Do we really need more articles on wellness?

A recent poll asked “How much time do you spend talking about wellness versus actually doing it?” Of those that responded, 85% of people said that they spend more time talking about wellness and less time doing it. Actually, I just made all of that up, there was no real poll. But it isn’t hard to look around and find plenty of articles that say something to the same effect: we are all stressed, fatigued, isolated, bored, etc. and so we need to be doing more to make sure we don’t spiral. 

Though I have found valuable help in articles on self-care, I have to admit there is something about them now that creates a feeling of discomfort. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that the unforeseen consequence of a flux of articles, statistics, podcasts, posts, etc. about wellness during this pandemic is that there is a paradoxical feeling of stress. When you are confronted with everything you should do to be well and compare it to what you actually do (or have the time, resources, mental capacity, support to actually do), it can feel overwhelming to discuss wellness. So if we are already overwhelmed with everyone and their Zoom famous cat and dog telling us how to take care of ourselves during this pandemic, do we really need to hear more about wellness? 

Well, the answer to that is about as straight-forward as any other topic at this point in our society – it’s complicated. I have to say up front that there is always going to be an importance in raising awareness about wellness. Most everyone goes through waves when it comes to where they are at in their wellness journey. That is why it isn’t such a bad thing to have so many reminders. If we find we have been sitting for too long again, or drinking one too many cups of coffee, or descending into a negative self-talk spiral, we can see that annoying article that once again prompts us to get up, drink some water, and do some self-affirmations. But for those burned out on wellness, for those who feel like they don’t have the means to be well, for those facing bigger picture fights for wellness – how can we have a more nuanced conversation about what it really means to be well? How can we still emphasize the importance of developing a practice of wellness, while discussing the real struggles that go with these practices?

For the rest of the semester we will do a blog series about both wellness and writing that explores how to approach wellness in ways that acknowledges its importance, but discusses its complexity. Because a practice of writing in a writing program is truly inseparable from a practice of wellness, we will also be talking about writing practices and the complexities that go with that as well. Perhaps, as a community, we can act as pillars of support and lean on one another from time to time as we talk about some of these difficult or frustrating topics. We hope that as we progress with the series that you will share your thoughts and experiences and join us in wrestling with Wellness and Writing.

November Writing Holidays!

Within our writing community, we welcome all forms of celebrations of writing and literacies! KUWP thrives on community building and engagement through our own cohort of scholars and the open digital community. Please join us in celebrating November’s writing holidays! We will be actively celebrating through our Instagram and Twitter by posting, tagging, and hashtag-ing @kuwsp @kean_wp #kuwsp #unboundeq. Looking forward to seeing your amazing posts and participation through our website!

Celebrating Picture Book Month!

Here you can celebrate Picture Book Month with us by uploading a picture of your favorite picture book! You can also upload your participation by screenshooting your social media posts and uploading it to the active working google slide below. We will be celebrating all month, so please feel free to upload as many times as you want through the month of November!

National Day on Writing 2020

The National Day on Writing® celebrates writing—and the many places, reasons, and ways we write each day—as an essential component of literacy. Since 2009, #WhyIWrite has encouraged thousands of people to lift their voices to the things that matter most to them.

The Kean University Writing Project participates in this national event by inviting all to write on our digital writing wall. The themes for each wall are #WhyIWrite and #IamFrom. Below are our customized google slides where you can both view and participate in our celebration! To participate, please click on the desired Writing Wall and it will redirect you to editing access for the designated google slide. Further instructions will be located within the Writing Wall!

We will be celebrating from October 12th – October 20th, as October 20th is the official celebration day! You can all participate by following us on twitter and Instagram; please tag us @kuwsp hashtag #WhyIWrite, #IamFrom, and #kuwsp.

#WhyIWrite Writing Wall

#IamFrom Writing Wall

Welcome letter for MA Program 2020

Welcome everyone!

We congratulate all incoming students to the M.A. in English Writing Studies program, and we welcome back our returning graduate students.  As you embark or continue on your MA in Writing Studies learning journey, we look forward to another eventful and meaningful year in our graduate program.  Also, a special thank you to all of our professors for being instrumental to our program. You are indispensable! 

The Writing Studies program has always been composed of a community of writers, scholars, and researchers with unique voices. This community is a highly diverse one, and together we are stronger and more enriched.  Your  voices are important  both inside and outside of the classroom. Further, the spirit of independence is a hallmark of  our community because we each pursue diverse projects. No matter our differences, our work is always  relevant to contemporary concerns in our world. In this manner, the seeds of community connection are sown for empathy to flourish. 

We continue to be tested with the global pandemic. True colors manifest when things are more difficult.  We have proven that we support each other unconditionally. The Kean University Writing Studies MA program  has exhibited a rare alchemy of genuine care and concern along with  academic rigor and rapport. We will continue to  make sure that remote learning is a meaningful experience. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your peers and your professors as you acclimate to this Fall semester.  

Program information

For more information about the program, we ask that you peruse the program website. On this site, you will find information about the program itself, its goals as well as information about individual courses. The site also includes a curated collection of tools for composing in traditional and digital formats. We encourage you to bookmark this site, as it will be a touchstone for your time in the program.

Additionally, our website provides you with some information about the Kean University Writing Project (one of approximately 200 national sites of the National Writing Project) which operates in conjunction with our M.A. program). 

Join our Virtual Grad Student Lounge

We will be gathering digitally on Slack, a channel-based messaging platform, whereby students interact online. We will be sending invitations to everyone directly after this email.  Please be sure to join up right away, as this space is a critical part of connecting with your learning community.  This is your space to be expressive, contemplative, make inquiries or simply, unwind. Think of our “MA in Writing Studies” Slack channel as our virtual, asynchronous, grad student lounge.  Go there for general announcements about our program, to ask questions that can be answered by peers, and just chat in order to get to know others in your program.  For new MA students, this is also a chance to meet and gather wisdom from established MA students.  We will also provide you with information on how to participate in volunteer opportunities geared towards developing literacy and networking with other communities of writers. Our graduate assistants will have regular office hours in Slack on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00PM to 9:00PM so if you want to connect, that is a good time to jump in. But do understand you can participate at any time (i.e. it is an “always-open” asynchronous conversation) and the program’s grad assistants will be in and out of the space periodically to keep the conversation flowing.  

Activities to come

It is our tradition to host  a variety of events beyond our classes. The National Writing Project (NWP) serves as a touchstone for fostering a broader community of writers. We collaborate with each other in creating special projects such as sharing poetry on electronic platforms. Students (including undergraduates) have had an opportunity to add to our beautiful, colorful “Writing Wall.”  See photo below. We also participate each year  in the National Writing Project’s National Day of Writing. Listen to some collaborative poetry created for the day here! This Fall will be no different, we will have ample opportunities to create, connect, and collaborate with our broader networks for both national and international projects. 

Start connecting

Your adviser for the duration of your time in the program is Dr. Mia Zamora, Director of the MA Writing Studies program and Director of the KU Writing Project. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact her at mzamora@kean.edu. Her Graduate Assistants, Patricia M. Dennis (dennisp@kean.edu) and Medea B. Chillemi (chillemm@kean.edu), are here to answer any and all questions you may have.  

And remember, the Slack channel (invitation to come shortly) is a place to connect with everyone in our program, a place to receive general program announcements, hear of new opportunities, crowdsource inquiries and support, and grow our friendships and collegiality.

We look forward to working with all of you. 

Best Regards,

The MA in English-Writing Studies Program

October 2019, Dr. Mia Zamora with Graduate Assistant Patricia M. Dennis and our Writing Mural for the “National Day of Writing.” 

December 2019, Dr. Zamora and her graduate students in Writing Theory and Practice class.  

English Writing Studies Program Represents in Kean University Research Days 2020

Research Days 2020 Guidelines Registration Eligibility ...
Kean University Research Days 2020

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

How To Have Compassion for Yourself - Blessing Manifesting

We subsist and strive in the extraordinary times of a global pandemic. Many members of the Kean University Project have been forged in a crucible of personal challenges, yet we practice community and we are all the stronger for it. With kindness, ingenuity and guided by excellent professors who are superb mentors to us, we transform. We utilize our practical skills, artistic talents and academic pursuits to do something extraordinary: we create.

Kean University’s Writing Project remains strong as exhibited by its participation in the upcoming Research Days. Our work on “Voice in Writing,” which we developed with the guidance of the Program’s inimitable Director, Dr. Mia Zamora, in Fall 2019 in our “Writing Theory and Practice” seminar will be on display. Additionally, at Research Days, we will pose crucial questions regarding surveillance technology in our current seminar, “Networked Narratives,” led by the same fearless leader.  We are community. We climb, we reach, and we support each other. We create, especially in these trying times. Transformation in times when darkness can envelop is not a goal that everyone can achieve, but we are doing it as proud members of the Kean University Writing Project. We thank you and entreat you to stay well, be positive and reach out to us. Be well. 

Empowering Expression: Nurturing Voice in Student Writing

Several students from Fall 2019 Writing Theory and Practice course participated in Kean University Research. Each participant gives a brief introduction into thier indviduals projects that can be found on the host project site.

The following students presented for Research Days 2020:

Medea Chillemi
Patricia Dennis
Alexis Hordge
Dylan Hirtler
Emily Morris
Meagan Mentor
Nives Migliaccio
Linda Pham

#NetNarr at Kean University Research Days, 2020

The Writing Studies Program also made an apperance through our current #NetNarr course, led by our program director: Dr. Mia Zamora and fellow distguinsed professor: Alan Levin. The following students also make an apperance in the video presentation:

Medea Chillemi
Patricia Dennis
Nives Migliaccio
Ryan Marlowe
Linda Pham
Kevin Kourakos
Dylan Hirtler

The Writing Studies program is very excited and proud to represent in Kean University Research Days!

Meet with the Director online!

The enthusiasm MUST go on!📖🧠🤝💻✏️
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Via our Twitter (@KUWSP): “Click! We r still meeting w/ the Director of the Eng Writing Studies! Find out how a Master’s can work for you! We form a great community & welcome many voices. 1st event is 3/26/20 & 2nd is 4/16! Click!”

Also make sure to follow us on Instagram @kean_wp

Coffee’O Clock!

Come and enjoy a hot drink and an engaging chat with Dr. Mia Zamora about the M.A. in English Writing Studies program. Please come with many questions to ask!

Summer 2020 Opportunities!

The overarching purpose of the Kean University Writing Project is to support teachers in the teaching of writing and to deepen the writing craft for current writers. To that end, our Summer Institutes provide participants with opportunities to examine challenges and issues through interactive learning, inquiry, reflection, and community.

Please refer to the link below or on the flyers for more details about these two summer coursers offered by the English Writing Studies Program.

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