The first post…

Here goes…

Everyone who ever starts a blog has to write a first post. How many of those posts start something like — “Here goes…”? Probably more than we need to count. Does it matter? Not really. What matters, I think, or at least what I tell my students is getting started…so…here goes…

My name Jason and I teach composition at Pierce College in Lakewood, WA. I have started and failed to keep a handful of blogs over the years. Well, mostly during some stretches between 2006 – 2012-ish. These were often short-term experiments related to my teaching and research, and ultimately this attempt is no different. I am starting this blog because I am asking my composition students this quarter to start and develop blogs as a part of their research and writing processes. I haven’t used blogs in classes for while. I’ve come back around to them for a handful of reasons. One, I’ve been intrigued by a return to, or reinvestment in the blog by some scholars and writers whose work I’ve followed for a while. I’ll have more to say about this in another post perhaps, but for now you can read about this return to blogging here. I have also been thinking about the intersections of computer programming and composition and concepts like minimal computing and a domain of one’s own. Again, I’ll hopefully explore these in more detail in later posts, but generally I’ve started working with and thinking about blogs again because they seem like a possible in road into having students explore multiple visions of composing in the context of digital culture. Blogs have an “old school” or “old media” vibe about them at this point and that’s interesting to me. I wonder if or how we might be able to understand the future of composing via playing in the grain of the past with something like the blog? Finally, and I guess this is why many folks get back to blogging or start doing it in the first place — I want to write more. I want to reboot my own writing practice. I’ll admit I’m not sure what this means or will look like yet, but this blog, like so many other’s blog is a start.

A couple of things to keep in mind as a reader, and here I’m really thinking about the students this quarter in my composition courses. While I am teaching 3 different composition courses — English 101, 102 and 235 — and each of these classes has a basic blog project, I myself will only be keeping this one blog. So you may find material in here related to any one of the three courses I’m teaching. That might seem disorienting if you happen to be looking to my blog for specific answers to questions about our specific class or about your own blog project. In general, besides all the reasons hinted at above, I am keeping this blog in an effort to write alongside my students and I hope that my composing will serve as a sort of working model for how you might approach your own work. By working model, I don’t mean that the choices I make are the correct ones or even the only ones. My blog work simply represents one approach among many that you might consult.

All in all I’m looking forward to rediscovering the blog. I hope I can do this even half as well as I know many of my students will.