Sybil’s message on Day 1 in her hybrid classes: “I’m a white woman with a narrow lens of what writing is and I’ve only really read white authors. I acknowledge this and will push my lens wider by reading your pieces. This is why I also don’t feel it’s necessary for me to assess your writing; you will all tell me what you’re learning and how you’re growing.”
I’m going to let you in on a secret that you may or may not already know: there is no one “right” way to write. Sure, you should probably know a little bit about grammar and maybe you should spell some things correctly, but if you look around and read emails from bosses and books from famous authors, you’ll see that even people with degrees don’t put commas where they “should” be, so why should you bother your brain to memorize that stuff?
You simply need to practice. And be open to learning all the ways to communicate.
This book can’t perfectly prepare you for every writing – or communicating – opportunity that will pop up in your life. But\(^8\) it will try. You might have a fussy customer who is arguing with you over email… or a boss who wants a certain kind of “report” by Monday… or maybe you want to write a letter to a company expressing your own concerns; these are real world things that could occur, so this book attempts to prep you for that.
But books can’t do everything. And it knows that. So, be open to learning outside of the book, of course. Remind yourself that the world is changing, and that you should probably change with it.
Please know you can allow yourself to learn whatever you want. And it doesn’t start and stop in high school or college.
Take care of your bodies,
take care of your brains,
and take care of your heart.
Sybil & this goofy book
More Regarding You
- You are different from every student I have ever taught. You write your own way. You talk your own way. You see things your own way. You have a unique laugh. Your life experiences are something new to me and to those around you. Bring that uniqueness, creativity, and perspective to your writing and to class discussion. And respect the different opinions and experiences of those around you.
- You are a busy person. You probably have a job, play a sport, or participate in some kind of school activity. You might have a significant other who wants to spend a romantic evening with you every once in a while. You might have a boss or coworkers that put a lot of pressure on you at work. You have bills and more bills. You have friends and family who get sick from time to time. You have a life. I understand and respect the fact that you have lots of stuff going on right now, this week, or this month. Remember, you selected this course at this time in your life. You chose to take this course during the time it is offered. We are happy to have you here among us, and we know that we are probably not your first priority in life.
\(^7\)Tweet was deleted sometime around December 6, 2018.
\(^8\)Ooh, look! Yikes! Starting a sentence with a conjunction is “bad,” isn’t it? (Na.)