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Breaking the line Vincent, Adam R. 2015

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    BREAKING THE LINE  by  Adam R. Vincent  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Language and Literacy Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2015  ©Adam R. Vincent, 2015    ii  Abstract As a mode of academic discourse, poetry offers pathways that lead to new and diverse ways of understanding.  However, in my experiences as a learner and as an Instructional Associate at the Learning Centre at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), I have found that poetry is not being utilized to its fullest capacity in the teaching of writing and in the exploration of language.  The following thesis-performance hybrid is intended to illustrate the value of poetry as an approach to teaching writing and as an academic discourse, demonstrated largely through the medium of poetry itself.  The technique of métissage has been selected to enhance the performative elements by intertwining life writing, various forms and types of poetry and significant citations from the literature.  The life writing in the following text adopts conventions of autoethnography and biography, while the poetry reflects aspects of poetic inquiry.  Through embracing a hybrid approach, which fuses various types of texts, the work explores the value in the greater use of poetry and the greater use of hybrid texts and forms of written assignments in the practice of teaching writing.  This thesis-performance hybrid seeks to embody the very concepts being explored within it.       iii  Preface This thesis is original, unpublished, independent, creative work by the author, A. Vincent.       iv  Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................................... iv Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................................... vi Dedication ................................................................................................................................................... vii The Value of Poetry in Teaching Writing ..................................................................................................... 1 POETIC FIELD NOTES –i- ................................................................................................................... 12 Found Questions With Rhetorical Answers ............................................................................................ 16 Poetry as Meaning Maker ........................................................................................................................... 17 POETIC FIELD NOTES -ii- .................................................................................................................. 21 Found Your Passion? .............................................................................................................................. 22 Literary Métissage .................................................................................................................................. 23 Poetry as Mode ........................................................................................................................................... 24 Confusing Cacophony of Concepts......................................................................................................... 27 Poetry as Paraphrasing ............................................................................................................................ 29 Poetry as Idea Generator ......................................................................................................................... 29 Poetry and Learning Styles/Learning Preferences ...................................................................................... 31 Segue to the Essay: Trying…Very Trying… .............................................................................................. 36 Drowning Out the Essay’s Boastful Voice ............................................................................................. 38 New Forms for New Interpretations ........................................................................................................... 41 Expanding Accepted Types of Texts ...................................................................................................... 43 POETIC FIELD NOTES -iii- ................................................................................................................. 45 Criteria’s Limitations: Can We Fix It? Yes We Can! ................................................................................. 46 For Your Consideration .......................................................................................................................... 53 Hybridity: Is it in the Budget? ................................................................................................................ 54 POETIC FIELD NOTES -iv- .............................................................................................................. 56 Discourse Myopia: Are We Seeing Everything? ........................................................................................ 58 Voicing Understanding ........................................................................................................................... 60 POETIC FIELD NOTES -v- ................................................................................................................... 62 POETIC FIELD NOTES -xi- .................................................................................................................. 64 Value and Validity of Poetry in Post-Secondary Writing Courses ............................................................. 65 POETIC FIELD NOTES -vi- .................................................................................................................. 68     v  (in)Validity .............................................................................................................................................. 69 POETIC FIELD NOTES -vii-................................................................................................................. 73 Value of Poetry as Discourse in the Illustration of Understanding ............................................................. 74 POETIC FIELD NOTES -ix- .................................................................................................................. 80 POETIC FIELD NOTES -x- ................................................................................................................... 81 Break/ing Context ................................................................................................................................... 82 Hybridity Not Rigidity ................................................................................................................................ 84 POETIC FIELD NOTES -xiv- ................................................................................................................ 86 Verse. Stanza. Essay. .............................................................................................................................. 88 POETIC FIELD NOTES -viii- ............................................................................................................... 90 POETIC FIELD NOTES –xv- ................................................................................................................ 91 Modes of Wonder: The Capaciousness of Poetry and Poetic Discourses ................................................... 92 3 Lines, 5-7-5, Nihongo, Mode of Wonder ............................................................................................. 93 14 Lines, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, Shakespearean (sans iamb), Mode of Wonder .............................. 94 5 Lines, AABBA, City of Ireland (No, Not Cork), Mode of Wonder .................................................... 95 Vers en Francais (5 at 3 Lines and a 4 Liner at the End, Slightly Modified, Villanelle-esque), Mode of Wonder .................................................................................................................................................... 96 A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C. Mode of Wonder ........................................................................................................ 97 Tombstone Talk, Mode of Wonder ......................................................................................................... 99 Unlimited, Free-Flowing, Mode of Wonder ......................................................................................... 100 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (Though Abecedarian is Easier to Say), Mode of Wonder .............................................................................................................................................................. 102 No, It’s Not Cement…It’s More Like Concrete, Mode of Wonder ...................................................... 103 Slam, Just Slam, Mode of Wonder ....................................................................................................... 104 8 Lines. ABABABCC. Please Sing a Slightly Higher Pitch (Just an Octave), Mode of Wonder ........ 105 Now, That’s a Bit of Nonsense, Mode of Wonder ................................................................................ 106 POETIC FIELD NOTES -xii-............................................................................................................... 107 Concluding Thoughts ................................................................................................................................ 108 POETIC FIELD NOTES -xiii- ............................................................................................................. 112 Breaking the Line ...................................................................................................................................... 113 References ................................................................................................................................................. 116        vi  Acknowledgements This place of mind has embraced me and my lofty ideas. Thank you to the staff of the Department of Language and Literacy Education and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  There is no structure without the infrastructure.  Thanks as well to the professors, associate professors and instructors whose paths I have crossed along the way; you have added to this journey.  I owe unfathomable gratitude to my advisor and mentor, Dr. Carl Leggo, whose inspiration and encouragement have significantly impacted the creation of this piece.  It is often challenging to hear kindred voices in the hallowed halls of academia, and I am glad that I heard yours. I am also grateful to Dr. George Belliveau who showed me that to be true to ourselves and to our passions, we cannot limit our roles.  Artist, poet, performer and researcher can coexist as one.  Special thanks are owed to my family, colleagues and friends who have supported my whimsical wiles over the years.       vii  Dedication For my life’s muse, Jessalyn  and the colour blue…    1  Through words I am  seeker of  understanding expression knowing teaching facilitating  Through words I am burgeoning  developing self- developing purpose while developing identity in my culture of words  The Value of Poetry in Teaching Writing Throughout my educational experience, I was taught to compartmentalize my academic and personal thoughts in a clear, concise, and widely accepted format—the essay.  The Five Paragraph Essay (capitalized for dramatic effect) has been engrained in my mind: a narrative hook, thesis and three topic sentences to form your introduction, the body paragraphs that develop your topic sentences to prove your thesis, and the conclusion where you restate and summarize your ideas.  It is a format that for some can be smothering.  I felt smothered by it.  I felt the need to express ideas in different ways, but found myself adhering to the status quo of my academic context.  To counteract the stringent modes of expression in my undergraduate classes, I would write poetry, creative non-fiction and hybrid texts outside of the classroom.      2  These texts kept my expressive and creative nature alive; they allowed me to question and wonder about course concepts and evaluate notions of what they meant in relation to my own life.  I would also write about family, friends, significant life events and struggles.  I wanted to use my creativity in my academic classes, but the English degree offered at my university at the time allowed for very little flexibility.  I was not permitted to move away from traditional modes of expression and discourse.  The classes focused on rhetorical analysis, poetic analysis and asked that the canon of literature be responded to through the classic mode of academic discourse: the essay.   It was not until the last year of my degree that I decided to merge my creative calling with my academic coursework.  I enrolled in creative writing classes, where I could further explore concepts and craft my own creative non-fiction and screen plays.  I integrated poetry and lyrical language in my course work and continued to write extensively for myself outside of class.   I felt at peace.  I had classes that fed my more traditional writing side: essays, rhetorical analysis and close readings, which were accompanied by readings of poetry, explorations of academic discourse and critical theory.  I had creative classes that allowed for a deeper connection to what I was reading and allowed me to create and share my personal experiences and understandings.  After a few semesters of switching between multiple roles: researcher, poet, critical theorist, creative writer, essayist, lyricist, and screen writer, I found that the peaceful feeling was replaced by dis-ease and confusion about who I was as a writer.   Nearing the end of my Bachelor’s degree, I enrolled in an interdisciplinary expressive arts class taught by one of my creative writing mentors, Dr. Ross Laird.  I went in to the course with barely any understanding of what the course would entail; little did I know that the course would change my academic path and help to forge my identity as a writer.  This is the identity     3  that I recognize as the authentic, ever-developing, ever-honing writer that I am today.  The course consisted of academic readings, creative readings, theoretical readings, mythological readings, historical, and poetic readings that all came together to form a large umbrella that we, as students, could interact with.  We were granted the permission to use any mode of expression in any way that we saw fit.  Under the guidance of Dr. Laird, we could explore concepts, delve deeper in to our identities as learners and find our voices in our roles as students and writers.  I combined my own stories with critical theory to illustrate a greater understanding of the theories being explored.  I wrote poetically about historical and mythological texts.  I drew connections between modes of discourse, built greater understandings of cultures, and considered where I fit in in relation to my own perceived culture and cultures from around the world.  I found my voice through amalgamated understanding; through texts and subtexts that would never have met in my other courses.  My other courses were focused on the analytical understanding of texts and their significance in the canon of literature as we know it today and had little to do with me as a learner.  In taking ownership of my voice, I could combine my various roles to form greater insights of topics, to generate different approaches to commonly explored concepts and inspire other students through my creative illustrations of understanding. I felt power in my literary voice and took the risk of integrating poetry in to my English literature assignments.  The poetry that accompanied my essays was further illustrations of understanding and integration of the concepts.  These poems, however, were not fully embraced by my instructors.  My hybrid assignments were praised for originality and integration of the concepts in other modes of discourse, however, the next assignment requested the same argumentative or explorative essay, rhetorical analysis or common research questions as in previous assignments.  I could not break the line of expected modes of writing.  Hybridity, while     4  praised, did not fit the accepted academic discourse in my university.  I could have my poetic voice and have it present in much of my work, but I had to ensure that it fit with the accepted mode and conventions of what the university deemed academic writing.  I found it rather limiting, but was pleased to have my voice more present and more readily accepted in my assignments.  It gave my assignments more purpose and I felt more invested in my education than I had before. Ross, they heard my voice clear and crisp and on pitch in my composition they praised me for my creativity marked me high for originality yet I am back to the same structures same questions and answers. Yes, it is a process Yes, there are requirements I hear what you are saying  about hybridity about patience. I will work with what I am given I will ensure my voice is heard I will give them their structured thoughts in structured ways to prove my understanding  (For now) I now work at my alma mater, KPU, in The Learning Centre as an Instructional Associate.  I help students work through their five-paragraph essays as is required to meet the requirements of their introductory English courses.  I create worksheets.  I put on writing and study skills workshops and assist students from around the world who are struggling to fit their ideas, and illustrations of understanding, in to the format of the expository essay.  Now and then, I see a student who I can tell is perturbed by the structure, and I encourage them to continue to follow the structure, but to be sure that their voice is present in their work.  I also suggest more     5  playful ways of generating and compiling ideas for their writing.  I do this in order to plant the seeds of creativity in places where they may not feel creativity is present in their work.  For these students, I suggest using poetry, word play, or creative non-fiction to find greater meaning beyond the structure of the essay and to develop greater personal understanding of their assignments and the purposes behind them.  Writing, I suggest to them, is not about a recitation of what someone else in the literature has said, it is about personal understandings and modes of illustrating understandings and generating new ideas to inspire ourselves and others.  I work within my institutions’ requirements as it relates to English and writing, as it is traditional academia tested and university Senate approved.  I do this knowing that the foundational knowledge is valuable, as students were either not introduced to basic writing structures, it did not resonate with them, or they did not work with the tenets enough to retain the ability to write well.  I also do this while encouraging students to find their literary voices through the use of poetry.  In my experience, students who know their literary voices, even if they have struggles with writing, can more easily navigate the requirements of their writing assignments as they feel more invested in them.  This is because they have had a personal part in their creation and did not write a recitation of ideas in another’s voice.   I bring my ideas around the use of poetry as a valuable academic discourse to my role as an Instructional Associate where I serve as a coordinator, tutor trainer, and educational facilitator.  In our centre, I am known by staff, faculty, tutors and students as a holistic educator who has a primary focus on the use of creativity in learning.  At KPU, we support student retention and student success in a variety of ways; a major way is our peer tutoring program which operates through The Learning Centre.  Our peer tutors are academically successful, professor recommended students who receive in-house professional tutoring training.  I work     6  with all of our tutors, but spend additional time working more closely with the development of our writing tutors.  We teach the writing tutors how to better identify other students’ writing challenges, how to guide other students (their tutees) through their academic writing assignments (giving constructive and critical feedback), all while not writing the students’ papers for them.  Their role requires, as my role does, the ability to assist students in adhering to the university’s standards for their introductory writing courses.  In our tutor training sessions, we look at good tutoring practice and how to help students to get the most out of their courses.  What I additionally impart to our tutors is a more lofty goal of helping other students find their academic voices through the use of writing; I also suggest ways of how we, as educators and tutors, can get students to connect course concepts to their lives.  I do this through the promotion of free-writing, active journal writing, and the act of writing poetry.  Our writing tutors seem to enjoy this access to alternative modes of written expression for reflection, and for garnering greater understanding of their training materials.  In reflecting through various modes of discourse, our tutors are better able to identify and address issues in their tutees’ writing and build upon their skills as tutors.  The use of poetry, while not yet widespread in our training modules and materials, is seen as a valuable tool in the development of our tutors’ skillsets and in their personal meaning making that takes place in their reflective journaling.  Through the following thesis-performance hybrid, I seek to better illuminate the value of poetry as a mode of discourse in the teaching of writing.  I also seek to show poetry’s value in students’ creation of personal meaning as it relates to course concepts, and as a way for students to better illustrate their understandings or lack thereof.  In order to do this, I have embarked on a poetic exploration to engage with language.  To supplement my explorations and to gain greater understanding of the texts and concepts being explored, I have borrowed elements of     7  autoethnography (Creswel, 2015).  In taking a somewhat autoethnographic approach to the thesis-performance research in this text, where the “research and writing seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto)” as a way to better understand the larger culture and “cultural experience (ethno),” I seek to acknowledge my place in the culture of teaching writing at KPU (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011, p. 273).  Additionally, through life writing, exploration of citations and the creation of poetry, I wish to place a significant focus in the performance elements of this text on my personal experiences of teaching writing in The Learning Centre and in my experiences as a learner.  Moreover, in this hybrid text, I have employed the technique of literary métissage to braid the strands of original poetry, personal narrative and research around the use of poetry in academic contexts with the aspiration to show the merits of poetry as a valuable tool in the teaching of writing.  As Chambers, Hasebe-Ludt, et al. (2008) explain, “métissage comes from the Latin word mixtus meaning ‘mixed,’ primarily referring to cloth of two different fibers” (p. 142).  They elaborate further on the etymology of the word, “its Greek homonym is metis, a figure of skill and craft, as well as wisdom and intelligence” (p. 142).  Also, “Metis, the wife of Zeus, was gifted with powers of transformation. Thus, métissage carries the ability to transform and, through its properties of mixing, opposes transparency and has the power to undo logic and the clarity of concepts” (p. 142).  I am creating this métissage with the intent to transform and expand perspectives on the use of poetry and hybridity in the teaching of writing while simultaneously creating a textually woven piece of art that represents the concepts explored therein.   My interpretations of the literature, where others have previously explored the use of poetry as a mode of discourse and have previously spoken to the value of playing with language, are represented in this thesis-performance hybrid through various modes of text.  They are     8  explored through the creation of personal narrative, with my chosen descriptor of this exploration being “life writing,” and through the creation of original poetic responses, which Monica Prendergast (2009) calls vox theoria (p. 545).  In utilizing various modes of text, with a significant emphasis on poetry, I am able to create personal interpretations of the literature.  Moreover, through the creation of the thesis-performance hybrid text itself, I am able to illustrate poetry’s value and power in the teaching of writing for learners and educators in the post-secondary system.   In this hybrid text, I tap in to my experiences as a learner and as an Instructional Associate in The Learning Centre, where I have experienced first-hand how the power of poetry, as a mode of expression and discourse can be instrumental in students’ transformative learning processes (Mezirow, 1991).  I have consciously broken away from traditional thesis conventions, including obvious chapters and the frequent use of subheadings, with the intent to illustrate the value in the creation of hybrid texts with a hybrid text itself.  In this non-traditional approach, I weave my sensibilities as a researcher and as a poet in ways that do not subscribe to conventional ideas of what makes a thesis or what characterizes a poem.  I create a text that borrows from various types of texts to form an Other; a text that illustrates greater understanding and allows for a deeper exploration of forms of language as tools in the teaching of writing.  As Hasebe-Ludt, Leggo & Chambers (2009) state: Writing is not simply self-expression.  Writing is a way to seek lines of connection and intersection with others, to compose creative and lively possibilities for living stories, for making up stories, for revising stories, for turning stories inside out and upside down so that they are always transforming and transformative. (p. 37)     9  Poetry has been selected as a major mode of discourse in this thesis-performance hybrid in order to: 1. Interact more closely with language. 2. Explore and bring a personal context to the literature around the concepts and discussions of teaching writing and alternative approaches to teaching writing.   3. Move away from more common modes of rhetorical analysis and responses found in many literature reviews and theses, thereby gaining and presenting new perspectives and understandings of the concepts being explored. 4. To actualize the ideas being explored—this text uses poetry and prose in a hybrid model to explore ideas while it is a hybrid itself.  Moreover, poetry has particular conventions that will later be explored in this text that further illustrates its value in the teaching of writing. It has the possibility of somewhat easier to follow formulaic structures, yet also calls on the author to pick emotive words, original phrases, and metaphors to state their message.  These techniques are important for our students to interact with and understand as it builds their command of language.  In my experiences, I have found that students who are able to better wield written language find that their academic and personal goals are more viable.  In giving students greater interactions with poetry, through utilizing poetry in our teaching of writing and through granting students access to poetry as a mode of illustrating understanding, they can better understand and develop their language skills.   Poetry has the power to adhere to convention, or a series of conventions, or to break or play with them.  It requires complex thinking to take place, in many cases, as concepts must be internally synthesized and pared down to more economic terms on the page.  I wish to show through this thesis-performance hybrid that in the creation of poetry, the author/poet/student     10  delves deeper in to the content than they would with prose.  This allows students to create personal meaning with important course concepts and, through working with the content beyond recitation, can also show students understanding or deficits of understanding through their own writing.  Cahnmann (2003) explores “the craft, practice, and possibility of poetry in educational research” and claims that “a poetic approach to inquiry requires the careful study of our own written logic, technique and aesthetic” (p. 32).  Poetry requires the poet/author to use word economy to clearly state their ideas and/or put forth an emotive argument and/or explore a topic/theme on a more personal level than prose found in most first-year university students’ essays.  It requires their voice to be present.   I am not asserting in this thesis-performance hybrid text that poetry needs to become the dominant mode of discourse used in teaching writing.  I am exploring its value in the teaching of writing in hopes that we may use it more in conjunction with other forms of academic discourse to create and illustrate our understanding beyond the format of the essay.  Furthermore, in venturing outside of the essay, and utilizing métissage to weave strands of poetry, life writing and citations in to a new form of text, I hope to create a performance that has the power to inspire others to expand their interactions, both inside and outside of the classroom, with poetry.  As Helen Sword (201b2) writes:  Stylish academics do not write ‘outside the box’ merely for the sake of showing off their intellectual audacity and skill.  Their aim is to communicate ideas and arguments to readers in the most effective and engaging way possible—even when doing so means defying disciplinary norms. (p. 169)   I have known the power of poetry as a discourse to better illustrate my own understanding during my undergraduate studies.  I have seen students struggle with academic discourses and worked     11  with them through their resistance to the strict format put forth in my/our university’s first-year writing requirements.   I have seen the glint in the eyes of students who glean greater understanding through an exploration of concepts via the use of poetry.  I have seen them become better able to address their writing assignments with greater understanding, zest and excitement as they can relate, through poetry, their understanding in their own terms.   I know that poetry has power to teach, to communicate, to illustrate understanding and to generate new ideas.  I know that using poetry in conjunction with other forms of texts also reaches students on different levels than one mode alone.  Through this text, I wish to illuminate these ideas, explore the possibilities of language and explore the uses and creation of hybrid texts to use in the teaching of writing.  Let us break the lines  in our teaching in our modes of accepted discourse  in our explorations of language let us value creative writing let us value the essay let us allow expression and understanding through the power of words  broken at the line or continued to the margins.         12   Through poetic craft and practice, we can surprise both ourselves and our audiences with new possibilities. (Cahnmann, 2003, p. 37) POETIC FIELD NOTES –i- (January 12, 2015) Poetic thinking  (in this context) has required a look at the anxiety (due to the context) behind adhering to perceived norms  of what is acceptable in academia and what is seen as inconsequential I write words freely and openly  for myself for my wife,  for friends and family I have even written free form assignments for a class or two and yet for this significant compilation and illustration of my knowledge  the fear of falling below  my own standards with anxiety  of academia’s expectation has been a bit  daunting Within this   anxiety that I must push away I have found purpose behind Why  these words are important Why      13  in “Why are you doing this?”  Liberating myself and others from the confines of assignment expectations formulaic forms that take away the option of expression in text in lieu of robotic, formulaic text despite the significance of the reader of the writer to the combined meaning of the text. Did we forget Louise Rosenblatt?  She shone a light on the invisible reader in the 70’s  who now visible for decades is seen  yet pushed aside in the classroom. Through poetry I wish to bring context of the text  to the Geist inhabiting the body  who finds meaning in the words  is as integral  as the words themselves. Is Hamlet insane?   Supply textual evidence to support your claim. If we talk about Shakespeare’s poetic iambic pentameters in monosyllabic diatribe are we not missing something? Are we truly experiencing and understanding? “That I essentially am not in madness,  But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him know” Plain language says I am not crazy, but crafty yet in the tone and rhythm  which it was meant to be said     14  “That I esSENtialLY am NOT in MADness But MAD in CRAFT. Twere GOOD you LET him KNOW” Gives emphasis and mood and purpose and makes the wonder of the words grow. We need to be able to express our understanding in terms that we understand allowing others to understand and interpret their understanding in a copacetic exchange Hamlet is not mad as he tells us so leaves little but a bruised nose from the hit of diction Yet reply in iambic pentameter showing understanding of form and content and something more grows: Is Hamlet mad is what is asked of us. He dares say, I am not full of madness Can we trust a man of his character? full of boasts and rants and incoherence? Others in his life speak of his madness some speak of his melancholic grief His actions are strange and unique at best Though it could all be part of his revenge He positions himself in the end Using his madness to confuse his prey He avenges his father’s slaying And finds solace in his death in the end. Not only is there interaction  with the text there is voice  in the candor of exploring the text canter in its presentation on the page knowing that  with time  the voice would grow stronger argument in tow   “The rest is silence”     15  We must foster this unclasping unbar the door free thoughts  yet lock in  knowledge and skills that we strive to teach  Critical thinking Questioning Interpreting Understanding Expression beyond the pale page past the importance of the 5 paragraphs toward something more  to be explored and developed. I need to show my inspiration I need to show my passion I need to keep the door opened    Anxiety   aside       16  Found Questions With Rhetorical Answers What does it mean  to say  that we know  something?  How can we discover  if what we know matches  or conflicts  with  what others say  they know?  How can we be sure  that  what we know  isn’t just bias  or  received opinion  or  idiosyncratic?  And if it is idiosyncratic,  or shared  by only a small group of people,  does  that make it  less valuable  or less true  than widely-accepted knowledge?  Can a poem tell us  as much  about human behaviour  as an experiment?   Should all knowledge  claims  be supported  in the same way?  (Paré, 2008, p. 221).        17  Poetry as Meaning Maker I am becoming the Other contradictory statement  as the Other dies when embodied I only note I am the Other when I reflect reflexively when I know that I am  not who I was before this process.  I am hybridity  I am conjoined I am academic I am creative I am researcher I am poet I seek to make meaning through a  multitude of ways through a multitude of discourses I want to break the line of prose allow poetry’s power to be felt in my modes of expression  and communication Academic creative or intertwined.      18  As a student, I found that when I limited myself in my written exploration, or iteration of my views around a topic or as a way of illustrating my understanding, that something was missing.  In limiting my discourses, in what I felt adhered to the standards set out by my instructors and the institution, I was unable to fully articulate my understanding; I could not illustrate my meaning.  Brady (2004) talks about utilizing writing to illustrate meaning and how poets’ ability to make meaning is valuable and distinct: As meaning makers, we are also meaning-seeking creatures, compelled to “make sense” of our experience. But it is mostly only the poets...who write about experience consistently from a sensual perspective—centering, decoding, reframing, discovering, and discoursing the clutter of the Made World, literally as “embodied” participants and observers, full of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and vision, open to the buzz and the joy and the sweat and the tears—the erotics—of daily life, hoping to reveal that world for what it is, as it is experienced reflexively and self-consciously in its patterns and its puzzles, as it can be shared with co-participants, with Others, by drawing on their common humanity, through the rules and screens of culture. That kind of reporting, of course, has traditionally been labeled “literary,” and the social sciences are not immune to it. (p. 628) It was only later in my undergraduate education that I embraced the idea of exploring meaning in my course texts and concepts through my own original poetry.  While this did not necessarily mean submitting poetry with every writing assignment, I utilized the act of writing poetry to better internalize what was being explored and to create personal meaning.  I was also able to better understand the writers’ implied meaning to texts and implement my more rounded view in my assigned work.  Today, in my Instructional Associate role in The Learning Centre, I seek to as Brady (2004) suggests, connect lived experience in to the teaching of writing through more     19  conventional means and through poetry.  I implore students to set their assignments aside, to not focus on the logistics of the words on the page, and explore their ideas differently.  I encourage the use of poetry to express their ideas and understanding, and to create their personal meaning and what they wish to say before adhering to the conventional essay format.  In this exploration, students tend to identify their thesis more easily and are invigorated by their changing perspectives on their assignments.  The required coursework has greater personal meaning and students tend to care more about their work thereafter. I know first-hand, as a learner and as an Instructional Associate that students who engage in poetry are able to create evocative, humanistic, visions of the concepts being explored in course texts.  They are not simply restating the ideas put forth by other authors or academic theorists as it relates to the human experience and how to communicate said experience; they are creating meaning as critical thinkers.  As an Instructional Associate, I want to know that students are grasping concepts and understanding what is being asked of them.  I am not looking for a restatement of what has been said, I want them to illustrate in their language (both written and verbal) that they have a measurable level of understanding of the work being explored.  I want them to be able to respond to questions and provide answers with confidence to reflect their understanding.  For me, having students write poetry allows them to utilize methods akin to autoethnography and biography without realizing they are doing it.  They are able to create their own meaning while exploring the meaning of the literature as it was written and with the purpose that it was written.  Additionally, using poetry in this context gives students a tool to develop the skills to become critical thinkers.  Through playing with language and form, students can gain other understandings.  As Brady (2004) re-affirms:       20  Poets do not report their collected facts by talking about them in the typical manner of the social sciences. Instead of writing or talking through abstract concepts about the “facts” of life and some sense of their placement in the lives of the people studied without ever immersing deeply in their Made World, as one might proceed in writing or applying scientific theory, poets write in and with the facts and frameworks of what they see in themselves in relation to Others, in particular landscapes, emotional and social situations. (p. 631) Poetry stirs the imagination.  Students, who then become poets in their own right, are able to see themselves in their work.  They personalize and internalize, they create meaning, and bring their writing forward as an important illustration of who they are in relation to their studies. In my exploration of language, through my poetic play, performance and promotion of poetry as a valuable discourse in the teaching of writing, and through my various modes of meaning making, I have sutured the role of a poetic researcher (Anderson & MacCurdy, 2000) to my identity.  In embracing this role, I am better able to relate my experiences as a learner and educator to the norms of the first-year writing culture that students who visit The Learning Centre are members of.  Through poetry and experience, I am equipped with the tools necessary to make meaning of the texts that explore the teaching of writing.  I am able to voice my interpreted meaning through response poetry, through vox theoria, while not silencing the voices that came before (Prendergast, 2009, p. 545).       21  POETIC FIELD NOTES -ii-  (February 8, 2015)  I now know that I am an interventionist implanting myself in a society of words a living community built atop journals, essays, books, articles and the like Their discourse is my own to adopt, decipher, decode and interpret in my own voice intertwining discourses to create understanding traveling down boulevards of understanding to understand differently in an attempt for something more  I am the kind stranger on the road pointing out paths previously unseen to travelers who trudge along the well-trodden path no longer with spring in their steps who wish for more beyond the compulsory destination set forth years before  I am the facilitator who wears the same shoes who speaks the same tongues who can explain and promote  in other dialects Support transformative learning  through discourses structured, line broken, lyrical, technical or otherwise to better this world as-is.       22  Found Your Passion? Passion and commitment  are stylistics qualities  that academic writers often praise  in other people’s writing  but suppress in their own.   Most academics  would describe themselves as passionate, committed researchers;  they love what do  and  undertake their work  with a strong sense of personal engagement.   Many actively desire  to make a difference in the world,  whether  by finding a cure for a deadly disease,  by enlarging our understanding  of natural  and cultural phenomena,  or by changing the way people think.   Yet  these same researchers  have typically been trained,  either implicitly or explicitly  to strip  all emotion  from their academic writing.   What would happen  if they allowed  even a modicum of  the passion  they feel  to color  their prose?  (Sword, 2012, pp. 159-61)       23  Literary Métissage I am braiding, mixing, interweaving ideas of many of my own of the literature of prose of found poetics and poetry of thought with original poetic understandings through personal discourse educational discourse paragraphs, grammatically correct sentences and citations through The Essay the antithesis to this thesis in some respects yet an important strand Its fabric needs to be woven to the weaving of understandings of theorists, educators, artists and poets alike akin in the goal of teaching lessons preparation of life in the weave of humanity to strengthen and grow to learn and become  whole.     24  Poetry as Mode  There is, as would be expected, a great deal about how to understand poetry in university textbooks, in countless books in the non-fiction section of the local bookstores and online.  There is also a great deal in the literature about how poetry can make one feel (Leggo, 2011;  Pennebaker, 2007), how poetry can be used for healing (Anderson & MacCurdy, 2000; Furman, 2004; Lengelle, 2008; Orr, 2002; Zimmerman, 2002), illustrations of poetics being used to iterate experiences (Leggo, 1999) or to validate the use of poetic inquiry (Cahnmann, 2003; Gitlin & Peck, 2005) or how to manuals to teach poetry in academic context (Spiro, 2007; Nica, 2011),  but I wish to place more focus on poetry as a valuable mode of communication in the teaching of writing.  As a mode of expression, poetry speaks to me in ways that prose does not.  It may be the resonance of words when read aloud or in my mind; it may be the ideas that are born or my affinity for reading between the lines.  Either way, I find myself impassioned by poetry and I try to inspire others to find their voices through the mode. As an Instructional Associate who often spends a great deal of time in post-secondary institutions, I have found that I am a part of my institutions academic culture. In this culture and in my role as a learner in my graduate studies, I am inspired by the use of alternative forms of expression being used to teach and illustrate understanding through the proponents of performed research (Saldaña, 2011; Lea, Belliveau, Wager & Beck, 2011; Belliveau, 2012).  Articles exploring performed research, ethnodrama, autoethnographic performance, and performance a/r/tography are more frequently found in the literature.  These articles give greater power to the practice of arts-based research and open the proverbial door for further arts-based explorations that utilize more poetry.  These fellow explorers inspire me.       25  I see you there  on stage  from my page still researching as you recite your findings though never complete in your cycle of learning  Your monologue downstage left bringing language to life giving a face  to often faceless transcription of personal interaction inspires me  I see your value in the academy and hope that you will see mine too, poetically, through this whatchamacallit through this voice on the page.   I have also come across a rather in-depth area of research/literature around the use of using poetry to teach writing to EAL (English as an Additional Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners.  These courses aim to expand the learners’ English vernacular and that, if adapted, can readily apply to a wider range of learners (with various levels of English comprehension). For example, Hanauer (2012) shares the structure of his course, working with EFL students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which can be utilized as a model for working with all learners to develop their abilities surrounding the use of poetry in an academic context:   (1) Introduction to poetry writing – reading others’ poetry; (2) Thinking, imagining, reliving and talking about a significant life moment;      26  (3) Investigating and exploring the genre of poetry;  (4) Exploring personal experience – listing memories, discussion of unique, personally meaningful experiences; valuing one’s personal history;  (5) Poetry writing experimentation – checking your poetry in relation to its ability to ‘show not tell’ and to recreate your experience in another reader;  (6) Classroom reading of poetry, peer and instructor interaction and the sharing of poetry with individuals the poet writer considers to be of significance beyond the classroom; and  (7) Production and sharing of a complete poetry book. (p. 113) This example illustrates that there is literature around the shared experiences in the ESL/EFL community/classrooms where poetics have been used to bridge the gap between learners’ language skills and serves as a reminder to all of us working in literacy that poetry’s power as a mode of teaching is there for us to use.  I want to use it more in my own facilitation in The Learning Centre, with ESL/EFL and first-language learners, and I want to continue to use it as a tool for personal understanding.       27  Confusing Cacophony of Concepts Academic discourse mystifies and confuses more than unifies Rhetorical analysis is Greek  (how appropriate) to most learners Argumentative essays are argued against Gerunds seem jarring Verbs are vexing Paragraphs are paralyzing Grammar grates on grades as learners get held up on the rules We interrupt this poem with a further poetic translation of terms… Speak the way academics speak Rhetoric is how we use and construct language (Yes, it is Greek) Arguments prove your point while squashing the rest talk about your side and the others to prove who is best choose how you will do it alternating points or a block to prove that you are not only right but can talk all that talk  Gerunds are nouns made from verbs turning ‘read’ in to ‘reading’ the concept is superb (I am glad you’re still reading) Paragraphs hold your sentences Yes, please more than one Grammatical rules are how it’s all done Chosen language can falter and skew understanding it can make tasks with language seem overly demanding Exploration through prose may work for some yet for me, I retain more  when the language is fun Poetry can be silly serious or dour     28  Yes, for me it’s the discourse with all of the power.   Poetry acts as an intermediary; a mode between discourses of courses, concepts and theories that can seem daunting, and everyday modes of communication.  It gives students an opportunity to think about their thinking; they become aware of their thought processes (yes, poetry as mode of metacognition) and are able to express their ideas through writing.       29  Poetry as Paraphrasing Poetry can be used as a powerful tool for paraphrasing, be it paraphrasing concepts, content, or understanding.  Often, in my own experiences as an Instructional Associate I find that students are not comfortable using new, academic discourses; they have a need to internalize and personalize what they are learning before they feel comfortable expressing themselves and demonstrating their understanding to others.  Poetry allows students to play with concepts, language and form in ways that are in direct contrast to the essay, but put the students in direct contact with the concepts that their instructors are looking for in their essays.  In paraphrasing with poetry, students are able to explain or interpret another person’s ideas in their own words through their poetic and/or scholarly voice.  Their poetry illustrates their understanding of what is being said and can also show deficits in their understanding. Poetry as Idea Generator I use this technique when students are having difficulty understanding the main concepts or themes being explored in their readings.  As with mind-mapping or webbing, I ask them to pick out the keywords and explore how those key words and concepts link back to what is being addressed in their course.  What is different in the utilization of poetry in this method, is that the categories act as free verse poems of idea exploration and also act as paraphrases of the major tenets of their assigned readings.  When read aloud, students can recognize their levels of understanding or recognize their deficits through their own words (yes, metacognition again).  They compartmentalize or chunk ideas and are able to formulate a poetry-like structure with their stanzas of understanding.  This can then be brought back to their essay assignments.          30  Poetry, as Parisi (1979) explores, is a way to bridge students’ understandings with their potentially limited access to language.  It is a bridge “between the students’ literary naiveté and the professor’s sophistication” (p. 62).  It gives students the ability to express themselves, to illustrate their understanding and to interact with ideas without extreme pressure of formatting and adhering to the strict rules often associated with the essay.         31  Poetry and Learning Styles/Learning Preferences Paraphrasing and poetic webbing are only a few ways that the power of poetry can be utilized in the teaching of writing.  We, as teachers and educational facilitators, consider students’ learning styles when creating curricula and when working with students through their writing challenges.  Two common models for addressing and assessing learning styles are Fleming’s VARK model (visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic) and Gardner’s research as it relates to multiple intelligences (Fleming, 1992; Gardner, 1993).  In The Learning Centre, we consider how students learn to help us to better guide them through their learning.  I have found that identifying students’ learning preferences and/or learning styles allows me to adapt my approach and play off the strengths of the students that I am working with. Poetry can be used to connect with visual, auditory, reading-writing and kinesthetically leaning learners using Flemings’ four identified learning styles through the following ways that I have used or would consider using in my practice as an Instructional Associate.   Visual learners and poetry:  Poetry can be used to reach visual learners as it often has a distinct appearance on the page.  Stanzas are often easier to read than paragraphs and can be utilized to assist visual learners in writing their ideas down in a more succinct way.  Concrete poetry is also a way to reach visual learners.  Using words to create an image on the page (see Modes of Wonder, p 93) can further students’ understanding.  For example, writing about pastoral poetry while creating streams of words reinforces the ideas for the learner.  This feeds their need for graphic learning. Auditory learners and poetry:     32  Auditory learners learn best when they hear the content.  To reach them, read a poem aloud.  Have them hear the meter, cantor and candor of the way the author wrote it or hear their own interpretation of the meter and musicality of the text.  Read it differently.  Have them read a paragraph aloud.  Ask them to give it meter, cantor and candor the way it makes sense to them as a learner.  The information will be processed differently and be better retained when the words are given a voice as opposed to being in their text or on their screen. Reading-Writing learners and poetry: These learners appreciate words on a page.  To learn, reading-writing learners appreciate re-writing their notes and participating in mock tests so that they are writing the answers down.  With the infusion of poetry, these learners can break their notes down in to concise lines and form stanzas of understanding that, when written often, can allow them to retain knowledge in ways not previously experienced. Kinesthetic/tactile learners and poetry: “The doers” as I like to think of them.  Kinesthetic learners want to experience what they are learning first hand.  Smell, taste, sound and sight are important to these learners.  Interacting with concepts, through poetry, in locations being explored in the literature may help.  As in the previous example, doing a close reading of pastoral poetry outside may allow the concepts to become more firm for the learner.  Also, the emotive nature of most poetry can allow the learner to feel what the author intended.  Strong imagery, present in some poetry, would benefit these learners as they can tie their experiences with the content being explored. Poetry can also be used to elevate the learning of the eight categories identified by Gardner (1993):     33  Verbal/Linguistic intelligence and poetry: Poetry read aloud meets these learners’ preferred style extremely well.  Turning course texts in to poetry that can be read does great things for their absorption and retention of information.  Reading about grammar and mechanics as if the textbook was written poetically can benefit these students. Logical/Mathematical intelligence and poetry: Sonnet anyone?  Many forms of poetry use meter to relay their message.  Iambic pentameter in poetry, most notable Shakespearean, would benefit these students.  Also, the creation of Haiku, with its strict syllabic requirements can also speak to these students and aid in knowledge retention.  These learners may have little interest in the tone of what is being said, but if we show them structures and equations that are important then we draw them in to the content.  Visual/Spatial intelligence and poetry: Three dimensions with poetry may seem difficult, but it is not when you consider using mind mapping, in conjunction with poetry or metaphors, to liken the ideas explored in course texts and lectures to the real world.  These learners may also appreciate concrete poetry or using poetry to create 3D representations of course content. Body/Kinesthetic intelligence and poetry: “The doers” are back again. Utilizing movement with the reading of poetry or during a poetic reading of a text can benefit these learners.  Turning texts in to poetry with a movement associated with key concepts/stanzas can benefit these learners.      34  Musical/Rhythmic intelligence and poetry: Did you hear that?  That is the sound of poetic readings to music. In utilizing a process where course texts become lyrics, we are playing to the strengths of these learners.  Even without literal music, poems read aloud create rhythm and beat that these learners can use to better retain knowledge.  Intrapersonal intelligence and poetry: These learners are self-aware and benefit from writing poetry to further explore their thoughts and feelings.  Working with learners who know that they are not strong writers benefit from poetry as they can explore how they are feeling about assignments and what they wish to say in their assignments without being reminded of possible literacy limitations.  Once their ideas are out, through poetry, these learners can then gain new insights in to what works best for them as learners. Interpersonal intelligence and poetry: These learners are sensitive to others and have a great deal of empathy.  Poetry, for these students, can be a way to better understand what the author is saying by putting themselves in their proverbial shoes.  Having students take on others’ roles through poetry allows them to tap in to their skills while gaining more insights in to their coursework.  In the teaching of writing, these learners will also take on the passion of the teacher and may approach the content the same way.       35  Naturalistic intelligence and poetry: These learners are attuned to the world around them.  Pastoral poetry often speaks to these students.  In the teaching of writing, likening ideas to their lived experience can be helpful.  Using metaphors through poetry, these learners can see an essay as a tree (root structures and all) and comma splices as a tree faller’s axe.  These learners wish to connect the physical world with their learning and poetry is a great segue between course content and learners ideals.  I can hear it  when I read it 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 See its form on the page as I sit  smelling the freshly mowed grass  on a warm spring day I can project what I am learning on the tree Its base strong as a concept bows branching off and flowering  with supporting thoughts  It is all around me taking my text and breaking   it      apart in to couplets of content to help me understand what the author had planned and what I see  is being expressed through my own eyes to help me to personalize my learning      36  Segue to the Essay: Trying…Very Trying… As both students and educators can relate, there is a level of pride in being able to express ideas in ways that resonate and make others think.  We take pleasure in enlightening others and proving our points to the degree that they cannot be refuted.  This illustration of our knowledge often comes in the form of the five-paragraph, expository essay.  Examples of the admiration for the essay go back generations, yet talk of hybridity is sparse.  As I made my way through the tomes and online texts, I stumbled upon an article from The Galaxy: A Magazine of Entertaining Reading, published in 1866, where Theodore Clarence espouses the merits of the essay in his article Essays and Essay Writing.  I read his words and shared my thoughts in hopes that he would hear, knowing full well that the writer is long gone.  His words, however, continue to generate thought.   Clarence (1866) writes initially of the long-standing use of the essay, giving stock to its socio-historical significance:   Although the scope, variety and finish of the modern English essay are in a great degree owing to the exigencies and the prestige of periodical literature, yet the original biases toward didactic writing-the tendency to comment, reflect, describe and speculate on life, manners and character-is identified with the very earliest specimens of English prose, and is characteristic of our vernacular literature long before the origin of newspapers. (p. 678) As I read, I responded, “Yes, Mr. Clarence, it has been around for some time; many hundreds of years, in fact, but why should we use it? What are its merits?  What about poetry? What about combining types of texts?”  His response:     37  More than any other kind of composition, the essay is printed talk, or should be so; its ideal is the best kind of conversation, admitting both philosophy and wit, anecdote and description, reasoning and humor, statement and illustration. Its social influence cannot be overrated. (p. 679) My retort: “Its social influence is no longer as overrated in practical terms, but is still held in prestige, high upon its pedestal in academia.  We are still using the essay today, our five-paragraph go-to, and many would support your 19th century claims, Mr. Clarence, as the essay has strengths, but the world is not the same place.  Perhaps we should expand our modes of discourse; perhaps we should use more poetry.  The world has changed.  What’s that you say, Mr. Clarence?” The essayists were efficient lay-preachers, and a critical study of their writings affords the best intellectual test and picture of society, scholarship, opinion and character at any special period.  Such being the history and influence of the essay, we repeat that it has claims to more earnest consideration as an element of popular literature than critics usually award. (p. 679) Let me rephrase my argument in poetry…       38  Drowning Out the Essay’s Boastful Voice Perhaps in the time of cholera  the essayists could speak for all I argue otherwise  when a Korean man in sunglasses  pretending to ride an imaginary horse is seen by more people more times than Shakespeare’s works were read in the same year when expression comes by way of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when our philosophers are on the radio  they are discourse instigators chanting about how fancy they are tell Becky to “look at her butt” remind you not to ___ with their love riding wrecking balls in the buff Iggy, Nicki, Ed and Miley are usurping Darwin, Mendel, Chernyshevsky, Dewey, Ghandi, and Nietzsche from thought and guide the masses  driven by popular media our current creators of accepted discourse The lyricist and bards, the poet in disguise, form the vernacular the discourse and dystopia of today used in all forms of contemporary communication yet we hold our students to forms described in the 19th century (and before) giving little stock to the creative, inconsequential, unit made compulsory by the Ministry of Education whose disjointed criteria fails to meet the purpose behind expression We give examinations where we critique  5 paragraphs of exposition that mostly mimics the 5 paragraphs  of the other hundreds of thousands of students giving little credit for original thought while we, as a culture, of popular culture praise the Iggys, Nickis, Eds and Mileys     39  more than the Deweys who remain.  Where is the balance in language and meaning? I see an alternative. We can fracture the essay break the restrictive line asphyxiating discourses that represent illustrate understanding and “meets expectation” and may even exceed it through playing with language through poetry  hybrid texts and discourses. Many educators fear the panopticon of moving beyond the prescribed criteria Loving their jobs for the difference they can make and need a slight push to go beyond the 5 paragraphs embrace the language of now breaking convention where convention has ruled.  Expanding language in the ivory tower of academia to other tongues not only our mother tongues unbolting the silos that we hold so dear  where we can mimic and embrace our poetic popular culture will give students the opportunity to explore  integral concepts connecting previous constructs of the essay with contemporary language and forms that have been veiled and relegated  to a few units of freedom per year.  We mustn’t kill the essay nor deny its significance but we mustn’t mute the melody of expression and understanding attained through playing with the language and forms of today     40  We must listen graciously hearing and seeing that expectations are being met.  Mr. Clarence did not respond       41  New Forms for New Interpretations  Any writer must be half a reader of himself; one cocks an ear to what he or she writes and speaks of revisions as the reader; they are responses not to something ‘written wrong’ but to something that ‘sounds wrong.’ (Parisi, 1979, p. 62)  We are concerned with evaluating the particular writing behavior which is termed expository, i.e., writing that sets forth and explains, as distinguished from narration, description and argumentation.  (Johnson, 1962, p. 570)   Something is wrong.  I have checked clocks calendars hieroglyphics of many nations and all point to it not being 1962 not 1886 yet when I enter the classroom I see the broken spines of tattered tomes held in the hopeful hands of our educators Ties around their wrists barely visible amidst the misdirection of their zest and passion but they are there restricting the possibilities hampering students’ progress.  Something is wrong.  We have made expository the reigning regime that rules over all levels of academic writing We accept the essay     42  as the primary form of expressing understanding without an attempt essai anything else  Something is wrong.  We accept narrative inquiry poetic inquiry performed research ethnodramas all arts based research to take place and be embraced once proof of assimilating the essay has been made.  Something is wrong.  Revolution must take place to allow students  and teachers the freedom to break the five paragraph illustration of understanding  Taking shape in different often deeper ways through multiple texts and interpretations.       43  Expanding Accepted Types of Texts  The educated mind is fundamentally one with capacity for free thinking, an inventive and self-directing agent.  It is the human who is able and vitally concerned to participate in the conversation that is its culture, who is therefore learned in the great texts and ideas that make up that conversation and, no less important, capable of taking it further and relating it to one’s own existence.  Education at a more fundamental level of analysis is not an outcome or a science but a life process that has no end beyond itself. (Fairfield, 2009, p.25) Educators seek to create sentient learners  self-directed full of self-efficacy  As a student: If I am free thinking then why am I limited to singular forms of discourse with recourse if I venture from their pre-subscribed notions? Why is my culture limited in scope by these discourses? Why can I not explore with leeway  and latitude and fusion  of texts and understandings  while not venturing too far from home grown fundamentals of accepted forms of my proof that I get it? As an educator: Why can’t I let my student explore thought and concept without conventional ties like concrete  holding them to form? Am I not here to extend beyond correct and incorrect? Am I not here to teach them to think, feel and assess to question and to wonder?     44  As student and educator: I want to be free of expected forms I want to show my understanding Develop new insights and question conventions through different text and discourses without fear of failing grades. I want that for all in the realm of education Liberation not strict evaluation I believe that this balance can be met for the benefit of lifelong learners in our places of mind wherever they may be.         45  POETIC FIELD NOTES -iii-  (March 9, 2015) The immersion and submersion  in discourses of this educational culture have become my predominant verses that I chant championing for change to the system My dystopic refuting of only Introduction Topic X3 Body X3 Conclusion has seen the revolution spark in the eyes of others.  I am inspired by the possibility of change allowing others the privileges that I was not afforded through much of my education I feel pride in teaching others the merits of poetics as paramount prose alternatives Seeing them questioning the status quo seeking small integration of these ideas in their own work as educators spreading the gospel to others Integrating, fusing and amalgamating what is best in essays what is best in poetry to offer what is best for education        46  Criteria’s Limitations: Can We Fix It? Yes We Can! If we want our work to be consequential - to have an impact in the world - we owe it to our readers to write with conviction, craft and style. (Sword, 2012b, p. 36) In order to better help students today, I find that it is important to know what may have shaped their perspectives of writing in their secondary school educations.  On the same note, it is also important for me to remember that many post-secondary writing teachers have their roots in the secondary systems, be it a few years or a few decades of teaching at that level.  Based on my daily interactions with students who are braving first-year, required, writing/English courses I understand the correlation between students’ secondary and first-year writing experiences.  How their teachers before taught them writing and how they view the practice now are important factors to help them through their writing challenges.   Before assisting students, these are some questions that I ask myself and also ask the student:   What do they feel about writing?    How were essays presented/taught to them in their previous educational experiences?  How was poetry presented/taught to them in their previous educational experiences?     How was their writing previously graded?    How do they feel about exploring language and ideas through forms other than prose?   Are they open to the idea? Leggo (1997) writes of many secondary school writing teachers’ approaches to teaching poetry: The teacher creates an artificial environment in which readers are granted entry to the poetic text through the door of his or her own perspective. Armed with a battery of notes and a special guidebook, the teacher gives a lesson designed to manipulate the students to     47  reiterate the teacher’s encounter with the poem in the hope that meticulous and appropriate attention to two dozen poems per year will prepare the reader for reading poetry with satisfaction and enthusiasm. (p. 7) I see this type of teaching occurring in my current post-secondary environment as well.  Students are presented with the instructor’s standardized perceptions and interpretations of the poetry being studied, and are inclined to reflect those interpretations in their assignments.  This style of recitation has been engrained in some of the students’ minds.  I do not blame their secondary school teachers for this perception.  They are passionate educators who often work in strict environments where the prescribed learning outcomes must be met or they will not be re-hired.  This harkens back to the criteria put in place on students, teachers, instructors and educational facilitators alike.  With that said, I feel that it is necessary to explore how students’ views of writing may have been shaped and what lenses they are looking at writing through.  The best approach to quell this wondering is by exploring the criteria of the BC secondary system as it relates to writing. I have found information from the BC Ministry of Education (2009) that outlines what the government deems to be quality types of writing.  Writing of merit falls in to four categories.  This, as outlined in the document, is to make standardized evaluations easier for teachers.  In the section of the document aptly titled “Qualities of Writing,” four elements necessary for writing that ‘meets expectation’ are outlined:  Meaning -ideas and information, including development and use of detail -the writer’s appreciation and unique perspective on the topic (voice)     48  Style -word choice: clarity, variety, and impact of language -sentence fluency: sentences are varied, flow smoothly, and enhance meaning Form -attention to the “rules” of the particular form of writing (e.g., stories, instructions, poetry) -organization of ideas and information Conventions -spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and legibility (p. 11)  The five paragraph essay  needs to show meaning as does poetry both need the writer’s voice though not all may speak  in the discourse of the essay  The essay needs style with word choice and flow to impact and heighten meaning as does poetics where choice of words line break and enjambment can make or break  meaning for the reader  Form and following through  with the rules  as set out by convention with clear organization can be found  in both forms 5 paragraph, 5 stanza or 5 line     49  The above ensuring to me comprehensible, decipherable enjoyable at the same time  The same boxes need to be ticked  to meet expectations set out by the powers that be Perhaps we have been blinded by the structure of one its seemingly easier way to assess en mass when both share root criteria giving students room to grow.  A mixture of texts  to show greater understanding through style in unique forms breaking convention creating new convention confirming learning could be the solution for students seeking to meet expectation not just for the criteria but for themselves.  Through connecting course concepts in their personal writing, I have seen students become better equipped for the writing expected in their introductory, post-secondary writing courses.  They internalize and personalize content and find the process extremely beneficial on personal and educational levels.  As not enough emphasis is given to the merits of personal writing in the BC Performance Standards (2009) document, let’s have a bit of erasure to explore what more emphasis on that category could look like.  “The BC performance standards for writing describe student achievement  in three types of writing: personal writing, writing to communicate ideas      50  and information, and literary writing.  Personal Writing Students often write to explore and extend their thoughts, feelings,  and experiences. They react and reflect on current issues, on materials  they have read, viewed or listened to, and on their own learning. Some  personal writing is intended for an audience; however, often the writing  is primarily intended to explore ideas.  Writing to Communicate Ideas and Information Student success in and out of school is strongly related to their ability  to communicate ideas. Writing to communicate ideas and information  includes work that is intended to present information (e.g., articles or  reports), outline procedures (e.g., instructions), and persuade others  (e.g., editorials).  Literary Writing  Students learn to appreciate the power and beauty of language as  they explore a variety of literary forms, including stories and poems.  Expressing ideas and imagination in literary forms can be a lifelong  source of satisfaction and enjoyment and helps to connect students to  the social and cultural life of their communities. In the English Language Arts Integrated Resource Package, literary writing is referred to as imaginative writing (p. 8)  Condensed for greater legibility: Writing achievement personal writing to communicate literary writing explore and extend thoughts feelings and experiences React and reflect on current issues materials read, views or listened to. Learning. Writing is intended to explore communicate ideas in and out  of school to present information and persuade others     51  Literary students learn to explore express ideas  and imagination  and enjoyment and connect to life Imaginative.  I cannot help but wonder if a lack of significant engagement with poetry in the teaching of writing comes back to obvious uncertainty of what to do with poetry as a mode of discourse in the North American, marks-based system.  As Dymoke (2003) notes, “[the] problem of teachers’ uncertainty about poetry assessment is further exacerbated by the limited number of examples of assessed poetry provided by curriculum authorities.  Without more exemplars, prose will understandably be viewed as a safer assessment route” (p. 151).  In essence, we need to show how the current marking criteria and compulsory assignments can be adapted from high school, through to the university system for use with poetry and subsequent hybrid texts that utilize poetry as a mode of discourse.  These examples can then benefit those educators who may not be comfortable or familiar with poetry as a mode of discourse and expression of understanding.  They can then try exercises that integrate poetry as a tool for expanding understanding. The exemplars are there though shrouded by convention by ensuring ‘meets expectation’ is known to those with the budgets to keep the doors opened to keep the minds growing to make a difference through it all Few realize that the current criteria sheets Ministry approved can be cauterized to encompass poetics      52  That the form  need not be left to bleed with purely aesthetic hearts but that meaning check style check form check convention check applies to poetry needing only slight various in the need for validation that it meets expectation       53  For Your Consideration May I convince you through poetry and hybridity to look beyond complacency to remind you why we teach writing To express communicate argue to inflate our knowledge beyond predetermined confines (without popping) To explore create expand upon knowledge and the human experience. Please consider  for students, educators and me the use of hybridity expanded use of poetry in accepted modes of writing academic and everything therein.         54  Hybridity: Is it in the Budget? I cannot help but wonder if teachers  wouldn’t mind shelling out $300 more for  one more credit and a bit  more effort to be better equipped to help their students  by way of their increased knowledge by way of required course adaptation or  an additional professional development course where  they can become even stronger in how to use previously set criteria to assess said assignments in creative writing: poetics, narratives, drama, lyrical works or a métissage of works to  expand their students minds expand what they can do to reach their mental quotas decreed by the Ministry to  increase student success and retention while creating critical thinkers through transformative learning by taking a bit more time and spending a bit more money securing students futures  and their own To create post-secondary pugilists who would fight poetically for a unity of discourse to allow “meets expectation” to fall to the wayside as they continue towards their futures through poetry     55  prose stanza paragraph. Illustrating the power of poetry in teacher education programs and suggesting a greater use of poetry and hybrid texts to reach more students in first-year post-secondary writing classes, at institutions such as my own, seems like too easy of a fix.  Can I write a full line of text where I explore a base concept and interweave it with poetry where I take many angles  internalize and personalize my interpretations  and language  in conjunction with the literature to generate new or previously unexplored understandings or  am I simply looking too far inward?    Am I missing the viability of hybrid models that use a greater amount of poetry to illustrate understanding in academic contexts?  Am I seeing all angles or am I naval gazing?           56  POETIC FIELD NOTES -iv-  (April 30, 2015)  Poetically practicing what I preach while prideful and promising is weary making challenging the systems and conventions feeling like a blasphemer from the Thomases who doubt and others in the field full of fear of change  I continue to slog down the path less travelled with Frost’s imagine recurring Directing others down the same way or such similar paths  than the well-trodden road that it cannot help but intersect from time to time  The conventional travelers appear less worn less dusty yet  seem to have less zest than others on my path or such similar  more verdant paths when they first set out Extending away from the road with wonder  I am the stranger on the road I direct to other places I bring new ideas I am the messenger I will continue to seek others     57  along the path to explore the ideas with me the Lost on the main road or confused near it  We  a society of like-minded Nomads roam    often apart  but are unified as a people a society  of those who see beyond presubscription and prescription of dreamers of poets of those wanting more.      58  Discourse Myopia: Are We Seeing Everything? I have experienced the limited interaction with poetry in first-year writing/English classes.  Poetry is only read.  It is not created to illustrate understanding or to connect ideas to the students’ lived experiences.  Students are asked to write their interpretations of the instructor’s selected, approved poems in essay format and not through the medium of poetry of which they are reading and responding to.  This partial interaction with poetry limits the exploration of language and limits students’ modes of discourse.  Leggo (1997) speaks to the inadequate use of poetry in most literature classes.  He notes that most exploration of poetry comes through poetic analysis which is almost exclusively presented through an expository essay: The critical analysis paper attempts to excavate the poem, to force it into a single perspective, and to close down the subject.  It is interested only in the final product, a coherent, unified explanation of the way the parts of the poem are interrelated.  Any inconsistency, incoherence, gaps, undecidability in the language and meaning will be ironed out or ignored. (p. 36) To meet prescribed outcomes, we, as educators and facilitators of writing education are often limited to teaching students that the poem is to be taken apart and that there is a right interpretation and a wrong interpretation (as per our course outcomes and previous research around the poem).  When I reflect on my own practice, I must balance my wishes to expand students’ literacies and use of poetry with their need for fundamental understanding through close readings and standard forms of prose-based expression.  This is not a deterrent.  It allows an opportunity to instill the merits of hybridity to students.  Through using poetry and hybrid modes of discourse, I have found that students glean more insights in to their assignments and what they wish to say in their writing.  Students are able to navigate their course texts and     59  concepts in ways that were previously unbeknownst to them as they were transfixed on the required discourses and formats of their assignments.     As a learner, utilizing the capaciousness of poetry allows me to create my own interpretations of course content which I can then use to expand my understanding and link back to the concepts illustrated by the professor, by the textbooks and by the research.  For the students who I work with in The Learning Centre, having them explore their ideas through poetry helps them to create their own understandings that they can then transpose in to their writing assignments.  Poetry allows for the discovery of literary voice which is important for students who feel laryngitis when writing through the medium of the five-paragraph essay.  It has also proven beneficial for those who struggle with getting their thoughts or feelings out in writing.  With poetry, I can hear students’ voices more clearly, I can guide them better, and I can continue to become a stronger educator because I have listened to them.         60  Voicing Understanding  Writing with no voice may be saying something true, important or new; it may be logically organized; it may even be a work of genius. (Elbow, 1998, p. 287)  Did you hear that?  Did my voice carry too far? I apologize. I did not mean to besmirch your character and sully your name as I know that you try Essai Please know my intentions were to introduce my friends Creativity and Free Thinking  to your friends though we ultimately ended up speaking of your shortcomings. You have been a good friend you are organized usually quite direct and repeat yourself often  often in different ways while saying the same thing I get you, I understand you you are quite predictable most of the time It is almost like I could plot  or outline you and, for some,  consistency is beautiful. For me, however you are missing something more substantive- voice, juice,  personification of the position behind what you say I want to know what makes you tick yet in your pragmatic personality I do not get that.     61  I want to hear your contextual bravado I want to know what brought you to creation I want to feel the importance of what you say without the need for constant textual evidence I want YOUR story. Don’t get me wrong; knowing that you have read the literature is important Referring to it differently would work for me too but our conversations are often quite drab. Please do not take it personally but I have since spoken with the group and we are going to venture with Creativity and Free Thinking for a while I have met their friend Hybridity who has some of your best traits but whose voice I hear more clearly with a tone that resonates with me We will come back and see you but our lifestyles are different than when we first met We want different things.  I’m sorry, essay Goodbye.                62   POETIC FIELD NOTES -v- (May 18, 2015)  It is strange to push poetically and huff with hybridity for people who do not know it To give of myself without obvious award to fight for free thoughts and expression to give others the opportunity to grow by an expansion of what is acceptable for marks for which our society gives emphasis  I am trying to give them a way to get that A+ sought after by so many who become halted and stunted by set criteria I am trying to give them new enthusiasm for learning For learning is not about restricting but enlightening and should be awarded as such.  I presented my ideas to but a few colleagues seeing most move away from the radical idea of expression  having as much merit as mechanical answers watching them participate in what’s on trend The lack of participation initially caused disheartening until the sparkle did dance in the eyes of the few the poet in the audience the layman and the confused  The (r)evolution continues adopting and converting as it goes We do not seek destruction of language     63  nor do we burn the effigy of 5 paragraphs we simply endorse a ratification of thought for those who feel the bonds of convention.  We can fuse words  and worlds of genre of texts to give language more intention beyond the conventions currently in place Can’t we?          64  POETIC FIELD NOTES -xi- (June 7, 2015) Tectonic plates of tradition strike/slip with little notice most days the ground does not move the changes are too small to notice It is only when the strike/slip along the fault lines is significant that the magnification reverberates outward building with momentum shaking the foundations ringing the wind chimes without wind We take note. This research this conjecture this effigy this performance this text this métissage is dancing along the fault lines incrementally coaxing a connection   of the gap to close to strike to shake up and crack tradition to possibly slip this plate atop  the plate of tradition overlap these ideas with the current I must close the gap the twane must meet the landscape  of accepted forms of discourse needs to change      65  Value and Validity of Poetry in Post-Secondary Writing Courses For me, teaching with poetry, expressing concepts, sharing ideas and connecting poetry with our lives and the lives of our learners is a passion.  Creativity and expression through writing speaks to my role as an educator, my role as a student, and my role as a writer/poet.  I disagree with the idea that was put before me early on in my educational career, the idea that introductory academic writing needs to be utilitarian.  We, as facilitators and educators, need to continue to illustrate our passion for education to our students, and allow them to know the value of our personal connections to our subjects.  This will then allow them to make personal connections to their learning.  If we expand our exploration of language to include more poetry, we can expand our overall understanding and create stronger bonds between what we are learning or teaching and why we are learning or teaching.   I cannot help but wonder, as Sword does: “What would happen if [some educators] allowed even a modicum of the passion they feel to color their prose?” (2012a, pp. 159-61).  Where did the passionate prose go in so many institutions’ introductory writing courses?  Why are we trapped in the traditions of tacit topics that yield the same answers and the same ‘original thoughts’ each semester?  Why not give poetry a try?  Rich Furman and his students did.  Rich Furman, a proponent of poetics as therapy and valid form of expression, teaches a course entitled Introduction to Social Science 123: Beyond the Literary Uses of Poetry at the University of Western Washington (UWT).  The course seeks to expand students’ use of poetics beyond the exploration of its literary merits as found in most introductory literature classes on the post-secondary level.  Furman (2014) shares an excerpt of the course description in his article Beyond the Literary Uses of Poetry: A class for university freshmen in the Journal of Poetry Therapy:     66  In this course, you will explore the nonliterary uses of poetry.  Unlike courses that explore the literary merits of poetry, in this course you will come to view poetry as a vehicle through which social and personal aims are achieved.  You will learn to view poetry as a means of documenting and presenting human experience and social research, as a tool in therapy and change and community engagement, among other topics.  You will learn to use poetry as a means of exploring key aspects of your own lives, and as a means of acquiring the important skills of self-reflection, data analysis and public speaking. (p. 206) Furman’s course offered at a notable university illustrates that not all educators see poetics as a blip in their introductory university level writing courses.  In his course, he gives students a foundational knowledge, and experience of what it means to become an ethnographer and illustrates how poetics can better utilized in research.  These ideas are expanded upon in the course goals.  As Furman’s (2014) article outlines: Goals of the course: 1. Students will develop an understanding of the nonliterary use of poetry. 2. Students will gain an understanding of the multiplicity of human experience as depicted through poetry. 3. Students will acquire skills and become familiar with the research method of autoethnography, and will develop research skills congruent with this method. 4. Through understanding how poetry is used as a tool for community development and social change, students will define their roles and responsibilities as members of a broader community.     67  5. Through various writing exercises, students will increase their ability to write to  various discourse communities. Students will develop the capacity for public speaking  and performance. (pp. 206-7) This course gives an example of shows the value of poetry in post-secondary classrooms through its creative, theoretical and empirical use of qualitative methods (autoethnography, ethnography, poetic inquiry) where poetry is the primary form of discourse.  Moreover, the course illustrates and teaches students other ways that they can utilize poetics and poetry beyond the scope of Furman’s particular post-secondary course.  I am inspired by his hybrid course where students are able to explore poetry, find its power, find their own voices in writing and integrate their findings in to concepts surrounding well-established research methodologies.  Furman’s course affirms Brady’s (2004) idea that was explored earlier in this performative exploration, the idea that poets seek to connect lived experience with course content to create greater and various levels of understanding.  Through using language in different ways and allowing themselves free reign to play with language in their poetry, poets seek to find truth in the concepts, feelings, ideas and theories that they are exploring.  I know from my own experiences as a learner, poet, and educator that poetry is a valuable tool for understanding and meaning making and I am glad when I see students given that opportunity as well.      68  POETIC FIELD NOTES -vi- (May 23, 2015)  I have embraced the idea of our modern day wordsmiths being those who may have one day been seen as bards the radio, the online music sources, and the bay of pirates The repetition of lyrics create new discourses seeing generations moving away from traditional sentences feeling lost in the classroom and not understanding why My vigor continues for the expansion and hybridity of expression beyond the binary.  Please give me your essay  with some creative  interwoven words I will know that you understand I will see that you understand I will reach your thoughts Allowing you to transform to become that which you wish to become.  I will have met my purpose  as an instigator of language and as an educator.          69  Poetry has personal value for learners, where they gain greater and subjective understandings of ideas; it is also a valid and valuable method for learners to illustrate their ideas.  Poetry does not need rhythm and rhyme to be poetry.  It needs only the poet’s intent to share their ideas. I argue that the creation of poetry holds a great deal of authenticity.  Through allowing license to play with language, the creation of poetry is a way for the poet’s perspective to be presented in personal contexts.  Poems can illustrate where poets are on their journeys to understanding and meaning making. Validity speaks to why we should trust a representation of reality or an evaluative account. One way to think about validity is not so much cutting the difference between truth and its pretenders, but providing us with a sense of the limitations of knowledge claims. Despite its objective connotations, validity is important in evaluation precisely because of the socially constructed, fallible, provisional, and incomplete nature of knowledge and the personal and political propensity to act as if this were not the case. (Norris, 2005, p 442) (in)Validity Poetry as binary  to prose is antithetical to the purpose of education Paul Fairfield, like Dewey, reminds us that academia  is both scientific and artistic not neither nor The present enthusiasm for technique and instrumental rationality must be reminded of its limits and be regarded with a larger context of education as a cultural practice and art (Fairfield, 2009, p. 25)     70  We do not educate to stunt and yet, we often block thoughts with block quotes supported by close readings reviewed only by professionals who remark on how well we have expressed our points in the confines provided as safe places for thoughts to grow. The validity of words dare not should not be restricted by formatting A rose is a rose as an interpretation of text is an interpretation of text be it in 5 paragraphs 5 stanzas or a hybrid Requirements for assignments: Clarity of argument Proper grammatical usage Textual Evidence and, the ever popular, je ne sais quoi exists in diverse forms Poetry allows the voice  the essence of the writer the juice (as Elbow would say) to come forth tying the author  to the illustration of the criteria Allowing the text to breathe in the responses     outside of the pretenses creates an independent mind that can show you what needs to be shown     71  Creative writing can bridge the distance    between  the students’ literary naiveté------and------the professor’s sophistication  (Parisi, 1979, p. 62) Poetry need not have highfalutin language to express what needs to be expressed through rhetoric and charm knowledge claims are made requirements are met and await evaluation.  Fusion of forms lyrical and lexical ventures beyond value and validity brings exploration of language and utmost importantly understanding back to learners.   In my work, I have seen how the creation of poetry can give students an alternative way to look at language and generate meaning.  It acts as an Other: a realm where exploration is unbridled and can tie concepts together in ways not experienced before.  In allowing inquiry through poetry, we as educators give students/learners the freedom to extend beyond structured responses.  This freedom can not only further understanding of academic discourses, but allow knowledge to tie in to, as Gitlin & Peck (2005) note, various types of knowledge that are derived from personal experiences.  In this unrestricted, sometimes playful encounter with knowledge through the use of poetry and multiple types of texts, learners can garner understandings not previously encountered in prose.  New pathways are created that build toward overall understanding while creative and critical thinking skills are developed.  I have experienced this idea when teaching learners to critically assess and explore concepts through poetry and through the creation of hybrid texts (beyond the essay).  Through this interaction with language, we are     72  giving them tools that extend beyond the first-year, university, writing experience.  We give them tools for educational, personal and social change. Gitlin & Peck (2005) write:  Instead of viewing the world produced by approaches to inquiry as better in some sense of the word, the import of inquiry, especially inquiry conceptualized within an educational poetic, is that it operates within the space between forms of knowledge or cultural communities in order to examine the way all forms of knowledge (including the knowledge produced through the inquiry process) may be seduced by commonsense.  By doing so, inquiry has the potential to challenge the affirmative aspects of culture, which stand in opposition to freedom. (p. 30) Students learn that the act of interacting with concepts and ideas in their courses are as meaningful, if not more meaningful than being correct or incorrect.  They learn to synthesize their own understandings and learn to express them in non-formulaic modes of discourse that can later be transposed, if required, to other modes.  Poetry gives educators and facilitators a way to teach students critical and analytical thought in ways that are less ‘on the nose’ and are geared towards more personal interactions with course content.  Through its ability to personalize and internalize ideas, the act of creating poetry asks students to become invested in the course and ultimately in their educations.  Through the creation of hybrid texts, which utilize poetry and prose, we are granting students access to language that does not exist when we limit their modes of discourse to either poetry or the essay.  This gives value to the use of poetry and the use of hybridity, but does not lessen the importance of the essay.      73  POETIC FIELD NOTES -vii-   (May 25, 2015) The more I delve in to educational culture around words the more I feel justified in my work the more I feel justified in my moments of dissuasion the more I feel reinvigorated when the moment passes the more words bounce through my mind the more ideas give me hope the more promise I see in this time spent the more energy ebbs and flows the more guttural swells of passion for words rise the more creativity sparks the kindling of ideas the more pleased I am to be able to share these assertions the more individuals will profit from this work the more my métissage braids the more I am braided in to the educational culture around words the more I traverse this process the more I wish the literature would cooperate the more keywords come to mind the more I try alternative methods of poetic expression the more I embrace hybridity the more I hope this resonates the more I want this work to be successful the more people I wish to reach the more transformations can occur the more joy can exude through language.       74  Value of Poetry as Discourse in the Illustration of Understanding  Through my exploration of language and expression, I have seen that poetry requires knowledge and interaction with concepts that goes beyond recitation of the content and ideas that came before.  It also requires, in most cases, brevity that calls on the poet to share what they have learned in a small space on the page.  Brasel, Roberts, & Crawford (2014) agree with the idea that “in contrast to the thick, rich description generated through more traditional qualitative data points, poetry, in a sense, has already been condensed to its smallest element because of the economy of words and the compactness of emotion” (p. 179).  The concepts have been considered and filtered in such a way that the poet can share them with their audience and allow the audience to insert their own interpretations.  Poetry also allows for multiple interpretations to occur around the same idea(s) from the same poet.  Brasel, Roberts & Crawford (2014) write that “poetry in its organic essentialism seems to provide an inherent synthesizing process of sorts, so that the poems generated have identified the essence of the topic, without the researcher having to do so” (p. 179).  The poet can empathize and experience without having to go back in time to ask Shakespeare what he meant or ask Byron what he was feeling.  Moreover, an interesting idea that expresses the value of poetry by Brasel et al. (2014), as it relates to traditional qualitative research methodologies/inquiries with language, is that “the process of poetry writing using formula poems provides an internal and integrated member checking” and that this member checking through “poetry offers an additional emotional tone that perhaps a survey, interview, or focus groups may not necessarily come close to approaching or gauging” (p. 179).  In essence, the capaciousness of poetry allows the poet to synthesize ideas, express them through various modes of poetic discourse and allows for participants voices, if applicable, to be better heard in the research/writing. In a similar way, Cahnmann (2003) notes that “a poetic approach to inquiry     75  requires the careful study of our own written logic, technique and aesthetic” (p. 32).  The creation of poetry and the use of multiple texts allows for further proof that the student understood, thought about, and has their own interpretation of the ideas being explored in course content.  Writing response poetry requires that the student illustrates their own understanding.  It does not ask the student to articulate the understanding of the teacher/facilitator/educators’ perspective; it asks for their own interpretation of the text.  Like the essay, the poem allows teachers/facilitator to check for understanding and checks for an internalization of ideas.  The poem created is the proof of understanding beyond the scope of concepts being reiterated by the expository essay, even if the essay is still utilized as the primary mode of illustrating understanding. Furthermore, having students write poetically can illustrate their refinement of the concepts being explored.  Their illustration of understanding through poetry can also include verbatim content from the course akin to quotations in an essay or be presented in a hybrid mode of poetry and prose.  This content can be integrated in such a way that further illustrates students’ comprehension of ideas or illustrates deficits in their understanding of said content.  It is the act of writing and expressing understanding that is important.  According to Fisher and Frey (2007), “writing clarifies thinking…for that matter, writing is thinking” and “analyzing student writing is a great way for teachers to determine what their students know (p. 57).  Why would we not allow various forms of written expression through poetry, prose or hybridity so that we may better gauge students’ level(s) of understanding? Poetry does not only use facts to explore, it uses poetic devices such as metaphor, and poetic conventions, such as line-breaks to illustrate deeper understanding of the poet (or in our case, students/leaners who become poets).  Of the importance of metaphor, Cunningham (2012)     76  writes, “simply put, metaphor is thinking, speaking or writing about one thing in terms of another; however, this definition does little justice to the prevalence of metaphor in thought and communication” (p. 535).  He goes on to note that “deeper studies into linguistics, psychology and neuroscience have yielded similar conclusions that human beings naturally think in a metaphorical way. The brain's tendency towards categorization is substantially aided by metaphor as it instils both connectivity and distance among our thoughts” (p. 535).  This is a testament to the power and value of poetry as, “not only do people discover similarities among concepts and objects by metaphoric linkages (often characterized as conceptual metaphor), but they also uncover wider flexibility within our world views as they metaphorically connect seemingly disparate concepts (typically labelled as linguistic metaphor)” (p. 535).  Through metaphor, through linguistic expression, concepts are linked and braided, thereby creating more complex and more fruitful understandings.  Metaphor allows for multiple ways of looking at concepts and explaining concepts; this is, as aforementioned, a beneficial tool for students’ articulation of knowledge. Through using metaphor, I have witnessed how students are able to show deeper levels of thinking and understanding. More to the value of metaphor in student’s poetry and use of poetry in exploring concepts is that metaphor can show connections to various ideas through their appropriate use of metaphor and can also show possible deficits in understanding with their inappropriate use of metaphor i.e. a mixed metaphor that has no connection to the work being explored.  Moreover, students are able to show deeper interaction with course content through these metaphoric linkages and presenting their synthesized ideas to other students and the instructor for further consideration.  The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics under the     77  section Knowledge, Poetry As, attributed to Jenkins (2012), speaks to the truth found in poetry, specifically through the use of metaphor:   Metaphorical truth moves beyond arbitrary word-truth and encapsulates a role of poetry. It concedes or ignores the truth of the arbitrary signifier and moves in the opposite direction. While meaning can be perceived as just as unstable within metaphor as in lang., metaphor transcends the sign (sound-image and concept), and meaning at the edge of lang. emerges. (p. 1323) Metaphor transcends and thereby poetry has the power to transcend and create deeper meaning as it relates to course concepts.  In utilizing poetic discourse, including the use of metaphors, students/learners are able to illustrate certain truths that prose can leave behind.  They can rework language in ways not previously used in the context of the coursework and can create new avenues of understanding and meaning that are embedded in their use of poetry.  This is meaning that would not have been present in another form of written expression.  As such, utilizing metaphor in academic poetry and hybrid texts are valuable tools for students and teachers/facilitators to be aware of.   The line-break is another poetic device that students can utilize with their poetry and poetic discourse to show understanding.  The line-break itself is difficult to explain and its uses are significantly personal.  Line breaks can change the meaning of a line significantly and cause multiple meanings.  Kjorup (2010) speaks to the ambiguity of the line-break in the abstract of his linguistic paper around the definition of the line-break.  He writes:  Apart from the surprising fact of being in lack of lexicographical description, line-break, a term widely used in poetic criticism, will be seen to be highly polysemous. What the     78  term refers to, simply, is far from always clear; not only does it seem capable of changing with contexts referred to, it tends to do so in the extremely volatile fashion of attracting contrary or even contradictory referential meanings. (p. 20) While Kjorup (2010) attempts to paint the line-break as a complex expression used by word lovers, with little concrete meaning, he inadvertently illustrates its power in poetic discourse.  Line-breaks can change the context of the message from affirmative to contradictory and back again.  In conjunction with enjambment, “the continuation of a syntactic unit from one line to the next without major juncture or pause; the opposite of an end-stop line,” line-breaks create a multiplicity of meanings and truths/authenticities that often do not exist in traditional prose (Scott, Brogan & Monte, 2012, p. 436).  An effective expository essay will have a clear thesis, clear topic sentences; it will have evidence in the body that links to the topic sentences and will link to the thesis and the conclusion.  An effective poem or hybrid text that uses poetry will have a thesis, will cause the reader to think or feel, and will leave the reader with a renewed or different perspective on the content than they had before reading it.  For me, if students are able to write poetry utilizing metaphor, line-breaks, enjambment, meter, rhyme, simile, onomatopoeia, blank verse, free verse, and/or haiku (the list can go on) then they will have more experience with language that they can bring to their essays and other writing-based assignments.  They will be able to use their ever-improving language to write an affective, emotive, student-voiced text.  If we, as teachers and facilitators demonstrate poetry as a valuable mode of discourse in academia, we will be able to impart concepts to students who may have not grasped the concepts in our textbooks or lectures and will be able to better assist students in becoming excellent communicators.     79  Through the word economy necessary for many forms of poetry, students show that they have not only thought about ideas, they will show that they have thought about how to express them in their own terms, in their own (poetic) discourses to inform their own understandings.  The product (the poem) may also illustrate deficits in understanding that may not have been found when students filled in the blanks of their formulaic essays.  Poetry can show gaps in conceptual understanding, whereas a student could concoct a convincing essay by following an essay formula (hook, thesis, topic sentences, body paragraphs with quotations, conclusion).  Moreover, students’ use of poetic conventions will allow more of their written voices to be heard and allow students to find/create their own writing identities.  We, as teachers and facilitators, can help students to find their voice through the allowance of poetry in writing intensive classes and in the teaching of writing.  Through exploring ideas through poetry and the creation of hybrid texts, we are developing their skillsets as writers and critical thinkers. Many students are afraid to speak with their academic or poetic voices in their writing.  They feel that they must follow specific discourses laid out by their instructor, or their perceptions of what academic language is.  Their meaning making and illustrations of understanding are stunted by fear of not adhering to set criteria.  Poetry asks the student to explore their thoughts, their understandings and their perceptions in ways that extend beyond the stringent criteria of the essay.       80  POETIC FIELD NOTES -ix- (May 27, 2015) As I reflect refract and refocus the words of those before I see new images  As I submerge in conversation buoyant ideas float to the surface like buoys once lost to the tides forgotten by their owners with new ideas in tow As I navigate the labyrinth of thought of texts of dead ends of original ideas perhaps not as original as first hoped I find new pathways of understanding This process’ dissemination of words has adopted me My language no longer simply words  before or after I have become one with the language the language one with me Cacophony now symphony of understanding with further nuance to ascertain.     81  POETIC FIELD NOTES -x-  (June 4, 2015) The voices and words of unmet allies now friends seeps through the tomes the keyboards the screens with citations whispering  to explore the words of those who spoke to them who lead them to this place of understanding not yet populated by many though the gate is opened wide Only today did I seek  a face  to the voice(s) of Monica Prendergast Rich Furman Helen Sword fortunate to have the voice of Carl Leggo in-text by ear as mentor who does not boast of his canon of writing or his sailing in a concrete boat These pioneers have kept the garden in tact with cabins made of sustainable lumber powered by solar energy and by words The garden is vast I have yet to meet them all but will continue to explore following the whispers while whispering beyond the gates myself.       82  Educational researchers can benefit from arts-based approaches to research that question the limits of tradition just as an architect might question the institutional use of cinderblock walls.  For example, we often instruct students to use citations rather than teaching them to explore their own words and imaginations.  This reduces knowing.  Rather, we need to teach students to develop their own voices.  Poetry can be an important means to that end. (Cahnmann, 2003, p. 32)  Break/ing Context Why can’t my prose skip a line and break Break With the same message that I would give you in paragraph format such as this.  The I’s are still dotted.  The T’s are still crossed and yet when I break Break You see it as less than its complete  sentence counterparts When really,  all words are symbols  though  the meaning changes within or outside of   context Do you not hear my voice more clearly with resonance when you think of my expression as poetics?  Peter Elbow (1998) himself said, “writing with no voice is dead, mechanical, faceless” though when I read it poetically: Writing with no voice is  dead     83  mechanical faceless… I feel it I believe it Do you not hear it? The merit of my words should not change due to their location on the page.  The chosen delivery of the message through written language should not change the value of what is being said.  The author’s intent is to share their message with you and to make you feel, believe, and think about what is being said.  Does a line break  Break really make that much of a difference in your overall understanding? Perhaps the break Break up of thoughts show more  than their 5 paragraph counterparts and give more than first expected.  Should we reawaken Derrida to deconstruct the pieces to validate how a simple break break sees dimension and transformations?       84  Hybridity Not Rigidity As I have been exploring and considering in this performance, the use of poetry and hybrid texts in the teaching of writing can be utilized to reach more students.  Poetry and poetic discourse extend beyond the binary of one reading or another, beyond right or wrong.  It often allows for multiple readings and interpretations of the same text and brings about new thoughts and concepts as they relate to standardized ideas that are asked in some courses and that students come to me with in The Learning Centre.  The same question asked in literature classes who study Hamlet in Vancouver, is the same question being asked in Toronto, being asked in Regina, and being asked in Corner Brook: “Is Hamlet mad?”  Thousands of students have answered this in expository essays in literature classes around the world.  Yes, it is an important question when reading that particular play, but the same lines of Shakespearean language are used in nearly every response, framed in a similar response, concluded with a similar response of the binary: yes, he is, or, no, he is not.   This hybrid approach of combining the ideals of the essay and poetry is represented in the Canadian canon of literature.  Anne Carson’s (1994) The Glass Essay explores, through poetry, the dissolving of her/the speaker’s marriage and the steps she takes to move beyond the event.  The essay follows the format of a traditional essay: a narrative/poetic hook, introduction (including thesis), body paragraphs that tie in to her thesis, and a conclusion.  Her structure echoes the clarity of an essay, while her poetic discourse leads the reader on a journey of internal thought, real life events, emotional struggle, and a clear conclusion that ties back to her thesis.  I realize that while students are not necessarily poets who will have Carson’s nuanced control over language, I argue that they should be allowed to explore their thoughts and show their understanding in ways that fully realize their aptitudes.  Limiting students to the binary of     85  writing essays in literature classes and writing poetry in creative writing classes, we, as teachers and educators, are stunting their expression and illustration of their comprehension.  Hybridity can help students find and illustrate their ideas. My argument is to open  up the criteria  to expand the essay-centric allow for other discourses to be braided.    I have experienced how braiding of texts allows students the opportunity to explore, if they so wish, and use discourses in ways not previously afforded to them.   In having experienced the power of poetry to build upon and expand ideas only to have those ideas stunted by required formats by required modes of discourse I can empathize with students who feel   locked in  by restricted formats.   If the requirements of academic discourses were less stringent and more open to hybrid models of writing, I know that I would see fewer confused students.  They would have the chance to explore their thoughts, their understandings and interpretations before going to task with their essays, a part of education that many find intimidating.       86  POETIC FIELD NOTES -xiv- (July 1, 2015) Processes are particular particular prose is paramount in poetry in expression in word economy of the presentation of ideas. The prose is limiting my poetry in the exploration of language My commentary is packed  particularly the poetry with feeling and passion which was not being infused in my prose I was contradicting myself by trying to show the value the use the need for more poetry through more prose My lyrical voice in my writing had to be found my stories had to be presented  as my own valuable literature The Literature and Research  not all powerful not my voice must then be where it should have been all along as supplemental To try and match the tone  in this case to promote poetry through others prose in this case giving their words more authority defeated my purpose     87  saw me as lost as the students who need poetry as a greater language in their lives. Fusion of forms has given me hope has allowed me to see the viability in the expansion of education in the teaching of writing in expression as a whole.         88  Verse. Stanza. Essay. Language languishes when formatting means more.  Poetic discourse allows learners the freedom  to express their understanding through discourses  not readily utilized not readily accepted  Opening assignment criteria allowing poetic discourse allows learners to articulate their interactivity  their synthesizing their understanding of concepts and ideas   Articulation of exploration conceptual, textual, hypothetical tangible and imaginary relatable or conflate-able venturing with questions and what ifs  Fusing, amalgamating, braiding in-class evidence with real world experience the armchair learner the first-hand doer generate whole ideas with ownership as their own Line-breaks, metaphors, simile enjambment, consonance, assonance rhyme and verse     89  give license to dance with discourse Thoughts, words and imagination combine with course concepts to show understanding in ways much deeper and dense     Discourses of lived poetics confirm collaboration of learners and lexicons show synthesizing with syntax elucidates educational explorations beyond the paragraphed parameters.  Hook.  Introduction.  3 Topic Sentences.  3 Body Stanza-graphs.  Conclusion.  The above poem had all of the parts of the traditional expository essay.  The word economy required different ways of relating the same message, as in an essay, and quotations could be added or paraphrasing could be added from other material to give even greater dimension.  How would the message change in traditional formats?  Would you not lose some of my voice and intention?  Was the message not as strong if not stronger?  Poetry and exposition are stronger united than apart.        90  POETIC FIELD NOTES -viii-  (May 26, 2015) My power as poet is being internally noted more  as I go reading  greeting  the few others  [in texts and textual citations]  who share in the idea  that poetic discourse is-no, exists, no   e  x  t  e  n  d  s  beyond the realm of constrained discourse that we limit ourselves and each other to is rousing inspiration when our lines cross on the page I have moments where  I do  sit alone in prose and poetics like a more balding Rapunzel in my tower of tomes with only the few visitors [in text] who share my zest for poetics’ power I then scour for others to bring in to the fold unite the troubadours lead them in  battles of lyrical proportions towards emancipatory expression breaking free from polished paragraphs able to explore  ideas, words, thoughts, feelings, beliefs beyond the paltry paragraphs archaic in their restrictiveness though not without their uses       91  POETIC FIELD NOTES –xv-  (July 5, 2015) I have come to value the process as I show value in poetry in teaching writing through poetry removing the stigma of assignments remembering the value in writing the way I suggest students do in my daily interactions Knowing that language exploration is on-going ever-changing and adaptive meaning making at its best when language is embraced without restrictions Hybridity yields new understandings found through process finished product unlike anything created before        92  Modes of Wonder: The Capaciousness of Poetry and Poetic Discourses  Our friends at Merriam-Webster (2015) helped with the following definitions: 1mode noun \ˈmōd\ Definition of MODE a:  a particular form or variety of something <flying and other modes of transport>  b:  a form or manner of expression :  style   1wonder noun won·der \ˈwən-dər\ a: something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc. b: a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc. c: to have interest in knowing or learning something : to think about something with curiosity  I wish to wonder  what the world would be if we opened accepted discourses Allowed all learners to be authors to speak their speculative understandings of course content to question academic questions which are unfathomable to question as the answer has been the same  for centuries What would that look like? How can poetic discourses be used to express and explore and evaluate? I wonder  I wonder…        93  3 Lines, 5-7-5, Nihongo, Mode of Wonder  1. Poetry can grow Beyond the borders of prose Expression is key  2. Do not limit me I can show more than you think Beyond the blank page  3. No more restrictions My words flow without borders Allow me to breathe       94  14 Lines, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, Shakespearean (sans iamb), Mode of Wonder …the poet seeks to grasp the tenuous, tentative, tangled, tensile threads of questions, unraveling with tantalizing possibilities for analysis. (Leggo, 2012, p. 153) Why do we not put more value in this explorative method of thought?  Why do we feel that prose has more value in the classroom than poetry?  For fear that we cannot assess if the student is ‘right’ or not?  We hold narrative inquiry, ethnography and poetic inquiry up, you see  Sing the praises of our ability to open doors, to understand much more  Yet when a student wishes to express themselves differently, the question is ‘why?’  I feel like we should open windows of possibilities and the doors  If students are limited by thesis location, strict rules apply  And are unable to draw things out of themselves as they draw from the text  What type of learners are we creating, do you suppose?  I’m afraid it may be the type who cannot see what is next  The kind who cannot see past their nose To create learners who can interpret in multiple ways  Will see their education blossoming beyond their school days        95  5 Lines, AABBA, City of Ireland (No, Not Cork), Mode of Wonder 1. There once was a question of poetry Can it be as good as an essay to me? The forms may all change But the thoughts are the same Now we need the academics to see  2. I wrote poetic lines for my class Though I would need an essay to pass I hoped that my instructor would see What my expression meant to me But was told to follow en mas  3. Voice in language can be found When ideas are free and unwound The student and text become one They see that language can be fun The results tend to be quite profound.       96  Vers en Francais (5 at 3 Lines and a 4 Liner at the End, Slightly Modified, Villanelle-esque), Mode of Wonder  I tried to express myself today Though the form caused distress I wish there was another way I did not want to betray As my instructor knows what’s best But I felt my passion slipping away I kept attempting to say What I wanted to express But the form allowed for no play To the office I went to portray How my words were becoming less The instructor was confused, in dismay I tried my best to sway Though I didn’t want to pest The instructor said it was to be that way I was bound to the 5 paragraph essay Another form would be my quest I tried to express myself today I wish there was another way.       97  Myth 1: Academics are not allowed to write outside of strictly prescribed disciplinary formats. ‘Not allowed’? By whom? Academic writing is a matter of making appropriate choices, not of following ironclad rules. When confident writers push back against disciplinary conventions, those conventions often shift to accommodate the new style… (Sword, 2012a, p. 36) A.C.R.O.S.T.I.C. Mode of Wonder Pundits of punctuation puff posthumously pertaining to prose  picking out promise persuading primers to  pull poetics from prominence in post-secondary classrooms.  Poetics produces provoking problems Overtly obvious or obscurely opaque overly obtuse observations Of others ideas often opening opinions Evoking evolving enquiries  of education Elements enrich the experience enjoyment exudes in the ever-changing encounter Through thinking thoroughly and thoughtfully time after time  of tidings in texts     98  as total tellings of truths Inside the inquiries inherent  and intrinsic instinctively inside illustrations inclusive of words inferred, innate or inherited Conceiving cherished concepts crafted cleverly  or covertly  by consonance  of the consonants creating chimes of comprehension Seeping sometimes searing supportive and sympathetic schemes in to the systems of  subordination to single-minded single-text showcases of skill.       99  Tombstone Talk, Mode of Wonder A long life of idea containment is what the essay did best now the restrictions on accepted language have been laid to rest Of the modes of discourse, it embodied what it was meant to do to make writing easy, a neat formulaic model for you Though this loss will be hard for many to recover now hybridity and other forms of discourse can be re-discovered  Oh, we will miss its structured paragraphs with a body, so curvy with its long-winded expressions, oh yes, it was wordy We must carry on, with a life less confined with poetic discourses which, too, are refined To expand our horizons is what essay would desire-- Oh wait, it’s not dead, please don’t call me a liar The essay is alive and thriving you see You are now only mourning rigidity Poetics can live with essay in tact Multiple modes of discourse will illuminate more facts Let us join together for all modes of expression never again should we worry about our voices suppression           100  Unlimited, Free-Flowing, Mode of Wonder While the locus of hybridity is a theoretical space, the locus of métissage is an inhabited historical place…  The ethos of métissage is to seek rapprochement among disparate unequal groups…without erasing the differences. (Hasebe-Ludt, Leggo, & Chambers, 2009, p. 37) I am inspired by the métissage of life where I can braid  what I am learning what I am living what I am feeling in to one text context of complex intertwined threads that represent who I am as educator, learner husband, friend and other sutured roles that I embrace or shudder under the weight of In education I find liberation in the ability to express myself in essays that allow for a deviation from the norm of the exacting paragraph formatting that takes away my manifestation of understanding I wonder why we only allow students beyond 120 credits to explore meaning and channel arguments of change when all students should be allowed to be free thinkers who can show understanding in all forms. This not only allows for freedom of expression but requires the student to understand more than one standardized     101  convention presubscribed by the curricula presubscribed by the Boards or Ministry who rarely step foot  in the footsteps of students or teachers. Teach a student to write they can tow and recite the company line Teach a student that it is okay to express they can open avenues through their writing to increase their understanding.        102  ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (Though Abecedarian is Easier to Say), Mode of Wonder  All words have meaning Because we give them meaning Careful consideration is made for word choice Deciding what is best and what should be avoided Everyone does, or should consider Finite meanings behind words Given the nature of our educational constraints Human nature asks us to express ourselves In ways that go beyond 5 paragraphs Jumping from connecting thought to connecting though Keeping our minds sharp and allowing Language to express what could not be expressed otherwise Most of our assessment criteria Noticeably misses the human element of academic expression Others see it, but cannot place it in their curricula Perhaps we are too strict in our Quantitative needs for Reporting at the end of term Students respond responsibly if we let them Taking away some of the restrictions Understanding that they are capable Verifying What we already know X-ing out the doubts and realizing that Youth need more expressive options in the classroom Zealous are the students who learn while being themselves.     103  No, It’s Not Cement…It’s More Like Concrete, Mode of Wonder  Poetry  Brings  Learning      Circle         Full  If we can teach students how to think critically through the use of  poetry and hybridity, we will only elevate their understandings and interactions with  standardized course concepts and common place ideas thereby giving them the tools necessary to glean new and deeper understandings accompanied by the ability to analytically analyze the world around them and think for themselves  Poetry allows for multiple views of the same concept tpecnoc emas eht fo sweiv elpitlum rof swolla yrteoP  tpecnoc emas eht fo sweiv elpitlum rof swolla yrteoP Poetry allows for multiple views of the same concept  Poetry allows for multiple views of the same concept tpecnoc emas eht fo sweiv elpitlum rof swolla yrteoP        104  Slam, Just Slam, Mode of Wonder Forgive me if this comes across rudely but These verses have been hurtin my head Since someone said that I cannot say what I want to say How I want to say it  but now I get to say it today I’m sick of all the hoity-toity talk of language That discourses in courses have to be one way I’m sick of all the complaining over stanzas or paragraphs Let us just say what we need to say We treat learners like turtles Slow and steady wins the race Never thinking that we should be checking for their own pace Through their own words and discoveries not relying on standardized tests Let em speak in their language Let them speak it with truth ever knowing that no assignment is universal Give them back their voices Through many modes of text  though don’t leave to flounder gotta keep them in check Amalgamate thoughts  don’t discriminate forms of expression learners need to learn in ways that builds their comprehension.       105  8 Lines. ABABABCC. Please Sing a Slightly Higher Pitch (Just an Octave), Mode of Wonder  We need to open the channels of the articulation of learning only then can we come closer to perceiving if our students truly know or are their wheels only turning  trying to guise their lack of believing the notions that we teach without fully discerning not understanding the ideas we are conceiving Through hybrid expression of words without borders We create free thinkers, not simply those who follow orders       106  Now, That’s a Bit of Nonsense, Mode of Wonder Gibberish and mish-mosh are interesting ways to learn babble, ramble and free thought can give more to discern Discourse has recourse recursive words fall flat connection and interaction not sure what’s wrong with that Whimsical and rhythmical we can expand to teach no more muddled and fuddled understanding can be reached Flapjacks and setbacks the journeys aren’t the same why words are accepted and others seen as lame Mobility in movement of modes of education poetry has value move away from subjugation              107  POETIC FIELD NOTES -xii-  (June 9, 2015) Proof over-proof 121 is the goal to be potent in proving that poetic discourse is valid hybridity is helpful for not only this performance this métissage at this university for that piece of paper for the prestige with the title and accomplishment but  to gift the expanded acceptance of language through its creation to the hallowed halls of academia to the small portables to the community centres and homeschoolers alike Shots of proof need to mix as my métissage mixes me, you, them and us quote me, explore me, poeticize and criticize me create and conceive new old ideas to (in)form the expansion of what ‘meets expectation’      108  Concluding Thoughts Why are we here? Exploring value of poetry as an academic discourse fusion of forms and hybridity of texts as a way to illustrate understanding confirm comprehension Through sutured roles researcher, poet, autobiographic  interventionist building connections to close the gap adhering to styles of learning  and assessing the state of writing in-context Braided roles in braided texts adjusting the lenses in an attempt to fix the blur  of discourse myopia Addressing the essay and the cost of creativity For the value of  poetic discourse  as illustrator of knowledge advocating hybridity in the modes of wonder This thesis-performance hybrid has been created to explore and illustrate the value of poetry in first-year, university English courses and as a way of teaching writing.  It shows how poetry can be braided into assignments to grant students greater access to language and concepts.  An emphasis has been put on the concept of hybridity as a way to convey ideas to students and for students to illustrate their ideas in writing.  This focus has been selected as I have discovered that unifying modes of texts has greater value than selecting a single mode of discourse to impart knowledge or show understanding.  By delving in to concepts of value, the conceivability of a     109  change to current assessment models to support hybrid texts, suggesting how poetry can be integrated in to the current system, and by bequeathing wonder to support the ideas explored, I hope that further research will be done on the concept of hybridity in the teaching of writing. The thesis-performance hybrid text has used autobiography, poetic inquiry and facets of literary métissage, biography and autoethnography of my stories and place in the culture of writing in my university to address and analyze the literature around accepted forms of academic discourse in many post-secondary writing environments.  Moreover, through various modes of writing/types of texts: anecdotal evidence, government documentation, educational theorists’ ideas and ideals, writing and ESL/EFL professors’ course structures and content, the value of poetry and hybrid texts in the teaching of writing were explored.  The braiding of poetry to reply to the literature, through vox theoria, and the utilization of poetry to create and explore new ideas, has allowed for a closer interaction with the texts, while the personal narrative elements allowed my first-hand experiences in the teaching of writing to be drawn upon to give strength to the work.  The life writing and poetry acted as a counterbalance to the exploration through traditional discourses with their accompanying citations in such a way that neither element overpowered the other.  Each facet allowed for a unique perspective in to the concepts being explored.  A further distinctive element of this work was that the power of the creation of hybrid texts was not only discussed, but employed in the creation of the work itself.  This thesis-performance hybrid text uses various forms of poems, creative non-fiction i.e. the personal essay, and the expository essay in conjunction with quotations from the literature to produce a text that not only shares my findings to support the use of hybridity, but as a hybrid itself, embodies the concepts therein.     110  The initial purpose of this text was to identify, through an exploration of language and types of texts, if poetry was being utilized to its full potential in the teaching of writing at the post-secondary level.  These interactions with language then led to the use of hybridity to generate deeper and more personal understandings of the ideas being considered.  The use of hybridity allowed for a closer academic and artistic interaction with language in that I could analyze the texts, yet also address them as works of literary art.   Furthermore, in enacting a hybrid approach to interacting with the literature and in the creation of my text itself, I was able to reflect upon concepts and ideas in ways that a single mode of expression would not fully afford.  I took my own experiences and stories and combined them with poetry and the literature to gain a greater understanding of not only the use of poetry in the teaching of writing, but to further explore the use of hybrid texts in the teaching of writing in my own context.  Further, I created the text with the hope of being an exemplar for other educators.  My hope is that through the ideas explored in this text that they may now question and consider how they teach writing and how they utilize types of texts in their classrooms.  Drawing from the use of hybridity in my own work, and in others’ research, led to the formation of this hybrid document.  This work relies less on a stringent theoretical framework.  It instead draws on multiple methodologies to illustrate the value of poetry and hybridity in the teaching of writing.  I did not select a methodology that can be easily reproduced, but instead chose to illustrate how borrowing from various methodologies can lead to the creation of new ideas.  Had I kept exclusively to narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry, or ethnography, I feel that the nuances and findings of this work would have been represented very differently  The work itself is a hybrid and I felt that the theoretical framework had to mimic the same format or something would have been lost in adhering to a singular convention. The work represents an expression of the use of poetry and     111  hybridity in the teaching of writing.  It is an example of how language can be utilized in different ways to further students’ understandings of concepts and conventions when learning how to write.   Further research is needed as it relates to the utilization of hybrid texts and their effectiveness as it relates to quantifying student success.  This thesis-performance hybrid reflects my own interactions with poetry and hybridity in conjunction with others’ experiences from the literature, but it is not a generalization on the practice of teaching writing.  Case studies that look at students’ interactions with multiple texts, in contrast with those with students who only interact with single modes of texts, may shed further light on the value of hybrid texts in the teaching of writing.    This thesis-performance hybrid text illustrates the power of poetry and hybridity to demonstrate understanding and generate different ideas.  The creation of poetry can create more critical, sensuous and transformative moments with language for students and give greater personal meaning to their assignments.  This text can be utilized by other researchers as a point of reference when addressing issues around forms of accepted academic discourses and may lead to adaptations of assignments implemented in writing intensive classes on the post-secondary level.  This text may also be utilized by other arts based researchers who are striving to illustrate their ideas in ways that extend beyond conventional methods and readily accepted forms of discourse.  Language can create greater understanding, especially when we are willing to break the line of what is expected.       112  POETIC FIELD NOTES -xiii- (June 10, 2015) Poetic discourse has become my discourse lyrical language languishes in my emails tercets trickle in to my text messages research wriggles in to my thoughts I am full of hope that the bravado boasting about poetic discourse will cause change that hybridity has shown lucidity of thought Soon I will be some part of the research Perhaps in the literature review of another my words may be quoted my ideas may be quoted my attempt to essai this non-essay may end up known to many or to few Will any of this have made a difference?       113  In case you missed the message in the prose… Breaking the Line   I preach creativity while I teach 5 paragraphs that adhere to my  institution’s objectives I infuse my voice in my teaching wanting learners  to see creativity and academic writing as complementary in the hallowed halls where our thoughts reside Poetry has value as discourse be it through the facilitators’ formulation of ideas and concepts through the teaching of rhetoric with poetic language and modes or through learners’ lines of poetry proving their understanding Hybridity, be it prose and poetry or some other form of writing can show multiple understandings where it may not have existed before Taking the best of prose and poetry creates a powerful tool in teaching and leaning The essay tries  (yes, that’s a play on the French essai) let’s be honest it succeeds  in being the dominant  academic discourse taught to students in many universities (including my own)     114  Facilitators Educators Instructors Learning centre staff Writing centre staff often utilize the essay as THE discourse that echoes through the hallowed halls  We, the Royal and me, do this  not only because We are told to We believe that We do this  because We believe  We can more easily identify gaps  through prose We wish to help our students to use language effectively We, the Royal and me, need to use more hybridity and poetry  Through reframing adjusting our lenses even wiping our pretenses with a plush cloth (to avoid scratching)  We can see that hybridity bridges the gap  between what is being taught and who is comprehending it We should not  need not squint to seeme how the two major discourses poetry and prose connect How they are not that different how We can have both modes at our disposal to expand our educational territory  Through poetry discourses meld and unite Through poetry     115  students’ understanding  is illustrated interaction with concepts is illustrated Through poetry and prose fused in to one mode of understanding We educators, researchers and scholars (We poet-educators, poetic researchers, poet-scholars) can find cracks in learners understanding can find how to better cement our lessons to close the cracks before crevasses occur.  Through hybridity discourse dances in to understanding We, yes the Royal and me, give structure and freedom through poetry and the essay We give analytical and creative We give rhetorical and poetical We challenge convention We create critical thinkers We facilitate and teach our craft  We wonder how knowledge can be shown through poetry and hybridity all modes of exploration all modes of illustration for the propagation  of education with the declaration of poetry  as a valuable mode of understanding.            116  References Anderson, C. & MacCurdy, M. (2000). Writing and healing: Toward an informed practice. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2009) Worksheet for BC performance standards Retrieved on May 8, 2015 from the British Columbia Ministry of Education website: https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/perf_stands/worksheet_intro.pdf  British Columbia Ministory of Education. (2009) BC performance standards: Writing. 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