Sunday, July 24, 2005

Para Damian

I've been away from writing and thinking about my project. My problem is that I like exploring and writing about history and women and somehow linking those to stories to today but I don't like to have to limit my writing to composition. So there I go.

Some of my ideas and conflicts about hybridity stem from my life and the sense of not really fitting in anywhere. This is true particularly when it comes to academicSpeak. Also, sometimes people get enamored of the "exotic" differences between themselves and minority or class groups they "study" without somehow wanting to appropriate those ideas and making their use seem trivial or worse undoable, even when well intentioned. For example, in '97, Bizzell spoke about teaching a hybrid language. Now really in this country is that really going to happen? I don't think so. We have to teach standard uses of language despite any idealism we may have. Also, Cultures and Communities create the hybrid languages. how can that be taught out of contexts where languages grow and prosper?

Also, Bizzell did not speak about this until after she read some selected essays by one or two Latinas--Anzaldua and Maria Lugones.

Anzaldua's stories are about the changes in communities that occur when cultures clash and mix. She writes about speaking her indigenous indian, spanish, and english(es). At least we can see the differences between formal language for those in the academy and the englishes from texas and mex-tex, in additon to the more formal spanish and indian languages or her moving from one to the other.

Chela Sandoval a Chicana who came to speak at the UofA when I ws there spoke about the ability to move between languages. she used the word differential which reminded of a part of the automobile that makes it possible for shifting to occur and that metphor has always stuck in my head.

Also, Maria Lugones talks about the inabity to truly remove elements of your identity/language when attempting to "assimilate" and speak a purely "proper" english. I am putting those words in her mouth because I don't have her article in front of me now.

So as a teacher and now as an administrator I once again must dance that fine dance between encouraging freedom and creativity in my students' work and getting them to the point where they can engage with other academic fields of writing successfully. I still need to address the departments' needs and the students' needs. Usually they just need more time.

Hasta luego!
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