SEAN DICKEY, Advanced Writing Student: Guest Post

Literacy and Me

Earlier, as part of his Literacy Project, my Advanced Writing student, Sean Dickey posted about accidentally discovering his life’s passion and adjusting his academic and career goals accordingly. Today, he is addressing the current status quo.

The Deep Divide

I had originally intended to write about something a little more benign like the acquisition of a stray cat who has become my own. But between the recent shootings in religious institutions and the bombs sent to political figures, I felt inspired to write about these events. Mrs. Longest asked me not to write on controversial topics for her blog, but she has placed her trust in me to handle this topic with decorum. I also have to attribute some of my inspiration to Dr. Cherry, my sociology professor. His words resonated with me, and I will be sure to give credit where credit is due in the course of this…

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Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

5 thoughts on “SEAN DICKEY, Advanced Writing Student: Guest Post”

  1. What an important and profound point you make, Sean. Interestingly, I was watching a documentary about a contravertial social trend in this country that is causing a lot of concern – and because of the mutual anger and hostility between opposing factions, it couldn’t even be discussed in a coherent, civilised manner to even get surrounding possible problems acknowledged – never mind talked about. It really bothers me that people seem increasingly to splinter into tribes and never want to hear anyone else’s views except those that echo their own.

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      1. While I’m a real advocate of the positive effects of much of my social media experience, I am becomingly increasingly concerned that we do tend to divide off into our own tribes and spend most of our time interacting with like-minded people. So when youngsters encounter other ideas and thoughts from those they agree with, they don’t seem able to engage appropriately with them…

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  2. Hmmmmm. Thought-provoking. I had an exceptional group this semester with Sean’s class. The whole class interacted with each other, and surprisingly enough, they are so into being serious about getting a degree, seeing it as a requirement for future jobs or advancing in the career they are already working in etc., they say they don’t have much time for social browsing, but keep in touch with family and job opportunities (if they’re looking.) My students are juniors and seniors only and they are already into internships etc. or are publishing under independent study, or are about to enroll in grad level courses. I wouldn’t want to be at that stage of my life for anything. When I was that age, I kind of just sat back and rejoiced at whatever fell in my lap. They are proactive and seem to run their lives by this stage.

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  3. P.S. I had about 10 different major fields in the class and about 5 or 6 different levels of writing skills. Everyone at least improved and some came in writing well already. We seemed to accept all opinions, and many said they had planned to write their arguments a certain way, but changed their mind in the process. I was lucky, I didn’t have to agree or not on a topic, all I had to do was judge their writing and argument skills.

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