Today we are told to write. Just write, about what went on in class for Wednesday or to write notes or to do both, just write. When I got to class at about 10:55 on the dot class was just a little weird but nothing out of the ordinary. We had class outside with all of the chairs drug to the patio, it was quite nice. For some reason it is still warm outside even though it is approaching NOVEMBER. Side not: Why does Durango seem to ever be cold like the rest of the state? But back to the class, Bill started out the class giving us crap about how he has never had a class more hatful on some “fake chocolate candy” because the previous class he had given us tootsie rolls and there was some back lash to why would we ever eat this! So Bill then proceeds to pull out that good stuff, Reese’s Peanut Buttercups – what we deserve. Bill then asks the question is anyone going to dress up for Halloween and if we would be wearing it to class on Friday. Bill is claiming that he is, but not much are willing to because what is the point? He then makes the claim what if I give you scholars extra credit? Opening some of the kids eyes and attention.

“All the time we are making claims. Lets go to this movie. I cant I got work but tomorrow lets go.”

Now Bill is calling on students and asking there opinions on the subject to dress up or not dress up. Asking students to make their claims. I still do not know why Bill is always making us make claims and statements but I know there is a method to the madness somewhere down the road.  Maybe to get us to think about the way we use language or how we interact with one another on a day to day basis? I do not know. Back to the class setting.

Katelyn makes the claim – If we dress up in a costume we will get extra credit.

Tyler – Effort and the cost of a costume is reason enough to not dress up

Josh – can we please just do it but Jon – quickly rebuttaling that some will not want to dress up

Claire – its fun

Ethan – You get to make connections with other people in costumes

Bill – he makes counter proposal saying it has to have an academic reason, so it is. Those who dress up on Friday as a sign that they understand the process of argument for dressing up and not dressing up. It will be a sign of participation that they took notes and engaged.

We all agree as we take a vote and not one student is against it.

After writing this and now reading through my notes a couple more times I see that Bill is using all of these claims and exercises to demenstraight how people argue. How to really what is argument. How the use of it is all around us and everyday. In my opinion like Drew said “we fight all the time to get what we want” which is a brief but pretty accurate definition of what argument is and used for. We are learning to argue here, in class, to better our skills outside of school and in the world.


Writing as much as we did for was pretty fun to see the things that your mind would come up with after going blank. I really enjoyed the assignment but I am sure that some hated it as well. We were supposed to write for 10 minute periods without stopping even for a second. After a while you run out of things to say and you can hear Bill yammering away trying to distract you. He’s good at that. But you start to come up with pretty funny things and so did the class once you left your mind free and imagination just go which ever way it pleases.

Bill would give us pretty random topics to write about and let us go. the first topic I wrote about was my quite crazy weekend in Denver with my best friends. I loved writing that one because I love to tell stories of real events of the past weekend to a room of people and that’s what my audience was. I kept it light and a little more than G-rated because of that. But I still didn’t see the reason behind it that Bill was hoping for.

The next topic was about “left foot, candy and the end of the world” and I broke them into three separate chunks, which Bill said he had never seen before in previous classes, and wrote away. The first one was boring and unfunny, it bored me when I read over it just now talki9ng about my soccer days because I was left footed. the second and third were just more entertaining and funny in my opinion. It was a make believe story but just the honest truth about how I wouldn’t be equip to save the world at all and how much a I hated candy and sweets with a passion. In the end I found out I did the assignment way out of left field, in a bad way. There were other students that did a much better job, one that was most note worry was Josh. He absolutely killed it. He tied all of the three topics into one big story about how candy was killing us all making it the end of the world and his left foot was to save the whole world as we know it from dying right in front of us. Quite funny.

From the experience after it was over I then realized Bill’s motive for the whole assignment. it’s all about connections and transfer that you make to tie all assignments together, what fellow scholars like Josh did. I’m starting to see the point that Bill is pushing for us to understand in his class this semester. TRANSFER. Getting students to transfer know ledge from one class to the other and in school work. To write better you much make connections within the paper about all things just for that one story. “that is how Hollywood does it” said bill. That’s how you really become great. So from this assignment even though I did not do it right I saw the point of it by the end, to work on interweaving all thoughts and points into one to get the best out of what you are doing. To build on one after another and you will get something much better. The experience was a little tasking and little fun but also tiring! And I also liked hearing from the scholars in the class room. That was funny and also helped with my learning process.


  • All three authors, Victor Villanueva , Malcom X and Emily Strasser discussed the power of reading, knowledge and writing
  • Also all authors discussed the  feelings of displeasure they felt about the disconnect many higher education professors demonstrated
  • Malcolm X (p. 126)   noted ” my alma mater was books, a good library.”  He believed no college could have delivered all the information he learned  from his curiosity from reading . Reading everything he was the least interested in.
  • Malcom X understood that reading in prison changed the course of his life (p. 126) this is also true for Villanuueva’s  labored learning of writing (p. 109)
  • Villanueva wrote whatever was on his mind (p.109) as did Strasser (p.200)
  • Strasser demonstrated how writing is a “superficial skill if you are only writing with the devices of grammar” (p. 200)
  • Strasser notes bell hooks “disparages the separation of mind, body , and spirit  that she sees that is  prevalent in the academy” (p.201)
  • Strasser, Villanueva, and Malcom X all demonstrated that reading and writing can bring feelings of separation or elitism
  • Villanueva wrote “making decisions about what language practices to use it not just a matter of learning something new, but of deciding who to be.”(p.107)
  • Strasser spoke of deciding who to be through  writing by using the “whole being, one that is intensely personal” (p.199)
  • Strasser could not separate the academic from the personal side of the writer, which is not unlike the other authors.
  • Malcom X learned countless histories and could not separate the histories of all whites from those of blacks throughout history .He also learned of all the sufferings,   struggles and  exploitation  of the worlds black , brown, red and yellow peoples at the hands of the white man (p.124)
  • Malcolm X say “everyday the truth is coming to light” (p.123)
  • Malcom X described himself as an “articulate hustler commanding attention with the words he read ” (p.210)
  • Villanueava felt he  should write whatever came to his mind and his poetry had meaning and his life was meaningful with  language. (p. 110)
  • Vallanueava felt a “great deal of insecurity well up from being the minority literally in academics and in color’ (p.112)
  •  This same insecurity is mentioned throughout the writings  by demonstrating the often exaggerated feelings of superiority  those outside of higher ed. feel when interacting with those in higher ed.  (p.210)
  • Vallanueava believed to write with intent (p.116) as did Strasser who thought we should write about experiences, interests and ideas to convey purposeful writings. (p.200)
  • Strasser also wrote of having a balanced life as a student one filled with school, sleep, and social lives,  (p. 201) This allows writing to be more in touch with readers and hopes for teachers that can teach their students to be “self-actualized” ( p. 201)
  • Strasser and Vallanueava believed in writing that were applicable to the world (p. 203) and demonstrated the love of writing can be achieved with proper encouragement
  • Strasser demonstrated Stanley Fish rigid thoughts that writing must be first taught with only grammar in mind, but she believes that will not empower the writer. (p.204)
  • All three writings common thread included the empowerment of the written word, reading, knowledge gained from reading, and the “expressive voices that tell stories”. (p.204)