Reasons to Amplify Free Minds: Our Dedicated Faculty

Free Minds Instructor Laine Perez on Overcoming Writing Roadblocks

When Amelia approached me and asked me to write this month’s Final Word, I immediately thought, what a great opportunity! I can write a couple paragraphs no problem, and it will be great to talk a little about the writing instruction in Free Minds. And yet, I still waited to the last moment to write this piece. You see, even after years of teaching writing I, like most people, still see writing as a daunting task. The blank page brings out all of our insecurities. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Sometimes, once the essay is started, it’s hard to know how to finish. Sometimes a fear of grammar stops us. Sometimes it’s a fear of imperfection.

What I try to do in the writing classes is help Free Minds students develop the tools they need to overcome some of these writing roadblocks. For example, later in the semester, we’ll be talking about outlining or mapping prior to writing a paper. Students who have trouble starting or ending a paper may find these skills to be great tools.

One of my favorite things about working with the Free Minds students last fall was seeing them grow as writers and thinkers, developing the abilities they needed to begin to consider writing as a friend rather than a foe. However, I also had the great pleasure of witnessing the growth of a community of writers who were able to encourage and help one another. This year, I look forward to working with each of the Free Minds students to help them achieve their writing goals. But even more than that, I look forward to once again being part of a truly unique intellectual community. And to the Free Minds Class of 2013, I wish you a good semester, and I can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Amplify Austin is a city-wide day of online giving which will take place on from 7 pm March 4 to 7 pm March 5. Central Texas residents are invited to come together to raise $1 for the local non-profits that enrich our city–including Free Minds. To learn more about how you can support Free Minds through Amplify Austin, visit

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