Friday, August 24, 2012

Think Globally, Write Locally

"Don't hate the media.  Become the media."

--Jello Biafra

Last semester, at a faculty meeting, my English department chair asked us to discuss this question: What is your biggest challenge with teaching English?  Some people mentioned students' problems with grammer, critical reading, integrating sources into their essays.  My response was more simple:

My biggest challenge with teaching English is getting students to give a shit.

This was not meant as an attack on students, but on my own failures as a teacher to sincerely engage my students in the material I was having them read and write about.  For a good five years, I really struggled with how to make college freshman care about writing and reading and critical thinking.  How, I often wondered, can I make this "cool"?

Interestingly, it was not through reading a textbook or attending a teaching seminar that I stumbled upon a kind of a solution to this dilemma.  It was, like most things I have learned in life, born out of my own experience.  Outside of teaching, I had become deeply involved in my community, helping organize the monthly Downtown Fullerton Art Walk, running for city council, and starting to blog about local issues.  I found myself sincerely engaged in dialogue about the specific community I lived in.

Slowly, I started to share some of my writings with students.  I wrote essays about my unsuccessful city council campaign, about the culture of downtown Fullerton, about local history, about local environmental issues (like Coyote Hills).  As I shared these writings with students I noticed a few things: 1.) Because I was the writer, students were more likely to ask me questions about my process. 2.) Because the issues were local, students were able to see that my writing was not some abstract academic exercise, but rather had to do with real things in the real world. 3.) Students seemed to kind of give a shit.

Last semester, I experimented with making "Writing about Local Issues" a core component of my English classes.  I assigned articles from the OC Weekly, the Orange County Register, from local publications.  I took students on little field trips around town.  I encouraged them to attend city council meetings and local cultural events like street fairs and farmers markets, take notes, and write about their experiences.

The result, so far, has exceeded my wildest expectations.  When students write about local things, real things in their own communities, they start to give a shit.  They see that writing can be more than a boring and pointless exercise.  It can be a way to engage with and respond to the real world that surrounds them.  They see, I hope,  that writing is a powerful way to assert and share their voices, to become a part of a larger discussion about things that actually affect their lives.

I created an online journal, The Journal of Orange County Studies, in which I publish some of my students' essays.  Orange County is an area that cries out for academic scrutiny and critical writing.  I hope that my classes, and the resulting essays, might help foster a larger dialogue about the communities in which we live.

I encourage my students to create their own blogs, to share their writing.  Blogs, facebook, and social media have, in many ways, democratized information as never before.  I often tell students, "Lots of people have written about health care, abortion, war, etc.  But YOU may be the first person ever to write an academic essay about health care in La Habra, or Yorba Linda, about the effect of war on students returning to Fullerton College.  Your essays might actually help other people think differently about these things, might actually become the seeds of change."

I now regard my role as a teacher of academic writing as a tremendous privilege.  I get to help empower students to make change.  And, in my experience, change always starts locally.  Thus, for the foreseeable future, my students will be writing about local issues: local culture, local politics, local social problems, local history.  My mantra for this semester is: Think globally, write locally.


107 comments:

  1. Jesus Jaime GonzalezAugust 29, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    English 60 TR 02 :00 - 04:00
    Jesus Jaime Gonzlez

    By far writing locally will inspire any student to write with passion and enthusiasm. Mr. la tour you have really picked a great topic to get students active in your english class, and not bore them with the regular english exercises old english teachers tend to give out for work. My first thought of your class when entering was tat it was going to be a dumb boring english class with dull topics and exercises, but when you stated that we will be working with local issues in my favorite county ( orange County ) my attention rose and i was eager to learn more about what was next to come in your class. I have dared to read ahead the required text Orange county and i can forsee an exciting future in our English 60 class this fall semester.

    As for the first blog ( Shitty First Drafts ) the idea of writing a shitty first draft opn purpose is essential, beacuse of the fact that a shitty first draft opens up door to a greater second less shitty first draft. One of my sttrategies in writing is freewriting about the essay prompt just because the start of getting things down on paper will have me croosing things out to improve my second paper. At this particular moment responding to this blog i am freewriting and if i were to go back to improve it im sure it would be much better. This is a shitty first comment on this blog, but it can turn into a less shitty second comment if improved from this shitty first comment. the idea of purposely writing a shitty first draft is essential to obtain a better second draft until perfection is achieved.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If a teacher is to teach, they should teach with passion and love for their students. It's a good feeling when I see a teacher with such passion. To me, it is so much more interesting when a teacher is this involved. Never have I had a teacher with a blog, let alone involvement on the blog as homework. Right now it almost doesn't feel like homework. As far as writing on this blog for you, it doesn't get more local.

    I feel like you are on track, with a newer approach and attitude. An attitude that makes us feel like it's possible and fun, and above all meaningful. As your student I like the idea of you allowing yourself to come down to our level. It gives us a better understanding and a broader idea of your goal. This blog especially connects the idea.

    The world is a big place, making writing about anything difficult. So starting with the smaller idea of a local issues help immensely, because one person feeling so small in comparison to everything else, tends to make a local issue feel like you're there and hopefully making a difference. One might think it's selfish to just write locally, whereas writing about the economic struggle of America makes less sense really because the 'A' I might get on that essay won't create more jobs. Still it may have been an A, I'd rather write a rant about why police officer Ramos got paid leave after the death of Kelly Thomas or lack of funding for Fullerton College. It's the local issues that need exposure and discussion for change and growth.

    So I'm for the local talk, essays, and overall involvement. It starts with one person and from there it takes off, or not even one person. Collectively we can search for more local understanding.

    Ramon Gonsalves
    English 60












    ReplyDelete
  3. Aaron Arkie
    English 60 TR 02 :00 - 04:00

    Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott, thrives on the idiom of sink or swim. Like all those who have not braved their first dip in a pool can be a little stressful. Their minds panic with drowning, body functions become useless, voices taunt your every twitch. Anne Lamott enlightens our survival skills on how to test those waters with nothing more than just giving it a shot. Sure, it might be ugly…at first but you have to be willing to take a chance. You may have to slap yourself silly until you get a hold of yourself but before you know it you’ll have enough confidence to dive in the deep end. It’s just a matter of practice or the idea of “what you put in is what you get out”. In a more personal note, what really connected me to this article was her process of going crazy, literally crazy in the sense of “please make the voices stop”. Most people reach that point when you first start an essay or even in the midst of it, and you hear all these thoughts of how you’re never going to get this done, or this paragraph is meaningless, is this even English? You suck Etc. She shows us that she’s been there and we’re not alone, that there is actually a light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to let go of all the useless consciences ideas polluting our minds and give it a go. A shitty first draft is a crucial step to becoming a good writer; our shitty writing actually has a purpose.

    As for the idea of writing about the certain events happening in our community in Think Globally, Write Locally, is indeed in the right direction of giving students an incentive to care about what they are writing about. For the very first time we actually get to be the little Indiana jones in our very own community in discovering the ancient past of the county we live in. We hold the power of word to make change and bring voice to hearts. We have the chance to enlighten the minds of many on the tragedies happening at our very own doorstep; We have the opportunity to spread hope. Writing for our community, I believe, will allow us to be comfortable and more involved in promoting awareness of troubles in the common man or women who struggle to make ends meet in what we call home. Essentially, it allows us to give ideas on how we can change these negative impacts and move forward to a more stable and healthy community. Although we may go unheard of or shot down by critics, somebody still recognized us, and that one voice can turn into a million voices, maybe even spread the same movement into the next county over who knows? But For the very first time we get to express our voice in promoting change, for the first time someone can listen to us, and it all starts locally.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr, La Tour....... after reading both posts, i have been enthralled to see your passion for what you do. Not to be the person to be a teachers pet or a kiss ass in any way but to see what your thoughts are on your own teaching is a very eye opening experience.... at least for me. It is very odvious that you care about what you do and what your students learn and obtain from your teachings. Its a breath of fresh air to get that nowadays when it seems that teachers in colleges almost seem indifferent on there job. they might seem excited about there study and subject, but seldom portray their own excuberance. Its a nice endeavor you are proposing, "Think Globally, Write Locally". The times have made it hard for people to think about nothing but themselves and how thier lives are important, to think globally is a start of a great idea to open up a realization of awarness to others ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles. im jumping on board for the ride..... again no kissasitty. lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. After reading the first article about “The Shitty first draft” by Anne Lamott it dawned on me that the first draft will always be the worst and that’s the whole point of it. Like everything else in life, if you try something new or start something new, you always have to just go with it and fail the first time to figure out what you’re doing wrong. Expecting not to fall flat on your face on your first attempt is always going to end horribly. Being able to distinguish between failing and giving up and going in knowing you will fail so you can do better the 2nd time could help tremendously in writing. I’ve written essays and things before and always expected my first draft to be the basses of a good essay, the problem is I wanted my first draft to be good enough that I could pass it off as a final draft. Maybe going into it like Anne does and knows that the first time around will be bad and to just get my thoughts onto the paper rather than focus on making the paper good to begin with, will help actually making my papers good.
    Apart from figuring out the process of making a well written paper, the subject matter is a big thing. After reading your article I would have to agree that someone at the college level does diffidently care more when what they’re writing is closer to home. In the past when I have to write an essay for something or a subject that I really don’t care about, I feel like I struggle through it and try to bullshit my way through most of the core content of the essay. I tend to regurgitate the same information over and over through different words and different views. What I have also noticed is when the essay is about a personal experience or something that I actually care about or that affects me, I tend to write a lot better and put more energy into doing it. When the essay hits home or is relatable it makes writing it a lot easier, and with the writing portion being easier I can focus more on the content and the subject matter along with sticking to the thesis. When I feel forced to write about something that I couldn’t care less about its more of I just want to get this over with, sort of feeling. I’m glad that you’re branching out from the norm when it comes to an English class. For this I must say thank you for not making this another boring English class like the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  6. English 60 Jesse La Tour Arturo Alfaro

    "The Out of State-er"

    After reading, “Think Globally, Write Locally” by Jesse La Tour I was encouraged to think big but start with the basics. It showed me that anyone can write if properly motivated and that every voice has the potential for significant impact. I can’t wait to discover my own strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Maybe one day we may all be reading a paper or document written by me, Arturo Alfaro.

    I am pleased and almost excited to know that technology, i.e. blogging will be a part of this once said to be, “boring” English class. Writing in a blog will be a great way to not only challenge my own writing skills but also compare myself to other students. Some of the outlined topics for this course (cultural, political, and social) I know will not come with just one point of view. To have an instructor who is willing to submerge himself along with his students in such controversial topics about local events is just thrilling. California, “the melting pot of the world” will be host to blogs from students in this English class and this modern form of learning is an interactive way that I am sure will attract many.

    The diversity in southern California I know will spark an instant reaction from the class. It will be interesting to see the reaction people take when exposed to experiences and/or discoveries other than their own. People have so many points of views and/or experiences, just waiting to be told. This will be a great way for an out of state student, like myself to learn the local culture. Up until about three months ago, I had no idea that the City of Fullerton existed. Coming from the state of Texas, I’m sure I will have contrasting opinions with many. With this being said, transitioning into a “Californian” I find myself seeking many answers. I can’t think of a better way for me to “fit-in”.

    All this fun reaps its benefits too, without us realizing it we are engaged in writing. Let’s mess up, let’s get corrected and let’s try again. We have all heard the term “practice makes perfect” so lets practice!

    ReplyDelete
  7. English 060 TR 2:00-4:00
    Jesse LaTour

    I think that some people try to get the perfect ideas going on their first draft, instead of writing everything down like some of the writers out there. Sometimes when I try to get ideas to start a essay of some sort, I feel like I take too much time thinking about what to write instead of letting everything in my mind just flow into a piece a paper or whatever I am typing on. The first blog “Shitty First Drafts” reminded me that I should just type or write whatever comes into my mind whenever I am preparing to write an article or an essay. Who would have thought that starting to write a review can be just as hard as starting to write a book? I thought only authors would have the most finishing up a book with endless amount of drafts they would have to make to make it perfect for the readers to enjoy. But from this blog, I realized every writer goes through the process of writing a draft and revising it, again and again, until it is perfect.

    Writing about local news or events would definitely be more interesting than writing about a boring old English text that many students aren’t even interested in. I know for sure, I would be a lot more into writing about my local community and what is going on about it than trying to write about some old English text, maybe by Shakespeare because it would be something I can relate to and it lets me keep up to date on what is going on in the community that I live in. When I first signed up for this class, only thing I thought of was to take this boring English class for general ed, but on the first day when you talked about writing about our local community it changed my mindset of the class. I thought I was just going to be shoved in with essays in front of my face with bunch of boring lectures on how to write better.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Vanessa Delgado
    English 60 T-TR 2:00-4:00

    Reading "Shitty first draft" by Anne Lammot was a huge eye opener. I was one of the people who thought that writers just sat down and produced great work. That is clearly not the case. This article was really helpful and I will definitely try to keep the fact that I must first get all my thoughts down, in order to produce something that makes sense. I've alwasy had a little trouble with even starting, and it's great to know that I am not alone. The little voices and constant thoughts about random things, which have nothing to do with what I'm writing about are very hard to suppress, but i will be trying out the method she said the hypnotist suggested. Mr. La tour thank you for assining this article it will help tremendously the next time i sit down and write.

    After reading "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse La Tour I must say I am excited to start my writing assignments. Writing about our communities is a really great way to get us interested in what is happening right outside our door step. I like to share things I learn with my friends and family. This class and these writing assignments will help teach me and help me pass that on, and hopefully get more people involved in the community.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Think globally, write locally is an article that can be used to make writing more appealing to the student. Writing about your community and local issues compared with any of the other reoccurring topics is always going to create more interest simply because the topic involves them. I would always rather become more informed about an issue that could affect the area I live in rather than subjects years before or even miles away. Overall I enjoyed this article and believe it could really help create interest in creating papers.
    Shitty First Drafts highlights all the mental blocks we put ourselves through while attempting to write successfully. I found it humorous when she explained about the arguments in her head. I myself can relate and have experienced the constant critique of my own thoughts, but could never quite overcome the noise. I'll be sure to apply the method described in the article next time I run into a wall of self criticism. Overall I particularly liked this article because I found myself relating to a lot of the writing.
    I enjoy the fact that both of these articles stray from the normal reading material. Choices like these will more likely allow me to appreciate what I'm learning in class more or even develope my unknown interest in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Samantha Beem
    English 60 TR 2:00-4:00pm Jesse LaTour

    It's definitely interesting to me that you picked the concept of writing about local things in students communities for the curriculum. It's definitely different for me because I have never had to write kind of like a reporter or journalist. My experience with writing is more research and more reactive opinionated. I think that this class and different curriculum concept will expand their writing skills and get them out of their comfort zones. It interests me that before this concept came to light that the students didn't have interest, because I personal have enjoyed every English or writing class I've been in. But then again i have an interest in writing so that could be different.

    I think writing locally will be hopeful for students because they will pay more attention to what’s going on around them in their communities. they will be more in tune with politics and get out of their own little bubble and actually care more about what is happening in the world. It's going to be interesting and fun experiencing this class and really discovering what is happening in my community and kind of thinking like a journalist. I am interested and excited in a sense to branch out and become involved in things that are happening in my community and the communities that I am close to.

    Your idea of incorporating your interests and what you enjoy doing is really cool because it helps your students to get to know you more on a personal level and can share the same interests throughout the semester. Hey and maybe some of your students will love this class so much they might want to be reporters or journalists for a living. Your influence to make the community and the young college students aware of the history and what is going on around them is really cool and appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Vanessa Delado
    continued... Before entering the class I thought this was just another english class. Thought it might be like my english 59 class, boring and dull. Once you explained our assingments, and what you were hoping to achieve with us it made me relize that you actually want us to succeed and learn something valuable from all of this. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Shanelle De Anda
    English 60 -- TR 2:00 - 4:00pm -- Professor Jesse LaTour

    To begin with, I'd like to take some time to express how motivating both of these essays were to me. Personally, I found them extremely helpful, and will very likely refer to them when writing in the future. I am not a very great writer now, but I'd like to be. In the past I have found it some-what frustrating to get a piece of writing off the ground, or successfully keep my creativity and ideas flowing once I have started. A lot of the time I end up scribbling over or just throwing away what I have written, feeling that it is no good; never fully understanding the importance of that "shitty first draft." I have now learned that wanting to scribble it out and start over is completely normal, and that every writer takes more than just one shot at perfecting their work.
    I now feel much more at ease writing down those cheesy first thoughts. I also feel a lot more confident knowing that it is not necessarily my writing that is no good; it just takes a little extra work, practice and concentration to get passed that "shitty first draft" and complete a satisfactory piece of writing.
    When ever it came to choosing topics to write about, it had never really occured to me to write about my community, or what goes on within the place that I live. This is now something that I look forward to working on in the future because not only does it give me a wide variety of subjects to write about, but it gives me the chance to learn more about my community and the life that surrounds me. I find it exciting to be able learn things I never knew about my city, as well as what goes on within it and the people that live here. I am motivated and inspired after reading these two essays, and I greatly look forward to utilizing these new found experiences in my writing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Juvencio Madrigal
    English 101
    T, TH 8:30am-9:45am

    While reading “Shitty First Drafts,” by Anne Lamott I could relate myself to her, in the ways of feeling before writing something down on paper or starting an essay. I get frustrated and start to stress out a bit. She explained to not feel so pressured about what to write at first since, in fact it is going to be the first draft and most of the time it is going to be pretty horrible. I liked this article since Lamott showed me a new way of how to approach an essay. Having an open mind and writing anything that comes to mind down about the topic on the first, shitty draft is what makes the final draft a more completed version. Yeah the first draft isn’t going to be the best but it builds ideas for the second draft. The first, shitty draft should be used as a starting point for the next drafts. I believe it is important to write a shitty draft because from that draft comes less and less shitty drafts. From this article I will always keep in mind that the first draft most of the time is going to be shitty and that is perfectly okay.

    Mr. La Tour your interest in getting students to get involved into well “giving a shit,” about English classes seems to be working. Your English class seems different and unique to other English classes that I’ve taken in high school. You seem to be more involved in not only helping students find an interest in writing but also making it fun while doing that. I believe that your technique of having essays involving a community topic does get students involved more into the class because everyone knows their own community and have their own experience in it. I think it’s cool how you not only have had experience but also be in a running campaign. This class seems to have a lot more to offer not just college writing, but the appreciation of writing and to make writing not that much intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
  14. KEVIN SERNA ENG 101- 10:00am - 11:15August 31, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Kevin Serna Eng 101 10:00 am - 11:15

    In "Think Locally, Write Globally" i really appreciate the different approach Mr. La Tour takes to writing. Having students write about issues we can all relate to, already sparks my interest as a writer. The fact that Mr. La Tour takes such an active role of his goal to inspire students is in fact, inspiring. Your passion is shown through your blogs, and that further inspires me to write about local culture. It even went as far as me wondering what’s here in my local city of chino, and why have I never found out? Too often in English classes I’m left to write about a random read that was about cleaning out a garage or, how to apply for a loan. I always dreaded these assignments. Finally I’m left to write primarily about interesting issues like art, music, and local talent. The journal of Orange County Studies is also a good way to essentially reward a good piece that a student writes. It’s a little incentive that puts a goal in my head, to get a piece I write put in the blog. Fullerton is a very large campus that does offer many different possible stories, not to mention Orange County being as huge as it is, has plenty to write about. The Orange County Fair alone has plenty tales ready to be written. I look forward to researching and studying these topics throughout this semester.
    Shitty first drafts is an essay I can relate too pretty well. When I begin to write I like to let the ideas all fly out of my hands, and pour out whatever comes to mind. Usually when I do this the writing isn’t always as good as I had aimed for. I usually have a lot of grammatical errors and the occasional simple typo, but my work isn’t ever too far gone. Once I have finished a good portion of my work I like to stop half way and begin to revise all of the work I have done. When Anne Lamot explains how she feels distracted with voices in her head, I also feel I can relate to her. We share this burden with one major difference, the voices distracting me are real. I always do my homework at my kitchen table, because I have no desk in my room, and the other table in my house is unbearably hot. My house hold of six, is always full of conversation, and laughter while a TV is blaring out this week’s American idol finalist. Unfortunately I can’t put my entire family in a mason jar so instead, i put in some head phones and play a little solo piano. This always seems to work for me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Youngsang Hwang
    Jesse La Tour
    ENGL101 Tu, Th 10:00AM - 11:15AM

    While I was reading, “Think Globally, Write Locally”, at lastly, I could realize this passage’s meaning. When I worked at NY, NJ MKTV (Media Korea TV), which is Korean-American broadcasting company, I wrote articles about local issues everyday. Now, I think I could write well, but I could not write well about essays about just issues, which is wide. Now I come to think of it, I wrote articles about local issues as was thinking about audience. But when I deal with common issues, which is wide, I didn’t think about any audience and others. As a result, I think your class’s process is good for student to learn writing. But I doubt something. I have not lived at Orange County before one week, so my feeling is same that I write about local issues and common issues, because the Orange County is not my local before one week and not familiar. Right. I’m an exchange student from the South Korea and have lived at the South Korea. Just I worked and lived for one year at New York, New Jersey.

    Furthermore, I read Shitty First Draft by Anne Lamott, I couldn’t understand it well. But as well as Shitty First Draft is concerned; I think Shitty first draft is essential and important process for improving for a good writer. Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott (1995) mentions that “the first draft is the child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later.” First Draft means writer move the pen or type and start to writing. It is a vital role in writing. When I had worked at NY, NJ MKTV, I suffered because of first draft every times. I covered a case and knew well, but I could not start easily. Because I did know how I start first headline. Also, When I was writing an article, I though new information for an article. Therefore my article lost a routine and was mixed up like snail shell.

    Thus, This ENGL101 class will make me for good writer. Even I don’t hesitate for starting an essay, article, letter etc. Not only that, but also I hope to become that I like to write anything and be cowed to English writing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Brooke Cooper
    English 101
    When I was reading “Think Globally, Write Locally” I was immediately hooked on this article. I am so sick of being assigned essays that would never interest me. I rarely get to write something I care about so to hear that we will be writing essays on the real world that surrounds me will be so fascinating. I am so excited that I finally have a teacher who cares about their students and wants us to strive and wants us to love reading and writing. From reading this passage, I am already excited for the next class and what it has in store. As a student, every English class is the same. Read a book, and then write an essay on it. However I love that fact that you are making this English class interesting and assigning topics that are more at a student’s level. I feel as though you get us. I can’t wait to write essays in this class. I have never said that before because almost every essay I have written in the past is boring. I usually struggle with essays I don’t care about however the topics we will be writing about are interesting therefore I will hopefully have no problem writing. I can already tell you are a great teacher. Thank you for really caring about your students and wanting them to enjoy this class. Most teachers can care less. I am so excited to start writing.
    As for “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lammot, I felt as though she described everything perfectly. The first draft for me is impossible. I really related to her because I never know where to start and I always get nervous and stressed. This article was really helpful to me because she explained the process of really getting the perfect paper. I now know that everyone goes through the struggle of the first draft, not just me. Even famous authors don’t just write a perfect first draft. She explained how it takes time and patience. When she said, “The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later” it made me think because I always stress about the first draft and forget that no one will see it. I need to just jot down all my ideas and get a good grasp about what I am going to write. This article was defiantly an eye opener for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Chris Riordan
    English 101

    Now, I’d like to comment on both passages because both of them interest me deeply. For starters, the first essay talked about, in depth, the importance of first drafts. I have two positions on the subject. The first being that “shitty” first drafts are of real significance. The first draft serves many purposes to the writer and helps the writer through the writing process. Many great pieces of writing have all started out as a shitty first draft, and after being tweaked and revised, blossomed into magnificent works of art. And therefore the credit can be given to the writing process and the shitty first draft. The second opinion I have on the subject is the complete opposite. And here it is: the shitty first draft, if not completely butchered, is the best draft. I am a firm believer in “first-go-arounds”. And that simply means that that first draft is of some importance. If your brain thought of what you wanted to say, in that certain way, and you translated it onto that piece of paper in that certain way, then it deserves recognition. It holds significance. In my opinion, the best form of anything is the raw, untouched, uncontaminated form of whatever it may be.
    The second essay was quite intriguing for a couple reasons actually. One reason being because I’m coming straight out of high school, I’m so used to a structured curriculum with no lee-way. So it was refreshing to read about a new way to approach essay writing and teaching in general. You’re new idea of having students write about relevant topics in their environments and culture is so interesting that even someone like me who has disliked writing his whole life, would enjoy commenting on such topics. I also am a firm believer that knowledge is power and this teaching style would do just that; empower students. This idea forces them to do research on important topics in their surrounding areas and to learn about what they’re researching. This in turn could possibly help them to learn about things in which they had little previous knowledge. Furthermore I really liked how you commented on how you want students to give a shit. That makes me happier than anything. To know that you care enough to change up the system so we can enjoy while we learn. As much as I hate school and work, I will put up with it and give it my best effort if I know my teacher gives a shit. And so far, it seems like you do.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sienna Paciulli; English 101September 2, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Sienna Paciulli
    English 101

    I really enjoyed reading the second essay. I thought it was exciting and refreshing seeing an english professor taking a new approach to teaching students. I think getting a group of eighteen year olds to give shit about a certain class is hard enough, yet getting the group to care about english could sometime prove impossible. It seems so difficult because writing has no write or wrong answer. In the past english teachers have put us in a box, where we read and then write an essay on what we've read. From my experience, I have maybe only had a few essays where i got to focus on local issues. I think it's great you want us to focus on local issues and the things that interest us. I feel like you care about us! Your approach to teaching is much appreciated and liked. Your class has a lot more to offer than a regular english course and i think it's safe to say that each one of us is excited to become better writers!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yeon Kim
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs 10-11:30 AM


    In “Shitty First Drafts,” Anne Lamott reveals the true importance and value of writing “shitty” first drafts despite how great or awful you are as a writer. On a personal scale, I never considered myself as an excellent writer. Despite my four years of enrollment in honors and AP English classes, I still do not believe that I have acquired the confidence or the ability of a creative writer to structure a heartily defined essay. I guess that explains why I have never been able to receive an “A” on any essays I have done in my high school career. However, after reading Lamott’s post, I’ve decided to take on a different approach when writing essays, and it all begins with writing a very “shitty” first draft. It helps to know that famous writers who make a tremendous amount of money on their books or journal posts do not write their first drafts with confidence or excitement. It gives a sense of hope that one day I can end up with a piece of writing that I will be satisfied with because I took the same beginning step. This idea of writing a “shitty” first draft may come off as an unorthodox idea, but it is positively better than staring at a blank word document page. At least with writing a “shitty” first draft, you can always revise and change your scrambled ideas. At first, I thought that writing “shitty” first drafts was pointless due to the fact that if it were so “shitty” then I would have to basically revise the whole thing in the end.
    It’s very interesting to have the privilege to read posts from my very own professor, and at the same time tell him exactly what and how I felt about it. Not only that, but it’s not very often one gets to experience his teacher’s writing style. In fact, it’s the very first time I have been able to read my English teacher’s works.
    In “Think Globally, Write Locally,” by Jesse La Tour, I couldn’t help but relate and agree on almost every comment that he wrote. When any student thinks about English essays, no one has ever given a “shit” about what they were writing. However, if we begin to explore our local community and first-hand experience our surrounding’s actions, and at the same time we are given an assignment to write about it, we will be more willing to write about it because we will not only relate to, but also better understand the topic at hand.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Eunice Kim
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs 10-11:30 AM

    In "Shitty First Drafts" by Anne Lamott is about how having a "shitty first draft" is key on creating a perfect, well written essay. When I first thought about the title, I automatically assumed that the author would bash on people who had "shitty first drafts" and how much it annoyed her. But that took a completely 180 turn. Lamott stated the important value on having a "shitty first draft." Years of having tutor for English and being in an AP English class during high school, they've always told me to make sure to have a hook to grab my audience's attention. This was the hardest part for me because I started to over think and analyze every little bit of detail just on my first draft. But Lamott suggests that having a "first shitty draft" is better than just starting off with a regular full-written draft. So after reading Lamotts point of view, I decided to try this new technique out. It would not hurt any of my writing skills, it honestly would just improve it. I can always revise and change my ideas into better ones and it's better starting off with something rather than nothing. Lamott also gives me more motivation when she provided information about how well known writers and critics have made a great amount of money when they had their own "shitty first drafts." This is a new technique to my style of writing and I'm honestly excited to try it out.
    It was very interesting reading my professors writing. Usually in highschool, teachers just give out textbooks or books and they just teach from there. But reading a post from my own professors blog was a completely different experience. I totally could relate what La Tour's blog said in "Think Globally, Write Locally." Teachers have a hard time with their students when it comes to "grammar, critical reading, sentence structures, etc." but those are just the little parts of what makes a sandwich. The heart of the sandwich is the heart of the students and their drive to write what they want to write. La Tour stated that the hardest challenge on teaching was to get his students to give a "shit." When an essay prompt is handed to a student, for personally, I honestly did not enjoy it because we would have to stick to that very topic that we were not given the chance to choose. However, I really liked how La Tour pointed out that students should write on what they want to write, and even with the little things, such as healthcare in Yorba Linda, this could completely catch the communities attention. If we started to expand our knowledge about our local community, we would be more aware of it and actually "give a shit." I, myself, have not written anything about Fullerton, which is my local community because professors or teachers never gave us that opportunity. Knowing these things in the future would benefit a lot and our voice can actually be heard. If we were given the opportunity to write about it, I'm pretty sure we would have a different approach to the essay rather than given an essay topic and to write about it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Alejandra Servin
    English 101

    After reading both of the assignments I realized that what is talked about is true. In "Shitty First Drafts" it made me reflect on all the previous writings that I have done, and how I usually do a couple of drafts before the final just to make sure things are almost perfect. Then I also thought about all the essays I have done that I did last minute without editing and how crappy they were. It made me realize how important editing and taking your time to fully dissect an essay is. Not only did it allow me to know that, but it also gave me an insight on how even professional writers also have to work through so many drafts before settling on the "masterpiece." I also think about all the comments the teacher would write on each paper. How different they were if they were of a paper that I edited and rewrote a few times, than of the one that I would do the night before it was due. Before I would take the comments and try to do it better next time, but now after reading that article, it made me realize that other than the comments helping me make a better writer, it also gave me more of an insight that I should not half ass my work and actually do rough drafts.
    In "Think Globally, Write Locally" made much sense to me. In the past I have been assigned to write about things that would not interest me just because they seem like a non-tangible piece. By writing about something that is tangible and I can actually see happening, it would make me write with more passion. I think this is because I am able to study the material more cautiously, and also how people react to it. I am not saying that by doing something that is, should I say abstract, I would not be able to study it profoundly, but I am saying that for me it would be a rather not interesting subject to write about. For example, I would put more effort on something that I was passionate about than about something that I could care less about. This is why I agree with you; students, including myself, get more excited writing about things they have experienced or that they have seen.
    Both of these articles made me realize that writing takes time and interest.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sean McCormick
    English 101
    Tues, Thurs 10-11:15AM


    “Shitty First Drafts” and “Think Globally, Write Locally” though have completely different topics and ideas, they go hand in hand with each other. These essays tie in with each other because by eliminating the boring topic that no one wants to write about, that shitty first draft is now a lot more easily attained, not spent stressing out over many hours. This in turn gives the writer a better experience writing and allows the confidence of the writer to rise, which means better papers for the teacher. Also I believe this gives the students the chance to be more outspoken about their writing and allow debates and ideas to be released, giving the overall class a better environment to learn in.
    "Shitty First Drafts" by Anne Lamott and "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse La Tour together encompassed my feeling and my experiences that I have had with writing in the past. With “Shitty First Drafts” I was able to relate with it because of how I feel before writing, the long hours spent just staring at a blinking black line, the writing of paragraphs and words that probably aren’t making any sense, and finishing the paper, believing that it is the worst collection of words ever written. With “Think Globally, Write Locally”, for the first time in my young life I became excited to write, unlike my past which was filled with writing essays like on the motifs and symbols used in Macbeth and on President Obama’s State of the Union Address I was going to be writing on something I experience everyday and enjoy, my community. I believe that writing on something that is fact and standing right in front of me is a lot more interesting that writing on something that is completely fictional and made up (symbols in Macbeth), so Mr. La Your I think you have finally made me interested in writing.
    Of the two essays I enjoyed “Think Globally, Write Locally” more because of its simple idea that can make a huge impact on how that student lives and writes for the rest of his or her life. I am a Huntington Beach resident and very proud of it, I enjoy the culture that it has to offer and the type of people that it holds, but yet I feel like I have not seen everything that Huntington Beach has to offer. By allowing me to write and explore what my community has to offer I feel like I will become a better part of the community and a more informed one as well. Also by becoming in touch with all that my city has to offer I will began to meet new people, learn new ideas and viewpoints which will affect how I think for my entire life. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my writing as I go into college English classes and see what I am and what I am not.

    ReplyDelete
  23. In response to “ Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott, after reading that essay I felt no other feeling than utter relief. The fact that professional writers, people who write on a daily basis for their profession, have similar and often identical feelings to student writers. The way she explained getting up from her desk and talking to people, eating some food, and returning still to barely have a new concept to write about gives confidence to students, or at least me. The reason being is that those feelings are a common feeling for when I am jammed to write an essay, or paper. I often feel as though when I begin writing it makes no sense to anyone but me and I am often very scared of first drafts because they make me feel stupid. But Anne Lamott has asserted me with confidence that that’s exactly how it is supposed to be. As she explains that is what revision and multiple drafts are about. Ranting on your first draft is what really gets your raw ideas out on paper so that they can be tweaked into a personal essay with relevant points.
    And in response to “Think Globally, Write Locally” by none other than Jesse La Tour, I am excited to be in a class with a teacher who seems to be so real and current. Many times English is BORING, and I feel as though the idea of writing locally really can and will bring more attention in class and into English/ Composition in general to students.
    These two papers make me excited for the rest of the semester, by hopefully learning from “Shitty First Drafts” so that I can really have a rhythm down to my own shitty first drafts. And writing locally will retain my attention much longer than reading responses to experts from “Jane Erye.”

    Connor Brennan
    English 101 Tu/Th 10:00-11:15

    ReplyDelete
  24. Michael Henderson
    English 101 TuTh 8:30AM - 9:45AM
    For me, the ideas presented in “Shitty First Drafts” are a welcomed solution to the nerves of a student who has never been that strong of a writer. The reassurance that almost everyone has trouble starting the piece that they are working on, makes me feel a little better about the struggles I have often had starting that first paragraph. I have spent countless hours stressing out about how I want to start my paper and whether or not the introduction is effective, if my thesis is clear, and most of all, if my paper is really boring. I couldn’t tell you why, but whenever I have tried to write an essay in the past, I have always striven to make my first draft nearly perfect. And the hours that I have spent writing and rewriting every sentence and paragraph has made me shudder at the thought of having to write an essay. Everything that she talks about makes perfect sense. Writing, like all things in life, must be taken one step at a time or in this care one draft at a time. This is the time to try new things, so I look forward to writing my shitty first draft.
    As for your idea to involve students in the community through writing about the things happening around them, I think it is brilliant. It is refreshing to see a teacher who is willing to think outside the box and adjust the curriculum to better fit the times and the students he has. As the generations of students evolve, so should the methods by which we are taught. A majority of the English classes that I have been in have been primarily been about reading a book and then writing a paper about the theme and how the author conveys it. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy analyzing a good book, but after doing this consistently for several years, it gets very repetitive and boring. The thought of not having to spend yet another year analyzing literature is a breath of fresh year and I am excited to be in this class.



    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jason Moncayo
    English 101 TuThur 10:00 Am - 11:15 Am

    In "Shitty First Drafts", by Anne Lamont, I tend to agree with the concept that you write what you want because no one is going to see it. There has been countless times where I just write what I want to because I know that I am the only one seeing it and I can later edit it. As mentioned in the article, sometimes you just type by making your fingers move and in the end will make you dissatisfied. It is true that in order to write well you have to start with terrible first drafts. The first draft is all of your ideas put into one or two paragraphs that you will eventually expand on throughout the paper. Lamont makes a good point when she mentions “quieting the voices in your head.” This is an important asset to learn because you want to have your mind clear instead of over thinking what to write. I would recommend this article to people who stress out over first drafts because this piece lets you know everything will turn out just fine.
    I really appreciated the article "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse Latour. I love the idea that in order to get the students to care about writing, you have to give them something that interests them. Students don’t care about writing if the topic is boring. It is awesome for students to write about their own personal experiences within their communities. This definitely inspires students to write because they may have experienced some exciting things within their area. I know that I can write many things about the city of Chino, my hometown. Things I could write about include the city life, style of clothing, things people do for fun, and the overall culture. Just thinking of writing about my community gets me really inspired because I have so many interesting things to mention. If people don’t already know what goes on in their hometown this gives them the chance to explore and learn some valuable things about the city’s history. I really like that Latour has the courage to write about personal things such as his unsuccessful run for city council. By writing about personal failures, Latour inspires students to open up and tell others about their own secret endeavors. If the teacher can open up about their personal life I don’t see why the students can’t. This article is very inspiring and will make anyone want to go out and write about whatever interests them.

    ReplyDelete
  27. From, “Shitty First Drafts”, I quickly understood the point that not all writers can write a perfect essay in just one sitting. I think revision in an important step in the writing process. The first draft is meant to be “shitty.” It’s supposed to have multiple grammatical errors, incomplete sentences, and random ideas. It’s the draft that captures all of the raw thoughts of the writer and gets it on paper. It’s the drafts after the “shitty” first drafts that make the paper as a whole take place.It then takes careful revision and peer editing to get it to the final product of a well written paper. The idea of structured writing loses it’s power in grade school, because more advanced writing does not seem to have a template to plug in ideas and create sentences reflecting such ideas, but to be written freely. Writing can be scary at times. In my experience, I have never been excited to sit down and write a paper. It is a hard process to think of an idea, get it on paper, and make it sound intelligent and interesting to read. Sometimes when I am assigned to write an essay, I would start writing and get to the end, and then I would realize what I just wrote makes absolutely no sense and would have to start writing the entire thing over. That feeling of starting over from scratch can be very hard. From my point of view, it seems that students don’t seem to care about writing, don’t have a certain liking for writing, or maybe even consider it unimportant to their education (which, in fact, is the total opposite). Personally, I wouldn’t call myself a good writer or one who takes enjoyment in writing, but it’s something I am willing to work on. It takes a while for me to create my thoughts into well constructed paragraphs to form an essay reflecting a topic. Sometimes, it depends on the topic in which I am am writing about. An interesting topic can be easily written about, whereas a topic that does not captivate my attention can be extremely difficult. Like, for example, writing about the local community can create a lot more enjoyment and pleasure than writing about a textbook topic that could put somebody to sleep. Writing about something of relevance can be much more useful than writing on some assignment from a nationally used textbook.

    Christina Zeek
    English 101

    ReplyDelete
  28. “Think Globally, Write Locally” is definitely a great way to not only educate ourselves, but to familiarize us with the world we live in. By doing research about local issues, people might actually start to care about what’s happening around them. Being from a small, college town (Davis, Ca.), I was raised in a tight community where we all take part in the good and attend the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights, eat our organic frozen yogurt, and celebrate when the Whole Earth Festival comes around. But being together for the good also means being together for the not so good, like the UCD pepper spraying and protest. Simple and major events can really bring an already small town even closer. Being in tune with our community and simply just getting involved as citizens is necessary for our issues to be resolved. Like Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax says, “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, its not”. . . I am eager to learn about this community and about really getting involved and being apart of the change. I am also extremely excited to write a good essay (with a shitty first draft) and go through the process it takes to get there.
    Nicole Persinger, English 101

    ReplyDelete
  29. Danny Sanchez English 101

    I just finished reading the “Shitty First Drafts” passage. I barely understood it and what I do understand is that our shitty first drafts are equivalent to our first attempts at something new or something we have never tried before. Of course were going to fail, but we can always grow from our first failures. Just like we can revise edit and mold our drafts. Some people get it the first time and most of us don’t. I definitely do not. I cannot stand writing essays, I prefer a child draft. I would understand visions and fantasies of certain RAW-ness, in my opinion of course. In this passage she is right, she has a choice to write or not but she knows she has to at the same time. It was a little confusing but I guess the mental mouse exercise is good for her problems. I do not like writing essays for school or any of that stuff. I do not care for it and most of the time I bull shit them. I am positive other students do as well. In all honesty this passage wasn’t as interesting as the “Think Globally, Write Locally” blog. I know many students would agree but I feel that the motivation you are giving through your choice of words speak directly to me; something that is really important to me and inspires me. I am from Cudahy, California. A square mile sized city in the South East District of Downtown Los Angeles where the problems of my neighborhood, my home, are anything but average, where the population in the city is greater than the number of people in Fresno and where a little more than 50% of the population is 20 years old and younger, gang activity, corrupt mayor s, corrupt politicians in my city and in neighboring cities. It is all a giant melting pot crammed into one area, with no city authority and corrupt leaders in control of this mess and social destruction. I have always wanted to change the way my family lives back home. I may not be the best blogger or commenter or whatever but I know my voice needs to be heard when I say my city needs help, my family needs help. With the motivation I feel from your passage, and the knowledge I hope to gain from your style of teaching, I plan on making change in MY community, even if it means coming to this city where I feel most uncomfortable. As long as these upcoming experiences and teachings get to me, I know I will one day be able to create change in my home. “There is a reason for everything. Everything has a purpose”, is what my mom always tells me. Maybe, I finally see a reason why I can give a shitty first attempt.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just finished reading “Think Globally, Write Locally”, and I’m hoping that this strategy hits home with me. It’s funny how most of the time it seems to be the English teachers that are the passionate ones, and also pretty quirky. I respect any teacher that cares enough to spend their time finding innovative ways to grab a students interest. That isn’t in the job title, I think it’d be nice if it was, yet here you are doing what you can to spark up a “give a shit” attitude. I researched you before signing up for this class and I’d like to say you have attained some impressive ratings; I can see why. It’s such a sad thing to be enrolled in a class where the teacher has, very clearly might I add, given up. I’m not sure if they’re unaware that we can notice it, or if they’re at the point where they just don’t care. Sadly, it must be the latter because most teachers at that point just exude melancholy and a dispassion for their job which is unmistakably noticeable. I don’t know if it is fair to say this, but a teacher can make or break a class. For the most part I’m highly uneducated on the majority of Orange County, I’ll admit it. I do not receive the OC register, nor do I seek information on the current events surrounding my community. Who knows, by the end of this semester I might be incredibly curious about everything and have a burning desire to seek out all I can find as well as be active in my community. I’m sure Orange County, especially Fullerton, is an incredibly interesting place. I am very excited to embark on this educational, and hopefully inspiring, journey.

    “Shitty First Drafts” actually made me feel a hell of a lot better about my writing. It’s a very helpful essay and it sends an uplifting message to aspiring writers out there. I honestly thought most great writers sat down and out came gold from their fingertips onto paper. It’s nice to know that it’s all about practice and revision.

    Alec Monarrez
    English 103

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think that some teachers are more likely to think that the major problem why the students are not paying attention is because they don’t get the material. Well most of the time we don’t because they give us topics that we already have had or a topic that doesn’t relate to us. That’s when we start losing focus in an English class. What I have notice is that most of the English teacher give us research papers to do but of something that we don’t know and we have find out in the internet. I mean don’t get me wrong the internet is such a good method but some times as college student we don’t want to be sitting down in front of the computer and search some topic that we don’t know nothing about for hours and hours. Student like me, want to wonder around the streets or go to art galleries or maybe a ranch market to just explore the world and maybe get out mind off that we are searching for a paper. By giving topics like this it make us wonder and actually no be bored and trying to over think an essay we have to do.

    Like in the article “Think Globally, Write Locally” its so true that some student don’t give a shit on there topic there are giving because like I said the topic is not that good and because the topic is not great the students tend to turn in papers that don’t make sense or that they don’t get and they fail that assignment. In my opinion teachers should give more topics on where we live how is the community evolving, because that leads us to go out and actually do some research and experimenting rather than been in the computer for hour and trying to see if we can get a good research topic. Either way we are still getting educated on stuff that maybe in the future we may need. Been honest I personally do not know a lot of thing about orange county and I would love to learn more and essays are a great way to learn because you learn about it and write it so it will stick to your head, I personally think more teachers should be like this and they should make it fun and interesting so more students can be interested in English.

    Tamara Jimenez
    English 103 W: 3-30-6-40

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Think Globally, write Locally" as a student i know the diffuculties it is to write an essay. Especcially if the subect is broad i wont know what to write about or how to organize my ideas. I think thats where students start to b.s most of their work. See if i don't know how to organize what i want to write about i usually dont focus on one main point and never really get to a soloution to my essay. I love the locally part if you were just to focus on the a city you live in or around and the problems or something interesting that occurs would be so much easier than just writing about lets say something in history. You are engaged in it because that is your community and of course you would be able to get many opinions from everyone around you ex your nieghbors. Also between the teacher and writer part i understand why students were engaged more. All the english teachers i have had in the past never showed me any of there work. It would be easier to understand or learn new teqniques when you actually get to read your teachers work and get tips from your them. oh by the way I love that you love to write and show such enthusiams because you have me here engaging in a blog and i have never blogged before... Its a new experience and it definetly is better than just reading somehting and just plainly writing what you think you want the teacher to read.
    Maria Hernandez
    English 103 W: 3:30-6:40

    ReplyDelete
  33. Michelle Kim
    English 101
    Tu/Thu 10-11:15
    In response to "Shitty First Drafts", I agree with the author. Writing essays are very difficult, and most definitely the first drafts are quite the hardest. Just as she states how she need to clear out the "voices" or so to speak the "distractions", I experience the same things. It's either I get side tracked with something else , and or I am thinking about something completely irrelevant when I should be focused on writing my essay. Sometimes however I believe that if I am given the clear instructions and guidelines and how I should structure my essay I will have no probably. For example, in-class essays, last year in my AP Rhetoric class my teacher would give us hints and guidelines and stated how our essays should be structured. The day of the in-class essay, I just got right to my essay and had finished it with no bumps along the way. This was possible because I was well instructed and guided through the right ways, plus the "time", I had successfully earned my first 100 on an in-class given by the teacher that I had, he was intimidating. But however when just given a vague topic and instructions, I am in the same situation as the author of "Shitty First Drafts".
    In response to, "Think Globally, Write Locally", I think it is great that I have an instructor/mentor/professor that is so excited and involved with his community. I hardly know what goes on in my community and to be honest I do not care unless something tragic or criminally unjust happens. By having to write more about local news and what goes on locally around my community or even in this world is a great way for me to learn and experience things and sights that I have not been able to feel, see, taste, smell, and or touch. I am just as excite as
    my instructor is to get involved.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Within the first few seconds of reading “Think Globally, Write Locally,” I had this sudden interest that I don’t usually have when reading anything. I’m not the biggest fan of reading, but for some strange reason this passage had me interested. Honestly academic writing promts are ridiculous! Most students find no interest in the prompts the school gives us. I believe when a student has no interest in what they are writing about, they don’t care about their work. I’m sure if students had the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas they wouldn’t mind writing a four page paper. When writing something you are passionate about, I feel that you will have a better outcome, than to write about something you have honestly no feelings or passion for. This class I feel isn’t going to be the average English class, where you read a book and write an essay on it. Not many teachers take the time to sit and think about ways to engage us in wanting to come to class and not be bored with practicing our writing skills. You seem to be that one teacher that understands us and wants us to realize that writing isn’t as bad as we think it is. Before coming into the class I looked you up on “Rate my professor,” and you have some pretty amazing feed backs, and now I understand why! Honestly I look forward to this class because I feel that you want to make it fun for us and care about what we think. I respect you for wanting us to have fun with writing and going out of your way to make the class different than any other English class. If the school were to let us write about what we wanted to, I’m sure the outcome of our work would be amazing. When writing a paper, I can’t say that it is hard for me, but with this class allowing me to share my own stories, it will be a piece of cake. A lot of teachers I feel don’t care what the students want, but with you being a blogger and a writer, you understand the way we think.


    Anthony Lopez Tues-Thurs 1:00-2:15 English 101

    ReplyDelete
  35. A terrible pain in my head would occur in every English class thanks to a combination of gibberish seeming to come out of each teacher's mouth, spacing out from not being interested, obnoxious talking coming from behind me, and, to put it frankly, most classes were just boring. Teachers both in high school and college showed little interest to the subject and lacked the ability to make it interesting. This pain eventually turned into a strong hate towards English classes because my English skills were not improving any and I had no motivation to even try to excel in this area.

    The purpose of English class should not be to teach students how to whip out papers that have little to no creativity. Also, a writer's fluency in an English class should not be determined whether or not they finish a timed 45 minute essay in time. Writing for an English class not only should show creativity, emotion, and credibility, but also should show purpose.

    In response to "Think Globally, Write Locally," I think teachers and professors should apply the method of teaching English with local issues and events to their own standards. For once I can actually say I am excited about being in a class based on learning and writing about these aspects. I already do enjoy learning and being apart of my community. People seem to take their community for granted of what it has to offer and isolate themselves. I do not wish to live in a bubble or sugar coat the obvious issues while others stand by and go about a "normal" life being shielded by only themselves.

    I am very much looking forward to possibly liking my first English class.

    Nikki Arce
    Tues/Thur 1:00-2:15

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dominique Hale
    English 101
    Tues/Thur 10:00-11:15

    When I began to read “Think Globally, Write Locally” thoughts of I thank God for him, finally a teacher that understand us as students, and a teacher that cares for us as potential writers automatically began to pop up in my head. Most teachers would not go out of their way to understand the real reason why students are not interested in writing, nor try to figure out the true challenges we face in our writing, or even care if students like the topic the teacher based the topic of the essays or subject of the semester oon. The fact that you Professor La Tour would think of us and care for us really makes me excited to take your class. Through your writing and what you have expressed in class you are passionate about English, where you come from, and most importantly your students. The other English class I took last semester the teacher made us write essays on the theme of coming of age a theme that we have been writing all our lives which was very boring. She as well never shared with us her writing process, tips, creativity, and or any of her writings. I feel like having a teacher who is a writer and who is willing to show us some of their writings, share tips of how to become better writers instead of just criticizing us, and who give us a limitless topic that are interesting to write about is the best type of English teacher and English class every student should be enrolled in. I as well can not recall me ever writing an essay about the city I grew up in and or the activities, culture, history, politics in it, so I believe this should be fun. There is a lot of stereotypes and stigmas about my city that I am ready to touch on in my writing. When I read that you took your class on a field trip I was like yes you are one of those hand on teachers that wants your students to get a taste or a feel as a writer or of the subject we have to write about. I found it amazing right before I began to work on this I had watched the movie ‘Freedom Writers” I feel like this class is about to become the next Freedom Writers because of the great teacher we have and all the willing students we have. I feel like after this class I not only going to become a better writer, but I am to become a more passionate writer as well leave very informed about my city!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Jessica Ha
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs 1:00-2:15

    As an art major, I believe in the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words," but I also know that sometimes writing is an easier way to express myself. I like to express thoughts and feelings in stories and other creative writings because I feel like I am as free as a bird, but when it comes to academic writing I feel like I am shackle in chains inside a tiny cage with no way to express myself. Whenever I am in an English class, I would always ask myself the same questions: how can people major in such a boring subject. Why do people like to analyze a piece of writing, instead of solely enjoying the piece as a whole? Lastly, how can people enjoy writing, especially an essay? After reading "Think Globally, Write Locally," I can see it is not the essay I despise, it is the prompt. Most prompts given by English teacher to students are often dull and non-relatable. With lack of interest, students often would not want to give a shit about writing because their thoughts and ideas are limited. The student will not learn as much because their minds are rejecting the information. This logic does not only apply for English, but anything in life. As a student, I believe that the contents of what is in the writing and the writer's feelings go before organization, grammar, spelling, etc. because the content is what people want to hear. Of course, formatting, grammar, and diction are important in a piece of writing, but those are only the pretty gift-wrappings and boxes that make the piece presentable to the audience.
    As a student who lived in Los Angeles for most of my life, I think that writing about local issues in Orange County would help me be familiar with my current community, Fullerton. Ever since I started to dorm in Fullerton, I feel like I do not go out as much as I use to because I am not familiar with this place. What are the differences and similarities between Orange County and Los Angeles? So far, I can see that Fullerton is less chaotic and cleaner than Los Angeles. A part of me is curious about the community, yet another part of me just wants to stay indoors. With so much more to learn about this community, I think writing about local issues would be a great opportunity for me to explore this community and its history.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Priyanka Taneja
    English 101
    T/Th 11:00am-12:45pm

    Mr. La Tour to be completely honest, when I first entered your class I thought it would be the easiest English class I have taken so far. In high school I was in honors and AP English and had to write papers on symbolism and writing styles. Once I read your post I realized that it was just busy work. Sure I learned how to interpret the author’s work and find a deeper meaning, however I often asked myself (and others) ‘why are we doing this’, and ‘how will this help in the future.’ I’m a biochemistry major, and I like the challenge that comes with it. Although I may not always like it, I have always found writing to be a challenge as well, it is something that I have always found interesting despite the fact that I had to read and annotate a countless number of books. In my experience, the more I write the more I like it, it doesn't matter what I’m writing about. I really like your idea about making students write about local culture, mainly because it is a great way to explore the place you live. There are many students that either live locally or come from far distances in order to get an education, yet have not explored the place where they live. I believe it is extremely important to know what is going on around you because it can help people gain well rounded ideas of their community. In AP English my teachers taught me how to find alliteration and personification while reading different books, then later we would have in class timed essays where we had to write about these concepts and maybe even apply them. While I would write the essay, the only thing that would go through my mind is “did Shakespeare and Kafka intentionally use the alliteration? Or did the author have a reason for making the curtains red instead of blue?” I completely agree with your point that students would have more of an interest reading something that their professor wrote because it makes asking questions easier.

    I specifically like your mantra “Think Globally, Write Locally,” because many people don’t realize that important issues such as health care may affect people on a local level. I can honestly say that I am excited and anxiously waiting to write and learn about the local culture, mainly because it is something I have never even thought about before. I must say I you are the first English teacher I have had that has taken and unordinary approach to teaching English

    ReplyDelete
  39. Curtis Kuo
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs 1-2:15

    I honestly don't remember how we're supposed to start. But according to everyone above this is a response so here it goes. I didn't really care about English at all. My writing was always mediocre and a B graded essay at best. After reading this, it's nice to know someone is willing to try something new to grab a student's attention and make us give a shit. At first when you told us that we would be writing about local issues I thought "This is stupid..." Thinking about it now, I think it's worth a shot. I lived in LA for all my life and I barely came down to the OC. I know enough about OC to fill 3 lines of college ruled paper and that's not something I'm proud of so maybe I can start here. I'm pretty thankful now that you've chosen to apply this to our English course because, screw academic writing. Why would I want to write about crap like "What would I change about this school." It's not like the administration is going to come and read through each of these notes and change anything. They'll probably ask us just for their amusement and to laugh at us because they won't do a thing anyway. It just makes more sense to write about other things that actually matter, and what matters more than what happens around us. The things that happen around us are what's important. I admire your strive to get us interested in this course and attempting something different. I hope this class will move me in some sort of way and if there was one thing I want to get out of this class, then it would be to actually give a shit about English.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jennifer Huynh
    Eng 101
    TuTh 11:30-12:45


    Whenever I am told to write about articles or a short story of something, I usually don’t know what to write about. Half of the time, I would just write just to get it over with. Actually, half of time I just do what my teacher asks me to do: follow a certain format and just write. Writing just doesn’t become my thing when I have to research information for hours just start on an outline, after the outline I start on my first draft, then my second draft and so on until I get to my final draft. I guess I’m one of those students that don’t seem to give a care about the things I’m writing about. To be honest, I don’t see a point.

    When I started to look into what major I wanted to study a year or two ago, I have thought about becoming an English teacher. I started paying attention to my English teachers, especially what their daily routines are as an English teacher. I came to realize that it wasn’t something I wanted. I thought to myself, how can my teachers do that? Do they actually read through every paper? Do they analyze every paper that they look at? After reading “Think Globally, Write Locally,” I came to an understanding that writing can be interesting depending on what you choose reveal. Not only did this article change my mindset about writing, but it also changed the level of interest I have for this class.
    Reading and writing about local news or events would certainly be more
    engaging and appealing than reading and writing about an old English document. Something that I’ve realized is that most college students would be more interested in the current events and issues that are relatable to them rather than what had happened 100 to 200 years ago about a person they don’t even know of. I am not a writer but after reading this article by Jesse Latour, I am actually excited to begin my “real” writing experience. Fact is, I love the general idea that in order to have students care about writing, it’s best if they are given a topic that they would want to write about.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jon Kocker
    Eng 101
    11:30-12:45

    Up until recently, I've never really enjoyed or have had any interest in writing. It was the same old boring structure that if you stray from ever so slightly your grade would be effected. A teacher would assign us a book to read, then a prompt and the cycle would continue for as long as I can remember. The books would hardly ever interest me and I would honestly bullshit the entire thing. It wasn't until I was asked to explain and write about the body's mechanics for certain aspects in baseball that my feelings had changed and actually helped me in choosing my major.
    It wasn't just the fact that I was writing about something I was interested me that got my views to change. It was the application of writing to do something else than just write a structured essay. I noticed that when I was forced to explain them out, after doing so I understood why the body does certain things and so on. Being interested in the topic made it easier for me to write and got me excited to keep on writing because the things i could get out of it.
    Almost all jobs require writing skills, even a math majors would have to write about something they explained in numbers and translate it to words. If you are interested in the topic and you are able to see the application of it, the more it helps to change people's views about writing. I thank you Mr. Latour for seeing it from our point of view. Getting students involved in local issues is a good way to bring about interest because we should care about the community we live in. It is important to get involved with our community and start speaking up for ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Aleah Kennedy
    English 101
    TuThu 11:30-12:45

    As someone who has taken honors and AP English classes throughout high school, I have done my fair share of writing. Although, when I think back on it and try to remember the topics of my papers only a few come to mind. I hadn't thought of it before but that's pretty disturbing given the amount of time and stress put into these countless essays.
    The fact that you care so much about your students and how they feel about the writing and topics and wanting them to care is really cool to me. I've never had an English teacher that expressed that much care for their students and how they feel about things. Being in these higher level classes I've been pretty intimidated by my strict teachers but this class seems right in my comfort zone and not so “by the book”. In the first class last Tuesday your idea to start having students write locally surprised me, and I'm excited to write about things that most people haven't written about or thought to look into before.
    I think writing should be more than just following a template, not really caring about the topic as much as how you put your random facts together. Writing is a necessary skill in almost all careers as well as everyday life. If we write about something we can relate to and care about, we will enjoy it more and therefore hopefully learn more from it and see improvements in our papers. I, for one, notice that when I'm writing about something interesting to me it's a lot easier for me to go in depth instead of just writing the minimal. I have much more excitement and actually want to get these things on paper and explained to readers who might not know about my topic. I can also tell in others' writing when they're actually passionate about their topic or it seems like they're just not into it.
    On top of improving our writing skills, we might actually learn something valuable that we will remember forever about where we live and, in my case, grew up. I know some basic Orange County factoids but I'm pretty excited to delve into the history, politics, culture, etc. of my hometown. Hopefully in a year from now instead of thinking “What the hell did I even write about in my last English class?”, I will remember the things I discovered about the world I see around me everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Frank Robles
    English 101
    Tuesday and Thursday 11:30-12:45

    In reality I feel that when students are given an assignment that involves what they love he or she will do better than given a strict curriculum. For example a student who is told to write about baseball and has always played baseball will write an amazing essay about a game he or she loves, but when that same student is forced to write about a subject he or she has no interest on then the essay value will diminish. When I think back to the years I took honors and AP classes I felt stressed out at the fact that many of the assigned essays I had to write were about subjects that I had no true interest in. This feeling of stress was always stronger during English due to the fact that the curriculum made it seem as if the students were competing rather than learning the lesson the teacher was trying to implement into the assignment. There is still a flaw to this way of thinking mainly due to the fact that the students you teach are already college students meaning that the many of the students in your class have already gone through a twelve year process in which each English teacher they have had has forced them to write essay on material inside textbooks that they may not had interest on. Such is the case for me due to the fact that I have gotten used to given specific text to read and write a respond to, thus it has gotten really hard for me to freely write about anything. This may not be the same to everyone, but to me it makes all the difference between gaining an A in the class and receiving a C due to lack of critical thinking in my part. I feel that for you to accomplish your goal to make us students give a shit about any essay and even English class, you must also pay attention to the fact that our minds have been forced into thinking into a systematic way in which we are always given specific text, therefore some of us lack imagination and that emotional connection to subjects. I thank you for your effort to separate yourself from regular teaching ways to make students want to learn again, most teachers feel that their way of teaching makes students want to learn, but in reality they are forcing students to think in a systematic way. The way you feel that students need a certain emotional connection to their writing, but please incorporate that factor that some students have gotten used to the system in high school and were generally forced to not give a shit about English or any class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahaha this guy doesn't know how to use correct punctuation

      Delete
  44. Pamela Lares
    English 101
    Mon Wed 10-11:15


    Birdy by birdy I guess it’s a lesson that everyone has to learn because it’s always going to take a few steps to get that outcome that you feel proud of. In the article “shitty first draft” by Anne Lamont it gives us, the readers, an insight into her life and lessons that she had to go through in order to be that writer that she is today. A part of this article that I really enjoyed reading was seeing her writing process, seeing that it is okay to take hours writing a paper but the most of those hours spent are thinking, getting distracted and overall working on a shitty first draft. I know the frustrations of not knowing how to communicate my thoughts onto paper and it is nice to see that everyone even a person paid to write gets stumped. That leads me to the conclusion that since everyone gets stumped everyone can figure out their thoughts and also be a good writer. Another thing that I got out of this article is that Anne wasn’t always praised for what she wrote, what she wrote in occasion cost her company subscriptions. That is something that I liked to hear (not because she lost subscriptions) but because she was not afraid to publish what she felt and didn’t confirm her writing so that other people would not get offended.
    As I read the second article “think Globally, write locally” by Jesse La Tour I made connections to the first article because like the shitty first drafts infers its always going to take time, effort , stumbles, and a shitty first draft to have the outcome that is needed, and that’s a process that professor La Tour had to go through. As stated in what he wrote he had to go through times seeing that his students weren’t caring about a material that he was teaching and that showed him that he had to rethink what he was teaching in order to be a better teacher and make English a subject his students not only can handle but enjoyed. It was really nice to have more of a personal sense of what the professor is like and what pushed him to develop his mantra for the semester, which is think globally, write locally. This mantra scares me a little because it is something I am not used to but something I will accomplish with many shitty first drafts.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Yuri Park
    Eng 101
    TuTh 11:30-12:45

    I never enjoyed writing essays for any of my classes. It always feels forced and I end up sitting in front of my laptop for hours and hours to come up with words to fill up my paper. Honestly I'm not sure if writing about local news will really spark my interest to write more. I feel like I will end up sitting in front of my laptop the day before the essay is due and wonder "why do I have to do this?" Hopefully this will change. Perhaps as we start writing our essays in class something will catch my attention and really inspire me to write without feeling like I'm forced to.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Unfortunately, my previous comment was not posted, because I did not select "Anonymous". I am very annoyed, because I put a lot of effort into that comment, but I will try to recreate as much of what I said before as possible. I thoroughly enjoyed your article, Mr. La Tour. Thank you for being so awesome already, and the fact that you're a writer makes you even more awesome. You write with conviction and honesty, very precisely and concisely. In many ways, your writing reminds me of mine. Unlike many of the people in this course (I presume), I am actually very fond of writing. I love writing poetry, short stories, novels, screenplays, and anything really. I've never been published, but I know once I "get out there", people will love the things I have to say. My dream is to be a famous poet. Anyways, I love what you had to say about your teaching ideas and everything. Very interesting article. Ironically, I've never been interested much in local news or happenings, but I would much rather concern myself with universal, large scale, unconventionally different even ideas and stories. I want to write about abstract things, things that will change and shape the way people think. In a quote by Nine Inch Nails, "I want to do something that matters." That's how I feel. I want to do something that really does matter. Anyways, I am very excited to learn more about writing and to learn more about you and everyone in this class, Mr. La Tour. I'm always open to new things and new ideas. Looking forward to a fabulous semester.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Alexander Real
    English 101, Tuesday Thursday 1:00 - 2:15
    Mine is the comment directly above. ^

    ReplyDelete
  48. Josephine Alvarez
    English 101
    Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:15

    Since the beginning of high school I have always had an interest in writing. Outside of school I have never actually written for pleasure, but I have always enjoyed writing most essays and papers I have been assigned since ninth grade. I believe that writing can be used as a tool to get your voice heard when no one will actually hear you what you have to say, and I think it is important for everyone to understand what writing can accomplish. As I was reading this, I was not really sure I would like to write about any local issues because I am not from Orange County, but now that I contemplate the situation, it would not be bad for me to get familiar with the area since I will be studying here for the next four years. I have always had this thought in my head that college professors do not actually care for the students, but to me it seems you actually want us to learn what it is to be a good writer. You seem passionate about what your teaching and that is one of the most important things to me, because if your not passionate about writing, how will you get us to give a shit. I actually really admire what you are trying to accomplish, and I absolutely agree with the fact that writing can help empower not only students, but everyone to make a change.

    I believe that all the things you are doing will be really helpful to all of us. For example, I really like the idea of having a blog for your students and having us respond to certain articles because this way it feels like less of a hassle, and for some reason, I feel it is easier to respond to something that you have written yourself because we can actually talk to you and personally ask you questions about it, and if we have an opinion about it, we can tell you or we can comment on here knowing you will actually read it. My basic point is that I like the idea that we have the opportunity to have our opinions heard, even if it is just on an article.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Leani Gutierrez
    ENG 101
    T/TH 1:00pm-2:15

    Blog Response #1

    These articles were very enlightening from any English courses I have taken in the past. In Anne Lamott’s article “Shitty First Drafts”, she discussed the tenacious process of writing and editing the first draft of an article. I was able to relate to it because the first step is always the hardest to take. It also stresses how writing is a skill that takes time to perform. Lamott’s way of describing the writing process was humorous, yet truthful. Exposing one’s capability is always risky and hunted down to be criticized. In Lamott’s situation, she might have risked losing her job. However, I believe she might have been over dramatic. She has the position for a reason. Then again, the heightened sense of emotion was used on purpose to evoke the same feelings she felt when writing the article. The writing process varies from person to person. For me personally, I plan out the ideas I will discuss and just write. In academic writing, I imagine myself talking to a professor or a job interviewer to get a formal effect. This process is effective for me as writing unrestrained first drafts is for Lamott.
    I found the article “Think Globally, Write Locally” very refreshing compared to previous English courses. I liked the language of this article because it was not as restrained as other literature. Using the phrase “give a shit” did not offend me, but it did come as a surprise to say the least. The blunt language left a lasting impression on what my generation has become. Yet at the same time it is more relatable because the language is closer to the way us students speak. It is difficult to get students interested in literature that is not written in today’s modern language. Therefore it discourages students to partake in new challenges. For example, during winter break I watched the movie “Les Misérables” with my family. I was not expecting it to have a connection with our current problems in society as it did post-French Revolution. Finding the core issues with today’s society is very important because we will be involved in it in the future. This is a creative way to get students involved with academic writing. It is a necessary skill we will need in the future whether it is for the rest of our educational career and our careers we will pursue. These articles have shown me that every writer had his or her humble beginning and improvement can always be made one word at a time.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Kristina Nucci
    English 101, Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:15

    After reading, Think Globally, Write Locally, I began to think about my passions and what I would want to write about. In past English classes I usually am told to write about a book or article that has no relevance to my life. This article shows me that this will not be that type of English class. Writing about local issues will give me the opportunity to better understand where it is I am living and what made Orange County to be what it is. I am from San Diego and I love my city so much, but I am glad for the opportunity to begin understanding and maybe even loving this city as well. The passion that Mr. La Tour has is clearly shown in this article. Many teachers focus on structure and do not spend enough time with what will keep the students interested. Many classes we need to take in order to graduate, and it's important to have a class that you actually find interesting and feel you can take something out of it. I am however not used to these types of assignments. For as long as I can remember I have written essays based off books and the information usually leaves my brain after the essay is written. I feel that in learning about where you live will always be relevant and perhaps help to maintain information that we read about it. The content that we write about determines our level of interest in the class. Having a class that actually promotes you to experience where you live is a refreshing change that I believe will help better understand and learn in an English class. I believe that many students don't care about certain classes very often because we are so focused on what interests us and what we want to do in our lives. I think that having a class structured like this will allow even anti writers to feel they can relate to the subject matter. This is the city we live in and learning about it will just expand our thoughts and feelings of it. I personally enjoy writing when I am interested in the topic, and I feel that this will be a beneficial class to go through. I am interested in the local issues and local events and I think that writing about it will be interesting. I agree that this type of writing causes you to be more engaged in the topic, and I am looking forward to learning about the city we live in.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Audrey de Guzman
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs
    1:00-2:15

    Reading "Shitty First Draft" by Anne Lammot was a huge eye opener and will be a big impact on my writing in the future. After reading “Shitty First Draft”, I came to realize the significance of writing a first draft for any essay. No matter how famous or professional a writer may be, they all start with a “rough draft”. Quickly jotting down ideas and commentary, few grammatical errors seem to slip by unnoticed. From there, they are able to see their mistakes, tweak, and change what ever they feel needed in order to create a better final product. I’ve written a lot of essays in high school and I never noticed how empowering this could be.

    After reading your blog, “Think Globally, Write Locally”, I am honestly moved and inspired to take more time to notice the world around me. This article made me sincerely excited to dive into writing assignments for this class. There are very few teachers who encourage their student to write on topics that concern them in the community. I am very used to writing responses on old books or articles, which in turn, can be very exhausting and boring. All through high school, I hated English for the sole purpose of writing essays to unexciting, cliché, old English text. Although these texts had a lot of history and lessons behind them, it never inspired me to become a better writier. Knowing that I can write my opinions on topics that are closer to home, excite and intrigue me more and more to this class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first draft was not long enough so here is my revised response.

      Audrey de Guzman
      English 101
      Tues/Thurs
      1:00-2:15

      Reading "Shitty First Draft" by Anne Lammot was a huge eye opener and will be a big impact on my writing in the future. After reading “Shitty First Draft”, I came to realize the significance of writing a first draft for any essay. No matter how famous or professional a writer may be, they all start with a “rough draft”. Quickly jotting down ideas and commentary, few grammatical errors seem to slip by unnoticed. From there, they are able to see their mistakes, tweak, and change what ever they feel needed in order to create a better final product. I never took advantage of writing a “rough draft” and always worked past this part of the writing process. I’ve written a lot of essays in high school and I never noticed how empowering this could be.
      After reading your blog, “Think Globally, Write Locally”, I am honestly moved and inspired to take more time to notice the world around me. This article made me sincerely excited to dive into writing assignments for this class. There are very few teachers who encourage their student to write on topics that concern them in the community. I am very used to writing responses on old books or articles, which in turn, can be very exhausting and boring. All through high school, I hated English for the sole purpose of writing essays to unexciting, cliché, old English text. Although these texts had a lot of history and lessons behind them, it never inspired me to become a better writer. Knowing that I can write my opinions on topics that are closer to home, excite and intrigue me more and more to this class. I believe that more teachers and professors should encourage their students to engage in events in their community in order to widen their writing ability. This will help students with example topics for persuasive essays and also their knowledge on world and community issues. After reading this blog, I made it a point to attend upcoming events in my hometown. To my surprise, it was very fun and heartwarming to know how close knit my community is. After this family event, I am inspired to continue attending events in my community. I feel that this will greatly enlarge the view I have on the world around me, inspire me to better my writing skills, and to reach out and get involved with the community.

      Delete
  52. Katie Angvire
    English 101
    Tu,Th 1:00 p.m.

    In the essay, "Think Globally, Write Locally" I was very impressed that my English teacher not only has a passion for writing, but a passion for his students as well. Professor La Tour, if you’re wondering how to make us give a shit, you’re off to a great start. When my teacher doesn’t give a shit, frankly, I don’t give a shit either. I don’t remember my teachers based on their incredible knowledge, their sense of humor, their kindness, etc. The greatest teachers I’ve ever had have been the ones that can’t even contain their passion for their work, and along with that, want to share that passion with their students. When my teacher is excited, I’m excited too. The fact that you’re excited about local issues and events in Orange County, sure, I can be excited about that too. I like the idea of writing about things that actually matter, and as you say just might “actually become the seeds of change”. It’s so intriguing to me to think that I could write something that no one else has written. Perhaps it’s the same topic that someone else has written about, but it could never be exactly how I write about it.
    I love that you have us comment on your writing as well, it makes me feel connected to you as your student. It’s interesting being able to get your take on things and then be able to respond to it. The best part is, I feel like I can be honest with my writing in your class. You have mentioned that there is a lot of bullshit out there in the world, and that really stuck with me. I don’t want to be that student who (and I’ll admit I’ve definitely been this student) who just BS their papers and write whatever they can in order to get the paper done. Writing has always been something I enjoy, and I am so excited about this class because I feel like I will be able to write in a way that is true to me, in a way that is real for once. I have never had that opportunity in any other class before, and to be able to get the chance to show the real me in my writing is going to be something completely new and exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ulises Pacheco
    English 101
    10:00-11:15
    I really like the approach you have taken in order to get the students a bit more integrated in not only the class but our writing as well. Most teachers would normally give a dull, boring topic to write about but this “Think Globally, Write Locally,” is a topic that I’m sure most students will enjoy writing about and will have a strong connection too. I am also pleased to see that there are some teachers out there that actually, well, “give a shit,” about their students. Most professors would have given up on their students after five years of nothing but to actually go out and experiment new things just so students are more engaged is truly inspiring and hopefully students reciprocate on all that you have done for them. Writing about local issues around my area is something that I definitely look forward on writing about. I am especially excited due to the fact that I’m hardly aware of the issues that go around locally and this could be a great opportunity for me to learn interesting facts about my surroundings. I might learn some things that I would have never had a clue about.
    I first read “Shitty First Drafts,” by Anne Lamott in my English 99 class last semester and to be completely honest it lifted a tremendous amount of weight off my shoulders because I’m constantly pressurized every time I’m assigned to write an essay. I always feel like my first drafts have to be solid pieces of work but this article taught me that even professional writers have a hard time getting started. “People who dedicate their career on writing have a hard time commencing their writing so why shouldn’t I,” is what I would constantly think to myself every time I stared blankly at the paper wishing that words would somehow, magically, appear. This taught me that in order to be a good writer one has to be extremely patient and like everything else in this world one has to make sufficient time to practice. I really enjoyed reading this article when I first read it and it always and always will, come to mind when I begin to write a new essay. This article is something that I would really consider for new writers and for old writers to remind them that well written essays aren’t always good from the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Talia Pierre
    English 101
    10AM-11:15AM
    Tu/Th

    I was uncertain whether or not reading and replying to “Think Globally, Write Locally” was assigned to English 101 so I scrolled through the comments to see if any students had done so. I found only a few comments the night before the due date and have decided to complete this assignment. The reading is short and sweet. It turns out that writing a reply to it will not be much of a big deal. My attitude towards this homework was addressed rather quickly and directly in the reading. I don’t care much for writing. English classes have always just been another dreadful seemingly waste of time. History and current affairs have never been a big part of my life as well. I think that most issues are exaggerated. Despite all of this, I am willing to give reading up on Orange County and weekly blogs a try for the sake of my grade and entertainment. I’m confident that I will find something relevant to me and my interests in the area since I have a vague knowledge of past local events.
    I take it back. Writing this is getting boring. I’ve never been confident in myself and I fear it has caused quite a lot of problems. Displaying my knowledge and intelligence to everyone is intimidating. I’m constantly struggling to be sure I do have proper sentence structure and grammar even though I may end up wrong in the end anyways. It seems to me that the goal of English 101 is to break away from those constraints and develop a student’s thought process rather than writing structure.
    No matter what the topic, an assignment is still an assignment. Even with something I love to do, I won’t be able to enjoy it as much if I’m graded on it. Hobbies take time and usually class work has a due date. Sometimes it can be frustrating to present why I love doing what I do to everyone because I can’t include every single point in an assignment. Doing so outside of work is not worth it. I would rather do something else than share my thoughts with others in less than 400 words. Social networking isn’t a big thing of mine either. No blogging or posting. Thankfully, I’ve ranted nearly enough to complete this assignment. Thank you very much for reading through all of this. I hope you have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Andrew Humphrey
    English 101 10:00-11:15AM
    Tuesday & Thursday
    After reading and analyzing “Think Globally, Write Locally” by Jesse La Tour, my mind had been opened to a concept that I didn’t even know existed. Now that I really think about it, in my past experiences as a writer, there have been only a handful of essays I could really remember that I enjoyed writing. To add on to that, I feel as if it were only essays that I could honestly relate to, or showed some interest in the subject that I truly enjoyed writing. Whether it was for a past experience in my life, or things I could relate to. There is always that one special idea that has the ability to change one’s perspective on something, almost instantly as well. I don’t know if I can speak for everyone else who is going to read this, but this paper definitely changed mine. I’m just amazed I never figured this out sooner. Writing has so much more power behind it then I could have ever imagined. Instead of being assigned papers that we as students have very little freedom or even interest to do it, the choice is ours, the power is ours. By writing locally, I feel though as if my voice will not only be heard, but remembered, and read. My voice won’t be ignored because the writing won’t just disappear. And honestly, I feel as if there is a good amount of deepness in this concept. In my past experience as a student and as a writer, there is a lot of pressure to be not only successful, but to change the world. As impossible as it sounds, it has never became so much clearer to me then right at this moment. Just the simple concept of getting a paper around, a thought, or even just an idea could change how everyone thinks. I find this semester will be interesting given the amount of freedom we possess in this county. Not only that, we’re given the ability to really do research on our homes, and I feel that will change us all for the better to just know a little bit more than the average person who lives here, and really embrace it. Finally if there is one more little thing of information I could assure you, it would be that the result of this essay showing us all that there is power behind writing, students actually do begin the base of your goal Mr. La Tour: to give a shit.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Vanessa Ochoa
    English 101
    10am-11:15am, T/TH

    I really enjoyed reading "Think Globally, Write Locally". It felt like a breath of fresh air. I have never had any interest in writing. Most of the topics I was assigned in high school did not interest me. I have noticed that it is very difficult trying to write an essay on a topic that does not interest me and that is going to be graded. It is very difficult for me to get my thoughts on paper. Honestly when Professor La Tour first told us about what we would be writing about this semester, I was not interested at all. But after I read the essay, writing about local issues actually sounds pretty interesting. I will get to learn things about the place where I am from. I hardly ever read the newspaper or watch the news so I am not aware of many things that go on locally. These essay topics will give me the opportunity to get to know Orange County better. It will also be pretty awesome to bust out random facts to people about Orange County that they never had any idea about. I hope these essay topics will help me enjoy writing.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Jackie Moc
    English 101 11:30-12:45
    Tuesday and Thursday

    After reading "Shitty First Draft" by Anne Lamott I would like to say my writing is concept is exactly what she mention in the beginning. How most people believe that writers just magically write an amazing paper the first time. I never got the concept behind revision cause i never like them. Maybe that's why my essay always suffer because I never really like to revise it. But after reading the article that many famous writer go thought the hardship to even start a paper let alone make a classic book of literature. Revision is an extremely important part in writing a great paper because its like fixing up a car, its probably pretty good but it can always get better with a few modification. Another important subject this article brings up is a sense of pattern in writing. I've learn over the year that many writers have a specific pattern or routine they do before writing a paper wither it enjoy a nice cup of coffee or and nice jog, just to get the brain going. I enjoy reading this article cause it did bring up a interesting topic about writing and the whole process and how its not just a one night thing.
    In the second article "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse LaTour I enjoy the way this article was written. Its different not the average article because it had well I don't really know how to explain but when I was reading it I felt a lot of emotion behind it. I agree that writing should be a tool to help people but I just believe now a days too many students don't have the drive to write strong papers. I myself is an example as I often discourage to write because I don't feel like my writing is strong enough to convince action. I believe there is power behind writing but I certainly don't believe its in everyone to have this kind of gift.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Manuel Ortega-Silva
    Eng 101
    10-11:15 A.M.
    It is truly inspiring to see a teacher that is passionate for what he does. It is even more inspiring when that teacher decides to take their job to another level and give himself a challenge. After five years of searching for new material many teachers would have given up on their students, creativeness and would have stuck to the same routine but not Mr. La Tour. With all honesty you have found a great venue for us students to get more in touch with our writing as well as our communities. I might not be an OC guy but through this course work I will be able to learn more about my city, LA. Because this city is large in numbers it is pretty difficult to keep up with the activities that occur on a daily basis, but through this course I will be able to put the quote at the beginning of this article into play. Many people, including myself, really don't know what goes on in their community but when they tune into the news or read an article all they do is bash the media and criticize them when in reality one can go out and attempt to learn the truth. This class might be an initial step for my future in "digging LA."

    When I first read the title "Shitty First Drafts", I thought to myself, "well here goes another professor complaining about student's writing." After reading only the second line I swallowed my words, I was completely wrong. The very beginning of this article caught my attention because Anne Lamott says that all good writers write shitty first drafts. I have now come to an understanding that not all great writers are capable of putting a great work together in a matter of a few days. In order to have a well-structured piece of written work it takes time with revision. Now I don't feel as bad as I did before when I would write random stuff on my paper that didn't relate to a prompt. Anne Lamott has allowed me to accept myself as a writer because from now on every time that I begin to write a paper and don't know where to start, Lamott will pop into my head and say, "just write whats in mind, it might be shitty but there's time for improvement."

    ReplyDelete
  59. Randall Ortega
    English 101
    11:30am-12:45pm
    Tuesday & Thursday
    “Think Globally, Write Locally” has made me think about the purpose of writing. Writing should not just be an assignment where students are told to write about something they don't care about. Writing should be a way of expression where students can express their feeling over a certain topic of their interest. Expression is what keeps writers motivated to keep writing, and putting their full effort into their work. Most people would enjoy writing about local history or news because they would have pride to show others where they grew up or simply let others know about their hometown.

    I believe students would enjoy writing more if they are able to choose their topic, as well as having the choice on how they go about attaining information. I have found that the reason for most students complaining about a writing assignment is due to the fact that they need to write about the same thing the whole class is writing about, and are being forced to use a specific research method. When someone is given the opportunity to write about something they care about or can relate too. They can express their opinion in depth since they have more experience with that topic. Writing about local history would be a good topic to write about because everyone knows something about the city they live in. Most people would enjoy finding out things about their hometown they never knew, and would express their finding in an interesting manner. Having students get involved in their community to gather information for their writing assignment would be a great way of getting a first hand experience for later references in their writing. First hand experiences are a great ways of keeping the reader interested since they will read about something that know one else could have experienced, but the writer. Sometimes reading other students essays could be quite boring when every essay is about the same exact thing. Having student write about topics they enjoy could make peer editing a more pleasant experience. Being able to read different topics would not only make it more pleasant to read, but will let students know what other people are in too or even get to know them better. Overall having students further their knowledge id different way of expressing themselves would not only hep them in writing, but in communicating with others in a well and thought out manner.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Honestly, I wasn't excited about writing assignment regarding local issues. I kind of thought it was lame. But after reading this essay, I think I kind of give a shit. I think it will be cool to research local history and develop opinions on current problems. I think that's a part of becoming an adult. My parents watch the news and read newspapers all the time and I never do. I think its time I started giving a shit about my public surroundings. This class will hopefully give me a chance to do that. I tried like 10 times to open the other article and my computer kept saying it was a bad link. I'm not sure why because other people seem to have viewed it just fine. but regardless, I got my two cents in about the article i could read. -Jacob Lavern

    ReplyDelete
  61. I strongly agree to what you said about “students giving a shit” about what they write because often times when there is a writing assignment I usually have no interest in the topic. It makes it difficult to start the paper and it usually ends up mediocre. Most of the time, I end up sitting in front of my computer dully trying to fill up the blank pages with as much ink as possible. As a result, many of my writing assignments become my most hated assignments. I feel that being able to write about a topic of interest will help me enjoy doing research and writing the paper. When I have some concern towards the topic; ideas flow through me and onto the screen. Before I know it, I’ll be done with the amount of pages the assignment requires.
    On the other hand I wish we were able to write about different communities. I’d rather research the history of my home town, Torrance. It will be more relevant for me to write about Torrance than Fullerton or Orange County because I was raised there. Also, I would be more interested in the research because I would know the locations of any historical places. Perhaps you can make exceptions since you will be the one reading all of the student’s papers. Reading about the history of different cities might be more interesting on your part. Regardless, I am definitely fond about writing locally because, as you said “But YOU may be the first person ever to write an academic essay about health care in La Habra, or Yorba Linda, about the effect of war on students returning to Fullerton College. Your essays might actually help other people think differently about these things, might actually become the seeds of change." http://jesselatour.blogspot.com. Knowing that my paper can inspire or even educate other people makes me more motivated to write.
    To end my comment, I’d like to say thank you for trying to make writing more enjoyable for us, students. I’m looking forward in doing some local research for the writing assignments. Hopefully you can consider letting us write about our favorable communities. Also, I hope we go on a field because I haven’t been to one since sophomore year of high school. Surely it would be exciting!
    Sayaka Sugeta
    ENGLISH 101
    TUE&THUR 11:30-12:45

    ReplyDelete
  62. Corrie Hemry
    English 101 Tue/Thurs: 11:30-12:45

    After reading the entry “Think Globally, Write Logically” I felt a sense of relief. Finally, a teacher or a professor understands a way to get students to want to undergo the boring tasks of academic writings. For me personally I never wanted to sit down and read those boring prompts for AP exams or the SAT, who does? They all talk about something that doesn’t relate to us or we never get to experience. So, in a twenty-five to thirty minute time period we have to sit down read this boring prompt and be able to come up and form our own opinions on it. Yes, I can form an opinion very quickly but, how am I supposed to find examples to support it and help others agree with me. When I write I want to write about something that directly affects me.

    I love the idea of writing about local things. For one, it gives me a chance to see what is happening in my community. When it comes time again in four years for the general election I feel like after I learn about my county and my surroundings I will be more educated and better qualified to make my decision because I know what is happening in my community. Secondly, It gives me something fun to write about and maybe even educate other people on. I love being able t learn new things and then have the ability to share the facts that I learn with others.

    I also agree with the statement that because the author is our professor, we have the chance to talk to him directly and ask questions about what he means in or writings instead of guessing what each little symbol means. We can ask him directly and get a clear view of his work. I always hated when we had to annotate books and find the hidden meanings of things. Whenever my teachers in high school would ask what a certain word or sentence meant, I always found myself thinking that maybe it means nothing. Maybe its just a sentence. For example, when reading books such as The Great Gatsby I always thought, maybe the “green light” across the bay doesn’t represent hope maybe its just a green light. However, I never had the chance to ask F. Scott Fitzgerald this question because we lived many years apart. Now I have the ability to pick apart the authors brain and figure out what he actually means.

    So in the end, as previously stated, I am looking forward to being able to write more about things that involve me directly and not having to read and think about the so called “boring” prompts. Thank you for finally understanding,

    ReplyDelete
  63. Andy Chu
    English 101
    11:30AM-12:45am
    Tuesday and Thursday

    Reading "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse La Tour has changed my mind about the course. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm excited or looking forward to English 101 but it has certainly made me more open minded. It was a such relief to find out that my English 101 professor actually cared about whether his students cared or not. I have friend's that are currently taking English 101 with other professors and they have a thick boring looking textbook. Luckily for our class we have two smaller texts. The prices for the books aren't too bad either, buying textbooks for my major classes broke my wallet haha. The choices of the textbooks could be another example as to how Mr. Latour cares about his students.
    To me, the class that I was dreading most was English 101. I hate writing and did not want to take the course at all, but like many if not all of us, we were not given the choice. I've always put my writing assignments aside and waiting until the absolute last moment to finish it without much interest in truly revising my drafts before submission. As Mr. Latour had correctly stated, the biggest challenge was to get his students to give a shit and frankly put, I never gave a shit about writing. The thing that I've always hated most about writing was boring prompts. Although I truly hate writing, I will have to accept it and get better at it. Being a Biochemistry major, I will be in labs about every semester and English 101 will help me write my lab reports.
    The only time I actually "enjoyed" writing was when I was given freedom in my topic but even then I still did not want to write. I think it's a good idea to have students write about something personal to them so as they already have background on the topic. When a student knows the topic, they can think of a fact from personal experience or knowledge then look that fact up rather then researching and reading about an entire broad topic. Of course, having knowledge of a topic also reduces the time a student will use researching and reading. haha. The focus of the course will be Orange County and local issues. Although I can't say that I'm absolutely thrilled about the course focus, I am relieved to know that the focus will be about something I know about rather than something I've never even heard of. Although contradicting to my previous statements, reading "Think Gobally, Write Locally" also made me realized that I know don't too much about where I live. Well, I guess I'll have to learn about it soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Teachers who can teach you to do something are, “A dime a dozen.” Teachers who can truly have you engage in what you are doing and teach you to love what you are being taught, well those are harder to come by. Any person can teach someone else to play a musical instrument but only a certain few can teach someone to pick up an instrument and truly care about, love, and feel passion for what they create; this directly translates to writing. I agree with this blog and I like the direction in which it goes. It makes perfect sense to have students write about something that is not abstract nor far away, local issues are right in front of us and for the most part, these writing assignments make us critically think and engage with the subject. Local issues are also quite pressing, so it makes sense to have students write about things that they should know or at least learn more about. I also think that field trips are a great idea. They show students what they are writing about and are good way to gather inspiration and conquer the, “ I do not know how to start this essay” problem. I think that you are on the right path to effectively teaching students how to give a shit about what they write. Often times teachers have students write about subjects that have no particular meaning to students, but having students, “Think Globally and Write Locally” can be a great way to have students understand and connect with their academic writing prompts.

    I think that this is an effective piece of writing. Having been a teacher myself, I also found that sometimes the problem is that students really don’t seem to give a shit, and of course, I can only blame myself as their teacher. This blog, though, has really inspired me to inspire those that I teach. It’s like a little piece of hope that eventually I’ll be able to teach students how to actually care and love what I teach them to do. I teach guitar so now the issue has become how to translate what I’ve read from academic writing to music. Anyways, this a good piece of writing that I agree with, it is inspiring, and I wish that more teachers would try to connect with their students like you do, or at least make the effort to do so.


    Danny Anaya
    English 101
    Tues, Thurs 1:00-2:15

    ReplyDelete
  65. Writing should be something to be cared about where students are told by the teachers to write about not what they don’t want to write about but, what they are interest in. Writing is a way expressing their sensitivity over a topic of their interest. Expression on the readers mind is what keeps them writing and putting their full thoughts on paper. However, most people enjoy history because they want to know what happen in the past and want to know what really happen. In my opinion students enjoy writing more if they are able to pick a good topic. When they have a good topic they will be able to attain information and be able to begin the essay. The reason that students complain about most writing assignments is due to the fact that they need to write about the same thing the class is writing about and being forced a specific research method and by expressing their opinions in the sense they have experience with the topic. The local history is a good topic to write about because everyone knows something about the city they live in, the born in, and they love in. Most people want to find out things they never knew about their hometown and it is a fun thing to know about, but having students getting involved in their community by collecting information on their assignment as their first writing paper experience. Keeping the reader interested is a great way to have the experienced of what is being read and writing but some are boring. Students write about topics that enjoy and may include peer editing experience. Reading different topics is hard for readers to understand to read but it makes the reader have a more open minded in understanding the topic. Therefore, students have a great experience of knowledge in a different way of helping with writing but communicating with teaching without manner and writing.

    ENGLISH 103
    TUE/THU: LATOUR

    ReplyDelete
  66. Alexa Ponce
    English 101
    Tue-Thur 11:30-12:45

    Since the beginning I did not enjoy writing as much as I loved music class or art class. The topics that my AP English teachers used to give me were uninteresting and very plain. I always had writers block due to my lack of interest and enjoyment in the topic or prompt. Thinking about writing essays with topics that happen locally actually sparked my interest because that means we are part of the essay, like we are researching the place that we live in. We get to learn more about the old house down the street or the burnt down playground two blocks over. Our neighborhood is not going to be just a regular, familiar place it is going to be a historical environment. I am glad that this semester’s English class will not involve reading classic novels where we have to really dive into the literature and decipher what the author meant or what he is trying to overshadow.
    It is true that most teachers just teach they do not try to get the students attention or try to get them to improve their writing abilities by getting the student to fully engage and enjoy a writing prompt. Like I stated earlier I never fully enjoyed English and I hated the prompts on the AP test and on the SAT’s, hopefully being able to write about local issues will spark my interests and it wont be as hard to write essays as they used to be. With the “think globally write locally” is like killing two birds with one stone, we are getting the lessons for educational writing but also teaching us about the history of our town or city. Hopefully my essays improve with the improvement of the topics.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Alyssa Nerida
    English 101
    Tuesday/Thursday 11:30-12:45

    "Think Globally, Write Locally" is a blog that resulted in a couple of realizations. The first of which is that there are professors out there that are concerned with more than just their job and a mean of income. There are professors that truly want their students to be interested in the course material. They will, through trial and error, determine what it is that the students want. Such professors realize that students want more than just credits, they want to gain something useful. They want a life skill. Jesse La Tour does this by incorporating local issues, events, culture, and more. He understands people mainly pay attention to what's occurring around them. It is always interesting learning new information about your community. He changes the course in this direction, encouraging his students to write locally. He believes this will get them interested in their assignments. Also, he hopes that basing classwork on local things will lead to the involvement of his students in their local community. The second realization is that changes start locally. You can often find people complaining about anything they possibly can. However, you rarely see them try to make a change so that there is less to complain about. La Tour emphasizes the importance of community. He knows that, although people want big changes, huge transformations must start small. These small changes can more easily occur in the community. La Tour encourages his students that if they want to see a change, they should be the change and that they should start local in order to go global.

    After reading Jesse La Tour's blog entry "Think Globally, Write Locally", I can only agree with what he says. He can confidently say that the average student doesn't care about the material in English. He is also willing to admit that much of the blame is in the hands of the professor. La Tour understands that if you want students to actually care about the course outside of just earning credits, you must tailor the course material in their favor. You must be willing to include things that would interest them and get them more involved in their classwork on a more personal level. Through this classwork, he also encourages his students to speak up in the community. Jesse La Tour truly wants his students to better the community and be the faces of change.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Diana Rodriguez
    English 103
    Tuesday/Thursday 7:00 AM-8:25 AM

    Mr. La Tour, after reading “Think Globally, Write Locally,” it’s pretty obvious that you care about what you do and what your students learn from your teachings. Finally a teacher who isn’t boring and is real! It’s nice to know that you write about your personal things and share it with all of us. You’re inspiring not only your students but he people in the community by what you do. Not all teachers have the same thoughts as you but it’s really nice to know there’s a teacher out there who wants his students to expand their knowledge, to be able to think within the community. The times have made it hard for people to think about nothing but themselves and how their lives are important, to think globally is a start of a great idea to open up a realization of awareness to others ideas, beliefs, and lifestyles. Your idea of writing locally seems like it will awaken students up causing to focus more in class and not be as boring as some English classes. By giving students certain topics that are meaningful to them, it definitely will make them care more about writing. The idea of students being able to write about our own personal stories within the community makes things so much interesting. I grew up here in Fullerton so just thinking of writing about my community gets me really motivated because there are so many interesting things to mention. If we all don’t know much about our county we don’t know the many interesting things that have happened historically! Since you can open up to your students about your personal life, you give them that sense of being able to not hold back and open up as well. I am excited to start my writing assignments. Writing about our communities is a really great way to get us interested in what is happening. I think writing locally will be hopeful for students because they will be paying more attention to what’s going on. I really don’t know what goes on in my community and it’s great to know we will be learning more about it. You make this English class sound fun and not boring. The fact that you’re influencing young students to learn about the community and to learn about things we never knew before is amazing! This approach you’re taking is very well respected by me!

    ReplyDelete
  69. You got my attention on this morning’s first class meeting when I saw in the syllabus that the mantra for this course is about Orange County. I have a little surprise combined with interest, because first, I have written many essays, but none of them was about local history, where I was actually living in, and I had a little shame for that. Second, I really do not enjoy writing an essay with a boring topic, such as technology, (which was the only and only topic that I wrote in my English 100 class). I am looking for a more interesting topic, a topic that makes my writing less intimidating. I think I am in the right English class this semester, since I am going to learn some things new.
    As you discussed in the article above, “think globally, write locally,” is my favorite phrase. To be able to condense our global thoughts into a local essay will be the main practice for this semester. I am excited to learn about the place that I am living, its history and its co-culture. I believe that anyone who enjoys writing will like this topic because it will take them to a new horizon that is too close to them, but also too far to them. Academic writing is not only a matter of mastering the techniques, write perfect grammars, using “big” vocabularies, but it is also about learning new things and responding to the real world. I found out that I have been searching for knowledge which is “out of the box” rather than reaching the knowledge within it. This semester of English would be one of my favorite ones, because I have a chance to explore the world around me.

    Hai Ly Tran (Hailey)
    English 103
    Tuesday/Thursday 7:00 AM-8:25 AM

    ReplyDelete
  70. Justin Tran
    English 103
    Tuesday/Thursday 7:00 AM-8:25 AM

    Mr. LaTour, you kind of remind me of my previous English professor, Mr. Powers. He cared about students utilizing their education to help make a difference in an issue they're interested in. Additionally, he had a passion for writing with a purpose, to change something. I wrote to the dean of Fullerton College on implementing SMART boards into the classrooms at our campus, but I never got a response from him. I poured my heart out into that essay, hoping to get new technology into the school. I guess it was not meant to be. Although I didn't make a difference to the school, I was able to identify the issues that I felt openly about. My high school had interactive whiteboards that I never got to use because they were implemented near the end of my senior year, but they were AWESOME and I wanted them at Fullerton College.

    I was a mediocre writer at best in my English classes at Valencia High School (Placentia). I wasn't interested in the subject matter that was assigned to me, and this slowly led to a decline in my English grades. I was forced to write a bunch of crap that I had absolutely no clue about, always sitting there pondering about what to write. Just dealing with this week after week made me hate writing so much. Oh, did I mention those classes were Advanced Placement courses? It was just demoralizing not being able to write about the things I deeply cared about, there was no motivation for me to write, except to maintain a B- in the class.

    As you discussed, issues that pertain to a person, almost always comes with excitement because they are issues found in the real world. The issues are not some made up baloney, they are things that are happening or have happened, not just some stupid abstract academic exercises. Mr. Powers always told the class to always strive to be an In-N-Out Burger fast food joint rather than a McDonald's. In other words, always put the quality of work into the issues that your passionate about. Don't settle for the greasiness, but settle for the healthiness & freshness!

    Bringing local awareness to the students, shall definitely increase a student's interest. I felt more engaged in my writing when I was writing to the dean about our technology on campus. This topic was more interesting than anything I had written before, I felt aware of what I was saying, what knowledge I was trying to share, and what kind of change I could picture for the campus in the future. I like the idea of thinking about global issues, and then crafting an essay dedicated to the local counterparts of those global issues. All things considered, I look forward to writing something meaningful in this class!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Wendy Duong
    Jesse La Tour
    English 101
    Tues/Thur 11:30-12:45

    In “Think Globally, Write Locally”, I thought that Mr. La tour’s take on writing was pretty intriguing. Nowadays, there seems to be no real richness in education. Schools can be kind of like factories now. Students come in, teachers work with them and that is it. The goal seems to be to get kids in and out as fast as possible. Specifically, in English, Teachers just teach students these structured methods of writing and the students follow like robots. There is no real excitement. In result, the writings are confined in a way that does not express the writer truly. I like the fact that you want to break free from this dull regime and bring some life and engagement into English unlike some teachers who just hope that their students will pass without really giving them an enriching learning journey. Things should be about the journey, not the outcome, because more is learned from the trip than anything else. It is also great to read about how you want to have students go on trips and to be informed about the events that happen locally. A lot of people do not even know the events happening right in their own backyard. My thought is that this is due to the faster paced world and how everyone just wants to get things done instead of taking quality time to really appreciate or learn about the little things happening around them. Especially in America, It is all about efficiency, efficiency, and even more efficiency! The fast way is preferred as opposed to the better way.
    “Shitty First Drafts” by Ann Lamott, is a very relatable. I am so relieved to hear that even a professional writer has the same problems I run into when trying to write. My first draft is a lot like hers. With a pen and paper in my hands, I dump onto the paper whatever is in my mind whether it is sensible or not. I then reread the draft and for some reason things sound jumbled, so I have to cross out the majority of my writing. After all is said and done, my first draft literally looks like random scribbles. However, perseverance, and the thought of failing if I did not write a decent paper, pushes me through. After reread and reread my work until I get sick of my paper and then print it, only to find that there is a mistake that I missed! Arggh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. darn I spotted my typo after I submitted....typical

      Delete
  72. Anthony Shaw
    English 103 MW 8:35

    In Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts” she discusses her personal experiences with authoring first drafts and how utterly hopeless and frustrating it can be at times. I am sure I have been frustrated at times with the writing process, yet no time in particular comes to my mind where I was so frustrated that I felt hopeless or that I wouldn’t be able to finish my assignment. I suppose in general I have been satisfied with my writing and the writing process because I do successful brainstorming. For me, in a way, this is the first draft where I let my thoughts fly and many things are considered and put to paper to be organized in the form of eloquent prose and authored into the first draft.
    She breaks down the drafting process into three steps before a work should be submitted: the down draft, the up draft, and the dental draft. This is merely her take on the revision process, yet in a way it is too concrete for the elaborate and creative process that is writing. What I mean is that almost always in my writing I do revision, editing, adding sentences, changing diction, adjusting my tone, etc. while I am writing the first draft; I do not just pour out all of my thoughts and hope to organize it in the later drafting phases. This concept of just pouring out ideas and hoping to make some semblance of intelligence out of it later is quite inefficient. While all first drafts do lack inherently, I feel as if her first drafts may be quite bizarre, almost like a complex brainstorm, yet the point of the brainstorming process is to write out the simple concepts and ideas that you wish to elaborate upon in your essay. I liken my writing style to what is taught in the Bible by Jesus Christ. He teaches that in order to build successfully, one must have the entirety of the building in mind before one sets out to build it. A sufficient amount of planning must be done in the brainstorming, not in the first draft where too many things are working in one’s mind to put anything effectively to paper.
    In Jesse La Tour’s “Think Globally, Write Locally” he discusses his point of view on teaching. I wish to see if writing about local events really will make me give a shit more about my writing. I am quite excited for this class and look forward to writing papers about things people may never have considered. I cannot wait to have my mind opened and broaden my horizons.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Shayda Hashemi
    English 103
    Tuesdays/Thursdays 7:00-8:25am

    Reading "Thinking Globally, Writing Locally" has inspired me to be more involved in my community. Being a new resident of the city of Fullerton, I have found that there is much that I don't know. From my point of view, I can see that professor La Tour really does want his students to give a shit. Engaging students in writing about things that are going on around them and at the same time, challenging their writing skills. It's a win-win situation, we're starting small, and finishing big. Usually, a professor/teacher will teach something to simply have it taught, and not really care whether or not the students are interested in the topic or not, but with topics about their community, city, and county, they can choose what they want to write about and at the same time improve their writing skills while learning. It is a far more efficient way of learning and being involved.

    Usually in my past English classes, I was told to write about a book that i had read, when I actually didn't read it because I had no interest in it at all, but with this I know that I and most other students will be interested in it and find writing "cool". I would want to share my ideas and thoughts about what i found interesting or completely absurd about the activities that are going on in our community. I really love the idea of this and the fact that blogging is going to be involved in this class and challenge the ideas of all other students. It's great that we will be able to view fellow classmates thoughts and ideas. By this we can all really challenge our thinking skills and see who maybe has the same thoughts as we do, or thoughts that are completely different than our own.

    Although I have always loved reading and writing, it got old just writing about the same ideas of what i thought the "character was trying to portray" from the beginning of a book to the end or what the "moral of the story is". As time goes on, a person can really lose interest and start to dislike writing, just like I did. But with the new topics that we will be given to write about, I can already tell that this will really help my love for writing suffice again and help me, and all other students to their fullest potential in benefiting their writing skills and knowledge of the world around them.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Megan Ody
    Eng 103
    Tues/Thurs 7am-8:30am

    I’ve always dreaded starting a new english class, even back in High School. The thoughts on my mind were always ‘What will I have to write about this time?’ ‘Will it be something I don’t even really care about?’ ‘Will I get to write about things that actually interest me?’. I’m always the type of person where if something doesn’t interest me, I’m not going to put as much thought or effort into it, I know it’s a bad habit but I can’t help it. I enjoy writing for fun, and when it’s something I love or care about, I find myself taking extra time to get that last bit of research I need, rereading, rewriting, and just doing everything to make sure my writing is entertaining, my facts are accurate. But tell me to write a five page essay about global warming in the Netherlands? That’s a completely different story. So going into a new English course, I always assume the worst, that I’m going to be forced to write about some boring political issue that’s suddenly being fawn over in the news, but I never thought about writing about how such things affect us locally. It’s always boring to write about how the war’s affecting the entire nation, or the social issues happening somewhere on the other side of the globe But thinking about it now, it would be fun to write about how things are affecting us right here in Orange county. I think this is actually a great way to run an English class, if I have to write about Orange County, then my Research is going to be all around me, I can see everything first hand. I have to say also, I always did admire a teacher that was honest with students, and I can tell by the writing that Mr. La Tour is going to be one of those teachers. I look forward to reading more of his writing, I actually enjoy his style of just, being honest and saying what he feels like in this posting. I’m actually excited for this class now, and I look forward to writing about the world right in our home towns, past, present or future. A Little bit of backyard history never hurt anyone and maybe I can even find out some new and interesting facts about the great old OC. I’ve got some pretty high expectations about this class now.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Cheyenne Farrell
    English 103 Tu, Thurs. 7-8:25

    After reading "Think globally, Write locally" I all of the sudden became very interested in writing. I have always seen writing as an assignment that had a due date and would earn me a grade in class. English had always been my strongest subject is school, but it was never fun. Writing responses to boring books or following an essay prompt never made me look forward to english. This blog made me realize that it would actually be really cool, to write about what we like to do or even voice our opinions as college students to city council and other local authorities. I mean if we like doing something or going somewhere cool, why not share it with other people and write down our experiences.

    The whole writing locally thing makes total sense to me, its so much easier to write about something we know or have seen before, rather than text that make absolutely no sense or even about a global topic that is just so over written about. I think that writing should be enjoyable and a time to express anything you want...and not have to worry about it being in the write format or if you answered the prompt correctly. It should be free, boundry less and most of all fun!

    Maybe sharing and writing down our experiences with others can help us as college students learn about one another, see why people act the way they do and even inspire eachother to do new things and try new places. “Think globally, write locally” made me realize that writing can be so much more than an assignment. Im excited to see what this class has to offer and all the cool stuff we'll be writing about. This is the first class i actually I have no clue what to expect and thats totally fine with me cause it seems like its going to make writing cool. I look forward to reading more blogs and responding to them. Its kind of cool!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Cyrush Akbar
    English 103 T/Th
    7-8:30


    For many students English and/or college writing is not a promiscuous subject and often struggle with the standards set for writing. In my standpoint, many students struggle with trying to understand the prompt or topic apposed to writing down ideas and thoughts based on their knowledge of the subject matter. Although handing out a paper that tells the students what to write about, many professors lack the ability to elucidate and interpret what is to be expected when writing an essay. Yes, i acquiesce to you on many points about experience and actually “giving a shit” when one is writing something they are comfortable with. Such as, knowing your surrounding, writing about a topic you perceive of or are acquainted with. Along with that, prattling about issues that may effect the writer is another way to get them keen and engrossed about it. Writing about an issue gets everyones heed and observation. people end up getting more involved with circumstances and conditions around them and end up caring more. Due to this, in my opinion it is a positive outcome because not only does it assist and oblige the community but people take action for what needs to be done... in their mindset. This not only gets everyone to become a part of something substantial, but permits them to manifest their thoughts and tactile in writing. Writing...not as in “write a paper about this situation, and submit it in two weeks” kind of writing. I meant as in publishing it. Just as Jesse La Tour has stated in his blog. he also stated that, by writing these kinds of papers, they may change how people think about a certain situation. you never know how your ideas and thoughts and words may effect someone. you wont know until you try and i think thats the idea Professor La Tour is trying to convey. i now understand Jesse’s prospective on the way he expects us to write essays. i was not expecting this when i walked in but it’s a new challenge for me and i hope i do well. I've never written about social or local problems and i know this will be a new, yet positive experience for me. other then that i honestly love the class and of course my professor is the best! i look forward to a good semester.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Jorge Cruz
    English 103
    7-8:25

    A couple of things stood out to me as I was reading “Think Globally, Write Locally.” The first thing I noticed is that Professor Latour shows that he actually cares about his students and he wants to help them improve and be the best that they can be. There are times where it seems like professors teach just to get a paycheck or because they have no other choice. I’m not saying all professors do this but many times they don’t show enough effort to help students reach their maximum potential. Latour shows this effort by switching up the lesson plan and trying out new things that might get the students more involved. He uses his own life experiences and he is trying to find a connection with his students so that they can be more interested because it relates to them.
    I think this is a good idea because a lot of times we face problems with society and other things surrounding us and we have no way of expressing ourselves. Facebook and Twitter is not a good resource because many people can’t be taken seriously on those social networking sites. The best way to express ourselves is by getting a pen and paper and just writing down how we feel about issues in our society. That is what Latour is aiming for in this class and it helps to write about things we can relate to because it will motivate the class and it also makes writing more fun. In many English classes, students are forced to write about subjects that they have no knowledge on and as a result they end up receiving a low grade and it gives them less interest in the class. It is looking like this semester will be a lot different though.
    I am looking forward to writing in this class because I feel like I will have more freedom and more ways of expressing myself like in this blog response. I hope that by the end of the semester I enjoy writing more than I do right now.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Throughout my years in high school, most of my teachers never encouraged us to write about local issues going on in our community. Our essays mainly encompassed info from novels we read during class or out of class. Much of the prompts required me to thoroughly research quotes and themes from the novel that would be relevant for the essay. No topic ever seemed intriguing, mainly because it was centered themes and issues in the novels. Since most of the essays were formatted alike, I never had the dedication and determination to write. I figured maybe that was the case for me because there wasn’t much to say because of the dullness of the prompts. Reflection back on your article “Think globally; Write Locally, I’m admired to read about how you encourage students to base writings on experiences from local issues rather than researching. When writing certain issues, especially ones we’re part of, our insight is endless. Being apart of the community gives us experience, and with that, we’re able to bring individuality to our papers. We all perceive a local situation differently. By illustrating experiences on local issues, the reader is guaranteed to know more about us. Our experiences towards something shape our tone and attitude towards our paper and that I believe is key. Living in close knit city, I believe there are many issues I can take part of, and maybe by providing my experience and insight towards it in a meaningful essay, it can someday make a difference in my community. I can think of a number profound, mindless writers who started their career writing up experiences on certain situations they dealt with. For example, in my philosophy class, I read about how Dr. King advocated to the right for an equal society. By his experience of inequality, he was able to provide legitimate reasons why equality is crucial in an African American’s standpoint. Tying in his experiences with the ideals he believed in impacted everyone to consider the importance of an equal society. Hopefully, much of voice will be heard in writings this semester. Social issues are great topics to consider because we’re part of it one or the other (race, ethnicity, perspective towards an issue).
    As far this class goes. I hope for the best this semester. Maybe writing about local issues and experiences will reinforce my dedication to write. I hope So 





    ReplyDelete
  79. Throughout my years in high school, most of my teachers never encouraged us to write about local issues going on in our community. Our essays mainly encompassed info from novels we read during class or out of class. Much of the prompts required me to thoroughly research quotes and themes from the novel that would be relevant for the essay. No topic ever seemed intriguing, mainly because it was centered themes and issues in the novels. Since most of the essays were formatted alike, I never had the dedication and determination to write. I figured maybe that was the case for me because there wasn’t much to say because of the dullness of the prompts. Reflection back on your article “Think globally; Write Locally, I’m admired to read about how you encourage students to base writings on experiences from local issues rather than researching. When writing certain issues, especially ones we’re part of, our insight is endless. Being apart of the community gives us experience, and with that, we’re able to bring individuality to our papers. We all perceive a local situation differently. By illustrating experiences on local issues, the reader is guaranteed to know more about us. Our experiences towards something shape our tone and attitude towards our paper and that I believe is key. Living in close knit city, I believe there are many issues I can take part of, and maybe by providing my experience and insight towards it in a meaningful essay, it can someday make a difference in my community. I can think of a number profound, mindless writers who started their career writing up experiences on certain situations they dealt with. For example, in my philosophy class, I read about how Dr. King advocated to the right for an equal society. By his experience of inequality, he was able to provide legitimate reasons why equality is crucial in an African American’s standpoint. Tying in his experiences with the ideals he believed in impacted everyone to consider the importance of an equal society. Hopefully, much of voice will be heard in writings this semester. Social issues are great topics to consider because we’re part of it one or the other (race, ethnicity, perspective towards an issue).
    As far this class goes. I hope for the best this semester. Maybe writing about local issues and experiences will reinforce my dedication to write. I hope So 

    Mariam Lakhani T/R English 103 7AM




    ReplyDelete
  80. Jordan Murillo T/R English 103 7-8 25 am
    “Think Globally, Write Locally,” is a very clever and important phrase. For years, growing up in Anaheim I never realized the beauty of my community. As a kid community was not important to me. At the time I never thought that my community had anything to offer to me. In high school, sophomore year at Fullerton High, I became a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fullerton. I really joined a team of inspiring Club Staff who taught me any and everything about community. I volunteered countless hours of my time for Club service and community service. It was fun for me to be apart of something. Community is a lot of fun to get involved with. I have gained amazing memories and knowledge through my years at the Boys & Girls Club. Now I am employed there which allows me to share or encourage my Club kids to give a shit about their education- their community. I also have been trying hard to find myself working for the city of Anaheim. I recognize how amazing my community is culturally and historically. Recently Downtown Anaheim is improving the way they are getting more of their citizens involved. I want to be apart of this growth that is bringing my neighbors together. I feel that the direction in which you are taking this English class will be very effective towards me and my fellow classmates. My previous English classes were alright. I love writing- my only problem is grammar. If I haven’t already made errors in this blog response, I really want to work on my grammar. However, in other English classes I would just write things that did not catch my interest. I would write the essay with resources and write it in academic format. I would never really be captivated by my writing. I just wrote because that was the way to get the A grade.
    I hope I am able to achieve improvements in my writing process. I look forward in digging deeper into my community’s history, culture, political issues, social issues, and its citizens. I am excited in this new approach on writing!

    ReplyDelete
  81. There are many methods to teaching English and there are many different ways that work, I’m not here to explain which one works best. I am not a huge fan of English but it is essential to communicate in the professional world. For me, when the professor is truly passionate about their job, that’s the class in which I am most engaged in. The idea of having students engaged in local news is a brilliant; it creates a reason for student to give a shit. This allows students to learn more about their community and write about it. Honestly the method of teaching English varies from student to student. English is not like math; there is no formula to teach it. I think what makes English so damn hard to teach is that each student is at a different level of language development and it is impossible for an English teachers to give a custom course the each individual student. This is why I believe there are English teacher who assign group work, because for many English professor they believe that the students are able to teach each other in a method the professor may not. The bottom line is that there is no way to teach each individual student but there is ways of engaging him or her in the subject. By connecting the students with their community this create some sort of interest, rather than having a student write a book report about a book they don’t care about or a research paper. It becomes much more important to the student when there are local issue to be discussed, it creates some sort of importance. It also creates exclusivity, what I mean by that is that local issue don’t always make it on the news and for students to discover and research these issue, it give them the opportunity to uncover an issue that not everyone may have known about. This will create the opportunity for students to share their issues, which will in turn cause them to engage in the class. I hope to uncover many important issues in my local neighborhood and I hope that other students will share their discoveries as well. Anyway that’s just my opinion but I hope for the best in this class I not the best writer but I hope by the end of this semester I will become somewhat of a better academic writer.

    Manuel Martinez
    T/TR English 103 7:00AM

    ReplyDelete
  82. Jesse Aguilar
    English 103
    Tuesday Thrusday 7a.m.

    I would be the first to say, I dislike English class. The professors assigned a five page essay on a four hundred page book. They assigned a topic which I don't have the passion to write. As I prepare to start writing, my boring topic, I take hours writing the outline. Once I have the outline finished I take longer starting my introduction. By that time I start to day dream. When I get to the body paragraphs I’m confused and forgot what I was writing about. I start to give up and not give a shit because I’m taking to long writing an essay.

    In high school I wouldn’t care two shits about writing. I failed 10th and 11th grade, not really failed just got kicked out, because writing was so boring and I would never do the work. The topic the class wrote was all about the readings we did. My 9th and 12th grade teacher were the best. I notices the only reason I passed English is because my teacher had interesting topics to write about. I wrote about my future, family, sports, news paper articles.

    I have to agree with Professor Jesse La Tour. Professors need to find a way for students to give a shit. Writing should be fun and interesting. A student should write because he/she wants to write not because they have to write. Interesting topic La Tour mentioned was writing about local issues in your area. For example, the history of your city, schools, records, buildings, restaurants, etc. I feel these topic would open up the mindset of students and make them care. Students should express their opinions, feelings, and take the effort to write. I believe teachers or professors should do everything it takes to make writing fun and interested. The students should write because they want to not because they have to.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Chelsea Solis
    Eng. 103
    Tues& Thurs. 7-8:25AM


    I must admit having to sign up for this class made me nervous. With the endless talk of students who have previously taken a critical thinking and writing class, it was not something I was looking forward to.
    I would hear about the pointless stories professors would make them read, and on top of that having to write an essay about something most students could care less about. The thing is that not only does this apply to an English 103 class, but in fact all classes.
    I've come across many professors that don't care if their students care about the class. This causes students unengaged during class. At times during my boring classes I take a look around the class room and I see 80% of the students not paying attention. Either they will be on their cell phones, practically falling asleep, or daydreaming, then I realize, "Hey, i'm not paying attention either" haha. This is definitely a problem with school today. If more professors like you, I believe everyone would see a difference in how much the students are engaged and wanting to learn.
    I think its awesome you want your students to care. Just that thought alone will cause more students to "give a shit". If you care about us, most likely we'll care also. Getting students involved in the community is definitely a smart idea. It gives us a connection to whatever our essay topic may be, because it's around us. We are the Orange county, we are fullerton, this is where we live. And that gives us an interest already.
    From personal experience, during my junior year in high school I was involved in my community, being apart of the Miss Diamond Bar court. Along with four other girls, our job was to know some history of Diamond Bar, the mayor, the city council men, and attend every city event. The experience was so awesome. Knowing everything going on in my city, knowing the city council on a first name basis made me feel more intelligent. This is because I knew most people in diamond bar, especially at age 16 don't know everything about Diamond Bar. We even had to attend city council meetings, at first i thought "wow this is going to be so boring"!!!!! But as the real residents of diamond bar stood up and addressed their concerns, it made me listen. I wanted to know about the concerns people had, and the responses from the city council. It was very interesting!
    The only concern I have though, is that not everyone is from fullerton, causing some students to not care, well because, it's not their community. But overall I'm so excited for this class, and am already interested in what's to come.

    ReplyDelete
  84. English 103 Monday/Wednesday at 8:35-10:00 am
    Ivy Beaton
    I truly believe that writing is a passionate subject and if you have no passion for what you are writing about, and then there is no point in writing about it. Passion gives inspiration to writing about things we love and care about in this world. I think that as a teacher, it is a great idea to let the students choose what they want to write about and help with their creativity. It’s harder to write about something that means nothing to you then to write something that you have some interest in.
    As you talked about in the blog, a student giving a shit about writing assignments is important. As the instructor, you want to encourage writing and also lead by example by showing that you care about writing. I think that your involvement in the community is inspiring and insightful. When students are writing about their own community, it gives them the opportunity to research and to stop the ignorance of not knowing what’s going on around them. Learning about what’s going on around you gives you the chance to share what you learned with others and to perhaps even inspire others to start doing their own research.
    Most instructors would never allow students to write what they want to write about. I think that this is holding a student back from creating a piece that will inspire others. I think that as long as the teacher gives you guide lines about what to write about, then you should be able to write about what you are interested about. I have really never enjoyed English classes due to the fact that the teachers make you write about things that only interest the teachers themselves. I think that’s really selfish and not proper teaching. Being a teacher is more than giving out busy work, it’s about wanting to encourage creativity and make things interesting to all students, not just a few. If it were me, I would have the students pick a topic about a certain subject, chosen by me, and have them write about it and then share it with the class. This gives the students the chance to conspire with one another and also exchange new ideas.
    This blog has really spoken to me and has given me hope that there are other teachers out their like you who care about the education of their students and want them to learn and succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Jazmin Diaz
    English 103
    T/TH 7:00-8:25 AM
    After reading “Think Globally, Write Locally”, one thing that made me see clearly is that you actually care about your students learning from your techniques. Most English teachers that I’ve had just do the same thing throughout the whole semester, teach from the “book” and that’s it. I really enjoy your classes because you’re different, you enjoy write on your own as your blogs and by hand because your old school. It’s the little things that inspire us students. Like you mention, “getting students to give a shit”, and it’s true. The way you put seems to imply the world or events, your own writing makes it easier to understand, a situation that we can refer to. When you read this to us during class, we had to come up with a question and my partner and I came out with, “would writing about our own community help us in our future lives.” As different students were asking questions, I sat there thinking, while you were explaining to us it is important to you. See the difference, my teachers before would have said why it is important to the “world” but you weren’t. You were explaining why it was important to you. It was very different, I actually was interested and it made sense to me. I kept thinking what makes my community so special, and to be honest it’s each one of us. In this world, we are all unique in our own way. We all have a chance to help change our community, express what we want to the world no matter what others think. You encourage us to create our own blogs and I’ve been blinded in which I haven’t seen that some of my friends even do it as well. In face book, they have a different account in which they write about anything they want, like poetry. She expresses what she wants to say. It’s just crazy how little things can make you open your eyes and see so much clearer. We keep many things to our self, locally, within just themselves. It contributes close minded people which creates a hazard for the future to become a better place for anyone including our self’s. Once globally hits the brain of a person, it expands their knowledge to a whole different level. It makes them think outside the box, it awakens the souls of the people. So by you giving a shit about us wanting to give a shit about academic writing, I’m all in.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Irene Cabrera
    English 103
    Tuesday/Thursday 7 am
    To be honest, I have never liked or cared about English class. To me, every English class was the same. You read a few books, write a few essays and work on your grammar skills. The only difference I saw as I went to different English classes was the length of the essays and the topics of the essays. I would always write an essay just to get a good grade but I would never care about what I would be writing. I would not make a connection with the subject I was writing about. I would never get excited to go to English class. In high school, I was at the point where I did not even go to English class anymore because I truly did not like English class.
    After being in your class for two days, you have already made me interested in English. It shows that you really care about your students success in the class and that you are doing everything you can to spark an interest in English. I think that having your own blog and writing your own pieces is great. It makes you more approachable and students can actually ask you any questions they have because you actually wrote the piece.
    I think that writing about local things is a great idea. Writing about something locally is more interesting then writing something we have never actually seen or experienced. There are people that do not know anything about the area where they live. But I think that when students start doing research, it will spark an interest in local issues and maybe they will act locally. Since students are writing about something that they are surrounded by, the essays they will write will be more interesting and I think that they will be more expressive and take more time to write there essays. I think that students will appreciate where they live more after they finish this class.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Won Choi
    English 103
    Tuesday/Thursday 7 am
    The article, "Think Globally, Write Locally" by Jesse La Tour, shows how he wants to teach his students for writing. He gives his students articles which he writes directly and encourages them to have various thoughts rather than teaching writing skills such as grammar. Furthermore, he gives them topics of writing as specifically about a particular region, Orange County.

    When i saw the title of this article, "Think Globally, Write Locally", i was already interesting because it seems like my writhing style which i pursue. i think that the title can say, in other words, people need to have or think a lot of ideas in various areas but become specific when writing. Many people said to me that i have many good ideas but my essay is wide. it was really difficult for me to realize what problem is but later i knew that i need to write specifically. So, when i read this article, i was pleased since i expected that La tour wants to teach students to be specific for writing, same as my thing that i regard significantly in writing. The topic which he gives also has same idea. he give the topic about particular region, Orange County. i think that it can become more specific, not wide because it is limited by the region. So, his topic will be able to make me easier to select my ideas.

    Also, i like that he shows writings that La tour writes. i assume certainly that it can be pretty good method for his students. As watching his articles, students can know what he wants and have good examples. In my personal experience, when i started to write essay at first time, i did not know how to write the essays. I wanted to find some examples which others wrote, but it was difficult. However, he gives his articles to students, and it can be a big benefit to them.

    Actually, i am an international student and not a person who like writing. So, the most difficult thing for studying in America was the writing. However, i realized that writing is required in most areas and helps people to think a lot and logically. i strived to write a lot and had improvement for writing. In La tour class, i want to study for writing in detail and experience in showing his direct articles.


    ReplyDelete
  88. Crystal Munkhbayar
    English 101
    Tuesday/Thursday
    1:00-2:15pm

    I really enjoyed reading "Think Globally, Write Locally". It was an interesting blog to read. My past experiences with my English classes was not good at all. Teachers would focus more on boring subjects, and the same old grammar/rules. Of ourse grammar helps us write good essays and i should not be complaining but I was not enjoying writing about things that doesn't interest me. Everytime i write an essay in class i would always run out of ideas to write, so i stop trying. I wish teachers give students more interesting topics to write about so we can write freely.

    Like your article says, writing about local issues sounds like a good idea. I am sure a lot of students will be interested in writing about the real world rather than a boring englsh paper that doesnt interest us. I like how you take your students to fieldtrips, so they can get to know more about the OC. I am not from the OC, so it would be great for people like me to explore the OC. My old teachers use to say "Writing is thinking", that what you think you write. It is hard for some people to write what they think because when you write there is grammar and you have to follow certain formal rules. I believe that anyone can write good, but to reach the high level they gotta practice a lot. Like the saying "Practice makes perfect".

    This blogging and posting our opinions on a blog is very new to me. I am really bad with technology even though im a college student. I was confused about where to write my response and finally found some of the students' responses. I am looking forward to reading more blogs because it was interesting to read. I love reading about others' stories because it gives mea new perspective about them. Overall I am glad I chose this class and i am looking forward to improve my writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  89. After reading the blogs and listening to the quick overview in class, I decided that I have never been more excited to take a course until this one. It is certainly important to follow directions in a class when given an assignment, but it definitely makes it easier when the instructor allows the students to use their imaginations and work off of their personal interests. I think your involvement in our community is extremely admirable, and having an interest and taking action within your local area shows how truly passionate you are about the subjects you write about. Seeing that as a student is inspiring beyond belief. From what I can tell, students as a whole generally have a hard time putting enough focus into their academic subjects and their education is lessened because of this. When there are instructors like you available it can help encourage us to really put thought into our work instead of just doing the assignments. It boosts our confidence as writers because we learn to enjoy the subject more and do not look at it as a "have to". Personally, I have always enjoyed sitting down to my paper and writing until I reached my goal for the class, and I can see already that your way of instruction and passion for writing will only push me even more to do my best and have a great time doing it. I have always had an artistic and creative mindset and I believe learning from you will continue cultivating my imagination and yearning to be a fantastic writer. I also wanted to touch lightly on your focus in local happenings. I think this is a wonderful idea and look forward to learning even more about where I live. Its very important to me personally to keep up with my community and the current politics of my area and the people in it. This ties into another passion of mine which calls for a broader knowledge of these topics. As a Miss America preliminary competitor, I have gained much more of an understanding and appreciation for where I come from and thrive every single day. Learning about my community and its current events has had a great impact on me and I am so looking forward to applying my knowledge towards this class! Cheers to encouraging professors and hopes for a successful semester!

    Rachael Mauter
    ENGL 103 MW 8:35-10

    ReplyDelete
  90. Michael Tirona
    MW 8:30-10:00 ENG 103

    “Think globally, write locally” really opened my eyes. This was the first time I had heard of a teacher talk so candidly about his role as a teacher and what he can do to connect with his students. In fact, it was the first time I’d heard a teacher discuss their role as a teacher beyond how long it took them to grade an assignment. As opposed to simply sticking to an old and boring curriculum of random essays related to various topics in a textbook, a teacher is sitting there and reworking his approach in an attempt to get the student to care about their work and the topic they’re discussing. It’s refreshing to see, especially as a student who’s done assignment after assignment about topics I found I just could not invest myself into. Writing about local topics is something totally new to me and seems beneficial for many reasons. For one, I know very little about my local community, so writing about it and the goings on around me will help me learn about it. Like La Tour stated, topics that cover local issues will be much more interesting to me, I think, than writing about a study that was done a decade ago. I feel as if every english assignment I’ve had before was hardly about how much I could really grasp my topic and more about how well I could write about that topic. This will change that, by having me invest myself and actually learn about the topic, which I’m sorry to say, is nothing I’ve cared to do before. This is truly a teacher who cares about his students and about his community, and has found a way to combine the two in order for them to benefit from each other. It will also be refreshing to know that much of the writing we’ll be reading in the class will be written by the very teacher instructing us. I feel like it opens him up to us, putting him on the level of the student by sharing his work with us, as opposed to it only being the other way around. Again, this is something I’ve never had a teacher do before; share their work and their experiences to help get their point across. I’m very excited for this semester, and as a non-english major, writing about something I can truly invest myself in and something that actually affects me sounds like the perfect way to cap off my college writing career.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Mayra Venegas
    English 103
    MW 8:35am-10:00am

    Mr. La Tour I knew that on the first class meeting you were going to be a great English teacher who cares about teaching and especially after reading, "Think Globally, Write Locally". I was surprised at first when you mentioned on the first class meeting that through out the semester of spring we are going to be learning and writing about Orange County and the reason being for I believe you want us your students to know more in detailed about our community. Also your dedication with in the community and with your students shows you are a great person and teacher who you want your students to achieve by expanding their knowledge and experience. I also have a great sense that in your class I'm going to expand my knowledge, vocabulary, and the way I see my community. Also through out my years of taking English, especially in high school were only based on reading books, writing about them, and taking lots of in class essays. Those essays were pointless because in every essay I would repeat the same thing over and over again. About what the book was about and who were the characters and what happened with them through out the book.After I graduated from high school I thought to my self that those English teachers didn't prepare me for college at all. Plus I really never had interest in English and specially majoring in it. I actually see that this semester I'm going to see a change in my self by being in your class.

    ReplyDelete
  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Eng 103
    TR 7am

    I feel that writing about local issues is a great way to engage students in wanting to write. It makes students think about some of the issues that they, as well as others face in their community, which makes them feel more connected to the issues. Often times teachers assign writing for major issues such as abortion, world hunger, gay marriage, gun control and a wide range other things. While these issues are important and people have strong opinions about them they are overdone and most students do not have a personal connection to them. When you cover topics that happen locally students are more likely going to engage in their writing. Students have the opportunity to act on issues in their local communities and make a difference where as one person could not make a huge difference on more global issues. I have taken many english courses and have found them all to be stale in the material they cover. Many of the books are standard literature that every english teacher covers as well as some of the issues and topics. It is a fantastic idea to cover local literature along with local issues.

    I personally never liked writing until I got into web development and put up a few of my own sites. Once I was able to sit down and write about topics that were relevant to things I liked I started to enjoy it. I have written many blog entries for different sites that I own and operate with other people and I love writing about the topics I enjoy. I also do web development for other people and I have to write content that I really have no interest in order to get them placed well in search engines like google. While working on other peoples websites thats when it hit me I never liked writing in school because it was never anything I really cared about. That is why I think writing about local issues is a great idea because it covers things that happen in your own backyard and not thousands of miles away. I think about some of the things that have happened locally throughout the years since my last english course and I think that writing about them would have been a lot better than covering more broad topics such as issues with the whole country.

    ReplyDelete
  94. “Think Globally, Write Locally” is an interesting blog. I believe students should get more active in their communities and help out in any way possible. Also, the fact that there are teachers who really want to get their students involved is a great thing to see. I think most teachers just teach because they get paid to do it. Then again, there are students who just go to class because they paid for it. I believe students should really grasp the opportunity of being in college and try to learn as much as they can. Other people would love the opportunity to attend college but cannot because of financial problems. It’s sad that some students lack focus in their classes and does not put full effort when they are capable of doing so.
    I am going to enjoy this class. I am really looking forward to learning about Orange County and even Fullerton. I’ve lived here for the last 4 years so I’m going to take that opportunity and learn as much as possible before the semester is over. My last 3 English classes have not been like this one. In this class, we are actually going to learn about real life situations and real life events. What really excites me is learning about Orange County. I have lived in Orange County all my life and really do not know much about this beautiful county. I am looking forward to reading the assigned book about Orange County and the transformations it has gone through over the years of its existence. This class has a great atmosphere with a great teacher. I really believe this can be a new way of teaching students and getting them to focus and also enjoy the class. Most students see an English class as boring and do not show much interest in it. This class, however, seems very interesting and unique in a way. Since attending FJC, I haven’t heard of class where you will learn about your community and the transformations it has gone through. This class caught my attention since day 1 and I am looking forward to learning about Orange County and Fullerton and also taking field trips to Downtown Fullerton and exploring much as possible. I am looking forward to this class.

    Jose Flores
    English 103
    T/R 7:00-8:25 am

    ReplyDelete
  95. Reading this article Made me realize that it is true that we should learn and know about our community. I am from the city of Fullerton and if I were to mention one interesting fact about my community I would not be able to mention it. The reason may be is that we are not being taught In school about our community. I like the idea of us writing about our local community. Instead of talking or writing about the world's issues; when in fact we have our own issues to resolve. For example, like in Coyote Hills as it is being mention in the article, we should take Care our nature and its beauty. I wish all my English classes were like this. That we have interesting readings or having to choose our own topic for our essays. That how English should be taught. I like your style Mr.LaTour and most English Teacher's should be like you. Most teachers lecture all day and we loss interest. I'm not much of an essay fan, but in this case being able to learn about our community and to write about it would be interesting. It would engage us to write more and learn at the same time. None of my teachers have blogs and I think it is a great idea of expressing how we feel. This article inspired me and how we should start caring about our community.
    Elouise Hernandez
    Eng.103
    Tues/thurs 7am

    ReplyDelete
  96. Dong Yeob Lee
    English 103
    T/R 7:00AM-8:25AM

    "Think Globally, Write Locally", is an article that may encourage many students who are not interested in writing or reading. It is interesting to see that writing can be more than a boring exercise. I am one of those type of students who does not like to write essays and research papers for class assignments. It really takes a lot of time for me to start writing my essays and that is why I do not like writing. Also, as my first language is not English, I struggle with grammar.
    In this article, "Think Globally, Write Locally", the professor takes out his student to local cultural events around town and make them write papers about it. In my opinion this is an interesting activity that many students can enjoy and write about their experiences at the same time. Moreover, it is a nice experience for students to get know better about the city they are living on. And also, what it really got my attention is that students write things down about events that is happening at real time in their own communities. I think is a good idea to get to know better about your city you live on.
    One of the things that had come to my mind and I would like to discuss about it is about the parks around my community. I am a huge fan of soccer and I enjoy to play soccer with my friends, however there are only few soccer fields around the city of Fullerton and many of them are found in bad condition. I have called various city halls in search of a soccer field and most of them are being occupied by private soccer clubs and are not open to the public. And the most difficult thing is to reach communication with someone in charge of park and recreation. These are some observations that I could make a relationship with students that are being described in the article.
    I would like to enjoy writing more than I do at this moment. Since I was a child writing was my least favorite thing to do. But, I realize that writing is something you need daily life. It is a good way to express your thoughts and ideas to the society, and it demonstrates that writing is a powerful tool. In this class English 103 I am looking forward to enjoy writing than I used to do.

    ReplyDelete
  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Guillermo Gonzalez
    Eng 103
    TTH 7am

    "think globally, write locally" has really got me thinking, not only as a student but as a resident of not just Anaheim but of orange county that we are who create our surroundings. Teaching English to kids now a day can be challenging as it might not be as fun as playing a sport but it has its benefits if one can embrace it with their minds. Embracing them in a topic that hits home, like this, can get them going. Not all students may agree but we as students and residents should take charge and protect our environment and communities. Like it is said by many , we students are the future of this country so we should care for the communities lending a hand into making the future brighter for those that will come after us and for ourselves as well. Expressing our beliefs and thoughts about our communities not only to ourselves but to the people that have the power to do so. Thinking about what can be better and what needs change in our communities would get our minds going and writing skills up, we would write about something that affects us personally and something we can relate with others around you. English should not always be about literacy or essays that do not have nothing to do with us, it should be about improving our writing skills and our way to free our minds as we take new information in. In my years of taking english I have not encounter a teacher like Mr.Latour that can see what the real problem is and can, this early in the semester, engage with their students the way he does with the blogs. In my personal point a view I think they can connect both the teacher and the person with the students in a whole new level in which makes me feel more comfortable and lets us participate more in sense.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Isaac Nunez
    Eng 103
    M/W 8:35-10
    When I first took this course, the only thing that kept reminiscing through my head was how boring is this English class going to be compared to all the rest. Ever since the first day I started to take Mr. la Tours course, well “Jesse’s” course, I’ve been engaged and focused every moment in class. Jesse showed me that with academic writing, we all have a voice that is out there to be written and heard. Jesse says it best “my biggest challenge with teaching English is actually having students give a shit.” The problem is that most students don’t give a shit. I asked a group of my friends “why did they want to take English in the first place?” Most of their responses were simply “because I have to if I want to transfer.” To be honest, this was actually how I felt about English class too.
    I never truly recognized how crucial academic writing is to us. Academic writing is run off of a system of how to properly structure an essay and write properly. At first, that’s all I thought it was to just write about a subject our teacher gave us. Not only does Jesse still incorporate the academic writing process to write about a subject, but the subjects he lets us choose are just interesting. Even this idea with La Tour having us writing on his blog is quite fascinating. This method, I believe captured students to actually want to write a response back instead of simply typing up a paper and turning in our responses next class session. Jesse assigns the class readings about our local community that we would’ve probably never heard of if we never took his course. Interesting readings such as the Norton Simon museum that could’ve been in Fullerton are readings that get the class more involved and interested and academically involved in class.
    When we are writing about things that happen in our local community, it makes the students want to connect more. Students start to actually get more interested and actually read articles that are occurring in their local communities. There were things that I started to read, that I would’ve never thought that was going on. Jesse isn’t just assigning these assignments for homework, but he is making us critically think and use our mind like we haven’t before. Not only is Jesse testing our Critical thinking skills, but is also just assigning certain readings to inform us make us scratch our head and say “oh shit, that is how that works.” This is how cool academic writing can be.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Arturo Villegas
    English 60
    T/TR 5-9
    I would actually agree with you on this one. I also have noticed not only with myself but with a good portion of my class mates for every English class that no one really gave a shit all they wanted to do was pass the class. I wouldnt say that the topics were really boring but when you talk about a topic that is really close to your roots like your community it really grabs more of an attention to me from what I been noticing for being in your class these two short weeks. With the topics we have talked about it really has open my thought more about the past of my community and the history that I have been so blind to notice. It has a perfect saying, "think globally write locally", most of the things that have happened all over the world have occured in the local areas I live in. Fighting for rights like the farmers. I have never been to city hall for meetings like that to talk about the town, nor did I know that they even do that at all. It was a great experience I actually saw people I knew that i havent seen for years speak to the council and give their thoughts, inputs, and opinions. It did make me want to go more to the meetings and help my community more.
    I am actually surpirsed to go through this type of teaching by an english teacher to be talking a lot about our community. I wish my previous teacher would of had some of these styles of teaching it really grabbed my attention and by the reaction of my classmates I am sure that their attention was grabbed more this semester.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Matt Kolb
    English 101
    The first reading, “Shitty First Drafts”, by Anne Lamott describes the difficulties that writers experience as they begin writing a new piece. People often perceive professional writers as these perfect entities that can hold a perfect train of thought from the moment their pen hits the paper. However, this is in no way the case and a writer’s first draft may be absolutely horrible but this is in fact is a necessary evil in beginning the writing process. Jotting down thoughts, no matter how tangent, is the first step to any successful paper. Each successive draft gets better as new ideas are introduced and sentences are reworded. When Lamott refers to “trusting the process” I believe she takes a personal experience and relates it to her audience. I can recall the numerous times I have spent bashing my head against the desk exasperating every thought and notion with hopes of improving my work. I’m sure that this is the case for most all writers. Writing, with out a doubt is a process and may take multiple modifications and adjustments. In order to be successful the process must be respected. When writing a rough draft the writer’s slightest concern should be worrying about the product. Stemming from the roots of its name a “ rough draft” is essentially a rough spread of ideas scattered on paper. Only through meticulous analysis and revision can a writer be truly successful.
    (Response to “Shitty First Drafts”)
    In response to “Think Globally, Write Locally”, I believe that you have taken a unique interest in us students to direct our focus on the local issues and historical aspects of Orange County. All to often I hear my peers talking about how they have no influence in modern politics and that corrupt political leaders have ultimate control over the public. People too often believe that there is no sense in taking a stance on big political issues such as the war or gay marriage because their opinions will be lost with the herd. However getting involved on the local level is the best way to confront these biases. I can correlate this is to having a customer service complaint at any store. First you voice your concerns to the cashier they pass the information on to a sales associate. Then in return the sales associate gets their manager involved. You work your way up the chain of command to the store manager where your opinion can be heard and have some validity. Getting involved on the local level is the best start to voicing your opinion and gaining action to your cause.
    (Response to “Think Globally, Write Locally”)

    ReplyDelete
  102. In “Shitty First Drafts,” Anne Lamott talks about writing the first draft of a paper. She says
    that the best way to write is to let the mind open up and be creative. she points that no one will see the first draft, so we can calm down and focus on creating something. In the first draft, you can freely write things that come to your mind.While I was reading the article, I found myself thinking, I wrote better when I was relaxed and let my ideas come out, rather than constantly going back to check my grammar after typing few sentences to make the first one as my final paper. I am a type of person that sits down and tries to write a perfect paper the first time around. For this reason, I always feel pressured and stressed to put words on a blank page. Often times I write a paragraph and go back to revise million times to make sure I presented a clear idea. Because of this, I lost interest and found myself avoiding writing papers. Therefore, I totally agree that the first draft of a paper is an essential process, and it is needed to improve it. If I write the first draft where I do not have to follow the structure but to freely put my ideas, my final paper will have full of details, and it would be more interesting.
    In “Think Globally, Write Locally,” by Jesse La Tour, he talks about writing about local issues. He inspires students to write with passion. Actually, I am not motivated to write about the topic assigned, but his topic about local issues interested me. I look forward to write about this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Noppasit Trilertwong (Tommy)
    English 103 TR 7:00 – 8:25

    To be honest, after reading “Shitty First Drafts”, I grew nervous about posting a blog comment and kept contemplating on whether it was good enough, or just a shitty piece of work. Writing, in my opinion, is an extremely critical and personal motion to carry out. One’s writing can reflect his style, personality, and an array of details about one’s being. Within the past, I’ve always had difficulty starting the writing process and applying words formally into paper as my mind would juggle everywhere, consistently making my work sound like crap. However, “Shitty First Drafts” made me realize that clearly I was not the only individual facing this adversity. Lamott stated within the article that every good piece of writing starts with terrible first efforts and that every writer whether good or bad face these problems, yet they never gave up and strive to create writing that’s good enough for them to be proud of. Lamott’s article puts writing in a very realistic light which clearly state a crucial problem with the process of writing while motivating others to persist and strive to develop their voice and ideas as writers.

    Since the transition into the US School Districts, English had never been my strong point. Being a very mediocre writer, I’ve always slivered off my English class with a B to B- average, typically because I’ve never actually focused on writing a piece of work that was actually worth my effort. However, Mr. Latour, your article “Think Globally, Write Locally” quickly impacted my perspective on writing immediately after reading “give a shit” in your second paragraph. Your speculation on student’s “giving a shit” is phenomenally true, and your method in attempting to do so is genius. Allowing students to read and write about the community in which they live in, in topics that effect them immediately right when they walk out of the classroom door allows them to be more interactive and attentive towards the subject as well as keep their interest within the class well. In my past experience, when professors show passion and care towards the subject as well as relating their subjects to students, the whole class’ academic progress soar. Mr. Latour your passion already inspire me and will inspire many other students to be more involved in the words they put on paper. Thank you for the motivational “slap-in-the-face-reality-check” article, you started to make me give a shit.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Justin Jacela
    Eng.101 UH 319
    10am-10:50am

    Knowing this was going to be my first English class in college, I felt things were going to get technical right away, which is not my forte. But, reading these topics gave me a sense of interest and convinced me that this was worth reading. As you mentioned in class, “using profanity sparks the students interest, ahh the benefits of profanity.” This I find to be true, as students we are used to reading proper G rated proper english in school in turn make our perspective of the English language dull and non-amusing.
    On another note, the topic of “Shitty First Drafts” speaks the truth of what it takes to write something great. When she pointed out “this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated” it brought forward the truth we all as writers face. You read someone else's essay and feel that they came up with this excellent writing using not as much effort as yourself. Or is that just me? Hmm. Well, from past experience I always look back at my essays and say to myself that I could've added this or that to back up what I was trying to portray. I always find myself missing key points that could make my writing more appealing as well. Everyone has experienced writers block before, or writing out the first sentence, erasing it, creating a new one back and forth, till soon enough they get side tracked and check their Instagram, Facebook and look up stupid video on Youtube. (Guilty)Then come back to their essay and somehow come up with with a sentence that is satisfactory. Then they read it later, to realize there was something greater that could have been said. In all, there is always something better that can be written than the first shitty, in my case super shitty, draft.
    Addressing the topic of thinking globally, writing locally I completely agree with the writing process you have brought forward. In turn I think writing about the local issues creates another connection between a writer and their work instead of just thoughts about random topics. It puts the writer in the position that what you write actually matters because its happening around you, you are able to make first hand experiences come to life on paper. I think adding the live experiences creates a route to better writing from students. It brings out their personal writing styles, their emotions, their findings, their take on the event. In all it makes the student feel more involved in their writing and that the students voice actually matters at the end of they day. Which, in turn may all add up to change the word. Everything great starts from something small, thinking globally, writing locally.

    ReplyDelete