The Writing Associates Program WA Application: Spring 2015

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1 Name Major (or prospective major) Nominated by Faculty reference Peer reference Class To apply for a Writing Associates position, you must complete the following: 1. Application cover sheet: Complete the boxes above and include this sheet as the first page of your application. 2. One-page cover letter: Please craft a letter expressing why you would like a position as a Writing Associate, what you hope to gain from the experience, and what experiences and qualifications you bring to the position. 3. Sample paper: Include with your application a clean copy of a 3-5 page sample of your own recent academic writing. Please submit a paper written for a humanities or social science course at Swarthmore. 4. Mock WA paper: Attached to this application you will find a student paper. Imagine yourself functioning as a Writing Associate; comment in writing on this essay in ways that you think would encourage the writer to make constructive revisions. Be prepared to conference about the paper during your interview. 5. References: Include the names of two references: One from a faculty member who can attest to your writing abilities, class participation, and approach to your academics and one from a peer who can comment on your personal qualities. Please note that your peer reference cannot be written by a current WA. Once you submit your application we will send a recommendation form to each of your references asking them to answer a few questions about you. Make sure you have permission from both people to list their names as references. 6. List of courses: On the enclosed sheet, please list the courses you have taken both in the fall and spring semesters (dept. code and number, e.g. ENGL 33) or, if you prefer, include a photocopy of your transcript. 7. List of activities: Please list both previous extracurricular activities and jobs and anticipated extracurricular activities and jobs for next year. 8. Interviews: When you submit your application, sign up for an interview. Interviews will take place March 25 through April 8 in Pearson 103. Additionally, we highly encourage you to take advantage of the practice WA interviews being offered by Career Services. Call x8352 or stop by Parrish 135 for more information. Completed applications are due Monday, March 23, 2015 by NOON at the Writing Center, Trotter 120. For more information about becoming a Writing Associate please visit writing.swarthmore.edu, or contact Adrienne Stout, Writing Associates Program Intern, at or (610)

2 The Writing Associates Fellowship Program selects and educates students to be peer mentors of writing. WAs collaborate with students during all stages of the writing process and in various disciplines. They work in conjunction with courses, and they staff the Writing Center during weekday evenings. The purpose of the program lies in the desire to teach the Writing Associates how to talk about writing with students from a variety of backgrounds in order to develop skills and the ethical intelligence necessary to function as citizen teachers after leaving the College. Goals: By participating in the WA Program students will learn how to: Assess academic writing on different levels including argumentation, logic, grammar, and audience. Craft and disseminate both written and oral feedback that is constructive and supportive. Develop a reflective practice so they continue to learn and develop as peer mentors. Apply learned pedagogy in written commentary on papers and in conferences with students. Interact with a variety of students including English Language Learners, students with learning differences, and students with underdeveloped writing processes. Mentor each other as they raise questions, observe, and share best practices. Question their assumptions about writing and writers. Listen actively in order to respond effectively to the individual needs of students. Develop an ethical process by contemplating such issues as confidentiality, time management, and power dynamics within the peer mentoring situation. Responsibilities: By participating in the WA Program students will need to: Gateway Course: During their first semester, WAs will receive a full Humanities course credit in lieu of a stipend. Complete all the requirements of English 001C, which is taught as a seminar during the Fall semester on a CR/NC basis; one section will meet on Monday afternoon and one on Tuesday afternoon. Continuation in the WA Program is dependent upon a student s overall engagement and development throughout English 1C. Work three shifts in the Writing Center over the course of the Fall semester. These Writing Center shifts will be paid on an hourly basis at top pay scale. Course WAing: WAs will receive a stipend when assigned to a course. Work with up to 15 student writers in an assigned course, offering comments on several rounds of papers and conferencing with every student during each round in order to create a revision plan. Maintain communication with the Course WA professor about class needs and expectations, providing feedback about different writing assignments and the assessment of these assignments. Submit an end-of-semester paper reflecting on the past semester and establishing new goals. Understand that Course WA positions will be assigned based on availability. Writing Center: WAs will be paid hourly for work in the Writing Center. Work a weekly 2.5-hour shift for one semester each year. Submit a reflection piece at the conclusion of each shift. Administrative Attend a start-up session once a semester. Meet with the program director at least once a semester to discuss goals, feedback, and reappointment in the program.

3 Mock WA Paper Herculine Barbin, born in 1838, lived as a female, by the name of Alexina, until she reached adulthood and was examined by a physician, Dr. Chesnet. He determined that Alexina was not, and had never been, a female but was instead, a male. Henceforth, Alexina was called Abel and lived as a man. Following Abel s death, Dr. E. Goujon examined him because of the unusual physical properties of his genital organs., Dr. Chesnet does not mention interestingly Herculine Barbin s personal gender identification during the period of time surrounding his medical examination. Rather, it appears from the text that gender roles were based on biological properties and not personal preference-previous to Herculine Barbin s diagnosis she worked as a teacher at an all-girls boarding school, after the diagnosis he worked as a railway employee, a job he presumably would not be permitted to do as a woman. As Dr. E. Goujon states, all people posses a true sex (Foucault 139). This true sex is either male or female. The true sex is determined by scientific observations of the physical properties of a person; doctors are called on to give their opinion and pronounce a judgment concerning people with this [hermaphroditism] kind of anomaly (Foucault 138). Both physicians think that an error in classification must have been made at Herculine Barbin s birth. In fact, only a superficial examination of his external genital organs would lead a physician to classify him among women (Foucalt130). This shows that in Dr. Chestnet and Dr. E. Goujon model sex is determined to belong to either the male or the female category through a proper and thorough understanding of both the physicality of genital organs and their function. There is no possibility for categories of sexual representation other than male or female. For Dr. Chestnet and Dr. E. Goujon, gender ambivalence simply cannot exist in humans. The purpose of Dr. E. Goujon s autopsy of Herculine Barbin is show the fact that hermaphroditism does not exist in man and the higher animals (Foucault 139). Even hermaphrodites are thought to be either male or female in constitution. For example, Dr. E. Goujon calls Herculine Barbin

4 one of the most typical cases of masculine hermaphroditism (Foucault 129). Herculine Barbin s sexually indeterminate organs are determined to be either masculine or feminine the physicians never declare them to be neither. Dr. Chesnet observes that where a male has a penis and a female has a clitoris, Herculine Barbin has an organ that appears to be neither; this little member is as far removed from the clitoris as it is from the penis (Foucault 126). Here, Dr. Chesnet clearly states that the organ in question is different from both the clitoris and the penis but he still designates the organ as masculine, by calling it an imperfect penis (Foucault 126). Dr. E. Goujon reveals the same bias by saying, On either side of the erectile organ (penis or clitoris) (Foucault 135). Putting penis or clitoris in parentheses to describe the organ shows that it was not a possibility for Dr. E. Goujon to determine that Herculine Barbin s erectile organ could be anything other than masculine or feminine. Ultimately, Herculine Barbin cannot be a woman because he does not possess the physical traits that define femininity, namely he is lacking those organs a woman needs to be capable of reproduction. The methodology of both doctors is to first look for the feminine organs. Herculine Barbin lacked ovaries, a functional birth canal, and a uterus. It is not important to either physician that Herculine Barbin s erectile organ may be a clitoris because the clitoris is a completely sexual organ that is not required for reproduction. The importance of the female reproductive organs to both physicians suggests that they equated womanhood with motherhood. In other words, a person could not be a woman without also possessing the possibility of motherhood. The physicians culturally influenced understanding of both the biology and the purpose of a woman is clear because of their focus on menstruation as a sign of reproductive possibility. Dr. Chesnet says, Is Alexina a woman? She has a vulva, labia majora, and a feminine urethra, independent of a sort of imperforate penis, which might be a monstrously developed clitoris. She has a vagina. True, it is very short, very narrow; but after all, what is it if it is not a vagina?

5 These are completely feminine attributes. Yes, but Alexina has never menstruated; the whole outer body is that of a man, and my explorations did not enable me to find a womb (Foucault 127). Here, Dr. Chesnet, much like Dr. E. Goujon does in his analysis 1 catalogues the genital organs that he has labeled as feminine. Despite the number of attributes of a woman Herculine Barbin possess, Dr. Chesnet does not conclude that he is a woman because he does not have a womb and he does not menstruate and therefore, cannot give birth. While Dr. E. Goujon does seem to believe that Herculine Barbin would have eventually been able to reproduce as a male, it is not nearly as important as the fact that he could have never carried a pregnancy. Dr. E. Goujon is not concerned with the lack of sperm in Herculine Barbin s body; in men who have every appearance of health, spermatozoa are sometimes absent for a given time because of one influence or another, and that they may reappear afterward (Foucault 144). While Herculine Barbin did not actually possess sperm at the time of the examination, the possibility that he might in the future is sufficient for Dr. E. Goujon to classify him as a man. 1 See Foucault, pp. 133,134.

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