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For Good (Wicked Reference in case you didnt get it, which is fine.

This philosophy is all about how not getting it is normal) What I want writers to get after an appointment with me is that not getting it is an inherent part of being a writer. Writing can be understood as a cognitive process, as the exploring and articulating of our ideas. It is a sophisticated skill that we are constantly developing as writers. Inherent in learning this sophisticated, dynamic skill is the need to take risk, make mistakes, and use those mistakes as opportunities to growth. The importance of this perspective, understanding ones self as developing and understanding failure as an opportunity to grow, is that it allows us to engage in activities that drive forward our development. There are two perspectives of intelligence: a understanding of intelligence as fixed and an understanding of intelligence as dynamic (Effie Maclellan 2005 198). By recognizing our constant development and the value of failure we assume and gain the benefits of the second perspective. As Maclellan (2005) explains, people with a fixed idea of intelligence understand their abilities as absolute, innate, and unchanging. They shy away from risk, because they do not want to potentially show their lack of abilities. Because of this, they never really find out if they could do more (198). If a writer views intelligence as fixed, they will potentially avoid challenges, opportunities to develop, in order to avoid showing the weaknesses in their writing. Their aversion to risk ultimately develops in a slowing or even plateauing of their growth. For writers to develop, they must accept a dynamic understanding of their abilities: ability is an ever increasing repertoire of skills and knowledge effected through ones instrumental behavior (Maclellan 2006 198). This understanding of abilities recognizes that errors are an inevitable part of learning (Maclellan 2006 199). By

understanding that mistakes are a small, essential part of the larger learning process, writers are no longer inhibited by shame of their present weaknesses. Recognizing mistakes as natural part of ones development and not as an overarching statement about their abilities happens through a component of the process called mingsight (Daniel Siegel get the specific citation for this) Mindsight is the process of recognizing and accepting our limitations and weaknesses as humans, recognizing those same limitations and weaknesses in others, and using that knowledge to empathize with one another and manage healthy relationships (37). An essential part of tis process is reflecting on ones actions and self with a compassionate state of mind (34). In recognizing our weaknesses, whether as humans or more specifically as writers, we should not harshly criticize ourselves. We must forgive ourselves for being imperfect; once we stop punishing ourselves for being human, we can move past our feelings of inadequacy and continue to grow. Reflecting and recognizing our writing weaknesses with a compassionate state of mind is essential for acquiring a dynamic understanding of anility that allows us to keep developing. Once weve forgiven ourselves for making mistakes and recognized those mistakes as a natural part of the learning process, we can engage in the risk filled activities that drive forward our development; specifically, collaboration. Before, when one was impeded by not wanting to reveal their weaknesses, one would shy away from activities with others that challenged their skill. Now that one understands their weaknesses as opportunities for growth and is no longer held back by fear of showing these weaknesses, one can engage in meaningful, risk filled activities with others. These risk filled activities take the form of the collaboration and employ the Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP). In her essay, Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center, Andrea Lunsford recognizes the efficacy of collaboration in writing pedagogy. Her research shows that collaboration aids in learning by fostering critical thinking, promoting

excellence, and inspiring active and engaged learning through the application of different types of skills (94-95). Her sentiments towards collaboration are summarized in a few words by her former student collaborator who was initially resistant to the idea of collaboration Whats important is knowing that knowing doesnt just happen all by itselfKnowing happens with other people, figuring things out, trying to explain, talking through things. What I know is that we are all making and remaking our knowing and ourselves with each other Her students words acknowledge the main idea of my philosophy: Ability isnt inherent; we develop by making mistakes and struggling. They also acknowledge that working with others is an effective way of creating understanding. Significant development happens when we engage with other people in purpose driven, risk filled activity, dialogue intensive activities. This recognizing of the value of collaboration by the processes that take place in it reflects a theory of Lev Vygotsky: The Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP). ZDP is the conceptual space in which a person, through collaboration with others, achieves something beyond what he or she is individually capable of and drives forward his or her development (Wink & Putney DATE 86). This is that space tutors and writers occupy when working together: Tutors collaborate with writers in the purposeful activity of creating a piece of writing; writers and tutors articulate and share their ideas and through the interaction create a piece of writing stronger than what the writer could create alone. This drives forward the writers development. The ZDP is a risk filled space where one must be willing to dialogue about their weaknesses. In order to enter the ZDP one must accomplish the internal task we explored earlier: move past impeding feelings of shame for ones weaknesses by forgiving oneself for having such weaknesses and understand those weaknesses as a natural part of the learning process. By accomplishing these two tasks one uses

mindsight techniques to acquire a dynamic understanding of ones abilities, an understanding that allows one to move into and engage with others in the ZDP. Ultimately, this mental progression results in one developing as a writer by working with a tutor. After working with me, I want writers to understand that not getting it is an inherent part of being a writer, because it opens them to continued development on their own. By helping them reach this openness, Im changing the trajectory of their development. My hope is that they will walk away being able to take risks and engage with others. I dont want to just help writers develop; I want to change how writers develop; I want to teach writers how to thrive. (Im getting so emotional as I type this, I just love the imaginary writer Ive been talking about throughout this paper so much. He/she has no idea. O my god, this is what parents and bird feel like. Feelings are awful. I just want the best for s/him) -Go through and check your pronoun usage (Cynthia mentioned this in her marginal comments) -Check the wordiness -Check if the progression of your ideas is leading to an understandable conclusion -you try weaving previously discussed ideas into current discussions in the paper, check if thats working -check for passive voice -Go through and get citations right. -Dont get emotional again