Monday, August 29, 2011

lab time

I have a few spare moments, and a computer lab to my advantage, so I might as well make myself minutely useful and blog.

Finishing up the Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors, has brought some really interesting possible situations to mind. I was kind of excited to read about something I remember so well. Such as how oftentimes writers will nod in agreement because they don't want to look confused or lost, when in fact they do not understand. It would help if the tutor rephrased - maybe making sure to not use any idioms in their directive - or have the writer repeat what was just said to ensure his or her understanding. This is often especially relevant in consulting students who have English as their second language. It's easy to get caught up in our own localized, fast American dialects, but gauging where the writer stands with English and adjusting your speech in a session to be a more standard form of English may be necessary.

I feel like this Guide is extremely practical and thorough, and I really like the ideas presented throughout. (No, I am not kissing the Guide's red, soft-bound tookus.) There are some ideas that I was unsure of though, such as the synchronous online session possibly taking a form similar to that of the "Sims" game, in which there is a virtual tutoring session. How wild! This seemed a little spacey and weird to me at first, but then I had to remind myself that everyone learns differently, and if a "Sims"-like environment can make someone (maybe a "Sims" player who is familiar with the atmospheres, gestures, communication methods, etc.) more comfortable in an otherwise potentially intimidating or unfamiliar atmosphere, then great! I don't know if we'll be using that specific kind of technology at the center, but more than anything, reading about it existing just showed me how nothing is really too off-the-wall to ensure a student's growth as a writer. Hmm...well, some things definitely are, but yeah.

I especially like the idea of making lists of what does work and what does not work, and taking the opportunity to actually ask the writers visiting the center what they feel works and does not work. Comparing these lists with one-another would be immensely valuable for all of us as consultants.

There is a couple standing next to me, looking like they need a spot in the computer lab more than I do, so I'm going to post and sign off. Oh, they just kissed. Hmph.

day 1 of Writing Center

Yay! Good morning out there.
It's early. First shift at the WC later. I got kind of a kick out of parts in the handbook about the simple things that can make a writer more comfortable in their consultations, and feel like they are really being listened to. I liked the bit about sitting upright, leaning over slightly, both feet on the ground, etc, to maintain an impression of utmost engaged-ness. I also liked the part about getting up to "get a cup of coffee" or something if you think the writer might benefit from a few moments of thinking alone. I'm pretty positive one of my math tutors in high school did that to me a few times...he never came back with coffee and had some lame excuse for why he didn't get any after all. I'll make sure I'm more sneaky, and really do get coffee. Plus, I will probably friggin need more coffee anyway.
Anyhow, small gestures that create a mood, ambiance, or impression really fascinate me, and I hope that I can be as inviting and comfortable to be around as possible, as well as an effective consultant.
I have three classes today, and a rather broad array of homework assignments to be working on. The good thing about busy days is that they go by quickly and productively, but at the end of them, I'm so pooped and wonder "I didn't do that much...oh...wait..." My hour plus of cardio a day probably contributes also. This will probably be my busiest semester yet, and I'm actually really excited for that. I'm good at busy.

Now for some moronic cuteness.

Friday, August 26, 2011

post 1

Hello! Stephanie Couey here, new employee of the writing center and student of Melissa's 303 preparatory class. Dope!
Anyhow, I am genuinely excited to be working in the writing center. More to come later. Right now I'm between American Lit and Biology with a growling tummy in the library. Things need to be taken care of, and yet I am pulled in many different directions as to what needs to be taken care of when and why in order of greatest pertinence. Like Pert Plus. Pert Plus Plus.

It's hot out. This guy gets the idea.