Blogging and the Extracurriculum of Composition

These are some apt quotations I culled from Kitchen Tables and Rented Rooms: The Extracurriculum of Composition by Anne Ruggles Gere. They're just clippings; I don't have any commentary at the moment but to call your attention to the fact that all the blogging and Xanga-ing and LiveJournaling and Facebooking and MySpacing that college-age students do is an important part of the extracurriculum of composition -- but you already knew I'd say that.

In concentrating upon establishing our position within the academy, we have neglected to recount the history of composition in other contexts; we have neglected composition's extracurriculum. (p. 79)

my version of the extracurriculum includes the present as well as the past; it extends beyond the academy to encompass the multiple contexts in which persons seek to improve their own writing; it includes more diversity in gender, race, and class among writers; and it avoids, as much as possible, a reenactment of professionalization in its narrative. (p. 80)

[Gere points to] the need to uncouple composition and schooling, to consider the situatedness of composition practices, to focus on the experiences of writers not always visible to us inside the walls of the academy. (p. 80)

The extracurriculum I examine is constructed by desire, by the aspirations and imaginations of its participants. It posits writing as an action undertaken by motivated individuals who frequently see it as having social and economic consequences, including transformations in personal relationships and farming practices. (p. 80)

Like medical doctors who learn from nutritionists, shamans, and artists without compromising their professional status, we can benefit from examining how the extracurriculum confers authority for representation and how we might extend that authority in our classes. Our students would benefit if we learned to see them as individuals who seek to write, not be written about, who seek to publish, not be published about, who seek to theorize, not be theorized about. (p. 89)