As a result of these first-felt pangs of loneliness (oh that first cut is the deepest)—as well as a result of frustrations regarding The World Without Us (discussed more thoroughly on the next “page”)—my syllabus schedule changed dramatically from the beginning of the quarter to the middle. Originally, I planned to read the entire text of WWU, and even focus paper 2 on an issue arising from within five specific chapters of the book. I changed this plan because my attempts at incorporating WWU left our class discussions wholly disconnected from the structures, purposes, and necessities of the students’ paper assignments. Instead, I allowed students to choose their own topic (approved by me). I found myself making broader and broader “connections” to the book. Forcing students to draw connections between their chosen paper topics and the problems expressed in WWU became problematic, as their topics did not directly relate and most attempts at relation were awkward and disconnected.
Inspired by Matthew Heard’s application of postprocess theory (discussed more thoroughly on the third page”), I introduced my students to the concept of discourse community and asked them to write their proposal papers for an actual living, breathing community beyond the classroom. The assignment led to a discussion about the discourse of the Academe; the “place” of home language and knowledge in academic writing; and our tendency to write for the professor only. One student will submit her proposal to a local high school and it will be published in their newsletter. This is of ultimate interest to me and I hope to reflect on this experience more thoroughly in my final teaching reflection.