Journal Entry #7

How did my interviewee respond?

My brother really enjoyed my paper. He wasn’t particularly excited or anything. Which didn’t surprise me at all. He was interested in whether I was going to get a good grade. I told him it was well received and I was certain that I would receive an A. He was please to heard it and took some of the credit (LOL).

What did I learn from this project?

I didn’t think I would learn a lot from this project. Having known my brother my whole life I figured I would learn anything new. Furthermore, being a gamer for most of my life I didn’t think that I would learn anything about online gaming either. Most of what was written in my paper I knew generally, but I didn’t know the details. For example, I knew players would buy good equipment for the game. However, I didn’t think other gamers really cared. I turns out it was considered a big violation in the gaming community. Finally, I learned how difficult playing Final Fantasy 14 can be to play and master. I was more impressed that my brother was good at the game.

Aya Y. Martinez “Personal Reflection” – Journal Entry #4

A good story is compelling on many fronts. Your interested in the topic and are intrigued by the main protagonists. I find that a story should be well researched and clearly explained. A good story succeeds in enthralling the audience with the narrative, an important event or entertaining character. A writer should do their best to paint a pictures that accurately expresses what they’re trying to tell the reader. If appropriate be funny. Make sure all the important characters are well written, so readers could relate to them more.

A story doesn’t always need to start at the beginning, but most people expect them to. What’s most important that the structure of your story make sense for the story your telling. If your not starting at the beginning its important to make that clear a some point. You wouldn’t want to lose your audience by confusing them. When it comes to language focus on the audience you most want to reach. How would the speak? What would they understand?

You probably can’t predict the language need for everyone, but aim for most. While, I don’t think Martinez would have wanted to limit her audience I do think her primary targets were, people with similar stories to her and people that are willing to listen. That said her language is largely universal. She may have learned “broken” English and Spanish, however, it doesn’t seem to have made her writing hard to read. She give examples with experience she had in her life. I think this is the most effective method when trying to get audience to see your viewpoint.

Gretchen McCulloch “Good English” – Journal Entry #3

In Gretchen McCulloch’s article, “Why Do You Think You’re Right about Language? You’re Not,” explains what is called a “micro language.” She states that English speakers have “an intuitive sense of what sounds like fluent use of language and what doesn’t.” According to her article, we all have our own micro language, these different languages are often the by product of being a different race, gender, education or geographic location.

Our personal languages are influence by many other aspect such as the culture we consume. The types of books we read, jobs we have or hobbies can result in different vocabularies being created. McCulloch argues that “no two people end up speaking the same language.” The term for the individual dialect we all have is “idiolect.” This concept includes everything from word choice, to pronunciation and even color differences.

We all create our own English throughout our lives, picking up preferred aspects we find in the environment. However, no one “English” is better than another. It still matters whether we agree on “some writing conventions,” and we can continue to value “concise and well-organized speech or writing.” McCulloch concludes that, the “best” English often means the language spoken by the most powerful. While seeking to gain status by learning this English is reasonable, it’s an example of the privilege some people are born with.

Having the “proper” English happens by luck. None of us can control where we are born, so why penalize people for how we speak. Gretchen McCulloch argues that we penalize people to maintain already established power structures and I agree. Clearly, the concept of a “good” English is arbitrary. It might be best to simply speak the English we grew up with, we could learn from each other.

Academia, Love Me Back – Journal Entry #2

The message of Tiffany Martinez’s, Academia Love Me Back, is that “bias, stereotypes and  generalizations,” cause pain to the marginalized. Tiffany is constantly having to “swallow pain” after having to deal with various slights that come her way. She has to minimize her emotions so that she can function as a student. This consistent disrespect has undermined Tiffany’s confidence in herself. She often questions if she’s good enough.

Tiffany didn’t feel that she belonged in the learning environments she was apart of. One particular humiliation stood out to her. Her professor returned her paper and in front of the class claimed that Tiffany wasn’t using her “language.” Of course the assumption her was that because of who she is, Tiffany was incapable of producing the quality of work she presented.

In Arguments Based on Emotion, by Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters, they talk about the power of “emotional appeals.” Tiffany’s blog post is filled with emotion. Hurt by unfair treatment she is angry. She uses her anger to impart on the audience the negative effect of having her abilities be doubted all the time. She’s aware that the audience may not share her pain or understand. However, she will use her emotion to fuel her as she advocates for change.


Mothers Tongue – Journal Entry #1

Amy Tan’s, Mothers Tongue focuses on her relationship with the English language. A writer, Amy loves language. To her language can ” evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” She talks of the “different Englishes,” she was exposed to growing up. Amy Tan had developed a perfected English, one that she didn’t use with her mother.

Amy’s mother spoke with what was called “broken English.” While Amy never liked the term, as it bestowed negative aspects on to her mother. She talks of her the “English” she had with her mother as being “family talk.” I found it interesting that she saw language as belonging to a group of people or even individuals. One of the most quote’s for me was when explained that she always preferred math to English. She stated that “Math was precise; there is only one answer. Whereas, for me at least, the answer on English tests were always a judgement call.”

This resonated with me, as it’s my exacted feeling regarding my early view of English. However, I don’t have the same experience with language that Amy has. My family isn’t from another country so I don’t have much experience with “broken” English. That said, we did share a similar experience getting better at writing.

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