A Writing Center Poem

arabica_coffee

The pale desk
Scintillates in
The Bland lights
Which checker

The roof of an
Old schoolroom
Carpeted in
Gray and blue

Squares; coffee
Makers hum
With their
Colombian brew

A broken Clock
Ticks away
Its Hands
Refuse to move

Hours snore
Back and forth
Like waves
Breasting the shore

Red ink soils
A desperate
Paper
From a desperate

Student, whose
Sweat lingers
And swells
On the desk

A coffee ring
And unmodified
Run-ons
Stain page six

My mind moils
Is it time?
Not time?
Hark, I hear aloft:

The coffee maker
Beeps; Complete,
So I end
This long session

Coffee_Stains_2

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Have No Fear

Trying new things is always pretty scary – a new school, a new job, or even a new food that both looks and smells weird. New things and new experiences are inescapable, though. I am always a bit nervous (if you consider paralyzed with fear a bit nervous) to start new things. Recently, the newest thing that I have started is working at the Writing Center. Fresh out of training, I have entered the University Writing Center workforce all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I am stepping out into the vast unknown as I walk on the water that is consulting, hoping that I do not fall. If I do fall, though, I remember the words of a great man: “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

That's me on the right. All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

That’s me on the right. All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (It was a rough morning.)

So what is it like being a new consultant? I am so glad I asked! To be quite honest, it can be a bit daunting at times. Like with any new job or experience, one of the greatest unknowns is, well, the unknown. What if I mess up? What if I fail or make a huge mistake? I have a fair amount of responsibility, but it is also easy to assign unfair responsibility to myself. I assume that a lot of the fear I have stems from my tendency towards being a perfectionist.

This past weekend, I received the opportunity to go to the North Texas Writing Center Association meeting. I had no idea what to expect, so I went into it with an open mind. What I found was a room full of a bunch of people that realized there was always room for improvement. Not out of a perfectionist mindset, but more so out of a mindset that we are never finished learning. Every new experience comes with new things to learn. This mindset, the mindset of a scholar, insinuates that learning is never truly finished.

Caitlin outlines the UWC plan for World Domination.

Caitlin outlines the UWC plan for World Domination.

Writing Centers are always willing to work together and come up with new ideas to improve. At the conference, we had discussions on different ideas that could help us improve how we work. Other consultants even had proposals for different plans on how to make the Writing Center a better place. I saw projects on the benefits of receptionists, ideas for advanced training for consultants, and even ideas for using moveable furniture to better utilize space.

This realization that I am a part of something bigger, something that is ever expanding, gives me a different way to look at things. The best thing that comes out of it is the new family that I have gained thanks to my new experience. The people I work with are always willing to help me and back me up. They always put a smile on my face whenever I walk into work which causes that paralyzing anxiety that I struggle with to become less of a problem. When I fall, I know that I do not have to rely on just myself to get back up. Instead, I can look to my left and right and see my family holding my arms, helping me get back on my feet.

As frightening and unnerving as new experiences are, you never know what you will get out of them. Fear is something that stops us from learning and experiencing. If I had let my fear stop me from applying to the UWC, then I would not have learned all I know now and I would not have an amazing family of co-workers that I know I can always rely on. So go experience new things! Do not let fear stop you from living and learning.

Written By Alfred

The Beautiful Creation of God

Have you ever noticed how a nice walk through nature can turn any bad day around? I do not know how it works, but it is a wonderful thing. Maybe because it is silent and that is an escape from the noise of work and school. brook forestOr, it could be because you are alone and the seclusion is calming. I like to think, though, that it is God’s way of letting me take my mind off of the business that fills my life and to focus on His creation. He is an artist: the way the flowers bloom in a million different colors and the way the setting sun paints the sky with reds and oranges and blues is beautiful. It stops me in my tracks, and I thank Him for His amazing work. I think about how He created me, too. When I was in my mother’s womb, He was forming and molding me. That must mean that I am a miraculous creation because He made me.

Throughout the world today, too often I see women comparing themselves to other women and men doing the same. It is as if no one can be original, but they must always be striving to be like someone else. I am too fat, too skinny, my hair is too curly, my eyes are too small, and I do not have a thigh gap. NatureNo one is content with who they are. It is a shame I must say. There are so many beautiful people in the world and they do not even realize it. If only they would take their eyes and desires away from being like someone else and turn them towards God. He created each and everyone one of us. His creation is testimony to His artistry and the beauty He manifests. So if God created the elegance that surrounds, and He also created us, that must mean that we, too, are a lovey creation. How cool is that! The God of the universe, the one who made the earth and all that is in it, made us too.

I want to challenge all of you to take a moment and thank God for creating you. He made you, in His image, to be beautiful. So stop trying to be like someone else, be you and be content with who you are, a creation of God Almighty. Psalm 139: 13-16 is testimony to this; I encourage you all to read it.

Written By Maddison

Why Write?

Why should you write?

I mean, other than the fact that you are required to write in order to complete a college degree.  But really.  What’s the point?  Let’s say you’re not an English major, you do not enjoy writing, and you don’t ever plan on writing essays after college.

Well, think again! 

One of the most important benefits of English classes is learning how to communicate efficiently and intelligently, either through writing or through speaking.  Sure, you may not plan on analyzing literature later on in your life, but it is possible that you might have to write business proposals, create a resume, contact other professionals through email, or draft letters and plans for a company.  Essentially, proper communication skills are vital in any profession.  Whether you’re a secretary, teacher, CEO, musician, or waitress, your communication skills will either enhance your career or diminish your career.   Oral communication is of great importance, and learning to structure arguments, compare and contrast, explain, and define information within the context of an essay is great practice for becoming a better rhetorician or communicator.  Or for convincing your friends that Taco Bueno is better than Taco Bell.  So, next time you’re tempted to blow off an assignment because you don’t want to do it, give it a whack anyway.  You never know how something you learn whilst analyzing literature and argument structure will assist you, whether personally or professionally.