A blog for tutors to share their ideas, experiences, and insights.

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Initially, I was anxious about posting to this blog. It probably took me just as long to write my short, three-sentence long introduction of myself as it did to write my last, much longer post about my research project. I just wasn’t used to this medium. I’ve written my own blogs before (when I was in 7th grade), and even did a project on one for Writing 20. However, those blogs were for audiences I knew, unlike this one. I tried to keep my voice friendly, but professional, which was no easy task. I made sure to reread my posts several times before posting. I sometimes waited a few hours, and then reread the post, before finally putting it online to gain fresh perspective. Over the course of the semester I’ve become more confident about my posts, due to the thoughtful and insightful comments my co-bloggers have made on my post. Even though I haven’t met the majority of you, I feel that a real sense of community exists here in Tutor Musings 2.

If I had been writing for a group of friends, I would have included more inside jokes or personal facts about myself. I would probably post about The Killers and the Cardinals a lot, because that was pretty much the extent of my 7th grade Xanga. The Killers continue to be my favorite band, but I’m glad that this semester introduced me to a new, more productive genre of blogging.

At first I was a bit skeptical of the whole idea of an academic blog. I preferred the formality of written academic writing and the privacy of a traditional hard copy. Over the course of the semester, however, I have seen firsthand the benefits and possibilities that the blogosphere provides.

For my final research essay and deliverable, I chose to write about academic blogging. My research exposed me to various different theories about the interaction of the internet with the classroom. Scholars suggest that academic blogging enhances student identity and connectivity. The Tutor Musings 2.0 blog has been a great example and case study. The ability to connect with other students so easily is incredible. Whether on the other side of the library or the other side of the country, students can respond within seconds, offering feedback, questions, or concerns. The blog provides a dynamic platform for interaction. Students of different backgrounds and histories share opinions and thoughts through personal publishing. We are able to use different forms of multimedia to clarify our assertions and mark our identities.

Ultimately, this blog has been  proof of the theory. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and have learned so much about myself as a writer.


How I felt posting

The prospect of an interactive, blog-based forum intermingled with a class, initial left me wary and concerned. I once had a professor insist on a Facebook page devoted to class, on which we were required to devote the equivalent time that I assume Facebook users typically devote to time wasting. I flat out refused–no Facebook for me! Besides my personal disinterest and disdain for Facebook, I very much disliked the idea of the type of interaction associated with blog/social networking type stuff penetrating the collegiate academic environment.  Well I enjoy class, it is very important to me to maintain a professional presence when on campus and in classes. Perhaps this is because I feel like I don’t belong in college, that I should never have been accepted, yet I do feel that we are all incredibly lucky to be attending such illustrious institutions and we should all dress, talk, and act accordingly. So for me, taking on blogging, which I have never done before- was a very scary concept.

Interacting with Word Press, the difficulty of usage for a slightly dyslexic individual such as my self,  and the nature of blogging continuously made me feel as if I had just vomited onto the internet each time I posted.

Setting aside my personal experience with Word press and my own romantic yet dated vision of what college should be, the concept of the blog and the resulting interaction and discussion was, in my opinion, very valuable and an enriching addition to the course.

Well the mechanics and fluency issues of Word Press are to be expected, I was very impressed with the overall interaction, interest, and posts of my fellow bloggers. As the semester progressed it was nice to see the initial rigidity and formal nature dissipate to leave a friendly and helpful community of potential tutors.

I enjoyed reading everyone’s posts, and thank you if you read mine. Best of luck to everyone.

I know I did a terrible job at keeping up with this with the rest of my crazy life, but I do enjoy the idea of it. Writing on here is so much easier for me to express myself. I am a righter. I am an introvert. Talking and discussing in class, well I try to do that stuff so I am participating and professors realize I actually do have a clue what is going on, but I can’t express myself as easily. I think that I do tone and voice easily through things like this.I just write like I think. So it has my voice. Probably not very academic, relatively positive. If I knew everyone on here I probably still wouldn’t talk any differently. 

I don’t really like the genre of the blogging about academic things so it was a challenge. I need to keep refocusing and not ramble. But blogging is simple. It is a cross between rambling and expressing something. My challenge was to do this and remember to do this. I wasn’t reminded often so it was difficult. Try again later. I think it is a good thing to keep using though. So keep trucking on the blogging!Image

This was my first blog experience. 

Personally, I find online writing to be very impersonal. So It didn’t make a difference to me whether it was my friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers reading my postings. 

However, knowing that I was writing to other first time tutors did highly affect the content of my writing on the blog. Because I knew that other students on the blog were going through similar experiences as peer tutors, I was able to feel that my writing was much more conversational and less complacent than writing a blog for people who are unfamiliar with your experiences. I understood that what I was writing was going to be well understood as well as expounded upon by members of our blog community. 

I really enjoyed that we could keep up an insightful and interesting conversation outside of the classroom. The essence of the blog I felt was closely related to the principles we were taught to use as tutors. From day one, we were told that we should not follow the “banking concept of education”. We learned that learning is best facilitated through conversation and group learning. — This is precisely what this blog enabled us to to. 

Indeed, we practiced what we preached. And I feel good about that.

— Jordan Wilsted–

The thought of sharing my ideas with a public audience outside of my teacher and classmates was a bit intimidating at first. I have used blogging for a class before, but it was mainly read by other students in the class (most of which I had known outside of school) so I felt more comfortable writing in my true tone and voice. However, for this new audience that I didn’t know, I definitely was more cautious at the start. While writing my first post, I was thinking about how others would perceive me based on my writing, and that kind of shaped how my first blog post was written. As time went on and I read other students’ blog posts, I became increasingly comfortable writing in my own style.
This in turn, finally allowed me to sit back and enjoy reading the other posts and pick up on how other students, who are in the same situation as I am, handled similar problems/experiences that I have also dealt with. I really enjoyed being able to see how others took the information we learned and apply it in real situations. It created a strong connection between what we were learning in class and why we were learning those things. Which, I can’t say happens too often (coughcalculuscough).

I genuinely enjoyed blogging throughout this semester and I hope the opportunity will arise for me to collaborate academically with another audience again! Until then, I’ll just have to blog on my own. 🙂


This is not the first time that I have used a blog for class. While I would say I am pretty familiar with using blogs, this is the first time that I have communicated with students other than my classmates. I liked the idea of being able to use our blog to share tutoring experiences and different strategies. When readings were referenced in the posts, I felt that what I was talking about in my classroom wasn’t “a waste of time”. It made it clear that we were all on the same page and that we were discussing the same topics. The discussions in the blog helped me understand the reason for what we were learning.

Writing for this blog was more challenging for me than others. I really had to take my mind off of “my class” and pretend that I was only talking to people I didn’t know. It was hard to find the balance between simply talking to other students and academic writing. I tried really hard to keep it right in the middle. Had I only been communicating with students I knew, I would have probably been a little less formal and may have even put less thought into the blogs. The question of what other students were saying about my posts would always cross my mind.

I think the community that developed through this blog was awesome. We were able to openly communicate with each other. We talked about what we liked and what we didn’t like, and it seemed like no one really took offense to comments that went against their opinion (which is something that may be a little more difficult face to face).  I enjoyed being able to communicate outside of class with other students who were learning the same things as me.

Secretly, I have always wanted to blog. I am fairly crafty (canning, sewing, knitting, spinning, gardening, etc.) and I thought that maybe I could connect with like-minded people in this world and make some new “friends.” So, I was pretty excited, to say the least, when we began to blog. I thought, “yes! This is it! I will finally start a personal blog while I write one for school!” Well, that didn’t happen, but something did. I got my feet wet in the world of blogging. I put my voice (which I struggled with at times) out there in the blogosphere for people who I don’t really know to read my writing. Sometimes I would be apprehensive when I hit that publish button and contemplate deleting my post and writing something entirely different. But you see, the posts that I was uncomfortable with were the posts that I wasn’t myself. We are all taught to write academically; and being in this class I would assume we are all pretty good at it. But this is a blog, and writing that way is sometimes…boring (for me at least!). I loved the evolution of finding my blogging voice and knowing that regardless of what I write, someone will read it (thank you!).

Being college students in this generation of technology gives us a great opportunity to communicate with people all over the web. Whether it be blog posts, or daily online journals, we have the advantage of communication with not only people in our area, but people across the globe. This gives us the chance to talk about what ever we want, and discuss any important issues that are constantly boggling our minds. Individuals get to share their true thoughts over the internet, not being nervous or scared about what people will think. After all, your posts are behind a computer screen. This is why blogging is a huge advantage for us as peer tutors. We get to share our experiences and knowledge over ongoing back to back communication. The aspect of commenting on each others post ext. Some reason people are more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas behind a screen then infront of an audience. This gives us the power to gain as much knowledge as we need being peer tutors. Im not going to lie, when i was introduced to the blogging method I was not crazy about it. But now that I have had time to express my concerns in the writing world (and gain feedback) my view has changed on the blogging industry tremendously. The aspect of blogging will only gain momentum in the future. We are the begininng of bloggers, and its an opportunity to be a part of this new and exciting trend!

The whole concept of having a public audience versus a friendly, informal, familiar one of friends and classmates in the blogosphere wholly impacts how people speak. Tone and diction revolve around this dilemma. I know for a fact that I had a tendency to use cliches, broader examples, and speech that definitely wasn’t my true voice in preliminary blog posts for the sake of universal connection and understanding. If from the start this was a tutoring blog of just my peers and I, there would be jokes, quotes, memes, and much more in depth debate simply because we could talk literally talk out questions and disagreements. However, within a public arena, postings are made more professional, clever, and well-rounded. People in a public forum, especially in a collaborative one like this blog, don’t exactly banter back and forth from opposite sides of the fence. Rather, bloggers build on each other’s ideas and build more comfortable tones and diction as time passes.

As time went and and we all got to know each other , I think we all felt more comfortable expressing our true selves on the blog. I think that, even if you read the titles of posts or look at the multimodal components of them, you’ll find the the quirkiness and frankness increases with time.

In short, bloggers in the public arena go from F is for Friends who discuss politely in universal, watery language to F is for Friends who “do stuff together” (collaborate, be open, show true opinions and quirks).