The value placed on fiction, and in particular fantasy, can vary in different circles within society: oftentimes Christians–particularly in an academic setting–can see fiction as inconsequential and even, at its worst, escapist. There is sometimes a desire to place fiction and fantasy in a category of frivolousness when it is not being read for class, only to be indulged in when one has the time and needs a break from the heavier, more “important” reading. As college students, we can become so besieged by the constant challenge to perform well, to write the phenomenal paper, to craft the perfect argument, that we forget that we can in fact read and write for our own enjoyment. As I have read through Alan Jacob’s book Reading for Pleasure in an Age of Distraction, I have come to believe that we can read and write for the enjoyment of it, especially when it comes to fiction, and it is intrinsically good for us to do so.
Student teaching taught me to view the Writing Center as a place to interact with human beings, and not just fix papers.
Student teaching is, as they say, a once in a lifetime experience. A single semester of trying to teach a class that’s not your own—designing and teaching lessons for someone else’s students, grading homework and projects for someone else’s class, writing tests for students you will soon leave. It is the limbo between being a student and being a teacher: a time to make mistakes, a place to be corrected.
For me, student teaching was a lot of making mistakes and a lot of being corrected.
Do you want to grow in self-awareness? Do you want help breaking self-destructive thought patterns? Do you want help facing overwhelming emotions? If you answered “yes” to any of these, expressive writing is a simple yet powerful way for you to move in that direction. As a college student, you may be fully aware of how writing is a way of thinking and reasoning. However, writing can be more than a way of thinking about academics: it can be a way of thinking about life. This article will give you some tips on how to use writing as a tool for self-care.
Writing? In the sciences? Strange, I know. Even at a liberal arts college like Wheaton, we often think of science and writing as belonging on opposite sides of the academic spectrum, as if there is a great distance between STEM and the humanities. However, as an English major and former Pre-Med student, I have seen firsthand that they are not quite that distinct. Writing isn’t just for the aspiring novelist or literary critic; it is a skill that can serve you in nearly every facet of your life.
This interview was recorded via Zoom on Monday, February 14th, between DePaul University’s writing tutor Ishika B. and Wheaton College’s Writing Consultant Eunice R. DePaul’s Writing Center Blog Editor, Miriam C., prepared and asked the bold questions. Wheaton’s Online Operations Coordinator, Maggie R., supervised the process. We hope you enjoy this conversation between peer writing tutors!
How do I write about the music I hear at a concert?
Most undergraduate students will face this question at some point during their time at Wheaton, as Introduction to Music professors ask their students to submit written concert reviews.
Many students can feel hesitant entering the Writing Center, but one graduate client, Caitlin McNamara, has just the advice for them.
Caitlin is a graduate student in the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program, and she has frequented the Writing Center regularly for two years. We interviewed her to see why she keeps coming back–and why she recommends that others do so too.
Why do you write?
For some, the answer to that question might be as narrow as “because my professor told me to,” or as vast as a daily necessity to understand your own thoughts. Wherever you land on this spectrum, wherever your choice of study and career takes you, writing has the potential to be meaningful in your life both materially and spiritually.
It’s fall, and that means it’s officially time to begin crafting admissions essays again! And no, I don’t mean the Common Application that haunted a teenage year or two in high school; I’m talking about graduate school applications. Whether you’re looking into a program in International Affairs or Bioengineering, you may face a vague prompt and a tight word limit to portray your passion, credentials, and potential.
I got a 71% on my first paper in college.