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eschholz-rosa-clark - ENG 312 Language Awareness Readings...

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11996 1 ENG 312 Language Awareness: Readings for College Writers 10 th Edition by Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark Bedford/St. Martins, 2009 By Don L. F. Nilsen
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11996 2 Language Awareness: Attention to Detail The poet William Carlos Williams said, “Write what’s in front of your nose. It’s good for us to know what is in front of our noses. Not just ‘daisy,’ but how the flower is in the season we are looking at it—The dayseye hugging the earth/in August…brownedged,/ green and pointed scales/armor his yellow.” “Learn the names of everything: birds, cheese, tractors, cars, buildings. A writer is all at once everything—an architect, French cook, farmer—and at the same time, a writer is none of these things.” (Goldberg (2009): 5)
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11996 3 1. Coming to an Awareness of Language (39-96) On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X, the Black Muslim leader, was killed. He had developed language skills to elevate himself from a world of thieving, pimping, and drug pushing to become a major force as a Black Muslim leader. He said, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us.” (Malcolm X [2009]: 41)
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11996 4 Malcolm X’s Epiphany: In slow, ragged handwriting, he copied into his tablet everything in the dictionary, and then read everything back to himself. “Funny thing, from the dictionary’s first page, that ‘aardvark’ springs to my mind. The dictionary had a picture of it, a long-tailed, long-eared, burrowing African mammal, which lives off termites caught by sticking out its tongue as an anteater does for ants.” (Malcolm X [2009]: 43)
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11996 5 Helen Keller’s Epiphany “Helen Keller’s experiences as a deaf and blind child raise a number of questions about the relationship between language and thought, emotions, ideas, and memory.” On March 3, 1887, at the age of six, Helen Keller had an epiphany at the water pump of her home: (Keller (2009): 46-48)
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11996 6 “As the cool stream gushed over one hand she [Annie Sullivan] spelled into the other the word water , first slowly, then rapidly. I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me.” “I knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. The living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!” (Keller (2009): 46-48)
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11996 7 96 David Raymond’s Epiphany David Raymond was dyslexic; he couldn’t read or write. His schoolmates called him “dumb,” and his teachers put him with “emotionally disturbed and retarded kids.” But his Middle School and High School teachers had more empathy with David, and started treating him as an individual, with individual problems. (Raymond (2009): 51, 53)
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11996 8 96 But still David worried about making a living without being able to read. How could he even fill out the application form?
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