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Why Do We Laugh at Gaffes? October 26, 2011

On Thursday night I attended a lecture series at Saint Xavier University. The guest lecturer was Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary for President Obama.

The talk was pretty good (probably not worth the $20 bucks I spent, but whadderyagonnado?). He shared some anecdotes about working with our President, and gave some interesting insight into the Republican primaries. He also gave a surprisingly effective answer to a question on how young people can avoid apathy. He noted that lobbyists in $2000 suits really like our apathy. They capitalize on it.



What do you do when the conversation partner gets too personal? October 20, 2011

OK, I’m not talking about a conversation partner asking for a date, or your phone number, or do you sleep in the nude, or anything like that. I mean, what do you do when your conversation partner comes in all misty eyed, like the tears are about to fall any second, and she starts telling you that she knows her boyfriend is cheating on her, and her friends tell her she should break up with him, but she really loves him, and what should she do?



Why Can’t Shakespeare Go to Jail?: Thoughts on Literature Banned from American Prisons October 17, 2011

Banned Books Week is an annual time to recognize and contemplate the “objectionable” literature in America: texts that sects of society have deemed morally, religiously, sexually, racially, whatever-it-may-be-ly reprehensible.



How Important Is Popular Culture to the Contemporary Writer? October 13, 2011

How important is knowledge of popular culture to the contemporary writer? Is popular culture knowledge something we should actively pursue, or something we accumulate without effort as we wander through our lives? (more…)


How I Learned to Shut Up and Be a Tutor October 11, 2011

My first experiences with shadowing another tutor were understandably nerve-wracking.  Having never tutored in any context before, I wasn’t quite sure how an academic tutorial would go, or what part I’d play in it.  To make matters worse, I wasn’t even doing proper tutoring yet!  I was tasked with shadowing a tutorial, making my role in the situation even more muddled.  What was I supposed to do or say?  I was ready to observe but what if someone asked my opinion or expected me to participate?  Just to be safe, I looked over what the writer had said about their paper on MyWCOnline before the appointment.  I tried to give the tutorial a general outline in my head and guess what the writer would want to work on and how to respond.  Finally, I thought about how to strike a balance between observing and contributing to the tutorial, keeping in mind that there was a much more experienced tutor that should really be worrying about these things. (more…)



After receiving Monday’s email from the Outreach Team, I hope all UCWbLers are just as excited as we are for the upcoming third annual National Day on Writing (NDOW)! Not only will October 20 be an opportunity for us to share our love for writing with the DePaul University community, but it will also be an opportunity for us to collaborate with writers from coast to coast and learn why it is they do what they do.   (more…)


UCWbLers as Editors: A New Frontier in DePaul Faculty and Staff Writing Assistance October 10, 2011

As a tutor part-way into my third year at the UCWbL, I have given written feedback on many documents: about 45 of them, according to a quick search of the UCWbL archives. But none have been quite like the most recent in either size or style. As an employee of the UCWbL, a Writing Center tutor, I. . .edited. (more…)