I completely accede with Bartholomae`s argument that “Education may be well be, as of right, the instrument whereby every individual, in a society like our own, can gain access to any kind of discourse.”(1) As Bartholomae’s argues when a student’s join college they have to appropriate a specialized discourse at a scholastic level by inventing university and assembling and mimicking its language, finding a compromise between personal history, and the requirements of convention accrued in the history of the discipline.
As a basic writer and a freshman in college, I am also plagued by the same problems that Bartholomae’s points out in his article that face new students in college. I am faced with a challenge of being unable to take the voice of authority -the voice of a person whose authority is rooted in scholarship, analysis and research – in writing and ending up offering an academic advice rather than academic conclusions as scholars do. However, being in a liberal arts setting where writing is preciously valued, I am more than determined to acquire what Michel de Certeau calls the academy of scriptural economy. I am navigating and putting myself in a position where I can feel more assured about my capacity to make my points succinctly and elegantly.
Having faced some difficulty in navigating from a reader based to a writer based point of view, I am now more concise about what I write than ever. I am considering brevity and the essence to make a point economically as crucial to writing in college. I am conscious of my reader’s reaction when reading my writing and putting into consideration on who might be interested, and how I might attract their interested to keep them reading my work till the end. Also putting into consideration about the reader’s expectations while writing is something that I have figured out that will keep me way from rambling and help me ensure that I use a variety of voices and interpretive schemes in writing.
Another problem that I am figuring out and trying to maneuver my way around it is taking a point of privilege and authority while writing work that will be read by a professor. This because in my perspective as a student there is a sense of inferiority in denying the traditional set of classroom where the teacher has all the power and the student has very little. This has in previous years affected my ability to become one with the reader as Bartholomae’s concurs with Linda flower argument about connecting with reader`s biases and assumptions. According to Bartholomae’s this should be done to create a rapport with the reader by accommodating their motive and taking a role as an insider in the subject before laying out a controversial argument. (3)
Lastly, as of late I can`t hide my feeling and say that in am not overwhelmed by the fact that I am being inducted into the world of elites where I have no idea who I am as a scholar. A world that I have to speak and write with authority not only in another`s voice but also through the code of those with power and wisdom. I feel I have more to do about transitionig my writing dimensions from a reader based prose to a writer based prose.
Bartholomae, David. “Inventing the University.” 1985. Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. 2nd Ed. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Urbana: NCTE, 2003. Print.