This is the dilemma that this student, Alexandra Gold, a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature at Boston University discussed on her article. She brought up many interesting points that I agreed with, such as this statement:
I know you’ve heard a version of this stolid formulation: “This paper will analyze”; “This article shows.” No expression makes me bristle quite as much. I have to fight an immediate urge to shout: THIS PAPER DIDN’T ANALYZE ANYTHING! YOU DID. Why are we so afraid to say “I”?
I think this is particularly a struggle I phase today. I have gotten so used to the formal academic writing style that blogging actually feels a bit weird sometimes. The freedom that we have in blogging is unique and awesome but takes some time to get use to. At least it did for me. Alexandra describes this as “a strange paradox of the traditional academic essay that as much as we tell students to write in their own words, we ask them to couch these words behind an inactive or tacit authorial subjectivity”.
Blogging is actually one of her suggestions of an assignment in a genre beyond the traditional academic essay. She believes we should do this at least once during the semester. I agree with this because it does truly allow us as students to connect to what we are learning and express freely our feelings and reactions to it. Blogging for other classes and now this one has definitely allowed me to feel more comfortable using “I” again and truly expressing my opinions in writing, getting creative, while connecting it to my personal experiences.
But a new dilemma I am facing now is how it can also put me in vulnerable situations by opening up. I noticed that when I get the most out of my blogs is when I am able to connect them to my personal experiences. It not only allows me to reflect on my own opinions but it also shows my readers how I came about to having those views. As a future student affairs professional, having a public blog where my opinions are being shared, makes me a little nervous that they can one day be used against me. We have seen in other schools faculty being fired for having certain beliefs such as white supremacy and we have even seen the controversies here at VT with the GTA. Although, those are more extreme examples of beliefs, they what we are facing today. Therefore, in student affairs we are supposed to be inclusive for all students and by taking a stand on one certain side sometimes makes me worry if that it can affect my career in the future. Therefore, when it comes to blogging specially knowing how this one is very public and is tweeted. It makes me a little hesitant to truly express my opinions but at the same time I still plan to do it because I think people need to hear and learn about different perspectives. I am a first generation, from a low-income family, Latina and I am sure that my experiences and interactions with pedagogical practices growing up can be unique based on my salient identities.