Student Researchers Attend CCCC
Faculty in the English Department frequently support the intellectual and professional development of students by encouraging their participation in academic conferences. This year, a regional meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) was held at nearby San Jose State University, providing an exceptional opportunity for students and facutly working in writing and rhetorical studies to share their research and learn more about the field. Three attending students report on their experience.
by Anthony Hoyt
When I enrolled in Dr. Lueck’s English 103 class on Digital Archives last Spring, I had no idea what to expect. I knew nothing about archival research, Dr. Lueck, or even if I should count myself as a “true” English major. I went back and forth for days about whether or not I should enroll in the class or not. In the end, obviously, I chose to enroll in the class and I couldn’t have been more proud and thankful for this class and all it has offered me throughout this year.
It may be clichéd to write that a class changed your life, but honestly this class did. Throughout the ten weeks of Fall Quarter, English 103 quickly became my favorite class. The professor was amazing! She was brilliant, but also very clear and understandable. She was just brilliant enough that you not only felt inspired by her, but you also felt empowered and ready to tackle new obstacles and challenges of life, but specifically archival research. The class as a whole was also one of the most interesting classes I have taken at Santa Clara because it allowed me to expand my understanding of what an English major can offer to students and, honestly, to the world.
I remember feeling sad when I uploaded the last digital file to our Omeka site for my partner, Cindy’s, and my archival research project. I remember feeling even more sad when the class was officially over and I no longer had class with Dr. Lueck and the new friends I made throughout the quarter. But thankfully that sadness only lasted for a few weeks until I found out that Dr. Lueck had secured a spot at the CCCC @ SJSU in the beginning of June, and she wanted me to be on the panel after expressing interest at the end of Fall. I didn’t think twice as I said yes to the offer and slowly began work on that presentation.
Over the course of the Spring Quarter, I met with Dr. Lueck, as well as Cindy and Sai, to work on the presentation. The writing process for this presentation was more tough than usual, probably because I felt more nerves due to the fact that the presentation involved public speaking to an unknown, at the time, number of people. But, with the help of Dr. Lueck, Cindy, and Sai, I was able to get past, and far away from, my fears and create the best presentation I could have done.
I’m very proud and lucky to say that I have spoken at a conference as well-known and as respected as the CCCC. Even though the processes, along with three English classes and the beautiful and oh-so-tempting weather of Santa Clara was long and difficult, I would do this it all over again. It was that good!
by Cindy Stella
I felt very honored to participate in the CCCC conference this June. As someone who loves public speaking, I felt very comfortable and was excited to talk about a class that has had such a large impact on my college career.
What made the opportunity to speak at this professional conference so special was being able to speak directly to high-level educators and professors. Being able to vocalize how the structural set-up from Professor Lueck’s class helped me build relationships with classmates, as well as hear perspectives from two other students in the same panel, allowed us students to directly communicate our experiences to the target audience. By listening to our perspective of the class and its effectiveness, professors were able to gain a better sense of how a class structured such as ours could be applied at their own universities.
By attending this conference, I was able to learn first hand about the wide array of teaching styles, and how the communication between educators from different universities can create environments of development and ideas. After the Question and Answer session after our panel, we had several educators thank us for giving our unfiltered opinion of the class, and why it was necessary for similar ones to be implemented. I felt encouraged that after our panel, teachers will be able to apply interpersonal projects or archival research into their own classrooms, and that students such as me learn the same valuable lessons I did.
by Perla Luna
On June 10, senior English major Isabella Nalukas and I accompanied Dr. Cruz Medina to San Jose State University for the regional College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC). The conference was a great opportunity to hear about what’s happening in the field of writing for the panelists and attendees interested in education and teaching pedagogy.
A stand-out panel was one which challenged the compositional work educators do for diverse readers and writers. The lecturers modeled curriculum and learning strategies, but one of the most interesting aspects of that panel was the debate on class discussions. Since high school, class discussions have been the cornerstone of any great English class in my experience. What could compare to the collective excitement of unpacking the themes of James Baldwin’s Another Country or discovering (yet another) layer to Hamlet’s madness? However, the presenters of the panel explicitly challenged this notion of class discussions as the golden standard for stretch learners -- students still in the process of developing college-level writing skills.
One panel member discussed the ways in which class discussion can be punitive, shutting out readers from the learning process before they even get a chance to dig into the material. This is because professors assume their students have the foundational skills required to understand the reading. With stretch and multilingual students especially, this is not always the case. It was an important moment for me that made me reconsider how I can incorporate these types of considerations when I teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley this summer, a program that serves underserved communities.
In general, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many ethical considerations educators consider when designing their courses—whether it’s considering the liminality of writing centers, confronting power through rhetoric or challenging the ethics of hip-hop literature and service learning. Students don’t often get to peek behind the curtains, but I walked away from the conference with a deeper understanding of how the way we learn is arrived at carefully and purposefully. Even though the conference was aimed at others in compositional studies, I was still able to connect to the information presented and can hopefully use it to recontextualize my position in the classroom as a student.