Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011

I'm surprised I even typed the date in correctly. This week has been nuts, but so has this whole semester!

On Monday, I had noooo appointments! It was sad. I did some filing, made a couple of walk-in appointments, and played candy fairy. On Wednesday, I only had one appointment, but it was immensely productive. I worked with a non-traditional native English speaking writer working on an essay about a rather short Henry James piece. She had a lot of ideas, but she backed up these ideas with the text very little, so we worked on that quite a bit. I read the paper out loud, and only lightly marked the paper where I saw grammatical errors, in case we needed to revise globally. Indeed we did! At least, we needed to expand quite a bit. I suggested that she actually read the text through all the way one more time, as it was short and she had ample time, so that she could remember specifically where her ideas were stemming from in the paper. She also needed citation help in general. This writer ended up asking me a lot of basic questions about grammar, which was actually kind of fun for me. I like writing out multiple examples of the same type of things and I ended up giving her these kind of make-shift fill-in-the-blanks worksheets that she could do herself (we had plenty of time). She struggled with the differences between to and too, was and were, and...something else that I don't remember. I explained "was and were" in terms of what is countable and what is not countable, as well as singulars and plurals. She really seemed to get it, and told me that she was very happy to work with me because I made it so clear :) I was buzzing with pride a little from just that one appointment.

Also this week, although I am not sure if it is directly WC-oriented or not, I worked with another non-traditional student outside of the center (though I found out about her inquiry on assistance from Alex) on a five page essay that she had written by hand. She needed a typist and somewhat of an editor. She was under a lot of pressure, because if she didn't get at least a B in the class, she could not graduate on time, and the paper was worth a very large percentage of her grade.
When I first met her, I felt that she was very tense, and unhappy to just be in the stressful position of writing a paper that she did not feel was relevant. However, as I got to typing while she dictated her paper to me, we ended up having quite a few laughs, and she seemed put at ease just knowing that it was getting done! Somehow, it would aaaaall get done, and I kept assuring her that she was fine and that what she had written was indeed very interesting and wasn't nearly the garbage she kept describing it as :)

Although it was technically outside of the Writing Center, it was very Dub-C-feeling in terms of how accomplished I felt really helping her (she last went to college in the '60s and simply could not type) and how relieved I gathered that she was that the completion of that horrific assignment for her was indeed doable.

Good week! Let's make sure we keep the Jack O' Lantern bowl between Kermit's limbs so that we do not risk any Writing Center muppet exhibitionism.

nom. leaf. nom.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Stephanie!

    Great week in the Center--it sounds like you found a way to have a productive conversation about grammar. This can be quite tricky at times, so I'm glad to hear your session went well.

    Have you had a chance to review the annotated bibliographies for potential articles to analyze? As soon as you do, let me know, so we can start chatting about your major projects.

    Have a great week in the Center!