Saturday, November 09, 2013

Blog 9

My first English class at the university was English 1010. I, as a non-traditional student, had been away from school for about five years and I was entirely unsure how what to expect from any class at Weber, let alone an English class. I remember our first assignment well. We were to write about “anything” from our lives, particularly an event that had changed us somehow. Now, my professor was nice enough to not explain what he was looking for in the assignment. It was more like his attempt to test the waters, to see where we were all at. What he wanted was for us to relate our experience and answer the “so what” question. He wanted a clear thesis statement. What I gave him was a story: the story of my motorcycle accident. I remember vividly when he placed my paper under the projector’s lens and proclaimed that it was a “good try” but that it was ultimately an example of what not to do.

Luckily, having survived the motorcycle accident and my bout of embarrassment, I was able to learn from this experience and grow. I feel that it was this experience that helps me as a tutor. I can relate to those who are currently enrolled in English 1010. I can sympathize with their complaints while helping them understand why professors do the strange things they do. My writing was poor at the beginning of my freshman year. It was sub-par, unacceptable, and not in line with regular academic writing. But, at the start of the class, that didn't matter. What mattered was that I could write clearly enough to tell my story. I find that this experience and understanding has guided my efforts when dealing with students from 955 and 1010 classes.

So, I guess I would say that my early English courses helped my writing, even if they just helped me to understand what I was doing wrong. And, with this information, I am more prepared to help others become better writers. When I look back at how bad my writing was before, it helps me realize that many of us are good writers in the making waiting for someone to teach us how to do it correctly.


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