Reflections on Writing for the Public – Stephen Dine

When I signed up for the class Writing for the Public I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was thinking it would be a class based on writing briefs, articles and small essays centered around expressing an idea to a general mass of people.  Although this has been a small part of the class it hasn’t been centered around this original thought.  I definitely was not under the impression that a topic would be presented and it would open my mind towards a subject I truthfully hadn’t spent much time pondering.

The topic of class and labor in the university has been extremely interesting.  Points such as adjunct pay, rise in the hiring of administration and the salaries that accompany administration had never really been a thought of mine.  I think I have developed a much better understanding of how my money is or isn’t spent.  I also have developed an opinion that higher learning has become more of a business and is operated as such.  Higher learning is a great path, but should have more thought into which university or college to attend dependent upon the major of choice.  I also think that these businesses have a great model that will most likely go unchanged or challenged for a unknown amount of time.  I believe this will happen because their business model is an expensive cost for most students and is obtained over a short amount of time.  Because of the four year time span to obtain a bachelors degree, universities don’t have to worry about repercussions from students over an extended time period.

As for my topic of class and labor in universities, it gave me a better understanding of options or lack of options available.  Finding alternate paths to fund child care is difficult.  Through my research I may have found additional place to look and that some schools embrace nontraditional students more than others.  The University of Pittsburgh I feel could do a better job.  My tuition funds activities that I wouldn’t be able to participate with fellow students.  Mainly because my distinction as an adult learner with a family.  It would be nice to see Pitt take similar paths to other schools on the subject of child care within the student population.  Government aid is available to  universities and colleges to develop and maintain child care facilities.

The assignments I thought were extremely interesting.  I really enjoyed the “workshop” classes prior to assignments being due.  This created a sense of others having similar problems and how my classmates handled the problems.  All the assignments were given with a decent amount of time with respect to the extremely short length of the term.

I would definitely recommend this class to my peers.  Especially people  need a “W” course and are interested in learning the material.  The environment was extremely conducive for a class of this style.  The circles we formed made it great to be able to put ideas out and listen to other.

I would be curious to see how different the class is conducted over a lengthy semester as opposed to the six week super speedy course.  Overall I thought this class was great and was a great tool.


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