Personal blunder of paper writing: I needlessly repeat myself when I write: I’ll make a point and then restate the point in different words, imagining that I’m adding something new. (Sort of like I just did.) I think the root of this issue is that I’m not as precise as I should be with the logic of my argument. In my editing process, I have to go back through my draft with a more mathematical, less wandering mind, evaluating the exact purpose of each sentence. Then I can cut what is unnecessary and make the whole paper more concise and effective.
Main tutoring advice: Write intentionally. Know the structure of your paper, and let the reader see your design. Every paragraph (every word, actually) should be there for a unique reason.
Best class taken at Hillsdale: I think my favorite class so far has been Great Books II with Assistant Professor of English Lorraine Eadie. She picked amazing literature for us to study “Hamlet,” “Great Expectations,” “Housekeeping,” and more, and truly inspired me in the way that she revealed the profound beauty of each work. (That said, I’m currently taking Later Shakespeare from Professor of English Smith, and that class is moving by leaps and bounds to the top of my favorites list. There’s nothing quite like soaking in the majesty of Shakespeare’s tragic soliloquies and then watching Prof. Smith magically unveil fourteen layers of meaning behind the words.)
Favorite movie: Cranford
Personal blunder of paper writing: Once upon a time (ok, maybe last week), Debbie set out on her semesterly quest to capture The Universe, or at least a galaxy, and lead it home on a 15-page leash. Predictably, the universe escaped her clutches, and a rather deflated Debbie sank back to earth with a reinforced respect for the universe, but no paper to show for it. Then one day, (yesterday actually) while walking with eyes on the ground, she happened to notice tiny dewdrops sparkling in the grass. Upon looking closer, what should she discover but that there are galaxies in dewdrops, too! (And dewdrop galaxies are much friendlier to 15-pagers). So Debbie learned for the umpteenth time that smaller is better. The lovely thing about the universe is that it’s fractal: you won’t miss anything by looking closer.
Main tutoring advice: Good writing is basically clear thinking on paper. All those fancy stylistic flourishes come later (and only if they actually help you get your point across better).
Best class taken At Hillsdale: One of my favorites has been Philosophy of Education with Professor of Education Jon Fennel. It’s basically a friendly monster that chews up everything you thought you knew about epistemology and spits it back out. In a good way.
Favorite movie: Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.