Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I feel the need to comment... writing 5/seminars... a time it works

You may have heard the news that a certain writing 5 professor is "possibly" suing not only Dartmouth but students within Dartmouth. I'm not going to comment on this except to say that I left her class a day into the first term... and any person with half a brain can figure out the rest.

Now for the feature presentation...

I cannot tell you if Writing 2/3, Writing 5, or Writing Seminars actually truly improve writing. I think we can all agree that the more writing a person does the better writer he or she will become. Whether a person can see dramatic turnarounds in a 9-10 week period is something completely different. In my first term on this campus, I can tell you that my writing did not improve in writing 5. The class was disorganized, and it wasn't my style.

Many at the Dartmouth Review would site this as a reason to get rid of first year writing, and I was inclined to agree.... until....

My writing seminar: Math 7. Yes, Math 7. The class is about healthcare in America, and although I'm certainly on the right (vs. left) side of the issue (thanks mom!), I just love the class. The professor knows how to structure the class for people that might have difficulty organizing. Every other tuesday we have a rough draft of an essay due (the first two have been 3-5 pages.. I kinda made my second one 6 pages... oops). The other Tuesdays we have the final draft of the essay of the rough draft we handed in the week before. On "rough draft" tuesdays, we go through peer review. I know no one can read my writing, but the process helps the reviewer and reviewee improve their writing.

After peer review, we meet one on one in thirty minute conferences on the Wednesdays with the professor. The conferences are so helpful, I cannot tell you. If we don't get to go over the entire essay on the Wednesdays, we can meet on the next day, Friday, or even the following Monday. The prof goes out of the way to help the students.

And more than that, she wants creativity. Yes, there needs to be structure... thesis etc. But we get to come up with our own creative solutions for the different health care problems we see...

Each prompt is broad but specific enough to make sure its not overwhelming.

OH and we do have to read a book (and I actually do the reading) for every thursday... usually. But the books aren't hard to read. And the classroom discussions are fantastic.

We are half way through the term, but I'm honestly enjoying every second.

Oh and its Professor Andrea Kremer in case you are wondering.

She truly bring out the true potential of writing seminars and the writing program in general.

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