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From the Editor:
Compromise and Collaboration
One of the great joys of teaching -- in the writing classroom, on the basketball court, anywhere -- is learning from your students. As the staff of Kairos waded through the production issues facing our first-ever issue, then, I found it marvelously appropriate that one of the people I learned the most from was a 17-year old first-year student at Rensselaer named Rob Jennings.
Until three weeks ago (as this issue hits the Web), Rob was a student in my Expository Writing Class at RPI. In working with him individually during the semester -- I was fortunate to have only 12 students in my class -- I discovered that his entire approach to "writing" (as defined by adminstrators here and many other places) is ... is ... to invoke Michael Heim here ... "it is ... well, different."
I think, somewhere along the way, I helped Rob learn a little about writing at the sentence level, and what it means to invoke or address an audience. I'm positive that he helped me re-think what I mean when I say "writing space," and the concept of "transitions." Sure, I taught him a little grammar, and he taught me a little code; but moreso we learned from each other that we can think differently about writing itself. He doesn't hate it any more. I don't preach it any more.
As Rob and his classmates struggled to find a compromise between and among the demands of the administrative requirements for Expos, my own pedagogical tendencies, and their creative instincts, we discovered that the face-to-face classroom can be as much of a hypertextual writing environment as a Web screen or a Hypercard stack. Dialogic, responsive, interactive, decentered. We hit "reload" a lot.
Which, not coincidentally, brings me to the point of this Editor's Note - just how we envision this journal's "place" on the Web and in the academy.
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