Friday, September 28, 2012

Things are Lookin' Up :)

I would have to say that this semester has definitely been the most interesting for me. A ton of things have changed at an alarming rate. I've started two new jobs: the one here at the Weber Writing Center, and a receptionist job near where I live. I also realized that I am about to graduate with my Bachelor's in Creative Writing and need to start thinking about applying for the Master's of English program.

I don't think I've ever dealt with so much change at one time! But altogether, I think things are progressing well. So many things are going on that I'm almost having a hard time keeping up. But regardless of all the change, things are looking up for me at the moment. :)


Thursday, September 27, 2012



^^^I wonder if I would get away with this slacker response to the slacker prompt. ;-)

No, the semester is going well for me so far, though I feel a bit busy.  I've seen fair turnout and good times at Philosophy Club meetings (which makes me happy), and I've felt some real success as a tutor.  I've particularly appreciated getting to know my new co-workers and their ways of being special.  In most of my classes, job responsibilities, and extracurricular activities, I feel as though I've contributed to my environment and individuals within it.  It's good to feel that I've made a contribution to people and things that I care about.

Busy, but Chill

My semester is going pretty well so far. With the exception of my Spanish class (which I'm still doing fairly well in; it just doesn't come easily), I really enjoy all of my classes. Especially my Victorian lit class--so I am brown nosing a little, but it really is my favorite class. I already loved Wuthering Heights, and I've fallen in love with Tennyson, and, in my opinion, it's hard to beat a close reading and discussion of literature I love.
Tutoring has been going very well, and I feel a confidence in my abilities that wasn't present in the spring. I'm not sure if the summer chilled me out or if it is having a semester under my belt, but either way, I feel less stressed even though I'm working more hours.
While I feel like I am either sleeping or on campus, I haven't felt a lag in my energy or enthusiasm. I'm crossing my fingers that that lasts another nine weeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What an easy semester!

This semester has been so weird for me, but it definitely is the good kind of weird. I finished up the last of my hard science pre-requisites over the summer, so right now I am just working on my general education classes. In fact, at the end of the semester I will get my AS in general studies. My classes are so simple and fun, which I am really enjoying. It is a good thing that I have work to keep me busy, or else I would be so bored! One day I decided on a whim that I was going to start watching the TV show Bones. That was both the best idea and the worst idea I have ever had. There are 7 complete seasons that I need to watch to get caught up, so I have been wasting entirely too much time watching it.

Something I am so excited about is that I should find out pretty soon if I have been accepted into the nursing program for January. Amanda and I are hoping to start in at the same time. I must be a total nerd, because I am missing my science classes. I can't wait to get started back into them and to finally start into classes for my major.

Anyways, this semester has been very different than my previous 3 semesters, but I am enjoying myself and appreciating a little bit slower pace. It must be the calm before the storm I'm thinking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My kind of blog prompt!

My semester has gone pretty well so far. I am in some pretty easy classes that have allowed me extra time to watch Arrested Development on Netflix and spend as much time as I can hanging out with my roommates. I have also spent entirely too much time YouTube. There was a brief period of time a few weeks ago in which my roommates and I tried to sneak a puppy into our dorm room, but we have since realized the error in our dreaming. I love living in an apartment with my friends; it keeps me from missing Las Vegas too much.

I am also happy to be a returning tutor at the Writing Center. This class is helping me a lot because I’ve already had some experience in tutoring, but have not had specific lessons on topics such as tutor expectations or organization in writing. I am glad to have this class to help me become a better tutor. I have had some pretty effective sessions in the past few weeks that I am very happy about. I have also started teaching workshops which are incredibly fun.

I am pretty much just waiting to (hopefully) get my acceptance letter in the mail from the Nursing Department here at Weber State. If I don’t get in, next semester may be the most pointless semester of my college career. I am ready to start taking classes in my actual major. I have a roommate in the Radiography program here at Weber State, and I am extremely jealous of her for being able to start work in her intended major.

Until I am accepted into the program, I will continue to spend my weekends watching whatever I can find on Netflix and updating my “books to read” list without actually reading any of them. I am loving this freedom that has come with being nineteen years old while attending a college away from home.

My Semester So Far

So far my semester is going well. Okay, I find myself reminding myself that it isn't perfect, but I'm not even sure what a perfect semester looks like. I have had some fantastic tutoring sessions. Today I had one that I felt really good about. The tutee asked me if I could guarantee that she would get an A. I tried to laugh, but I think she was serious! I told her that I couldn't guarantee it, but her paper was very strong. I have struggled more with the technicalities of the Writing Center than I have with helping students write strong papers. This is not a reflection on the Writing Center staff, but rather a reflection on my own expectations of myself. It would be wrong of me to lower my expectations of myself. The answer for me is to increase my efforts to meet my expectations.
Great!Lots of work but professors have been very flexible in terms of allowing me to cater my assignments to my interests. That makes all the difference in school for me.

So Far

My semester is going well so far! I was a little behind due to being sick, but I'm mostly caught up now. I'm really enjoying all of my classes, professors, and more. I also really like the overall feel of the campus. :)

Slacker Prompt!

How's your semester going so far?

Mission Accomplished

In one of my first solo sessions, I tutored someone who came in with and English 1010 assignment. I was nervous, but I thought “1010. I can handle this.” I went through the steps of introducing myself and copying down the information to my sheet. Then I asked him about the assignment and lost a huge chunk of my confidence.

The assignment asked the student to analyze a text, in this case a fairy tale, according to the three levels of statements: literal, interpretive, and applied. What? I’ve never even heard of these things, let alone applied them to the text. I instantly felt in over my head, wondering if I would have to call over an experienced tutor or Claire on my first solo session.

No, I can do this. “So, do you have an assignment sheet from the teacher?” Yes! “And how did she explain the assignment to you in class?” Comprehension! I felt smooth as a began pouring over the text, looking for areas that needed improvement, making sure it met the requirements, and finally checking for mechanical errors. It lasted longer than 30 minutes, but I was glad I was able to help the tutee. He thanked me and left, and I felt relieved to have passed the first hurdle.

If I hadn’t been able to figure out what the teacher was asking for, I would have sheepishly called someone over for help. I realize now that I was being more than a bit silly for feeling embarrassed. Since that session I’ve been in situations where I’ve been able to help other tutors, sometimes even the experienced ones, with answers to questions about grammar or APA citations. I should have remembered that we all have gaps in our knowledge, and no tutor can know absolutely everything (although some put on a very good show to the contrary).

Still, I’m glad I was able to stand on my feet and get through that first session without asking for help. I know it gave me a huge boost of confidence that I could handle the task of being a tutor, which I did have my doubts about beforehand. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting the First One Out of the Way

My first tutoring session was not a difficult one, luckily I was able to have a session with a very prepared and coherent student. I was far more nervous than he was, and luckily our OA Rachel was there to guide me through the process. We sat down and I frantically tried to remember the steps we had recently went over in class about how to start a session. Getting things started was the hardest part. I wasn’t sure what to say. I didn’t know what questions to ask. I tried to disguise my fear as best I could and go at it. His paper was extremely informational and straightforward, focusing on the cost of light bulbs and light fixtures, what the cost would be to switch them out with more money-saving bulbs and fixtures, and what the money savings would be over time. I tried to focus on easy fixes, like commas or tense confusion, and I was starting to really miss the times where I could take a paper away from someone, fix their errors, and hand it back to them. Working in the writing center as a tutor and occasionally helping your mother or friend with a paper are two very different things. You have to keep talking to them during the whole time, and you need to be careful to maintain a professional appearance and manner. When I correct papers for my friends, I don’t have to worry about that, I can go straight into peer review mode. The first session ran for 25 minutes, and by the end of it, the adrenaline was staring to wear off. I didn’t tell him that he was my first session, because I didn’t want him to lose confidence in me or in the Writing Center. I wanted him to feel that I knew what I was doing, even when I didn’t. I think that it helped that his paper was boring and didactic. It wasn’t a personal narrative or an essay trying to persuade you to do anything. It was entirely focused on light bulbs and electrical wiring. I hope that what I can take away from this experience is that getting the first session out of the way was not as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn’t as bad as my first flu shot or my first date, so I think I can call that a success.