Tutor's Corner


The Magic Words

As a writer, I am often mystified at what can be accomplished by the 26 letters of our alphabet. These mere glyphs, which often manifest in what would otherwise be trivial swishes of ink, or shapes arising in patterns of light on a computer screen, can facilitate mutual understandings between all who are privy to the powerful associations they bear, that they support.

Language is the way I find my passions, by describing them. Language empowers me to share the beauty I perceive, ideally. Magically, words allow me to take the thought I found deep within the cavern of my consciousness, dust it off, and scribble it into a form that, with a bit of luck, and possibly some hard work on my part, can recreate that thought inside the mind and consciousness of another person.

This happens in an infinite number of combinations or situations. In fact, right now I am engaging in that process to take this idea about an idea and provide a conduit for you, the reader, to receive this idea through these words, now printed.

What does this mean for us at the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center? Well, basically it means that we work tirelessly to provide support and motivation for members of the community to use this form of lingual sorcery more effectively, whether it be for the pragmatic purposes of personal essays, or for the creative conquest of composing cookbooks, and everything in between. There is always opportunity for meaningful collaboration through writing.

What amazes me most about the CWC is the pedagogy, the beliefs. The approach and feeling of the SLCC Community Writing Center is that writing can be easy, fun and beneficial, even when it is being used for a strictly practical means. I’m sure we have all felt that lull, the despairing writer’s block, sinking over our present endeavors like a gray fog causing little visibility. This happens from time to time. Sometimes I don’t think I can write, like I’m fresh out of pixie dust. I feel scared. Well, I’m happy to say that if that ever happens I could turn to the CWC, and with a bit of collaboration I could get a small zap of inspiration, or the presence of a skilled reader could dislodge some insight

Granted, the magic still lies within the pen of any given individual; we at the Community Writing Center merely work to create a space where writers can feel more comfortable using their pens or maybe help lift them when the weight has become too heavy. Sometimes we just sit and admire the pens of writers who come to us, mesmerized by the graceful flicking, like magic wands.

—Keaton Butler
Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center
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