What is a Scholar
AAR 1 Blog Post
David Bartholomae is an American Scholar in composition studies. He is currently an english professor at the University of Pittsburg. Bartholomae received his PHD from Rutgers University. He is an award winning an author who has written various published books and essays. One of his most famous articles “Inventing The University” is read all over America by college students beginning their journey at university.
Bartholomae’s “Inventing The University” talks about college students transition from high school to this new professional world at college. Bartholomae argues “[students] have to invent the university by assembling and mimicking its language…they must dare to speak it, or to carry off the bluff” (Bartholomae 5). Students at college must learn on the fly. Bartholomae expects students to dive in to the college culture as soon as they arrive, and until you can fully embrace or understand the culture you are expected to fake it until you do. In many ways that has been my experience at college so far. Instantly learned that this was the expectation from all professors. One thing that made this very clear to me was when one my professors talked about how you should email him. He made it clear he expected it to be formal and things should always be kept professional. Classrooms discussions were also of this nature. They are serious and to the point and conversation is expected to stay to the article at hand and side comments are not appreciated. The voluntary nature of college makes the expectations greater from professors you no longer have to be here it was a choice and since you choose this you are expected to perform at that level.
Bartholomae argues that one of main components of inventing the university is learning who your audience is and learning how to address them. There is a way to speak to with certain people that should not be spoken with others. Bartholomae goes on to make an analogy about this. “It is assumed that a person of low status (like a shepherd) can speak to a person of power(like a courtier) but only if he is not a shepherd but actually a member of the court” (Bartholomae 9). While I agree that tailoring your writing to the audience is important, I think you can do so while still remaining who you are. In writing you are not always going to be an insider. Each subject you write for will not be your strength and you will be an outsider. However, I think thats ok, professors will recognize you have different strengths and as long as you can show them you will be accepted in the classroom. As a freshman part of my goal is to stay true to who I am. Im not going to try to be something I’m not in order to be approved socially or academically.
Bartholomae, David. “Inventing the University.” 1985. Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. 2nd Ed. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Urbana: NCTE, 2003. Print.