The End of an Era: Final Blog Portfolio

Dear Professor Vee,

The links I have provided below reflect my proudest contributions to our class blog in this second half of the semester. I feel like it was only last week I was reflecting on my first two months of posts. I have similar opinions to the blog this time around and I think my opinions from my midterm portfolio have really strengthened. The blog has been an innovative and creative outlet through which I can share my opinions outside of class, which is something I have grown to enjoy. It is refreshing to see the intellectual thoughts that have been spread among our small class through this outlet.

The question I chose to present connects two readings that we were assigned this semester, one about Amish literacy struggles and another about a woman reflecting on her childhood struggles with literacy imagination. I am very proud of this because of the connection I found between the two. It was very interesting to hear the 3 students’ comments agreeing and disagreeing with the existence of this connection. The two comments I chose really reflect some of my deeper thought this part of the semester. I think I really developed a way to think about the questions in a more complex way and then share my thoughts with the other students in the class.

Because we spend so much time in class, being able to share opinions I don’t think to bring up in class or share opinions in anticipation on delving deeper into them in class discussions are really important to my learning experience in this class. The blog permits me to share my opinions directly after reading rather than forgetting the things that struck me the night before class. This outlet of expression has allowed me to do some of the work of which I’m most proud.

My Best Blog Post

My Best Comment

My Second Best Comment

Favorite Reading of the Year?

This may seem like a very cliché question to ask, but given the free topic this week, I wanted to ask you all:

What was your favorite reading this semester? More specifically, what reading was most challenging to you, what did you learn from it, and how will you apply this knowledge outside of this class. This class, in teaching us a lot about learning, has taught us a lot about ourselves and gives us the capability to apply this new knowledge to environments in which we learn.

So, to word my question a bit more concisely…. what was your favorite or most challenging reading this semester? Why that one? What did it teach you about yourself as a learner or teacher as well as about those who taught or teach you? Lastly, does it apply to life outside the classroom? If so, how?

Other forms of literacy we may overlook?

In Professor Vee’s article, she brings up a form of literacy that many of us may not really think of off the top of our heads: coding. I know for a fact that before reading her article, I never thought of coding as a form of literacy. However, it does make sense in a way. Coding is a language and it has significance and meaning and creates things. It made me think, what other forms of literacy are out there that we may not have seen at first glance? Are there other forms out there we don’t immediately jump to? It may be hard to come up with others, but I’m interested.

For example, being able to read/write music can be a form of literacy. There is a significance to each note, including pitch and length. Being able to read it creates music, which some often refer to as a universal language. What other forms of literacy can you think of?

Is there anything familiar about Lu’s Struggle?

While reading the Lu article, a sense of familiarity overtook me. This struggle between what the school told her was true and what her parents showed her reminded me of a struggle we talked about earlier in the semester: the literacy practices of the Amish.

The article we read regarding the Amish did not talk about the views some of the young adults have if they leave the Amish community and return, but we touched on it a bit in class.

Do you think that the experiences and internal conflicts the Amish would have after leaving the community for a while and then returning would be similar to the struggle and conflict Lu discussed? If so, how? If not, why not and how do you think that the struggle or conflict would present itself?

Changes in Literacy Statistics in America

In class on Thursday, Professor Vee gave us a sheet that covered some statistics on literacy in 1992 and again in 2003. We discussed some things about how the percentage of people in the “below basic” literacy rating decreased, but the percentage of people in the “proficient” literacy rating also decreased. The number of people classified as “intermediate” increased.

What do you think is a potential cause of this trend and what is one solution you think would help that problem?

For example, access to public education for all students would explain the lower amounts of below basic ratings, but the standardized curriculum could also cause lower ratings of proficient literacy. To resolve this problem, perhaps vary the curriculum in schools and focus them on what main literacy standards are expected nationwide.

How would you surpass the boundary of literacy diversity?

In one of the articles we read this past week, we saw how some students struggled in schools because they had a different literacy background and how some teachers overcame that barrier.

For example, the one teacher used rap in order to better understand her students. The author emphasized how important these ideas are in celebrating diversity in literacy and how it can help all students better understand language.

If you were a teacher, what is one method or idea you would implement to better understand the cultural differences that your students have?


Question: Who were your Sponsors of Literacy?

After reading the article on Sponsors of Literacy, I wondered who my sponsors of literacy were. I thought about my parents for putting me through school and now through college so that one day I can take full care of myself, my teachers for teaching me how to do those things and succeed at them, and society in general for requiring such great skills and assets from me in order to be successful in the future. However, all three groups had their own intentions. My parents in order to raise me well enough to take on the world, my teachers in order to do their jobs and do them well for their own benefit, and society for increasing that class gap and making economic gain through education and training in order for individuals such as myself to become more “literate.”

So, who are your sponsors of literacy? What do you believe were their intentions when they “sponsored” you? Were they good or bad intentions? Who benefited more from this “sponsorship?” What does that sponsor mean to you now? Do you believe that Brandt’s idea of “Sponsors of Literacy” holds true in your life?

I feel as if all of us will have very different experiences, and thus very different answers to this question.

Memory of Literacy

My best memory of literacy is from my experiences in the 4th grade with my teacher Mr. Carney. We read a variety of books, but right now the only one I remember clearly is the first book in the Harry Potter Series. I distinctly remember one day when I was reading aloud in class and my teacher complimented how well I read aloud to the class. After that school day, my teacher took my father aside to tell him how great of a reader I was. I never knew this! It was news to my ears but my parents were excited. I didn’t really know what that meant so I just kind of went along with it, but I still hold that day in my memory as one of the nicest academic compliments I ever received in my youth.

-Danielle Newman