With the last week of classes fast approaching, students are excited to take part in the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Writers’ Block Party on Sunday, Dec. 9 from noon to midnight. This annual event, which began in December of 2014, gives students the opportunity to workshop their writing assignments with faculty, staff and Writing Fellows.
Russell Payne ’21 is looking forward to this semester’s event after successfully leveraging last semester’s Block Party to take some pressure off during finals’ week. “It was great because the Writing Fellows and other CTL staff members were available with walk-in hours and I did not have to schedule ahead of time to secure an appointment.”
While students like Payne are excited to receive help at this semester’s Block Party, other students are equally as enthusiastic to help their peers with the writing process. Tatiana Loftus ’19 participated in last year’s Writers’ Block Party, and this year will assume a new role as a Writing Fellow. “I am excited to take my experience and use it to implement the best strategies for students to further their writing assignments,” Loftus says. “The Block Party is a great way for students to collaborate and enjoy this student-led resource to take away some of the stresses of finals’ week.”
The CTL was not sure what to expect with the inaugural Writers’ Block Party, but they quickly realized the event met a need. The Sanford Room was packed for 12 straight hours with students dropping in for writing help, a quiet workspace, or some coffee and snacks to fuel their studying. This event has only grown in the past four years, hitting a peak of 160 visitors at last April’s Block Party.
Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and CTL Director Susan Pliner has seen firsthand the impact that the event has on a variety of HWS students. “One of my favorite aspects of the Writer’s Block Party is that there isn’t just one type of student who attends: we have everyone from first-year students to MAT students, from students who are struggling in their first semester to students working on their Honors projects. I love how it reflects that all students benefit from enrichment and support, and creates community around academic engagement,” says Pliner.