Memory Jogs • Did anyone in your home write/text/play sports/listen to music, etc…? • Who were the people who had a role in your development as a writer/texter/athlete/musician: parents, teacher, coaches, mentors, friends? • Who taught you the most about your activity/literacy? • What was the effect of feedback from others on your development? • What did you learn about your activity/literacy at various points in your life? • What was your biggest success? Biggest failure? • What motivates you? What gives you confidence? What causes anxiety? • Is your attitude toward your literacy/activity different now from what it used to be?
Strategies for Getting Started • Several small events • One major event
Several Small Events • Start with the impact that your literacy has had on you. • Example • Impact: Writing helped me overcome my shyness • Autobiographical events: • Being too shy to participate in class discussion but agreeing to read my writing to the class • Writing letters to my boy/girlfriend to express my feelings • Becoming editor of my high school newspaper and meeting friends • Asking questions and participating in online discussions
One major event • Pull out a single event in the development of your literacy and answer the six questions of journalists: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? • Event: In 11th grade, we had this assignment to write a college admissions essay. The teacher put my essay on the overhead projector and tore it to pieces as he read it to the class. • Impact: To this day, I freak out when teachers criticize my writing.
One Major Event • Who: Mr. Farr. He was a big guy, probably in his 40s, with a gray crew cut. He always wore khaki pants and a sport shirt, even in winter. He made a lot of wise cracks. Some students hated him because he picked on kids. • What: The topic for the admissions essay was “ an accomplishment your are proud of.” I wrote about my band. We’d been playing together for 2 years, and everyone said we rocked. • When: Spring of my junior year • Where: Lansing High School-Long Island, NY • Why: Farr was using my essay as an example of what NOT to write in college admissions essay. I was an A student, so maybe he thought I could take the abuse. • How: He put my essay on the screen and read it out loud. The he pretended he was a college admissions person reading the essay, and he got really sarcastic. He said the college didn’t give a rat’s ass about rock bands.
Your turn • Think about the topic you’ve chosen. Now, think about the effect that kind of literacy has had on your life. • Were there several small events that led up to your development as a writer/athlete/musician/spiritual person, etc..? If so, list them here. • Was there one major event that really helped shape your love, fear, or hatred of the topic you’ve chosen. If so, answer the who, what, where, why, and how questions in regards to that event.