Your Literacy

As we wrap up the semester, for many of us the penultimate semester in our undergraduate lives, I just have a few simple, open-ended questions.

Are you content with your personal literacy? Why or why not?
Are you satisfied with the education you received? What were some educational successes? What would you have changed?

I’ll have to think about this and come back later to answer. Happy portfolio-ing in the meantime!

About cinnabarhorse

I'm Daniel. I'm a senior at Pitt majoring in Chinese. I have a new chair. It's an executive chair. I found it in a dumpster. Yep.
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3 Responses to Your Literacy

  1. JennReed1220 says:

    Unfortunately, I would have to say that I am not wholly satisfied with my personal literacy up to this point. As an English Literature major I feel ashamed to admit that I have read so few of “the classics”, those works of great literature that everyone is supposed to have read – especially those that have opted to specialize in literature. I have yet to pin down any sole reason for this. Was it my education? A lack of interest? A lack of time? A lack of relevancy? I can hardly say what combination of the above have landed me where I am today, but I can certainly comment on the feeling of shame I mentioned in regards to this. This all goes back to the discussion we had in class regarding what is considered to be useful to teach vs. what is actually useful. In other words, how necessary are the greats to the advancement of one’s literacy and education in general? Are more contemporary pieces more useful in terms of relevancy? Who has more say on what is “useful” – the teacher or the student? Is my feeling of shame my own personal feeling or that of one imposed upon me by older generations who have determined that J.D. Salinger is the greatest author of the 20th century and those who have not read his work fall far behind from those that have? I am on the side of the classics, so these feelings are indeed personal; however, this debate is still very interesting and important to the constant reevaluation and improvement of educational methods.

    Another aspect of my literacy that I feel does and always will need improvement is my writing. Writing is one of those skills that needs constant fine tuning due to its many various facets. With so much going into it (i.e. grammar, vocabulary, style, fluidity, etc.) there are so many opportunities for continued improvement. While my high school did not do a horrible job of teaching academic writing, I do feel that my writing skills have improved tremendously throughout my three and a half years of college. Yet, as I have already intimated, they could always use a boost and I anticipate further improvement as I move on to graduate school.

    Overall, I feel that personal literacy constantly evolves (and in, perhaps, some cases devolves) depending on many different factors. Also, one’s own view of their literacy could differ wildly from someone else’s views of the same literacy.

  2. pigtaily biker says:

    Great question Daniel. I’ve been thinking of how to answer this for a while now. I’ve been to busy with finals to take the time, but now that I have a moment I’d love to think a bit about my own personal literacy. First off, I will say this is not my penultimate (thanks for adding to my word bank with that one) semester. I still have a year to go.

    There are so many things to be said in response to this question. I feel good about where my literacy has taken me in life. I’m happy to be in school, receiving an education and working toward a degree. I feel that I am motivated enough of a person to pursue knowledge on my own outside of school and feel literate enough to do so without trouble.

    As for my satisfaction in regards to my education I would have to say that I have mixed feelings. I will always feel some degree of uncertainty with regards to my choice in academic path. I’ve changed my mind so many times, I feel there are so many things that interest me, but finances and the academic system prevent me from exploring interest beyond my own academic plan. I feel that some courses have gone over my head all together. I missed the point of Philosophy of Logic and Urban Anthropology, but oddly enough International Political Economics and Planetary Geology struck a cord with me. I will never forget those relevant lessons I learned in Biology regarding tomato plants, considering my diseased one at home. I feel that this class in particular, being my first with any relation to education has been very relevant to me as a future educator and someone who currently works with children seeking their own path to literacy. I feel that I can’t recall many lessons that I learned in the past, though there are certain things that will stick with me forever. I can’t really say whether I feel wholly satisfied of unsatisfied with my education. I am anticipating my further dive into the world of education and am hoping that I find a happy home in the field until then, this question lingers. Thanks for the great discussion questions! Happy Winter!

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