Tutor profile: Carolyn Z.
Am I a horrible writer because I get writer's block and can't figure out what to write?
No! If you have writer's block, it doesn't mean you are a horrible writer. It just means you are a writer! Great work; you're engaging in the writing process! Every single writer, from Shakespeare to the quiet parent writing a note to their child's teacher, has experienced writer's block. Nobody has ever written something "perfectly" in one shot; at least, I wouldn't believe somebody if they had claimed to do so. Writing simply doesn't work that way. So let yourself off the hook! There are many tried and true methods for overcoming writer's block and generating ideas, including freewriting, visual mapping, outlining, using audio to record spoken ideas, changing the physical environment you're working in, deep breathing, brainstorming with a tutor, and more.
Why should I care about psychology?
A basic understanding of what makes us tick is not only important for all types of employment. It's also important for our happiness as humans! We can't grow or ultimately be happy as individuals if we don't have the basic tools to understand how our own minds and hearts work. In relationships and groups, this is true, as well. Psychology helps us understand each other. I'm a bit of an idealist, but I believe the diverse field of psychology provides a groundwork for how we can create a better society, step by step.
Why is writing a required class for almost every school, program, and major?
At almost every level and every type of academic or vocational program, students in the US will be required to take some manner of introductory writing course in English. Part of this is because writing is so fundamental to all of our other courses. But it's also because writing plays a role in every single job we'll ever have! I often tell my students, "Go ahead, name a job. I will explain to you how important writing is to it." From writing reports in technical and medical fields, to writing grants for businesses, to creating copy and proposals in the arts, to simply writing up cover letters prior to getting hired. every single field requires basic writing skills. Learning to write is unique in this regard. Even if you don't have a personal passion for it, it's one of the only subjects that you will truly use everywhere you go. The importance of these skills extends beyond employment, too. I could write a book about how language and its children, reading and writing, are literally a tool of our human brain. If we can use this tool well, we can actually become better humans altogether...but I digress.
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