Boys and Girls Club Writing Workshop

Wednesday, February 27 marked the start of our second annual writing workshop with our local Boys and Girls Club. For four weeks, about a dozen middle school students will be meeting with us on Wednesday afternoons for fun activities and writing practice.

The workshop this year will focus on three types of writing: true stories, fiction, and poetry. At the end, to celebrate our time together and the writing our students have produced, there will be a special event at which students will read share their masterpieces.

Yesterday’s workshop was about getting to know each other and beginning our work with true stories. To break the ice, each student told a fake story and a true story, and the rest of the class had to guess which had actually happened. We immediately saw that our students have a creative streak, because they came up with some excellent lies!

Next, our students became artists. Each student thought of an interesting or outrageous thing that had happened to them and conveyed it in comic form. The next step will be for them to put the events they drew into words.

Finally, we played a game called Accordion Writing. To start, each student wrote one sentence on a blank sheet of paper. Then, they passed the paper to the student on the right, who drew a picture to accompany the sentence. Here, the game got tricky. Before passing to the right again, the students folded their paper so that the next student could only see the picture, not the original sentence. The student who received the paper had to create a new sentence based on just the picture. Then they folded again so just their sentence was visible and passed once again, charging the next student with drawing a picture solely based upon the sentence they saw.

After five rounds of this, we unfolded the papers so that all the pictures and sentences were visible. Much like the product of a game of Telephone, the original sentence had been completely distorted as the paper was passed, producing some hilarious results.

Our group this year is an engaged, enthusiastic, and creative bunch. We are really excited to see the writing that they produce in the month to come. Stay tuned for updates on our workshop!

-Amber, peer tutor

Some helpful Westminster tips…

Here at the Writing Center there is a running joke about how I am one of the only tutors from Westminster — I am what students like to call a “Townie.” While it may seem like a boring place to live to some, this small town actually has some nice places that only us locals know about! These places can be fun and even inspirational when it comes to writing your papers. Since I am both a “townie” and a McDaniel student, I will let you guys in on these secret places that are hidden around Carroll County.

If you want to stay close to campus, there is a nice local tea and coffee shop right down Main Street called The Cup. This shop is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. They are reasonably priced and also have other options than just teas and coffee! The Cup also features fun holiday and seasonal options that only come certain times a year so be sure not to miss their fun fall flavors! Here, you not only get a peaceful environment, but you are also supporting a local business, which is pretty cool! If you are thinking about checking it out, go here.

Just look for this sign on Main Street!

For those of you who may have a car or just want to get off campus completely for a while I will tell you about my favorite place in all of Westminster, Hashawha Nature Center. Hashswha is this beautiful place where people like me go to run, hike, camp, or just enjoy nature. But that is not all you can do! If you turn onto Hashawha Road you will find what is called “Lake Hashawha”…more of a pond, but you get the idea, on your left. A pavilion that over looks this “lake” is located there. Not only will get to have some peace and quiet away from McDaniel, but you will also be inspired form this huge piece of land and all of the animals and plants that inhabit it. It is a little obvious I am obsessed with this place, but I hope you can experience its beauty too! Since it may be a little tricky to find, here is a link with some easy directions to get there.

I mean just look at what this place has to offer!

Of course if you would rather stay on campus, there are more then enough places to explore here. I just figured I would share some of my favorite placed to get inspired around Westminster!

Forest, Peer Tutor