Responses from Chelsea

Emily's question: Murray ends his piece by stating, "He must not write to write," which is something that I find myself doing all the time to keep up with assignment due dates. My question is, if we must do this, what methods do you find effective to handle the difficult task of having to produce multiple writing assignments a week? (Murray reading in Miller text)

Emily, I totally know how you feel about the unrealistic idea of 'time' for graduate students to write. That's exactly what I was thinking when I read Murray's article (Time?! What time!?!?!) We always get slammed with excessive amounts of writing, especially at the end of the semester when final research essay are usually due in each of our classes.

As to your question, I have two very different answers. What I advise to students with multiple writing assignments due is one thing, and what I do is something totally different. At the WC, I try to encourage student to write excessively. Just write, write, write and eventually, at a later point, they will read through all of that writing and find tidbits they want/need to keep. They can start to shape a draft from a mountain of a writing if all else fails. The mentality is that it's better to have too much than not enough.

Now, when I have a lot of writing due in the same week, I try to start as early as possible if I see conflicting due dates. The operative word here is "try". Since I'm not perfect, I usually will start both assignments the weekend before they're due. In that case, I switch back and forth between assignments. I work on one until I absolutely have nothing else to write, and then I move onto the other assignment. I continue this cycle until something of a draft is complete for each assignment. During undergrad, I used to 'binge write' the night before something was due, then poorly edit it the next day... needless to say that method doesn't work at all. Never got higher than a 'B' on those writings :) Hope this helps!

Response to Wilma: With all its wonderful offerings, does Expressivism need a theoretical base? (Burnham reading in Tate text)

In response to the question does Expressivism need a theoretical base, I would argue yes. In class we have discussed the crucial importance of understanding why we teach the way we teach, why we choose to do things and believe things the way we do. Plus, creating a theoretical base opens up the door for examining/critiquing weak/ineffective/queationable areas/ideas/methods/beliefs that could use improvement in the field of expressivism. Above, I completely agree with what Wendy says about this issue: Without a theoretical base, it is difficult to establish its validity as a taught curriculum or to establish appropriate forms of measurement that give at least an impression of objectivity.

Also, in our theory class last semester, I did notice something about established theory styles. The theories which turn into practice, essays, and responses become more and more established and valid as more people respond to the more well known theorist or write revisions of said theorists. In any case, theory is the underpinning of how and why we teach/believe and how we can discuss and write about those beliefs.