We want to begin by thanking David Bartholomae for his mentorship, his teaching, and his careful attention to student work, which has modeled to both of us the kind of care and intention with which we approach our students and their work. Being Bartholomae’s students was a big part of the origin of this project, and we are grateful every day we walk into a classroom to have been his students. In his essay “Against the Grain,” Bartholomae writes, “For me, nothing happens, or could happen, until I imagine myself within a discourse––a kind of textual conversation / confrontation with people whose work matters to me and whose work, then, makes my own possible” (194). In this spirit, we want to thank all those who make our own work in this collection possible, people “whose work matters to us” in so many ways.
First in that category for us are our students: students at Eastern Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and University of Pittsburgh. And, of course, all of our own dedicated and thoughtful teachers, especially Roberta Kjesrud, Carmen Werder, Jessica Enoch, Brad Read, Ruthanna Rauer, Paul Kameen, James Seitz, and Mariolina Salvatori. They, too, have made our work possible. This project would not have been possible without early encouragement from Jean Carr, Don Bialostosky, and Bruce Horner––thank you each––and without the efforts of our fifty-three (!) contributors. Many thanks for your willingness to explore student work with us, and in such important and inventive ways. We owe a debt of thanks also to Jocelyn Clayton, the excellent Research Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who helped us with editing and proofreading. We are grateful to the artist, Gabriel Jesiolowski, who created our cover image. The image takes its inspiration from Bartholomae’s practice of bringing a rock home with him after each hiking trip he took with his wife, Joyce, who teased him about the rock gathering obsession. “Why don't you wait until we're coming down the mountain to pick up the rock?” she’d ask. Peter and I both remember the rocks from his office, a number of which came from Camino de Santiago. The way the image captures the practices of gathering, memory, reading, and writing seemed to speak to the spirit of the collection.
We are also very grateful to Steve Parks, Justin Lewis, and all the folks at Parlor Press for helping us shape and bring this collection into being. And finally, we both want to thank our families for always reminding us what it means to learn, to make new knowledge of the world and ourselves.
Bartholomae, David. “Against the Grain.” Writing on the Margins: Essays on Composition and Teaching. Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2005, pp. 192-200.