When I am feeling stressed out, whether from school or life, I would take out a yoga mat and meditate. For those who do not know how to meditate, IT IS NOT SLEEP. It involves a sense of feeling and reflection. Some say it even encompasses a worldly, all-knowing experience.
Many instructors tell their students to set aside their first draft for a couple of days. After, when students pick up their essays, they would be able to have a fresh look for their paper and detect errors that were not apparent right after they typed out the fresh draft. In addition, they would be able to incorporate new ideas into their essays to make it stronger.
Meditation is a way to translate writing to a global level. It allows one to ….just….think…..and …feel. In fact, the closer that I am to the due date of the essay, the more urgent it is for me to meditate and feel what the heart of my essay is conveying.
Obviously, we cannot have every tutee meditate on the floor of the writing studio. However, this reminds me of the experience I had when my tutor gave me a topic to think about and left me alone for about 5 minutes to digest what I learned. This is a form of meditation that could be useful in multiple settings inside the writing studio and out:
Student: I’m really stuck on this part of the essay, do you think it’s strong enough and conveys my message.
Tutor: It’s interesting that you say that. Have you thought much of it?
Student: Not necessarily. It just popped into my mind while I was reading through the paper.
Tutor: Alright. You seem to have valid concerns about this particular part of the essay. It seems pretty good in my opinion. However, if you do think that you can make it better. Why don’t you take a couple of minutes (don’t rush) to think it through. Think how to the audience would perceive the paper after they read this section. Jot or draw anything that would help you remember what to think. Let me make a quick phone call.
After about five to ten minutes, the tutor would come back and hopefully see the tutee brainstorming or writing down ideas for his essay. The tutor can help the writer compare the differences between the two works and possibly lead the student to a decision on how to proceed with his/her essay.
We live in a very fast world. Sometimes, there is only so much time we can devote to one particular subject. The writing studio could be used as a place for the student to think about their essay in a holistic manner, something they probably do now have time to do back in their dorm. At the writing studio, there is no distraction which leaves the writer time to think; this is very similar to meditation!
A second step would be to introduce meditation to the writer. They can use a short ten minutes of meditation if they are pressed for time in order to collect their thoughts and see how can they project their essay to the global level.
So easy, even a child could do it!