Friday, December 10, 2010

The Writing Center: A Profile

The Coe Writing Center has a different mood at different times of the day: and you can see that when you visit. I’ve worked the 8 am shift, where everyone is sleepy and the people coming in mostly just want some coffee, except for the rare time someone has a paper due the next hour. The WC is almost dead quiet, and not much goes on. And then there’s the noon shift, where we have fresh bread and people are in here studying or talking and the WC feels more awake, but it’s not as active as it gets in the afternoon. Then there are always people working on the computers, reading out funny jokes or interesting quotes, and unwinding from their last classes of the day. This is when the WC is the liveliest, but don’t come expecting to get homework done unless you’re really determined or very good at not being distracted. Things quiet down for dinner, because almost everyone (except for our dutiful consultants, of course) is in the caf eating. The energy picks up again in the evening, around 8 or so, as people start settling down to do some serious work on homework—or take a break from serious stuff and chill, have some coffee, and wait until they get inspired again. Sometimes we have baking adventures late at night: brownies and cookies, maybe even bread or cinnamon rolls. Sometimes they’re absolutely delicious, and sometimes the mishap is simply worth the story. The moral is there’s no “best” time to come to the WC in general: it depends on your mood and how much you need to get done. There are always interesting people, who are always willing to talk or help with a paper, but the real fun is coming down here, spending some time, and seeing the different people come into the WC as the atmosphere changes.

-Justina Cline, '13

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Retreat Photos

Hey all your WCers!

I just wanted to post a link to some AWESOME photos from our 2010 Writing Center Retreat to Saint Peter's and Paul's Church near Solon, Iowa. The photos were taken by the lovely Ms. Haley Welby, a first year here at Coe. The link is to her blog and she's captured some great moments from the day. Thanks Haley!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ESL Professor Speaks to CWC Staff

At last Monday's staff meeting Joanna Shaver, an English as Second Language (ESL) Professor came to give an informational talk about the types of aids that she expects the writing center to provide to her students, and strategies for us as consultants to use in order to most effectively serve them. In a hand out, she constructed a pyramid that listed priorities that she wanted to see in her students' papers. She deemed expression of ideas as the most important element, and grammar, spelling etc as the least. In this way, she viewed the writing center as a place more for her students to come and discuss the ideas in the paper first, rather than simply dealing with just the conventions of paper writing.
A large portion of the "walk in" students seeking conferences are ESL students, who are primarily Japanese, so this talk will be very useful to us as a staff moving forward.

- Matt Barnd, '13