Sunday 21 February 2016

//Six of Sixteen//

Week six of the sixteen week semester is now complete!

I have several big deadlines and responsibilities in the second part of this semester, however, the first six weeks of the semester have been quite busy and exciting. I have enjoyed teaching both my CGCC ENG 102 class and my ASU ENG 301 class. Both classes are hybrid, so it has been an adjustment figuring out how to best communicate and help my students when I only see them one day a week. I have been enjoying the classes and my students this semester.

Two new items of note occurred as a result of my internship that I completed last fall semester with Dr. Ellie Long. One outcome was an invitation to participate in an interview with Ellie on rhetoric in this political season. The ASU News Article came out on January 29th, and I have seen and heard positive feedback in terms of the ideas we shared and focus on rhetorical action that we discussed. A second outcome that was more closely related to the internship was the publication of the press release that I wrote discussing the ASU new undergraduate English concentration in Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies. The article was published in the ASU English alumni letter, Accents on English, on February 16th. The ASU alumni letter goes out to over 8,000 alumni and donors, and I was glad to have been able to participate in the marketing of the new major. My friend and colleague, Rebecca Robinson, summed up the excitement well when she shared the article on Facebook:

"I'm excited for this new undergraduate major in the ASU Department of English! Studying writing and rhetoric at the graduate level has certainly been a huge benefit to me; 
I hope we'll see more and more undergraduate degrees in this area as well." 

I have enjoyed the two classes that I am taking this semester as well. I am taking a qualitative methods class through the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and a feminist methodology class through the Women and Gender Studies department. Both have been eye opening in terms of the framing and understanding needed to complete my prospectus and dissertation. I have completed one project for my methodology class that asked us to create a metaphor for feminist methodology. I decided on the metaphor of "feminist methodology as embodied movement." I presented this metaphor through a discussion of my personal yoga practice. My presentation and a yoga flow that I posted on YouTube can be found here: Feminist Methodology & Yoga Flow Project. I enjoyed the project and the creativity involved in linking and presenting of feminist ideology, theory, and methodologies.

The work I have been doing in my classes has been helpful in understanding the texts I am reading on my list for my comprehensive exams. Just tonight, I read the final source on my comps list! It feels like a milestone, even though I have quite a bit of studying left to do. I take my exams in three weeks, so I know that that needs to be my primary focus in the time in between. The source that I read was Dr. Eileen Schell's article "Materializing the Material as a Progressive Method and Methodology." This article just happened to be the final one on my list, but the reading was appropriate in summing up not only some ideas and questions I had been considering about qualitative methods, but it explicitly discussed the relationships between rhetorical theory, material culture, and feminist theory and methodology. Dr. Schell's writing was helpful and revelatory in regards to these specific intersections that I have been working to articulate in my own research. She writes:

"Studying material practices is useful for feminist rhetoricians as it will allow us to examine how women's texts and voices have been 'culturally silenced' or muted" (129). 

Following my comps, this semester I was accepted to present at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) that will be in Houston from April 6-9th. I'm excited to present there, and I recently received this flyer advertising my poster session with Laurenn York. I also just received an email with a notification that I have received a generous individual travel grant from the ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) covering all of my expenses for the trip to Texas! Following the conference, I will then need to shift my focus to completing and defending my prospectus and then composing my final projects and an invited book chapter revision. Now on to week seven!

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