Designed for Jen Hirt’s contribution to The Turnip Truck(s) destruction issue.
Two years ago, my honors freshman composition class came to a halt while we considered the purpose of Haruki Murakami’s meandering prose in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. As I attempted to get the discussion on track, I realized I had not done enough to invite my students, creatively and critically, into the textual landscape—a crucial step in preparing students to navigate other terrains in academia and beyond.
It was a cinch to cut 11 of 18 pages from a 15-year-old essay, the second essay I wrote in graduate school, but challenging to represent the feelings of the 21-year-old girl who quit debate after watching four California condors fly above the Tehachapi Mountains.
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