theme to pursue. It would help students to understand who they are and what they could be in the future. Ideally, students would be able to read in a variety of expressive modes (not just essays) and to write well in them.
At the same time, I do not wish to eradicate the extremely important practical applications of writing and text-work. I want to see students understand texts wherever they go, to have the knowledge and confidence that no matter how seductive the text, they have the tools to decipher and understand it for what it

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