PeerCentered is a space for peer writing tutors/consultants or anyone interested in collaborative learning in writing centers to blog with their colleagues from around the world. Bloggers here will share their ideas, experiences, or insight. To contribute to the blog, please contact Clint.Gardner@slcc.edu.
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Well, I suppose I'll go ahead and introduce myself. I'm a second year graduate student, but this is my first semester as a tutor. I've been on the job two weeks now. At first, I'll admit that I was apprehensive about peer tutoring (is peer tutoring really peer tutoring, etc.), but the handful of sessions that I've had so far have been enormously enjoyable and rewarding. I think I'm sold. Still, I haven't a vast knowledge of writing center practice or theory yet. I know I'll learn more as the quarter progresses and even more from my actual tutoring sessions. Right now I'm focusing on such basics as listening and learning how to ask the right questions. Of course, neither of these skills are "basic," but they are skills I've long taken for granted--until now.
While I admit I was once intrigued by the prostitute-consultant analogy, not by what Scott Russell had to say about it but by some of the ideas we threw around in class the other day, I can honestly say, now, that I am beginning to move away from the metaphor. While I once connected prostitution and the writing center through their brief meetings and levels of intimacy, I now question the nature of those meetings and the levels of intimacy available, and like David said in class, I agree that the comparison is a stretch. Here’s where I struggle with a connection between meeting a stranger, a prostitute, for sex, and meeting a consultant at the writing center. Although the ‘client,’ ‘student,’ or whatever, meets with a stranger for a limited period time to meet a specific desire, the level of intimacy between sex with a prostitute and a writing consultation differs. It is my experience that consultations between peers can be genuinely intimate as one discusses personal thoughts—there i…
I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)