Paper Cranes

You may have noticed the paper cranes hanging in the stairwell of Hill Hall and wondered why exactly they seem to be flying around students walking to and from class on busy weekdays. The cranes are, in fact, a new installation brought to you by the Writing Center tutors.



Paper cranes are a symbol of happiness, peace, and good luck, which is why we decided to hang them in the academic building. When you are rushing to class, make sure you stop and take a look at the exhibit and maybe it will bring you some peace in the middle of your busy day.

cranes_editIt is said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish from a crane; we don’t know if we will ever reach a thousand, but we are having fun trying. The cranes are made of recycled pages from photography books and all of them were folded by the tutors at The Writing Center.

pages2_editThe exhibit is also about process; you can see the book pages with writing processes written on them hanging with the paper cranes as a reminder that you don’t get to an end product that you are proud of without putting in time and effort. Creating paper cranes requires focus and commitment. We all dedicated time to learning and mastering the art of origami cranes (which we folded out of re-purposed books) just like we try to dedicate the time that we spend working on an assignment in order to get the product that we want.

pages_editAt the Writing Center we are dedicated to helping students improve their own writing by providing guidance during the writing process. With focus and a clear mind, it is easy to achieve that final product that you know you are capable of!

Lauren, peer tutor

Scoring That Perfect Internship

Boat rides on the Chesapeake Bay, picnics out on a dock, wooden boats and crab picking demonstrations. Sound like a weekend trip out to the Eastern Shore of Maryland? Not quite, but when your summer internship is something that you love, it may as well be a vacation.

This summer, I worked for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as a communications and marketing intern. I got to do things that I love, like use social media, take pictures and video with professional equipment, and write for the museum’s magazine, all while spending most of my time outside and on the water. I got to produce videos for the website and talk to interesting people, like this video about the cultural influences of crabbing and the people who grew up around the Chesapeake:

But aside from all of the fun stuff that I got to do, I really did learn a lot about working in the professional world. With my internship, I had the freedom to come up with my own ideas, make them a reality, and then present them to my boss in the hopes that she would like them and use them as publicity for the museum. Through this process, I learned a lot about my own work from the feedback that my boss would give me, so I could go back and make improvements to the project I was working on.

It is great to get in the habit of taking your work to someone for review because they always have fresh ideas about how to make it better. If I made a video, I would take it to my boss afterwards and show her what I had done, always expecting feedback and new ideas for making it even better.

At The Writing Center, we can help you get used to this process of writing and editing; we’ll work with you to improve your skills so you can make your own work even more awesome. Having a tutor look at your paper or assignment is (almost) just like the process you will encounter in the professional world– except meeting with us is probably a little more fun and less nerve-racking.

Along with helping you get acquainted with this process, The Writing Center can also help you perfect your resume or application for scoring that perfect internship. You can make an appointment with a tutor who will help you make sure that all of your accomplishments are presented well in a resume that future employers will see.

If you are interested in finding an awesome summer internship, the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) has resources to help you with that. You can check them out on or follow them on Twitter @McDanielCEO.

So don’t forget to make your appointment at The Writing Center to help develop your professional skills and to talk about the cool internships you are applying for!

Lauren, peer tutor

Study Music

Do you ever wonder what other people are listening to through their headphones while they are workin’ away in the library? Everyone writes to the beat of their own iTunes. Here are a few jams that we like to listen to.

Amber is currently obsessing over Youth Lagoon, but her long-term studying favorites have been Modest Mouse and Wilco.

Ben is a fan of instrumental music so he doesn’t get distracted. 8tracks has some great playlists for anyone who wants anything from classical music to instrumental renditions of top hits. Here is a playlist of covers by the Vitamin String Quartet.

Charles likes a website called Songza, which lets you pick from “playlists by music experts” depending on what mood you are in. You start with a broad category, like “waking up” or “reading” and the music experts will lead you to more categories to choose from to make sure you are getting the best type of music for whatever activity you are doing. Charles likes to listen to electronic music because it gets his brain going while he is doing work. This is a great Songza playlist to get motivated without distracting lyrics! And if you need a study break, there are options for “Weekday Dance Party.” 90s Dance Hits anyone?

Barnabas is a big fan of Christmas music–any time of the year. The familiar tunes help him get enthusiastic and motivated about those not-so-cheery assignments during the year. A great Christmas album to check out anytime of the year is Barnaked for the Holidays by the Barenaked Ladies. Here is a Songza playlist called Pop Christmas, with popular artists singing holiday favorites. Or if you are looking for something a little offbeat, here is a playlist with indie Christmas tunes.

Forest says that she can’t do her homework with any music or background noise- if you are like her, check out the silent floors of the library!

Andrea likes to listen to soundtrack music, specifically Hans Zimmer. You can listen to his Pandora radio station here. They are dramatic and motivating. A few of his most famous movie scores are The Lion King, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight.

Josh Ambrose, our director, is a Sigur Ros fan. He also really likes the ambient guitar band Hammock and Tim Hecker’s album Dropped Pianos.

When I am doing my homework, the type of music I listen to depends on the assignment that I have. If I am writing a paper, I want to listen to something upbeat that will get me motivated, like Yeasayer or Miike Snow. If I am reading for a class, I like to listen to something toned down with lyrics that are too complicated to sing along to so I don’t get distracted, like The Shins or Fleet Foxes. This is a really great playlist called 99 Songs to Make your Homework Awesome.

What do you like to listen to? Comment below and let us know! And don’t forget, to learn more about our tutors, click here!

Lauren, peer tutor