Reading Jody Shipka's article was an unusual experience for me, so let try and recount the experience for you:
1) I can't remember how many times I've commented on the blog. Let me check...Oh God! Althusser! Really intelligent things from my peers! I need to think of something intelligent to say about this article!
2) But its almost midnight. Maybe I should be working on my peer review activities for tomorrow? I don't want to be that person who comments at midnight. But now I am. And now you're also the person who talks about commenting at midnight. Where does it end?!
3) "Students must always account for the specific goals they aimed to achieve with their work and then specifically address how the rhetorical, material, methodological, and technological choices they made contributed to the realization of their goals" (287). Amazing! The students are accountable for their own standards.
3a.) Wait, what does that look like, exactly? What actual physical strategies would one use in a classroom to prepare students for a task of this sort? Is there any sort of modelling involved?
4) In a way, it seems that the assignments the common syllabus sets out for our students are a kind of "essay-ified" version of what the assignments that Shipka describes. It seems that her goal in these multi-modal assignments is to have students closely read the world around them and consider the rhetorical arguments launched therein and to choose a rhetorical standpoint from which they can also contribute to that (textual) world. It seems though, that this is an issue of time. I do genuinely want to do something along the lines of what Shipka describes, but when and how will I find the time to do it? Why did life take the cookie away and will I get it back?