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

Author Archives: marieveda

When I was asked to write a blog for this class, I was scared – what if I learned no new strategies? What if everyone on the site had found some revolutionary way to create a connection with their students that they were tutoring and I couldn’t? When I was applying to be an RA I absolutely dreaded our mock mediation sessions – afraid that I would never be able to give anyone advice while everyone else could. I was afraid I couldn’t apply what I had learned to a real life session. When it came to writing this blog, I can say I felt a little bit better having gone through a similar situation before but I still didn’t know what to expect.

I have written blogs in the past but never to people I didn’t know in other universities. And never was it a requirement for other students to comment on what I had to say. I think that was probably my most favorite thing about this blog posting – putting up my ideas for people I didn’t know to read and agree or disagree. Regardless of the comment and it’s relations to what I was saying, I didn’t care, I just wanted there to be some type of conversation that had sprouted from my words. I think my tone of voice was similar to how I usually write blogs – it is personal, it is conversational, there is no dialogue so it is somewhat proper but it is how I feel a blog should be written and I am very much comfortable with it. I have been from the beginning.

 

 


I will be honest, I’m a little lost in how to find a topic to write about for my research paper and that this blog prompt is putting me on the spot to try  and figure out an idea. However, I have managed to contemplate a few ideas that I am somewhat pleased with but could use some feedback on whether the ideas need more work, or they’re too broad, maybe they’re not broad enough! Feel free to analyze my below ideas as I have only 2 to help me pick the right choice.

 

My first idea I like to call, “There is No ‘Bias’ in the Word Peer Tutor. I was thinking about writing for this topic how Tutors have to have an open state of mind, to not let their views cloud their judgement when helping a student with their paper. My plan was to find some examples of tutors going through controversial sessions where they have to put aside their moral views for the sake of the student. I was thinking along the lines of interviewing my fellow classmates and other writing center tutors to get a real life effect and also do additional research on the web to find any case examples and possibly some tips on how to avoid blowing the situation out of proportion.

 

Another idea I had, which I am actually rather interested in, is international students coming into the writing center asking for help with their “grammar” because there professors directed them there. While in class we watched a video and I saw many of the different writing styles that students in China, Spain and other countries exhibit and how sometimes our way of writing is rude and straight to the point. Whereas in Spain, if you cut right to chase when communicating with someone they assume you’re rude because you didn’t consider asking how everyone was after not speaking to them after a longer period of time. So I would analyze different cultural writing styles and compare them American writing styles and how we as tutors sometimes have to open our eyes to cultural boundaries. The reason why something might sound redundant or overly descriptive might be because of where this person comes from. I would also use ideas from Bruce’s “ESL students share their writing center experiences” and Ally and Bacon’s “working with ESL students” readings from class.

But then again these are just some ideas that I’ve managed to muster up. Clearly they need a lot of work but I’d appreciate any feedback given. Thanks.


As the title points out very clearly, I am indeed agnostic; I do believe there is a higher power however I personally do not believe in the Bible and what it entails. I feel like because I was grown up in a Christian family where when I was a kid I would go to church and read the Bible with my grandmother and mother, I already have this mentality that I pass no judgement for what others may or may not believe.

In my humanities class for example, I read the Bible and when it came to writing a paper about Adam andImage Eve, my first response wasn’t to say, I am agnostic and I don’t believe in what the Bible has to say. I pushed my views to the back of my mind and wrote my paper based on what I had read and the symbolism behind it. I feel the same principle applies to reading a paper with different views; the same would go for if I read a paper where someone was Pro Life and didn’t believe in abortion, whereas I do. I wouldn’t make it my job to try and persuade someone into believing something else. Instead I would listen intently and try to understand their reasoning and put myself in their shoes so we could write this paper effectively.

I would also be honest though, in the event someone was writing about the Bible I would say, “I do have some knowledge on the topic, but I am agnostic. Could you please explain to me what your goal is of this paper?” So that way we are at least on same page, and I’m not pretending to be something I am not. Because how would I be able to help someone when I don’t even truly understand the topic myself? Of course, I will have to ask questions and explain the situation that I am. But this in no way would make me feel awkward or deter me from aiding that writer.


As an Resident Assistant in the Residence Halls, I have a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders; it is my job to make sure that I am setting the right image and being a good role model. However in the beginning I can say that I didn’t always look so confident in my actions but luckily I always had my RA family to pick me up when I fell down and help me learn lessons that I didn’t understand, that a manual couldn’t teach me. In a way they were my culture informants, always willing to answer questions I may have and always happy to help me if I was unsure of myself (which happened majority of the time). In the event that I had the unfortunate task to write a resident up because of certain circumstances, they were always there to give me feedback on how I did – and not sugar coating their responses in the process either.

It is with this experience that I am able to say that I have gained more confidence in myself and how I do my job so that way I can help new RA’s as well as novice writers seeking help. For the most part, I’m always a very open, easy to get along with type of girl that if you need to talk to me I’ll drop everything I am doing and give you my undivided attention. I understand when a person takes those first steps into unmarked territory- how thrilling and exciting yet frightening it can all be at once. That countless feeling of when you’re starting something new and you constantly feel like a noob (newbie) because you keep asking questions that others might consider to be common sense or stupid. Since I know where these individuals are coming from and I know how uneasy it maybe to start at a new task, I think jut approaching that person with open arms, embracing the fact that they are new and will ask questions from time to time is the best way you can handle a situation. Because at one point we were all new at doing something – and how off putting is it when you have no one to turn to because you feel everyone you ask for guidance they see you as a nuisance?


Hello, my name is Bianca but my writing name is Marie Veda. I am junior at Penn State Berks and I am majoring in Professional Writing with a minor in Business. My aspirations are to become an author and have my books and short stories published for all to see. I also enjoy writing for newspapers and magazines – currently I am writing for the Penn State Berks chapter on Hercampus.com. I have always been interested in writing since I was actually fully capable in doing the act itself. I always prided myself when I was younger to be able to read hard words and articulate myself in a way others could not. As a child my dream jobs was to either be an author or a paleontologist – I happy that I at least get to pursue one of those jobs as my career.