writing. thinking. collaborating. teaching. learning. blogging…

Mark Twain’s Love/Hate Relationships October 2, 2012

… with his typewriter.  Yes, it turns out the Twain-man couldn’t quite untangle his feelings about the revolutionary device.  Mr. Clemens certainly made history when he wrote Tom Sawyer: it was the first-ever typed manuscript to be submitted for publication.  But though he loved his typewriter, he couldn’t bring himself to offer a public endorsement for Remington, the manufacturer, as we see in this letter. (more…)


In Praise of Online Appointments October 25, 2011

As a new tutor with the UCWbL, my appointments so far have been either in person or via email.  In both cases, I’ve felt in control of the tutorial to a greater or lesser degree.  However, there’s something to be said for collaborative relationships in tutoring as well, and the online interface was the first time that I’ve experienced this sense of working together on a piece of writing.  I recently had my first experience with the online tutorial system in my UCWbL class, Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy.  Granted, it was just in the classroom and with my fellow new tutors – we used it to look over each other’s project drafts for an assignment we’re all working on – but it was still an eye-opening evening.  I’ve been using chat functions since middle school in a social capacity but this was the first time I’d even seen the same basic platform used for tutoring purposes. (more…)


How to Write Very Little August 4, 2011

“Talking and eloquence are not the same,” Ben Jonson once observed.  “To speak, and to speak well, are two things.”  In his new book, Microstyle, Christopher Johnson, who is a linguist by training, adds that to speak well nowadays is to speak very little.  Microstyle, which you might call a guide to writing for the age of the Internet, promises to explain exactly how to do that.