But Suppose They Don't Care

Do people know the two most popular forms of writing in the American high school today? Texting someone said; I don’t think that’s for credit though yet. But I would say that as someone said it is personal writing. It is either the exposition of a personal opinion or it is the presentation of a personal matter. The only problem, forgive me for saying this so bluntly, the only problem with those two forms of writing is as you grow up in this world you realize people really don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think. What they instead care about is can you make an argument with evidence, is there something verifiable behind what you’re saying or what you think or feel that you can demonstrate to me. It is rare in a working environment that someone says, “Johnson, I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.”3 #

While Coleman’s right about needing to be able to make an argument, or at least to use evidence and be verifiable4, he’s certainly wrong that no one cares.  As I told the students today, I’d say that the trick to writing with voice and passion and agency and with owning your learning is that people will give a shit about what you have to say.  But you’ve got to make them.  And that’s what a good writer, or blogger, does.  She makes others care and shows them why they should.  A blogger, at least in the ideal5 is the embodiment of a close reader and attentive writer, or, as Coleman describes as the aim for students through the standards, a good blogger should: #

Read like a detective and write like a conscientious investigative reporter. #

Yeah.  Bloggers should be like that.  Good crap detectors making interesting stuff. #

  1. Sometimes, with footnotes.  Footnotes look much too workish to be fun, right? []
  2. Read: the personal. []
  3. Link to the video – about 8:30 on the time code.  The unofficial transcript I’m quoting from is here.  The off the cuff reference to not giving a shit, surprisingly, isn’t in the “official transcript.” []
  4. One concern I do have about the CCSS is the same that I do about education policy in general right now; who decides “what counts?” []
  5. Which I think is the right model to aim for. []