I began my TA training today at Arizona State University.
My title within the University will be “Graduate Teaching Associate” when I’m finished. This distinction is important when clarifying what I will be doing there because I will be running my own classroom, not assisting other professors as the acronym “TA” suggests. But I digress.
Today one of the activities we did was spend some time writing about why we write. I got a little off topic because I started from what I consider to be the beginning of my career as a writer in 7th grade. I quite like what I came up with, so I thought I would share it here:
I’ve been a writer for a long time. In 7th grade, I was part of a competitive creative writing team. Creative writing and poetry saw me through the angst of my teenage years. In college, I studied English Lit, and so of course there was a good amount of academic writing. Creative writing consequently fell to the wayside. After my undergrad and before graduate school, I maintained a personal blog or two. But, I don’t think I’ve ever written so much as I did during my MA. My first (only?) 30 page paper was the longest and most difficult paper I’ve ever written, being unprepared to plan such a long paper. But, my topics all gather around the same thing– cultural phenomena. I am struck with the desire to explore and explain cultural phenomena in relation to language and behavior. That, and the stodgy rules of academia (gate keeping, unnecessary jargon, and impenetrable texts). I am motivated by research, the desire to explain, and, of course, my own ambitions; one doesn’t do
grad school a PhD program if one doesn’t feel like what he/she has to say is important.