…teaching her how to think.
From the very beginning of her UWGB experience, Clarice Tuinstra felt as if she was in an odd limbo. “I started college at age 22, when most people graduate. I didn’t follow the typical path of attending college directly after high school, but I was far too young to be an ‘adult’ student,” Clarice explains.
She returned to school because she disliked working retail and felt that her best option was to earn a degree. “I felt having a college education was still better than having nothing but a high school diploma, and when I started I was unsure of myself,” Clarice says. “I was unsure of my abilities, my talent, and even my intelligence. I hadn’t been in school for four years, and I wasn’t sure how well I would do.”
During her time at UWGB, Clarice says she learned how to be more assertive. “I took charge of group projects. I learned that writing creatively could be twice as hard as any analysis. Now, I can think for myself. I learn quickly, I understand instructions and I can analyze better than many. This, and I can write a beautiful sentence on occasion,” Clarice explains.
Clarice reflects on the guidance and wisdom she gleaned from Stefan Hall, Rebecca Meacham, Chuck Rybak, Aeron Haynie, Eric Shockley, and Cliff Abbott, asserting that, “Each brought something individual to the classroom.” Clarice insists all of her professors taught her that, “It is not just about reading books, writing opinion pieces, and hoping to be a novelist. Can writing be an art? Yes. Can it be a science? Yes, it can be that too. Collectively, these professors taught me to be more open to knowledge. They taught me to discover the world for myself. They taught me facts, yes, but they also taught me how to think.”
Name: Clarice Tuinstra
Grad Year: 2014
Major: Creative Writing