Routine Reflection

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve settled into a bit of a routine with my responsibilities for Duquesne’s Summer Writing Camp. Any time we get an applicant, my advisor, John, emails me their information. I then send the applicant an email relaying our need for a letter of recommendation, and I put their details into a spreadsheet. Once I get the letter of recommendation, I read over it and make the decision regarding acceptance. Then, I send an email to the new camper saying what more information we need from them, continuing to update the spreadsheet as we receive that. John and I work pretty well in tandem to make sure everything gets completed in a way that’s efficient and streamlined. It’s been a really great process getting to work one-on-one with him in that regard. Because the English department fosters such personal relationships, I knew John well on the academic level going into this. Getting to work with him on a more professional level has really allowed me to see the work he does beyond the classroom, and what kind of opportunities are available for me post-graduation.

While my work in the Writing Camp is on the more administrative end, I’m still getting to utilize skills I’ve learned in English classrooms. Like I’ve said in my previous posts, getting to know the audience is crucial in understanding parent concerns and communicating effectively with them and their children. Additionally, my analytical and critical thinking skills have been put to use, thinking about the best way to respond to parent inquiries and reading the teachers’ recommendations. Initially, I thought that this position wouldn’t require many of those skills from me at all – how hard is it, really, to write and send emails and keep things organized? Recently, though, I realized that those things come “easily” to me because of what I’ve learned in the English department. I’ve learned how to interact with people with different backgrounds and values from my writing workshop courses, and I’ve learned how to see different perspectives through those experiences as well as literary analyses. I can communicate with so many different people effectively now because I’ve learned how to adapt to different audiences. In short, I’ve learned so many skills from the English department that not only relate to my professional life, but who I am as a person as well.

So there’s a quick thank you to the English department for that.

Back to the Writing Camp. Catherine has introduced the exciting idea of a Spirit campaign, which she and Victoria Wilson, the editor of :Lexicon, have been working on. I’m excited to play a role in it in editing together a short video detailing the goals of the Writing Camp and of :Lexicon, and communicating a message visually. Thinking about the audience Catherine mentioned in her last blog post will do well to help us make the most effective video possible. I’m super lucky to have taken some video editing courses, and to know what makes visual storytelling effective and eye-catching for different types of audiences, so I’m looking forward to apply that knowledge as well.

On the administrative end of things, I’m still following my routine as we get more applicants. Throughout April, I’ll be working on the logistics for the camp itself and coordinating those – stay tuned for more details. 🙂

Jamie Crow

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