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Club of the Week: The Writing Center

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Photo Credit: Shinnosuke Taniya ’17

The Writing Center is one of Thacher’s newer clubs that is bound to become an indispensable resource in the upcoming years. Led by Grace Callander, Katie Rauner, and Cole Anderson, the club has worked hard this year to be more accessible to students at Thacher in need of writing help.

What do you have in mind for the club this year?

Grace: “We want to spread awareness about the club and get as many people involved as possible. We presented for the freshman the other day and basically are trying to get as many people to come to tutoring sessions as possible.

Katie: “Our main goal is to build up its credibility. A lot of students and some teachers don’t necessarily trust us yet because we’re just student writers that are helping other students. What we really want to do is show the school that we are trustworthy and helpful.”

Cole: “I think the club’s goal this year is to expand in terms of its tutor roster so that it can carry on comfortably. I think that two other goals should be to maintain the open walk in policy in the library and continue to send representatives to the underclassmen dorms during weeks where they have a big assignment due.”

How does the writing center work?

Grace: “If you want to set up an appointment, just email writingcentertutors@thacher.org with a meeting time. It goes out to all of the tutors, and whichever tutor is either on duty at that time or has free time then will come meet with you. If you meet with someone and you really like their style you can email them directly.”

Katie: “We have 25 writers, half juniors, half seniors. Someone will either stop by during study hall in the library or they’ll email us and ask for an appointment. They look over your essay or writing assignment for about 20 minutes. They can really help you with anything from brainstorming to final edits.”

Cole: “A regular meeting will precede as follows: I’ll meet with a student and ask what their worries are about the paper or essay they’re working on. Upon my first read through, I can sort of give those concepts specific attention. Then when rereading the essay, I’ll identify specific problems with it or things that just need a little bit of tuning up. I make suggestions but try to give the student as much help as I can without actually writing the essay for them.

What are your personal reasons for being part of the club?

Grace: “I actually really like editing people’s papers. I love reading other people’s writing and I’ve always benefitted from other people editing my papers. I think it’s a really helpful and productive way to make the most out of your time.”

Katie: “My sophomore year my advisor was Mrs. Sohn. She’s the one that started the writing center, and she was like: ‘You need something to put on your college apps. I’m starting this and I want you to help me with it.’ So I helped her with it sophomore and junior year, and now I’m the head of it this year. But I also really enjoy writing. I’ve always loved it and I like editing other people’s papers.”

Cole: “My reasons for being involved in the club are mostly spurred by Mrs. Sohn last year. She sent this email out and said, ‘I’m thinking of starting this writing center thing. Just fill out this form and email me back if you’d be interested in helping.’ I did, and then got selected to be one of the founding heads with Sydney and Alex Levers, which I thought that was really a great experience.”

What would you like people to know about the club?

Katie: “It’s not scary. I mean, I would be scared, if I’d never used the writing center before. But everybody’s really friendly, and they really like writing, and they’re not here to judge your essay. They’re just here because they really like editing essays. Also everybody should use it all the time.”

Cole: “I would like people to want to get involved as upperclassmen. It’s a service that you can provide for the school that is fun and a great way to get to know underclassmen that you might not get the chance to talk to. Also, If you’re someone who generally likes writing, I don’t think it seems like too much work. Lastly, I just want to make sure that everyone knows we’re accessible and is aware that they always have us as a resource no matter what grade they’re in or what kind of project it is. We can help with anything from English essays to Chewonki or SYA applications.”

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