In August 2014, I entered the world of the Writing Center for the first time as a freshman. Assigned to make an appointment with a consultant for my first Writ 1 paper, I was unsure of what to expect. I felt uncomfortable at the thought of being required to share my writing with someone I didn’t know very well, and especially worried that the consultant would decimate my argument, that I’d have to rewrite my entire paper. Both of those things happened. But I’m so glad I followed through on my appointment. Luckily, I realized I had to rewrite my paper 2 weeks before it was due, rather than at the last minute, thanks to the Writing Center’s help. I’ve gone back for almost every writing assignment I’ve had since.
The Writing Center is a warm, welcoming space on campus, home to 16 writing consultants and Prof. Wendy Menefee-Libey, who also directs Mudd’s (free and super helpful!) Academic Excellence tutoring program. With plenty of snacks, seasonal holiday mood lighting, and accessible academic help, it’s an environment conducive to independent work, or for collaborative team meetings – whatever you need to get the work done.
Lillian Liang’18, who joined the Writing Center staff late Spring 2016, loves her job. She says “I really enjoy writing myself and I feel like it’s a way to process your own thoughts. And once you have them down on paper it’s a way to even have dialogue with yourself and figure things out. I really like talking through that process with other people because sometimes it’s a really good moment when you know that you helped them form a new idea or figure out what the next step in their essay is, and I think that’s really fun.”
She wants people to know that the Writing Center is “a resource that you should feel free to use even if you feel like you’re good at writing. Even for conceptual development of what you want to say in your essay… We’re not just here to proofread your paper or evaluate it in any way. [We are] more of a resource to help you work through your own ideas.”
The Writing Center isn’t limited to the HSA (humanities, social sciences, or the arts) assignments. Seniors go in to review their final Thesis or Clinic reports. Graduate school applicants work on their essays with consultants and Prof. Wendy. It’s a resource everyone can benefit from.
I’m a fan of the Writing Center, not only for its helpful staff but also its peaceful and productivity charged environment. Be sure to check out the Writing Center on your next visit to Mudd!
All dialogue is from excerpts of Preethi Seshadri’s interview with Lillian for Anth111 Intro to Anthropology, Science, and Technology, a Mudd HSA class taught by Prof. Marianne de Laet. Thanks Preethi and Lillian!