Fresh Starts, New Discourses

When first starting this class, I honestly was not sure what to expect. I have spent that last twelve years in English classes and I was hoping that they all prepared me for what was about to come. This English class is not what I expected it to be at all. The work is challenging and makes me think outside the box but it also allows us to interact with others and hear their opinions. As I was reading through my earlier posts on literacy and Discourses, I have realized that I have learned a lot more than I thought. Even though the semester isn’t even halfway over, I have come to understand and think about literacy in a new way. No longer do I think about it being strictly about grammar and the way a person writes, but more about how a person communicates or manipulates a set of codes or conventions to live healthy and productive lives. Now that I think back, we first started off with our first free write (on grammar) probably because most of our original definitions of literacy included a strong influence on grammar. Then our next free write was about home language. We were being prepped for learning about Discourses before we even knew it. When first learning about Discourses, I was rather unsure about it. But after hearing the class discussions and rereading my work, I have come to appreciate Discourses. What really stuck with me was when the passage on Discourses described Discourses as “ways of recognizing and getting recognized”. This statement rings so clear and true in my head. Our primary Discourse defines us. We are recognized as “so and so’s daughter” or something along those lines. As we move further in live, we integrate into our secondary Discourses, which we are known as “friends, girlfriends, roommates, students, athletes, etc”. At the end of our lives, we are recognized by the Discourse that defined us the most, our lifeworld Discourse (which is clearly impacted by our society). The vignettes have helped me understand some of the Discourses in my life. They may not exactly define every one but it is clear to me why I am the way I am. It is from experience, acquisition, learning, and cultural impacts. Like Carlin talks about in his memoir, he rebelled against his mother yet she is the reason he reached further into comedy. Our experiences lead us to have certain reactions and choices in our lives. This has really made me think a great deal. I wonder what my life would be like if I was in a different Discourse or if I had different experiences in my past. I think about the different factors in my life that have had major impact on my Discourses. My parents have probably the biggest impact on me.

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