Improve Your Writing Skills by Writing Valentines!

“Loving Letters” occurring at the Writing Center. Image courtesy of Alex Nathanson ’24.
Alex Nathanson, Features Editor

Enticed by the opportunity for self-expression and the scent of chocolates packaged in red and pink, a like-minded community finds itself within the confines of the studio. Scissors dance in their hands and transform ordinary paper into ornaments of devotion and joy, while rainbowed pencils attempt to ground indescribable elation into delicate, tangible speech. It’s a delicate process, but one that happens here dozens of times a day. The snow on campus grounds may come and go, but the events hosted by the Writing Center are year-round! 

On the evening of Thursday, Feb. 9, the Writing Center hosted their first “Loving Letters” event to provide an enjoyable and relaxing close to the week and to help students prepare for Valentine’s Day, which was greeted by a crowd that occupied nearly every available seat. The event was focused on providing students with a workshop to craft personal letters of affection to those closest in their lives. The office was flowing with an overwhelming variety of cards and pens at each table and a sprawling community of students to share and develop ideas. This event was one of many wordplay events hosted by the Writing Center, with the goal of increasing student familiarity with the Writing Center’s resources and staff, as well as helping to quash the all-too-common fear of having one’s work read by peers or other audiences. Nicky Benya, an intern at the Writing Center, shared that she hoped the event would strengthen students’ ties to the Writing Center and discover enjoyable applications of the skills they teach there. 

The primary purpose of the center is to aid in the construction of written assignments for any and all courses offered on campus, but the experience gained through these workshops helps students access a broader range of scholarly and expressive tools that can help achieve success, even in more casual endeavors. Having a better grasp of language and its applications can help with one’s own expressivity, whether it be creative or social. Touching on this, Fareeda Abu-Juam ’24, a consultant at the Writing Center, said that she enjoyed sharing and building off of ideas for people to say to their loved ones, no matter what the relationship is.

Most of the events hosted by the Writing Center revolve around Senior Independent Study – both near the beginning and the end of the process. The most frequent of these are the I.S. retreats, which focus on getting as much polished work done as possible within a predetermined time frame. With the final submission period of Senior I.S. nearly one month out, one final I.S. retreat for the 2022-2023 academic year is planned for Feb. 28, with invites being sent out through email once the time draws nearer. To increase engagement, the Writing Center hosts a themed, open-attendance event at least once or twice a semester, of which Loving Letters was one. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the next event hosted by the Writing Center!

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