Walk on By

As I read the first of the two versions I felt as though this was more a commentary on the entire aura in the 1980’s that at night African Americans were only out to commit crimes.  Thought the article was largely composed of stories of Staples life it also included references to writers of other books on the subject.  It seemed to inform more formally, it had less of a personal feel.

The second draft, however was far more in line with the idea of a memoir.  It was focused on the “games” that staples would play with lone white night walkers.  It is more concerned with his experiences with the racism that was prevalent in that time period.

From the first to second draft of the piece, the topic and feeling that the story portrayed shifted drastically.  It centered more on him and his life.  The article published in the new york times was a comment on the situation using his life experiences as examples while the second version was focused entirely on him.  Through the course of revision this entire piece was changed and took on a whole new mood and subject matter.

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Between the Drafts

Though I am a member of the large group of college students and students in general that turn in their first draft and hope for the best, I am aware that this is not the best strategy.  Usually when I do go back and edit what i have written it does make a slight improvement of two.  That being said it sometimes does cause inconsistencies.  The inclusion of personal stories and experiences in an academic writing, I feel, really helps to improve the quality of the writing that I am producing.

The strict use of academic writing really turns people off from the action.  Informal and creative writing should be included in the classroom in order to pull people in to the discipline and keep them interested.  I for one can write for pages and pages with no problem but if i have to write about a research topic or something that is not interesting to me or unrelated i struggle to get the first word down on the page.

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Tom Dunkel

The world will never reach a consensus on anything.  It is next to impossible to get more than 10 people to agree on a course of action in any situation.  This article illustrates that perfectly.  The addition of some kind of polarizing or controversial topic into the mix is never helpful.  I think the way that Wikipedia goes about correcting and solidifying the facts in an article is good but not good enough.  It is a tall order to find an agreement on the stance of a person on the state of Israel or gay marriage or anything like that.  Short of exclusively defining those topics there will always be a fight over their contents.

In this case I believe that Daniel Bryant did everything that could possibly be done to get everyone to agree on the contents of the article.  The same problem seen here is seen anywhere that something that can contain opinion is written or talking about.  The mediation process that Bryant did was the best possible in the situation and given the controversy.

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Baron

I happen to have done a small amount of research into this topic and have found what Baron says to be absolutely correct in regards to people acceptance or rejection of new technology used in literacy.  In the course of my research i found that thought the vast majority of people prefer to type their works there is still a small enclave that rejects the new technology in favor of the way they grew up.  They say that it gives the writing more character.

With each leap and bound of literacy technology there are always its proponents and detractors.  The technology of writing itself was originally met with skepticism.  People had been telling stories orally for thousands of years, why change?  It take the dissemination of the technology away from the wealthy and educated to the common people before things start to catch on.  Texting was at one time a luxury and now it is as common as phone calls.  There are of course many people who reject it as impersonal. However like all things literary and not once something takes hold it will grow.  Eventually pencils became cheap, pens became common, and computers became smaller.  All this was accepted by the population and it will continue in this process for the foreseeable future.  The very things once held at arms length will be taken into the warm embrace of society.

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Heath

I found this article really intriguing.  The way that the Trackton children learn is far different from the way that children are normally taught.  In many ways it is superior and in other was it is not.  the way these children learn is through their parents.  They are not read stories or books.  They learn from their environment.  This is not very foreign to me.  It was not read stories when I was a child.  The way that I was taught was actually rather similar to these people.  I have found the way that the Trackton children are taught to sound like it is rather useful and in a way better than the way that children in normal formal schooling are taught.  They learn through connections which if you think about it is one of the most important ways that one can think.  Thinking critically about the origins of things or the way that they relate to each other is a critical skill.  In college we have whole classes devoted tot that one concept.

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Lamott

Shitty first drafts is a great way to title the first edition of any writing.  I personally always write shitty first drafts.  Its hard to quantify exactly how i write first drafts because i just write once then revise the whole thing in a rolling process.  I see the point of just letting your hands write.  This can yield some of the most profound information and can lead you in directions that you wouldn’t have thought of before.  It takes a wandering mind to create greatness.

I agree with the idea of writing pages upon pages in hopes that a paragraph or two will draw you to the work that you need. You can’t plan out everything in a piece before you write it.  That leads me, at least, to sounding unemotional and without actual interest in what I’m writing.  I think that just applying what ever pops into your head to a piece of paper to get something down is a great way to start the writing process and is my preferred tactic.

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Sommers

I tend to think of revision as a continual process when I write.  I rarely go back and rewrite my whole paper into another draft or change large chunks of it after completing the whole thing.  I agree with the students that Sommers interviewed. I write as I would talk and revision is not an easy task for me.  I am usually happy with the first way that I say things and may only return to change some minor grammar things or rework some vocab but I seldom change sentence structure or the basic organization of my work.  I do not like to change things because for me at least when I switch things around and redo sections of work they never fit as neatly or easily as the original section did.

I do not agree that writing should be treated differently than speech.  I would much rather read someones words than someones thoughts that have been strained and reviewed and edited.  Speech has the benefit of spontaneity and the small differences that we all add to our speech make it unique and interesting and large amounts of review remove that character that is Nesselrode to make a work interesting and worth while to read.

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