The Right Place to Write

     Have you heard of the new writing center at Oyster River High School? This year, ORHS is fortunate to have a full-time writing center. 

     Jacob Baver and Alexander Eustace, both alumni of ORHS, run the writing center and can help students with whatever writing help they need. From the seniors writing their college essays to the freshmen finally getting back into school and writing lab reports and papers again, to everything in between, the writing center is the perfect place to go for writing help. 

     The writing center holds so much opportunity for improvement. Camden Puiia (24’) explains, “I come here during my study hall, so sometimes twice a week, maybe three times a week. I’ve benefited from it not just on my assignments, but in my personal writing as well. I see myself using the skills that Mr. Baver and Mr. Eustace have worked on with me and producing better work overall.” 

     Puiia explains that, “one, [the writing center] benefits your grades and two, it makes your writing skills better and will help you in school and [prepare you for] college.” Many other students like Puiia have used the writing center for their assignments, but also found it to be a good place to get work done without any pressure. Baver elaborates on this, explaining, “students come in more than once. I’ve heard from these students that their grades are improving, and having seen and interacted with them, they feel more confident as writers.” The writing center is simply the perfect place to go for a stress free environment where you can learn new skills and not just improve the writing you’re working on, but your overall writing skills too.

     ORHS teachers believe the writing center will improve the students’ writing and in the end make them feel more confident in their writing and projects. Kara Sullivan, an English teacher at ORHS, explains that “students will benefit from the writing center and improve their writing skills all together, not just one particular piece of writing.” Sullivan, along with other teachers at ORHS are so excited to have the writing center and hope that their students will take initiative and use the resources available to them.

     Hannah Hatfield (22’) says that her time in the writing center, “was a really good experience. I went in looking for help with my college essay. I had it roughly started, but I wanted to expand how it was written and make sure everything worked well in it.” Hatfield was able to benefit from the writing center, along with many other seniors and juniors, to make her college essay better. Baver also explains, “[college essays] have been a lot of fun, especially at the start of the year, where you don’t see as many writing deadlines. We are able to help balance the academic strengths with GPAs and also work to make the essays flow.”

     With all the college essays have come the acceptances. Baver says that, “so far, I know of two students that have been accepted and we are hanging their acceptance banner on the wall to celebrate for them. I hope soon we can fill it with more students getting accepted.” This is a great way for students to feel content with their work, but also let other students see how beneficial the writing center is and what can come out of it. 

     Countless times, students mention the vibes and comforting space the writing center has to offer. Baver says, “there are perks to being in a small space. It’s easier to be alone with your thoughts at times, which can be very valuable when you are writing.”  Hatfield continues to explain how she particularly enjoys the writing center’s atmosphere. “It’s always calm and there’s music playing, it’s a very inviting and welcoming space that really made me much more comfortable asking for help on such an important essay,” she says.

     Baver and Eustace have worked together to make the writing center a calm and chill environment where students can work and improve their writing skills. Baver says, “it’s an atmosphere where you’re going to get some work done, but we are also going to have some casual conversations that might stray away sometimes. When you leave you feel more confident about it and comfortable coming back in because you know what to expect.” Focusing on forming connections is a large part of the center’s philosophy. 

     Baver explains, “Eustace and I believe the assignment is one thing, but we care more about the students than we care about the assignment. And with that, we’re hoping that more people can come in here and be productive in an environment where they feel comfortable.”

     Eustace explains his goals for the writing center and overall what he hopes it brings to ORHS. “If we continue to help individuals with not just their assignment, but their writing habits overall, it will lead to them becoming stronger writers and not needing us anymore.” Eustace also relates to a greater prospect of not just strengthening individuals’ writing skills, but the school’s as a whole. “It is a resource that an academic community can use to improve the overall writing and writing habits of a larger group,” he says.

     The writing center is a valuable source ORHS has to offer. Hatfield explains, “I get that it can be kind of intimidating to ask for help or use a resource, but the school offers it and I was able to benefit from it, so I would definitely say take advantage of it.” 

     The writing center is on the second floor in room C217. Feel free to drop by any period and work with either Mr. Baver or Mr. Eustace on your writing. They have created a helpful environment that welcomes everyone and makes the writing center the perfect place to sit down and get the “write” stuff done.