Showing posts from December, 2013
Why Your Boy Friend Should Work at the Writing Center Hey, ladies (and gentlemen). In my last post, “Where Have All the Men Gone?” I addressed the stereotype that women are writers and teachers. Maybe this is why women are more commonly found in writing centers than men. But why do we need men? Don’t they have cooties or something? To be frank, the gender imbalance keeps us from offering the best services possible. A study on sex published in A Synthesis of Qualitative Studies of Writing Centers shows that male students feel more comfortable with male tutors, and female students feel more comfortable with female tutors. Apparently, dudes like that their male tutors tend to take a more directive, grammar-focused approach, while ladies like that they receive more nurturing, holistic advice. Here’s the thing, though. When it comes to improving writing, both of these approaches are helpful. Sometimes, our clients need a gentle shove in the right dire

Fond Memories

           As my first semester as a Writing Fellow comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on all of my new experiences.   It took me a while to understand what goes in to a writing session with a student, why we said and did different things.   Then, it took me a while to get used to reporting back to the director and other Fellows about the experiences I had with the students of which I recently collaborated.   It just felt strange to put a policy and procedure behind something I felt would be a simple process.   However as time went on, I began to realize the importance of doing so.   This weekend, what I had learned went a bit farther as I participated in a writing center conference for the first time called The National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.              Going to Tampa for the writing conference, I had no idea what to expect.   The only time I had done anything like this was while I was in the International Thespian Society.   When the troop

Student Athletes

This semester I realized the complications and responsibilities of being a student athlete, and the time management one must obtain to be successful in a university setting.   I meet with my student athlete, a member of our university’s basketball team, once a week for a half hour session.   This student has been given special permission from his coaches and the Director of our writing center to use his fellow session as one hour toward his required study hall hours. The student practices several hours a week in and out of season and has started the official basketball season.   Because he committed to having weekly meetings, we have been having difficulties finding time in our schedules to meet.   I like to believe that I offer my students a fair amount of time per week to schedule an appointment so I was having trouble deciding if compromising my schedule for his was a fair decision for either of us.   I set aside one extra hour per week in the evening to meet with this student s

Road in the Rearview...

With a schedule brimming with English classes, this semester has been long, tedious, and tiresome, though the time I spent fulfilling my duties for this class was gratifying and enlightening. Though our texts were informative, it is safe to say that the most interesting and important things I learned took place within the classroom, within the many intelligent conversations that transpired between Clint Gardener, my classmates, and I. Initially, many of the concepts we discussed were foreign to me but I now know of components of tutoring, how they can be applied, and so much more. From the Socratic method, to unconditional positive regard, to directive verses non-directive methods, to the importance of establishing a relationship and having an action plan, it is safe to say I have learned a ton regarding student tutoring, especially in tutoring writing. One conversation that took place that will never leave me was about “the yard care analogy” and I have come to my own conclusio

Magic in the Encyclopedia

obtained from I may get a little choked up so be careful. I have now written four papers this semester about my volunteer experience helping grade schoolers with their reading and comprehension skills. Because of all that typing, I've really thought about what happened while I was in the classroom with the two children I was assigned to work with. Among other things, I have realized that children are cute, funny, in need of attention and leadership, and are not necessarily committed to learning. My experience with them has been a stark contrast to my experience with tutoring college aged writers. This doesn't mean I didn't have fun with them though. They would read books to me, and we would look at the pictures whenever they got bored to keep them engaged. I felt like a little bit of the magic that some of the books held for my kids rubbed off on me as we would read them. The last book one of my kids who I will refer to as A read to me was titled "How

Reflecting on Mentoring

On September 7th, 2013, I joined a peer tutoring program called "Salt Lake Teens Write" which "is a community-based mentoring program [who pairs] local teens with adult mentors [in order] to motivate both teens and mentors to strengthen their writing skills for personal, academic and professional development." Over the last 3 months I was provided the opportunity of working with one 17 year old teen who is an immigrant from Burma trying to improve his reading and writing skills. During that time we discussed how to write music, lyrics, poetry, short stories, and college applications. We witnessed many accomplishments and look forward to many, many more as we both elected to continue with the program until its conclusion in May 2014. The young man I have been working with has opened my eyes to a new world and way of writing. Likewise, he has shown me a new and better way of seeing the world and writing about it. The reciprocity I felt while working with him and th
Reflection on My Semester in the Student Writing Center     This semester in the Student Writing Center has seen me grow tremendously as a mentor, as a student, and as a writer. Over the last few months, I have been privileged to work with a diverse array of writers whose ideas and perspectives have not only brought me out of my cognitive sphere, but also have allowed me to survey it from an outside perch. In this writing, I will tell of this journey out of seclusion and into the wide world of writing.      In telling of this journey, I first want to establish a context for the “place” at which I stood at the beginning of the semester by providing a brief history of my experience with writing…      For the majority of my life, writing has been associated with one constant: solitude. From fifth grade through my senior year of high school, I was homeschooled, comprising the entirety of the student body for my grade; I had relatively few interactions with academic peers, and es
Where Have All the Men Gone?   What’s up, girl?  I’m assuming that you’re female, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there seems to be a lot more ladies working at writing centers than gentlemen. Why is that? Probably because people think women are better writers and teachers. I don’t think that women, by nature, are better writers. I also don’t think that women, by nature, are better teachers. I do think, however, that there is a stereotype that says that women are better at both of these skills. Maybe that’s why all of my English classes have a significantly higher number of females than males, and maybe that’s why when I look around my writing center, I see more ponytails than crew cuts. I can hardly blame anyone for associating women with writing and teaching. I didn’t have my first male teacher until sixth grade, and he was my band director. In middle school and high school, the only core curriculum classes I ever had that were t