A Costa Rican Experience

Entering the conversation

So I just got out of my English 202B class where we’ve begun to read “They Say, I Say” by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. The gist of the book is that it is important to recognize in our writing that we are entering conversations that’ve been going on well before we joined and will continue to go on well after we’ve left them. They used Kenneth Burke’s analogy in “The Philosophy of Literary Form” to further this idea. In the middle of our discussion I felt an epiphany come on. You know that exciting feeling when you just know you’re on to something exciting, now imagine trying to contain that during a subdued discussion in a class full of people who would have no idea nor care what you’ve come up with. Alright, I’ll end the suspense. What we do in our classes is dig through old arguments and “conversations” and form our own arguments, referring to these past ones to build our own viewpoint. By creating a PLN, we’re opening the conversation not to just the past, but to the conversations that are going on around us now. The internet has allowed us to not just look at old journals from years past, but to keep up with what is going on now, the new ways of thinking that are changing our field as we take part in it. Having a PLN centered around your field allows you to dig through all the conversations until you find where your specific conversation of interest is going on and “put in your oar”. Though this makes the research aspect of your papers that much more daunting, I daresay it will make the papers our generation produces more complete and applicable than many written to this date. Though I realize I am probably not the first to have this epiphany, I have mentioned before that I like my classes to coincide so the more connections I can draw, the more pleased I am with the semester.


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  1. Start Small? Or go Big? « Caitfordly Yours pingbacked on 7 years, 9 months ago


  1. An inspirational post in every way. Nice work.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 9 months ago
  2. In the past two years of college (so my 2nd and 3rd years) I have noticed more and more connections between my classes. Last semester I took a persuasive speech class as well as an acting class–two seemingly different topics, but the relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and confidence I took from acting class directly improved my ability to deliver speeches in persuasive speech. Consequently, the propaganda strategies that I learned in persuasive speech are readily used in my Politics in Media class. I love that you related the conversations of “They say, I say” to the PLN. When I took engl 202B and read “They say, I say” a lightbulb went off. It’s unbelievable how much my argumentative writing skills improved. Sorry to Jabber, I just really liked your post. See you wednesday!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 9 months ago
  3. * clh5160 says:

    A little off-topic, but your blog is beautiful! You need to teach me how to make mine a bit more aesthetically pleasing, because I can’t figure it out for the life of me…

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 9 months ago

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