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In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Writing Assessment Services online, I am offering a $20-off coupon good through August for everyone who signs up for the WRASSE Line mailing list. Check the form at the bottom of the page at WritingAssessment.com .
Thirty-four years ago this month I was a 20yo Creative Writing graduate of Florida State University attending a summer crash course to prepare me to teach freshman composition during my graduate career. Two years later, with a fresh M.A. in General Literature Studies, I began teaching all levels of writing full time at Auburn University, and after that I married and taught a bit here and there in community colleges over the years when my children were born. Then twenty years ago this summer I began Writing Assessment Services and have worked with students from grade 5 through college and graduate school and into professional life. But most of my clients have been secondary students the last twenty years.
This fall, though, I have been asked back into the college classroom. I will be a Guest Lecturer for the Grove City College course WRIT 101: Foundations of Academic Discourse. The contract has yet to be finalized, but I passed the background check. :-) This is a very focused course for freshman writers, emphasizing critical thinking and writing for their own disparate disciplines. If you're interested in the fascinating texts we'll be using, the first written by David Hogsette, the Director of the Writing Program, please follow the links below. I'm really looking forward to this return to my teaching roots.
Never fear - I will still be available for private clients through Writing Assessment Services as long as my work load seems manageable. You might want to sign up soon. As I have expanded my work into publishing my own fiction (see RosetteBook.com ), I have also ventured into editing and related author services through Moraine's Edge Books.
Can you tell my youngest child has graduated from high school? :-)
In this Salon piece, "Death to High School English," Kim Brooks, who teaches composition, shares her greatest encouragement in teaching:
[when a student says that] thanks to me, and the hours she herself has put in, she feels as though, in some small way, her writing has improved, or that she knows what she needs to do to improve, or that she can at least envision a future in which she is a better, more confident and more forceful writer of prose, and I tell her that no matter what, no matter how hard it is, she has to keep plowing ahead, because slow but steady progress as a reward for hard work is one of the few things we can count on in this life - if we're lucky, that is - and then I tell myself the same.
For twenty years online I have been basking in such comments, and sometimes watching as my students go on to write for an Ivy league student newspaper, or go to seminary with the promise of writing really good sermons, or even become English teachers themselves. Those are the stars, whose success I may have only a small part in. But for the ones who have a harder time, if I can help them remedy a pesky but debilitating grammar problem, or learn how to structure their writing, or just give them the satisfaction of saying what they mean to say so that others can receive it - those give the greatest satisfaction.
Making a difference, improving someone's writing - that makes this work rewarding. Let me show you how I can help . . .
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Writing Assessment Services online, I am preparing some great offers for the summer and for the coming school year. Watch this space!