April 10, 2019

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television launches Week of Wellness

By Andrea Ngeleka

On April 1st the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen and Television, working with the USC Counseling Center, launched its First Annual WST Week of Wellness, a timely and much needed resource for students as they head into the final stretch of the semester towards deadlines for finals and thesis projects. It was a week of events as well as special activities and workshops, meant to help students both relax and focus.

Week of Wellness also centered around the joy of writing. The division set up Caring and Writing Advice boards so students both give and receive encouragement. There was a Shred Your Fears event consisting of a cathartic activity that let students write down their fears then shred the paper as a sign of literally letting go. A Writing Advice event, which is where professors got involved, gave students daily notecards with advice to help students brave writing hurdles. These events were accessible to students in the Writing for Screen and Television (WST) Lobby all week long.

 “We hope to give our students some opportunities to come together while focusing on their writing, giving them some useful writing quotes from faculty,” said the division’s Administrative Assistant Kris Burkett. “In addition, we are offering a 'Mindful Stretch and Breathing Seminar' in which the students are given some tools for relaxation and self expression. On the last day we offer a workshop given by the Counseling Center opening it up to any questions or concerns our students may have.”.

The special events similarly seek to help students with their writing and with their general well being. A Mindful Breathing and Stretching event was led by a yoga instructor. It wasn’t quite a yoga class but still helped students center themselves before the week of writing ahead. The week also featured two “Write In” sessions for WST undergraduate and graduate students. Students attending either of the two Write In sessions also got a special visit from Professor Beauregard Tirebiter, the facility dog who serves as the university’s wellness ambassador. The Week of Wellness concluded with a Resiliency Workshop with a question and answer session facilitated by the Counseling Center, to help equip students with the tools needed to successfully face the end of the semester.

According to Burkett, the loss of SCA student McKenna Martin, who died a year ago, prompted the creation of the Week of Wellness. “It is our hope the students know they are supported not only within the Division but by the University as a whole. We also remind them of the resources that are available on campus and where to find them,” said Burkett.