Write Place, Right Time

“Writing takes time – and patience, more than anything else. If you are willing to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite, you will become a good writer.” – Richard Rodriguez

IMG_7464Working at the Albertus Writing Center rerouted the course of my life. Before I was hired there in my freshman year, I had no interest in teaching whatsoever. I loved to write and even enjoyed public speaking, but the idea of lecturing a group of bored students about my passion filled me with dread. I couldn’t cope with that kind of dismissal. I spent years insisting that I would never teach.

However, once I began working at the Writing Center, my perspective changed. At the Writing Center, associates don’t just correct papers: we help students identify their unique writing struggles and teach them the skills to work through those issues on their own. I found myself explaining everything from comma placement to quotation usage, and for every bored student, there were so many who wanted to learn. I watched returning appointees grow more and more comfortable with their own writing. The first time that one of these students proudly corrected a problem before I could point it out, I realized that I truly could make an impact doing something I loved.

Because the Writing Center assists students with their writing across all disciplines, I’ve spent just as much time learning during my appointments. Working with students outside the English program, I’ve learned so much about philosophy, business, art therapy — the list is endless. Even outside the Center, friends I’ve made both at school and online ask me to define metonymy or explain verb tenses, and in turn they teach me about their passions. As I entered my senior year, I realized that I never wanted to stop having this in my life.

Before the Albertus Writing Center, I’d never have dreamed of graduate school. I’d never have imagined applying for TA positions or hoping to become a college professor. Now, as a senior graduating in December 2013, I intend to pursue a doctorate in Composition and Rhetoric, with the ultimate goal of leading another Writing Center. If I can change even one mind about writing through that, I’ve done something right.

IMG_7432Students can make an appointment at the Writing Center by calling the Writing Center (773-8590), emailing the Writing Center (wcenter@albertus.edu) or coming to speak to us in person during our regular hours. The Writing Center, is located on the second floor of Rosary Hall, is open from: 9:00am-8:00pm on Monday-Thursday and 9:00am-3:00pm on Friday.

Tori Sheldon Portrait IMG_4298Before coming to Albertus, I spent years insisting that I never wanted to be a teacher. I loved writing of all stripes, but I felt that English teaching positions focused too much on content and too little on writing technique and composition. That changed once I began working in the Albertus Writing Center. I finally saw my potential to help others in exactly the field I thought didn’t exist. I was encouraged to explain technique and composition so that students might better discuss their content. The first time that a returning student proudly corrected a sentence without my help, I realized that I had made an actual impact doing something I loved, and I knew I wanted to do more.

Working as a writing tutor leaked into my other interests and activities: friends I’ve made through online gaming now ask me to define metonymy or explain verb tenses, and I’ve begun creating art tutorials along with my hobby drawing. I participated in the English Club and worked on Breakwater’s review committee, although I’ve left both to focus on my academics in my final semester. Now, as a senior graduating in December 2013, I intend to pursue a doctorate in Rhetoric with the ultimate goal of becoming a college professor and heading a Writing Center of my own.

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