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Students are encouraged to sign up in advance for tutoring by using the sign-up sheet located on the bulletin board just outside the door of the Writer's Block. Students choosing to "drop in" must defer to those who may already have signed up for a given session. A session is limited to single half-hour slots although a session may run longer if no other student arrives for tutoring. For more information regarding the Writer's Block, scroll down to just below the schedule.
Current Writer's Block tutors:
Gretchen Chapman, Maya Rohr, and Adam Halwitz
THE WRITER'S BLOCK: General Information
WHAT: The Writer’s Block at Marlboro College is a student-staffed writing center in which students can receive individualized peer tutoring for their written work. Writing tutors are trained to provide support at all stages of the writing process: from initial brainstorming for a topic or thesis/claim, outlining and organizing the overall structure of a piece, to constructive feedback for final revisions and editing. Tutors are also an excellent resource for developing a firmer grasp on formal written grammar.
WHERE: The Writer’s Block is located in the Learning Center on the first floor of the Rice-Aron Library, just by the entrance that faces Dalrymple. The Learning Center also houses the office of the Director of Academic Support Services.
HOW: Tutors are available during regularly scheduled blocks of time as indicated on the Writer’s Block Schedule posted at various places around campus. To receive tutorial support for writing, students may either drop by the Writer’s Block during available hours or sign up for a specific slot of time with a specific tutor. The sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board just outside the Writer’s Block. Signing up ahead of time is encouraged as the tutors frequently become very busy. On the other hand, dropping in has its advantages.
HOW OFTEN: As a general rule, students may sign up/drop in for one half-hour session a day.. Of course, if a tutor is not busy during the remaining block of scheduled time, a session may be extended into that time. Currently, students may sign up or drop in for as many sessions a week as desired; however, in times of high demand, limits may be set and will be posted on the Writer's Block bulletin board.
WHO: Any enrolled student may make use of the tutoring available in the Writer’s Block.
TUTORS: Writer’s Block tutors are selected by the Writing faculty and the Director of Academic Support Services. In order to qualify for consideration, a student must have taken and completed two prerequisite courses: "Element of Style" and "Writing and the Teaching of Writing."
CLEAR WRITING REQUIREMENT:
The Writer’s Block is an excellent place to get help with your writing as you work toward developing your Clear Writing portfolio. Generally, it is much more useful to get regular and consistent feedback on your writing than to seek such support at the last minute. So see a tutor early in the process and make follow-up appointments as necessary. And keep in mind that Writer’s Block tutors have been through all this themselves.
For more information regarding the Writer’s Block and the writing tutoring available in it, please feel free to contact the Director of Academic Support Services or track down one of the tutors.
If you are concerned that difficulties encountered in the writing process are or may be related to a learning disability or other learning differences, don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Academic Support Services to discuss your concern and pursue reasonable support for writing strategies and skills development.
Academic Interests: Currently studying Literature with Geraldine planning to focus on (as of today at least) representations of Industrialization in literature and art at the turn of the century.
Thoughts on the role of writing tutors at Marlboro: I don’t really know how people currently see the Writing Tutors on campus this year but I know that when I was a Freshman and Sophomore the Writers Block was a solid resource. It was comforting for me to know that I could get unbiased and honest feedback on my work. I regret not using the Writers Block more regularly and less when I was in a paper crisis. I’ve been seeing more people this year that are actually utilizing the Tutors at any stage of the Writing Process. Which, to me, shows academic maturity and makes me want to keep working!
Favorite Marlboro class: I adored my Freshmen year writing seminar, Body and Soul, Health and Disease with Laura Stevenson. We used some unexpected and interesting medical anthropology primary sources and each class was one hundred percent focused on improving writing. Laura has a really unique way of zeroing in on a student’s difficulty during the writing process.
Advice: Turn in whatever you have for your professor. It doesn’t matter if its utterly useless, too short, “not good” etc etc. I’ve found that most professors would rather see what you are thinking about on paper rather than nothing at all.
Academic Interests: I'm interested in literature, but it's spilling over to other fields in the humanities. Right now I'm thinking about animal themes in mythology and poetry – humans' encounters with "animality" in the wild, in their religion, or in themselves.
Thoughts on the role of writing tutors at Marlboro: I'm lucky to be tutoring in a place where people are sincere about improving the quality of their writing – not just for the sake of grades, but because it feels great to have an idea and to communicate it well.
The writing process can feel so solitary that your head gets cloudy: you have too many thoughts, you can't figure out an order, you can't find words for things. I think tutoring provides a very neat solution for that. Tutoring provides an audience and a response – an ideal reader, who talks back to you but who's not grading you.
Going to see a tutor isn't scary. Often it's comforting. People leave happier and less scared. It seems to be a relief to people to be able to talk about their work; talking is a lot easier than writing, and ideas tend to flow a lot more easily when you've worked them out in speech.
Favorite Marlboro class: "Favorite" is tricky. I tend to think about it in terms of favorite semesters, or favorite pairs of classes, even. I like thinking about how classes interact with one another. I guess I'd say Religion, Literature and Philosophy (RLP); it interacted beautifully with most of the other stuff I was studying and thinking about. Also, everybody in it was funny.
Community Involvement: I try to take advantage of the Marlboro trail system several times a week, even in snowy or otherwise gross conditions. The woods here are so lovely and so close. I drink a lot of tea and have a lot of good conversations; I'm not sure that counts as an "activity," but it makes me happy.
Advice for Students: Try reading out loud (your own work, or others') as often as you can bring yourself to. I decided to start doing this last semester, and it's incredibly useful.
Academic Interests: Poetry, Essays, Ceramics
Favorite Marlboro Class: Culture and Ecology of the Western U.S.
Community Involvement: I've served on the Farm Committee, been a Resident Assistant, worked at the Coffee Shop as a baker... and I go to Town Meeting whenever I can!
Advice for Students: I think the best advice I've ever gotten is to start working on a paper the day it's assigned. If I can, I head to the library right after class to start researching: all of the information is fresh in my head, my mind is swirling with topic ideas, and I have plenty of time ahead of me. If I wait too long, the excitement fades and the paper feels like more of a burden.