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My Journey to Here

My Journey to Here

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Published by Theodora Johnson

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Published by: Theodora Johnson on Jul 10, 2014
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07/10/2014

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 My Journey to Here
By Theodora “Teddi” Johnson
 
I attempted to start on this journey to pursue my M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing in 1990 when I moved from Flint, Michigan back to Arkansas, but I said,
I‟ll wait until my children g
et a little older;
then, I said I‟ll wait until they get out of high school; then I said I‟ll wait until they graduate from college. And I did— 
almost. When I signed on to become a Literacy Coach in my school district, I learned that one of the stipulations f 
or the job was to complete a master‟s degree, so I said, I can‟t wait any more. I didn‟t
, and I applied at University of Arkansas at Little Rock
(UALR). I knew I didn‟t want another degree in English, nor did I want another degree in
education. I was very interested, however, in technical writing, so I applied for the graduate  program, declared a major in Professional, Technical Writing, and was informed that I had to wait some more. I was directed to Dr. Karen Kuralt, the department chair, who informed me that my G.P.A was too low (2.4) to get into the program
 — 
it had to be at least at 3.0
 — 
 but that I could enroll as a post-bac student, take some courses, pull up my grade point, and re-enroll as a grad. That was a glimmer of hope for me, so I did as she said. I call those first two years of my  journey
 — 
the post-bac years
 —my „redemption years‟
 or
humble beginnings
; the years I spent redeeming myself of all the reasons I completed my under-graduate years with such a low showing. During my redemption years, I took these four courses that helped me develop my writing: Literature in Film, Creative Writing, Writing for the Workplace, and Persuasive Writing. While in those classes, I worked hard to make the grades I needed to get my grade point out of  purgatory, but they not only served as I thought, easy classes
 — 
 because they were not
 — 
they made me face some truths about my writing and helped me improve my writing skills. As I reflect back on those first years that I worked to gain entrance to a field I had wanted to pursue for years and on the classes I signed up for, I can see where they served as just what I needed to get prepared for the graduate-level classes. After four semesters of work, I finally acquired the desired grade point and was admitted into the graduate program. It has been a journey to go from a digital immigrant to a digital learner and user. It has been a journey to watch my writing skills and increased knowledge about writing mature, and it has been a journey to finally arrive at this point of defending my portfolio that showcases my growth as a writer and rhetorician. I hope the work you see showcases my love of writing, my growth as a writer, and my use of technology to bring life to the writing.

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