The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

Reflection on module 2-Just Thoughts

 Scintillating. This is the word I kept saying to myself especially when I did a rereading of Phaedrus and read some of the commentaries. I must apologise for being so quiet but this my first time doing an online course and this is one of two. I lecture at a teachers’ college, where most persons seem to  feel that an online course does not require any special time table considerations .  Presently, I teach 24 hours per week. I have a  5months old baby girl and a miracle son, who is the main reason why I am studying online. I am extremely grateful to be studying online because it would not have been possible since my son is still recovering from multiple injuries he sustained in terrible car accident last year. My son was hit by a speeding police car. I just included this personal information at this point because I am not sure where my introduction went. I am a Jamaican. Despite being a developing country which is slow in catching up with many types of technological advancement we speed on narrow winding roads.

Where am I heading with this? Well Jamaican society is heavily dependent on orality. Only this week the government decided to increase taxation of the three major telephone companies. People are very angry about this, even my students. When a third company joined Digicel and Cable and Wireless, I was one of those who thought that the new company, Claro could never survive.  We had good reason to believe this.” A small country with only 2.5 million people, with a high percentage of them living below the poverty line.” That’s what we thought. Today all three companies are doing extremely well. As a result of the demand for cell phones and the trappings associated with them, it is cheaper for many to call their relatives abroad rather than have the relative call them as previously maintained. I am also experiencing this as my husband is in Canada presently. The telephone deals are getting better each month. This country really allows talk to be cheap!

Students at all levels face difficulties with writing because their mother tongue is a Creole which exists only in oral form. Attempts that have been made to standardize this language have failed because to write the Creole is problematic. However as result of it existing in the oral form English and slangs from America are being interspersed.The true nature of the languge can never be contained again so I believe linguists should abandon the idea of standardizing. Too many words have been transferred and the original expressions have died with the elders. This is what is so important about writing. Writing is a means of recording culture. The orality practised  has  caused many cultural ideals to be lost. The Anancy stories which Ong refers to have been dying, as many of them were not written down. According to Socrates writing is important for ” memorials to be  treasured against the forgetfulness of old age.” Some of our ways of cooking different dishes have died because of this heavy reliance on orality.

I believe that if some persons were inclined to  write their feelings rather than speak them then there would be less violence. Speaking involves gestures and body langauge which could be irritating to someone who is already very angry.


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