Instructor: Jessica Gasiorek

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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Communicology, clip 12 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Gasiorek, Jessica ; Henry, Jim ; Bost, Dawne
    Brief excerpt from interview: I think one of the things that I found most challenging is the... grammar and mechanics of writing... The baseline... of where's the average student as far as grammar and mechanics, and things like that, frankly is lower here than it was at Santa Barbara. And so something I am trying to kind of balance... I don't want to turn a college level, in this case, elective upper division course into talking about grammar rules. And at the same time, I don't want to let slip by... things that are basically what standard English prescribes as the way that you put the sentence together... One of the things that I've noticed a lot here is that just in general... there's much more quote unquote non-standard English, as far as constructions go, as far as the way people put words together, the way that people pronounce things... This is pure speculation on my part... I have felt like that makes it more of a challenge for students... One of the kind of go-to things that I would say to my students at Santa Barbara for example is, 'If you are not sure how something sounds, read it out loud. Read it to a friend... Say it verbally, and if it doesn't make sense verbally, then that tells you that you need to rework the structure on paper.' But if you're entire soundscape is non-standard constructions, then telling people to read something out loud as a checkpoint becomes a much less useful checkpoint because it may sound fine, but it still may not conform to... Standard English written conventions... I haven't found a solution to that frankly... I've been strongly encouraging students to go to the Writing Center... to involve others in the writing process. Have your roommate read it over. Have a friend read it over... For all but the final assignment... I return them with... fairly extensive comments... 'You've got a structure issue here. You've got a word use issue here.' And they have the option to rewrite their paper to improve their grade.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Communicology, clip 11 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Gasiorek, Jessica ; Henry, Jim ; Bost, Dawne
    Brief excerpt from interview: I have taught Cultural Influences on Communications class in Santa Barbara. UCSB where I was is very white, I mean, it's very white. One of the things that I'm really struck by and that I love about being here so far... one of the things Iʻve tremendously appreciated so far is the diversity of experiences that people are coming from and the richness as far as... the linguistic experiences that people are drawing on... Frankly my students at UCSB probably would have scored higher on their exams, but I, particularly teaching a culture class, or when I was talking about language last semester teaching a verbal communications class... talking a lot about language and what's the social meaning behind language and things like that... I think it was very abstract to my students at UCSB. I think they would sit there, and they would dutifully take notes about what is the social meaning of talking in different ways... But working with students here, I feel like on a very fundamental level, they get that. They just get it. It is their everyday lived experience. For myself, having lived in other places, language has social meaning in Europe in a very different way than it does in most of the United States... Language means something different [in Europe] than it does in the Mainland U.S. where it's predominantly monolingual and people don't think twice about it. I think in my own case also, having grown up in the San Francisco bay area, I'd have to say that demographically, this is much more comfortable to me and much more like what I what I grew up than anywhere I have lived like since growing up. Princeton felt so white. Santa Barbara was so white. I had a really strong Asian influence from early. I mean most of my friends in high school were Asian. I played badminton fairly seriously, and people used to joke that I was easy to find in the gym because I was the only white person there... One thing that has been an adjustment for me here, as trying to gauge this class, is that in picking examples, and things to draw on, Iʻve have been trying, to the extent that I can, bring it back again to student's experiences. But in doing so, it's been very much a learning experience for me... In the verbal communications class last semester, I made a point to going out and finding... empirical articles that dealt with Pidgin, as opposed to any other language that I could have chosen. If I were in Santa Barbara, I probably would have picked something that was Spanish English, because of the... ethnic composition there. But... to the extent that I can and more and more really, I am trying to just open it up to them to give me examples... As far as my own learning and my own gaining and understanding of a place, I feel like I'm learning a tremendous amount from my students just listening, asking them these questions of: ʻwhat does it mean to have this?,' 'where did you learn this?'... Last week in 385 we were talking about world view, and I said ʻokay, what are different... ideas we could have about people's relationship with nature?... A couple of my local students had really interesting things to say about local attitudes toward nature and contrast that to... a more stereotypical, Western Christian dominion over the land kind of approach. I'm trying... to come with a couple of examples in my pocket, but really to let them provide the examples, because the examples that I would come up with are not necessarily the ones the ones that are the most relevant here.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Communicology, clip 10 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Gasiorek, Jessica ; Henry, Jim ; Bost, Dawne
    Brief excerpt from interview: In the major theory courses we don't cover cultural stuff, we cover more interpersonal... more media, and a few organizational kinds of theories... I think in this case just having a course that lets us go in depth more on a lot of those kinds of ideas... we are going to talk about individualism and collectivism as dimensions of culture. We already spent time talking about this notion of similarity and difference between, but also within, cultures. How do we understand variance within a culture? We're slotted to spend much more time on things like self construal. How do you understand yourself in relation to other people? That's one of the components of the first writing assignment... having them talk about, in that cultural autobiography... How do you see your self-construal? Do you see it as more independent. Do you see it as more interdependent? And how do you link that to culture? By about week three of first semester, I stopped expecting to find anything... and I just started seeing what happened, because it was clear that expecting anything wasn't getting me anywhere.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Communicology, clip 9 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Gasiorek, Jessica ; Henry, Jim ; Bost, Dawne
    Brief excerpt from interview: [Regarding class demographics...] I'd say we are fairly even split on gender, maybe a few more women than men... probably fairly even split on local versus mainland, if we are talking local as also being student... I've got one student from Maui, one student from Kauaʻi... Interisland differences have definitely been a topic of discussion already... [Students say...] 'Well on Maui we do it this way, and on Kauaʻi we do it this way, and then I came here and people were asking me why I was doing this strange thing.' Most of my students from the mainland are from California, although I've got one from Connecticut and one from I think Oregon.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Communicology, clip 8 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Gasiorek, Jessica ; Henry, Jim ; Bost, Dawne
    Brief excerpt from interview: Grounding things in [the student's] own experience and grounding things in... what they are, seeing the world... makes these things more real. You can sit down and take notes on any topic, but as far as retaining it, certainly over time, to the extent that you can link it to other things that are going on... from a neural network perspective, the more things you can link to, the better it's gonna stick... One of the major goals of this course [is] giving students tools or lenses... through which to understand their experience. I think you have to be connecting back to what they're experiencing, and that is inherently place-based.