Sometimes It's Okay to Meddle: Or, How to Encourage First-Year Students to Visit the Writing Center
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When I was a kid, I loved the original Star Trek. Every time I heard “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” I got goosebumps. As I got older, besides realizing the ungrammatical nature of the construction (and the inherent sexism behind it), I began thinking about some of the show’s chief plot points; namely, the United Federation of Planets’ altruistic “Prime Directive” which prohibited interference with other civilizations. This directive, supposedly ironclad, was consistently violated by the Enterprise crew and usually on Captain Kirk’s orders. However, most of the violations were well intentioned and generally resulted in a positive outcome for whatever group of aliens was the object of the Enterprise’s meddling. This tendency of course only reinforced Kirk’s unstated philosophy that interfering in others’ affairs is sometimes the best way to get things done.