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30 March 2012 Dear Dr.

Hall, Thank you so much for the opportunity to work in the Writing Center this semester. I am learning a tremendous amount about myself, teaching, learning, co-learning, and writing. My values are taking shape nicely, and I feel very happy to be working in the fields of writing, teaching, and academia. My experiences here are fostering a deep desire to teach, and I look forward to pursuing work here and in graduate school and beyond. My primary mission in the UWC is helping people gain a sense of agency through their writing. I want writers to feel confident about communicating their ideas and expressing themselves clearly. I find opportunities for learning and growing in each session with a student, and I love how each session is completely different. Sometimes a student really just needs a pat on the back. Sometimes they need a sounding board for ideas. Sometimes they have a difficult assignment and feel very alone in their work. Sometimes they have been working on something for so long; they just want someone else to see it, to recognize their efforts. I enjoy spending time with each individual, getting to know what they need most on that particular day. While the specific tasks of this job change pretty regularly, I consider my primary role to be advocate for the students learning and empowerment. Simply editing or correcting someones work in no way empowers them. With those whom I consult, I hope to turn the light on to offer new ways of thinking or approaching a task or writing itself, to help them see what they may be missing, to encourage them to convey what they know but have not yet written. Many times, the people I consult turn the light on for me as they illustrate new ways of thinking and writing. I love writing. It might be my favorite thing in the world, next to living. I love to learn different sides of my craft and how to share it with others. I love to learn how people approach writing and assignments and to see different styles of writing. I also enjoy getting to know people through writing center work. So much about a person is evidenced in their writing. Theres no way around it; your writing will speak volumes about you without you ever saying a word. I use the following reminder to convey this to students: whoever reads your work will not have you present to tell them what you mean; your writing stands alone. This helps explain the difference between speaking and writing, and why the structure of writing matters. I am not afraid to talk with a student about grammar, punctuation, or flow; because all of these aspects of writing greatly affect how a message comes across to the reader, and clarity is key. I also feel that the language we use matters very much in how students understand what we say. I want to continue studying how to construct my language and actions in such a way as to facilitate learning for students, to both support and challenge them in a positive manner. As a mentor writing consultant, I would like to foster a culture of learning, encouragement, and empowerment in our writing center. I am most interested in cultivating positive and proactive camaraderie among consultants, especially reflected in the way we speak with each other about our work and our experiences with students. I would like to better understand the work ethic(s) and mindsets of my fellow consultants and to address potentially problematic attitudes within myself and others in a transparent, nonaggressive fashion. I propose we develop a nurturing approach to consulting, moving away from a culture of criticism, of right and wrong. I think we, as writing consultants, are in an incredible position to sponsor students learning. If we treat

each other with encouragement and foster a community of learning among ourselves, we will be more likely to extend this approach to our work with students. In order to build a stronger sense of community among consultants, I propose we offer each other more validation, constructive feedback, and overall support for developing our work ethic together. With new writing consultants, I would like to encourage the co-learner role and help ensure them they are not supposed to be experts, editors, or authorities. This mentality not only creates an unnecessary hierarchy among students and consultants, it puts unwarranted pressure on consultants. I want to encourage new consultants to experiment with tutoring techniques, to talk openly with fellow consultants, and to feel comfortable asking questions. I also look forward to learning new ways of thinking and approaches to tutoring and writing with my fellow consultants, co-creating an atmosphere of collaborative learning and positive growth with my fellow consultants. While my primary focus on future UWC work is building community among consultants and advocating language which facilitates learning, I would also like to work on making some of our worksheets more approachable, especially to non-native speakers. Though the worksheets have plenty of useful content, the language of grammar may seem intimidating. Some possible solutions include creating a grammar guide worksheet that defines prepositions, clauses, etc. I also suggest we create an outline of writing concepts/skills so students may begin to identify writing concerns on their own, perhaps before beginning a consultation. I also think we could benefit from using more visuals and charts, especially to accommodate different types of learners. This summer, I am traveling up the East Coast and across the North East to land in Cincinnati, Ohio for about two months. Along the way, I plan to do a personal genealogy project, visiting as much family as possible and learning about my family history. I look forward to returning to UCF in the fall semester to finish my undergraduate degree. In efforts to focus my energy on the tasks I am most passionate about, I am narrowing down my commitments to three classes instead of four and one job instead of two. I would like to work full time as a mentor writing consultant in the Writing Center this fall. My current GPA is 3.284.

Sincerely, Nena Brown