Welcome to the Active Voice Blog!

Active VoiceWelcome to the Active Voice Blog, the official blog of the Wake Forest University Writing Center. You can find all the information you need about the Center around our main site, but this space is reserved for students, faculty, and staff to share perspectives on writing practices and processes. We hope you’ll find something here that speaks to you!

Exploring Community

20131106fall5376Yesterday, we shared a recap of our National Day on Writing activities, including #writemycommunity. We now have lots of index cards in the Writing Center that share your perspectives on the Wake Forest community.

We recently stumbled across a great article about exploring community – 10 ways to explore and express what makes your community unique. It has some great ideas, especially the one where you celebrate (and eat) foods of your community!

Happy reading!


We had a great time celebrating National Day on Writing yesterday!











We officially wrote the longest WFU ghost story and you helped contribute quite a few silly sentences. More about that soon on where you can read it yourself.

And while ghost stories are fun, an even bigger part of our day was sharing about the Wake Forest Community.

We had students share words or phrases about what Wake Forest is and what Wake Forest could be. So many of you agree that WFU is a beautiful place, a second home, and a place to meet new people and make lifelong friends. One person said that it’s “filled with talented, worked-changing individuals.” Another said that WFU is a place that brings a smile to my face.”











And while so many positive things were shared about what Wake Forest is, many agreed that there is still room to grow as a university. Inclusion was a major theme that stood out regarding what Wake Forest could be. One student said that Wake Forest could be a “flourishing community of diversity and inclusion.” Other students wanted to see a strong connection to the Winston-Salem community, and “a more prominent artistic community.”









What do you think? There’s still room on our boards if you want to add your thoughts! Or you can come to the Writing Center and see all the contributions!


National Day on Writing Celebration



Happy National Day on Writing Wake Forest!

Our  celebration is happening right now in Benson! Come share your thoughts on community and add a sentence to the longest ghost story in WFU history!  We’re  here until 7pm so stop on by!

Can’t come by? Feel free to share your thoughts virtually by using #WFU and #writemycommunity. We’d love to hear what you think Wake Forest is and what it should be.

Also, we’ll be displaying our completed ghost story in the days leading up to Halloween so stay tuned.

“What makes a word ‘real?'”

Professor Laura Aull recently shared this with us and we think it’s too good not share with you. So, what does make a word real?

National Day on Writing — Monday, October 20

downloadOn Monday October 20, the Writing Center will be celebrating National Day on Writing in Benson (outside the food court) from 11am-7pm. Come and celebrate with us!

— Share your thoughts on the community of Wake Forest and participate in an event focused on the National Day on Writing 2014 theme. You can do this in person at our table or through social media using the hashtags #writemycommunity and #wfu

— Just in time for Halloween, you can add your spooky sentence to Wake Forest’s longest ghost story. Known as an exquisite corpse exercise (an appropriate name for our story), writers contribute to a story one sentence at a time. Come see the finished story in the Writing Center during Halloween week.

Come stop by our table on Monday and we’ll celebrate writing together!

Upcoming Contemplative Pedagogy Events

Yesterday we introduced the idea of contemplative pedagogy and offered a working definition of this teaching practice. We said that, although you may be new to it, contemplative pedagogy is rooted in some very old techniques.

You may be thinking, “who on earth would want to study this?” Well, a lot of people, actually. And some very close to home.

Wake Forest will host multiple lectures and presentations on the topic of contemplative pedagogy and ways to enhance the experience for students using mindfulness in the classroom. Check them out if you’re interested!

“Radical Listening” and other Contemplative Approaches to Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Thursday, October 9 • 1:00pm – 2:30pm (you must register for this event to attend)

What is contemplation and why should we care? A public lecture by Dr. David Germano: Thursday, October 9 • 6:00pm

Exploring Contemplative Pedagogies in the Wake Forest Classroom: Wednesday, October 15 • 3:30pm – 4:45pm (writing professors Elisabeth Whitehead, Eric Stottlemyer, and Eric Ekstrand will be presenting)

Interested in learning more about contemplative pedagogy at Wake Forest University? Visit the Teaching and Learning Center.


Contemplative Pedagogy?

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Folks at WFU, including faculty in the Writing Program, are gearing up to celebrate contemplative pedagogy with a few upcoming events focused on that topic.

But what exactly is contemplative pedagogy?

According to professor Eric Stottlemyer:

Contemplative pedagogy incorporates the practices of meditation and introspection in the classroom in order to enhance the cognitive skills of students, to deepen self-awareness, and to foster empathy, creativity, compassion, and communication. Instead of focusing exclusively on student acquisition of material knowledge, contemplative pedagogy addresses the whole student, and emphasizes a balance between mind and body, intellect and emotion, and the classroom and the larger world. It also provides students with the means and the skills to manage stress and to locate a set of personally-defined ethics that might provide meaning to the student’s life.

Although this concept might be new to use, it draws on ancient practices to enhance the learning environment. 

So what might this look like in the classroom? Brown University lists a few great exercises that faculty can use to bring contemplative pedagogy practices to their students.

Come back next week for a peek at the upcoming schedule of events.