All posts by tessaaquino

“Boundary Work”: Building Bridges, Not Trapdoors

This week’s readings forced us to confront this question from Doreen Starke-Meyerring (2005):  What does it mean to be literate in a globalizing world?  Surely, this is a significant question, and one that requires our attention.  Starke-Meyerring (2005, p.493-494) proposes the following three strategies to engage with the literacy demands of global communication:

  • investing in curricula rooted in a global worldview
  • engaging in “boundary work” that encourages inquiry, reflection, analysis, and negotiation
  • developing more diverse and open learning environments

These present huge, complicated expectations for us in our work as teachers of writing.  For some, the response to these demands is clear.  For others, the answer continues to be shaped gradually.

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Toward a More Meaningful Use of Social Media

connections social media

How does one go about communicating promise and possibility to its students?  How does one motivate donors to give generously in order to support these students?  How is diversity not only welcomed, but celebrated?  It took a website redesign to answer these questions more effectively.  The newer, better College of Lake County (CLC) website was launched in July 2014 in time for its 45th birthday last Thursday, September 25th.  It has come a long way since its start in 1967 when it opened its doors to 2,360 students paying tuition of seven dollars per credit hour.  Forty-five years later, it now welcomes over 16,000 students from across the Chicagoland area and has an even wider reach through its online classes.

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Puzzling Out Genres

Nancy Maloney Grimm in Good Intentions:   Writing Center Work for Postmodern Times shares how for her “…one of the satisfactions of writing center work is figuring out the tacit expectations of academic literacy and making those expectations explicit for the students who want to ‘make it’ “ (1999, xv).  As a writing coach at our community college, I echo that sentiment and draw energy from it weekly.  Yet, as inspiring as it is, I say it isn’t enough.  That work of “figuring out tacit expectations” shouldn’t begin and end at the doors of the writing center.  While I hope that it continues to fuel writing center work, I argue that this work needs to seep beyond writing center walls and find its way into the writing classroom.  As a writing instructor, “making those expectations explicit for the students” should be my goal as well.  Examining the writing we do in class–both my students and I–may be a good place to start.

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Membership Required

The term “community” indicates a similarity, a likeness, and a sense of being one.  When a group is identified as having common ways of thinking, behaving, and communicating, it can be considered a discourse community.  More specifically, James Porter defines it as “individuals bound by a common interest who communicate through approved channels and whose discourse is regulated”.  By defining a discourse community in this way, he incorporates the elements of regulation and approval into the notion of unity and likeness.  Being part of a discourse community means that there are certain approved ways of doing things and of sharing ideas.  To be part of this community means understanding what these ways are, and for the most part, abiding by them in order to gain membership. Continue reading Membership Required

Writing Center Sessions as Rhetorical Situations

“Please come see us at any point of your writing…we’d love to talk about your ideas, about your work…questions, thoughts, inspirations, frustrations .  Come and have a conversation wherever you are in an assignment,” we assure the students listening to the start-of-term orientation.  “It’s what we do here!”

Who We Are

All fifty-eight Writing Center coaches at the College of Lake County sit at their session tables during a variety of shifts throughout the week ready to engage with students.  Our staff, inclusive of peer tutors enrolled at the college, represents a range of academic degrees and disciplines, and it is this diversity of perspectives and academic backgrounds which provides a rich and varied approach to our conversations. Continue reading Writing Center Sessions as Rhetorical Situations