Monday, October 20, 2014

Everyday Thoughts from the Writing Center: An Important Lesson...

I never even thought about having a job here on campus. All I had ever heard were comments like, “It’s impossible to get a job on campus” or, “There’s just too many people, not enough spots to place all of them.” The point is, when I was approached about the possibility of working at the Writing Center as a tutor, I was BEYOND excited. I’d be conveniently working right in Baird Hall, tutoring students in my favorite subject (and, consequently, my major): English. So, for that, I’d like to thank Dr. Beam and everyone I work with here at the Writing Center for making this a fun and rewarding experience!

In my approximately one month of tutoring, I’ve had quite a few consultations… Many more than I had expected. During those consultations, there is a common theme among them: I barely do any talking. Now, that isn’t to imply I’m not helping students or providing feedback; many of them simply sit down, and begin discussing their ideas immediately. Rather than criticizing or giving tips right away, I try to build on their ideas. I ask questions that prompt the students to think a little harder and dig a little deeper, no matter what the topic. As a writer, I have always found this type of exchange extremely beneficial. I enjoy bouncing ideas between people, even if I may not agree with all of them. This allows me to develop my own ideas in a new and inventive way.

During my relatively few consultations of going through this process, I hope to give writers confidence in their ideas. I hope to provide writers an outlet where they can express themselves in a welcoming environment. That’s always been beneficial for me, and I hope other RSU students feel the same after visiting the Writing Center. It’s an amazing feeling when I see that light bulb go off over a student’s head and they realize the potential in their individual ideas.

What I learned from my great high school English teacher has carried over here to tutoring: discussion is key. The free flow of ideas and feelings is so very important to the writing process. Peer review, class discussion, and, most importantly, genuine participation is what makes the writing process enjoyable and much easier. For those of you struggling with writing in any way, I would suggest coming to the Writing Center. We are more than happy to sit down and discuss whatever issue you have, no matter where you are in the writing process (brainstorming, first draft, editing, etc.) Our job is to help YOU realize your writing potential, and we take great pride in providing the means of doing so here at RSU. 


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