As I began reading Vershawn Ashanti Young’s article, I quickly realized that I needed to change how I approached the piece. Young wrote his article as if he were speaking. This caught me off guard, as I was expecting something more formal. Students are encouraged to sound intellectual in their writing for school and other professional settings, thus it felt confusing, and almost wrong, for Young to write like this. Despite this, I found Young’s argument compelling and I agree with many of his ideas regarding Standard Language Ideology pushing the status quo, perpetuating prejudice, and disadvantaging minorities.
I continued to feel this way until Young addressed students’ desires to write in a way that may not come naturally. He says, “grad students also be tryin too hard to sound smart, to write like the folk they be readin, instead of usin they own voices”. Reading this lifted the hesitance and confusion I was experiencing. This sentiment deeply resonates with me because I often feel that my writing needs to sound smarter, that I need to user bigger and better words. In attempting to do so I lose my voice. My writing doesn’t reflect who I am. While I thought I about this I found comfort is Gerald Graff’s advice, “say it in the technical way, the college-speak way, but also say it the way you say it to yo momma — in the same paper”. This quote paired with the idea of code meshing are writing methods that I hope to employ in the future — and feel comfortable in doing so.