Last week I tagged along with our Writing Center director to Freshman Orientation, in order to 'represent' the Writing Center. After struggling to assemble a rather complicated poster contraption behind our folding table and admiring (coveting) the library table's schmancy set-up with lap-tops, a table cloth, and candy, we settled in ready to arm incoming students with Writing Center bookmarks and pencils.
The students rushed the room in big clumps. I attempted to give a bookmark to anyone that would make eye contact with me. A few times I almost forgot what I was doing and said "Vote for Change"...but it was not election flyers I was handing out, but a valuable summary of what the writing center is: information that defines my academic passion, my pedagogy, and my day-to-day work.
Most students opened their complimentary trick-or-treating bags just long enough for me to drop a pencil in and moved on to the Student Health Insurance table, which was giving out classy water bottles. But several students did stop, ready to absorb any information about the Writing Center I chose to bestow upon them. So I did my best: "We work with writers at any stage of the writing process," "it's always good to get a sounding board for your ideas," "we may not have brought candy with us, but we have quite a selection in the center." It was kind of tough. What is the most important information I can pass on in a clear way in a short amount of time? If you had to (or when you have had to) sum up the work of your writing center in two sentences what would (or did) you say?