Hope in the Haystack

It appears that the faculty’s typical posture on contemporary writing culture varies significantly from that of the students’.
Documented communication is no longer tied solely to writing. Image, style, appeal, wit, video and trend etc. all serve as rhetorical devices in modern communication. Programs like Instagram, Snapchat etc. all enable haste, accuracy, multi-tasking, innovation and jocularity. Furthermore, attributes of current rhetorical systems include: immediate return, immediate feedback, entertainment, fans and literally followers.
As teachers, we currently compete against the speed of lightning and the emotional rewards of “likes,” “comments” and “followers.” Indeed, self-confidence is enabled as well as stardom. Our students pick and design their online worlds to fit their personal tastes and needs. With such pleasurable, pragmatic and personal agency available to everyone at any age in any corner of the world, students naturally require more from us. They follow celebrities, graphic arts, music, subcultures, geniuses, garbage, politics etc. at once, all while they earn their own followers, fame and feedback.
The sort of “cocky demeanor,” “high expectation,” and “sense of entitlement” emerging around us is no longer perceived as rude or impatient. They are speaking to us in their language which in a tricky way can act as avenues to their passions and motivational interests.
This expectation of a “trophy” easily translates to confidence in oneself, creating a strong platform for large group discussion and class blogging. Their talents and skills in multi-media can and will enrich the art, Composition.
The products of Composition will branch out into network. I surmise into a type of prism structured argument/essay, thereby eliciting more sophisticated, heavily layered and effective critical thinking.
There’s hope and excitement somewhere in this haystack.
–Nicole Hospital-Medina

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