However, stumbling across this moment can be rather difficult.
So, whenever someone is able to aid in bringing about this epiphany, just like Alexander the Great cutting that infamous knot, it can be a godsend.
This is the role Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s own Writing Center has now accepted with students and their papers all semester long.
Opportunities abound, the Writing Center wishes to teach students the basic principles of grammar and writing so that they can express their thoughts more clearly.
The center welcomes all: good writers, bad writers, those with disabilities, and especially those looking to learn English. Everyone that enters the Library’s second floor offices will be greeted with a welcoming face and an opportunity to learn and sharpen their tools for writing.
On Feb. 17, the students of the center left for the campus of University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley to participate in the 2017 South Central Writing Center’s Association Conference.
The team of tutors developed a proposal based on their own teaching experiences and left to Edinburg, Texas for a day of discussion.
The conference had writing centers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, come together to discuss resources and techniques promoting smoother education.
The team of tutors listened to the keynote address given by Dr. Rebecca Hallman Martini, the Writing Center Coordinator at Salem State University, and then headed out to the scheduled panels.
With the Director of the TAMUK Writing Center Dr. Steven Corbett, Javelina Nations own led a panel on working with students that have learning disabilities. Five students also had a hand in a Round Table style conference, wherein tutors Katherine Villarreal, education major, and Marshall Walston, business management major, shared their proposal that they co-wrote together.
“I came up with the idea of basically promoting more efficient methods or basically just discussing what would it be like to work with someone with disabilities or ESL… A lot of good feedback from people, a lot of the students at their schools that come with disabilities and what they do to accommodate them with their resources,” Villarreal said about her round table discussion.
Luis Villlasana, a graduate student who specializes in teaching ESL students, also sat in on the round table discussion.
Villasana shared with the South Texan how he decides to tackle tutoring ESL students.
“First of all, one of the things I would explain to them is basically just [to] share my experience with them, that I am also an ESL student,” said Villasana.
“That, they shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the language and that we should patiently review and explain not just their assignment, but for them to feel comfortable speaking and even writing it… My experience I shared in the conference is that [students] tend to drag a little bit, that they might take a couple of weeks to address the issue, but they become more comfortable and they become like your friend.”
This welcoming tone reflects a lot of the philosophy of the Writing Center. For instance, after lessons, the tutors will provide a survey so that the student may explain whether or not they felt comfortable participating in lessons.
Villasana believes, “its practice, students need to realize that it’s all practice. You can’t just come one day and I think they just need to realize that if they believe in themselves they can do it. People come in here all discouraged saying, ‘I’m just not a good writer, I’m not a good this.’ That doesn’t matter, we can still work with you.”
Unfortunately, due to the school’s recent budget cuts, the team did not get to stay at the conference long; missing out on panels.
Don’t fret, as the workers at the Writing Center have plenty more conferences to go to; the most exciting coming sometime in November, where they will travel to Chicago.
Having taught and been taught, the writing center is opened to all. Simply make an appointment and head to Jernigan Hall Room 217.