Student Perspectives: Structure and Style® for Students: Level C, Andrew V.’s View

Dec 13, 2019 | Posted by Jennifer


I had the recent pleasure of meeting Andrew V., a high school student appearing in IEW®️’s newly released video-based Structure and Style for Students: Level C classes. I met him when I traveled out to Oklahoma this past November for the company’s twenty-fifth birthday celebration and official announcement of the new Structure and Style for Students courses. Curious to hear what Andrew thought of his two years spent in Mr. Pudewa’s high school class, I pulled him aside for a brief interview before dinner was served.


Mrs. Mauser: What was your connection to this opportunity to learn from Mr. Pudewa in Structure and Style for Students? How did you learn about it?

Andrew V.: I don’t really know. My mom told me one day, “Get in the car.” I was surprised.

Mrs. Mauser: So you didn’t know what you were going to do?

Andrew V.: Yep. And what any kid knows is that when your mom says, “I have a surprise for you,” it’s bad. They know it’s not going to be good!

Mrs. Mauser: So she didn’t ask you to grab your backpack or a pen or anything?

Andrew V.: I think this was just the initial meet-up, so I didn’t need those things. Then she mentioned IEW, and I was like, wait. What’s happening? And then right before we were going inside, she said, “Here’s the thing. You’re going to be recorded,” and I was thinking, “I hate to be recorded!” That’s one of my things.

Mrs. Mauser: Okay, when you arrived, how many other students joined you in the studio?

Andrew V.: I think there were somewhere around thirteen or fourteen.

Mrs. Mauser: And you were thinking, Okay, how long am I going to be doing this? How long were the weekly sessions?

Andrew V.: The classes lasted somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half.

Mrs. Mauser: Walk me through the first week of instruction. How did that go?

Andrew V.: The first day there was a rectangle of chairs, and we just all sat and introduced ourselves to each other. And then we played Outmatched, which was fun. Each class, if we showed up early, we played Outmatched, and that was a good time. So after that first day, I thought, “I might actually be able to live with this.” The kids and the games were pretty cool.

Mrs. Mauser: So when the first actual day of class arrived, how did you feel?

Andrew V.: Very nervous because I was afraid to mess up. But as time went on, I liked it. My writing definitely improved that year.

Mrs. Mauser: Why do you think your writing improved?

Andrew V.: I think my grammar was already correct, but my writing was very dry. So IEW made my writing a lot better with the style I learned to use.

Mrs. Mauser: Do you have a favorite unit?

Andrew V.: Definitely the non-creative units! I prefer fact-based units like Units 4 and 6.

Mrs. Mauser: Were there any particular topics that you wrote about that you found particularly engaging?

Andrew V.: There was this one on Caesar that was focused on the time when Julius Caesar was captured by pirates. While they were trying to get a ransom for him, they decided to demand twenty coins, and he was like, “Twenty! Is that all you think I’m worth? I’m worth fifty!” So they raised the demand to fifty. During this time that he was waiting for the ransom to be paid, he was writing poems. While he was writing them, he told the pirates, “When I get out, I’m going to crucify you.” The pirates were laughing because they didn’t believe it would happen. But when he was rescued, he made good on his promise. He crucified them.

Mrs. Mauser: Very interesting! Do you remember which unit that was?

Andrew V.: No. That was the first year, so it was a while ago.

Mrs. Mauser: So you did two years?

Andrew: Yes. Mom asked me if I wanted to go back. I wasn’t sure at first, but then when school got closer, I decided I wanted to do it again. This (Structure and Style for Students) was a whole lot more fun than my other writing classes.

Mrs. Mauser: If you could say one thing about what makes Andrew Pudewa a good teacher, what would that be?

Andrew: It’s his personality. He’s engaging and fun and makes you enjoy learning the material. He always starts out with a joke and ends with, “Have a good day, what’s left of it.” It’s very memorable.


If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to check out the new Structure and Style for Students courses, click this link for more details. Samples of the new Structure and Style for Students Level C course will be posted soon.

IEW® and Structure and Style® are registered trademarks of the Institute for Excellence in Writing, L.L.C.


Jennifer Mauser has always loved reading and writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1991. Once she and her husband had children, they decided to homeschool, and she put all her training to use in the home. In addition to homeschooling her children, Jennifer teaches IEW classes out of her home, coaches budding writers via email, and tutors students who struggle with dyslexia.

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