Post by rachelgoodbar on Feb 8, 2016 18:58:47 GMT -5
One of the discourses i've noticed recently, that I realized I do not belong to, is the discourse of autoshops. In the past few days i've had some car trouble and had to bring my car in to see a mechanic, and they obviously ask me whats wrong. So i tell them that my car smells like maple syrup and the Engine light was on. So after they looked at my car they determined what was wrong with it, and explained it to me and I realized I do not know their language at all. It's their own little secondary discourse and I, trying to fit in using the word engine light, am left clueless to what is actually wrong with my car. I also realized their discourse had some expert bias to it, because they thought I knew exactly what they were talking about dealing with my car and I was clueless, realizing what it feels like when you don't know the discourse.
My secondary discourse takes place in my workplace. I have worked at a local french bakery and cafe in town for a little over a year. We make breakfast pastries, breads, desserts, cakes, chocolates, and we have a light lunch menu and a full cheese case. I serve as one of their baristas and servers. While I do not make the cakes or fold the croissants, I am well-versed in all of our products. At the drop of a hat, I can list the differences between a ganache and a crème de pâtissière. I know the difference between a frangipane and a normandy. I have learned how to identify and describe at least 20 kinds of croissant and brioche, 20 or so types of pastry, a dozen different imported cheeses, and 30 types of chocolates that we make. All this, along with all of the coffee and espresso drinks, sandwiches, quiche, and other lunch items. When a coworker says that they need a single cap with extra foam and hazel to-go, we know to make a cappuccino with one shot of espresso, with hazelnut syrup for flavoring, and to froth the milk a little more than we usually would. We we hear "breads are ready!" one of us races back to the kitchen to attach the hose to the pneumatic spraying device and we coat certain breads with a sugar glaze in order to give them shine. We know that we only spray the breads that are shaped in spirals. Another part of our discourse is how we handle transactions. We know how to use the square system and where everything is located on our menu. We are versed in dealing with tokens, gift cards, checks, and credit cards. I know that I could go on and discuss the discourse on box and cake sizes, but I don't want to make this post any more boring than it already is! I admit that I probably have a little bit of expert bias about my job because I love it quite a lot. I genuinely enjoy writing about it, but I'm sure reading about it is probably not as enjoyable, so I will end my post here!
Post by janinesherman on Feb 9, 2016 0:22:58 GMT -5
My secondary discourse that I chose to observe is at the FSU art center in the Oglesby union, I have been throwing pottery there for three years now. When I first started I simply wanted something to fill my free time when I first moved to Tallahassee, I couldn't even make a small cylinder ceramic piece to save my life. Now, three years later, everyone expects to see a homemade ceramic piece from me for Christmas. Since I am aware of the growth I have made as a student of pottery, I can identify the expert bias that I now have on the subject. When I went to the art center today I became aware of the disciplinary terms that I used with my peers about pottery. Just today, I wedged the clay, centered on the wheel, picked the appropriate glaze depending on the cone level on the clay, and used calipers to measure a lid. As an outsider looking in, these terms sound absolutely alien, and even if one did learn the terms, it is easier said that done. The expertise it takes to center on the wheel definitely doesn't come naturally, but with lots of practice. For wheel-throwers, this is our literary practice- knowing how to do the thing. When I first started, I was embarrassed practicing in front of my very advanced peers.The head manager of the art center is honestly a very intimidating guy, and he made me incredibly nervous because I felt like an outsider. There are definitely codes of conduct at play, once I put my piece on the kiln shelf when it wasn't totally dry and the manager was not happy. However, my teacher is patient and explains pottery without an expert bias. She uses lots of analogies that students can understand/relate to. Instead of talking about the centripical force of the clay that forces it to become off-centered, she talks about how the clay appears symmetrical or relaxed when it is just right to work with. Not only did I get to observe my secondary discourse from an insider perspective/expert bias in terms of the codes of conduct and disciplinary terms, but remembering how I felt as an outsider will help me as a teacher make learning more accessible and approachable for my students. Like my teacher, I will reach the student where they are to aid them in understanding the secondary discourse.
Post by hannahhiester on Feb 9, 2016 9:22:36 GMT -5
These cases are great! I had a question for each of you... rachelgoodbar: Did you and the mechanics find a way to breach the "discourse divide" so you could find out what was wrong with the car? jklee:Do you find your discourse with customers is different to your discourse with your coworkers? It seems like your depth of knowledge is important for both and so I'm wondering what practices you would say distinguish the two. janinesherman: I like how you talk about the transition from novice to expert. Have you found yourself helping novices now? Also, how are your interactions with the head manager now?
The secondary discourse I observed occurred when I was ushering at the Ruby Diamond. I have done this three times now and so I am transitioning from novice to expert. There are various aspects I notice such as vocabulary, separating tickets into paid and comp, anticipating problems and so asking pertinent questions at the pre-concert briefing, dealing with patrons efficiently, keeping things running smoothly, knowing who to find and where to find them when something goes wrong. I could keep going but will stop there for now. I was trying to think about how to categorize these into broader sets. So far I have four: role-specific actions, venue familiarity, problem-solving (both anticipation and action) and people skills.
My secondary discourse is probably my workplace as well. I work at a children's art studio and I prepare them to pass the audition to et into art specialty high schools. I have to know a lot of information about different mediums and what and go on what and what can't. I know what the judges are looking for, because I used to be one of those judges. Whenever we get new employees, it is clear to me that they have no experience with these things and supplies. I know the ends and outs of the studio and I know the language we se, so when new people come in and call the supplies different names, I know that they aren't from here. My boss is very particular and her employees have to know how to do things exactly the way she wants them. In the beginning, I totally felt like and outsider, so I am glad that I got to view it form both perspectives.
Post by taylorbelleglaze on Feb 9, 2016 11:53:22 GMT -5
The secondary discourse I will be discussing will be Orange Theory Fitness. While I have not been there in a while, I went quite a bit for months. Orange Theory is a gym that is led by instructors. It is not like your typical gym where you go to whatever machine and start working out. When you first arrive, you have to put on a heart monitor so they are able to see what the pace of your heart is throughout the workout. It is a 60 minute workout where there is 30 minutes of cardio (treadmill/ rowing) and 30 minutes of weight training. Everyone who is in the class has their name up on a screen where you can see where their heart rate is throughout the workout. The instructors encourage you to stay in an "orange zone" because it is the optimal pace for your heart that will allow you to burn the most calories and it creates an "after-burn" affect even after your workout is over. When I first started at Orange Theory, I was completely baffled. I didn't understand the numbers on the screen or what the colors meant (red, orange, blue, and green.) I would just do what the instructor said without realizing what the colors meant for a long time. After a while, I began to understand the process and what the routine was for the classes. I eventually learned how to push my body enough to get into the "orange zone." There are also splat points too, which basically means the number of minutes that you were in the "orange zone." When I started going enough, I was able to use this lingo with other people at Orange Theory and we would say things like, "Wow, good job on those splat points today! You killed it during the run/row endurance portion!" This lingo became very fluent to me and this kind of speech became part of me as I learned the ropes of everything. When I brought a friend into Orange Theory, she was completely confused when the instructors would say certain things because she was in the same place as me when I first started. The terms we used were confusing to her until she began going more often. The way I would talk around these people at OT is very different than people I interact with on a daily basis because this is a group of people aiming for a certain goal. This is why I chose this as my secondary discourse.
Post by savannapoulson on Feb 9, 2016 20:33:14 GMT -5
The secondary discourse I decided on writing about is the discourse that goes on at family entertainment centers, specifically at Chuck E. Cheese. Working there and coming there as a guest are two completely different things; like multiple talking rodents have said, its up to the employees to make the "magic" happen. Employees have to be happy and energetic; they have to make it appear that they're having fun while working. They also use different types of language registers depending on the guest (adult or child) and basically have to take on a parental type role when it comes to younger children. There are certain words and phrases that are used such as "merch" for the prize counter, "showroom" which is the area where birthday parties are held, "roadshow" which is when Chuck E. comes out and gives out tickets for guests, and "Chuck E. is going to take a nap now" which is to help whoever is in the costume get away from the children so they can change and get back to work. On that topic, being Chuck E. is something on a whole other level. All employees (except kitchen crew) are required to perform as Chuck E. for the roadshow and birthday parties, which means that employees need to act as if they really were a giant singing and dancing rodent. That means finding ways to interact with guests without actually talking, so being able to pantomime is a must. Working at Chuck E. Cheese may seem like an easy job --which it is physically-- but it requires a lot of multitasking, acting, and having a strong stomach (messes, while not extremely frequent, still occur often enough that one eventually stops getting grossed out and instead becomes more annoyed than anything).
Post by ronettekortbein on Feb 9, 2016 21:09:12 GMT -5
The secondary discourse that I have observed is that of Methodists. I, myself, am Methodist and grew up going to Crosspoint United Methodist Church in Niceville, FL. I attended a service this past week and tried to observe the discourse through fresh eyes. There are a few things that are distinct that Methodist “culture” that an outsider might not understand or get. During the service, people stand and sit at various times depending on what is happening in the sermon. This is not explicitly stated, but the members are expected to know when to do what. There are also a few things that are said that an outsider would not know, such as the Lord’s Prayer, which is a prayer that many Christians have memorized and Methodists will often say it out loud together during the service. There are also many worship practices that are unique. The songs used in the services are contemporary Christian songs or traditional hymns. These are typically familiar to church members, or will become familiar if they attend week after week. The practice of singing along with a band may also be somewhat unfamiliar to outsiders and it may make them feel uncomfortable. Some Methodists also raise their hands when they worship, which is rarely done in any other part of society. Another part of the church service is communion. Most people are familiar with the practice of communion, but it can often vary in each denomination. In my church, the bread and juice is just a symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We do it once per month and anyone is welcome to take it. In some other denominations, the bread and wine literally becomes Jesus’s body and blood. Also, sometimes only members or that church or denomination are allowed to take communion. This makes it confusing for those outside of the Methodist church because they may be unsure of exactly what it symbolizes and if they are allowed to take it. In Methodist, and all denominations, there is specific language that is used that could be interpreted differently if taken out of context. Words such as offertory, missionary, blaspheme, heresy, and tithing are examples of foreign vocabulary that may be used in a church setting. Practices from the church were also used in my home when I was growing up. We prayed before every meal, my parents rarely used profanity, and sexuality was never discussed. Those that grew up in the church tended to be more sheltered and their parents were often considered stricter. Our activities during the summer included going to church camp and attending vacation bible schools. Because I am part of this discourse, I never considered any of the practices to be strange, but I have been able to encounter many different religions and lifestyles at college. The secondary discourse of Methodist Christianity is unique and the practices involved in my religion are familiar to those that belong to the discourse. It would be easy to identify someone who is not also part of this discourse.
jklee:Do you find your discourse with customers is different to your discourse with your coworkers? It seems like your depth of knowledge is important for both and so I'm wondering what practices you would say distinguish the two.
Absolutely. There is something called, "retail voice." This refers to the tone of voice that a worker takes with customers. It's usually higher than your regular tone and paced more quickly. I have definitely noticed all of my coworker's retail voices as well as my own. However, when we speak to each other, we use our regular voices. My boss compares it to Disney World, in that, it is important to monitor what customers see. There is an element of a performance to it. In the dining room, we have Ella Fitzgerald and Edith Piaf playing softly in the background. However, if you walk into the kitchen, we're blasting Kendrick Lamar or Childish Gambino and joking with each other. Another example of this is when a customer asks for a Chocolate Truffle-Cream with Pears, I delicately take it out of the cake and place it in a box while giving them a full description. When I speak to coworkers about that cake, I call it a CTWP and tell them that we need one in the case. With customers, I speak with them more frequently about what is in the pastry and what it is. With coworkers, this knowledge is already there, so we speak more about improving it or if we need more.
This past weekend, I went to my first Catholic Mass. As someone who is a member of a very progressive, casual Methodist ministry, I was completely lost and embarrassed myself quit a few times. First of all, at Wesley (my church) we wear whatever we want... sometimes that means going to church in jeans or even exercise shorts. For Catholic Mass, you dress up - as in Sunday best, dresses and ties. So when I showed up in my very casual jeans and cute shirt, it was obvious I was an outsider. As the service began, I quickly started making even more blunders. Everyone began singing a prayer that I didn't know, they knelt down at certain times, they made crosses on their bodies - I was completely lost! I couldn't understand how I could be so confused in a church service that wasn't even a different religion from my own. It seemed like everyone around me had these traditions programmed into their brains and I was missing out. Then came the time for Communion, which I happened to be really excited about because we do this at Wesley as well. The discourse created in the church, however, was especially inclusive to those who had pronounced loyalty to the Catholic Church... I wasn't actually allowed to take Communion because I wasn't Catholic. This was especially interesting to me because I felt like, for a moment, I was on the inside only to be reminded this wasn't so. All in all, I really enjoyed the worship service (despite not having a clue what was going on) and it was really interesting to see a different subset of a larger discourse I consider myself to be a part of.
Post by ashleyygreen12 on Feb 10, 2016 8:57:48 GMT -5
My secondary discourse is being a sales associate and how the knowledge of that discourse has affected the discourse of being just a customer. By this, I mean as a sales associate we were required to introduce ourselves to customers and say our names at least twice. We did this because it's important for a customer feel welcomed and want to return. It was also important to use their name in conversation. We weren't allowed to tell customers "no" unless we followed up with a item that could make up for what they were looking for. We had to attempt to give customers a shopping bag at least once throughout their time in the store. This made it more likely that they would buy whatever they picked up. We also were told not to ask customers how their day was going because it was apparently "universal" that they knew we didn't care. Through my acquisition of the secondary discourse of a sales associate, it altered my discourse as a customer. For example, I always take the shopping bag from the sales associate if I came into the store very intent on buying something but if I came in with no purpose, I deny it. Also, if a sales associate says their name more than twice or uses my name, I mention how helpful and nice they were at the register because I know doing so will get them varying rewards. I also try really hard to avoid shopping in person because it's hard to deal with all the underlying politics of the sales industry.
janinesherman: I like how you talk about the transition from novice to expert. Have you found yourself helping novices now? Also, how are your interactions with the head manager now?
Yes- the teacher in me naturally reaches out to those who are struggling in the art center. If i see someone confused or not doing something right, I politely give them suggestions on their level without making them feeling awkward. I remember what it was like feeling that way! The manager still intimidates the heck out of me! I guess I haven't proved myself yet haha
The secondary discourse that I have experienced is the first time I watched the football game with a American friend. I learned a part of rules of football games from YouTube. I thought I won’t be too confused as a audience in the game. However, I went to the stadium and then I knew that I was totally wrong. They game went so fast that I cannot understand at all! Moreover, I think most of the audience they have a kind of culture of watching a football game. During the game, sometimes they shake their arms while shouting slogans, sometimes they sing, sometimes they high five with people around and in the half time, they dancing. However, I don’t know their sing and when to do what. I just follow what they do and I was so embarrassed. I am a outsider totally.
Post by meghanpotter on Feb 10, 2016 16:56:22 GMT -5
The discourse I noticed was when I was a freshman in high school. I had just joined the marching band, and didn't know what any of the members were talking about. Now, I consider myself pretty much an expert on it, but it took a few weeks. To the newcomer, it's very confusing when people talk about forms (not papers you fill out), drill (not a power tool) and the front and back hash (not food). The director and upperclassmen would always talk about slides, marking time, jazz runs, and sousaphones. When I arrived at my first day of pre-camp, I stared blankly at the officers as they barked commands at us. They told us to stand at attention and we panicked and stood up straight. It took weeks for us to realize that there was more to it than that. It involved standing up straight, but leaning slightly forward, hands at the seams of your pockets, hands curled, head ten degrees above the horizon, feet together. Besides just the words I didn't know, there were behaviors that I didn't understand, including telling freshmen that their plumes were on backwards. They would run back to the director panicking, only to realize that there was no way for plumes to be backwards. We developed inside jokes, and knew terminology that made no sense to anyone outside the band. Once I learned how to walk the walk and talk the talk, so to speak, I felt very proud to be a part of this group, but at the same time I was very aware that many other "groups" in the school thought we were strange, or didn't understand all the work we did, and thought it was stupid.