"The Language of Coats"
College English, April 1998
In “The Language of Coats,” Sommers revisits her childhood, during which she worked alongside her father in his department store. She recalls measuring their successes for the day by the number of tickets they accumulated with each coat sale, and she thinks about how writing programs measure their successes. Teaching writing, she muses, is akin to two crafters creating a new coat; the writing teacher “[assists] in the very design and cutting and stitching of that work.” Tallying up numbers, she concludes, doesn’t always provide a full picture.