So, as this semester has progressed, I’ve determined that there is a delicate balance with regard to alphabetic (Wysocki) composition and digital composing. However, as delicate as this balance seems to be, I am finding it very difficult to discern this, because there’s been so much text stating that it’s the responsibility of the instructor, or the student, or SES, or gender, or culturally-responsive academics…this list could go on, as it has in some of our readings. Yet, I can’t help asking, how in the world do we recognize the proper need in order to balance it?

For example, on page 57, the Selfe states, “The specific strategies for proceeding with this project, however, depend on individual teachers: on their willingness to experiment with new media compositions, to take personal and intellectual risks as they learn to value the kinds of texts, to integrate attention to such texts into curriculum, to engage in composing such works themselves, and on the computer resources, technical support, and professional development that they have available at their specific institutions. These resources, of course, are unevenly distributed, as David’s case suggests, along the related axes of race and class”.

I’ll attempt unpacking this in small portions. First, I think it’s a little much to say that this “project” is dependent on individual teachers. Obviously, our willingness to experiment with novel programs and updated media is the best way for educators to maintain their connection with the multi-media world, but teachers alone cannot take on such a task without the support of administrations. The political implications associated with such a feat are far beyond any one educator, no matter how passionate and innovative they are. I believe that instructors are engaging in the incorporation of new media and are taking risks simply by struggling in doing so. Why do I make this claim? Because (which addresses the latter part of my quote) we are doing these things in environments where we don’t have the kind of professional development that Selfe claims we need, in order to maintain new media integration. We are literally putting the cart before the horse, because the horse is not available to us. This isn’t the case for all instructors, but the majority that I speak to continually stress that they are doing more with less, and trying to keep up with the demands of new media in composition, and at times, it’s frustrating and tedious.

So, if this is how we feel then how do our students feel? I mean, we are an extension of what they learn, so they have to be as frustrated as we are. I find this paragraph frustrating, because it says we need a, b, and c, yet “these resources, of course, are unevenly distributed”. If Selfe can end the paragraph with that statement, then the beginning of it, seems a lot less impacting. It’s like someone came up and blew the wind into my sales, and just when I get moving along the waves at a rapid rate, that same someone comes along and slices my sail right open. I don’t mean to imply that Selfe’s point isn’t right on, because it is. The problem I wish to raise is, what do we do? If we know that colleagues are limited, then we need to find a way to make certain that other students don’t end up with the same problem of flunking out of school. He clearly had the experience and knowledge we want our students to have, but he wasn’t exposed to the traditional curriculum, as well. He didn’t have anyone to see to it that the balance I mentioned in the beginning was addressed. I disagree with the text where David is concerned. He didn’t fail out of the university, the university failed him.