UCWbLing

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One Step At A Time September 26, 2013

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Good morning, UCWbLers and other writing-loving friends! Now that the autumn quarter is in full swing, we asked one of our new UCWbL writing tutors and graduate assistants, Marcela D., to write a little about her experience so far with the UCWbL!

First I was afraid, I was petrified, I thought I’d never understand what the UCWbL’s all about, the amount of things that it involves and how many people it helps through such different paths.

It was an overwhelming and full of excitement beginning indeed. I have never been a tutor, until now, except for teaching my daughter, which I never considered as a tutoring task but one of my maternal duties, so you can imagine how I felt as I began to dive into the UCWbL’s mission and believes.

Thankfully, now that I have been able to see below the surface and start to put into practice all the things we’ve been studying and reading, my fears are changing into joy, not only because I finally understood it, but also because it is an amazing experience to collaborate and work together with all kinds of writers in all kinds of writing projects.

One of the things I’m very happy about is the continued learning opportunity this represents, not only for writers, but also for tutors. Each meeting is a collaborative job between both of them, where an interchange of knowledge takes place.

The fact that the tutoring sessions are held in such a friendly environment helps the writers feel comfortable and open to suggestions, but at the same time invites them to come up with their own conclusions and, therefore, leads them to trust their writing process.

At the same time, the tutor learns that every writer is different, although most of their concerns might be the same, and this will improve its teaching skills as he would have to find the best way to reach out for each particular writer so they both find the path to improve not only the writing task in front of them, but the writer skills too.

Over these couple of weeks as a new UCWbLer I have found myself submerged in a lot of information and I can say that I’m very impressed about how well organized and practical everything is, but I’m even more impressed about all the good nature people I have found. It’s not easy to find people willing to guide you in every step of the road and even wait for you while you tie your shoes or need to make a pause to take some air.

 

わたし October 18, 2012

The above, which reads ‘watashi,’ means simply “I.” It took my colleague and I two weeks to appreciate this, and we have far from mastered its use. This, of course, is only “I” as expressed in Hiragana, one of Japan’s three written alphabets (the other two being Katakana and Kanji). But that is just the beginning. ‘Watashi’ is only one (gender neutral) way of referring to oneself. ‘Watakushi’ is a more formal (even arrogant) variation; ‘boku’ is a polite masculine form, ‘ore’ an aggressive masculine form (for tough guys). But it doesn’t stop there; atashi, uchi, kochira, ware, wagahai, oira, shessha, atai, yo, and warawa are all distinct ways of expressing “I” in Japanese, each with their own connotations and proper context.

As you can imagine, all of these possibilities leave my colleague and I asking: “Who am I?” Or, to relate it to our work at the UCWBL, who am I as a tutor, in the context of a multilingual partnership? (more…)

 

Life at the UCWbL: The Before, the After, and the In Between October 15, 2012

Filed under: tutors on tutoring — Alex C. @ 16:25 pm
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People, papers, and red pens. This is what we new tutors envisioned going into the application process to become a Writing Center Tutor. Because the application process consisted of correcting a sample paper, we naturally came to the conclusion that we were going to be doing just that. We received an email from the UCWbL urging writers from all across the University to apply for a tutoring position. The rest, as the tired and true saying goes, was history. As we wrote our essays and reached out for recommendations, we questioned what we were getting ourselves into. We didn’t have the time or the energy to take on this job — or did we? (more…)

 

New Tutors on Tutoring: Banned Books Week & Dumb Cynicism October 11, 2012

Throughout the first few weeks of my involvement in the Writing Center, much of my attention has been devoted to familiarizing myself with UCWbL logistics and becoming comfortable within this wonderfully collaborative new work environment. After several work shifts, I finally started to feel completely at ease with all the procedures and felt like I had a grasp on everyone’s name. Yes, I was feeling like a regular UCWbL scholar with my tutor logs completed and all the “minimalism” term-dropping in regular conversation. Until one day tutor and Outreach team member Jen F. unexpectedly invited me to help her run the Banned Books Week table in the Student Center, and my perception of the Writing Center took an astronomical 180˚. (more…)

 

New Tutors on Tutoring: The Perfectionist’s Beginning

Filed under: tutors on tutoring — Miranda S. @ 13:12 pm
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The ‘P’ word; that snarky, dismissive label; the term that is supposedly a compliment and yet…isn’t: perfectionist. It’s something that many are accused of being and all deny that they are until the inevitable self-acceptance.

Hello, my name is Miranda, and I am a perfectionist. (more…)

 

Tutoring Strategies: Working With Writers With Learning Disabilities October 9, 2012

Filed under: things that help tutors,tutors on tutoring — allegrapusateri @ 13:01 pm
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As tutors we can face all kinds of difficulties during appointments. These kinds of difficulties can vary from language barriers, to writers being resistent because they do not want to be there, to working with writers that have ADHD or a learning disability. Working with writers that struggle with these things can be a challenge and can easily end with the tutor feeling like they got nowhere during the appointment. There are, however, some strategies we can employ during appointments with writers with ADHD or learning disabilities that can cause the appointment to go more smoothly. (more…)

 

Tales Of A New Tutor (Part 3) October 8, 2012

Well, I’m almost at the finish line, guys. I’m just one step away from being unblocked on the master schedule, and being free to tutor on my own! (more…)

 

Alif… Baa… Taa: Tutoring Through a Different Lens

The UCWbL’s Peter D. is studying in Jordan this semester.  Tune in here for this exciting series on language, learning, and culture.

I began my work at the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) in Amman, Jordan last week. JRS is an organization founded by the Catholic Jesuits but is now religiously unaffiliated and tends to people from a variety of backgrounds.  It focuses on aiding the refugee populations of Amman, including the large Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Somalian, and Sudanese communities, and offers all kinds of resources – ranging from education and daycare assistance to ESL immersion and higher education opportunities – that serve as lifelines of much-needed support for those adjusting to life after displacement and exile.

After some time hopping around between various child-care slots and ESL programs, I finally landed in a spot where I hope my work at the UCWbL will benefit students thousands of miles away from DePaul – in the adult degree accreditation program. (more…)

 

A Safe Space to Geek Out About Writing October 2, 2012

The Chicago Land Writing Center Conference! It was held this past weekend at North Park University and was filled with interactive discussions on tutoring people with learning disabilities or ADHD, round robin tables on topics ranging from community building to transitioning from working at one writing center to another, conversation cafes, and a discussion panel with Harold Washington’s all professional-tutoring staff.

(more…)

 

Tales of a New Tutor (Part 2)

Filed under: tutors on tutoring — allana18 @ 11:22 am
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Well here I am, week four, back in the Writing Center. And though I still have yet to lead my own tutoring session, I’m moving on to new things. Already having shadowed a handful of face-to-face appointments, it’s time to see how other types work; and first on my list is an online realtime appointment. Word around the UCWbL is that these are sometimes few and far between, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity. (more…)

 

 
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