Defense mechanisms, the self-destructing writer, and/or development and writing

Defense mechanism include the preface to questions such as “I know this is probably stupid but...” or they say right off the bat that their bad writers and don't like to do it. Pg. 19- daydreaming as a form of avoidance of the work, when Rose discusses his Math problems, he said “I couldn't keep up and started daydreaming to avoid my inadeqaucy” (Rose, 19). Silence as a defense mechanism that only served to reinforce negative test scores, as in the case of Mark on pg. 99. He didn't want to speak because the kids made fun of his lisp. His parents were lucky to move him since his new teachers were able to pinpoint what was going on with him and realized he was not retarded but perfectly normal.

The self-destructing writer has many of the same traits of the people that utilize defense mechanisms. They are fearful of error and do not want to appear stupid. In Rose's book it didn't seem to specify that low-income or race was the real problem behind bad writers versus good writers. They may not have the best access to these resources nor do they have adequate information on how to use these tools if they are available. The access of a mentor will really help the at-risk student avoid or fix their self-destructive writing habits. On pg. 92 it mentions the bad teacher Mr. Wilson on pg. 91. He treated his 5th grade student like a cohort of mechanical clerks; he relied on rote memorization and didn't incorporate any thing that would interest the students personally. This lead to self-destructive writing through the students just doodling in the margins and not doing the work at all. It wasn't even real writing per se.

Development and writing: Asking questions, asking questions, asking the right question. When Rose talks about development it seemed very processed based. They need to be able to make language their own. You need to be confident with your writing and worry about grammar when your done with your thought process. The developmental writer as remedial began as a medical term and slowly sifted into the educational system. The remedial student, implying they are not as intelligent or literate or etc.; really led to a stifling of the school system. The standardized testing placed students in classes based on tests that they were not even interested in while taking them. The remedial writer implies there is a direct cure or “quick fix” while in truth it only pigeonholes the student and in time they feel they are remedial whether they are or not. The fact that America has a preconceived notion that it was better in the past but it never existed to begin with, we try to expand our educational system but there is taking into account of socio-economic background, and other factors.