Settling In

25 Sep

When entering into a college composition classroom, some of you may be curious to know how your writing is going to be judged and whether your professor has some standard of writing against which you will be measured. Some of you might have bad experiences with previous English teachers who failed to notice your creativity, responding negatively to comma splices and poor organization without at least giving you credit for the thought that you did put into the written words that appeared on your paper. If you have had these experiences, I hope that you find our classroom community to be a place where your efforts are recognized, though this might not always translate into an A or B on your assignments. Likewise, I hope you find our community a place to develop and contest ideas, others as well as your own. I also hope that you don’t see it as a space of rigidly defined “truths” to which you must comply in order to receive a good grade. Overall, our community should become a place to flesh out your ideas, the many ideas that all your classes should spark. The most successful student papers in my classes allow idea buds to grow into something more recognizable and meaningful through synthesis, interpretation, and analysis. Throughout our semester-long journey, I hope that learning to write in an academic setting becomes not just easier but something in which you will come to enjoy because of the ability it will give you to express your ideas, even when those ideas come in the form of third person.