My guest blogger today is Travis Mann, from the department of Business, Government, and Technical Communications. I met Travis in the smoke from wieners cooking on a little grill during a River Bat Bash at Cypress. By the time we finished our conversation, they’d run out of hot dogs. Next best thing: a trip to the learning lab.
They didn’t want to go. Audible sighs. Eye rolls behind my back. Quick checks of phones to see if they could find a last-minute excuse. Nothing would save them.
“Field trip!” I had announced after the break. “We’re heading to the Learning Lab to see how the tutors there can help you.”
Students grabbed their bags and slouched to the door as I tried to encourage them that this would be “fun” and “Interesting.” They obviously didn’t believe me. Earlier when asked if anyone had ever used a tutor at the Learning Lab, only one student raised her hand. The others simply looked bored.
This, I silently thought, is going to be one long semester.
I know about the great stuff that happens at the Cypress Creek Learning Lab as I became a tutor at the start of the 2017 Fall semester. When I was at Texas Christian University, I had managed the Writing Associates Program, a tutoring program that connected writing tutors with students taking writing-intensive courses. I know the benefits of someone reading through a text and offering suggestions.
When we entered the Lab, I began talking up the benefits. Not only writing help, but algebra, statistics, physics and pharmacology – we had experts readily available to help with myriad subjects.
My task, however, was to convince my Business, Government, and Technical Communication students that a writing tutor would help them think through and craft better Process Analyses, Instructions, Procedure Manuals, and other assignments I would toss at them during the semester.
“It’s FREE!” I always tell my students. “The Learning Lab is part of the student services fees that everyone pays, so not actually free. Almost without fail, though, students who use the Lab generally make higher grades on papers.”
That perked them up. I told them that tutors can help with using MLA and other styles as well as grammar, organization, and other writing issues that typically crop up with each new class.
Learning Lab head honcho Flor Mota stepped out of her office to tell the students even more about the lab. She reminded them that, no, writing tutors won’t proofread their papers. However, she reiterated what I had been telling them: tutors would help them find areas in their writing that needed work.
Finally, they seemed to grasp how they could use the lab for their benefit.
As we walked out, I was about to mention that the lab didn’t cost anything when a student exclaimed, “Yes, Mr. Mann, we know, we know. It’s FREE.”
Travis Mann, MA
Department of Business, Government, and Technical Communications
Join ACC students, faculty, and staff on Friday, April 6, for International Festival, a celebration of all things international! Refreshments, performances from a Japanese fashion show to a Ballet Folklórico, demonstrations by Capoeiristas and Balalaika players, networking with community and business leaders — everything international in our community!
International Festival includes ACC departments with a global reach, including Foreign Languages, International Studies, our Study Abroad programs, and others, plus our neighbors and community leaders in international relations, international business, and globalization.
International Festival will be held at Highland Learning Center, Building 4000, Lower Level, Friday, April 6, 6:00 to 8:30 PM.
Two things happen in the run-up to Spring Break. Generally, we don’t speak of the two things, and we give people that “I’m in the dark” look when people do speak of the two things. But I’m going to break with centuries of Spring Break tradition and bring the two things out into the open. Continue reading “Spring break is in the air”
By now, we all know that we have to certify attendance for our classes at the beginning of each semester. And by now, many of us have gotten those irritating nag-emails about following through — even though we just got a confirmation email saying we certified! A pretty significant subset of those who have received one of those nags has insisted — rightly — that the attendance certification was done on time and blamed getting tagged with the “you didn’t follow through” message on technology — wrongly, it turns out. Continue reading “Yes, I did certify my attendance!”
Announcing the next dean’s walkabout: Round Rock Campus!
I’ll be on campus Wednesday, February 21, from 12:00 to 2:00 PM, based in Raha and Vanessa’s office (FOLA, in RRC 1204.14). Come by for a chat, or better still, show me around your favorite part of campus. See you there!
I was chatting with Charlee Knight at the Cypress, campus, and she mentioned that she was a member of Capital City Scribes, Austin’s very own calligraphy guild. I had no idea — but I’m not passing up this opportunity. Here’s what she says about CSS and their upcoming exhibit in Georgetown.