Surprisingly, even though The Voice Magazine pays for student writing, I don’t get that many students wanting to try their hand at it. Of those who do inquire, one of the most common questions is “What should I write?”
I have a stock answer saved in a file that I tweak a bit based on the individual writer, but the largest part of it remains the same, and always will. It is essentially “Things that would interest an AU student more than they would someone who isn’t an AU student.” That is, after all, the point of The Voice Magazine, to reflect the various interests of AU students.
That rule can be a little fuzzy sometimes though. Is the Porkpie Hat more interesting to an AU student than someone who isn’t? I tend to think so, simply because to get some of the themes he is digging at requires the type of independent thinking mind that an AU student has. Is a column on making Greek salad really more interesting to AU students than it would be to others? Maybe not, because food is of interest to everyone. But then again, a quick, easy, and healthy meal, while of interest to everyone, should especially be important to AU students, who are often juggling multiple commitments while getting their education, just as our student interviewee is in our feature Minds We Meet in this issue.
The other place the rule bends is if I can see an audience of students would enjoy reading it. While our “Dear Barb” column often has no direct reference to students, the questions that I’ve forwarded on to Barb have been from students, even if they don’t mention their schooling, and that counts too. And one thing that the statistics show, we like reading about ourselves, even if it’s not quite ourselves.
Where I’m going with this whole thing is that the question to ask shouldn’t be, “What should I write?” but rather, “Who am I writing this for?” If that who is to AU students, then you should consider contacting me at The Voice Magazine.
In the meantime, in this issue, we delve further into the idea of a brain-to-brain connection for learning in The Fly on the Wall, but, as usual, Jason doesn’t look at this from the straight-forward view of what kind of quantifiable effects might this have, but rather what the larger effect would be on the nature of learning itself. The Study Dude also takes a quick look at one aspect of what goes into the courses you’re taking—they didn’t happen by random, so what is instructional design, and how are some of the ways that it works?
Also, we look at the idea of going with the flow. Is it good, bad, both? And how can we tell which?
Plus, of course, we bring you various events, reviews, scholarships, and goings on around the AU universe, plus advice, ideas, and articles to keep you thinking even when you’re not studying.