Me, Myself, and My Literacies

Hello, I am Ginamarie! After receiving my B.A. in English Studies here at Chico State in the fall of 2015 I began the Master’s Program in the Literacy and Language pathway and working towards my Certificate in Teaching College Writing.  My ultimate goal is to one day be a composition teacher at a 2-year college.  I am currently the VP of Academic Affairs for the English Graduate Student Council, or EGSC.  Last semester our main focus was the fall Symposium (which was a great success) so I look forward to being able to give our attention to different components of being an English student, such as possibly doing a film series and GRE workshops.  

I also worked very hard last semester on a project for Laura Sparks’ human rights rhetorics course that ultimately took over my winter break and I never pass up an opportunity to plug the website I created.  I made the website as a way to showcase all the research I did concerning the human rights of homeless women and then it also became a platform for a local Purse Project.  Purse Projects are local women collecting gently used purses filled with feminine hygiene products and giving them to homeless women in great need of such products.  I have collected over 20 purses so far and have been able to pack them full with feminine products and other small toiletries that many women were kind enough to donate.  The first donations will be to the Jesus Center because I was in contact with someone there throughout last semester; I recently decided that I would like to do this first round of donations in time for the women to receive the purses for Valentine’s Day.  Here is a link to the website and I welcome any questions or comments on the website and in-person:

I swear I do have interests outside of school, too!  I live in Oroville with my boyfriend Tory and our dog Jack.  Tory is currently enthralled with trying to buy a house and has used the idea of being able to get a puppy for Jack as a way to get me on board.  Needless to say, I am a very big dog person.  I also frequently visit my wiener dog puppy, who actually just turned 10, in Paradise where I grew up.  I enjoy doing crafts, hanging out at the river, and going to the farmer’s market with my friends.  I am likewise very close with my family and spend as much time as I can with my mom, my two younger brothers, my older sister and her 5 kids and 2 grandkids, my dad and his girlfriend, and my extended family as well.      

From English 431 this semester, I hope to gain further insight into the one-on-one relationship between students and their tutors or instructors.  I have already taken English 634: Teaching Composition and taught English 130I in the fall.  (Due to health reasons I had to take a break from teaching and am only taking 2 classes this spring).  I think that taking English 431 after already teaching will be a new experience and will help me to better interact individually with students.  Through the use of ePortfolios in my 130 class last semester and making my own WordPress sites I feel a lot more comfortable helping students in the English 30 Workshop with their own ePortfolios and other components to the Digital Studio space.  This is a new confidence for me because I have not always been as comfortable with technology as I am now.     

A day in my literate life is varied because the things that I read and write are part of such a wide range of differing things.  For instance, the first thing I usually read in the morning are articles from Apple News.  When I was consciously paying attention to what I read it was interesting because I read countless headlines on Apple News before actually reading only two articles, those being “Throwing Shade at Mia Thermopolis, Kate Middleton Says She’s ‘Very Lucky’ To Be a Princess” from Cosmopolitan and from “More Women Die of Cervical Cancer Than Previously Thought.”  The types of articles I read also varies from other people because I am not a big social media person and I am very tired of reading both positive and negative articles about our new President.   

Recently my literate life has also been different than it has been because of the medical issues I am currently dealing with.  For the literacy list I created this translated as me reading directions for a gastric test at Enloe, reading my medication bottles in order to write a medication list, looking up and then writing driving directions to Enloe on a Post-it note, answering texts from my mom about what I had to do for the test, and actually filling out and signing paperwork while at the hospital.  I think that this change in what I read and write could be considered what Szwed in The Ethnography of Literacy terms a “literacy-cycle” because there is a change in my literate activities specifically due to the situation I currently find myself in (423).

Likewise, another change in what I read and write because of my “stage and position in life” has to do with what I mentioned before about my boyfriend buying a house (423).  Many of the items on my literacy list have to do with reading about different houses online and then on papers from the realtor.  I included reading about different types of loans online and writing a list of the things that the house “must have.”  My boyfriend and I also read about dishwashers and refrigerators together online to compare prices and features because not all the houses have these things and, while it is not on his, a dishwasher is definitely on my must haves list.

I actually read the Szwed piece while in a waiting room at Enloe and something interesting happened that made me have further questions about the types and functions of literacies that Szwed discusses.  While I was sitting there several notes of loud, happy music played throughout the hospital and myself and the lady sitting next to me both looked around very confused.  A hospital volunteer explained to us that this means a baby was just born and how special it is that the mom of the baby herself actually gets to push the button.  I wrote about it in my notes and termed it “literacy of sounds.”  Although I am not crazy about naming it that, it did bring up questions about whether or not this event could even have anything to do with literacy.  I ultimately decided that this was a form of literacy because, while not reading or writing, the distinct music communicates something very specific to the listener.  This type of communication Szwed also discusses in relation to the role that social literacies and communities play as part of an individual’s literacies.  I am interested in exploring further this idea of sounds as communication because it is not something that I have ever considered before as having a connection to literacies.


  3 comments for “Me, Myself, and My Literacies

  1. Austin Dewart
    January 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Interesting take on noticing what happened in the Enloe waiting room with the chimes of sound used to celebrate the life of a newborn. Literacies are communities, ones you are either apart of or not. In this case via audible sound, that chime would be a literacy practice in understanding it’s intent of purpose, and from which creates a sort of communion or connection with all others who understand its implied meaning. I hope your medical issues get better!

    • Ginamarie Wallace
      January 29, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you! I really like what you said about literacies being communities and it shows how quickly one can be included in a community simply with understanding.

  2. kjaxon
    January 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Funny how life sometimes offers us opportunities to discover new literacies whether we want to know about those literacies or not…medical, courts, grief…all have their own ways with words. And we’re forced to learn so quickly. Hope your need to learn these new practices is over soon.

    Thanks for sharing the website too. What important work you are doing and I’m thankful for the attention to local efforts in support of women.

    Grateful to have you in class…

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