I don't know what else there is to blog about...
well, I sat down today for my first session, and I have to say, once again, I really love this job...I get to help people and feel good about doing it...
hhmmmm...end of the semester...we should all spend more time together as an office, outside of work..I mean happy hour is fine and all, but I think more people should show up more often(Kirsten, hint, hint)...and some people, like Brian, I never, ever see...I think that it will be good to have him around the office a bit next semester...
And I like everyone that I work with...okay, there are a couple of people who get on my nerves from time to time, but nobody I utterly despise...just like I'm sure that I annoy the hell out of a couple of people that work here on a daily basis, as well...but everywhere else I've worked, it seems like there's that one person that I just despise...where are you, person I despise at the writing center? hopefully I'll never find you...
but, whatever, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I think it's really important for an effective workplace to be a comfortable workplace...so thanks everyone, and lets keep it up next semester...
So what should I do with my final blog? So many possibilities...well, I'll start by looking at all that blogging has done for me over the past three months.
1) blogging made me a better person.
2) I learned the true meaning of Christmas.
3) I finally became a man...and a mammal.
4) I discovered a diamond mine, and mined it...hard.
5) I invented a new kind of toothpaste.
6) I built a robot, a robot who loves me.
But beyond all of these fantastic things, blogging made me write down new ideas and concepts that I came across...you retain and understand information better when you write it down, rqther than just letting it role around in your head...so I guess blogging helped me in that way.
Also, I got to read nice things that people (Adam) had to say about me...also, I got to read a bunch of other stuff...honestly, most of that other stuff wasn't that interesting to me, but other people had some interesting things to say...not to name names (Claire, Adam) but some people seemed to take better advantage of the blogging system than others...
or is it??????
Gee-golly it's swell to work inthe bizarro writing center!
Do you have a paper that needs to be proofread? Bring it here! All we do here is edit papers. Short on time? No worry! Just drop the paper off at the front desk, and we'll get on it right away. You can expect to pick your paper back up, error free, in about twenty minutes.
Not a student? We don't care! These services are for everyone, whether they pay or not; student service fees pay for services for peopple other than students: it's just a name.
No, we will not help you learn anything for yourself. It just takes too much time. And, frankly, I don't have the time. I, and I assume you as well, would prefer to just have a well-written paper. That's all that counts.
Got some questions about MLA style that you're just too lazy to look up on your own time? That's why we're here! Just call our toll-free hotline, and one of our many freindly operators will answer your questions for you.
Spell check function of Word too difficult to find for you? Not for me! I have six years of training and four years' experience using spell check. It's not as easy as it looks.
so here's another session I had recently that went a little smoother...they don't all end up like this, but just thought I'd share:
a woman came in with a pair of papers that she wanted help with...the first she was pretty concerned about, and the second was a brainstorming session...the first paper was sort of frustrating because I didn't see anything wrong with it, but she reallly, really wanted me to find someting, anyting wrong with it...eventually, I came up with a couple of suggestions, really just for the hell of it, to put her mind at ease...
the seond paper is what I really enjoyed...I don't know about anyone else, but I love, I mean absolutely love effective brainstorming sessions...not all of them end up this way, but we really got the juices flowing...it wasn't just a case of her telling me what the assignment was and I threw ideas out there...rather we threw ideas off of oneanother, and explored a variety of different options that she had for writing her paper...good shit...
It's hard to believe that we're already at the end of the semester...it's been quite a ride; learned a lot, loved a lot...uhh, well, guess I'll talk about a memorable session I had...not a good one:
this woman came in with a paper and asked me to look at it and make suggestions...she was mostly worried about contradicting herself...she said that she knew that it might sound hard to believe, but that she did it all the time...
I read the paper all the way through...I didn't see any glarring contradictions, but I did notice that she made a lot of broad assumptions based on rather unrelated facts...for example, she said that all white kids go to school in the suburbs and all black kids go to inner-city schools...I suggested that this might be somewhat of an overgeneralization...she didn't like hearing that and snapped at me, saying that her data (sketchy reslts from one city school) supported her point...I tried to explain to her that that wasn't actually true, but she just wouldn't hear it...
I don't think there was a whole lot I could do about that session, so I just let it go...you can't win 'em all...
So i think there's a real correlation between what I've learned as far as helping others with their writing and more effectively editing my own writing. For anyone that thinks they haven't learned anything in this class, or feels that our class has hurt their writing, chew on that for a little bit. I mean, all of the things we're trained to look for, you can't help but see those shortcomings in your own writing, right? Sure, maybe it takes a little bit of time, to seperate yourself from what you've written, to look at it with a fresh eye. But I've found a plethora of ineptitudes in my writing that I would jump on any student who came into the writing center with.
So for anyone out there who thinks they're the super-badest, ultra-raddest writer around, take a look at something you wrote with the eye of a consultant. I think you'll find you're not nearly as bad-ass as you think. And if you still think you're all that, you're either lying to yourself or blind.
So as the semester winds down to its fun, fuzzy end, I've been swamped with work. A lot of it's been for other classes; papers I have to start from scratch, or close to it. Those papers are kind of a pain, but the rewriting I've been doing for our class has been an even bigger pain. Wait! That's not true! I expected that the rewriting would be the bain (bane?) of my existance, but it's actually been a whole hell of a lot easier both than I thought it would be and the other papers I'm working on. Maybe that whole 'radical revision' thing is finally starting to work for me.
I think, at least for me, is that I've had some time away from what I wrote before. i can look at it with a fresh perspective. Without that, i felt like I was just rewriting the same paper over again; now it feels like I'm revising something that's already more-or-less finished.
Even though I said y'all suck, I don't really think all y'all suck...
I thought our class was totally rad, it's just that I thought some people--not to name names--brought a real piss-poor attitude wit hthem to the class. In my mind, some of us grew as people and writers over the past few months and some of us digressed. But if you take a long, hard look at yourself, and feel like you fit into the latter group, it's not the end of the world. Life is made up of a series of growths and digressions. Recognize where you're lacking, and try to become a better person, a better writer, one little step at a time. Just look at how awesome I am! Okay, just kidding, but the point I'm trying to make is that none of us has an excuse not to take something away from our class. And y'all don't suck. For the most part.
Seriously, y'all: I did not like hearing all that whining that went on last Thursday in class. It was, for the most part, straight-up bullshit. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in our class is in the situation that they're in because of the work, or lack thereof, that they did. Take responsibility for your own actions or inaction. If you've put off doing the work, don't blame the class and don't blame Kirsten. You knew what you were going to have to do when you took the job and signed up for the class. No, it's not perfect, but nothiing is, and neither are any of us. I'm not brown-nosing here, but if anyone has dug themself into a hole, it's me. If anyone has a right to complain about the hand they've been dealt over the last few months, it's me. And I'm not. So shut up, grow up, and deal with it.
Sure, a few of us--myself included--have slacked off a bit over the past few weeks. That's normal and it's nothing to be ashamed of. But blaming someone else for your less-than-ideal body of work when you've had the time to do it is something to be ashamed of.
So let's all grow up, deal with the reality of our situations, and work TOGETHER to make this writing center the best that we can. Maybe that sounds a little cheesy, but whatever.