Month: January 2017

Asking Questions

Who, what, when, where, why…& how

It seems that the best way to go about asking questions is to start of broad. The broader the better. And then start focusing in. On nothing in particular. But discuss everything as you go. Go off on tangents and write it down.

Ask every question. And then ask more. Don’t just focus on the end. People when asking questions should focus more on the ‘journey.’

The podcast that we were asked to listen to, does this. There doesn’t seem to be one answer that they are reaching for. Rather they start off vague and then dive in. Each question asked leads  to another one.

Radiolab hosts Abumrad and Krulwhich like to keep it conversational and continuously point at parts of interest and then take that part deeper. And bring comparisons between various groups. They aren’t afraid to stick with one topic or to leave it and move on.

One of my favorite parts about the podcast was how there were several voices playing a role. It’s not just one or two voices. They bring in new sources of information that brings the conversation another step forward.

This question session that they did was designed in such a way that they were able run with an idea rather than say someone who was left alone to their own thoughts. Creativity is one of the best ways to find answers to questions and to delve in deeper. And that’s one of the best ways to go about life.

So that’s why when you’re writing, make questions. Create as many questions as you can and then make more. And answer as many as you can but beware that not all questions have an answer. And if they do, they most certainly aren’t always clear. But that’s usually better.

If there were no unanswered questions in the world, why would we go out looking for more. We question our questions and question our answers while attempting to find the answers. It’s a cycle that never ends. And I wouldn’t want it to end.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole

Just like Alice, I fell down the d*** hole.

After reading the first 10 stories written by my peers, I quickly began to notice the similarities between them. Mind you, the pieces that I choose were random and in no certain order.

Everyone’s story seemed to be deeper than I thought that they would reach. And for the most part, everyone started out hating to read. And some still do. Maybe they haven’t found the right person yet to change them and maybe they never will. But for about 80% of the stories that I read seemed to simmer down to: I hate reading/writing, teacher/tutor/adult tells them they can’t, one person says they can (sometimes that person was himself/herself), then it gets better.

Breaking it down into something so basic seems rude and unreasonable. All of their stories were so much more than that. There was substance and meaning and honestly it feels wrong to make this connection. Everyone’s story deserves the utmost respect but it’s so appalling the struggles that so many individuals have gone through and felt so alone, and yet everyone has such a similar story.

Going back to the skeptic view, how realistic was everyone? Some of the stories were pretty emotionally heavy so it makes me wonder how the ‘evil’ teachers would see it. There are so many different views that could be shared and time does change what has happened.

Then again, dramatic/traumatic moments tend to stay alive longer.

One of the stories that I read was Brandon Cass’s story “I don’t read.” And I found that I really agreed with that. As much as I love to read, I hardly ever did in school. There’s something about it being a requirement that churns my stomach and takes something that I love and changes it into a headache that I don’t do.

Another one that really struck out to me was Paige Hubbard’s “Live or Die” piece. At first I wasn’t sure where she was going for with it, she had brought up her friend and that they had distanced each other. At first I thought that the writing would center solely on them. If I could ask her, I’d like to know where she went.

Reading all of these stories, it made me re-realize just how lucky I am. I come from a tiny town where the kids you start out with in pre-k are the same kids that you graduate with. And all of the teachers know about your family and your business or are your family and your business. It’s a close knit community. It’s hard to get left behind there.

I come from a sheltered home, so hearing what all these other kids have to say… it’s hard to imagine what some of them have had to deal with.



  1. I don’t read
    1. Brandon Cass
  2. Fact: I can’t read
    1. Lindzee Ridley
  3. My Love for Reading
    1. Abigail Corey
  4. Live or Die
    1. Paige Hubbard
  5. How Title One Changed My Life
    1. Chelsey Haughey
  6. ACF
    1. Hailey Davis
  7. Cars Turning Over to The Sun
    1. Ashley McCarthy
  8. Reading and Writing: It’s a Love Hate Thing
    1. Ciara Oakley-Robbins
  9. How I reset my life by reading
    1. Ally Karriker
  10. Recess and Distress
    1. Blake Beverage



We’re Back (to discourse).

Let’s review…

Discourse? It’s basically a social practice. A way of communication that goes beyond the simple act of speaking and delves into the presentation and mannerisms that accompany language. Certain types of discourses are more accepted in one area than another. Time and place has just as much to do with communication as does the actual act of speaking. Discourses are how humans build relationships, and intertwine their beliefs.

Secondary discourses are the things that come after your primary. If primary discourses are the foundation to your communication skills, secondary discourses are the layers stacked upon it to build the house. As it would suggest, secondary discourses rely on your initial discourse. Secondary discourses have two layers, the dominant and the non-dominant. This differential is decided based on situation and audience.  Anyone who tries to enter a discourse may face rejection and isolation from the already-members. If their secondary discourse is not a match with the rest of the group, there tends to be exclusion.

Being in the dominant discourse makes the everyday life a breeze. This membership raises your status, money, and prestige (Gee 8).

On the flip side, having connections to the non-dominant discourse allows for a select social circle that likely won’t influence status and goods.

How to get in if there’s no mentor in sight? This is where mush-faking comes in handy. If you already have a discourse that is similar enough in your pocket, you can apply it to your current situations. Eventually after enough time faking it, playing the role, one tends to morph into the actual role.

When there is no correlations between discourses someone possesses and a discourse they are trying to get into, they face difficulties. Two separate discourses could be potentially as different as two different languages. Fortunately, like languages, trace resemblances can be found. It’s just insanely difficult and should be impossible without a mentor to guide you in. Someone there to ‘translate.’

Mush-faking, something previously mention, is when one takes discourses that they are familiar with it and attempt to blend in with a discourse that they are not yet fluent in.

Meta-knowledge is the fancier way of saying knowledge about knowledge. It’s beneficial for a number of reasons, the main one being that knowing about something often leads to a deeper awareness. It allows someone to know how knowing works.