Word Nerd Wednesdays

by Kristi R. Johnson

This message has been brought to you by boredom.

And also Pokemon Go.

Allow me to explain:

In the summer, I take time off from the writing center, and typically enjoy having fewer obligations and more free time. This is all well and fine and is a personal decision I make every year, and for the first half of summer, I am usually walking on sunshine and having to keep myself from spinning around downtown San Antonio with my arms out á la Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (don’t act like you’ve never wanted to do it).

And then I go on vacation, which is always awesome. But the thing about vacations is that they always end and you must return home, unpack, and then, horror of horrors, you have to go back to work. And for some reason, it is always after my vacation that the boredom sets in. Combine this with my mistake of watching a Pokemon Fire Red playthrough on YouTube, and there I was downloading Pokemon Go on my phone, and my life has not been the same since.

The greatest thing about Pokemon Go is also the thing that is most annoying about it. You have to do the work if you hope to get anywhere (unless you go the cheating route, but I am going to assume no word nerd out there would ever think of doing such a thing). You have to physically get up and go out and walk to places if you want to catch Pokemon, hatch eggs, collect Pokemon candy, and battle in gyms. And while this forced effort actually makes the game pretty great, it is often what can make writing so tiresome.

Yep, I went there. I am making parallels between Pokemon Go and writing. This is what that game has reduced me to.

I have said it many times over various articles in this blog, but at the start of this new semester, it bears repeating: If you hope to complete any writing assignment, at some point, you’re going to have to actually write something. Sure, there is research that must be done, and outlining certainly helps, but eventually, actual writing will have to happen. This is also the only way you’ll get better at it.

And since this is the WNW, below I have thrown in the three words Pokemon Go players seem to use the most when referring to the act of walking around with no particular goal in mind other than gaining XP and possibly leveling up.

Farming – My personal favorite. This is what I call it when I walk around my neighborhood attempting to catch every Pokemon I see, only to transfer most of them once I get back to my apartment. What I am really after is the XP, and if I manage to find a rare or awesome Pokemon in the process, then all the better.

Grinding – According to some of my favorite let’s players on YouTube, this is the official word for the act of playing a gaming solely for the purpose of gaining XP or leveling up so as to better play against an upcoming enemy.

Hunting – This usually has more to do with going out to catch Pokemon than anything else, but catching Pokemon results in gained XP, so that’s always nice.

I hope you’ll forgive this week’s diversion. I promise next week’s post will be completely free of any Pokemon Go references. Probably. Hopefully. Well, we’ll see.


Appointment Etiquette at the MFD Writing Center in the ACE.

By Sabrina

We are four weeks into the semester and our schedule is filling up!

Just a reminder that the best option is always to schedule an appointment with a consultant. Go to http://www.ollusa.mywconline.com, register an account using your OLLU email address (if you have never worked with us), and then schedule appointments whenever you like!

We are a pretty chill group of people, but we do have procedures for how we operate the center. Here are a few appointment etiquette pointers:

  1. After three “No Show” appointments without cancellation or notifying the center (via phone or email), your WC Online account is locked. Then, you are required to contact us to reset your account. 
    I know this seems harsh, but this policy is in place so that we can maximize our availability to help as many clients as we can in a day. If we are waiting for appointments that are not going to happen, then we lose the time to potentially help another individual.
  2. 30-minute appointments will be marked “No Show” by the consultant if no contact is made by the client after 15-minutes. 60-minute appointments will be marked “No Show” by the consultant if no contact is made by the client after 30-minutes.
    This applies to face-to-face, eTutoring, or Online sessions. Online appointments are conducted through WC Online, and do not include a phone call. eTutoring appointments are the only consultations conducted over the phone; verify that your phone number is correct so that the consultant can contact you in a timely manner. Double check the schedule for your appointment time and verify what style of session you have selected. Remember, our schedule is displayed in Central Standard Time.
  3. Schedule appointments in advance of your deadline. 
    We do our best to help every individual who walks through our door, calls, or emails, including flexing our schedule; but this is not always possible. Consultants are limited to the availability that is posted on WC Online per university policy.
  4. Walk-ins are welcome, but immediate assistance is not a guarantee if a consultant is unavailable. The best thing to do is to make an appointment! 
  5. Verification of a writing center session can be confidentially sent to a professor as long as the client provides the professor’s email address to the consultant during the session.
  6. Food and Drinks are allowed in the ACE, permitting that all clients clean up after themselves. 
    Basically, we welcome you to bring your lunch or a snack when you visit the center, but please throw away your trash and/or clean up any spills. No one likes a sticky table when they need to write a paper!

Feel free to contact us with an questions or concerns.

Happy Writing!

Word Nerd Wednesdays

by Kristi R. Johnson

Just a quick note to all of those students out there who genuinely believe they will not be doing any writing in their future professions, therefore making their forced participation in freshman writing classes utterly useless and unnecessary.

You, my friend, are wrong. Just so incredibly wrong.

Also, I realize as I am writing this that the type of person I am addressing probably won’t gravitate towards a blog called “Word Nerd Wednesdays.” I am most likely preaching to the choir, but I’ll push forward anyway because this will be short…ish.

There is a professor in the Biology department at UT San Antonio who teaches a graduate course focused on teaching PhD students how to write. This is not something he came up with for fun. It distressed him how many science majors he came across that could not write a decent lab report.

And a career in science or engineering does not mean that any writing will be limited to lab reports. If you do any sort of research that requires funding, there will most likely be grant applications and grant reports, both of which can be pretty in-depth.

Plus, there will be plenty of writing to do before you are even done with school. The aforementioned PhD course is one example, but even for undergraduates, I have heard of many accounting majors who have had to write papers for their accounting courses. Yep, that can happen.

From The Simpsons episode “Day of the Jackanapes.” See, even deranged attempted murderers write.

Want to be a lawyer? Yeah, they actually write quite a bit. Certainly more than I do at my day job.

Doctor? Yep, they write too.

My point is this: You need to know how to write, no matter what discipline you’re committed to.

I also wanted to be sure to mention that writing centers can help with assignments outside of the ones assigned for English, history, communication, education, psychology, etc. We may not be able to understand what occurred during your chemistry lab (then again, maybe we will…who knows?), but we should be able to help with organization, formatting, sentence structure, transitions, maybe even word choice. Just make an appointment. Maybe we’ll both learn something.

Welcome to the Mary Francine Danis Writing Center at ACE. You can find tips, news, and fun posts about the wonderful world of writing, the ACE, and the OLLU Community!