August 18, 2008

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A weekly publication for the BGSU community

Amy Rybak with the NPR

Amy Rybak with the NPR 'This I Believe' site.

Venerable concept gives BGSU student writers new voice, audience

Three years ago, Amy Rybak was driving to work early in the fall semester when she heard someone reading what sounded like a student-written essay on National Public Radio.

Thinking it seemed like something she would want her students in BGSU’s General Studies Writing Program to do, the excited instructor went to her East Hall office and looked up “This I Believe,” the NPR program airing the essay.

The series invites people—some famous, most not—to share personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives. Rybak immediately decided to try the idea with a class, whose reaction she likened to “light bulbs coming on.” The students wrote down ideas and, “in 50 minutes, they were all able to write this essay,” which was new, different and, perhaps most significantly, something they enjoyed, she said.


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