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Archive for the category “Writing Center Events”

International Mother Language Day

Emily Cousins, Consultantemily-c

Last week, on February 21st, we hosted our first celebration of International Mother Language Day here at the U of L Writing Center.

I first found out about International Mother Language Day a few years ago, and I wish I’d known about it earlier. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially declared International Mother Language Day in 1999, and since then, countries worldwide have celebrated annually to promote multiculturalism, intercultural communication and linguistic diversity. February 21st was chosen for its historical significance, to commemorate the day in 1952 when university students in Bangladesh were killed by police while demonstrating for their rights to speak Bangla, their mother tongue. UNESCO is also committed to raising awareness about preserving endangered languages that are at risk of disappearing altogether. The 2017 theme was “Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.”

In preparation for our event, we decorated using color printouts from an art series by Ella Frances Sanders featuring words in different languages that do not have direct translations in English (see her book here). We also set up a table with language trivia, and a poster on which participants could write in response to the question, “What do you love about your mother language?”

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During the event, which took place from 2-4pm, nine student volunteers gave presentations about their mother language(s). The languages represented were Japanese, Mongolian, Korean, Bengali, Kazakh, Russian, Arabic, Spanish and Filipino. Presenters used Powerpoint, showed Youtube clips, played song recordings, and used the whiteboard to share about their mother languages. Audience members got a sense of what the languages sound like when spoken, as well as what the scripts look like in writing. The presentations were highly interactive, with participants inviting each other to practice saying different words aloud.

 

I found myself truly inspired that day, seeing each volunteer speak in and about their mother language(s) with such enthusiasm, and also watching members of the audience raising their hands, asking questions, requesting presenters to repeat things or write words on the board. It’s this type of openly curious interaction and dialogue that I think can partly give rise to a sense of community we talk about and think about—often, unfortunately, in the abstract. As I reflect on the event, I think it was successful not just because of the diversity of cultures and languages represented, but also, more importantly, because participants were so actively engaged, eager to teach others and learn new things.

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At the Writing Center, we tutors are constantly learning from the writers we work with – but not always as much as we’d like. 50 minutes goes by pretty fast. The cultural exchange that we’d ideally hope to foster often gets sidelined in the face of a looming deadline. This is why I think all Writing Centers should observe International Mother Language Day every February 21st, to take some time to look up from our day-to-day routines and learn more about the cultures and languages of the students we work with. Writing from the perspective of a Writing Center tutor and someone whose mother language is not English, I think curiosity goes such a long way in creating truly inclusive spaces – and celebrating International Mother Language Day is a perfect opportunity to create such a space.

Thank you to all the student participants for their wonderful presentations, and to those who attended and contributed to making the event a success. I’d also like to extend a thank you to the International Center office and OASIS staff, who helped publicize the event.

See you again next year!

 

 

How We Write

October 20, 2016 was busier than usual for the University Writing Center. We celebrated the NCTE’s National Day on Writing and welcomed visitors on campus for the Watson Conference.

To build on our “How I Write” blog series, we asked visitors to respond to our “How I Write” questions on banner paper. They’re now displayed on the Writing Center’s glass walls. A few enthusiastic writers also responded to all five How I Write questions, so we’ll share those on the blog soon.

Participants in the Watson conference also stopped by for lunch yesterday. Many UofL English MA and PhD alumni are attending Watson, so they were eager to see our new space. We also met many faculty, staff, and graduate students just curious to see what the University Writing Center is like.

Thank you to everyone who helped out and participated– in person and online– with our #HowIWrite celebration!

Check out the day on our Storify! 

Creative Writers Welcome

Cassie Book, Associate Director 

Since we moved to the first floor of Ekstrom Library last October, we’ve hosted an open house/art exhibition, an evening of bad love poetry, a dissertation writing retreat, and graduate student and faculty writing groups. This academic year, our first complete one in our new space, we intend to continue growing our list of events and activities! For instance, during first-year orientation, we opened our doors for Kickback in the Stacks. Students dropped by to take a break from the controlled chaos in the library to play Story Cubes or Hangman. We like Kickback because it gives us the opportunity to talk to writers without the (often) added stress of a deadline or impending project. We also got a chance to plug some of our upcoming events and activities. When talking with students, I discovered that many were excited to hear that we’re starting a Creative Writing Group.

Tuesday, August 30 kicks off our new Creative Writing Group, led by Jessica Newman, an Assistant Director of the Writing Center. Though we’ve hosted graduate student and faculty writing groups before, a Creative Writing Group is a new adventure for us. We envision a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff meeting monthly to share writing, give and receive feedback, exchange ups and downs, and, of course, have fun. Anyone in the UofL community who enjoys creative writing is welcome—amount experience or investment doesn’t matter. At the kickoff on Tuesday, Jessica will facilitate discussions about writing, a few collaborative writing activities—poe-e-tree and prose—and ask for feedback about what participants want to get out of the Creative Writing Group. If you’re interested in creative writing, join us on Tuesday!

What: Creative Writing Group Kick Off
When: Tuesday, August 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: University Writing Center, First Floor, Ekstrom Library
Who: UofL students, faculty, and staff are welcome

Questions? Contact Jessica Newman or call the Writing Center at 502-852-2173

 

Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Writing

Bronwyn T. Williams, Director

Someone once told me that any time you move it takes six months to learn how to live in a new place. After we moved into our new space on the first floor of Ekstrom Library last

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University Writing Center on the first floor of Ekstrom Library

October, it did taken us a while to figure out how the furniture worked best, get some art on the walls, and buy some new plants. Now, however, as we get ready to start the 2016-17 academic year, we are settled in and excited about the opportunities that our new surroundings offer us.

We plan to take advantage of our new space with a number of new and expanded programs and events in the coming year:

Creative Writing Groups: We are starting new creative writing groups for anyone in the UofL community interested in working on creative writing projects. The groups will meet once a month on a Tuesday during the fall semester allowing people to explore creative writing in a safe, open, and encouraging environment. Meetings will be times when people can will write, investigate issues of craft, read and respond to writing, and have fun. Any member of the UofL community is welcome – undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. We welcome any genre of writing and any level of creative writing experience—all you need is an interest in creative writing. For more details and the schedule of meetings, see our website.

Graduate Student Writing Groups and Faculty Writing Groups: We are going to continue with our writing groups for graduate students and for faculty. These groups will provide time for writing followed by discussions of writing concerns and issues. More details and schedules for the graduate student group and the faculty group can be found on our website

Writing Center Events: We’re going to have a number of events in our new space this fall,

open mic

“Bad Love Poetry” Open Mic Night from Feb. 2016

from participation in the National Day of Writing on Oct. 2o, to a Finals’ Week Write-In to support getting final papers finished, to an open mic night on Halloween for scary stories and poems. See our Events page on our website for more details.

In addition to our Writing Center events, we also have some other new initiatives we are excited about.

New Undergraduate Tutoring Class : We have had approved a new course for undergraduates and MA students interested in learning more about teaching writing and then potentially doing internships in community literacy settings. The course, English 508 – Literacy Tutoring Across Contexts and Cultures will be offered in 2017-18. Students who take the course can then take part in tutoring internships in the community with organizations such as Family Scholar House and the Louisville Free Public Library. 

Community Literacy Projects: We are also going to continue, and expand, our ongoing writing workshops and writing consultations at Family Scholar House. We view this partnerships as one of the key parts of our efforts to provide more writing consultation services to the larger Louisville community.

Of course, it isn’t only what is new here that is exciting. One of the most exciting things that will happen this fall is what happens here every semester. Day after day writers from across the university will bring their drafts and their questions about their writing to the Picture1University Writing Center and engage in thoughtful conversations with our consultants about how to make that work as strong as it can be.  We have an excellent incoming staff of consultants who will be doing what we do best: helping writers improve the projects they are working on today, as well helping them become stronger writers in the future. On our exit surveys, more than 90 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that their University Writing Center appointments both help them with their immediate writing concerns and that what they learn in appointments will help them with other writing projects.

We will also continue to offer our successful Dissertation Writing Retreat, our Graduate Student Writing Workshops, workshops on writing issues for classes and student organizations at UofL, and our consultations on the Health Sciences Campus.

The mission statement for the University Writing Center says that we believe writing is an “indispensable part of the intellectual life of the university.” We stand behind this belief and it is central to what we do. But, as the new semester begins, I think the events and programs we will offer in the year ahead will allow us to add to our mission the goal of creating and sustaining a culture of writing of all kinds, on campus and in our community.

Please see our updated website for more information and resources, as well as for information about how to make your appointment for a writing consultation.

Good luck with the new academic year and I hope to see you in the University Writing Center.

 

Event: Bad Love Poems Open Mic

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 2/9 at 6:00PM, for an open mic presented by the White Squirrel and the University Writing Center! Details below:

white squirrel valentines day open mic

Attention UofL Artists! Display your work in the Writing Center!

At the University Writing Center we are committed to celebrating communication and to putting student work first. As part of that commitment we have, over the past four years, made space in the Writing Center available for ongoing displays of student artwork. It has been exciting to have the student art in the Writing Center and has given the artists the chance to show their work to a larger university audience. Now

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Woman Writer of Pompeii

that we have moved into our new, very visible space on the First Floor of Ekstrom Library, we again have the opportunity to display student artwork. But now we have a central location on campus where the art we display will be seen by thousands of people a year.

That’s why we are calling for UofL student artists interested in displaying their work in our new space to get in touch with us. The work can be in any medium and on any subject – though we are particularly interested in work that connects somehow to writing, reading, words, books, computers, maps, and any other way we communicate to each other. All UofL students – art majors and non-majors alike – are welcome to submit works.

If you think your artwork would be a good fit for the University Writing Center space, email us today (writing@louisville.edu) or stop by the University Writing Center, First Floor, Ekstrom Library. (We reserve the right to choose which work to display).

Writing Center Staff Accomplishments – Fall 2015

The consultants and administrators who work in University Writing Center work to help people become more successful writers and to create and support a culture of writing on campus. Yet it’s important to remember that our consultants (who are all first-year MA students) and our assistant directors (who are PhD students) are also active in their scholarly and creative work. It’s time to take a moment and recognize their accomplishments for the Fall 2015 semester.

Emily Blair had a proposal accepted to present at the Southern Studies Conference in February, 2016. Her presentation will be titled, “The Universal Redneck: Representations of Rednecks and Hillbillies in Contemporary Country Music.”

Cassie Book, Associate Director of the University Writing Center, presented at the International Writing Center Association conference in October. Her presentation was titled, “(W)Centering Multiliteracy: An Unexpected Journey.”

Stephen Cohen, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Writing, will be presenting at the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication on “The Rhetoric of Patients: How to Access Care in an Epidemic.”

Cheyenne Franklin had her article, “Quintilian Education and Additive Bilingualism,” published in the journal Queen City Writers.

Jenny Kiefer had her poem, “Between Our Legs: On Women of the Warren County Jail,” published in the journal White Squirrel. Jenny was also selected for an editorial internship at Louisville Magazine for Spring 2016.

Jessica Good was selected for an editorial internship at Louisville Magazine for Spring 2016.

Jamila Kareem, Assistant Director for the Virtual Writing Center, was awarded a Scholars for the Dream Travel award to the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication. Her presentation is titled, “Transitioning with Civic Acts of Writing: For Black Students, an Alternative to Pre-College Credit Models.” Jamila also presented at the Feminisms and Rhetoric Conference in October on “Womanist Rhetorical Pedagogy.”

Amy Nichols, Assistant Director of the University Writing Center, has been accepted to present at the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication. Her presentation is titled, “The WPA Course: Pursuing Miller’s Intellectual Bureaucrat.”

Laura Tetreault, Assistant Director of the University Writing Center, had a coauthored article (with Bruce Horner) titled “Translation as (Global) Writing” accepted by the journal, Composition Studies. Laura also presented at the Feminisms and Rhetoric conference in October on  “Queer Women’s Slam Poetry as Embodied Performance” and will present at the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication on “Queer Action in the Extracurriculum.”

Write In, Build Community

Cassie Book, Associate Director

We’re off to a good start at our new location on Ekstrom Library’s first floor. Since we moved, over 500 writers have visited for over 800 appointments! Yet, another benefit of the new space— location and design— is an improved ability to accommodate larger crowds.

On December 9th we’ll host the first big event in the new space, a Write In. We join nearly 90 writing centers worldwide in the International Write In. The general purpose is for writing centers to create community around writing during a particularly stressful time of the semester. Every center will adjust the theme to its local context. For our Write In, we will simply open our doors for UofL writers to use our space to work on final papers and projects. We’ll provide snacks and handouts; writing consultants will be available to answer brief questions. The Write In forwards our Center’s mission to support writing as integral part of the university and as a lifelong learning process. Just making time to sit and write is an important aspect of any writer’s process!

While the typical daily activity in the University Writing Center takes the form of focused 50 minute consultations, the Write In offers a comfortable and motivating space to write. So, if you’re UofL a student, faculty, or staff and could use a break from your usual writing routine, drop in on Wednesday, December 9 from 6-9 p.m. in the University Writing Center.

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The New University Writing Center on Ekstrom Library’s first floor will host its first big event, a Write In, on December 9.

Kick Back in the Stacks 2015

On the annual Kick Back in the Stacks night the University Writing Center had to find a temporary space to welcome new UofL students (though we ARE still open on the Third Floor of Ekstrom Library as our new First Floor space is completed!). But we still found a way to have a great time with the hundreds of new people we met. Along with the games and the art, we had a blog open for new students to contribute to and here is what some of them had to say to some of our questions.

Meanwhile, come see us on the Third Floor to get feedback and help with your writing!

What are you most excited about for your first year at UofL?

Meeting new people!

Being in a cool and rad environmentDSCN3736

Trying new things I’ve never done before and new clubs!

Getting Free Food

Branching Out, I want new experiences and to explore new opportunities

I am excited to learn and take on the challenges that may come my way.

Living on my own

Going easy like a breeze until I hit so high no one can see meDSCN3745

About the UofL traditions and spirits of all C-A-R-D-S CARDS!!! 🙂

What is your favorite thing about writing?

It calms me down

I like writing to get my thoughts out on paper.

It is challenging but rewarding.

Explaining and expressing your feelings and cool stuff like that

I like writing because it allows me to express my feelings without being judged

I love to write my thoughts and perspectives on the world around me and then listen to the ideas that others may have.

It allows me to have my thoughts brought together in one place.

It allows me to gather my own ideas and argue viewpoints with their own thoughts

What is your favorite genre (poetry, short story, analysis etc.) to write? Why?

Poetry: It’s a very “to the point” way of getting to your feelings.DSCN3753

Mythical, romance, even dark things if I’m in the right mood.

I love historical fiction!!!!!!

Analysis: It’s what I’m most comfortable with and brings in my thoughts on a subject most thoroughly

Fiction, because I really like how stories are not always true and even realities.

Much to Celebrate as the Writing Center Year Comes to a Close

Bronwyn T. Williams

Director, University Writing Center

When we get to the end of an academic year, we always feel there is a lot to be proud of at the University Writing Center. We can look back over a year in which we’ve worked with members of every college in the university, on both campuses, ranging from first-year students to faculty. If you can imagine a day where, in the course of three hours you might work with writers on an English 101 paper, an engineering dissertation, DSCN2410 - Copyand a business plan assignment – and be able to help all three writers with their projects – you can understand the talent and flexibility of our consultants. By the end of the academic year we will have had more than 5,000 visits to the University Writing Center. The consultants here do great, great work, every day. We may be a bit tired by the end of the spring semester, but we enjoy the work and feel as if we’ve worked hard to help develop better writing and better writers at UofL.

I want to take a moment to thank the writers who came to us to work on their writing and also all the faculty and staff who supported our work by recommending us to their students.

We will be open during the summer, starting May 11, from 9-4 every weekday. Meanwhile, take a look at our website and we hope to see you soon.

Other Reasons to Celebrate

In addition to our daily work of teaching of writing through one-on-one consultations, there are other events and activities that we organize, and other plans we are making. It’s worth taking a moment to point to some of the accomplishments, and to talk about what they are going to allow us to do in the future.

New Writing Center Projects:

Our Move to the First Floor of the Library: During the summer, as part of the renovation of the first floor of Ekstrom Library, the University Writing Center will be moving from the third floor down to the first. This new location will make us much more visible (and easier to find) and allow us to create new programs and initiatives that will help us develop and sustain a culture of writing in the University. To see a video about the move, see this previous blog post.

WCOnline Scheduling Software: We are finishing the first year of using our new scheduling software and we’ve found it has been a significant improvement in making it easier for students to make their own appointments online. The software has also made our online, Virtual Writing Center Appointments more effective. To make an appointment, follow this link to our website.

Faculty Writing Groups: This year we organized our first faculty writing groups, one in science/engineering/mathematics and one in humanities/social sciences. These groups have gone very well and we plan to keep them going next year. If you’re interested in taking part, contact the Writing Center.

The Growth of Ongoing Writing Center Projects:

Writing Center Website: We expanded parts of our website, such as our Common Writing Situations – which are our responses to frequently asked questions about undergraduate DSCN2359and graduate writing – and our handouts on everything from strategies for revision, to writing better introductions and conclusions, to issues of grammar and style. We have also added resources for faculty who want to develop their approaches to teaching writing.

Writing Center Social Media: We continued to communicate our ideas about writing and the teaching of writing through our presence on Twitter and Facebook as well as our blog.

Dissertation Writing Retreats: Our Dissertation Writing Retreats remain popular and we are having the pleasure of seeing 90 percent of the students who attend the retreats complete their dissertations.

Workshops: Our Writing Center staff conducted a broad range of writing workshops in both courses and for student organizations on issues such as revision, writing a literature review, citation styles, and resume writing.

Writing Center Staff Achievements

The University Writing Center, in addition to its teaching mission, is also an active site of scholarship about the teaching of writing. Staff from the Writing Center were engaged in a number of scholarly projects during the past year in rhetoric and composition, literature, and creative writing.

Mariah Douglas – Internship at Louisville Magazine with 11 published pieces.

Joanna Englert – Published poems in the Miracle Monocle and the Kentucky Poetry Festival and presented at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture

University Writing Center Staff - 2014-15

University Writing Center
Staff – 2014-15

Harley Ferris – Co-editor and writer of KairosCast for the journal Kairos. Presented at Computers and Writing. Forthcoming publication in Computers and Composition Online.

Taylor Gathof – Presented at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture

Meghan Hancock – Presented at National Conference on Peer Tutors and Writing/International Writing Center Association Conference; the Conference on College Composition and Communication; and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference

Kristin Hatten – Presented at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture; Internship with Commonwealth Center for the Humanities.

Jamila Kareem – Presented at ACES Symposium; Conference on College Composition and Communication; Forthcoming chapter in the collection: The Good Life and the Greater Good in a Global Context

Tara Lawson – Presented at Southeastern Writing Center Association

Ashley Ludewig – Presented at the Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition; The Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference; and the Research Network Forum at the Conference on College Composition and Communication

Amy Nichols – Presented at Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Haley Petcher – Presented at Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference

Bobby Rich – Published poems in Hobart Magazine and the Kentucky Poetry Festival; Internship/Poetry Editor of Miracle Monocle

Adam Robinson – Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference

Chris Scheidler – Presented at Southeastern Writing Center Association Conference; Association of Professional and Technical Writers Undergraduate Conference, Computers and Writing, and Conference on Community Writing

Stephanie Weaver – Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition; Conference on College Composition and Communication

Jessica Winck – Co-authored publication in Kairos. Presented at National Council of Teachers of English Conference; Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference.

 

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