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.

 

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…)

 

Portrait of the Tutor as an Artist October 2, 2012

As tutors we come into contact with dozens of essays, projects and presentations every week, through our writers. As we comment on and nudge along in our tutorials, we have a sense of aiding a writer in their work – but what about our work? Is our impact on the paper or Powerpoint more than just that of a nursemaid? I don’t know that most of us would call ourselves “authors” after working with others’ writing, but is tutoring in itself a creative act? (more…)

 

Raising ELL Self Esteem September 25, 2012

Conversation appointments come with a host of issues that tutors who primarily tutor might not have even considered. I can confidently say that I’ve had more conversation appointments in the past two weeks than I’ve had over the course of the last year put together, and there was plenty that I hadn’t thought of. What to talk about, how to explain grammatical issues, etiquette, and tone are all essential when talking to a conversation partner, but one thing I never thought about before now was the role of confidence and self esteem. (more…)

 

Progressing Through Tutoring September 18, 2012

Filed under: the love of writing,tutors on tutoring — allegrapusateri @ 13:48 pm
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Coming back for my second year at the UCWbL is a totally different experience than it was last year. Sure, the tutoring is the same and nothing about the locations has really changed, but something just feels different. I feel different. Maybe it’s because I have done this before and I’m no longer considered the new person. Maybe it’s because I’m a senior and half of my time is being spent worrying about what I’m going to do after I graduate. But I think that what it is, why I feel different, is because I’m not the same person I was when I first walked into All Staff Orientation last year. (more…)

 

There’s a Word for That: Lingo for the New Peer Writing Tutor

Filed under: things that help tutors — Mark Jacobs @ 13:09 pm
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Tutors are born problem solvers, but it’s hard to solve a problem when you can’t find a word for it.  How many of these writing tutor-related terms are new to you? (more…)

 

Writer to Tutor: Looking Back June 5, 2012

As a MA student applying to the Writing Center one year ago, I didn’t really think that being employed as a tutor would change how I write.  At 21, I was pretty sure that my writing style was set – and serviceable.  There was no need for a major overhaul, even if the UCWbL materials promised improvement in my own skills as well as the opportunity to help others with theirs.  Even during the WRD primer class in Fall Quarter, I didn’t really believe that learning about tutoring equated to learning about my own writing.  Something shifted over the course of the last two terms, however; I found myself writing differently (but not completely, of course), and I began to wonder: one year on – has being a tutor made me a better writer? (more…)

 

A Conversation about Discrimination in Tutorials: After the Inservice May 16, 2012


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This past Friday Elise N. and I hosted the last inservice of the 2011-2012 academic year, “A Conversation about Discrimination in Tutorials.” Our overall goal was to encourage conversation about our experiences with encountering discriminatory language and attitudes in tutorials, and we were very pleased with the amount of extensive conversation that arose. That said, both Elise and I knew that we would not be able to cover all the territory surrounding  discriminatory language/attitudes in tutorials within the hour and a half time limit, and we hope that this inservice sparks further conversation. A series of quotes, questions, readings, and “Looking back; Looking Forward” next steps are available for you to look over in the prezi Elise and I created. The next steps, which were collectively compiled by the inservice participants, were:

  • keep doin’ what you’re doin’!
  • consider our policies
  • flexibility
  • talk & respect (like we do)
  • consider applying same strategies to these instances of discriminatory language
  • continue our conversation

I’ve also included parts of our prezi in the slideshow above. Check it out! Tell us what you think! Keep the conversation going!

A Conversation about Discrimination in Tutorials on Prezi

 

When to Judge: on Evaluation in Tutorials April 24, 2012

I try not to be too evaluative in my tutorials (or even my Written Feedback).  Of course, there’s always a time to reassure the writer that they’re on the right track, or that some turn of phrase is well done and should be retained, even exploited or learned from.  There’s also the awareness, though, that placing a value judgment or (heaven forbid) a letter grade on someone else’s work isn’t my job.  For one thing, what if the professor disagrees with me and I’ve now misled the student into thinking their work is one thing, when it’s really being graded as another?  Far more importantly: did the writer come in for a pat on the head, or for constructive criticism and help? (more…)

 

Tutoring with Visual Rhetoric April 21, 2012

Last Friday my fellow Faculty Development and Research team members and I explored our artsy-fartsy sides with an inservice titled “Tutoring with Visual Rhetoric” in preparation for the First Year Writing Showcase (FYWS).  For those of you who don’t know what the FYWS is, let me offer a brief explanation. The FYWS honors the work students have done in their first year program classes such as first-year writing, liberal studies, quantitative reasoning, and focal point seminars. Over the past few weeks  interested students submitted their work to a panel of judges who are now in the process of selecting the most exceptional entries to display at the Showcase.

So, how does this affect you as a Writing Center Tutor? Chosen applicants are required to make an appointment with tutors to talk about converting their work into a visually appealing poster presentation, and you must be ready to help them! (more…)

 

 
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