MLA Thoughts, Too

Pronunciation
The title reminded me, did you know that Scots pronounces two as t-woe? So two and too do not rhyme in Scots. They didn’t rhyme in Middle English either. Chaucer, etc., said it the same way the Scots do now. I think that would be interesting to my students. Or maybe not.

Composing strategies
What difference in composition strategies are there between print and electronic composing?

hand-writing-colorWhen I write on paper I do a lot of scratching out. I can see the old writing and revert to it. When I do that it looks like this and then I put a check mark next to it: I scratch out.+

(Yes, I know a plus sign isn’t a check mark, but I don’t know how to do one of those electronically.)

Usually when I am composing on the computer, I delete. I can revert quickly, if I think I have made a mistake, but I can’t go back three days later and revert.

I also write and write and write when I am on paper and I do more mental composition first when I am working on the computer.

Do you know of specific composing strategies that differ according to the medium?

Academics
Someone said, “Academia requires a limitation or minimization of the personal in a description of the person.”

I so think this is true.

Obviously I am not the most successful academic and I wonder sometimes if this is because I intrude my personal into my academic persona, or, more accurately, if I do not allow my academic persona to be a complete and covering costume for who I am.

Here is an example:
I was asked for a biography of myself for a position on the Executive Council of a small English discipline conference.

PhD in rhetoric and composition from Purdue, with an Old English minor
MA in literature from Abilene Christian U, master’s thesis on Hemingway, medieval lit minor
BSEd in history and English, biology minor

7 years an adjunct while homeschooling my two sons, who are now in college.
Presently teaching at Lone Star College and Houston Baptist University. I will be teaching a pilot course of freshman composition for health science majors at LSC, plus a normal composition course. I have a developmental writing, two sophomore writing in the behavioral sciences, and a senior business writing course at HBU.

This last year I presented at
Popular Culture Assoc national, with a rhetorical analysis of FoxNews.com and the pre-convention coverage. This included qualitative work.
ALA on Gilman’s presentation of mental illness in “The Yellow Wallpaper”
TYCA SW on educating our students with computers
Computers & Writing on sustainable learning and high tech
PCA-SWTx on religion in science fiction
CCTE on computers and on using fairy tales to introduce literature

I have been accepted to present at Conference on Christianity and Literature, SCMLA, and MLA in the fall.

I have a book on How to Write about Shakespeare’s Romances contracted with Chelsea Publishers. They will have the book October 1.

I have a set of essays on Benj Franklin’s autobiography coming out in the General Themes in Literature series.

… I have several other pieces in the pipeline (submitted, in review, in revision).

I’m happily married and have been for twenty years and have two brilliant sons. I write poetry for fun. I have a beagle.

Those last few things are probably not relevant. I guess I could have just sent my CV. That would at least be easier to scan.

I was asked for several different versions, and then I finally got this email:

could you send me a slightly more compressed version of the bio you emailed me?

When I did that, giving her two versions, I finally got this:

Could you possibly email me a capsule bio of l50-l75 words, one that I could easily Xerox for the perusal of the Councilors? I love the first one you sent me, but I have since learned that the work must be slightly formal, and no more than 200 words max.

Yes, she was wonderful and I am sorry I kept adding to her work by not giving her what she needed.

I was so paranoid by this time, that I asked one of her colleagues to peruse my final version, which they said was fine.

Dr. Davis received her PhD from Purdue University in Rhetoric and Composition. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s from Abilene Christian University. She is presently an adjunct professor teaching six writing classes for Houston Baptist University and Lone Star College.

Dr. Davis’ work has been published by the peer-reviewed journals CEA Forum and Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice. Upcoming publications include work in Changing English: An International Journal of English Teaching, a chapter on Civil War holidays, and two poems. Her book How to Write About Shakespeare’s Romances is forthcoming from Chelsea Publishers.

Dr. Davis presented eleven conference papers in the last year and has nine scheduled for the next. Her involvement in English education extends beyond the officially academic and her blog Teaching College English receives over seven thousand hits a month. Her recent research projects include rhetorical analysis of the language of sexual assault survivors and writing in the disciplines.

This version was deemed professional enough and I was finished.

I now keep it in a file marked “formal bio” in order to send to people who need it, like the scholars introducing me for my MLA presenations.

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