A characteristically-wordy wrap-up post.

Because I like pretty things with words and because I was curious what my own Wordle (I keep accidentally typed “Worlde,” so old-timey) would look like, I made one.  I’m including it here–and while it’s not really the bulk of my reflection, I want to say a few things about it.

I’m not surprised that “literacy” is, by far, the biggest word.

I am somewhat surprised (and yet also not at all surprised) that “technology” is not much bigger than “pedagogy,” and that it’s about the same size as “genres” (I wonder, if “genres” and “genre” were allowed to be one word, how big THAT word would be).

What surprises me the most, actually, is the hugeness of the words “think” and “something.”

I’m not sure what to make of this–if I wanted to be generous, I could say maybe I used the word “something” a lot because a lot of what we discussed in this class was nebulous, hard to pin down, difficult to exactly describe, define, or summarize. But it’s also certainly possible–the less than generous reading–that I’ve just discovered a lazy tendency in my own writing. I’m not sure exactly, but when I look at all of my posts together (in one Word document, all 17.5 single spaced pages (!) of them when together), I think there’s evidence for both interpretations of the largeness of “something” in my Wordle.

What about “think” (as distinct from “thinking,” which also shows up fairly decently-sized in the Wordle)? When I search through my posts again, I notice that it works in a way similar to “something”–I “think” a lot, both in a specific way and in a “well, I think…” kind of way, somewhat unsure, hesitant. I guess what I see here is that I don’t know what I think about everything we read (some things, I do know what I think about them… I think), and I rather like that what seems like it could indicate indecision wasn’t always indecision so much as grappling-with.

I like that “pedagogy” is so big — in my first year of teaching, I’ve thought a lot more about teaching than I ever have before, and it only makes sense that it would show up in my blogs for this class (“teaching” is also present, a fairly significant size).

What I appreciate the most about the readings, as I look back through my blogs about them, is how much I was exposed to things that are new to me but also entirely familiar. I still don’t know how I would define literacy. I suppose that one day I’ll have to, maybe when I write my dissertation or my Project papers or when I do my exams, but I also like that I find it impossible to define (definition is a big-ish word in the Wordle, too–just like Red mentioned in her reflection, I’m big into thinking about definitions). I want to work on a definition that I like a little bit longer

Looking toward the future: I’m still taken with Justin’s question about whether genres are inscription technologies. I don’t know if I want to spend a lot of time exploring it in the future, or how I would do that (or if that’s fair, stealing someone else’s question?!), but I’m still curious. I think the answer (or the answers — there are probably many) depends a lot on definitions.  I’m also moving forward with a real interest in placing myself within literacy studies. When I chose to come to Pitt, I partially came here over somewhere else because I knew if I went there, I would definitely be doing literacy studies. I wasn’t sure yet if that was what I wanted, and I knew there would not really be another option for me there (or there were other options, but I knew they interested me less). I came here knowing I could do that if I wanted to, but I could move in other directions, too, that seemed just as interesting to me. After two full years of coursework (where does the time go?) and this class in particular reminding me of why I find literacy studies so engaging and important in the first place, I think I’d say that IS the direction I want to go in. (I’m glad I gave myself the time to find out, though.) Besides my introduction to issues concerning technology in relation to literacy, which is something that was really important to me in terms of this class, I think that take-away about literacy studies is possibly the biggest thing I learned this semester.

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