For composition I, we clarified the purpose of the rhetorical listening essay, reserving discussion of development strategies until next week. Using a combination of brief PowerPoint notes and virtual whiteboard, we reviewed idea-generating strategies, focusing today primarily on guided brainstorming-like focusing in.
We read “I Am not My Body” and discussed first what Sandin was talking about, her purpose for writing the essay, and why we might choose it to explore for the rhetorical listening essay. Finally, we moved to a discussion of how to apply the idea of “cultural logics” to this whole process. The students wanted desperately to focus on on how they connect to the thesis and how Sandin’s story may be made universal, and I had to reiterate that our goal is to identify a culture, community, or experience that might inform Sandin’s choices, language (e.g., references to thalidomide and alternately formed), and individual message.
I was surprised, once focused, how the students remained unwilling to focus only on Sandin’s message as being produced within the culture of disability. Rather, they were more interested in how her determination and refusal to be limited by her disability might be a product of her generation, the era in which she came of age. In the end, we decided to leave both communities/cultures on the board and continue focusing as we browsed and read more about each community. Left to do:
- Record demo of logging onto and browsing Gale Viewpoints
- Select a new essay
- Model use of development strategies
- Discuss thesis
- Revise/adapt organizer