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Showing posts from December, 2012

Where I'm Supposed to Be

I was scared when I started consulting. But like, for real. How was I, a junior Communication major, supposed to help undergrads and grads of all majors with any part of their writing? What if I didn’t have the words to say? Or worse, what if I told them the wrong thing?
And then I just sucked it up and did it. And loved it. Scared freshmen with English 104 rhetorical analyses. International grad students working on their electrical engineering dissertations. Group projects and presentations and resumes and personal emails. I went to each session and gave myself to the cause: to help better communication and writing. I learned two major lessons: 1. teaching doesn’t have to be scary and 2. I love it.
Teaching seemed like the one career choice I never gave any thought to. (In truth, there are many career choices I’ve never considered; never have I ever had a desire to be an astronaut, for example). My best friend was on track to become a teacher and I always thought: that’s perfect, she c…

Perfection and the “One Big Grammar Mistake” Syndrome: A Shift in Philosophy

Every time I am in a foreign country where I don’t know the language or culture, I immediately end up wanting to climb into a UPS shipping box and overnight myself straight back to my home in Texas. Back home, I know I can effectively speak and write in English (which ironically is my second language), and I don’t have to feel embarrassed every time I open my big, foreign mouth.Struggling to formulate simple sentences is embarrassing. Staring blankly back at someone who is trying to explain something to me that seems so simple and yet is so complicated is humiliating. Having my grammar corrected every other word is enough to make me want to be mute for the rest of my life. Let’s have a change of scenery and fast-forward to a typical day in the writing center—it’s your next session as a peer consultant is with an international student. You give a little sigh because you already know what’s nextall of the sudden you are listening to student struggle to formulate simple sentences. As yo…