Good thing I set the alarm

I woke up this morning, only remembering that I told myself to get straight out of bed as I was falling asleep. I knew I had things to do, and lots of them.

What were these things?

Well I’m very glad you asked because I haven’t the faintest idea. I think maybe if I get enough people pondering the question for/with me, the Universe will send a reminder, and hopefully not when it’s too late and I’m rushing out the door to class.

I did however get online to check the Writing Center email. I’m on Online-Response duty on the weekends, which means that students send in their writing and I create a Jing screen cast and respond to it. I checked on my iPad last night before I went to bed, relieved that I didn’t see anything in the inbox.

I don’t know, perhaps I needed to reload the screen or something, because when I logged on this morning, there were five – five – 5 – emails waiting! I couldn’t believe it!

Last weekend I had one email. The weekend before – none. This weekend I’ve had 11 total. It’s great, since I get paid for it, but man, it kinda takes up my weekend a little bit!

To cut myself some slack, only two of them were sent at a reasonable hour last night. One of them was a “thank you” to a previous response, and the other was sent at 6pm or so, so I made sure I responded to her essay. The rest of them were all sent after midnight, and that their own fault on that one. When I tell people about the online responding, I make sure I let them know that we’re real people that are also students responding to these things, and so there’s a chance we won’t respond after bed time. Granted, everyone’s bed time varies, and I seem to be an anomaly since I like to go to bed before 10, and not after midnight, but either way, I think it’s appropriate to say that if they want their essay responded to before the morning, they should send it before 10 pm.

The ones that were sent in after midnight, I’ll respond to when I’m on shift in the Writing Center. I’m in there all day today, and come in half an hour after they open. I’m sure that they’ll only be one response in, if any, at that point.

I really do enjoy being in the Writing Center. I enjoy that I read so many essays, i enjoy experiencing so many different thoughts and writing styles. I had questioned how much it would influence my college transfer, but after talking to the very lovely lady from Durham, she said they have no required classes that I need to take, but want to know that I’ve been exposed to English classes, since that’s what I plan for my degree. I am not only gaining exposure, but I’m learning how to improve my own writing along side helping others to contemplate their’s.

The beautiful thing – and the difficult thing to remember at times  – is that we, in the Writing Center, are just readers. We are not there to teach, we are there to respond as a reader. We put ourselves in the shoes of not knowing anything about the sources that quotes are being pulled from, or knowing anything about the ideas they’re incorporating. So with that, we try and help the writer expand where needed, break up ideas, and organize ideas, so that it’s comprehensible to a random reader.

The reality of it is that we read so many essays from similar curricula that I know all about the pieces students are reading, the ideas behind them, and the core concepts. I could even pull out quotes from them – and have done. I haven’t read any of them.

When I was in English 101 and 102, my teacher, as you long time readers might recall, was very philosophical, and we didn’t touch the text books that the English Department wants us to use. We instead studied essays from Quintin Mellasoux, Jane Bennet, Marcus Gabriel, Slavoy Zizek, and so on. Our lessons were very different, and quite intensive. However, I feel as though I’ve already taken the other classes, just from all the student essays I’ve read – and I’m almost tempted to actually read the original essays of Sven Birkets and Annie Dillard, simply because I do enjoy their ideas.

It’s an interesting, and really wonderful experience. If there is nothing that I did right during my community college years, this is the one thing that is, indisputably, right.


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