Thanks to Community College English for welcoming us into the blogosphere. This is the site, more than any other, that inspired Composition Southeast. I hope we develop an ongoing relationship between the two blogs and create a kind of pedagogical synergy by feeding off of each other's ideas.
Also, my enthusiasm for creating teaching-oriented blogs appears to be catching. My friend Scott has also linked to us with a magnificent proposal to create a series of regional composition blogs. He is starting one called Composition Mountain West and encourages others to follow suit. Anyone who lives in Utah or the surrounding states and is interested in blogging with the Mountain West comp teachers please let us know.
The whole sequence of events that has led to Composition Southeast and Composition Mountain West is a perfect example of how blogging works. I first got interested in blogging after stumbling across Scott's blog and then from there his wife Shelley's blog. I went to Ph.D. school with them once upon a time but had lost touch. Then one day I clicked a link somewhere, and there I was, catching up on their lives and professional activities. Before that day, I had heard about blogging but hadn't really thought much about it. From then on, I was hooked.
I began to actively seek out academic blogs, and I thought more and more about what I could do professionally with blogging. I've tried several experiments, but what I knew I wanted to do more than anything was to talk about teaching with other teachers. I became a great fan of Community College English because it was closer than anything else I'd seen to the kind of blog I thought could directly benefit my own teaching. I was tempted many times to request to join, but I was still working out in my own mind what it was I wanted to accomplish by blogging. I also felt a little alienated from some of the discussions I read there. I wondered what a person teaching in a rural school in South Mississippi could contribute to a dialogue between people who taught in urban areas in far off states. Then I started looking around at my colleagues and at people I met at state or regional conferences, and I realized there are a lot of people who feel the same way.
And so we have the birth of Composition Southeast. My hope is to give a voice to the concerns of people teaching in the places close to my heart, in my own little corner of the world. My hope is that we can find ways to articulate some of the gaps we see between the textbooks, theories and NCTE resolutions and the realities we work around on a day to day basis. I believe, if done right, this could be one of the more important purposes a blog could accomplish. In traditional publication circles, information has been disseminated from the big universities down to the small colleges. What's been missing in the chain is a good way for information to cycle back from the small colleges to the big universities...or from small colleges to other small colleges.
That is where blogging can make a real difference. That is why we should all get behind the idea of regional composition blogs and encourage as many people as possible to participate.
Thanks again to Scott and to Community College English for helping us get off to such a good start here. May there be many more interesting exchanges to come.