I recently had my students write an “About Me” essay as it might appear on an Electronic Portfolio, a cover letter for a job, or an application for graduate school. The assignment comes from a campus initiative toward incorporating ePortfolios and from what I’ve noticed about students’ writing who come to me as they approach graduation and are faced with writing such texts. The students met with writing center consultants and wrote reflections about their visits. With the students’ permission, I’m sharing some lines from their reflections. I also snapped a few pictures of the writing center at St. John’s University where I teach.
The people at the front desk are cheery and good-natured. I quickly passed this off as a trait of English majors.
My expectations prior to going in [to the writing center] were to meet with a nerdy, potentially socially awkward valedictorian type of student.
I realized that I was actually doing most of the talking; she [the consultant] was just a mediator and I answered my own questions.”
When we were first assigned to go to the writing center to get help on our “About Me” essay, I was honestly confused. How could someone help me write about myself?…When we sat down I tried to explain to her [the writing consultant] how I did not really understand the purpose for me being there. Shortly, she explained to me how their job was to bring out ideas that we ourselves might have missed.