Thursday, September 16, 2004

Communications 1118: Composing in Context - Principles and practices of Workplace Writing

As I write this, I am taking a break from re-reading Flower and Hayes' A Cognitigve Process Theory of Writing. For anyone taking academic theory courses, these are a headache to read. Despite the fact that I sat down and went through the entire text with a highlighter, I have no idea what any of it means. Here's a sample:

"Planning, or the act of building this internal representation, involves a number of sub-processes. The most obvious is the act of generating ideas, which includes retrieving relevant information from long-term memory. Sometimes this information is so well developed and organized in memory that the writer is essentially generating standard written English. At other times one may generate only fragmentary, unconnected, even contradictory thoughts, like pieces of a poem that hasn't yet taken shape."

Uh...right. Got it.

As much as I appreciate theory and its applications, I haven't felt this stupid since I bent over to pick up a penny in the street without looking for oncoming traffic and almost got my head taken off by the #10 Granville bus. I dunno if it's my short attention span or the way it's written, but I'm having a really hard time trying to figure this thing out.

I liken the experience to eating lots and lots of corn. Most of it passes through your system completely undigested, and there's probably a good chance that it could take a few more passes through your digestive system before all the nutrients have been assimilated.

If you wish for a slightly less disgusting analogy, liken it to eating a lot of celery. You expend more calories eating and digesting it than what's actually in the celery itself.

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