Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Do it Now, Not Later!

Hello again, Roxy Readers! Today I have to make choices, and one of the hardest choices I have to make is between surfing and writing. It always seems the waves are best when I need to stay on dry land. The end of the semester is fast approaching, and final papers are due soon. I’m in the trenches with all of you right now as I have a final paper due, too. I won’t tell you the length because it will just shock you. I have to get it done once I’ve finished my blog post. :-) If you put things off like I do, I want to encourage you to stop procrastinating and get on it!

When you find yourself procrastinating, you just have to prioritize. Do you really need to re-watch Parks and Recreation? Is Destiny really more important than your grade? Of course not! Procrastination happens for many reasons, and sometimes we need a little help with our choices. I’ve gathered a list of handy websites, apps, and add-ons that will help you in your ongoing battle against procrastination.

1.       Self Control
This is a program that is only available to Mac users. You tell it how long you want it to block your favorite websites like Facebook, Imgur, Pinterest and anything else that sucks up your time. You can’t even get to these websites if you restart your computer or delete the application! It’s cruel, but it’s for your own good.

2.       Get Cold Turkey
This is basically the same thing as Self Control but for Windows users. The interface uses a humorous-looking turkey and asks you to donate any amount you want ($0-$20) to block websites from your viewing pleasure. It also gives you the option of donating the money to charity.

3.       Productivity Owl
This Chrome extension is really serious about keeping you on track. If it notices that you’ve been spending too much time on frivolous websites, the Productivity Owl flies in and closes your tabs. Of course, you can control what the owl thinks are frivolous websites and regulate how much time you’re allowed to spend on the sites.

All of these programs have one thing in common, you have to want to get things done. Sometimes all we need is that extra push. Push yourself, please; you’ll be happy you did. The end of the semester is so close, and we just need to hang on. Before we know it, we’ll be riding the waves again.

This is my last entry until next semester. Gotta finish that paper! Good luck on your finals! See you next time the sun is up, the breeze is cool, and the waves roll into view. ‘Til then, hang ten!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The More You Read

Hi, again, Roxy Readers. You know, I’ve been surfing for a long time. In fact, I come from a long line of surfers, and I learned a lot by spending time with them. I watched other surfers on the water, I studied the equipment they chose and the routines they used to care for their boards. I spoke with old-timers and beginners like me. I hung out with other surfers, read surfing magazines, scoured Reddit boards, and joined Facebook groups hoping to learn as much as possible about the sport.

I approach writing in the same manner. To become a more effective writer, I not only write as much as I can, but I also read all the time.  I know you’re thinking, “How can reading A Game of Thrones help me with my research paper?” Crazy, right? But it’s true.  The more you read, the more you learn about different styles of writing.   

Even if you’re not writing fiction, reading a novel can help you pick up cool new words and different sentence structures to use. Reading persuasive magazine articles or newspaper editorials can help you fine tune your argumentative essays, and book reviews can aid in your literary analyses. You can also see what doesn’t work so well. 

Lots of my buddies tell me they don’t really read anymore, but most admit that as children they loved a good book! What happened? Children’s books are simple, they have pictures, and they always have a happy ending. Somehow, as we get older, some of us lose our love of reading. The books are longer, they lose their pictures, and they’re not always happy.

As college students, we have to write, and reading helps our writing skills. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to read books, maybe you just haven’t found the right format. Maybe your go-to choice is a magazine, a graphic novel, or online message boards. Just read! Any type of reading counts and helps, especially this blog Roxy fans. ;-)
Roxy’s Tip: If the waves are flat, go read something! 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You Decide!

Hello again, Roxy Readers – I’ve been sitting on the shore, watching the constant motion of the waves rolling in and out. It’s what I like to do before I grab my board and hit the water. Like surfers, writers need to decide what method works best for them. Many students believe that introductions must be written first, then body paragraphs, and finally a conclusion. It took a while before I learned it didn’t have to be that way. Wow! You get to decide where to start.

Everyday students tell me they can’t start writing because they have no idea what their introduction is going to be. I tell them, “That’s okay, because you don’t have to write your introduction first!”

It’s better to get something on the page than to just sit there frustrated, right? Writing my introduction last works for me. Having trouble with the intro? Start with the body paragraphs. Remember, you steer the process. You need to write in whatever way makes sense to you. As long as it’s in the correct order when you finish, you’re good. I promise.

The writing process is creative, and the creative process is messy. It doesn’t have to start out pretty; in fact, it probably won’t. Don’t worry about how it looks when you’re drafting, your teacher just wants to see a polished end product. I hope this helps you in your journey to becoming an amazing writer.

Roxy’s Tip: There is no one “right” way to write. Discover what works for you, and then dive into the writing process wherever you’re comfortable.

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! My next entry is coming soon. 'Til then, hang ten!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Words are Powerful

Words, like killer waves, are powerful.


What we say about ourselves can make a difference in how we feel and even how well we do in our work. I often hear students say, “I’m a bad writer” or “I can’t write!”

When I hear students express such opinions, I ask them, “Do you text? Do you tweet? Do you write songs, poetry, short stories?” When they inevitably say, “Yes,” I then tell them, “Then you write, and you’re a writer!”

What students often mean when they say “I can’t write” is that they do not feel comfortable writing academic essays.  Fair enough. Academic essays are a specialized type of writing with specific requirements and grading criteria.

The good news is—there is help available! The SWC has writing tutors to help with every aspect of the writing process, from helping students understand the assignment requirements, to brainstorming ideas, to revising. We also provide additional resources on our website www.delmar.edu/swc.

Writing, like surfing, takes practice. I did not learn to surf in one day, and I had to ask questions and get advice from more experienced surfers. I've also wiped out more times than I can remember. The same holds true for writing: each time you put your pen to paper or begin typing words on a screen, you are becoming a stronger writer.

Roxy’s tip: Don’t say “I can’t write.” Instead say, “I must practice my writing!” 

Remember, with every essay you complete, you are becoming a more effective writer.

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! My next entry is coming soon. ‘Til then, hang ten!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Just Start Writing!

Hey Roxy fans,
One thing I’ve learned from my years of surfing: If you’re waiting for the perfect wave to come along before you jump on your board, you’ll end up dog-paddling the day away! The same lesson is true for writing; if you’re waiting to get started on an essay until the perfect intro or a fabulous thesis pops into your mind, all you will have at the end of the day is a blank page and a mounting sense of frustration.

I know starting an essay can seem really intimidating, but I suggest you dive right in.  Just write something. Getting your first idea (even if it’s really rough) down on the page will make it easier to right the next sentence and the next, and before you know it, you have written several paragraphs! 

Having trouble getting started because you keep worrying about wiping out on your first try? No problem—that’s why it’s called a rough draft! There will be plenty of time later to revise and polish until your writing looks as effortless as a pro surfer. 

Practice makes perfect whether it’s in writing or surfing.  So if you have an essay that you have been putting off, I challenge you to put down your board (for now), pick up a pen, and start writing something (sometimes, I even start with “I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what…and then the ideas come rolling in, and I am off!).
Remember we are always ready at the SWC to help you in any stage of the writing process!

Roxy’s tip: Just do it! Just start writing, and the ideas will come!

See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Hey Roxy Readers! Change is like the tide; sometimes you just have to roll with it, and keep an eye out for the gnarliest wave. Well, the Stone Writing Center, my home away from home, has made a huge change, and it is totally rad! The room has new furniture and a set of killer laptops. So, to all my fans, if you're around Del Mar College, stop by the 4th floor of the White Library and check out the new SWC digs. I know you'll love it as much as I do.


See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves rolls into view! 'Til then, hang ten!

L401 Then
L401 - Then


L401 Now
L401 - Now

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Now Taking Walk-Ins!

Hey Roxy fans! Things have been so rad at the Stone Writing Center that I haven’t had a chance to break away and update y’all. I haven’t even had time to catch a wave! Why? The Stone Writing Center now offers walk-in tutoring, and we are super stoked! If you need help with a writing assignment for any class, drop by the SWC on the fourth floor of the White Library. We have lots of tutors that can help you.

Our hours:
Monday – Thursday, 8a – 7p
Friday, 8a – 1p
Saturday, 10a – 3p

Can’t tear yourself away from the beach? Remember that Del Mar College students have access to our Online Tutoring Program. You can access OTP from our website at www.delmar.edu/swc.

Still have questions? Email us at swc@delmar.edu or call us at 361.698.1364.


See you next time the breeze is cool, the sun is up, and the waves roll into view! ‘Til then, hang ten!

Followers